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Monoprice Monolith Encore T6 Tower Loudspeaker Measurements & Conclusion

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T6 outdoor testing 

The Monoprice Monolith Encore T6 Towers were measured in free-air at a height of 4 feet at a 2-meter distance from the microphone, with the microphone raised to a 7.5’ elevation that was level with and aimed at the tweeter center. The measurements were gated at 8-milliseconds. In this time window, some resolution is lost below 400 Hz and accuracy is completely lost below 200 Hz. Measurements have been smoothed at a 1/12 octave resolution.

T6 redo 3D waterfall response

T6 redo 2D waterfall response

The above graphs depict the Encore T6 tower’s direct-axis and horizontal dispersion out to a 90-degree angle in five-degree increments. Information on how to interpret these graphs can be read in our article Understanding Loudspeaker Review Measurements Part II. The performance shown here is not perfect but overall very good. There is a wide but shallow 3dB rise between 3kHz and 6kHz that occurs at and around the on-axis angle. It may well be audible when compared to a speaker that doesn’t have that elevated range. It should make this speaker a bit more sibilant and forward when compared to something without that hump. I didn’t notice the Encores being especially sibilant in my listening. Aside from the 3-6kHz rise, the response is fairly neutral, much more so than would be expected of a tower loudspeaker in this price range. The elevated range doesn’t really carry out too far off-axis angles, so equalizing it out might leave a slight depression in that range for an in-room sound character, although I would guess it would be mild at worst. 

 T6 redo polar map

The above polar map shows the same information in the preceding graphs but depicts it in a way that can offer new insight regarding these speakers’ behavior. Instead of using individual raised lines to illustrate amplitude, polar maps use color to portray amplitude, and this allows the use of a purely angle/frequency axis perspective. The advantage of these graphs is they can let us see broader trends of the speaker’s dispersion behavior more easily. More information about interpreting this graph can be read in our article Understanding Loudspeaker Review Measurements Part II.

The first thing to note is that we can see that the waveguide is doing a beautiful job of controlling overall directivity so that there are no large off-axis fluctuations that would drastically change the sound character for any given angle. This quality makes the Encore T6s amenable to ordinary room acoustics, and the user will not need to rely on acoustic treatments to get a good sound from these speakers. This type of dispersion also means that this speaker is suitable to conventional equalization. Some readers might think that statement contradicts statements made above about how unmatching off-axis responses makes this speaker more difficult to EQ, but that is for a finer level of equalization in getting a perfected response for an extremely neutral sound. What the polar map shows us is that we can easily shape the response for broader tonal changes without worrying about whether acoustic reflections will screw up our intended results. Another takeaway from the above graph that we can see is that we could be listening out to a 40-degree angle without missing much at least under 10kHz, meaning this speaker is pretty generous in covering a wide angle with the full spectrum of sound. Above 10kHz, the tweeter does start to beam a bit, but it is not severe, and listeners will be met with high treble in any normal listening position with respect to the speaker.

T6 redo vert 

The above graph is a sampling of some of the vertical angle responses at and around the on-axis angle. The response holds pretty nicely at and above the on-axis angle, but not so much when listening below the tweeter axis. The height of the tweeter is set at 36” which should be about where most listeners’ ears would also be situated, but those with low-slung seating might end up at lower altitudes in which case they would not be hearing the T6s at their best. These curves tell us that the best sound occurs at a +/-5 degree vertical angle with respect to the tweeter.

T6 bass response 

The Encore T6 have unusually low bass extension for their price point.

The above graph shows the T6’s low-frequency response captured using groundplane measurements (where the speaker and microphone are on the ground at a 2-meter distance in a wide-open area). Going down in frequency, there seems to be a slight bump in lower mid-bass centered between 90 and 100Hz which is followed by a gentle slope leading to the port tuning frequency that occurs around 30Hz. This is a typical underdamped response that we see from many tower speakers which is done to avoid the bass boost that comes from in-room boundary gain that can make speakers sound boomy. Pressure vessel gain should shore up such a shallow response so that the user will get a solid response down to port tuning. The T6’s are tower speakers with unusually low bass extension for their price point. Few people would really need a subwoofer with these, especially in a small room where pressure vessel gain can be massive. The irony here is that these are budget speakers that could only benefit from the addition of the relatively expensive subwoofers that can competently dig below 20Hz.

