Our Verdict 
If you want a physically small but sonically brilliant surround package, and don’t mind spending this kind of money, buy the DB1i 5.1 with confidence
For 
Impressive combination of dynamics, detail and cohesive sound field
subwoofer integrates brilliantly with the rest of the package
Against 
Not the last word in stylish modernity
Reviewed on

Only a person who equates size with quality is likely to be disappointed by PMC's DB1i 5.1.

This is a small package meant for small to medium-sized rooms, and in such an environment we haven't seen anything at this price that's likely to do the job better.

The use of two pairs of DB1is standmounts is a great start. In stereo form they're excellent little monitors that deliver a pleasing amount of detail in a natural and convincing manner. Despite measuring just 29cm high, they manage to offer decent bass weight and overall solidity, too.

Much of the credit for this goes to PMC's clever bass-loading technique. It's an evolved form of a transmission line, where the rearward output of the large driver is absorbed to a point where just the lowest frequencies remain.

Plenty of low-end heftThese frequencies exit from a rear-mounted vent to augment the mid/bass's output to deliver a deeper, more powerful bass than would otherwise be the case. Listen to the DB1is, and it's surprising just how much low-end heft these small speakers have.

More after the break

The centre speaker is effectively a single DB1i tweaked to work on its side. Aside from the offset tweeter and repositioned badge, it looks identical. The advantage of using such closely matched speakers is an utterly seamless and cohesive soundstage.

The good news continues with the impressive insight into the dense fight scenes of Blood: The Last Vampire.

It combines a decent amount of bite with the right level of refinement in the treble.Subwoofer integrates brilliantlyOnce properly warmed up, the PMC package gets things spot-on tonally. It's helped massively by the TLE1 subwoofer, which integrates brilliantly. It's rare to find a sub that matches its satellites in terms of speed and agility, but the TLE1 does just that.

Downsides? Well, the surround speakers are all standmounters, so you'll have to factor in the price of sturdy supports.

These are traditional-looking speakers, so there's none of the glitz of style packages. Your four grand buys great sound, and great sound only.

Provided you partner this PMC package with quality electronics – at least a grand and a half on the partnering amplifier – you'll get a stunning performance.

Don't let the size fool you. The DB1i 5.1 package may be small, but they're mighty with it.

See all our speaker package Best Buys

Follow whathifi.com on Twitter