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Definitive Technology ProCinema 400 Review

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PROS / The system produces good dialogue clarity.

CONS / It didn't produce convincing surround sound in our testing.

 VERDICT / The satellite speakers play clear audio, but the system leaves something to be desired in terms of surround sound performance.

The Definitive Technology ProCinema 400 is a full 5.1 home theater system with four satellite speakers, a center speaker and a subwoofer. The audio has a clear overall tone, but because the surround sound failed to impress our panelists, this system received low scores for audio performance.

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For our speaker testing, our listening panel of reviewers watched a movie scene that features both action and dialogue to help judge the speaker system's quality. During the test, the panel judged the speakers based on bass performance, dialogue clarity and surround sound unity.

  1. The lowest frequency the speaker can produce.
    Lower is Better.
  2. 6 Definitive Technology ProCinema
    35 Hz
  3. 80 Hz
  4. 150 Hz
  5. 0 Hz
  6. Category Average
    87.78 Hz

While the subwoofer produced a decent amount of bass, our panelists didn’t feel that the quality was great. The bass often lacked punch and definition. The low tones were there, but they didn't have any impact. This makes the bass sound loose and sloppy. The subwoofer features an 8-inch, down-firing driver and delivers 150 watts of power from the built-in amplifier. The subwoofer only weighs 15.7 pounds and measures 12 x 9.5 x 13 inches (LxWxH).

Our panelists felt that the dialogue clarity was above average, giving it a consistent B grade across the board. The treble response was sharp without being shrill. It was well defined, cutting through the bass to keep the sound quality sharp and definitive. These speakers are relatively small, measuring 4 x 4 x 7 inches (LxWxH), but they feature a 3.5-inch driver inside the enclosure – that's a large driver for such a small enclosure. Larger drivers generally have better frequency responses and overall better sound quality. All of the satellite speakers in this system have the ability to be wall mounted.

The home theater speakers struggled with surround sound submersion. There is a scene in the movie where motorcycles surround the main character. The best surround sound speakers in our lineup made our panel feel as if they were surrounded, too. These small home theater speakers didn't provide much for surround sound. The two main left and right speakers did the majority of the auditory lifting, leaving much to be desired from the left and right surround sound speakers.

The speaker system is available in white or black finishes. Definitive Technology covers the speaker system with an impressive five-year warranty. For inquiries about the ProCinema, Definitive Technology can be reached via phone and email.


The Definitive Technology ProCinema 400 doesn't have the surround sound prowess of some top home theater speakers in our comparison. Our panelists liked the sharpness and clarity of the dialogue the home speaker system produced, but the subwoofer did lack definition. It isn't the top choice in our comparisons, but the ProCinema is still much better than TV speakers.

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