Paradigm Cinema 100CT 5.1 Surround Speakers
The Cinema 100CT is easily the best-integrated, most coherent compact home theater system at the $1,000 price point, and is even capable of besting some full-sized systems when it comes to naturalness of sound and sheer realism. While the satellites bass performance will never match the well-measured punch of high quality full-sized floorstanding speakers, the 100CTs mini-speakers do offer a bit more punch than the smaller systems in this review, outdoing the HT-50 by quite a bit and offering a tighter, fuller response than KEFs K2 system. In fact, the 100CT sounds convincingly close to a full-sized system at the same price, besting Klipschs lower-end Reference line in soundstage, bass depth, and overall realism; they wont satisfy a bassheads craving for enhanced midbass frequencies in quite the same fashion as Klipschs floorstanders, but in terms of overall realism, the lower-end Reference speakers cant match the 100CTs overall naturalness of sound.
Its presentation is notably more expansive than most smaller systems of its kind, creating an incredibly immersive movie watching experience that is hard to come by at the $1,000 price point, even with a 5.1 containing full-sized floorstanding speakers. While its high range is not quite as crisp and accentuated as the HT-50, it will sound more natural to those who arent used to enhanced high frequency response, and the sheer size of its soundstage, not to mention its outstandingly powerful yet tight bass performance, make for a generally more convincing three-dimensional sound experience. As a result, while some might prefer the HT-50 for music, especially classical recordings with an emphasis on strings that benefit from accentuated treble response, the 100CT is the superior system for movies and an all-around more realistic home theater experience, and is an easy choice for most buyers over the more expensive Bowers & Wilkins system.