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Definitive Technology CS-8040HD

Center channel speaker with passive bass radiator

28 Reviews | 5 questions - 21 answers

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Item # 735CS8040

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Our take on the Definitive Technology CS-8040HD

Add some oomph to your movie night with Definitive's CS-8040HD center channel speaker. It uses advanced driver design and solid build quality to reproduce movie dialogue and on-screen action with exceptional detail and presence. Add this compact speaker to a pair of Definitive's Bipolar Series home theater speakers to enjoy a huge, three-dimensional soundstage with both music and movies.

Hear the detailed dialogue and special effects you've been missing

Add some oomph to your movie night with Definitive's CS-8040HD center channel speaker. It uses advanced driver design and solid build quality to reproduce movie dialogue and on-screen action with exceptional detail and presence. Add this compact speaker to a pair of Definitive's Bipolar Series home theater speakers to enjoy a huge, three-dimensional soundstage with both music and movies.

High-tech drivers for exceptionally detailed sound

cutaway view

The CS-8040HD has two 4-1/2" midranges flanking a 1" dome tweeter, for perfectly blended highs and mids. The pure aluminum dome tweeter has a silk surround, allowing it to dish out loads of sonic detail without ever sounding harsh. And thanks to Definitive's Balanced Double Surround System (BDSS) drivers, movie dialogue and special effects will sound clear, never muddy. This center-channel design also features an upward-firing bass radiator in the top of the cabinet, so you'll hear just a little more boom in TV explosions and depth in bombastic movie scores.

Build a complete Definitive home theater system using perfectly matched bipole towers (see the BP-8020ST, BP-8040ST, BP-8060ST, and BP-8080ST) and 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.

Product Highlights:

  • 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 40-30,000 Hz
  • sensitivity 92 dB
  • 8-ohm impedance
  • handles up to 200 watts
  • dual 4-1/2" midranges
  • one 1" pure aluminum dome tweeter
  • upward-firing 5" x 10" bass radiator
  • one set of 5-way binding posts
  • high-gloss black finish on side and bottom caps with cloth grille-wrapped enclosure
  • 20-1/2"W x 5-3/4"H x 12-1/4"D
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Black center channel speaker
  • 2 End caps (installed)
  • Cloth grille sock (installed)
  • Owner's manual
  • Online product registration information

Featured Video:

Replaced a Def Tech Pro Center 600. As you can imagine, the sound quality is no comparison. I have a couple Def Tech Moniter 45's for my front channels and they play very well together.

Rob F, Port Orange, FL


Definitive Technology CS-8040HD Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(28 Reviews)

Great center channel

Rob F from Port Orange, FL on 6/27/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Replaced a Def Tech Pro Center 600. As you can imagine, the sound quality is no comparison. I have a couple Def Tech Moniter 45's for my front channels and they play very well together.

Pros: Good clear voice reproduction. Nice full body sound. Great head room, handles high volumes with ease.


Corner Stone

Ruben D. from El Paso, TX on 6/25/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This center channel speaker performs! It is loud and clear and compliments Definitive Technology's other speaker line up extremely well. The center channel speaker is the first thing I notice with the clear vocals and it looks like a boss.

Pros: Clear vocals and subtle bass

Cons: Size is huge

clean sound, lots of details

Nimish from Pearland, TX on 6/1/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

large unit so keep that in mind if you are looking at this center channel. with that said, a lot of depth in sound. I now hear details that my old speaker did not produce!

Pros: sound depth, build quality

Cons: large, mesh cover around the whole unit

Upgraded to CS-8040 HD from Pro Center 1000

Rob from Boston, MA on 5/10/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Hope this info helps potential buyers of either a Pro Center 1000 or CS-8040HD. I originally had ProMonitor 800's for L/R and ProCenter 1000, great setup and sounded fantastic. I moved to a larger space and finally had a living room to support speakers with a larger footprint. Nothing against the performance of the ProM & ProC I had, just wanted more. Then I purchased the BP8020ST's when they went on sale... the ProCenter1000 still did a good job keeping up with the towers most of the time but I felt it was lacking a some mid range when an action scene was dialed up. Grabbed the 8040 center and it is fantastic. Matches the towers perfectly and the SR8040 rears.... the ONLY thing I have to say is that it is big. I considered the mythos 7 because of its smaller footprint but I am getting used to it as I did not want the center to sound "tiny" compared to my mains, not necessarily saying that it would... Also, I am somewhat OCD about matching the line of speakers (ie.. BP vs Mythos) All DT's blend and sound great together. Side note: powering with Marantz SR5010 - Great match if you're considering a receiver too. Great experience working with Otis, he helped me build this out for the last few months as I was doing it in stages. Can't beat the sale on the BP Series. Thanks

Pros: Clarity, midrange, bass. One thing to note, I went with this over the 8060 because I didn't want to run Y splitter for the 3rd sub cable and the bass radiator plays perfectly. Gives subtle bass when need but doesn't overpower the dialogue.

