The 5.1-channel Definitive Technology ProCinema 800 is a high-end home theater system that holds its own against even pricier competitors, experts say. Sound quality is excellent for music and movies; bass is deep and booming. While it can handle more if called upon, the ProCinema 800 is at its best in smaller spaces and at moderate sound volumes.
Booming bass for movies and music. Critics say the Definitive Technology ProCinema 800 easily outperforms anything in its price range and challenges systems costing twice as much. Performance is terrific for movies, as it handles everything from booming special effects to low-volume dialogue. Music quality is just as good, even among two-channel recordings. Bass quality is excellent: The 300-watt subwoofer provides lows that are deep and powerful; the smaller satellite speakers have passive radiators at the top that improve bass quality, says CNET. Blending among satellites, center-channel and subwoofer is seamless, experts say. The ProCinema 800 is more than satisfactory for larger-size rooms, but it especially shines in small to moderately sized spaces.
Simple design, in black or white. The Definitive Technology ProCinema 800 home theater speaker system consists of four satellites, a center-channel speaker and a subwoofer; the various components are also sold separately. Piano-black or gloss-white finishes are available and look quite pleasing, though CNET says the subwoofer looks "a little drab" compared to its sleek satellite speakers.
Though they're far from compact, the speakers are relatively small compared to other high-end speaker systems. For those who want their speakers next to invisible, the Cambridge Audio Minx S215 (*Est. $800) may be a better choice.
Polymer speaker enclosures, metal binding posts. The polymer enclosures of the Pro Cinema 800 suggest higher build quality than your typical plastic speakers. "As we unboxed the system we noted the satellites' injection-molded mineral-filled polymer cabinets had more of a high-end feel than your typical plastic or even medium-density fiberboard cabinets," says CNET's Steve Guttenberg.
The satellites feature top-side passive radiators, which reports say gives them better bass response than their size would indicate; the center speaker has two of these radiators, one on each side. Both shelf (with small rubber feet) and wall (via a keyhole slot) mounting is easily accommodated. The subwoofer hosts a volume-control wheel, which makes nighttime listening easier. Speaker wire connections are made via solid metal binding posts.
High value, but not low priced. Among high-end surround-sound speaker systems, the Definitive Technology ProCinema 800 presents a strong value. It's not cheap by any means, but experts say its performance rivals systems that far exceed its price. Among the premium class, it's one of the best deals for the money. For those with a more modest budget, the Energy Take Classic 5.1 (*Est. $400) is the best value among midpriced home theater systems.
Review Credibility: Excellent CNET evaluates the Definitive Technology ProCinema 800 in a detailed review that covers design, features and performance through hands-on testing. It receives 4 stars out of 5 and an editors' rating of Excellent. CNET says the ProCinema 800 "redefined" its expectations of what a small surround-sound speaker system can do.
Review: Definitive Technology ProCinema 800, Steve Guttenberg, July 17, 2008
2. Sound & Vision Magazine
Review Credibility: Excellent Daniel Kumin describes the Definitive Technology ProCinema 800 as a "high-value" setup for smaller-size rooms, praising the speakers for being relatively small and inexpensive compared to home-audio standards. The review is relatively short but includes the results of bench testing.
Review: Definitive Technology ProCinema 800 Home Theater Speaker System Review , Daniel Kumin, Nov. 5, 2006
Review Credibility: Excellent AVGuide.com reviews the Definitive Technology ProCinema 800 over a detailed, two-page evaluation. Christ Martens describes it as sounding comparable to a high-end audiophile system, saying it's one of the best sounding systems for the money.
Review: Definitive Technology ProCinema 800 5.1-channel system., Chris Martens, April 7, 2008
Review Credibility: Very Good There are only a couple of dozen user reviews of the Definitive Technology ProCinema 800, but they're overwhelmingly positive. Most contributors give the speaker system 5 out of 5 stars; many praise its performance-to-price value. There aren't many consistent complaints, but a few mention that the bass loses some quality at extreme volumes.
Review: Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2013