If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
I’m sure you’ve all muttered that phrase at one time or another, and it largely holds true. However, if you have a chance to improve upon something good, then hit the shop and get to work! It appears that’s exactly what Definitive Technology has done with its new 4th generation of Bipolar tower speakers. The all-new BP9000 lineup gives a solid nod to the company’s past speaker efforts, while adding interesting new technologies and design modifications that are sure to turn some heads. These include all-new crossovers and DSP tuning, user controlled bass modulation, new built-in subwoofer amplifiers, and optional immersive sound compatibility.
Capped-off by an edgy and crisp minimalist physical appearance, the new BP9000 series of speakers have the looks to back their unique functional design.
"Definitive Technology engineers and designers have always taken an obsessive approach to developing the best-performing products for the home theater, and the BP9000 series is a perfect example of that," said Joel Sietsema, Senior Director of Brand Management, Sound United. “This new collection is a testament to our meticulous eye for detail, use of new object-oriented audio technologies, stunning design, and a breadth of new audio technologies. We know the best speaker successfully reproduces sound across the entire audible frequency range in the most balanced way possible, and the BP9000 series does just that."
The Crux of Bipolar
Definitive Technology’s Bipolar speaker design is simple. It features a front facing tweeter and midrange array paired with rear facing tweeter and midrange drivers. This allows the speaker to provide sound information from both the front and back sides with a 360-degree sound-radiating pattern. The result, the company says, is sharp early-arriving sound (giving a sense of location) and diffuse late-arriving sound that provides dimensionality and liveliness. Definitive also says the implementation of a Bipolar design radically increases the listening sweet spot.
This front and back Bipolar implementation is found on three of the BP9000 tower models only. The smaller surround channel models are slightly modified, which we’ll detail below.
A look at the BP9060 with A10 immersive sound modules
The BP9080x serves as the series flagship speaker and is one of four BP9000 tower speakers offered. They range in size from 35.5-inches tall to 51.5-in tall with a variety of driver configurations. The BP9080x features five 5.25-in midrange drivers, three 1-in aluminum dome tweeters, one 12-inch subwoofer, and dual 12-in radiators. The midrange drivers are outfitted with Definitive’s “Balanced Double Surround Sound” technology that improves driver excursion for bass output similar to larger drivers with the sharper definition of small driver design. An onboard amplifier powers the 12-inch subwoofer with tweak-ability provided by user bass controls. The inclusion of an onboard sub is certainly interesting because it provides true subwoofer depth without the added need for large outboard sub cabinets, in addition owners have the benefit of two in-room subwoofers that will reduce the impact of room modes for a smoother low-end response.
All of the tower speakers have cast aluminum bases and brushed aluminum topsides that can be removed to accept the optional A10 immersive sound module. The A10 features one 4.5-in midrange driver and a 1-in dome tweeter. It adds roughly 4-in to the overall height of speaker, which is something to take into consideration if the towers inhabit space in front of a projection screen system.
Here’s a look at pricing and driver configurations offered on each model in the series:
- BP9080x ($1,749/ea): (5) 5.25-in bass/mid drivers, (3) 1-in dome tweeters, (1) 12-in subwoofer, (2) 12-in sub radiators.
- BP9060 ($1.099/ea): (3) 4.5-in bass/mid drivers, (2) 1-in dome tweeters, (1) 10-in subwoofer, (2) 10-in sub radiators.
- BP9040 ($899/ea): (3) 4.5-in bass/mid drivers, (2) 1-in dome tweeters, (1) 8-in subwoofer, (2) 8-in sub radiators.
- BP9040 ($649/ea): (3) 3.5-in bass/mid drivers, (1) 1-in dome tweeters, (1) 8-in subwoofer.
- A90 Module ($499/pr): (1) 4.5-in bass/mid drivers, (1) 1-in dome tweeters.
The SR9080 surround speaker
Definitive is offering two BP9800 Bipolar surround speaker models. The larger SR9080 and smaller SR9040 feature a left and right side speaker array that allows for easy side wall placement. The SR9080 ($349/ea) utilizes two 4.5-in drivers and dual 1-in aluminum dome tweeters to perform from 40 Hz to 30,000 Hz. The SR9040 also has dual tweeters, but sees a slight bump in low range performance (50 Hz) due to smaller 3.5-in drivers.
A cross-cut look at the CS9080 center channel.
Rounding out the BP9000 series are three different center channel models for home theater enthusiasts lacking space in the middle front speaker position. The CS9080 and CS9060 feature topside 8-inch subwoofers with onboard bass control (the CS9080 also has an 8-in passive radiator), while the CS9040 has a single 8-in radiator. The top two models also feature two 4.5-in midrange drivers and 1-in tweeters, along with an LED backlit Definitive Technology logo. The smaller CS9040 has 3.5-in midrange drivers.
All of the new BP9000 speakers will be available at the end of May, with the exception of the SR9080, CS9080 and BP9080X (which should be on the market late summer). Retailers will include Magnolia Home Theater and Design Center locations, Amazon, Crutchfield, and other nationwide and regional stores.
Image Credits: Definitive Technology