Cons: None. The only thing I will note is that it is big, bigger than I thought but at the end of the day with a all BP's it looks like a proper home theater setup vs a HTIB.

CS-8040 HD Add some boom to your system

Randall from denver, CO on 3/25/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Well before getting this center speaker I purchased The Infinity PC251 and the sound was off. The sound quality didn't match my Front & Surround Definitive speakers. It sounds like a dream,it's so seamless and beautiful sound from all these Definitive Speakers. With the bass radiator it adds some depth to movies and action.

Pros: Bass Radiator adds great effect & boom if you live in a smaller place & don't want a subwoofer. Very Happy with my Definitive speaker system,very time I hear it I enjoy it even more.

Cons: None


Chris G from rock island, IL on 3/13/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Had to get this speaker when I upgraded my speakers. has a nice sound that blends with my tower speakers. Thanks Crutchfield

Pros: Great sound does not take up much space

Cons: None that I can think of

Definitive Technologies CS-8040HD

Tim from Cleveland, OH on 3/12/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The CS-8040HD is an outstanding sounding center channel speaker with exceptional clarity and great bass response for a non-powered center channel. I did not think it was necessary to have a powered woofer in the center channel and I am not disappointed, isn't that what your BP-8060ST's or separate subwoofer are for.

Pros: Exceptional clarity on vocals for movies and music. Great value for the price


Definitive Technology CS-8040HD

Pete from lawrenceville, GA on 2/10/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I was so impressed with the sound quality of the CS-8040HD, that I ended up going with BP-8040ST and the SR-8040BP as well. The entire setup was well beyond my budget; however, sound this good apparently adds some flexibility to one's budget. By the way, Crutchfield's customer service is outstanding.




DavidR from Virginia on 10/8/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Clean look and great sound. Matches well with the rest of the Def Tech speakers I bought.

Pros: Reasonably priced, bass radiator, well constructed.

Cons: None.

Excellent Center Channel

Bill from Florida on 4/16/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great sound, looks and build quality. I am looking forward to purchasing the entire 8040 or 8060 system in the future.

Pros: Sounds great, looks great, built very well.

Cons: A little tall for some TV's on a stand. Although, it does not hinder my viewing of "letterbox" or widescreen features.

Great sound

Jake from Illinois on 3/10/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great sounding speaker!

Pros: Looks great. Sounds even better.

Cons: This isn't really a con, more of a heads up. This is not a speaker that is meant to mount to the wall. It's large and heavy. I wanted it mounted, so it took a little extra to make it happen. So if there is anybody out there like me, you can do it but be ready to put a little work into it.

Ok center channel

David from Utah on 1/23/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Decent center channel speaker. Looks great. low profile to fit in many entertainment centers. At first the speaker sounded like a large expensive television speaker. Not too great at all. After a brief break in and some equalizer adjustments, the speaker is sounding better but still not quite as good as the 8060 center channel I listened to as well. For the extra money, I may exchange this for the 8060 and give that a try for a while.

Pros: Great looking, low profile

Cons: Hollow sounding human voices.

Def Tech CS8040 HD

mike from Waterloo Nebraska on 11/29/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

this speaker sounds great and also looks fantastic


Cons: it's a little on the large size so you'll need a cabinet to fit it


Jesse from Richmond, VA on 4/1/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

After doing many reviews of different speakers I decided on the 8040hd mainly because of the frequency range. I had a Mirage nanoset surround set and the center was lacking for movies and there was messing midrange for music. Sounded pretty good but something was off. I noticed the placement of the speaker against the wall on top of my entertainment stand caused a tin can effect so I moved it to the front of the stand to reduce the sound bouncing off the stand. I ended up reversing the polarity of the wires to get a clearer more crisp voice and now it's great. Movie theater quality. I was however surprised that the higher hz rating was not as clear as Klipsch centers in the same price point. I decided to keep the center, however ended up replacing the front channels with the Klipsch rf 60's and now I get a great full spectrum sound.

Pros: Very sleek looking, and a great range for some voices, sound effects and beautiful range for music. Very warm sound

Cons: I like a really bright, crisp sound. Some voices were not as bright as I expected from a speaker with such a frequency range. The box is as large as most boxes that house 5" speakers. Can't really notice movement of speaker, or notice sound benefit for passive bass radiator even before reversing polarity.

