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Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 65

Bookshelf speaker

34 Reviews | 2 questions - 7 answers


Our take on the Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 65

The StudioMonitor 65 is chock full of technology that's also found in Definitive's top-of-the-line speaker models. Its twin 5-1/4" mid/bass drivers use the latest Balanced Dual Surround System (BDSS) driver design, which places a surround on both the outer and inner edge of the speaker cone. This helps the cone remain more stable as it moves, resulting in clearer, more accurate sound — even at high volume levels. The '65's mid/bass drivers also get Definitive's second-generation Linear Response Waveguide™. This mushroom-shaped post in the center of the cone smooths off-axis frequency response for broad, even sound dispersion and a more realistic sonic "image." That means every listener in the room gets to hear balanced, open sound with lifelike vocals and instruments.

Big-speaker sound in a compact package

Definitive Technology's StudioMonitor 65 gives you the kind of high-end performance you'd expect from a much larger floor-standing speaker, but in a smaller, more versatile bookshelf design. You'll hear a wide, deep soundstage with realistic imaging backed up by surprisingly deep bass — even without a sub. Each rock-solid cabinet features two of Definitive's advanced 5-1/4" mid/bass drivers pressure-coupled to a top-mounted bass radiator for high-impact sound. Together, they provide more total bass radiating area than a 12" woofer, but with greater control, definition and speed than a single large cone. A 1" pure aluminum dome tweeter serves up crisp, extended highs that blend in beautifully with the mids and lows.


High-tech driver design for impressive performance


Definitive's second-generation patented BDSS driver with Linear Response Waveguide™ technology gives this speaker exceptional sound quality.

The StudioMonitor 65 is chock full of technology that's also found in Definitive's top-of-the-line speaker models. Its twin 5-1/4" mid/bass drivers use the latest Balanced Dual Surround System (BDSS) driver design, which places a surround on both the outer and inner edge of the speaker cone. This helps the cone remain more stable as it moves, resulting in clearer, more accurate sound — even at high volume levels. The '65's mid/bass drivers also get Definitive's second-generation Linear Response Waveguide™. This mushroom-shaped post in the center of the cone smooths off-axis frequency response for broad, even sound dispersion and a more realistic sonic "image." That means every listener in the room gets to hear balanced, open sound with lifelike vocals and instruments.

sm55 pure aluminum dome

A second-generation pure aluminum dome tweeter yields smooth, extended treble.

Crisp, sparkling highs

Definitive also equipped the StudioMonitor 65 with their latest 1" pure aluminum dome tweeter. This advanced driver is first heat-treated to relax the crystal structure of the metal, then coated with a ceramic that helps produce clear, sparkling highs without a trace of edginess. You'll easily hear the subtle high-frequency details in your music, like the sound of wire brushes gently sweeping the snare head, or the bell-like ring of a brass cymbal.

It's all in the details

Definitive paid close attention to other important design elements, too — both visible and hidden. At its heart, the StudioMonitor 65 uses a sophisticated crossover network with audiophile-grade components that include over-sized inductor coils and Mylar film capacitors. These give you a smoother, flatter frequency response, more powerful dynamics, and faster transients, for sound with real presence and immediacy. Sturdy, vault-like cabinet construction also plays a big role in this speaker's performance. The '65's well-damped, cross-braced enclosure features a specially contoured front baffle with tapered sides to minimize diffraction and vibrations that can color your sound and reduce accuracy.

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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.

I have yet to hear a Definitive Technology speaker that didn't sound good. Every model seems to perform way above its price.

Anonymous, Marine City, MI

What's in the Box:

  • Black bookshelf loudspeaker
  • Detachable black cloth grille
  • 2 Jumpers (attached to speaker terminals)
  • 4 Self-adhesive rubber feet
  • Owner's Manual
  • Online Product Registration card

Product Highlights:

