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Definitive Technology BP-8020ST

Bipolar floor-standing speaker with built-in powered subwoofer

18 Reviews | 3 questions - 8 answers

Item # 735BP8020

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Overview

Our take on the Definitive Technology BP-8020ST

Here's how it works: direct sound from the front two midrange drivers and tweeter arrives at your ears first, to provide clear, focused imaging. That's followed by sound from the rear mid, which is slightly delayed, to enhance spaciousness. The combination creates a lush, seamless soundstage that's more like the way we hear sounds in real life. And thanks to Definitive's Balanced Double Surround System (BDSS) drivers, your music and surround effects will sound incredibly clear, allowing you to pinpoint the soloist in a band or the direction of a jaguar's call in the jungle.

High-tech towers for engaging music and home theater

It's hard to beat the spacious sound of bipolar speakers, especially when you use a pair of Definitive's BP-8020ST Bipolar SuperTowers™ in the front of your room. The BP-8020ST uses a unique driver design with both front- and rear-firing speaker arrays to radiate sound in all directions. It also adds a built-in powered subwoofer to the bottom of the cabinet for intense bass. Even in large rooms, every listener will experience a huge, three-dimensional soundstage with both music and movies. Plus, this speaker has attractive high-gloss black top and bottom caps with a cloth grille-wrapped enclosure for a sleek look.


Bipolar speaker technology immerses you in detailed sound

sound waves

Front and rear speaker arrays work together to create enveloping sound.

Here's how it works: direct sound from the front two midrange drivers and tweeter arrives at your ears first, to provide clear, focused imaging. That's followed by sound from the rear mid, which is slightly delayed, to enhance spaciousness. The combination creates a lush, seamless soundstage that's more like the way we hear sounds in real life. And thanks to Definitive's Balanced Double Surround System (BDSS) drivers, your music and surround effects will sound incredibly clear, allowing you to pinpoint the soloist in a band or the direction of a jaguar's call in the jungle.

Powerful bass built right into the cabinet

At the base of the speaker is an 8" side-firing subwoofer, powered by a built-in 150-watt amplifier. It delivers deep, precise bass that eliminates the need for an external sub. And because a subwoofer is built into the cabinet, bass output is already perfectly blended with the mids and the highs. All you have to do is set the bass volume to match your room and taste, then sit back and enjoy your music and movie soundtracks.

Build a complete Definitive Bipolar home theater system using perfectly matched centers (see the CS-8040HD, CS-8060HD, and CS-8080HD) and bipolar surrounds (see the SR-8040BP and SR-8080BP).

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Did you know?
Your new speakers will probably sound better after several weeks of use than they do right out of the box. That's because the material surrounding the woofers will loosen up, allowing the drivers to move more fully. Definitive Technology estimates a break-in period of 24 to 48 hours of playback before the speakers will deliver optimum sound quality. For more information and helpful tips, check out this article from Definitive's website about conditioning your speakers.


Bought these to compliment my home theater in our great room. I have the matching center channel speaker and two DT 8" in-ceiling speakers. Overall, great buy due to the clear sound and surprising performance for the subs. Plug and play set up was a breeze. I'm glad I bought them.

Ruben D., El Paso, TX

What's in the Box:

  • One tower loudspeaker (with black cloth covering and glossy black top cap installed)
  • 7' AC power cord (IEC 2-prong type)
  • 4 Black stabilizer feet
  • 8 Self-tapping screws (length=1.375")
  • 4 Threaded carpet spikes
  • 4 Threaded rubber floor glides
  • Owner's Manual
  • Feature booklet
  • Registration card

Product Highlights:

  • Forward Focused Bipolar Array™ technology for lifelike imaging and pinpoint localization
  • Balanced Dual Surround System (BDSS) driver technology places rubber surrounds on both the outer and inner edges of each speaker cone for improved clarity
  • frequency response 30-30,000 Hz (±3 dB)
  • sensitivity 92 dB
  • 8-ohm impedance
  • handles up to 250 watts
  • front array: dual 3-1/2" mids and 1" pure aluminum dome tweeter
  • rear array: 3-1/2" mid
  • built-in 8", 150-watt subwoofer
  • one set of 5-way binding posts
  • high-gloss black finish on top and bottom caps with cloth grille-wrapped enclosure
  • 10-11/16"W x 35-7/8"H x 12-3/16"D (with included stabilizer feet)
  • warranty: 5 years woofers, 3 years subwoofer amp
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Reviews

