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Definitive Technology BP9020 & CS9040 Plus Center Channel Speaker Review

Home Entertainment systems have certainly taken off in recent years. As the sound in cinemas improved beyond belief, people wanted something similar at home. Surround Sound, and the cinematic experience were brought into people’s houses.

Some are better than others, and some of the best systems are not cheap by any means. But if you want to get that experience, then this system is certainly worth looking at.

As you shall see in our in-depth Definitive Technology BP9020 & CS9040 Plus Center Channel Speaker Review, the system is packed with good features to give you that experience. But before we take a look, who are the manufacturers of this system?

Definitive Technology

The company was founded in 1990 by the former founder of Polk Audio. The company was the subject of a couple of buyouts. But eventually became part of a newly formed conglomerate, DEI Holdings.

Since then, there has been more restructuring, but they continue to produce some quality audio equipment. They have specialized somewhat in the production of home cinema systems, and this is one of a number they market. They have their headquarters in California.

This is a system that comprises two-floor standing tower speakers and a high-performance center channel speaker. So, let’s take a look at the Definitive Technology BP9020 and the CS9040 Plus Center Channel Speaker.

Definitive Technology BP9020 & CS9040 Plus Center Channel Speaker
Our rating:4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Overview

Are you looking for one of the best immersive home cinema systems? If you are, then this Definitive Technology BP9020 & CS9040 is going to be of interest. Between the two towers and the center channel speakers, you get a sound that fills the room. And it gives you every little detail of the cinema sound in your home.

Superlative tweeters and drivers and an array that gives you an expansive soundstage. And an Intelligent Bass Control lets you not only hear the low frequencies but feel them as well.

Dolby Atmos/DTS:X compatible…

Par for the course with most upmarket systems, but having Dolby Atmos and DTS:X included is still a plus. DTS:X uses the MDA platform, which is royalty-free. Atmos, of course, uses proprietary systems.

Between them, you get a real multi-dimensional sound. Bringing every aspect of the sound into your room. And in terms of music, hearing it how the writer and producer intended. As a result, this is one of the best Dolby Atmos home theater systems out there.

The Build


This system is designed at Definitive Technology in California and assembled in China. It features Definitive Technology’s BDSS technology. They have a design that allows them to create a higher bass output and an increase in dynamic range. As an example, an 8-inch speaker has the bass, dynamics, and output of a 10-inch speaker.

This system has a total of nineteen speakers in the three units. In each tower speaker, there are eight, and in the center channel, there are three. There are other inclusions. Essentially, there are two elements to this system; towers and center channel.

We will look at them individually later. What we will say is this. With the way this system is configured, you won’t have to rush out and buy a subwoofer.

Including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X…

With the Dolby Atmos system, one of the operating features is that sound is fired upward. This then bounces off the ceiling and creates an even bigger surround sound experience. Expanding this system to include that facility is easy.

There is a built-in docking port. This will allow you to connect an extra height speaker to utilize the full experience. The speaker, we should point out, is an optional extra and not included with this system.

Resonant-free cabinets…

The cabinets are well-made and built with a rigid design. They feature strategically-placed internal bracing. This is an inert, resonance-free cabinet, which will minimize any internal disturbances. That, in turn, helps to create a powerful natural sound.

Having a sealed cabinet with passive radiators is a design that Definitive Technology utilizes often. It is quite a unique design that allows the cabinet to maintain its stylish looks. As there are two distinct elements to this system, let’s spend a little time considering both.

The Definitive Technology BP 9020 Tower speakers


This is a floor-standing speaker with opposite-facing back and front drivers. Each speaker weighs 36lbs and measures 6 by 13 by 38.5 inches.

In each, there are eight speakers. These are 3.5-inch drivers and one-inch aluminum dome tweeters. These are located inside the cabinet to the front and rear. Each tower also contains a perpendicular 8-inch subwoofer. This is a powered speaker. The cabinet has a frequency response of 22Hz – 40kHz.

The design and the advanced specifications make this a speaker to take notice of. And as a result, these rank among the best floor standing speakers on the market.

Materials

Built from high-quality aluminum with an attractive all-black fabric covering. This makes it suitable to fit with just about any home decor. It has a very minimalist design; some might say plain. But it has a staggering, almost threatening look. In a nice way, if you understand what we mean.

There is a removable speaker grille. And around the base of these speakers is aluminum support for balance. There are small spikes on the support for use on a carpeted floor to maintain its stability. The aluminum base is removable if you wish.

This speaker is a combination of quality, great design, and high-performance levels. Nothing in the design and the build quality has been left to chance. This is one of the reasons that sound quality is clear, rich, and full of realism. Overall, this is one of the best sounding home theater systems you can buy.

The Definitive Technology CS 9040


This was designed and built with similar design parameters as the Tower speakers. The center speaker is also inert and resonance-free. The imaging and reduction of resonance are achieved in part by the bracing. This is placed strategically inside the cabinet to give it maximum rigidity.