Definitive Technology CS-8040HD

Trey Hendricks from Greenville, SC on 3/24/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Extremely impressed with this center speaker, Just purchased Denon receiver, which complements the rich sounds nicely. speaker handles the 125 watts from receiver flawlessly! Can't wait to purchase the floor speakers by Definitive Technology as well as the ceiling speakers to complete my 7.1 surround sound.

Pros: Looked at similar speakers and they were much larger than this speaker, The dimensions fit in my cabinet perfectly. Very powerful speaker and priced right for the quality it emits!

Cons: No cons! thoroughly impressed.

Great Upgrade

Gary from Rogers, AR on 2/6/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Purchased this to replace a ProCenter 1000, and been extremely happy with the upgrade. It looks great sitting above my TV, and the sound is strong and clear.

Pros: This speaker has great sound, and compliments the my Definitive BP-8060 towers perfectly.

Cons: none so far.

Excellent Center Channel

CarolW from Keller, TX on 1/28/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I originally bought the Definitive Technology 8060 center channel with the subwoofer built in. That was a wonderful unit! But right after I bought that I saw the Definitive Technology BP-8060ST speakers with the 8040 center channel and could not resist. WOW! This center channel is perfectly paired with the speakers mentioned. I could not be more pleased with this unit. I was trying to upgrade and luckily I spoke to a Crutchfield support tech and decided it wasn't necessary. He was correct. This is a wonderful center channel. It looks so classy and completes the look with the speakers. Great buy!! Best money I spent in a long time!

Pros: Great sound, looks, quality.

Cons: None

Great center speaker

JerricR from River Forest, IL on 12/17/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Fantastic center speaker that is a perfect match for my DefTech 8060 towers and DI 6.5R in-ceiling speakers. Great sound, very clear!

Pros: Unbelievable clarity. Dialog is crisp and so much easier to understand with this speaker.

Cons: None

The tradition continues...

VictorAriel from San German, PR on 5/21/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I`ve been a fan of Def. Tech. for a long time. First, the pro-center 100, later pro-center C-2 (what a difference) and now this...The CS-8040hd. The blend of the CS-8040HD with the SM55s is superb, especially in a movies in which dialogue morphs into song or "bang" without a moment's notice. Knowing that in home theater set-ups, over the 70% of the work is in the hands of the center channel, this center could be without problem your working horse. Outstanding performer...Highly recomended...

Pros: Brute force but with finesse,..Outstanding performer

Cons: none...

Definitive Tech 8040 center channel

Greg G from Houston Tx on 5/16/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Excellent mids and highs, matches the 8060 towers seamlessly

Pros: Excellent soundstage for DVD's and movies

Cons: Bass radiator tends to "pop" at higher volume levels during music playback

Great Center

bsbuskirk from Parkersburg, WV on 4/28/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I researched for a couple months before making this purchase. I have a fairly strong 7.1 setup now, but am making plans for a step up in the theater department for my next house. I plan to add a couple BP10s and hope to use 4 BP6Bs for my surrounds. The center was available as an open box so I went ahead and picked it up. It's even better than I had hoped, especially at the low end. I'm even more sure of my choice for Dev Tech BP's all around. Don't hesitate, get one!

Pros: Good sensitivity, clarity, and low end. Great dispersion.

Cons: None!

early impressions were great, but exchanged for a Def Tech SM65

B Hans from Dallas on 4/22/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I used the Def Tech CS-8040HD with StudioMonitor 65 front speakers with the hope that the CS-8040HD would fill in the range of the 65s with its 4.5" woofers. Instead, I found that the CS-8040HD accentuated particular frequencies to the point of being a distraction from the rest of the sound. I am exchanging the Def Tech CS-8040HD for a third Def Tech StudioMonitor 65 that I will use as my center chanel. I switched back an forth between the CS-8040HD and the SM 65 and, while the 8040HD may have performed slightly better while playing sound effects, the SM65 really outperformed while playing the human voice.

Pros: great for sound effects and musical instruments

Cons: did not reproduce the human voice as well as others, did not balance well with the SM65s

The Best

Mrbill from los angeles on 3/31/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Love this center


Cons: none

your ears will thank you!!

