Definitive Technology is a high-end speaker company, but it is one that has learned how to sell its products for a lot less than high-end prices. Take the ProCinema 600 six-piece satellite-subwoofer system. I've seen countless systems that essentially duplicate the ProCinema 600's basic formula, but Definitive Technology's entry-level system boasts a number of innovations. For example, in addition to the tiny woofer and tweeter on the five satellite speakers, they also have a "pressure-driven planar low-frequency radiator" to increase the little speaker's bass output. The center speaker sports two more bass radiators, and even the 8-inch subwoofer has a subsized one (an 8-inch "infrasonic radiator"). It's no hype: the ProCinema 600 subwoofer's deep bass prowess and dynamic punch were extraordinary. Alas, the satellites didn't seem to generate any more bass than other speakers of their size. The ProCinema 600 required an unusual setup routine--with two extra set of cables--to get the best possible sound from the system. However, when paired with a good AV receiver, the diminutive ProCinema 600 speakers deliver great surround sound with a very reasonable $800 price.
The ProCinema 600 System is a six-piece package with four 7-inch tall satellite speakers, one 10.5-inch wide center speaker, and a subwoofer. The injection molded mineral-filled polymer cabinets of each speaker has more of a high-end feel than your typical plastic or even medium-density fiberboard cabinets. According to Definitive, the cabinet's internal ribs and parabolic shape enhance its sound quality. The removable form-fitting cloth grilles cover the front and top panels of the satellites, and the front and sides of the center speaker.
The satellite speakers come equipped with a removable tripod table stand, and the center channel speaker has an adjustable rubber-tipped support foot. The speakers can also be wall-mounted with their keyhole slots or with Definitive's ProMount 80 (MSRP $40/pair) wall bracket. Alternatively, they can be used with Definitive's ProStand 600/800 stands (MSRP $100/pair).
The subwoofer is a conventional, matte-finished medium-density-fiberboard box. It measures 13 inches by 10.3 inches by 13 inches. The side-mounted volume control is a convenient design touch.
You can hook up the ProCinema the usual way and run all the satellites as "Small" speakers and let your AV receiver handle bass management, but Definitive recommends an alternate hookup method to maximize sound quality. Basically, you run the front left and right speaker cables to the corresponding inputs on the subwoofer, and then run a second pair of cables to the actual speakers. Indeed, it does sound a bit better--producing a better blend between the satellite speakers and the subwoofer--but it was somewhat annoying to have to deal with those extra cables.
Definitive also makes the ProCinema 800 and ProCinema 1000, which are similar to the ProCinema 600, but with larger satellites and larger subwoofers.
The satellites are two-way designs with a 1-inch aluminum-ceramic dome tweeter and a 3.25-inch midrange Balanced Dual Surround System driver. Conventional midrange drivers only have surround support around their outer rims; BDSS technology is said to support the speaker cone at its inner and outer edges. According to Definitive, BDSS allows the driver to move more precisely and produce sound with greater clarity. Likewise, according to the company, the midrange driver's center probe smoothes frequency response and improves dispersion.
The 3.25-inch midrange driver is acoustically coupled to a 3.25-inch pressure-driven planar low-frequency radiator on the top panel (so when the midrange driver moves in, the passive radiator moves out, and vice versa). The passive radiator effectively doubles the bass radiating area of the tiny satellites' midrange driver. The same technique is employed on the center channel speaker; it has a pair of 3.25-inch midrange drivers flanking a 1-inch tweeter--and there's a 3.25- inch pressure-driven planar low-frequency radiator on each side of the speaker.