The Paradigm Premier 700F (buy at Crutchfield) is a mid-level floorstanding speaker from Paradigm priced at $1,800 per pair, which puts it right in the fray with many of the best players in the high-value speaker market. These moderately tall yet narrow speakers feature a one-inch X-PAL ferro-fluid damped/cooled dome with a perforated phase-aligning (PPA) lens. A 5.5-inch surround with carbon-infused polypropylene cone with a larger PPA lens handles the midrange frequency driver, and two 5.5-inch ART surround polypropylene cones provide the bottom end. That’s a lot of very technical-sounding jargon, but the question, of course, is whether or not it all translates into performance, something for which Paradigm has been known for decades.
What Makes the Paradigm Premier 700F Loudspeakers Special?
- In a world where nearly everything is made overseas, it is refreshing to see that Paradigm not only designs their speakers in Canada, but the Premier series are built there as well in the company’s 225,000-square-foot facility just south of Toronto.
- With in-room sensitivity of 91 dB and no seriously low impedance dips, these speakers are very easy to drive. You won’t find many amps on the market that you won’t be able to enjoy these speakers with.
- The native bass that you can easily get from the Premier 700F is better than you might expect from speakers in this range. The frequency range on these speakers will reportedly go down as low as 45 Hz. You’ll get much deeper and stronger bass with a subwoofer, of course, but depending on what you’re looking for from your music, these might provide all the bass you need.
- The form factor of the Premier 700F loudspeakers is somewhat narrow, making it a better fit for modern floorplans than older, more traditional speakers.
- The fit and finish of the Paradigm Premier 700Fs is very pretty considering their relatively modest price. While you can spend more money on speakers without question, but the Premiers 700Fs don’t look inexpensive at all.
Why Should You Care About the Paradigm Premier 700F Loudspeakers?
Paradigm is known for making speakers that are a great value. One of the ways they can deliver such great value is their partnership with the National Research Center of Canada. When you listen to these speakers you can hear where all that sweet government-funded research went. Just like Tang and Tempur-Pedic mattresses in the United States (thank you, NASA), audiophiles get excellent speakers from Canada.
Some Things You Might Not Like About the Paradigm Premier 700F Loudspeakers
- If your speakers sit on hard floors, like mine do, there isn’t a super-easy way to level the rubber grips that come with the speakers. This can lead to the speakers being a little wobbly and not only will they not sound their best but they can be a hazard if you have children who run through the space. Spikes with some sort of receptacle might have helped here, be it from Paradigm or as an aftermarket product.
- You don’t have a lot of selection of colors to choose from at this price point. The Paradigm Premier line of speakers comes in just Gloss Black, Gloss White, or Espresso Grain. In the past decade, we’ve learned from Beats that headphones are fashion. So are loudspeakers, and more and more companies are making a visual statement that matches their musical statement. Paradigm does this too, but you’ve gotta go a little higher up in their product line up to start getting really sexy custom paint jobs and finishes.
Listening to the Paradigm Premier 700F Loudspeakers
The Queens of the Stone Age track “Kalopsia” (buy at Amazon) (Streaming 16-bit 44.1 kHz) does a great job of testing the soundstage. With the dream-like verses of this track, the Paradigm Premier 700F speakers puts things together sonically with grace and poise. They make it easy for you to close your eyes and picture the music. When the chorus kicks in, you will note the distinct lack of coloration when listening to the Paradigms, something a lot of other speakers in this class should aspire to.
What better to test speakers with than some Led Zeppelin? While “Out on the Tiles” (buy Zeppelin III at Amazon) (Streaming 16-bit 44.1 kHz) isn’t the most popular song on their out-of-the-box yet critically acclaimed third album, the Paradigm Premier 700Fs provide tremendous control with this busy track. You can hear an exciting attack and decay from nearly every one of John Bonham’s cymbal crashes. At the same time, you can feel a little bit of heft in notes from John Paul Jones’ groovy baseline. This classic rock anthem really shows off everything that these value-oriented speakers can do from covering the higher end with Jimmy Page’s solos and everything in between.