  • two second-generation Balanced Dual Surround System (BDSS) 5-1/4" mid/bass drivers for clear, accurate sound at high volumes
  • Linear Response Waveguide technology smooths off-axis frequency response provides broad, even sound dispersion and more realistic imaging
  • rigid die-cast aluminum driver baskets resist vibration and twisting for lower distortion
  • top-mounted bass radiator for outstanding low-frequency response
  • second-generation 1" pure aluminum dome tweeter delivers clear, extended highs
  • crossover network features oversize inductors and premium Mylar capacitors for audiophile-grade sound quality
  • non-resonant braced enclosure ensures clean, uncolored sound
  • wood grain matte black enclosure with high-gloss, anti-diffraction baffle and detachable cloth grille
  • frequency response: 30-30,000 Hz
  • sensitivity: 92 dB
  • impedance: 8 ohms
  • recommended amplifier power: 20-300 watts
  • dual 5-way binding post speaker terminals for bi-wiring and bi-amping options
  • 16-3/8"H x 7-7/8"W x 15-3/16"D
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 65 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(34 Reviews)

Incredible for a "bookshelf speaker"

Drew from Frederick, MD on 4/15/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I upgraded to these from Pro Monitor 1000's. Night and Day difference, I have had them for a few months now with ample break in period and they are just incredible, playing cd's from either my Yamaha CD-C600 in pure direct more, or from my Oppo 105D, including HIgh Res files, SACD, DVD Audio, again pure direct mode analog to my Yamaha RX-A760, just pure enjoyment especially in music. Now I have these in a 5.2.2 setup with Atmos Speakers, the Pro Monitor's now my rear's (may upgrade those to the 55's) 2 Pro Sub 1000 subs (again not even used at all with music just these 2, no need, NONE) and a Pro 2000 center, so when watching TV or movies again they are just great, register as full range speakers, tweaked that and after a few months they have opened up tons, VERY HAPPY!

Pros: Sound, Bass, Sensitivity, and can be bi-amped ( even though I am not at this time)

Cons: Takes a good while to fully break in, but who cares!

Engineering + Magic = StudioMonitor 65

Kevin from Denver, CO on 4/13/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Combine the engineering excellence and artistic appreciation of sound from Definitive Technology with a bit of magic and you end up with the StudioMonitor 65. I have these in a bi-amped setup with a Yamaha RX-A760. Stereo music listening has never sounded so full and deep and bright before. I cannot describe the amount of dynamic sound nor the depth of the sound stage that emanates from these speakers. They are simply amazing. Listen to the SM 55s in a retail store near you and then order the 65s online. They will not disappoint. For 5.1 listening I have them paired with a Mythos Ten Center and two ProMonitor 1000s for the surrounds. I kept my existing Infinity sub but the SM65s are so deep and broad that you almost don't need a sub. For stereo listening alone, you really don't need a sub. These are a bargain at full retail, catch them on sale (about $90 off per speaker) and they are a steal!

Pros: Size, looks, clarity, highs, lows, depth of sound stage. Close your eyes and you will swear there is a sub in the room

Cons: Not a single con, simply amazing speakers

Definitive StudioMonitor 65

Anonymous from Mechanicsburg, PA on 3/28/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Clean sound, especially for chamber music, brass,and voice, and accurate duplication of sound stage. If you listen to Allen Hovhaness' Symphony No. 4 (Mercury Living Presence D 125137), you will be amazed! Good but not remarkable bass reproduction. Should be able to attach to Definitive Technology stands without drilling holes in the bottom. Requires some effort for best placement.



Definitive Technology Studio Monitor 65

Howard from Kingman, KS on 2/22/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Needing to to replace a pair of aging speakers, I contacted the Crutchfield experts to help me choose a pair of speakers. i wanted to use them not only to listen to music but to also function as my front speakers for my home theater system. I chose these Def Tech Studio Monitor 65's and was really impressed with the clarity and accurate sound of these "bookshelf" speakers. I simply do not label them as bookshelf speakers. I thank the Crutchfield staff for making this an excellent choice for purchasing new speakers.

Pros: Excellent speakers for music and home theater. Full range of sound.

Cons: None

Great for HT or music

William from Richmond, VA on 2/12/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I am running 2 SM65's for my front speakers in my 5.0 HT system and also use them for my music collection in stereo. I do not use a sub-woofer because my center is the DefTech C8060 and it puts out more than enough bass. Sometimes, I use the center with the SM65's when I crank up the music in a 3-speaker mode.Usually, I listen in stereo. When I'm listening to movies or TV, I am using the DefTech ProMonitor 800's as surround, rear/side speakers. The receiver is a Yamaha Aventage 1040 which stays powered 24/7. I've always kept my amps powered on when not in use (volume set to zero) and have never had a problem with any amp or receiver for 25 years. (Don't let things get too cold, then hot, then cold). I highly recommend these for front speakers in a HT system and for a 2-speaker stereo music system.

