Paradigm Mini Monitor v.7 Loudspeaker Reviewed

Paradigm Mini Monitor v.7 Loudspeaker Reviewed

Paradigm has updated the Mini Monitor bookshelf speaker again with the v.7. The appearance has been notable updated, but what about the performance? Andrew Robinson takes a listen to find out.

Paradigm-Mini-Monitor-v7-bookshelf-speaker-review-without-grill.jpgThere are two speakers within the Paradigm family of products that will forever hold a special place in my audiophile and home theater heart; the first is the Monitor 7 floorstanding loudspeaker and the second the Mini Monitor reviewed here. The Mini Monitor is now in its seventh (v.7) incarnation much like the rest of the Monitor line of speakers and like its larger brothers the updates go beyond the physical. Another "update" for the Mini Monitor is its price, up from previous generations, at $279 each or $558 a pair.

Additional Resources
• Read more bookshelf speaker reviews written by the staff at HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Explore subwoofer options to pair with the Mini Monitor v.7.
• See receivers in our AV Receiver Review section.

Like the Monitor 7 floorstanding loudspeaker, which I reviewed a few months ago, the Mini Monitor gets a similar facelift, featuring the same flush façade (behind the magnetic grill) clad in soft-touch rubber like material. Finish options for the Mini Monitor include Black Ash and Heritage Cherry. The Mini Monitor itself measures 13 and a half inches tall by nearly eight inches wide and 10 and a half inches deep; and it tips the scales at a respectable 17 pounds.

Behind the scenes the Mini Monitor employs a six and a half inch bass/midrange driver and a single, one-inch S-PAL dome tweeter. The combination is good for a reported frequency response of 75Hz to 22kHz. The Mini Monitor's sensitivity is rated at 90dB with an impedance of eight Ohms, making the Mini Monitor well suited for a wide range of electronics, be it an AV receiver or budget separates.

While I consider v.7 of the Mini Monitor to be a whole new speaker for both the Monitor line and Paradigm there are elements of its sound that remain unchanged from update to update; mainly its coherence. Monitors, especially the Mini Monitor, are good when it comes to presenting the listener with an accurate and seamless vocal presentation. Since the Mini Monitor doesn't really do deep bass (though the bass it does have is nice) the focus can be placed on the midrange and high frequencies, which the Mini Monitor excels at reproducing. While ever so slightly lean the Mini Monitor's midrange and treble performance still feels natural. Boxy colorations are minimized here giving the Mini Monitor a more focused presentation than previous generations. The high frequencies are smooth and largely grain free provided you don't throttle the volume too hard and overwhelm the speaker, if you do you'll notice the Mini Monitor's sound will thin throughout and become decidedly two-dimensional. The Mini Monitor is well suited for small to medium rooms or to serve as rear/effects channels (though there are dedicated rear channels within the Montior line of products) in a multi-channel setup. For deep bass you'll have to be sure and mate the Mini Monitor's to a capable subwoofer or two.



Read about the high points and low points of the Mini Monitor v.7 on Page 2.

Paradigm-Mini-Monitor-v7-bookshelf-speaker-review-with-grill.jpgHigh Points
• The Mini Monitor's build quality and finish improves with every iteration and v.7 is the best yet.
• The Mini Monitor's driver compliment and focus on midrange and treble performance make for an engaging and focused presentation, one that shines with vocals and small ensemble recordings.
• The Mini Monitor's throw a vast and well-populated soundstage that may lack a bit in accuracy when compared to costlier competition, but that doesn't stop it from still being quite impressive. Likewise for its dynamic presence, for its easy to drive impedance make it an ideal candidate for those with AV receivers, integrated amps and/or budget separates.

Low Points
• For truly full-range sound you'll want to pair the Mini Monitor to a capable subwoofer. Thankfully, Paradigm makes a few subs so you shouldn't have to go far in finding one that will compliment the Mini Monitor nicely.
• An added cost you must take into consideration when looking at the Mini Monitor is floor stands. The Mini Monitor may fall within the bookshelf category of speakers they're going to sound their best out in your room away from walls and bookcases.
• For those of you with medium to large rooms you're probably not going to be happy with the Mini Monitor's performance if you're looking to rock the house. If this sounds like you I urge you to look at either Paradigm's Monitor 9 or 11 floorstanding loudspeakers.

Competition and Comparison
The bookshelf or small speaker category is hotter than ever in today's budget oriented lifestyle. At or around the Mini Monitor's $279 price tag you have a couple of notable competitors starting with Aperion Audio's Verus Grand Bookshelf Speaker at $299 each or $598 a pair. The Verus Grand Bookshelf is similar in size, driver compliment and price to the Mini Monitor though it does play a little deeper and louder, not to mention has a slightly better finish too. Another option would be Definitive Technology's ProMonitor 1000 speaker at $219 each as well as perhaps Bowers & Wilkins' MM-1 powered loudspeakers at $499.95 a pair. The MM-1s may be designed to be computer speakers but that isn't to say they couldn't be used as stereo mains in a small space just like the Mini Monitors.

For more on these speakers and others like them please check out Home Theater Review's Bookshelf Loudspeaker page.

Conclusion
For $558 a pair plus the cost of stands the Mini Monitor v.7 from Paradigm is yet another hit in a long stream of hits from the Canadian speaker manufacturer. Version 7's updated appearance, drivers and sonics make it the best Mini Monitor yet. While the Mini Monitor still requires the use of a sub for full range sound reproduction and is suitable for use in small to medium rooms it's still a capable performer and huge value for the money. Apartment dwelling audiophiles and home theat
er enthusiasts should rejoice for they have yet another compact and affordable solution in the Mini Monitor v.7.

Additional Resources
• Read more bookshelf speaker reviews written by the staff at HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Explore subwoofer options to pair with the Mini Monitor v.7.
• See receivers in our AV Receiver Review section.

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