Fresh off my review of Paradigm’s Monitor SE speakers, my Canadian friends were able to provide me with two subwoofers from their new Defiance series, the very affordable and potent V10 and X10 models.

Paradigm Defiance X10 and Defiance V10 Subwoofer

What really sets them apart from the rest of the pack is ARC (Anthem Room Correction), and the ability to fine tune bass response from the comfort of your chair with a handy app.

Highlights

Paradigm Defiance X10 and Defiance V10 Subwoofer

  • Solid build with a clean design
  • Wireless ready
  • ARC for flexible room placement (microphone included w/X10)
  • Full-featured app (Android and iOS)
  • Tight, deep, and powerful output
Introduction

When Paradigm set out to make a whole new series of subwoofers, I thought it might be a bit of overkill. Paradigm is no stranger to sub manufacturing with a good number of models in their current arsenal. The Defiance series offers consumers six new boxes with all but the V8 having ARC and wireless setup/control, and the ability to add a wireless module. The V series offers exceptional value along with great performance, while the X series delivers outstanding performance with more dynamic output and even deeper bass.

PARADIGM DEFIANCE V10 AND X10 SUBWOOFER SPECIFICATIONS

Paradigm Defiance V10 Subwoofer Specifications
Design:

10″ Driver, 120w (250w Peak) Class-D amplifier, app control, Anthem Room Correction

Frequency Response:

29-200Hz, ±3 dB

Low Pass Filter Frequency:

variable 35-120Hz, bypass option

LFE:

26Hz DIN

Low Frequency Driver:

10″ carbon-loaded polypropylene cone

Sub/Sat Phase Alignment:

continuously variable 0-180°

Inputs:

2x RCA (L/R), 2x speaker level, 1x Micro USB for ARC and firmware updates

Weight:

33.5lbs

Dimensions HxWxD:

15.7″ × 14.3 × 14.9″

Price:

$549

Paradigm Defiance X10 Subwoofer Specifications
Design:

10″ driver with ART surround, 300w (600w peak), Class-D amplifier, app control, Anthem Room Correction

Frequency Response:

29-240Hz, ±3dB

Low Pass Filter Frequency:

variable 30-120Hz, bypass option

LFE:

23Hz DIN

Low Frequency Driver:

10″ carbon-loaded polypropylene cone with ART surround

Sub/Sat Phase Alignment:

continuously variable 0-180°

Inputs:

3x RCA (L/R & LFE), 2x speaker level, 1x Micro USB for ARC and firmware updates

Weight:

42lbs

Dimensions HxWxD:

16.5″ × 15 × 15.8″

Price:

$949

Company:

Paradigm

SECRETS Tags:

paradigm, defiance, x10, v10, subwoofer, subwoofer reviews 2018

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The Paradigm Defiance series would make an excellent match for the newly-introduced Monitor SE speakers that I reviewed early this summer, or any other speaker for that matter. The cabinetry mirrors the Monitor SE series in its simple, unadorned outside appearance that comes in black. Both subs have a port located underneath for deeper extension. Both have a removable grill and power cord. The one difference between the Defiance V series and the Defiance X series that is immediately noticeable is the driver surrounds.

 Paradigm Defiance X10 and Defiance V10 Subwoofer X10 Back

The Defiance X series has the Active Ridge Technology (ART) surround which is carbon loaded and gives the driver greater excursion for greater output. All have class D amplification with auto-on and soft clipping circuitry. The distinguishing feature that both offer is Anthem Room Correction (ARC) and the Paradigm Subwoofer Control App for both Android and iOS users. I’ll talk more about this later in the review.

Setup

There are no flowery way to describe subwoofers, they are usually black, square boxes that take up floor space. However, in my opinion, no movie or music room is complete without at least one. Both my review units arrived on a single pallet and unpacking them was a bit of a chore as they were shrink-wrapped in place. Both units had similar dimensions, and to the naked eye, looked similar, but the Defiance X10 definitely had more weight to it.

To conserve floor space in my music room and to assist in making some A/B comparisons, I stacked the Defiance V10 on top of the Defiance X10. The Defiance X10 has a specific LFE input along with two RCA and speaker-level inputs. A USB input is for ARC and firmware updates only. The Defiance V10 offers only left and right inputs (with R being the choice for LFE). Otherwise, their back panels are the same.

I would have been happier with an XLR input, but that is not a big deal because if you need a long cable run, you’d most likely go with the wireless option anyway.

Paradigm Defiance X10 and Defiance V10 Subwoofer Wireless Module

Once in place, I downloaded the Paradigm Subwoofer Control software on my iPhone 7 which identified the sub I had in use. The supplied microphone attached to my iPhone 7 with a USB/lightning connector adapter.

Paradigm Defiance X10 and Defiance V10 Subwoofer ARC Setting

Paradigm Defiance X10 and Defiance V10 Subwoofer ARC Setting

To run Anthem Room Correction (ARC), one measures five locations around the listening spot then the software takes over. The app made setup a snap from my main seating location. It can run ARC, control the listening modes (movie, music or night mode); adjust the volume, crossover, slope, gain, phase, low pass filter; set a passcode to lock your settings, and rename the sub (I know, but there is someone out there wants to name their sub “Bob”. Who am I to judge?).

Paradigm Defiance X10 and Defiance V10 Subwoofer App Setting

You can also toggle ARC on or off for quick sound comparisons. If you have an SPL meter, it can run a sweep tone, so you can pinpoint frequency dips or peaks. After running ARC, I noticed a marked improvement in bass response, with bass having a tight, powerful punch that did not rattle my CD rack.