Pros: Great mid-range, nice highs, and very adequate bass. Good for both music and movie sound FX.

Cons: None really, but leave room for their long depth of cabinet and wall distance.

Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 65

Anonymous from Marine City, MI on 1/13/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have yet to hear a Definitive Technology speaker that didn't sound good. Every model seems to perform way above its price.

Pros: Very detailed, transparent sound. Work beautifully with tube amps.

Cons: A tad odd-looking.

Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 65

JAMES C from Aberdeen, NJ on 12/26/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These Def Tech SM 65's are fantastic speakers, period. Forget the floor standing VS Bookshelf arguments, because these are as powerful as anything you will find in a floor standing speakers. To call these "bookshelf speakers" is a disservice, they are much, much more than that. The first thing and most startling thing you will notice is just how incredible accurate these speakers are. They are just fantastic speakers. Mine are main speakers in a 5.1 system with SM 55's for surrounds and you would not believe the sound from this system. I highly recommend them, and Def Tech all around.

Pros: Accurate, powerful and overall just beautiful speakers.

Cons: You will not find a con, as I have not.

Should be the last speaker I purchase full range sound.

Doug from Rochester, NY on 11/30/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I just received, unpacked and hooked up my SM 65s. Fast three day shipping arrived in perfect condition. I am replacing a set of SM55s. I am running a Yamaha Aventage 1020, 110 wpc. The 65s are biamped to the Yamaha. The Yamaha allows me to uses the 6th and 7th channels amps to biamp to the front speakers. Yes all 7.1 channels in the Aventage series have separate equal amps. The 65s are on stands about 30 inches tall laying on their sides with the bass radiators facing towards the outside walls. Upon turning on the amp it was tuned to Pandora, and I knew immediately this was a serious upgrade. I then ran the YPAO mic program, the amp set the 65s to large. This bypassed my SVS PB1000 sub. The presence and midrange was tremendous, they did seem a bit bright. I played with the amps internal EQ and set my preferences, and set the 65s to small to include the SVS. The crossover was set to 100hz and things are sounding better. It just seemed silly not to use the 65s as large. So out came the amps manual and yes I now have the 65s set as large and my SVS sub included. Their is a setting to get full range to the 65s and the sub. Guess all this money is paying off. Well about 5 hrs later and 1 more YPAO run through I am listening to Creeds " With Arms wide Open" at a very moderate to low level and I must say if your looking to buy these the upgrade from the 55s is so worth it. Just think I was gonna spend $1200 on a pair of Klipsch RP towers. Thanks Def Tech.

Pros: Very Clear at low levels, Great midrange, All Def Techs have the highs, Bi amp option, Just under 10 hrs with them and I am so happy. Have owned 901s, 301s, 201s, DT 350s, 450s, SM55s, Pro M 1000s, only the 901s are comparable., You cant run 901s with a modern 7.1 amp due to its separate processer. So if your thinking about it you won't be disappointed.

Cons: You may still want a Sub, depending on your preferences.

Definitely a Great Speaker

Andres from Erlanger, KY on 10/14/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I wanted to wait a couple of months before writing a review. I have had these speakers for about 2 months now. What I have learned about these speakers are, there is a longer than normal break-in period. Initially, the speakers sound too bright and requires a few weeks before they start sounding like themselves. Secondly, placement is the key to getting the most out of these studio monitors. I have these speakers on the Definitive Audio stands and placed about five feet apart. When you get the placement right they sound amazing! I would describe the sound as very detailed, powerful and a headphone like sound stage. I am using a Yamaha AS-501 bi-amped to power the speakers , Uturn Audio turntable and a Chromecast Audio.

Pros: Very detailed, powerful bass, build quality and a headphone like sound stage.

Cons: Looks and they are awkwardly shaped.

SM 65s Need Lots of Break-In Time

Manuel from Milford, CT on 9/24/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

After owning a pair of Def Tech B10s for nearly 25 years, I though it was time to update my speakers and ordered the SM 65s based on my past experience with Dev Tech sound and reviews. I almost decided to return them. The sound was initially not as transparent or as clear as my old speakers, a potent peaking sometimes occurred with some instruments and, on occasion, certain tones just sounded rather strange. I carefully checked my associated gear and made some A-B comparisons with my old speakers and everything seemed to be working fine. An insert with the speakers stated that they might need as many as 72 hours of break-in. Well, that certainly seemed to be necessary in my case since, after lots of playtime, the speakers have finally begun to sound fine (perhaps some of that is that I'm getting used to them). In any event, I'm now pretty happy with the 65s.

