Paradigm Reference Signature Speaker System Conclusion

At around $18,000, the Paradigm Reference Signature multichannel system of five speakers plus subwoofer is decidedly on the expensive side, although it's not too hard to find audiophile speakers that cost that much or more for a pair. You could certainly get a pretty-good-sounding multichannel speaker setup for a lot less than that from a number of manufacturers—including Paradigm itself. What, then, do you get for your $18k?

Very simply, you get the best speakers that Paradigm knows how to make—speakers that use high-tech drivers of Paradigm's own design and manufacture, speakers developed using extensive anechoic measurements and listening evaluations. The sound is consistent between models—smooth, well-balanced, neutral in tonal presentation, extended at both ends of the frequency range, and fully capable of meeting the dynamic challenges that movie soundtracks occasionally call for.

The aesthetic design of each speaker is elegant, and the wood finish approaches the sort of quality you get from high-end Italian speakers. It's a great-sounding system with looks to match. What more could you want?

Smooth, natural sound
Detailed but sweet-sounding treble
Seamless integration of front L/R and center-channel speakers
Low bass that can shake walls and frighten pets
Beautiful furniture finish

Expensive (although not for what you get)
Dipole surround speakers not ideal for multichannel music