T6 impedance 

The above graphs show the electrical behavior of the T6 speakers. Monoprice specs these as 4-ohm speakers, and that would appear to be the case, although this is not a very demanding load as far as 4-ohm speakers go. Much of the mid-bass band dips below 5-ohms but not at a very severe phase angle. Most midrange AVRs could handle these speakers without problem. Rocking them hard for a long period with an entry-level AVR might be asking for thermal protection shutdown, however. Some attributes that we can discern from the dip in the saddle of the bass response is that the port tuning frequency seems to be 30Hz as we saw from the low-frequency response graph above. We can also see that the bass drivers have a significantly higher resonant frequency than the enclosure from observing that the bass saddle peaks so much higher at the upper half of the shape.

I measured the Encore T6’s sensitivity to be 89.75dB at 1 meter for 2.83v. This is a bit above Monoprice’s spec of 87.8dB. Either way, sensitivity in the high 80’s is typical for a tower speaker of its size. Megawatt amplifiers are not needed for this speaker to get loud. A typical AVR would be enough to make it rock pretty hard.

Conclusion

Before bringing this review of the Monoprice Encore T6 speakers to a close, I will briefly go over their strengths and weaknesses, and, as usual, I will start with their weaknesses. The problem with that is that it’s hard to ask for more from an $800/pair tower speaker. There are attributes that I might be critical of, were this a $2,000/pair loudspeaker set, but I find the T6’s to be a very strong undertaking for this price range. If I were to pick nits, one thing to be aware of is that the vertical dispersion is a bit restricting for anyone listening at a significantly lower height than the tweeter level, and that could occur with lower seating in a small room. Users should make sure the height of their ears at listening position is roughly level with the tweeter, but that is also the case with so many other speakers. If I were being super picky, the rise in the lower treble in the frequency response may make these speakers sound a bit more forward than loudspeakers with a perfectly neutral response, but the overall response is not bad, especially when considering the pricing.

T6 pair22  monolith logo

You need to spend significantly more to better the performance of the Encore T6 speakers.

That brings us to the Encore T6’s strengths, the foremost of which is the kind of sound they can produce for the cost. They can give the user a dynamic, balanced sound with excellent bass extension for less than $1k. Buyers would need to spend a lot more to get something that is significantly better. The T6 speakers are a great example of how returns begin to greatly diminish after a certain point of investment into audio equipment. Yes, there are better speakers, but you are going to have to double your budget to get something that can notably surpass these in any one area. They can get loud if you provide sufficient amplification, and they can dig deep enough that subwoofers are not required to enjoy movies or music. A stereo pair of these would make most folks pretty happy with their sound system for most applications as well as serve nicely as the heart of a surround sound system.

T6 outdoorsTheir appearance is fine, and, in my opinion, goes beyond the minimum requirements for budget tower speakers. Gloss top and bottom pieces along with nice-looking drivers should make them easy on the eyes, and the vinyl black oak veneer is pretty standard for loudspeakers in this class. There are prettier speakers out there but at much greater cost, and the Encore T6 speakers are certainly inoffensive if not quite beautiful.

The T6s are also not a terribly challenging load for electronics, and any mid-level receiver will drive these with no problems. That is basically a requirement for a loudspeaker in this price range, and the Encore T6s fulfill that criterion.

Most buyers will probably be looking at the Encore T6 speakers as merely a part of a surround sound system, but, in truth, I think they bring more to the audio market as a two-channel system. Most surround sound shoppers are going to pair these up with subwoofers, but that negates their strength as an affordable loudspeaker with unusually potent bass capability. If you are looking for a full-range stereo speaker set without spending a fortune, these may be your best bet. To be sure, they would function terrifically in a home theater setting; in fact, those who are looking for a home theater on a tight budget would do well to consider omitting subwoofers and just let the T6 speakers handle deep bass. That skips the expense and complication of adding subs. There is no need to worry about properly integrating a sub to your audio system when there is no subwoofer. I doubt that anyone except for die-hard enthusiasts will feel a need for the inclusion of subwoofers when they hear what these speakers can do. I enjoyed my time with the Encore T6 speakers, and I think if the word gets out about how good these speakers are, Monoprice will have another hit in their Monolith product line.

The Score Card

The scoring below is based on each piece of equipment doing the duty it is designed for. The numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating roughly equal to:

Performance × Price Factor/Value = Rating

Audioholics.com note: The ratings indicated below are based on subjective listening and objective testing of the product in question. The rating scale is based on performance/value ratio. If you notice better performing products in future reviews that have lower numbers in certain areas, be aware that the value factor is most likely the culprit. Other Audioholics reviewers may rate products solely based on performance, and each reviewer has his/her own system for ratings.