Pros: Great sounding speaker.

Cons: Break-in time.

definitive technology studiomonitor 65

froggie69 from Erie, PA on 9/21/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

the speaker are great with rich sound that fills up the room,good size speaker with great deafith

Pros: nice sound that fills up the room you are listening in

Cons: no really anything

Upgrading Dedicated Home Theater

Bart from Park City, UT on 8/23/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought one pair of Studio Monitor 65's as a trial to determine a direction for the wholesale revamping of an existing home theater. The existing room uses all Klipsch Reference Series 3 Fronts, center and rears with a Klipsch KSW 12 sub. After several years with this setup I began to realize a distinct shortcoming in the Klipsch speakers in adequately reproducing voice and music, especially in the higher tonal range. I have therefore spent a great deal of time testing and benchmarking various speaker types and brands and have now settled upon the Def Tech 65 Studio Monitors for front, 2000 Series centers and 8" inwalls for the rears. I will continue to use the KSW 12 sub. The change in the audio performance of the room has been nothing short of breathtaking and I can now literally hear entire parts of musical tracks that were completely subdued before. These are superlative performing speakers at any cost and are WELL worth the money spent.

Pros: Very crisp highs Great tonal range Faithful music reproduction Amazing bass response for the size

Cons: None worthy of note

Studio Monitor 65

Jim from Brentwood, TN on 8/23/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Replaced my JBL Studio front channel speakers with the DEF TECH Studio Monitor 65's. I was blown away by the clarity and power handling ability of these speakers. Set up with Denon Audyssey auto set-up microphone on my AVR-3311ci. The program sensed the speakers as "large". The bass that these produce rivals my Def Tech sub woofer. Impressed with the clarity and range of these speakers. Another great quality product from Def Tech. My home theatre system is now completely Def Tech, Front, Center, Surround Side and Rear.

Pros: Excellent sound reproduction and bass capability.

Cons: None

Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 65

michael z from Pasadena, MD on 8/21/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

great full range speaker, with plenty of punch and low end. huge sound stage. highly recommend for home theater use.

Pros: huge sound stage, full range, plenty of low end punch.

Cons: none.

Best kept secret

Sheldon from Philadelphia, PA. on 8/12/2016

These speakers are the best , I have owned thus far. Out of AR, Klipsch,Polk, Energy, and JBL, the Def tech beats them all. It is vary accurate, sound stage,clarity, midrange presence and very good bass. You can use a good 100 watt amp/receiver and you've got a high end class sound for less. This is a best kept secret among small speakers. Get'em while they last.

Pros: Not really for bookshelves.

Cons: None

Def tech sm65

Anonymous from Stillwater, MN on 7/20/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great speakers, well balanced sound, deep bass.

Pros: Deep bass, detailed sound

Cons: None so far

Studio Monitor 65

Helen from Canyon Country, CA on 7/19/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I added too of the Studio Monitor 65 speakers to my set up of def teck sys,now I now have a 7.1 sys that sounds so good,very happy with the 65 speakers



Plus sized Book Shelf speaker...Excellent Sound and Quality

Mike from Kodak, TN on 5/31/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The dual mid sized mid range woofers give my listening area everything I could possibly ask for. They sound great at any volume. I chose these speakers after falling in love with my BP8080CS that uses the same mid range woofer. I'm currently running a 5.0 system while running LFE wires from my 2 BP8060ST which have powered sub woofers. So my setup can actually be considered a 5.2 setup. These speakers truly rock and sound great watching NASCAR and INDY races. If you are on a budget, get these SM65 book shelf speakers and a sub woofer and do without the tower speakers, only if you on a budget. I just can't say enough about great the SM65 speakers from Crutchfield are. This is the Monitor book shelf speaker to get. I have seen articles about them with reviews from Audiophiles all across the Web.

Pros: Bass, treble, overall sound, and performance

Cons: Limited availability of quality speaker stand options for the SM65.