Definitive Technology BP-8020ST Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(18 Reviews)
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Details

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

General
Enclosure Bass Reflex
Finish Cloth-covered MDF
Color Black
Tweeter Dome
Tweeter Size (inches) 1
Midrange Size (inches) 3.5
Woofer Size (inches) 8
Woofer Composition ---
Woofer Surround ---
Built-in Powered Sub Yes
Video-Shielded Yes
Connector Type 5-way post
Bi-amp Inputs No
Parts Warranty 5 Years
Labor Warranty 5 Years
Specifications
Power Range 20-250
Frequency Response 30-30k Hz
Sensitivity 92 dB
Impedance (Ohms) 8
Amplifier Power 150
Height (inches) 35-7/8
Width (inches) 10-11/16
Depth (inches) 12-3/16
Weight 34 lbs

Product Research

Speaker Features
Connections
Dimensions

Speaker Features

Bipolar Design: The Definitive Technology BP-8020ST is a 3rd generation "SuperTower." This bipolar speaker contains drivers on the front and rear of the cabinet. The BP-8020ST uses a new patent-pending design called Forward Focused Bipolar Array. By radiating sound both forward and rearward, the speaker produces sound as it is in real life, with improved pinpoint localization of soloists, greater placement flexibility, and superior intelligibility.

Non-Resonant Tapered Cabinet: The BP-8020ST features a highly-engineered inert and resonance-free heavy MDF (medium-density fiberboard) cabinet to prevent coloring the sound. The front of the enclosure is tapered to make it appear slimmer. Wherever a driver is attached to the cabinet, a second layer of MDF is attached to prevent the drivers from causing vibration to the rest of the enclosure. The sealed midrange enclosures serve as braces for the side walls, while MDF cross braces near the woofer further stiffen the cabinet. The entire enclosure is wrapped in a cloth "grille sock", while the high-gloss polymer composite end-cap and bottom panel add a touch of elegance.

High-Definition Drivers: The BP-8020ST utilizes two 3-1/2" high-definition midrange drivers surrounding a 1" annealed Pure Aluminum dome tweeter in a D'Appolito front array. On the rear, there is a single identical 3-1/2" driver as used in the front array. The front and rear arrays are housed in separately sealed MDF enclosures to isolate the midranges from the influence of the subwoofer.

Built-in Powered Subwoofer: The BP-8020ST is equipped with a long-excursion, side-firing 8" subwoofer, driven by a 150-watt Class D amplifier. The subwoofer is coupled with a critically-tuned slot bass vent. The vent's wide mouth area minimizes air turbulence to give you cleaner, deeper, and more efficient bass. The benefits of a built-in subwoofer include:

  • Eliminates the need for a separate subwoofer that takes up additional floor space.
  • More bass output from two subwoofers, compared to one.
  • Two subwoofers reduce standing wave room resonances and dead zones.
  • The subwoofers are perfectly integrated and blended with the mids and highs, eliminating the crossover and phase controls of a separate subwoofer.

Subwoofer Volume: The level of the subwoofer (relative to the other drivers) can be adjusted using the rotary dial on the back panel of the speaker. Once the bass level is set, the overall volume of the speaker system can be controlled by the receiver/amplifier.

Auto Power: The BP-8020ST has a special circuit that automatically turns on the amplifier when a signal is fed to the speaker. The LED on the back panel will glow when a signal is sensed and the amplifier turns on. After the signal ceases, it may take up to an hour for the amplifier to turn off. When first powering up after being unplugged, the LED will flash for about 30 seconds while the firmware is loading.

