Ken Taraszka M.D. is an anesthesiologist by trade based in Tampa Bay, Florida. Ken is also a professional audiophile and home theater writer specializing in AV preamps and all facets of the audiophile market. In the past, Ken has been a staff writer and editor at AVRev.com. He has also at times been a frequent contributor at AudiophileReview.com.
Definitive Technology bills the ProMonitor 1000 as a compact high definition loudspeaker. That's a tough bill to meet given the $219 per speaker price tag. But the ProMonitor 1000 is from Definitive Technology, a company known for its bang for the buck, so I had to see for myself. The ProMonitor 1000's are small at just six and a quarter inches wide, six and a half deep and a touch shy of 11 inches tall. They come in gloss black or white and utilize a one inch pure aluminum dome tweeter, five and a quarter inch BDSS bass midrange driver and a top mounted pressure-coupled bass radiator, giving them a quoted frequency response of 42 Hz to 30 kHz. They have an eight Ohm impedance and 91 dB efficiency.
The ProMonitors are designed to be a highly versatile speaker system and allow for tabletop mounting with the included tripod stand. Threaded inserts are on the back and bottom for mounting on stands or onto a wall or ceiling and a keyhole mount is also on the back for mounting flush with a wall. The speakers come boxed and well protected in dense Styrofoam and wrapped to protect their smooth gloss finish. My pair came in black and I paired them with a Wadia 151PowerDAC mini, fed by my computer using a Transparent USB cable.
The first thing that impressed me was how much they reminded me of the much larger Mythos line, sharing the same smooth arced case and recessed, gold plated five way binding posts, though the case of these much smaller speakers was plastic, while the Mythos ST's and STS's that I'm familiar with are aluminum. The grill covers the entire front and top of the speaker itself and is removable.
Sonically these little monitors are quite impressive, offering a smooth and open sound, but what really surprised me was how powerful the bass could be and just how high a volume they could play to. The bass could be a touch boomy when called upon for very deep notes, but I honestly don't expect a little speaker to go to extreme depths, and for my desktop system they offered enough bass to shake the desk. I could see these used as a stereo pair with or without a subwoofer in small to moderate sized rooms or as the basis of a solid home theater, as mains or surrounds. Five of these would run you a mere $1,095 and give an impressive home theater experience in small to moderate sized rooms.
• The ProMonitor speakers are relatively small, allowing easy placement either on a shelf or table, wall or ceiling.
• Definitive Technology has smaller models for those looking to make a home theater out of these and the need to save money with less costly surrounds; they can also provide a matched subwoofer to round out the system.
• The sound quality from these speakers really outshined their size, providing pretty deep solid bass even to quite high volumes. Thanks to their 91 dB efficiency, they can be powered by lower wattage amplifiers and receivers, yet still can provide large dynamics.
• While the design allows a great deal of flexibility in mounting options, you will require additional wall/ceiling mounts to allow for anything but tabletop or flush wall mounting.
• The cabinets are plastic and I can see how they might easily become scratched and marred.
• The recessed binding posts are necessary to allow all the flexibility in mounting options but can be difficult to reach, especially for those with large fingers.
Comparison and Competition
There are a world of small speakers to consider at this price point. The Orb Audio Mod2's, as well as their smaller brothers the Quick Pack for a bit less.
The Paradigm Cinema 70's also come to mind, though are significantly less efficient and will require more amplifier than the Definitive Technology ProMonitor 1000's. Paradigms SE 1's come to mind at a higher price, as well as their smaller brothers the Quick Pack for a bit less. are another option; still a bit less efficient than the Definitive Technology system.
The Definitive Technology ProMonitor 1000's are a steal at their asking price, providing smooth dynamic sound and impressive bass performance for their size. I can see these speakers equally at home in a small two-channel rig as I used them or in multiples with the smaller models in the lineup forming a full home theater. However you use these speakers, you will get a ton of performance for your investment out of them. The ProMonitor 1000's offer those on a tight budget a window into the audiophile world.