Surround Sound Speaker Systems
- Written by Jim Milton
- Published on 12 August 2013
Design and Setup of the Paradigm Soundtrack System
Paradigm has been making their own speakers for over 30 years and has garnered multiple awards for speaker design and sound quality. When a company with this type of reputation makes a soundbar system, you as a consumer have certain expectations that need to be met. The Soundtrack has 2 isolated, identical channels for Left and Right. Each channel has a 2-driver, 2-way plus single passive radiators enclosed in a molded ABS enclosure with matte finish. The 2 in. tweeters are aluminum domes with a 4 in. midbass driver. This is augmented with a 4 in. passive radiator for both channels, as well. The depth is less than 3 inches, which makes this speaker look good when placed under a wall mounted flat panel. Ideally, its width fits nicely under a 42-50 inch HDTV, but larger screens will work as well. The pictures of my Soundtrack review set up are with a 42 in. plasma and ZVOX 555, for comparison sake.
I used the snap-on feet with the soundbar, but a wall mounting bracket is also furnished with the Soundtrack System. It's all about flexibility, people. The controls are top mounted for easy access and a remote is included for adjusting the volume, powering the unit ON/OFF, muting and selecting the appropriate input.
I used the learning remote feature and was able to control all of these features with my Samsung TV remote. The learning process was very qiuck and easy and makes life easier for yuo and the others that access your TV.
The supplied remote is diminutive and can easily be lost between the couch pillows, so programming it to your larger TV remote is advised.
On the back of the soundbar we find an optical digital input, a stereo RCA connection and an aux. (3.5mm) input. Getting to these input after the bar has been wall mounted can be a challenge. This is another reason I like setting the soundbar up with the supplied feet.
The wireless sub contains an 8 in. driver and 2 perpendicularly arranged ports that allow the sub to have a very slim profile. The sub can be placed, with feet (included), under a piece of furniture or placed vertically along a wall with a base stand (also included). The sub can be configured with wires if you so choose, but the wireless option provided the most flexibility for placement. All of this and the amplifier fit inside a nicely shaped ABS molded enclosure that mimics the shape and style of the soundbar.
Wireless connection is achieved by holding down a button on the back of the sub and waiting for a blue light to appear. Once connected, you normally never have top repeat the process again. Now, in spite of the slim profile, I could not get the sub to fit under my couch. It needs about 6.5 inches of clearance and my couch is a low rider. For practical purposes, this was not an issue, as I prefer to have the unit within easy reach for the review period. Rubber feet can be added (supplied) for under the furniture placement and a cradle stand is included for the upright placement along a wall, which was my option. The sub, as a whole, is quite compact and can easily be placed just about anywhere in your room that meets your needs. Unfortunately, my couch was to low slung for me to place the bass module under it, as the module needs about 7-8 inches of clearence.