Jim from boston ma on 3/11/2013

First off I love this center channel!!! Crisp highs smooth lows and a great overall tonal balance. Iron man 2 sounded like is was in mr.starks living room!! the eagles hell freezes over dvd was so detailed and enveloping I thought I was watching them live at the garden. if you love music and movies a like...Get this center channel you'll be glad you did. My system consists of def tech 8060 towers and bp1.2x surrounds. powering my deftechs is a pioneer elite sc-61 receiver and bdp-62fd Blu-ray player. I recently put money down on the 8060hd after hearing one in the store. Def tech is the way to go for quality, price and a very sweet sound at any volume.

Pros: build quality,finish and sound ...sound... sound!!!!

Cons: none

great sound - clear voice

Bob from White Plains, NY on 2/8/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Purchased as part of a system that includes 2 - Studio Monitor 65, 2 - Studio Monitor 45 and the SuperCube 6000 - receiver is an Onkyo TX-NR809. S/W Hunter @ Crutchfield who was very helpful. CS-8040HD (as is whole system) is great - clear and crisp sound and dialogue, very impressed and great value! More than adequate bass - see need for powered sub in center channel (CS-8060 & 80)

Pros: crisp and clear sound with adequate bass @ a very reasonable price

Cons: none

crisp clear and precise

big daddy from Toledo Oh on 1/22/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and this speaker looks and sound as great as it looks. Awesome response. listening to eric church I could hear the natural sounds of the pick hitting the strings. very clear dialouge while watching movies. have owned for 3 weeks and only expect the sound to get better and better. if you can purchase this speaker you will not be disappointed. highly recommend

Pros: very accurate sound imaging nice looks solidly built excellent warranty

Cons: have not heard a thing

Definitive Technology CS-8040HD

Anonymous from Littleton. Co on 12/27/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Excellent detail

Pros: Great sound

Cons: None

great sounding centerspeaker

mr roy from baton rouge la on 8/25/2012

you be amazed with the sound quality this speaker put out i am pushing it with the denon 3313 receiver and wow with the eagles live in melbourne dvd sounds like you are in the front row i even cranked it up to 80 on the receiver and no distortion at all just clean sound just buy it will be the best investment you ever made period

Pros: great dialouge

Cons: nothing to complain about just praises


Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Enclosure Passive Radiator
Tweeter Dome
Midrange size (inches) ---
Woofer size (inches) 4-1/2
Connector Type 5-way post
Power Range 20-200
Sensitivity 92 dB
Impedance (Ohms) 8
Frequency Response 40-30k Hz
Height (inches) 5-13/16
Width (inches) 20-1/2
Depth (inches) 12-1/4
Weight 20 lbs
Parts Warranty 5 Years
Labor Warranty 5 Years

Product Research


Woofers: The two woofers used in the CS-8040HD are 4-1/2" second generation BDSS (Balanced Double Surround System) drivers. The cones are injection molded polymer composite with cast aluminum baskets. BDSS is Definitive's patented technology that supports the speaker cone at both the inner and outer edges allowing longer and more linear excursion for greater clarity and detail. The new Linear Response Waveguide (patent pending) smoothes off-axis frequency response and disperses sound over a wide area (the HD in the part number stands for High Dispersion). The drivers are pressure coupled to a 5x10-inch racetrack style passive radiator to improve the bass output. The upward-firing passive radiator requires 1" of clearance above the enclosure.

Tweeter: The tweeter is a pure aluminum dome, heat-treated to relax the crystal structure, then coated with a ceramic to produce extended highs.

Voice-Matched: The CS-8040HD is a full-range low-distortion center channel speaker, timbre-matched to blend perfectly with the Definitive Technology BP-8040ST or BP-8020ST SuperTower main speakers.

Binding Posts: The speaker terminals are gold-plated, 5-way binding posts and will accommodate spade connectors, single or dual banana plugs, pin connectors, and bare wire up to 10 gauge.

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.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

It's compact design was a key factor in my decision. Also, I have an older Definitive Technology center channel and it has performed flawlessly, not to mention the great Crutchfield deal. [ Robert  May 03, 2016 ]
I have an older definitive sound system, and wanted to replace the center channel. [ Justin  Mar 12, 2016 ]
center channel to complete system [ DAVID  Jan 14, 2016 ]
It goes with my existing 8040 floorstanding speakers. [ Brian  Jan 06, 2016 ]
surround center channel with good reviews that matched the 8040 surround speakers well [ calvin  Jan 01, 2016 ]
Excellent reviews and product name is very well known. I've heard it and liked it. [ Christopher  Dec 08, 2015 ]