Definitively Technology Studio Monitor 65

Raymond from fresno, CA on 3/29/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These speakers are absolutely incredible in every way. The built quality and the sound quality of these puppies are to die for. Beautiful to look at and a pleasure to spend time with. Crisp clear highs, amazing mids, and mind blowing lows. I have my 2 SM65's as my 2 fronts and paired with a CS8080HD. Pro monitor 800's as 2 surrounds and Denon AVR-X4200W AV Receiver. Klipsch R112SW for my subwoofer. Sound is just unbelievable. I love everything about them.

Pros: Crisp clear sounds, amazing built quality, beautiful to look at and a fair price.

Cons: No cons for def techs, EVERRR


Eugene from brooklyn, NY on 2/19/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

For the price range speakers is a awesome. Clean crisp sound deep base. Even if you like techno or hi hop you dont realy need a sub. On my onkyo rz900 when i put in audiophile mode and only two front speakers wofking the floor is rumbling from a base. But in the same time this speakers have clean crisp sound you can hear all details like sounds of fingers going from string to string


Cons: non so far

Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 65

Andy C from California on 12/19/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The best bookshelf speakers I have ever owned. I am using them through an expensive early 1960's tube system, and the clarify and range are amazing. My "old" speakers are now my rear surrounds.

Pros: Price, Range, Clarity, Ease of Installation

Cons: NONE

The SM65 Is Amazing.

Fsuholley from St.Petersburg, Florida on 9/16/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The Sm65 is a very high quality speaker that is solid and well built. Friends and family are impressed by the sheer Volume the guys an handle. The bass is very full and will satisfy many without the addition of a sub. I am playing these through my new Marantz SR5010 and the sound stage is incredible. These speakers are best when you take the time to position them just right. Also Bi-wiring them seemed to produce a slightly warmer sound as well.

Pros: Soundstage and depth. Quality build (even though they are built in China).

Cons: None so far. They are a bit deep but that is not an issue for me.


Anonymous from Iowa on 8/30/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

No need for a sub. I have them bi- wired to a onkyo mr-808. Using Apple TV to play iTunes. They sound amazing.

Pros: Everything

Cons: None

Mythos 7 Center Speaker

Jazz Afficianado from Naperville, Illinois on 7/8/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Needed a "shorter" center channel speaker to fit between the top of the fireplace mantle and the bottom of my wall mounted Sony TV, and the Mythos 7 fit that bill. I actually took advantage of Crutchfield's 60-day return policy to return a MartinLogan Motion 8 because of it's height - even though I loved its breadth of sound it was too tall. The Def Tech Mythos 7 sounds terrific, but clearly its bass response is less than the Motion 8 due to the smaller sized mid-range/woofers used although I feel the Def Tech's passive radiator design does bring it very close to the MartinLogan.

Pros: "short" height

Cons: Gives up a bit of bass - but I feel this is made up by the side bookshelf speakers.

Don't be afraid!!

Timmy from Memphis on 4/2/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have been putting off upgrading my front speakers for 20 years. I have a pair of 89 model Advent Legacy II's that have been living in a 5.1 world. I bought those Advents(before home theater) because of the bass and that's why I couldn't let them go!! The Def Tech's are killing it. I'm hearing things that I have never heard before. If you are an old school person that likes BIG speakers don't be afraid to go to the Def Tech World!!! I'm pushing them with a 2011 Sony ES 5600, it takes all she's got in 5.1 but they sound awesome. Two channel for music is incredible. I'm thrilled with the purchase!!!

Pros: Size and clarity

Cons: If you like to listen to concert DVD's as loud as the concert was you can bottom out the drivers. But I mean LOUD!! Don't let this con scare you!!

Great Choice

mdog from Kansas City on 11/9/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Clean sound. Great highs and mid range. I have them connected to my TV with a NAD 356 amp and the clarity of sound is awesome. My ears are 70 years old so I needed some help and got that from these speakers.

Pros: Clean, Crisp, Good Highs and Mid Range

Cons: Not as much base as I wanted but really didn't expect it from 5 1/4" woofers. I will probably add a Sub-Woofer and that will completely make this system awesome!

Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 65

Anonymous from Alexandria LA on 9/1/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Clear sound. Sound enclosed and needed more break in time.

Pros: Clean sound and solid construction. When compared to McIntosh, it sounded harsh and sound is not open. Perhaps the wires and the speakers needed more break in before one can really judge the sound quality.

