Often otherwise excellent designs can come undone if different materials are used for their drivers (because those material differences can introduce discontinuities in top-to-bottom voicing and unwanted shifts in timbres). The Adam A-5 I reviewed in The Absolute Sound was a classic example. Its folded ribbon tweeter was far quicker and more detailed than its conventional midrange/woofer. The Paradigm MilleniaOne speakers, however, use the same material, aluminum, for both drivers. This homogeneity of materials gives the tweeter and midrange/woofer in the MilleniaOnes a similar “voice.” To hear how well the two drivers integrate you merely have to place your hand over one of the drivers while music is playing. Sure, if you cover the tweeter, you loose high frequencies, but the essential character of the sound doesn’t change appreciably. Same thing happens when you cover the midrange/woofer—the frequency balance gets skewed but the intrinsic sound of the speaker doesn’t change.
Within their comfort zone the MilleniaOnes are extremely dynamic. On a desktop, chances of exceeding their comfort zone are slight. I routinely played them at what most people would consider loud (100 dB peaks) driven by either a pair of Bel Canto M300s and Perreaux E-110 with no issues whatsoever. In my small room system, driven by Krell S-150 monoblocks, the MilleniaOnes also delivered a wide dynamics. But in a room-based system I could introduce a very slight amount of hardening to the otherwise smooth dynamic delivery if I pushed the speakers much past 100 dB peaks. If head banging volumes are a regular part of your listening experience the Millenia system could be less than perfect.
But when used within its normal operating parameters the MilleniaOne system produces an impressively neutral harmonic balance. Given the metallic content of the MilleniaOne’s drivers the lack of any metallic edge or coloration surprised me. Only when you push the speakers way past their comfort zone do you begin to hear any hints of the driver’s metal composition. Male voices, which would be among the first to suffer if the lower midrange and upper bass were deficient, sound right through the MilleniaOnes. Darrell Scott’s vocals on his latest release, Long Ride Home [Full Lights], have just the right balance so they sound full without being woofy. Female vocals, such as Andrea Wittgens’ folky soprano, also have the right amount of warmth coupled with airy extension. With decent electronics the MilleniaOne system never sounded artificial or canned. I especially enjoyed pairing the Paradigms with the Perreaux E-110. It’s smooth and musical upper frequencies mated well with the MilleniaOne’s tweeters.
Consider this system if:
• You have a smaller than average room the MilleniaOnes can fit in nicely.
• The speakers work especially well on a computer desktop.
• If you need to put a subwoofer in a tight spot the MilleniaSubwoofer fits places where others won’t.
Look further if:
• You have a large room the MilleniaOnes won’t be quite enough.
• You don’t like modern-looking speakers without wood accents.
• You have speaker cables that have banana or spade lug terminations—they won’t fit.
Ratings (relative to comparably-priced surround speaker systems)
• Transparency and Focus: 9
• Imaging and Soundstaging: 9.5
• Tonal Balance: 8.5
• Dynamics: 8
• Bass Extension: 8
• Bass Pitch Definition: 8
• Bass Dynamics: 7
• Value: 9
The Paradigm MilleniaOne speaker system is ideal for anyone who wants to assemble a very high quality music system for a small room or desktop. The Millenia’s unique aluminum cabinet and drivers gives it a well-integrated and highly revealing sonic signature that lends itself to critical listening. The MilleniaSub has an especially compact footprint that permits it to fit into spaces normally not accessible to subwoofers. Add the built-in wireless option and you have a flexible system that can produce music with exceedingly high fidelity in small urban spaces.
Paradigm MilleniaOne satellite speaker
Type: 2-way, bass reflex satellite speaker with aluminum enclosure.
Driver complement: one 1-inch S-PAL (satin-anodized pure aluminum) dome tweeter, one 4-inch S-PAL cone mid-bass driver.
Frequency response: 120 Hz – 20 kHz, 2dB
Sensitivity: 89 dB (in room)
Impedance: compatible with 8 ohms
Dimensions (H x W x D): 7.75” x 4.5” x 5.75” (not including stand)
Weight: 5.4 lbs.
Warranty: Five years, parts and labor.