5 questions already asked

Thanks for your question. For information on selecting the best match for your speakers I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They will be able to help determine the differences between the models and help you make the best choice for your system. [ Kenny  Jul 30, 2016 ]  Staff
I don't know but this may help. If your TV is newer than like 20 years old then it doesn't really matter. I'm guessing if you're looking at this speaker then you don't have an old CRT monitor. [ JACOB M  Mar 26, 2016 ]
Yes, this is a high end speaker, will not cause any interference. [ DAVE H  Mar 25, 2016 ]
Hi John G., I had trouble finding any specific documentation from Definitive Technology directly stating the speakers in this series are "magnetically shielded." That being said, I do not think you have anything to worry about, I assume you are asking because you have a CRT that will be in close proximity to the speaker. Definitive Technology has added high quality (and in some cases proprietary) materials and technology to minimize any kind of distortion within the speaker box so I can't imagine magnetic fields outside of the cabinet would be an issue. Here is a quote directly from the manufacturer's website regarding the drivers in this series, "While most brands use stamped steel baskets for the speaker's frame, Definitive has always used cast aluminum baskets. Cast aluminum baskets are more rigid and less prone to "ringing" (vibration of the basket material) that adds distortion and colors the sound. Steel baskets interfere with the magnetic field that controls the movement of the cone, while non-magnetic aluminum does not. All of the magnetic Gauss (strength) is focused in the voice coil gap instead of being wasted in magnetizing a steel basket. The benefit to you is a driver that plays louder, with lifelike dynamic impact and vanishingly low distortion." These are not particularly cheap speakers and my experience has been that I've gotten what I paid for. I have never had a sound system sound as crisp and clear with such incredible bass response as this system. I matched the specific center channel speaker in question with a pair of BP-8040ST tower speakers for front/sub-woofer and added two SR-8040BP speakers for the back-channel surround speakers and it sounds incredible. These are high-end speakers and I highly recommend them. [ Ronald  Mar 25, 2016 ]
Open on the top is better to get most benefit from the superb sound of this speaker. [ NORBERT  Jan 02, 2016 ]
This speaker can be placed inside of a TV console. Depending on your components and setup features, you should be able to select a cross-over frequency for you center channel that will push your bass frequencies subs or bass speakers. The best practice is to use your ears and try with both open and closed options. [ Steven  Jan 01, 2016 ]
I would give it 18" or so above. I do really like this speaker. I paired it with a couple of Infinity 60 tower speakers. You won't go wrong. Crutch field has been wonderful. Tech. Support is excellent. Hope that helps! [ Tedd  Dec 24, 2015 ]
In my opinion, it should be set on top. Great speaker. [ DEREK  Dec 24, 2015 ]
Mine is inside my console, but there are about 5" of clearance above it. It sounds great in there. [ DANIEL  Dec 24, 2015 ]
It will go inside a console just fine. No ports on the top,as long as it is open front and back all will be well. [ CHAD T  Dec 24, 2015 ]
this speaker will need room above it. mine is on a shelf with 4 inches of space above it, sounds fantastic. [ Steve  Dec 24, 2015 ]
on top of the console for better sound [ VICTOR  Dec 24, 2015 ]
It needs some space above it, so you would be best to leave it open on top if your console doesn't have at least a couple inches above the top of the speaker. [ JACOB M  Dec 24, 2015 ]
You can try...see how it sounds... Supperb sound...awesome speakers... If not leave dpeakers ever [ YURI  Dec 24, 2015 ]
Sure it would work. The main thing I found of importance is the height it sits. It sounds it's best at head level or so [ JESSE  Dec 24, 2015 ]
The speaker in the top of the cabinet needs some clearance. I have it on top of a cabinet open all around and it sounds great. [ BRANDON M  Dec 24, 2015 ]
Well, you can put it where you want, however the speakers (inside) are in the front and on top, you will loose the effect of the speaker. [ EDUARDO  Dec 24, 2015 ]
I have mine in a console, just check the dimensions it's rather large. It sounds great! I love mine! [ Micah  Dec 24, 2015 ]
Definite tech tower speakers... Any of them I got the 60's and would do it again in a heartbeat. No regrets, they are brilliant. [ Tedd  Dec 24, 2015 ]
It depends on the size of the room. If you look at the picture entitled "Family Portrait", that's the setup I have.I got the bigger FL and FR speakers so I could use them for music in addition to home theater but they are a little big just for home theater. [ Joshua Guttman  Jul 17, 2015 ]
I forwarded your question to an Advisor and they responded with the following: Since the CS-8040 uses the same tweeter (aluminum dome) as the SM65's, it'll be a perfect match for you. If you would like to discuss further you can contact an Advisor directly by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. [ Krissy  Mar 25, 2014 ]  Staff