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Paradigm SE 8000F Tower Speakers Review

by December 01, 2022
Paradigm SE 8000F Tower Speakers

Paradigm SE 8000F Tower Speakers

  • Product Name: Monitor SE 8000F
  • Manufacturer: Paradigm
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Review Date: December 01, 2022 00:05
  • MSRP: $ 849/ea ($679/ea special sale)
  • Buy Now
    *For your convenience, we've included a link to Audio Advice to buy this product. As an Audio Advice associate, Audioholics.com benefits from qualifying purchases.
  • 3-way design:
    • 1" X-PAL pure aluminum dome tweeter with PPA (Perforated Phase-Aligning) lens
    • 6-1/2" mineral-filled polypropylene midrange driver
    • three 8" mineral-filled polypropylene bass drivers
  • frequency response: 45-21,000 Hz (±3dB)
  • sensitivity: 95 dB (in-room) 92dB Anechoic
  • power handling: up to 150 watts
  • impedance: 8 ohms
  • bass reflex cabinet with twin rear-firing ports
  • cloth grille included
  • 5-way binding post speaker terminals
  • 11-3/4"W x 45-15/16" H x 17-3/4"D
  • weight: 69 lbs.
  • warranty: 5 years


  • Lots of Deep Bass
  • BIG Room Filling Sound
  • High Sensitivity - Plays Well with Most AVRs
  • Good Value


  • Not Tonally Neutral
  • Big Rectangular Box


Paradigm SE 8000F Introduction

Paradigm SE 8000FIf you’re a budding audiophile, you’re likely surfing the web looking to find the most bang for your buck in audio gear while your friends are content listening to their earbuds on Spotify. The plight of a young audiophile on a budget is a lonely one when not shared with your brethren. I’ve always been a fan of full-range tower speakers that don’t require a separate powered sub to produce satisfying bass. Bass usually doesn’t come cheap unless you’re willing to sacrifice the rest of the audio spectrum. Midrange be dammed. But does it really have to be? Paradigm doesn’t seem to think so with their new Monitor SE 8000F speakers. I have fond memories of the original Monitor 11SE Mk3’s. These were speakers that offered a lot of bang for the buck back in the day. Paradigm proved they could give you bass like its competitors with a single 12” driver in a square box, only they served you more refinement of sound and yes, good midrange and sweet highs too. Can the new Monitor SE 8000F’s capture that magic? Read our review to find out.

Paradigm SE 8000F Loudspeaker Review and Giveaway!

Enter to Win Our Review Pair Of Paradigm SE 8000F Speakers

Must be USA Resident and enter by 12/31/22 11:59pm EST)

Design Overview & Measurements

tweeterThe Paradigm SE 8000F is a large 5-driver, 3-way bass reflex, floorstanding speaker available in matte black or white gloss. They feature a 1" X-PAL™ pure aluminum dome tweeter with PPA (Perforated Phase-Aligning) lens borrowed from their more expensive Premier, Founder and Persona series. This exclusive patented design acts as a refined phase plug to prevent on-axis beaming by blocking out-of-phase frequencies from interfering with and canceling the tweeter’s direct radiation. The tweeter has a neodymium magnet with a surprisingly generous heat sink to keep it minimize thermal compression typical of these type of designs without adequate heat dissipation on the tiny but powerful magnet.

tweeter magnet  Midrange

Paradigm SE 8000F Tweeter w heatsink (left) ; Midrange w vented spider (right)

The 6-1/2" mineral-filled polypropylene midrange driver is a vented stamped basket design in its own MDF enclosure amply stuffed with Dacron insulation. Bass is handled by three 8" mineral-filled polypropylene stamped basket bass drivers with substantial motor structures. Their combined surface area is equivalent to a 14” bass driver. The cabinet has dual 3” flared rear ports and is not bi-amp or bi-wireable. The cabinet seems to have sufficient bracing and is heavily insulated. The side and front panels are only ½” thick which is a bit disappointing as I prefer to see thicker front baffles (at least ¾”) to increase rigidity. With that said, the speaker is still substantially heavy weighing in at 1lb short of 70lbs and it stands tall at 46” x 11 ¾” and 17 ¾”. These are not speakers you can easily tuck into a small dorm or guest room (well I managed the later and with some impressive results). The grilles are made of MDF and have mounting pegs, no neodymium magnets for a clean look like many speakers have these days.