Cons: Sound too enclosed

Great sound-need lots of power

leest from Oxnard Ca on 5/14/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Speakers are compact, easy to place. Excellent bass. Stereo imaging is good. I tried running them with my Sony DA5700ES (allegedly 130 watts/channel) going thru the crossover on my Pro Sub 800. Not nearly enough power. Sound fine through my old Hafler 500. The Pro Center 2000 matches them we;;

Pros: Good sound, good price. Lots of bass

Cons: Need more power than most AV receivers can deliver

good luck finding a better speaker for the money

B Hans from Dallas on 4/22/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I used the StudioMonitor 65s as my front speakers in the media room of a new house that had cabinets built for bookshelf speakers. I chose the Def Techs after listening to dozens of speakers. I was drawn to them for thier balanced sound and ability to play loudly without distortion. They lack the harshness of some brands. Some may describe the harsh sounds as crisp, but I found that many "crisp" speakers distorted the human voice, especially male voices, to the point of hurting my ears. I would put the sound of the StudioMonitor speakers on par with the mid-level Martin Logan speakers, but the Martin Logan speakers cost about 50% more. The speakers have a significant amount of bass, but you will still need a subwoofer for room-shaking bass levels.

Pros: play loudly, balanced sound

Cons: depth of speaker cabinet may limit placement


Brian S from Metro Boston, MA on 3/25/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I was looking for a set of smallish speakers for my smallish home office. After reading some good reviews about the Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 65, I wanted to go to my local Definitive Technology dealer to audition a pair. I was very surprised to learn that I couldn't find one in the Boston area that not one carried them. I did find a local dealer carry the 55 and 45 siblings, but they for some reason could not even special order the 65's. I was able to audition a pair of 55's paired up with a SuperCube 4000 and was impressed. Crutchfield had the 65's in stock that included 2-day free shipping. Two days later, they were delivered as promised. I have had them now for almost three weeks, and I absolutely LOVE these speakers. I have them paired with a SuperCube 6,000, and the sound experience is fantastic for both 2 channel stereo and 5.1 surround for movies. The dynamic range is impressive with crisp and detailed highs and tight bass response. The build quality is top notch with huge bi-amp ready binding posts. You really can't beat the performance of the StudioMonitor 65s for the price. I have several other Definitive Technology speaker systems, and have been very happy with price, performance and build quality of all of them.

Pros: Reference quality sound with crisp and detailed highs and tight bass response.

Cons: None that I have found.


Chatte from Birmingham AL on 3/17/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Tremendouss performance. I was considering a floor standing speaker such as the Definitive Technology Mythos series and then decided to go with these paired with a couple of ProSub1000 subwoofers. The performance is phenomenal powered by Peaxhtree 220 and Peachtree Nova Pre. My CDplayer is a NAD C565BEE. I have an old Panasonic SL N-15 turntable and a JVC TDW 534 cassette player. My music from 8 decades and 2 continents sounds magnificent. The sound of these speakers leaves little to be desired.



Great sound - great value

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

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Purchased 2 - Studio Monitor 65, 2 - Studio Monitor 45 a CS8040HD and the SuperCube 6000 - receiver is an Onkyo TX-NR809. S/W with DefTech and they said 45's are good choice if rear/surround are just used mostly for movies. 65's are fabulous (as is whole system) - great bass and could be used without a sub-woofer. Excellent crisp sound. Normally use the 65's (with sub) in stereo mode for music, very impressed and great value!

Pros: strong bass, great sound and value

Cons: None

Solid Small Speaker

Ajarjay from Riverdale, UT on 6/4/2012

I have these wall mounted with two supercube I's to fill in the bass. These are the biggest speakers I was able to get mounted to the wall. All the punch and volume of towers without the footprint and child tipover liability. Excellent sounding speakers but fairly expensive. I think this is a better route than buying towers with built in subs.

Pros: Lots of volume and power handling, excellent sound, full midrange, loud crisp highs, high quality crossovers. All the full tower sound, able to mounted on the wall, (just barely).

Cons: More expensive than many other bookshelf speakers that will likely cover most people volume needs just fine. Requires serious amp power to reach full potential, (250 watts RMS per email from Definitive Technology).

These things ROCK!

Steve S. from Allentoen, NJ on 4/25/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I can't believe the sound that comes out of these speakers! Despite their small stature, they sound 100% percent better than the floor standing Paradigm Monitor 5 that they replaced!!! Detail and clarity like I have never heard before from such a small footprint. An engineering triumph!!




Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Enclosure Passive Radiator
Video Shielded No
Tweeter Type Dome
Tweeter Size (inches) 1
Midrange Size (inches) N/A
Woofer Size (inches) 5.25
Woofer Composition Polymer
Woofer Surround Rubber
Power Range 20-300
Sensitivity 92 dB
Impedance (Ohms) 8
Frequency Response 30-30k Hz
Connector Type 5-way post
Bi-amp Inputs Yes
Height (inches) 16-3/8
Width (inches) 7-7/8
Depth (inches) 15-3/16
Weight (pounds) 22
Mounting Bracket Included No
Recommended Stand Height (inches) 28.5
Parts Warranty 5 Years
Labor Warranty 5 Years

Product Research

Driver Technology
Enclosure Design
Mounting Options

Driver Technology

StudioMonitor Series: The Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 65 is a compact bookshelf loudspeaker designed for use in audio/video entertainment systems. Because the StudioMonitor 65 is a true full-range speaker with extended low-frequency response, it delivers superb performance both as stand-alone speaker and when combined with a separate subwoofer. Due to its compact size, wide-range, high-power handling, and natural articulate clarity; the StudioMonitor 65 loudspeaker is ideal for use as front, center, or surround speaker in a home theater environment.

2-Way Loudspeaker: Each Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 65 loudspeaker features a D'Appolito array consisting of two 5.25" second generation BDSS cast-aluminum basket midrange drivers surrounding a 1" pure aluminum dome tweeter.

  • 2nd Generation BDSS Midrange: The 6.5" cast-aluminum basket midrange driver features Definitive's patented Balanced Double Surround System (BDSS) technology that supports the speaker cone at both the inner and outer edges allowing longer, more linear excursion for greater clarity and finely textured inner detail.
  • Pure Aluminum Dome Tweeter: The 1" tweeter is a pure aluminum dome, which has been heat-treated to relax the crystal structure and then coated with a ceramic to produce smooth, extended highs. A new patent pending Linear Response Waveguide smoothes off-axis frequency response and disperses sound over a wider area for crystal clear intelligibility for every listener in the room.

Pressure Coupled Radiator Design: The dual 5.25" BDSS midrange drivers are pressure coupled to a top-mounted 6"x12" racetrack bass radiator to extend and amplify bass frequencies. The total bass radiating from a StudioMonitor 65 is substantially greater than that of a single 12-inch woofer but with far greater control, definition and speed than a single sluggish large woofer. The StudioMonitor 65 speaker's bass performance offers depth, detail, and musicality.

Note: Due to the top-mounted racetrack bass radiator, there should be at least 2" of space above the bookshelf loudspeaker.

Phase-Coherent Crossover Networks: The crossover network is the real heart of a loudspeaker as it is responsible for perfectly blending together the sound of the various drivers into a musically seamless whole. The sophisticated crossover network design used in the StudioMonitor 65 loudspeaker features premium audiophile-grade components; such as oversized inductors and Mylar capacitors for audiophile-grade sound quality, with linear phase and frequency response. An integrated Zobel network flattens the impedance of the system so that even budget amplifiers will be able to drive the StudioMonitor 65 loudspeaker (although a premium amplifier will bring out all the performance it has to offer). As a result, the audio signal's phase coherence, transient response, and dynamic integrity is preserved for absolutely lifelike music and home theater reproduction in your home.

Enclosure Design

Non-Resonant/Low-Diffraction Cabinet: The Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 65 bookshelf loudspeaker employs a non-resonant MDF braced enclosure that ensures pure, uncolored performance. The specially contoured high-gloss baffle around the drivers and the tapered enclosure sides enhance sound quality by minimizing diffraction distortion.


Bi-amp/Bi-wire Binding Posts: Each StudioMonitor 65 bookshelf loudspeaker has two sets of heavy-duty, all metal binding post speaker terminals (connected by metal jumpers) to attach your receiver's speaker wire. Using the dual binding posts, you can bi-amp or bi-wire the speakers for even better sound. The binding post speaker terminals will accept bare wire (up to 10AWG), pin-connectors, spade-connectors, and banana-plugs (single only).

Color-Coded: The speaker's binding posts are color-coded (red/black) for easy identification between positive and negative.

