Paradigm Cinema 90 review: Paradigm Cinema 90

CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Tiny, easy to hide speakers; surprisingly big sound.

The Bad Midrange is a little flat.

The Bottom Line This system offers impressive sound from a set a very small speakers (and one full-sized sub).

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Paradigm's original Cinema home-theater speaker package, which we reviewed last year, impressed us with its clarity but lacked some low-end punch. The new Cinema 90 package comes with a 10-inch subwoofer to add some real power to a smart-looking set of very small speakers. The result is clear, enveloping music, with a bottom end that brings action movies to life. Paradigm's original Cinema home-theater speaker package, which we reviewed last year, impressed us with its clarity but lacked some low-end punch. The new Cinema 90 package comes with a 10-inch subwoofer to add some real power to a smart-looking set of very small speakers. The result is clear, enveloping music, with a bottom end that brings action movies to life.

A smart-looking set
The four identical speakers for the front left and right and surround channels are about the same size as the main speakers in the Cinema 90 system and are comparable in size to midsized external PC speakers (7 by 4-1/4 by 5-1/2 inches). We liked the sleek yet elegantly simple D-shaped design of the main speakers, which are available in black, white, and silver. Between the 60mm bracket holes on the rear and the mere 3.3-pound weight, you can easily and unobtrusively wall-mount these speakers. The center channel is styled like the other four speakers but is longer, measuring 4-1/2 by 12 by 5-5/8 inches. All the speakers are magnetically shielded, so you can place them near your TV without worry, and they have gold-plated binding posts that accept bare wire, spades, and banana plugs.

Although the main speakers in the Cinema 90 system are tiny, we can't say the same for the 10-inch PDR-10 subwoofer. Measuring 14-1/4 by 13-1/2 by 16 inches and weighing a hefty 33 pounds, this is definitely full-sized. Like many subwoofers on the market, the 300-watt amp built into the jet-black box senses when an audio signal comes through and turns itself on and off automatically to save electricity.

When we fired up the Cinema 90 speakers to begin our listening tests, the first thing we noticed was their efficiency. We didn't need to turn the volume knob up very far in order to make these speakers play loudly. If you have a modestly powered home-theater receiver (60 to 80 watts per channel into 8 ohms), this speaker system is a good match.

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Where to Buy

Paradigm Cinema 90

Part Number: CINEMA90

Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Speaker System Type left / right channel speakers
  • Nominal (RMS) Output Power 50 Watt
  • Nominal Impedance 8 Ohm
  • Amplification Type passive
  • Connectivity Technology wired
  • Crossover Channel Qty 2-way
  • Sensitivity 89 dB
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