Audioholics Rating Scale

  • StarStarStarStarStar — Excellent
  • StarStarStarStar — Very Good
  • StarStarStar — Good
  • StarStar — Fair
  • Star — Poor
MetricRating
Build QualityStarStarStarStar
AppearanceStarStarStarStar
Treble ExtensionStarStarStarStar
Treble SmoothnessStarStarStar
Midrange AccuracyStarStarStar
Bass ExtensionStarStarStarStarStar
Bass AccuracyStarStarStarStar
ImagingStarStarStarStar
Dynamic RangeStarStarStarStarStar
Fit and FinishStarStarStarStar
PerformanceStarStarStarStarhalf-star
ValueStarStarStarStarStar
About the author:

James Larson is Audioholics' primary loudspeaker and subwoofer reviewer on account of his deep knowledge of loudspeaker functioning and performance and also his overall enthusiasm toward moving the state of audio science forward.

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Recent Forum Posts:

Danzilla31 posts on May 08, 2022 01:27
Okay I've had a lot of fun running these babies full range know I've got them paired up with a SVS PC 2000 pro!

Be fun to see what happens here

Sub is level matched to 78db I usually like mine 3db hot to taste at -6 on the denon and -18 on the pro. One thing I LOOOVE about SVS subs is that app no fiddling around behind the back. I set the distance at 18 feet added 7 feet to actual distance at a 80hz crossover that should work roughly but of course Ill need to measure and do it properly I love all the headroom this sub is way overkill for this room lol

Alright let the games begin! I'll keep you guys posted!
Danzilla31 posts on May 07, 2022 23:22
So I moved the speakers off the wall more and it did exactly what I'd hoped. Got rid of the bloat tightened up the bass response. I think they could benefit from a little farther out I have them 10 inches off the wall. But that sticks them too far out into my bedroom. But they sound great.

I have the PC 2000 pro hooked up I plan on level matching it setting crossovers and I'll let you know what I notice

Final thoughts I'm very impressed with there ability to run full range. Especially on music. A great as Shady mentioned pair of speakers for a 2 channel setup

I'm also impressed with the Emotiva BasX 3 channel amp. It's done a great job running these towers full range. Hasn't even really gotten warm.

Also I can't tell how suprised I was with just running a 3 channel setup. It sounded great. We've gotten so used to running these Dolby atmos setups I'd forgotten how a good 2 or 3 speaker setup can be.

You don't need a full setup in every room even more important you don't need to buy everything all at once. Buy the front 3 a great sub wait save up but a set of surrounds wait. Slowly build your system up so with each purchase your getting the best you can buy for each level you add to your system

And in the meantime enjoy the heck out of a great 2 or 3.1 system until you save up for more. With good speakers Im Ioving that simple 3 channel bedroom setup
Out-Of-Phase posts on May 02, 2022 15:15
panteragstk, post: 1555450, member: 61217
No need to delete. We all recognize them as legit questions, but also opportunities to have a bit of fun.

We want this to be informative as well, so if anything we're the ones detracting from the thread for folks looking for honest impressions instead of nonsense.

We like to be able to do both, so if we bug you, let us know and we'll get the serious stuff the attention it deserves.

No harm done. Now it looks like I am the one who overreacted. I should know better. I have been here on this forum on and off for years. I should have a clue when it's an inside joke. It's the outside jokes I sometimes have trouble with.
Danzilla31 posts on May 02, 2022 15:09
panteragstk, post: 1555454, member: 61217
Speaking of ports, I think I'm going to start a thread about getting my 4 sealed subs into some ported cabinets. Hmm.

I am interested in seeing what @Danzilla31 thinks about the bass response when he gets the T6's the “right” distance from the wall.

I don't really “need” to upgrade my office speakers, but they sound just fine to me…until I listen to my theater speakers and get upgradeitis again.

These may be right up my alley. Maybe.
I'll let you know tonight after I do it how the bass response works out

The nice thing about the Encores is you get to play with that itch of trying out new gear but you don't break the bank when you do it either
panteragstk posts on May 02, 2022 15:05
ryanosaur, post: 1555451, member: 86393
Nothing recovering about it. ‘Zilla is a port junky and no web nanny can stop that!

Speaking of ports, I think I'm going to start a thread about getting my 4 sealed subs into some ported cabinets. Hmm.

I am interested in seeing what @Danzilla31 thinks about the bass response when he gets the T6's the “right” distance from the wall.

I don't really “need” to upgrade my office speakers, but they sound just fine to me…until I listen to my theater speakers and get upgradeitis again.

These may be right up my alley. Maybe.
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