While we don’t cover home theater, there is no good reason why the Paradigm Premier 700Fs couldn’t work in a 5.1 or more expansive system. They can be easily driven by a sub-$1,000 receiver and pair up with subwoofers and smaller surround-sound speakers. In mostly a 2.1 configuration with an SVS SB-1000 subwoofer, I have watched my share of NHL hockey in late 2022. My 2.1 configuration has the ability to bring bone-crunching dynamic sound to my inky-blacks and 4K images on my LG OLED monitor. Does the Paradigm Premier 700F Speakers Have Any Resale Value?
Paradigm speakers resell nicely, so they will almost assuredly be a safe investment. The company markets the speakers well, and the distribution network in North America is as good as anybody’s in the audiophile space. While rarely on the market, Paradigm speakers like these will sell like hot cakes at the right price used.
Who is the Competition For The Paradigm Premier 700F Loudspeakers?
SVS Prime Tower Speaker (1,199 per pair) is a strong competitor for the Paradigm Premier 700F at about $1,200 per pair. These speakers have a one-inch tweeter, 4.5-inch mid, and dual 6.5-inch bass drivers. The SVS have the bass you might expect from a company that was first known for its subwoofers, but I think the strength here is the imaging. They come in a black and black ash finish, which isn’t designer colors, per se, but you do get a lot of audiophile performance from an audiophile speaker with a pretty simple form factor.
Michael Zisserson, our in-house speaker designer/reviewer, went gaga over the Focal Chora 806 bookshelf speakers at $600 per pair, and the bigger sibling, the Focal Chora 826 ($1,399 per pair) (buy from Amazon) are more money and as such a better comparison point to these Paradigm floorstanding speakers. They have an audiophile legacy that is second to none, but also are more fashion forward with finishes like light wood (paint and wood) and their darker wood (gray-ish blue) options at slightly more money than the Paradigm 700F.
Don’t bring old biases to today’s Polk speakers as they are making some of the most complex, gorgeous yet affordable speakers in the market today, like the Polk Legend L600 ($1,495 per pair) (buy from Amazon). The build quality is simply better than many audiophile speakers costing far more money. The Polk Pinnacle Ring Radiator Tweeter is a major draw for the Legend L600s as today’s Polk’s aren’t as bright or sizzle-y as the company’s floor-standing speakers from their past.
Monoprice Monolith Audition T5 Tower Speakers ($499 a pair) are a promising low-cost option, and we have this new speaker is on its way in for review. They aren’t fancy looking, but for the money these MDF-based speakers are looking ready to rock. We’ve heard Monoprice’s subwoofers, and they are a killer value. Their earlier speakers were good, too, but these new designs with a silk-dome tweeter and three 5.25-inch bass drivers look like an upgrade.
Final Thoughts on the Paradigm Premier 700F…
If you’re in the market for a new set of floorstanding speakers in this price range, I would recommend getting a meaningful demonstration of these Paradigm speakers. I promise you they won’t disappoint. I have had them as part of my two-channel rig at home for the last five months and there hasn’t been a moment where I felt like they were lacking in any tangible way. They have an open soundstage. They resolve musical details with amazing accuracy. The bass they output is better than I was expecting. Could you live without a woofer with a pair of Paradigm Premier 700Fs? Sure, but why miss out on anything? That’s what the upgrade path is all about.
Overall, the Paradigm Premier 700F speakers at $1,800 per pair (buy at Crutchfield) are fierce competitors in the most brutal of audiophile marketplaces. Can they hang? They more than hang – they rule. There are all sorts of flavors of loudspeakers out there. Somebody might want a more British-sounding speaker and there are options out there for that, perhaps Bowers & Wilkins. Somebody might want to rock out as hard as possible, which is where something like a horn-loaded Klipsch comes in. For me, the Paradigm Premier 700F loudspeakers are very much a goldilocks zone. They have all of the audiophile imaging and soundstaging that I crave paired with bigger-than-expected (and easily expandable) bass. The highs are clear but never bright, with a coherent, together sound that I just can’t get enough of.