Mounting Options

Table-Top Mounting: The StudioMonitor 65 loudspeaker can be simply placed on a bookshelf, table-top, or speaker stand (such as the Definitive Technology StudioStand, sold separately ). Four self-adhesive rubber feet are included to protect your furniture's surface.

Wall Mounting: The optional PinPoint heavy duty side-grip wall-mounting bracket (121AM41B, sold separately) can be used to wall mount the speaker.

Note: The speaker does not include any type of wall-mount bracket, threaded inserts, or keyhole slots.

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?

Various positive reviews [ Theodore  Mar 20, 2017 ]
I like their products [ STEPHEN C  Feb 17, 2017 ]
great speaker ,will work well with my stereo [ jeffrey  Aug 24, 2016 ]
Replacing 25 year old DT tower speakers. Liked DT sound. Saw nothing but excellent reviews for the SM 65's so decided to purchase a pair. [ Manuel  Aug 23, 2016 ]
For my front channel speakers, also for the technology. [ Anthony  Aug 21, 2016 ]
I am upgrading from DefTech Studio Monitor 55's, the 65's will now be the front main speakers, I might use my 55's and 45's as surround speakers. [ Lyle  May 30, 2016 ]
I bought Definitive Technology speakers at Christmas and have been extremely satisfied with my purchase. Customer Service and Sales Representatives know their stuff. I have been thinking of adding more speakers and decided I like the design of this bookshelf speaker the best. Now I'm officially a repeat customer. Thank you Cructhfield. [ MICHAEL  May 14, 2016 ]
Very pleased with pro 2000 center channel and I am upgrading my 16 year old Boston acoustics micro 90s [ Sean  Mar 23, 2016 ]
Home theater center speaker [ Milton  Feb 05, 2016 ]
One of the BEST book shelf speakers for home theater. AMAZING quality in every way [ Raymond  Jan 04, 2016 ]
The sound fills the room. Amazing lows and crisp highs. Would definately recommend. [ Robert  Dec 14, 2015 ]

2 questions already asked

If they even have a scratch or blemish, it will be small and purely cosmetic. Here are the details for Scratch & Dent Inventory: "These are open-box items that have minor cosmetic damage. They may be missing non-essential accessories. In some cases the manufacturer's accessories have been replaced with generic equivalents. The manufacturer's warranty applies." I hope that helps! My Bio: [ Ryan  Apr 15, 2016 ]  Staff
We'll let's say I was so impressed by the def speakers I bought the 55, and the 45 also! The 65 which I bought first have a natural sound for music of all types, again all types! There definition,detail,presence, and positioning of instruments is on par if better than most more expensive speakers. I will say the lower end is there also not in the sense of towers with power amps or 10/12 inch woofers, but close to that presentation.if you close your eyes you are in performance, the cost is really a reflection of the sound, don t second guess yourself, today you get what you pay for. P.S. Wait till you have them for a while and the seat/ break in the sound becomes better and smoother if you can believe that. Good luck in your decision, best regards j Pulito [ JOSEPH  Mar 14, 2015 ]
You better believe it. I've had these speakers for a year now. They are part of my home theater, but I listen to a lot of music. When I'm listening to music I turn the sub off and let the 65's do all of the work. They are power hogs, I'm driving them with a Sony 5600ES and it takes a lot of power but they sound GREAT!! The clarity of the bass is unbelievable. I've been very pleased. [ TIM  Mar 14, 2015 ]
Hello, These speakers are incredible !! They are a very musical speaker, and the bass is surprising !!! Hope this helps you! Peter [ Peter  Mar 13, 2015 ]
I would say they are better for movies and tv. The woofers are a little small to really blast music. Unless you keep the bass lower into them. They have good bass response just not made for that crazy loud music style. They sound good for any type of sound tho! For music I would definitely go with a floor standing speaker or something with a bigger woofer. The SM 55 would be better for music play. [ BRIAN  Mar 13, 2015 ]
They are ABSOLUTELY ideal for music listening. I am using them only for music in a 2 channel system and they sound fantastic. I am driving them with a Peachtree 220 amp. My "Listening Room" is down in my finished basement and these speakers do a nice job filling a big area with great sound. I can't wait to move them to a better (acoustically) room and watch these things shine. [ Steve  Mar 13, 2015 ]
Yes they are great for music. [ JoeKada  Mar 13, 2015 ]