Woofer  Front Baffle

Paradigm SE 8000F Woofer w stamped basket (left) ; Front Baffle 1/2" thick (right)

The SE 8000F are rated at frequency response: 45-21,000 Hz (±3dB) with a sensitivity rating of 95 dB (in-room) / 92dB (anechoic) and a continuous power handling of up to 150 watts. I measured the sensitivity at 1-meter in-room per IEC 300Hz to 3kHz at 2.83Vrms and got just shy of 92dB. It was nice not to see Paradigm inflate their sensitivity ratings like some manufacturers.

8000F Sensitivity

Paradigm SE 8000F Sensitivity Measurement (2.83Vrms @ 1m from 300Hz to 3kHz, gated)

I was unable to measure this speaker outdoors on a platform like James Larson does in his loudspeaker reviews. However, I did capture an in-room spatial average at 1-meter from 300Hz to 20kHz to get an idea of the voicing of the speaker.

8000F Frequency Response 

Paradigm SE 8000F In-Room Frequency Response (Spatial Avg @ 1m from 300Hz to 20kHz)

The response looks pretty linear sans the 2-3dB low Q bump I measured at 4kHz below the tweeter axis. Upon closer inspection of a nearfield measurement of each of the drivers, I noted some excessive midrange energy that wasn’t fully filtered by the crossover. This could of course be improved but shouldn’t be a show-stopper for anyone that isn’t in the pursuit of the most measured linear response. This bump disappeared above the tweeter axis, which is how most of my listening was conducted.

Paradigm specs the SE 8000F as having slightly less bass extension than the Premier 800F but my in-room measurements show a much different story.

 8000F vs 800F Frequency Response

In-Room Frequency Response of Paradigm SE 8000F (red) ; Premier 800F (green)

I measured the SE 8000F and Premier 800F as a stereo pair at the main listening position to get an idea of tonal characteristics and how the two different speakers couple in my listening room. As you can see in the graph above, the SE 8000F appear to have 10Hz lower bass extension compared to the Premier 800F. I got usable in-room bass extension all the way down to 30Hz on the SE 8000F vs 40Hz on the Premier 800F.

Listening Tests

Having the Paradigm Premier 800F sonic signature burned in my head from many hours of extremely positive listening sessions, I wanted to see how closely the BIGGER yet more economical SE 8000F would fair in comparison. The majority of my listening sessions on the SE 8000F were conducted on the Denon A110 integrated amplifier and SACD player. I also repeated these listening tests on the Yamaha RX-A6A 9CH Atmos receiver. Both are very stout amplifiers so if there are deficiencies in the sound quality, the electronics are certainly not at fault. The listening was conducted in the guest room of the Audioholics Smarthome which is 15’ x 12’ with an RT60 decay time of less than 500msec from 100Hz to 20kHz. This is a moderately treated room (mostly with cushy absorptive furniture and bookcases).

RT60 Decay

RT60 Decay Time of Audioholics Smarthome Guest Room ( < 500 msec from 100Hz to 20kHz)

Tidal: Marion Hill - Unusual
I started my listening session streaming Marion Hill on Tidal. Track #2 “Differently” is my go to track to separate the men from the boys in terms of the bass extension of loudspeakers or powered subwoofers. This guest room has great bass coupling so if you bring in a pair of speakers with bass, expect to get rocked. That’s exactly what happened on the SE 8000F’s. From the opening of this track, the Paradigms showed me that no subwoofer would be needed. In terms of bass extension and slam, the SE 8000Fs outshined the Premier 800F by a significant margin. This was no surprise seeing how the SE 8000F has three 8” bass drivers in a much larger cabinet as opposed to two 6.5” bass drivers in the 800F in a more compact form factor. Make no mistake, the 800F were not anemic in bass, especially for their diminutive size. But the SE 8000F just belted the bass out like nobody’s business. This brought me back to my college days of large JBL or Cerwin Vega speakers sporting 12” or 15” woofers. It was a very satisfying experience, for me at least. My wife wasn’t having this in the office upstairs as I got a call to lower the bass that was shaking her to the core while she was editing one of my videos. But, in the name of science, I pressed on, at least until the track was over. Toward the middle of the song, the bass really drops low and the SE 8000F had no problems handling it without mechanical distress.

