Test Bench: Definitive Technology ProCinema 800 Home Theater Speaker System

Frequency response (at 2 meters) front left/right: 124 Hz to 18.2 kHz ±2.9 dB center: 120 Hz to 16.1 kHz ±4.0 dB surround: 124 Hz to 18 kHz ±2.7 dB subwoofer: 44 to 150 Hz ±2.3 dB

Sensitivity (SPL at 1 meter with 2.8 volts of pink-noise input) front left/right/surround: 86 dB center: 91 dB

Impedance (minimum/nominal) front left/right/surround: 3.3/11 ohms center: 3.2/7 ohms

Bass limits (lowest frequency and maximum SPL with limit of 10% distortion at 2 meters in a large room) front left/right/surround: 125 Hz at 85 dB center: 80 Hz at 79 dB subwoofer: 25 Hz at 76 dB SPL 95 dB average SPL from 25 to 62 Hz 103.7 dB maximum SPL at 62 Hz bandwidth uniformity 92%

All of the curves in the frequency-response graph are weighted to reflect how sound arrives at a listeners ears with normal speaker placement. The curve for the left/right front channels indicates the ProMonitor 800's response averaged over a ±30º window, with double weight at 30º (the most typical listening angle). The center-channel curve shows the ProCenter 1000's response averaged over ±45º, with double weight directly on-axis of the primary listener. The surround-channel curve shows the ProMonitor 800's response averaged over ±60º.

Both models were placed on a 6-foot stand for testing, which gives anechoic results to approximately 200 Hz. Measurements are taken at a full 2 meters, which emulates a typical listening distance, allows the outputs of large speakers to fully integrate acoustically, and, unlike near-field measurements, fully includes front-panel reflections and cabinet diffraction.

Front & Surround Speakers

The ProMonitor 800's response includes a 4-dB depression between 700 Hz and 1.4 kHz and minor narrow peaks at 3, 6.5, 12.5, and 17 kHz. Dispersion is wide and smooth, which results in the front- and surround-channel measurements being nearly identical, the main difference being a slight accentuation of the 17-kHz peak in the surround-channel curve.

The ProCenter 1000's response has the same basic character except for its off-axis lobing, which begins at 22.5 degrees at 3 kHz. This notch deepened and eventually merged with the response dip around 1 kHz as I moved the test microphone farther off-axis.


I measured the ProSub 800 subwoofer's bass limits with it set to maximum bandwidth and placed in the optimal corner of a 7,500-cubic-foot room. In a smaller room, you could expect 2 to 3 Hz deeper extension and up to 3 dB greater sound-pressure level (SPL).

The ProSub 800 will produce a true 25 Hz with less than 10% distortion (our benchmark), but with just 76 dB SPL output, suggesting limited low-frequency dynamic capability and bass uniformity. SPL capability falls at 21 dB per octave below 62 Hz. Maximum output, again with less than 10% distortion, was 103.7 dB at 62 Hz, and the sub averaged 95 dB from 25 to 62 Hz. The ProSub 800's 150-Hz upper frequency limit is well suited for mating with the small satellite speakers. In my sample, the variable crossover did not function.

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