Definitive Technology ProMonitor 800-1000 Satellite Bookshelf Speakers Review

Last updated on: 11-12-18
Bottom Line: an older speaker but still highly popular. A unique design with a perpendicular passive radiator and an elliptical, cornerless cabinet. Now significantly discounted from the MSRP. Not ideal for near field listening in our opinion – see the links at the end for some such alternative recommendations.

Important Specs Overview and Comparison Table

Speaker Typepassive, 2-way, sealed (<-- same)
Continuous Power Handling50 W*60 W*
Peak Power Handling150 W200 W
Impedance8 ohms(<-- same)
Sensitivity (db/W/m)8990
Response Range57 - 30k Hz47 - 30k Hz
Woofer Size4.5 in5.25 in
Unit Dimensions (w x d x h)15 x 5 x 8.5 in6.5 x 6.5 x 11 in
Unit Weight47
Warranty5 years(<-- same)

*When nominal/RMS power isn’t specified by manufacturer, we use an approximation of ~30% of the specified peak/dynamic power for comparison purposes.

Review And Discussion

Definitive Technology mostly makes mid to high end audio products, but their modestly priced ProMonitors are their longstanding lineup of entry level bookshelf speakers – they’re around 15 years old yet currently remain top sellers. Fundamental audio technology hasn’t changed much in recent decades, so it’s often the case that the best sounding speakers are many years old, and often the best deal for that matter since older electronics tend to get discounted anyhow.

The ProMonitor lineup has two models: the smaller 800 has a 4.5 inch woofer while the 1000 has a larger 5.25 inch woofer, marginally more power handling, and slightly different cabinet dimensions. Otherwise they’re the same, hence both being reviewed here.

The speakers’ design is interesting and unique, one that we haven’t seen in any other bookshelf speakers that we’ve reviewed. The cabinet is sealed and actually has a passive radiator on its top which augments the woofer. Sealed speakers can really move a driver within a small, compact cabinet, and both the 800 and 1000 speakers are small and very light, a mere 4 and 7 pounds respectively, for the amount of power handling they have. The perpendicular woofers would definitely serve to recreate good surround sound that can fill a room, and each of these speakers has the power handling and efficiency to do so.

Definitive Technology also has some of the more interesting cabinet designs out there. While most budget-tier speakers are limited to pretty plain looking MDF boxes, maybe with a little trim to look fancy-shmancy, the ProMonitor speakers use an elliptical cabinet with a foam-grill cover that comes up over the top to cover the radiator. The sheen piano finish was a popular look for older speakers but not something you see too often with newer speakers. The covers are removable but they definitely look better on – otherwise it kind of looks like the speakers are missing something. The speakers have a keyhole mount, can be rested upright, or even horizontally using the tripod stand to keep them from rolling.

Both the tweeter and woofer are aluminum, which has the propensity to be very responsive and stiff – it’s a good choice for smaller drivers within a sealed cabinet, especially if the intent is to project sound throughout a room, though it might sound a little boomy at close range.

Definitive Technology offers a 5 year warranty on all its passive speakers, which is pretty top of the line, especially for budget-tier speakers.

Our Overall Take, As Compared To The Competition

It’s hard to go wrong with any Definitive Technology speaker, and the fact that these remain popular sellers despite being well over ten years old is always a good sign in the audio world. We always like to see unique and innovative designs or features as well, just to give consumers any additional options. They’ve been significantly discounted from the original MSRP and have great specs for the price. If you’re looking for good surround satellite speakers they’re definitely a solid choice. The smaller 800 is probably the better deal of the two – it’s significantly cheaper and almost as powerful, and there’s a chance the 1000 might be overkill for some.

We will say we wouldn’t recommend these for desktop speakers – aluminum drivers in a sealed cabinet, with as much power handling as these have, isn’t going to sound best at near field range. Check out the links below for some alternative recommendations

Get the ProMonitor speakers on Amazon

See our current picks for the overall best budget bookshelf speakers