We spent time at Sound and Vision here in Ohio again this week. This time to check out the Paradigm 200b bookshelf speakers. We powered them with the Marantz NR1609. We will have more on that later. For now lets get into our thoughts on the Paradigm 200b
Paradigm 200b first impression
My first impression upon seeing the 200b is that it has great fit and finish. There is an elegance to the appearance, the face is smooth and clean. If you choose to leave the speaker grille off, you don’t have any pins or sockets. The grille mounts using hidden magnets. This is a speaker that benefits from no grille, just look at the face. Our test models have the espresso grain finish, they are also available in gloss black and white.
The 200b may not blow you away, but the price tag just might. Retailing for $499.00 each, they punch above their weight. When powered well they have the ability to fill most living rooms with sound. They very easily could be your front left and right channels for a modest home theater set up. Personally it may be one of their best applications as we will get into next.
The tonality of the speaker is perfect for vocals. We played a wide selection of music through the pair, and found singer songwriter, country and soft rock to be the 200b’s forte. All of these are vocal heavy, which is why I think these may be great for a theater set up. That is not to say they don’t preform well with other music, such as electronic or hip hop, but they seem to lack bass unless you turn your volume up quite a bit. If you prefer these genres you will likely want a 2.1 set up. The Highs are perfectly acceptable, not overly bright or fatiguing, although at times it seems like you almost want them a little brighter.
some of our selections of music to try out the 200b were as follows
– Robots in Motion, Philter
– Someone Like You, Smooth Jazz Allstars
– Hurt, Johhny Cash
– November Rain, Guns N Roses
– When the Stars Go Blue, Tim Mcgraw
– Borders/Crossings, Paul Conrad
– La La Land, Bryce Vine
|DESIGN||2-driver, 2-way bass reflex bookshelf|
|FREQUENCY RESPONSE ON-AXIS||±3dB from 55 Hz – 25 kHz|
|HIGH FREQUENCY DRIVER||1” (25mm) X-PAL™ dome, ferro-fluid damped / cooled, Perforated Phase-Aligning Tweeter (PPA™) Lens|
|MID/BASS FREQUENCY DRIVER||6-1/2” (165mm) ART™ Surround with Carbon-Infused polypropylene cone. Perforated Phase-Aligning (PPA™) Lens|
|SENSITIVITY ROOM / ANECHOIC||90 dB / 87 dB|
|IMPEDANCE||Compatible with 8 ohms|
|FINISHES||Gloss Black, Gloss White, Espresso Grain|
|WEIGHT||18 lbs. (8.17 kg)|
|DIMENSIONS HXWXD||13.25″ × 7.875 × 12.375″ (33.5cm × 19.8 × 32.1cm)|
|LOW FREQUENCY EXTENSION||45 Hz (DIN)|
|CROSSOVER||2nd-order electro-acoustic at 2.0 kHz (tweeter/mid)|
|FREQUENCY RESPONSE 30° OFF-AXIS||±3dB from 55 Hz – 20 kHz|
|SUITABLE AMPLIFIER POWER RANGE||15 – 130 watts|
|MAXIMUM INPUT POWER||80 watts|
Our thoughts at a glance
- price offers great value
- versatile speaker
- images well
- finish looks great
- Fairly sensitive at 90DB
- Perfect for vocal focused music
- bass may be lacking for you
- high and low frequencies can sometimes blend together a little
- not the best option for bass heavy music listeners.
Paradigm 200b Conclusion
At the end of the session I left feeling good about the 200b. For me I have confidence recommending this to people looking to get into Hifi. The speaker lands in the middle of tonality, perfect for someone who listens to wide range of music. It’s a great place to start your journey, you may find you want more highs or lows later. The great thing about this speaker is that it doesn’t through either in your face. The sound is never offensive yet not overwhelmingly exciting either, it is neutral. The bass is on par for bookshelves of the size, but be aware if you want a lot of bass you will want to add a subwoofer or look at a floor standing option. Ultimately I like them, for the price you can’t find much to complain about. It is hard to find the same performance for $1000 new.
I will say this at the end of every review, don’t just take our word for it, always listen before buying if you can.
To find a Paradigm dealer near you check their site, link below.
If you are in or near Ohio visit our Friends at Sound And Vision