Marian Hill  Barber

SACD: Patricia Barber - Modern Cool
I feel like Patricia Barber doesn’t get enough love in the music industry. From her obscure poetic lyrics that would give pause to the likes of Michael Franks, to her jazzy complex instrumentals, this is the kind of music musicians listen to. “Company” is a great track to test out the meddle of a speaker thanks to the explosive drum tracks. The SE 8000F dug in deep with the standup bass laying the foundation of the song. The trumpets were loud and clear but with more sibilance than what I recalled on the Premier 800Fs. Listening on the SE 8000F was like turning up the bass and treble controls when compared to the 800Fs. I’m not saying this is a bad thing but the SE 8000F are not what I would consider to be a neutral speaker. The drum solo at 3:20 was explosive on both speakers but I felt it was reproduced with more grace and finesse on the Premier 800Fs. I honestly enjoyed listening to this track on both speakers but if your listening favors jazz and instrumental music, you’ll probably appreciate the tonal balance of the Premier 800F more.

SACD: Chlara - In a Different Light
ChlaraI keep coming back to this SACD as a reference to evaluate audio equipment. I feel it’s a must-have in your collection if you want a really good audiophile level recording of well done cover songs with the angelic voice of Chlara. "Hotel California" is arguably a top-10 overplayed classic but Chlara makes it her own. The decay of the bongo drums at the beginning really grabbed my attention almost as much as her silky-smooth vocals. On the SE 8000F, the bass hits with subwoofer-like depth and confidence and the strum of the acoustical guitars is extremely detailed and vibrant. I heard a bit of sibilance in her vocals that was more pronounced on these speakers than it was on the Premier 800Fs. My solution was to use a little less aggressive toe-in and also to keep the grilles on. This is one of the rare cases where I felt a speaker sounded better with the grilles on.  I honestly think I may prefer the cover version of “Hello” sung by Chlara over the original by Adele. Maybe the audiophileness of the recording won me over or perhaps how sultry her voice sounded. In any event, this is one of those recordings that you become enveloped in with your eyes closed, IF you’re listening on a good system with good room acoustics. The magic of this recording was reproduced well on the Paradigm SE 8000Fs.

Paradigm Monitor SE 8000F vs Premier 800F: Which One to Get?

8000F vs 800F

Paradigm Monitor SE 8000F vs Premier 800F

It’s hard NOT to draw a direct comparison between these two speakers designed by the same company but considering the price delta is not outrageous, I suspect there are audiophiles cross shopping them.

It was obvious to me that these speakers were designed for a different customer in mind.

The Premier 800F is a very refined and tonally neutral speaker designed for a more discriminating audiophile willing to sacrifice ultimate bass extension and loudness over neutrality. This speaker should be mated with a very capable subwoofer, preferably two, if you want true full-range sound.  To paraphrase Kenobi, The Premier 800F is a more elegant speaker for a more civilized audiophile.”

By contrast, the Monitor SE 8000F is a more balls to the wall, crank up the volume to 11 Spinal Tap style loudspeaker. It isn’t just a boom and sizzle speaker like some of the vintage big box speakers back in the day, mind you. But it’s really designed more as a large monolithic tower that can play loud and deep on the cheap while still giving you crisp and detailed sound.

