Many an audio purist will insist that you need large tower speakers for a truly "weighty" sound in your home theater. Meanwhile, the other 90 percent of the population can't abide their living room being taken over by giant, black sonic monoliths--thus the ever-growing market for fashion-friendly "lifestyle" speakers. Canada's Paradigm already offered a variety of smaller speakers (such as the Cinema 110CT 5.1), but the company's upped the design ante with the just-announced Reference Millenia 20 Trio. The $1,000 unit combines the three front channels of a surround system--left, center, and right--into one slim attractive enclosure that's a perfect match for a flat-panel TV. Unlike some other single-speaker solutions we've seen (Yamaha's line of Digital Sound Projector speakers comes to mind), the Millenia 20 Trio doesn't seem to have a virtual-surround mode in its bag of tricks, so you'll still need a couple of rear speakers; no surprise that Paradigm suggests its own matching Millenia ADP surrounds ($600/pair). Likewise, you'll need a subwoofer if you want any degree of bass. Even with the surrounds and sub in place, however, the Millenia 20 Trio promises a more compact and decor-friendly surround solution than traditional 5.1 systems.
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