The cabinet itself is also made from high-quality aluminum and given a black fabric covering. It measures 5.95 inches by 20.75 inches wide by 12 inches. It weighs twenty pounds.

Inside…

There is a one-inch aluminum dome tweeter placed inside two 4.5-inch high-performance drivers. Furthermore, the special inclusion is an eight-inch round bass radiator.

This design will give you increased focus and clarity, especially with vocals or the spoken word. Even the most demanding cinema soundtrack is accurately reproduced. It generates a frequency response range of 50Hz – 22kHz. A nice design and well-made, it is the perfect partner for the ‘Twin Towers.’

Performance

The forward-focused bipolar Definitive Technology in this system results in huge performance-related benefits. The most significant being that the soundstage is impressive courtesy of the wide dispersion of the sound.

No matter where you are in the room, the sound is balanced and powerful. Audio goes from the ordinary to the extraordinary. The high-performance drivers and the tweeters with their aluminum domes are doing their job.

Intelligent Bass Control…

This adds a level of control of the lower frequencies not often found. On the back of the tower speaker is the subwoofer level control. It is a relatively new development that allows you to adjust the level of the deep bass frequencies either up or down. This might be determined by the genre of the music or the soundtrack of a movie.

Still maintains mid frequencies…

However, it overrides a problem that some other bass control systems experience. Even though you might be changing the level, it does not let the mids become overwhelmed and maintains their tonal balance.

This, of course, is especially important where vocals or dialogue are concerned. We remarked earlier on how this system lets you not only hear the sound but feel it. And the intelligent bass control is one reason why.

The Sound


The performance level dictates the sound, and that is why the sound of this system is exceptional. The high frequencies are sharp, clear and defined, and enhanced by the aluminum dome tweeters. Great highs are all well and good. They are the harmonics that provide clarity and space to the sound, but to be exceptional, they need a partner.

Here come the mids…

But there is a third element, the mids. Often overlooked by some as not being important, they are vital. But they need good separation in the mix. Vocals and guitars will often fight for space at the lower end of the mids.

Also wandering around in the mid-range are delays and reverb and some other effects. And let’s not forget the drums. You will find them here banging away, especially the snare. Even the kick drum often encroaches upon the lower mids. And what about the vocals? Yep, they are here as well. But forget the mids; they aren’t important.

Control the bass…

It is too easy to crowd them out. Fortunately, the Intelligent Bass Control prevents that from happening while still giving you an extraordinary bottom-end.

The sound is what you might expect, given the price point. And let’s be honest, it is getting towards the high-end of the spectrum. But given what is included, we aren’t shy about claiming this as one of the best premium home cinema systems currently available.

Definitive Technology BP9020 & CS9040 Plus Center Channel Speaker Review – Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Two tower speakers and a center speaker give you room-filling sound.
  • Superlative aluminum dome tweeters and drivers.
  • The system contains nineteen speakers in total.
  • Intelligent Bass Control.
  • Dolby Atmos/DTS:X compatibility.
  • Connection for an extra height speaker for Dolby Atmos/DTS:X (speaker not included).
  • Good build with an attractive black finish.
  • Rigid design with resonant-free cabinets.
  • Strategically-placed bracing reduces unwanted vibrations.
  • Sealed cabinets with passive radiators.
  • Powered subwoofer with bass vent.
  • A great balance between a wide soundstage and a precise center image.
  • Superb sound across all frequencies.

Cons

  • It does take up a lot of room.
  • Some will consider it expensive.

Looking for Something Else?

If you need speakers, we’ve got speakers. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Tailgate Speakers, the Best Smart Speakers, the Best Powered Speakers, the Best In Wall Speakers, and the Best In Ceiling Speakers you can buy in 2021.

Also, take a look at our comprehensive reviews of the Best Bookshelf Speakers under $500, the Best Wireless TV Speakers, the Best Party Speakers, the Best Wireless Outdoor Speakers, or the Best 7.1 Home Theater System currently available.

Definitive Technology BP9020 & CS9040 Plus Center Channel Speaker Review – Final Thoughts

In summing up this system, it might be easier to just say you usually get what you pay for. If you look at the price first, some might say wow. But there is more to this system than a relatively high price tag.


It produces a sound that you might call exhilarating. But more than that, it is a sound you have total control over. Even while making adjustments, it won’t let you override the important sound issues.

If you are into your home entertainment, be it music or movies, then you owe it to yourself to take a look at this system. You won’t be disappointed.

Until next time, happy listening.

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About Corey Hoffman

Corey is a multi-instrumentalist who has played in numerous bands over the years, some good, some not so good. He has also written countless songs and recorded five albums in professional studios across America. Today he is a hobby musician but still loves the guitar after over 15 years of playing.

He considers his writing as a way to share what he has learned over the decades with younger generations ad always can't wait to get his hands on the latest gear.

He lives just outside New York with his wife Barbara and their two German Shepherds, Ziggy and Iggy.

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