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Multitest budget monitor loudspeakers – 360 – 650 euros

Price: € 600

Multitest bookshelfs

Paradigm Monitor SE

The Canadian Paradigm has sent us a boarding party: the Monitor SE Atom. This is a monitor-speaker of 179 euro each. I see… 179 euros! Almost half of what you have to pay for your competitors.

What can we expect from a small monitor of 179 euros? We don’t think so much. At least not in terms of finishing. And honestly: it also looks a bit less chic than its competitors. That’s logical. All his money’s worth. Still, it’s all screwed up nicely. We don’t see any thick seams, screws or bad materials.

The Paradigm Monitor SE Atom consists of a cabinet with a 25mm tweeter with waveguide and a 140mm woofer (polypropylene). Crossover is at 2300 Hz. The efficiency is relatively high with 89dB in the chamber (86dB in the dead room). Impedance is 8 ohms nominal. In short: average figures this. At 5.4 kg it is not a light monitor, but again not very heavy.

Sound

The SE Atom Monitor impresses fairly quickly. It’s a warm, overwhelming sound at first. But honestly: the low can become too much very quickly. So we quickly reach for some socks and dampers to dampen it down a bit. Those who can give the speakers some space will not be bothered by this, but don’t put them too close to the wall. That’s going wrong.

When it comes to imaging and precision, we are missing out on our competitors. But again: this is really a class of its own. So we can’t expect this Atom to perform equally. Look at it as an entry point for those who start with audio: the Paradigm offers fun and a great starting point. Although we also have the Monitor Audio Bronze 2 which plays more neutral … Choices.

Measurements Paradigm Monitor SE Atom

Here we do see some issues – especially in impulse behaviour. He’s swaying quite a bit. Also, the response is not really straight. In the middle, it’s rather muffled. And that’s audible. Because while listening we hear a warm low and a fresh high. That’s what the measurement shows.

Distortion isn’t wrong at all. In fact, is just very low. From 20 Hz, we see that it only goes down below 1% from about 300 Hz. And that’s where it stays. So neat.

Conclusion

Paradigm uses the Monitor SE Atom to create a loudspeaker that is very interesting for starters. The display is warm and may not be very accurate. But free of distortion. Those who can save will notice that the next step brings more resolution and balance.

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