Paradigm Seismic 110 review

It's small and stylish and we think Paradigm's Seismic 110's a sure-fire winner - if only it could get past B&W's all-mighty PV-1 Tested at £1250.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A brilliant newcomer to the small sub class: if you’re in the market, it’s a must-hear

Pros

  • +

    Formidable low-frequency extension

  • +

    agility

  • +

    compact size

  • +

    fine-tuning potential

Cons

  • -

    Very little, save that the B&W PV1 is a fair bit cheaper

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Subwoofers tend to fall into one of two camps: either they're small but limited, or massive and ever-so-slightly barmy.

Paradigm's Seismic 110 attempts an elusive Third Way: it's just 34cm high and 30cm wide, yet it features an improbably powerful 850W amplifier, all the better to assault your ankles with lashings of low- end energy.

Further to that end, the ultra- high-excursion 25cm bass driver features a triple magnet assembly, dual-spider suspension and an inverted drive-unit surround, ensuring massive extension plus – so Paradigm claims – minimal distortion.

On its rear, the Paradigm features the usual manual adjustments for crossover, phase and volume, plus a USB input designed for use with the company's optional PBK-1 ‘Perfect Bass Kit'.

Sounds superb in action
In action, even without calibration, it sounds superb. Few compact subs get close to its extension or agility: indeed, for one so muscular, it is surprisingly fleet of foot.

The PBK-1 kit tightens the sound up still further, taking off some of the slight overhang to the trailing edge of bass notes to leave you with spectacularly well-resolved low frequencies.

So far so special. There's only one thing standing between the Paradigm and five stars: B&W's PV1 – £300 cheaper.

It could be argued that the Paradigm has a slight edge for overall extension, but the PV1 is at the very least the 110's equal for musicality. Still, the Seismic 110 is deeply impressive – in every sense.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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