Stabilizer Feet: The speaker comes with four stabilizer feet which attach to the bottom of the cabinet, two per side, with the supplied self-tapping screws. Each foot has a threaded insert to allow you to screw in the supplied carpet spikes or smooth floor glides, depending upon the type of floor they're being placed upon. The spikes and glides add approximately 1" to the overall height of the speaker.

Placement: The BP-8020ST Bipolar speakers have a lot of flexibility when it comes to placement and positioning. It is recommended that the speakers be placed at least 4" from a back wall, and at least 6" from a side wall. When used as left and right main speakers, you should set up the speakers and the listening position in an equilateral triangle, with the speaker cabinets turned slightly inward.

Connections

Binding Posts: The BP-8020ST is equipped with a pair of gold-plated, 5-way binding posts on the back of the cabinet to attach your receiver's speaker wire. The terminals will accept bare wire, pin connectors, spade lugs, single and dual banana plugs. Recommended amplifier power: 20 to 250 watts RMS.

LFE Input: For the powered subwoofer, the BP-8020ST has a single RCA LFE (low-frequency effects) input. Since you'll be using two speakers, you will need a Y-adapter to split the LFE output from your receiver to each subwoofer.

Wiring Options/Speaker Setup: You can connect the BP-8020ST in one of two ways, with or without the LFE connection. If you use only speaker wire, you should set the speaker setup on the receiver to "Large" and Sub to "No." If you connect the speaker with speaker wire and the LFE, the speaker setup should be "Large" and "Yes."

Note: It is recommended that you do not use the receiver's auto setup function, as it is often ineffective in setting up and adjusting speakers with built-in subwoofers.

AC Power: The speaker has an AC power input (IEC 2-prong type) on the back panel for plugging in the powered subwoofer. A 7' AC power cord is included.

Dimensions

  • Width:
    • 5.6875" enclosure only
    • 10.6875" with stabilizer feet
  • Height:
    • 35.875" enclosure only
    • 36.875" with carpet spikes or floor glides
  • Depth: 12.1875" including binding posts
  • Weight: 34 pounds

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

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Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

The sound quality based on a description of the features, the positive reviews and the "small footprint". I like the idea of not requiring a sub woofer. [ Benedict Amaebi  Feb 09, 2016 ]
built in sub-woofer was the main reason [ DAVID  Jan 27, 2016 ]

3 questions already asked

I unplugged my sub after buying these 8020 speakers because the built in subs in the 8020 had plenty of bass. You would just wire them as you would any other front speakers using the "front" inputs on your receiver. [ John  Jan 19, 2016 ]
You would need to split the subwoofer cable coming out of the receiver, actually split twice to inputs of the front speakers. Since these have built in subwoofers, you would need to send the signal to all three three subwoofers..You.really don't need three subwoofers, one is enough. I think I'd sell the Prosub 800 and just use the Fronts, They put out plenty of bass and they sound fantastic. Hope this helps. [ WILLIAM  Jan 19, 2016 ]
I did not have a sub before these. I wired these to my Onkyo receiver by running speaker wire to the front left and front right terminals on my receiver. I then used an rf cable from each speaker and connected to the receivers SW1 and SW2 ports. Don [ DONALD H  Jan 19, 2016 ]
Just run your speaker cables to them and set them as large within you Avr setup. Bass will be sent to them as well as everything else. They sound great! [ Andrew  Jan 19, 2016 ]
I to only have 1 output , i am using a JL AUDIO splitter . Plus I have the center channel with the built in sub . And everything works great . [ KEITH F  Dec 22, 2015 ]
Hey Carlton, I'm using an antique Sony FM/AM receiver that doesn't even have LFE connections. It must be at least 12 + yrs. old. However the manual for my Definitive speakers shows 2 diagrams for connecting the speakers: Option 2 - shows connecting the 2 speakers to a receiver / amplifier with 1 LFE connection using a "Y" connector * available from dealer to actually connect the 2 speakers. Hope this helps. [ Charles  Nov 10, 2015 ]
You can just use a set of RCA splitters for these speakers. Sub's just produce bass as bass, and not as left and right sounds ,so ,this won't hurt anything by connecting them together. Great speakers. [ GABRIEL  Nov 08, 2015 ]
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