Definitive Technology 400 Review

The Definitive Technology ProCinema 400 produced great dialogue clarity in our tests.

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

The Definitive Technology ProCinema 400's satellite speakers play clear audio, but the system as a whole had a hard time competing with the best in our tests.


  • +

    The system produces good dialogue clarity.


  • -

    It didn't create convincing surround sound in our testing.

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The Definitive Technology ProCinema 400 is a 5.1 home theater speaker system with four satellite speakers, a dedicated center channel and a powered 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. This speaker package is visually attractive and includes quality components like metal binding posts and pure aluminum tweeters, but it couldn’t compete with the best-sounding systems we tested. Unfortunately, we've stopped testing sound systems now, but we do still cover the best soundbars, and we also have a guide to smart speakers.

For our speaker testing, our panel of evaluators watched a movie scene that features both action and dialogue to judge each system's quality. During the test, the panel judged the speakers based on bass performance, dialogue clarity and surround sound unity. While the subwoofer produced a decent amount of bass, our panelists didn’t feel that the quality was great – it often lacked punch and definition. The low tones were there, but they didn't have any impact. The subwoofer features an 8-inch, down-firing driver and delivers 150 watts of power from the built-in amplifier.

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, and it was well defined, cutting through the bass to keep the sound quality sharp and accurate.

However, this speaker system struggled with surround sound submersion. There is a scene in our test movie where motorcycles surround the main character, and the best speakers we reviewed, like the Fluance SXHTB, made our panel feel as if they were surrounded, too. The ProCinema 400’s small satellite speakers didn't receive high marks for surround sound immersion from our reviewers.

The Definitive Technology ProCinema 400 package did a good job of producing accurate and natural-sounding dialogue in our tests, but it lacked the immersive surround sound we experienced with the best systems in our test group. The compact satellite speakers are easy to mount in tight spaces and can add an appealing visual aesthetic to your entertainment room.

Billy Bommer

Billy Bommer is a former Top Ten Reviews writer who now works as a technical advisor at Best Buy. He's a keen sax player, and lives in Utah. Billy also has a BS from Weber State University in Communications and Media Studies. His areas of expertise are diverse, and he has a particular passion for AV and audio tech.