Paradigm Monitor SE Atom Bookshelf Speaker Review

4.25 Mixed Usages
4.3 Dialogue & Vocal Accuracy:
4.3 Treble Accuracy:
4.2 Bass Accuracy:
4.3 Imaging & Soundstage:
4.2 Dynamic Range:
Release year: 2018 Rating: 4.4 Warranty: 5 years 1" tweeter 5.5" woofer

Paradigm Monitor SE Atom delivers a balanced sound. It is great for music but for movies we suggest a basic 3.1 system. The speakers are ideal for compact spaces. You can place them in home or at office. It has an articulate mids, precise highs and powerful lows. Paradigm focuses on tuning the sound along with keeping an eye on room layout. For bass lovers, subwoofer is a great inclusion via an amplifier or AV receiver.

Our Verdict

Paradigm Monitor SE Atom is a budget-friendly speaker that produces smooth and detailed performance. With audio tracks, the speaker sounds musical. Although the bass is not room-shaking, it is enough to enjoy low effects in movies and music. Make sure to match an appropriate amplifier. Crank up the volume without worrying about distortion. Use EQ option if your amp or receiver supports it. This will allow you to tweak and alter the sound slightly as per your taste.

  • Great sounding speaker
  • Affordable
  • Clear and loud
  • Detailed performance
  • Well built
  • 2.0 setup is not ideal for large rooms
Where to buy



Speaker Type Bookshelf Speaker
Number Of Channels 2.0 way speaker
Amplification Type Passive Speaker (External Amp)
Power Source AC Powered


Drive Unit 2x2
Tweeter Type X-PAL™ dome
Tweeter Size (inches) 1
Midrange Size (inches) N/A
Midrange Type N/A
Woofer Size (inches) 5.5
Woofer Type mineral-filled polypropylene cone


Power Range 15 - 100 watts
Sensitivity 89 dB
Impedance 8 ohms
Frequency Range ±3dB from 61 Hz - 21 kHz
Crossover Frequencies 2300Hz


Speaker Level Input N/A
Speaker Wire Input: Yes
Line Level Input N/A
Digital Input (Optical) N/A
Digital Input (Coaxial) N/A
RCA Input N/A
3.5mm Stereo Analog Input N/A
Aux Input N/A
HDMI Input N/A
Bi-amp Input: N/A
USB Port N/A
Subwoofer Output N/A


Bluetooth N/A
Wi-Fi N/A


Connector Type Binding post
Compatible Connector Types bare wire, pin-connectors, spade-lugs, and banana-plugs
Speaker Wire Compatibility 12-16 AWG


Bass Accuracy: Low ends are even, tight and adequate for compact spaces
Dialogue & Vocal Accuracy: Good vocal clarity
Treble Accuracy Highs are rich, clear and natural
Imaging & Soundstage: It has powerful imaging and focused soundstage
Dynamic Range: Great dynamic range
Power Handling: Good power handling
Frequency Response: Wide frequency response
Transient Response: Good transient response


Enclosure Ported
Finish MDF
Color Matte black, Gloss white


Height (inches) 12.75
Width (inches) 7.125
Depth (inches) 11
Weight (pounds) 12lbs
Recommended Stand Height (inches) 26-28


Handheld Remote N/A
Control by app N/A
Amazon Alexa N/A
Google Assistant N/A


Accessories: 2 Bookshelf speakers, Grilles, Rubber feet, Owner's Manual, Online Registration Card
User manual: Yes
Where to buy

Details Review


The Paradigm Monitor SE Atom has an MDF body. Use the included self-adhesive rubber feet when placing them on any surface or stand. It comes with a removable grille but even without any grille, a small grille covers the tweeter. Build quality is quite good at this price point.



Paradigm Monitor SE Atom has 1” tweeter and 5.5” woofer. The aluminum dome tweeter has Perforated Phase-Aligning (PPA) Lens. This design saves the tweeter from any wear and tear. It can deliver smooth, rich, and uncolored treble. Low ends from 5.5” woofer did not sound tinny or weak. Rather, it sounds clean and tight that is adequate for tight spaces. The woofer has mineral-filled polypropylene cone, it is lightweight and can deliver accurate mid-range and bass.

For compact spaces like 11x15’ rooms, you can even feel the bass. With a rear bass port, the efficiency increases while the bass is boosted further. It has great imaging and soundstage. Although out of the box accuracy is good, the speakers should still be played for long hours of break-in. Room layout and things in it will have an impact on sound.

The speakers sound clean and clear even at high volumes. It uses computer optimized crossover so better integration between drivers. It shows average performance. This entry-level speaker performs quite well with music. It delivers engaging performance with clear vocals and good clarity in instruments.

Speaker placement:


The distance between the speakers should be 0.75 times the distance between the speaker and user. Elevate them at ear level. Leave a gap of 8” or more from rear walls. Angle them inward towards the listener and find the best spot. Paradigm focuses on tuning for optimized performance. For instance, increase or decrease the angle of toe-in to change the depth and width of stereo image.

You can also use them as surround or rear speakers. For that, place the surround speakers beside the user seat or behind them. The distance between rear speakers should be wider.

Compatible device:

You will need an amplifier or AC receiver like Pioneer SX-680, Hegel Music Systems H360, etc. to connect the speakers. There are other well known brands like Yamaha, Denon, Onkyo, Marantz, Cambridge Audio, Sonos, Sony, etc.

Upgrade to a full home theater system when you can afford: floorstanding speakers (8000F / 6000F / 3000F), a bookshelf speaker (Atom), and a center-channel speaker (2000C). Then pair a powered subwoofer. You can pair subwoofers from other brands like Polk, SVS, etc.

Use case:

These passive speakers are great for small to medium sized rooms. In mid to large sized rooms, you can pair a subwoofer. Play music from different genres with these speakers or watch a movie. They will give you a satisfying experience.


The SE Atom speakers from Paradigm are one of the best passive bookshelf speakers under $300. Since the cost is affordable, you can easily spend after an amplifier and a subwoofer.



How to correctly connect the Paradigm Monitor SE Atom to an amplifier?

Although the speaker might work in different polarity, it is ideal to match the polarity for better soundstage and bass. To correctly connect the speakers to the amplifier, match red to red and black to black.

Who is Paradigm Monitor SE Atom best for?

If you have a tight budget and a small space, then this Paradigm Monitor SE Atom is best for you. It will act as an all-in-one speaker that goes great performance compared to its size. The user manual is quite serious about room layout and placement. So, simply follow the instructions to improve performance.


Where to buy


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