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Paradigm reveals its most ambitious speakers yet, plus a pair of sound bars

Earlier this year, we had a chance to take a look at Paradigm’s Concept 4F series of speakers, and walked away more than impressed. That series left Paradigm with a tough act to follow, but it might have done it with its new Persona by Paradigm series, which was announced at CEDIA alongside a pair of new sound bars.

Paradigm calls the Persona series its most ambitious design to date, thanks in part to its use of beryllium, one of the highest-quality speaker components available. The material is both lighter and more stiff than other speaker materials, making for better transient response — think snare drums, hand claps, and similar sounds — and crisper highs. All models also feature Perforated Phase-Aligning (PPA) driver lenses, which block out of phase frequencies, offering improved sound stage and overall transparency.

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“We were able to transform what began as a bold concept speaker into a renaissance for the brand,” Paul Grove, Paradigm senior vice president of global sales and marketing, said in a statement. “After receiving rave reviews about our Concept 4F, which debuted at Munich High End 2015, we knew we had something special, and the foundation to create the best-sounding speakers we’ve ever produced.”

The cabinets used in the Persona series are crafted in Canada, and are braced and dampened in order to reduce cabinet resonance. In addition to making for better sound, the cabinet design has a sleek, automotive-inspired look that should fit well with most decor. The Persona series is available in four finishes: Vanta High Gloss Black, Harmony High Gloss White, Aria Metallic Blue, and Sonic Metallic Silver.

Both of the new sound bars are 46 inches, and are esigned to work with 55-inch and up TVs. The PW Soundbar is the newest model in the Paradigm Premium Wireless Series, and includes HDMI and DTS Play-Fi support, allowing it to pair with other speakers in the Premium Wireless series. HDMI 2.0a and HDCP 2.2 are supported, with 4K/60P passthrough.

The specs for Paradigm’s new Soundplay sound bar are the same, though it lacks HDMI and Play-Fi. Both sound bars offer a total of 135 watts of power across the nine built-in amplifiers, as well as both DTS Digital Surround and Dolby Digital Sound processing. The sound bars also support Bluetooth connectivity as well as IP control over LAN or Ethernet connections.

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“When you don’t have room for five discrete loudspeakers, you want believable surround-sound from a single soundbar,” Justin Bright, Paradigm director of marketing and digital technology, said. “With the new PW Soundbar and Soundplay, we’re able to offer a surprisingly convincing surround-sound performance, no matter what size room our customer is working with.”

The Persona series is comprised of seven models, ranging from the $3,500 Persona B passive bookshelf speaker to the Persona 9H Flagship hybrid floor standing speaker, which retails for $17,500 each. The sound bars are more affordable, with the PW Soundbar selling for $1,300, while the Soundplay can be had for $900. The Persona series will being shipping to Paradigm retailers in November, while the two sound bars are expected to begin shipping in early 2017.