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Dec 8, 2011 by Mike Chin
MilleniaOne 2.0 or 5.0
The Paradigm MilleniaOne is a sophisticated compact speaker system sold as a stereo pair or in a set of five for home theater use. The companion MilleniaSub is a compact subwoofer with built in amplifer and crossover designed to enhance the bass response of the MilleniaOne speakers. It's possible to configure these speakers in a simple stereo pair (2.0), a stereo pair + sub (2.1), stereo pair + center speaker + sub (3.1) or full surround sound with sub (5.1). In any configuration, the Millenia speaker system has formidable style and sophistication, with an obvious heritage in classic audio gear, rather than computer speakers.
No surprise, given that Paradigm has been a major going concern in the hifi speaker business since the 1980s. Like several other big speaker brands, Paradigm is a Canadian company, headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, and offers a staggering number of speaker systems in a dozen different lines for umpteen applications.
The MilleniaOne might be mistaken for a cheap computer speaker in a quick glance at this PR photo, but it actually looks way better, with a beautiful laquer white finish, integrated brushed aluminum stand, and a hefty weight of 3kg.
At $249 each, the dimunitive ~8" tall MilleniaOne would not be considered a budget speaker by most people, but it is not high end by today's AV standards, either. A $498 pair at the PC desk would be acceptable for some, but since Paradigm honestly admits the bass of the tiny MilleniaOne peters out at fairly high 120 Hz, a subwoofer is probably necessary if you're going to get musical satisfaction. The MilleniaSub is priced at a hefty $1399, which means even a simple 2.1 Millenia system is $1897, and a full blown 5.1 system runs $2,644. Given that self-powered 2.1 channel speaker systems for use around a computer start under $100, Paradigm is obviously aiming considerably higher. Just remember that a $20,000 Honda CR-Z and a $230,000 Lamborghini Gallardo are both described as sporty coupes.
The MilleniaSub is unusual in appearance and design. Both sub and satellites are available in white or black finish.
Even a cursory visit to the Millenia product web pages is enough to bowl you over with the sheer technological sophistication of these speakers, the extensive engineering and manufacturing prowess they embody, and their style. The question in the end, though, is how well all the technology serves the purpose of realistic music and sound reproduction, given the products' flexible and compact package.
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