Anthem’s software is a standard that all sub manufacturers should follow. Bass is probably the biggest sonic issue in a music system, and if you don’t get it right, the whole thing collapses like a house of cards. The highs and mids are easier to tame in a room with acoustic wall treatments but controlling bass can be frustrating. Going wireless will give you more options for placement, too.

In Use

I found the price/performance ratio on this sub to be high. Whether playing music or movies, it never failed to bring weight, while remaining musical and nimble. I experimented with the crossover and volume controls and found the movie mode added a bit more sonic boom than music mode. Music mode is more natural, but for an action movie, the added punch was nice. With the slide of a toggle, you can go from one to the other. I left the grilles off both subs to see if I could observe the speaker cones’ movement but never really saw them flex much, even during loud explosions and helicopter fly-overs in Mission Impossible: Fallout.

Paradigm Defiance X10 and Defiance V10 Subwoofer MI Fallout

With organ music, the cones remained composed while I cranked out Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in d minor (“Dorian”). I could not get the sub to make rude noises from port congestion and the bass was distinct and solid without sounding honky or one-note.

Paradigm Defiance X10 and Defiance V10 Subwoofer Bach

I spent the first three days of my review with the Defiance V10 and quickly grew accustomed to its character and liked what I heard from it. I think it’s a good value in an otherwise crowded subwoofer marketplace. For the price, you could easily get two for just over a grand. Two well placed 10-inch woofers can often sound better than a single 15-incher by providing smoother bass response throughout the room.

Still, for the budget-minded consumer, the Paradigm Defiance V10 provides solid performance and the added value of the Paradigm Subwoofer Control App with ARC.

So, after a few days with the Defiance V10, I decided it was time to see if the more expensive cousin could exceed the performance of the slightly smaller Defiance V10. The Paradigm Defiance X10 has an ART (Active Ridge Technology) surround that allows for much greater excursion providing deeper bass with less distortion. I first became acquainted with this cone when Secrets reviewed the Seismic 110 sub some years back. It’s distinctive and sturdy.

Paradigm Defiance X10 and Defiance V10 Subwoofer X10 Front Angle

The class D amp is also more powerful than the Defiance V10’s. This leads to a slight paradox. When you compare two subs, it becomes increasingly difficult to hear sustained frequencies below 30Hz. Generally, the sub that plays loudest will have the psychoacoustic effect of sounding deeper. Therefore, a sub with a healthy supply of amplification can produce a satisfactory amount of bass that you can feel, more than you can actually hear. As much as I liked the Defiance V10, the Defiance X10 just had greater impact. Even when I tried to compare the two with the Defiance V10 having its overall volume boosted, I still preferred the deep richness that the Defiance X10 provided. So, with the volume of the boxes being similar, power and the ART driver squeezed out deeper, richer sounding bass.

Paradigm Defiance X10 and Defiance V10 Subwoofer Star Trek

A good example of this effect could be felt during the bridge scene in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, just before the Klingon moon, Praxis, explodes and the shock wave hits Captain Sulu’s ship. It’s not the actual explosion that I was listening for (yes, it’s impressive), but among the sounds on the bridge itself, there is a subtle, deep rumbling going on underneath the commotion and conversations before the tea cup falls to the floor.

Paradigm Defiance X10 and Defiance V10 Subwoofer Star Trek

A lesser sub would not give you that undertone and it’s that deep, soft rumble that really makes you aware of the starship’s massive power. It enhances the scene and adds to the realism and drama. These deep, yet subtle LFE effects can be picked up in a lot of movies these days and I can’t recommend enough the importance of having a sub that can deliver the goods, so you can maximize your movie watching experience. The same goes for music, whether classical symphonies or classic rock, bass sets the foundation.

Paradigm Defiance X10 and Defiance V10 Subwoofer X10 Back

The Paradigm Defiance X10 provides strong, deep bass, and ARC allows you to tune the sub to your specific room environment. If you crave more bass, get two, or move up to the 12- or 15-inch models in the Defiance X series.

Conclusions

Paradigm Defiance X10 and Defiance V10 Subwoofer

The PARADIGM DEFIANCE X10 and V10 SUBWOOFERS deliver excellent performance in a small size and at a low price. Highly Recommended.

Likes
  • Paradigm app makes setup easy
  • ARC allows for multiple sub integration & flexible placement
  • Wireless option
  • Multiple subs can be controlled from your recliner
Would Like To See
  • Nothing of note

Paradigm offers consumers a nice array of subwoofer options. The Defiance V series offers outstanding value and the muscular Defiance X series offers deeper, more powerful bass. Both series are greatly enhanced with the use of ARC and the easy to use Paradigm Subwoofer Control App. It is the easiest, most flexible bass tuning system I have ever used, and I hope other manufactures will follow Paradigm’s lead.

Getting your bass in order is paramount to maximizing your enjoyment of movies and music. Bass can be notoriously difficult to tame, but Paradigm has developed a subwoofer control app with Anthem Room Correction that makes setting up a subwoofer fun and easy. ARC allows you to place a subwoofer almost anywhere, and still sound great. The Defiance V10 offers a great value and you could almost get two of them for the price of the Defiance X10. However, the Defiance X10 offers deeper, tighter and more powerful bass in a single box. It’s a tough choice, but I for one, am glad Paradigm gives me a variety of options to choose from. Which sub do you pick for your specific needs? With Paradigm Subwoofer Control and ARC, you really can’t lose.