MonoPrice 5.1 Home Theater Speakers & Subwoofer Review
Satellite/Center Channel Specifications
- Speaker Type: 3" Shielded with Paper Cone, Foam Surround
- Tweeter: 1/2" Balanced Dome Tweeter
- Frequency Response: 150 Hz to 20 kHz
- Impedance: 8 ohms
- Power Handling: 125 Watts
- Sensitivity: 85 dB
- Satellite Dimensions: H6" x W4 1/8" x D4 1/8"
- Satellite Weight: 1.8 lbs
- Center Channel Dimensions: H4 1/8" x W9 11/16" x D3 15/16"
- Center Channels Weight: 3.0 lbs
- Speaker Type: 8" High Performance Powered Subwoofer
- Driver: 8" Down Firing Driver
- Amplifier Power Output: 60 Watts (RMS)
- Frequency Response: 50 Hz to 250 Hz
- Lowpass Crossover: Adjustable from 50 Hz to 250 Hz
- Functions: Power and Auto-On
- Inputs: High-Level (Speaker), Line (RCA) stereo
- Fuse Type: 1A/250V
- Dimensions: H13 3/4" x W10" x D13 3/16"
- Unit Weight: 16.5 lbs
- Power Cord Length: 49"
Included in the Box:
- 4x C brackets for mounting satellites to wall (no hardware included to mount brackets to wall)
- 8x mounting screws for attaching satellites to C brackets
- 8x sound insulating foam pads to fit between satellite speakers and C brackets
- 1x RCA M/M stereo cable (74" long)
- 2x plastic legs for attaching to back of center speaker to position the speaker so the face is vertical
Hi, Andrew Gash here for Audioholics. Can you get a 5.1 system for under $100? How about under $90. How about under eighty-five... look MonoPrice is selling this for $84.10. And you know, if they would just take their logo off the sub I think they could trim that ten cents right off. So can you do it? Well, yea - but the big question is do you want to? We'll try to answer that for you.
First of all, we really don't like TV speakers. They just don't sound good. They're designed as a necessary evil and most of the time they are firing off the back of the set into the wall and bouncing back to you with, hopefully, some kind of intelligibility left intact. So there's a compelling reason why you'd want to add a sound bar or a 5.1 system where you can offload your audio into a different set of speakers that's I dunno - maybe at least POINTING at you? MonoPrice's 5.1 Channel Home Theater Satellite Speakers & Subwoofer is a starting point, nothing more.
That's right, we're not going to wax eloquent about the incredible quality of the drivers or the deep authoritative bass response. It doesn't have it! It's pure boom and sizzle - BUT... BUT... it's a better experience and sound than any TV speaker I've yet heard. And that's something. It's also quite standard, meaning you can upgrade it gradually over time. That's worth its weight in gold because you're not connecting all the speakers through the subwoofer or doing any other strange connection gymnastics to get your system wired up. With these MonoPrice speakers you can wire up your system the same way you would if your speakers cost $1000. The sub takes a standard RCA cable from your receiver and the speakers have push clip connectors that will grab anything up to 16 gauge wire.
You can connect the subwoofer in just about any way you wish
The front, center and surround speakers use a 3" paper cone shielded driver with a foam surround. The front and surround speakers are identical, with the center channel adding another driver and being oriented horizontally. They have a rather truthful frequency response rating of 150 Hz to 20 kHz, so the fact that the 60-watt 8-inch down-firing subwoofer hits 50Hz is a good thing. You'll want to set your receiver's crossover high to accommodate the satellite speakers, but that's nothing new.
In terms of sound, the system is very much boom and sizzle, but the subwoofer actually did have some tactile energy when we played tracks through it that we were familiar with. In particular, it was able to articulate the bass from lots of R&B tracks as well as some techno tracks we fed it with. The satellite speakers were very bright, even brittle when driven to loud volumes. There's a lot of listening fatigue with these speakers, but I think there's a bright side here. For one, we don't expect this to be a "critical listening" system. Instead, we recommend it as something that's a stepping stone to an eventual larger system. If the options for surround are "don't do it cause you can't afford it" or "get something now so you can experience it and catch the fever" then you can see, hopefully, that companies like MonoPrice are offering even audiophiles a service by getting more and more people into the game.
So at $84... and ten cents... get into the game. Heck, this could be one of the coolest gifts you give a college student who's headed for the dorm. Give someone the gift of upgraditis - at least that's where we hope a system like this will lead.
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