Paradigm Premier 800F Paradigm Monitor SE 8000F
MSRP: $1,199/ea $849/ea
Drivers: 1” X-PAL Dome with PPA 6.5” Poly/carbon mid (2) 6.5” Poly/carbon bass drivers w ART 1” X-PAL dome with PPA 6.5” Poly mid w PPA (3) 8” Poly bass drivers
Bass Alignment Bass Reflex – 1 rear port Bass Reflect – dual rear ports
Frequency Response: 43-25kHz (±3dB) 45-21,000 Hz (±3dB)
Sensitivity: 92 dB (in-room) 89dB Anechoic 95 dB (in-room) 92dB Anechoic
Power Handling: Up to 180 watts Up to 150 watts
Impedance: 4 ohms 4 ohms
Dimensions: 41.5" × 9.125 × 13.75" 45-15/16" x 11-3/4" x 17-3/4"
Weight: 53.4 lbs 69 lbs
Finish Options Gloss Black, Gloss White, Espresso Grain Matte Black, Gloss White


Paradigm 8000F w GrillesParadigm surprised me with the SE 8000F loudspeaker, mostly in a good way. While it isn’t as refined or neutral as the more expensive Premier series, it is their answer to the BIG Box speaker category that populates the Best Buys and Internet Direct marketplaces. I wouldn’t quite categorize it as a direct product revival of the old 11SE Mkiii that were so revered by many audiophiles on a budget of yesterday. However, the new Monitor SE series does retain some of Paradigm’s new innovative driver design attributes like the PPA tweeter lens and they employ pretty stout drivers capable of delivering prodigious bass output that is quite uncommon in a loudspeaker of this price range. Shoppers looking into options from Polk, Heco and Klipsch should definitely put the Paradigm Monitor SE 8000F on their shopping list. This speaker won’t win any beauty prizes, but it will turn heads and put a smile on your face if you like BIG sound, and especially deep extended bass without requiring al subwoofer in your system, for music listening at least. 

If your musical tastes favor rock, R&B or rap over acoustical or instrumental jazz, or if you like some personality to the sound, then these could very well be your speakers. In any event, I enjoyed my time with the Paradigm SE 8000Fs like I would a ride a Disney, minus the long lines of course.

We are happy to participate in a product giveaway of these speakers as part of our “We review it, you win it” campaign that Paradigm (among others) has so graciously sponsored.

Must be USA Resident and enter by 12/31/22 11:59pm EST)

Danzilla31 posts on December 03, 2022 11:25
gene, post: 1581246, member: 4348
The Paradigm SE 8000F is a large 5-driver, 3-way bass reflex, floorstanding speaker featuring technologies like their PPA lens found on their higher end ranges of products. The SE 8000F may not be as refined or neutral as their Premier series but their high sensitivity and prodigious bass output may steer you away from other big box brands like Polk and Klipsch if your shopping for a full range tower under $1,500/pair.

Best of all, we are giving these speakers away to one lucky Audioholics reader that resides in the USA as part of our "We Review It, You Win It" promotion!


Read: Paradigm Monitor SE 8000F Loudspeaker Review

>> Buy the Paradigm SE 8000F for only $679/ea!


Enter to Win Our Review Samples of the Paradigm SE 8000F Speakers
@gene I want to thank you for your brave sacrifice for us your readers when your wife wanted you to turn down the bass and you pressed on!

The risk you took for us will not go unnoticed and will not be underappreciated!
gene posts on December 01, 2022 02:50
gene posts on December 01, 2022 02:39
The Paradigm SE 8000F is a large 5-driver, 3-way bass reflex, floorstanding speaker featuring technologies like their PPA lens found on their higher end ranges of products. The SE 8000F may not be as refined or neutral as their Premier series but their high sensitivity and prodigious bass output may steer you away from other big box brands like Polk and Klipsch if your shopping for a full range tower under $1,500/pair.

Best of all, we are giving these speakers away to one lucky Audioholics reader that resides in the USA as part of our "We Review It, You Win It" promotion!


Read: Paradigm Monitor SE 8000F Loudspeaker Review

>> Buy the Paradigm SE 8000F for only $679/ea!


Enter to Win Our Review Samples of the Paradigm SE 8000F Speakers
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About the author:
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Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled machine. His goal is to educate about home theater and develop more standards in the industry to eliminate consumer confusion clouded by industry snake oil.

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