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Speakers

Atmos Dock gives Definitive Technology's 9000 speakers a boost

Definitive Technology's new line of flagship floorstanders features bipolar drivers and a unique "dock" for optional height speaker modules.

deftech9000-1.jpg

The DefTech 9000 series includes the flagship BP9080X (above right) which features an integrated Atmos module.

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Want your living room to sound like a movie theater? Definitive Technology's new line of flagship speakers is designed to bring "object-based" surround sound to your Friday night in.

The new collection consists of four floorstanders which include the BP9020, which costs $1,300 per pair. There's also the BP9040 (which costs $1,800 per pair ), BP9060 ($2,200 per pair) and the flagship BP9080X, which costs $3,500. Prices aren't available yet for the UK and Australia, but see the table below for the full list of conversions.

The high-priced BP9080X includes an integrated height module that can create Dolby Atmos and DTS:X effects. Meanwhile the other three speakers include a port for the optional A90 attachment, which costs $499 per pair. The A90's connector is hidden under a machined aluminum plate on each floorstander, and its boundaries are designed to sit flush with any compatible speaker.

All of the speakers have aluminum tweeters in a bipole configuration -- front and rear -- in addition to midrange drivers (between 3.5-inch and 5.25-inch depending on the model) and powered subwoofers. In other words, the 9000 series demands more than just speaker wires. You also need to plug them into the wall.

The range also includes three center channel speakers -- the CS9040 ($499), CS9060 ($699) and CS9080, which costs $999.

There are also two sets of surround speakers. The SR9040 costs $500 per pair. Or there's the SR9080 at $700 per pair.

I was treated to a demo of the BP9040 series in a stereo configuration featuring a male voice and guitar. Given the bipolar nature of the speakers and considering the rear-firing driver faced a window, the stereo image was remarkable. The vocal was intimate and the fingerpicking of the strings precise. While I'd want to test these for myself, it convinced me to take the supposed sweet-spot benefits of "bipolar" more seriously.

In a second demo, I was treated to four 9060s (with A90 modules fitted) and the matching CS9060 center. The amount of bass the 10-inch subwoofers (and dual bass radiators) conjured up was very impressive and the A90s delivered the "bubble of sound" you'd expect of a good Atmos soundtrack.

All of the speakers bar the BP9080X, CS9080 and SR9080 will be available in late May, while the rest will be on sale in "late summer" 2016.

Definitive Technology 9000 speaker range

Product US price UK (converted) Australia (converted)
BP9020 $1,300 £900 AU$1,750
BP9040 $1,800 £1,250 AU$2,450
BP9060 $2,200 £1,520 AU$3,000
BP9080X $3,500 £2,400 AU$4,750
A90 attachment $499 £345 AU$680
CS9040 $499 £345 AU$680
CS9060 $699 £485 AU$950
CS9080 $999 £690 AU$1360
SR9040 $500 £345 AU$680
SR9080 $700 £485 AU$950