The midrange of the front/center satellites is really good—smooth and clear, with very intelligible vocals. One of the toughest challenges for any small bundled surround system is to reproduce dialogue so that it sounds articulate, not muddy and chesty, and at this Paradigm’s CT 110 system succeeds. The slightly rolled-off top end I mentioned earlier helps tame the brightness of movie soundtracks without the need for THX post-processing. The CT 110’s high-frequency smoothness is particularly important given that the system is likely to be used with one of the many inexpensive A/V receivers on the market, which tend not to have the smoothest of top ends. This was an excellent design choice by Paradigm.
The dipole ADP surround satellites do a fairly good job of enlarging the rear soundstage, and the addition of dipoles in this inexpensive system is another “valueadded” feature. Again, this is a good design choice on Paradigm’s part, since dipole rear speakers will definitely create a bigger, more expansive soundstage than monopole surrounds. When you are using small speakers to begin with, anything that helps increase the size of the “surround-sound bubble” is welcome.
The subwoofer is the only element of the CT 110 system whose design I might quibble about. Considered on its own, the CT 110 sub is a handsome, gray-finished piece that goes about its job with vigor. Although its low-frequency response extends only to about 50Hz (qualifying it as a bass module rather than as a subwoofer), the CT 110 sub manages to shake the floor a bit and to convince you that it goes deeper than it actually does. However, I would have preferred less emphasis on the “subwoofer” aspects of the design, and more emphasis on the woofer serving as a clear-sounding bass module that could help fill in lower midrange frequencies. I realize that this might not seem as sexy as producing a good rumble on movie soundtracks, but it would make for a better system to live with and enjoy on an everyday basis.
Overall, there really is a lot to like about Paradigm’s CT 110 system, and you can’t help but appreciate the enormous value that it offers. It is amazing to consider how much performance the system delivers at its price point—and it even manages to look pretty good in the process. Despite the stand-mounting foibles I encountered (I think these speakers would be better wall-mounted anyway), I would highly recommend this system to anyone looking for good surround speakers in this price range.