I'm not going to lie, this review is somewhat biased. I am a fan of the Paradigm Mini Monitor loudspeakers and have been for years. The original Mini Monitor was my very first audiophile purchase and I've owned every
version of these well-regarded speakers since then. Now on its fifth incarnation, the Paradigm Mini Monitor is less of an update and more of a whole new speaker, yet one thing remains unchanged: its complete and insane value for the money.
• Read bookshelf speaker reviews from PSB, Morel, B&W, Acoustic Research, Aerial Acoustics, Def Tech and many others from the HomeTheaterReview.com archives.
Retailing for an amazing $379 per pair, the new Mini Monitors are as stunning visually as they are aurally. For starters, they come in a wide variety of finishes, normally unheard-of for speakers in its class, which include Wenge, Cherry, Rosenut and Black Ash. All of the Mini Monitor's finishes are first-rate and go a long way in classing up its otherwise traditional box design. The Mini Monitor is a two-way, ported loudspeaker using a one-inch ferro-fluid dome tweeter, mated to a six-and-a-half-inch bass/midrange driver, which looks a bit like a condom, if I'm honest. Like Mini Monitors of yore, the V.5 is easy to drive, with its 92dB sensitivity rating into a very stable eight-ohm load, giving the entire package a reported frequency response of 70Hz-20kHz.
Competition and Comparison
You can compare the Paradigm Mini Monitor V.5 loudspeaker against its competition by reading our reviews for the Polk RTi A1 loudspeaker and the Klipsch Synergy B-3 loudspeaker. You can also find more information by checking out our Bookshelf Speaker section or our Paradigm brand page.
• The Mini Monitors are just about perfect in their price class, providing a smooth, refined top end, mated to a warm, rich and amply detailed midrange that you can bask in for hours. While not a bass-head's dream come true, the Mini Monitors can get lower than you might expect; in smaller rooms, they may not require a sub.
• Dynamically, the Mini Monitors will surprise you, for they can play at insane levels, yet never shout nor lose their composure. When they do get to the tipping point, the performance is more an exercise in omission than anger. Spatially, the Mini Monitors cast an amazing soundstage and image like much higher-priced speakers, some of which cost three to four times as much.
• Because of their compact size, the Paradigm Mini Monitors are simple to integrate into an environment and, even when placed on stands in a room, never feel obtrusive or out of place.
• Due to their great levels of performance and tremendous value, you can build a very respectable system around a pair of Mini Monitors without breaking the bank, which in today's economic climate is a huge benefit.
• While their two-channel performance is terrific, the Mini Monitors do home theater very nicely as well and, you use them for fronts and rears, they will provide you with one of the richest, dynamic and most tonally right multi-channel packages on a budget you're likely to find.