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Monoprice Expands Monolith THX Speaker Product Line With Towers of Power

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Monolith Atmos Tower

Monolith Atmos Tower

Summary

  • Product Name: Monolith THX Tower Speaker (with and without Dolby Atmos)
  • Manufacturer: Monoprice
  • Review Date: September 10, 2019 23:00
  • MSRP: $850 each - Tower Speakers (without Atmos), $1,000 each (with Atmos)
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!
  • Buy Now

Monolith Tower Speaker (with Atmos):

  • Model: 38546
  • Main Woofer Drivers: 4x 6.5" long fiber pulp cones with FEA optimized nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) surround and aluminum shorting ring
  • Main Midrange Driver: 2" silk dome midrange with Neodymium magnet and aluminum shorting ring
  • Main Tweeter Driver: 1" silk dome tweeter with Neodymium magnet and copper shorting ring
  • Main Frequency Response: 29Hz ~ 24kHz Ported; 45Hz-24kHz Sealed
  • Main Sensitivity: 89.0dB ([email protected])
  • Main Crossover Frequencies: 550Hz (24dB Linkwitz-Riley) and 1.9kHz (24dB Linkwitz-Riley)
  • Main Impedance: 4 ohms
  • Atmos® Woofer Driver: 5.25" long fiber pulp cone with FEA optimized nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) surround
  • Atmos Tweeter Driver: 0.6" silk dome tweeter with Neodymium magnet
  • Atmos Frequency Response: 120Hz ~ 20kHz
  • Atmos Sensitivity: 86.0dB ([email protected])
  • Atmos Crossover Frequency: 3.8kHz (18dB Butterworth)
  • Atmos Impedance: 4 ohms
  • Cabinet: Sealed, 5 layer HDF with horizontal shelf bracing and 5-way binding posts
  • Dimensions (without grille): 55.3" x 13.1" x 16.4" (1407 x 332 x 410 mm)
  • Dimensions (with grille): 55.3" x 13.1" x 16.7" (1407 x 332 x 425 mm)
  • Weight: 57.9 lbs (26.3 kg)

Monolith Tower Speaker (without Atmos):

  • Model: 39158
  • Main Woofer Drivers: 4x 6.5" long fiber pulp cones with FEA optimized nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) surround and aluminum shorting ring
  • Main Midrange Driver: 2" silk dome midrange with Neodymium magnet and aluminum shorting ring
  • Main Tweeter Driver: 1" silk dome tweeter with Neodymium magnet and copper shorting ring
  • Main Frequency Response: 29Hz ~ 24kHz Ported; 45Hz-24kHz Sealed
  • Main Sensitivity: 89.0dB ([email protected])
  • Main Crossover Frequencies: 550Hz (24dB Linkwitz-Riley) and 1.9kHz (24dB Linkwitz-Riley)
  • Main Impedance: 4 ohms
  • Cabinet: Sealed, 5 layer HDF with horizontal shelf bracing and 5-way binding posts
  • Dimensions (without grille): 55.3" x 13.1" x 16.4" (1407 x 332 x 410 mm)
  • Dimensions (with grille): 55.3" x 13.1" x 16.7" (1407 x 332 x 425 mm)
  • Weight: 55.7 lbs. (25.3 kg)

Executive Overview

Monoprice is seemingly not content to rest on their laurels with their existing Monolith THX products. Having made THX-certified subwoofers and loudspeakers that have earned nothing but rave reviews (by Audioholics as well as other publications), they could simply just focus on promoting their existing products, and that should be enough to grant them success in the high-fidelity loudspeaker market. However, they have announced new speakers in this area which look to surpass their already considerable efforts. At the 2019 CEDIA show, Monoprice unveiled some THX tower speakers and an absolutely massive subwoofer. These new products are based on the existing Monolith THX designs but take them up to a whole other level of performance.

Monoprice 16CH Processor, THX Towers and Dual 15" Subwoofer @ CEDIA 2019 YouTube Video Overview

Non-Atmos Tower2.jpgThe tower speakers resemble the THX Mini-towers that we recently ran an in-depth review on except with two additional woofers and the inclusion of a port in its design. The Mini-towers were a sealed design that left deep bass duties entirely to the subwoofer, but the tower version looks like it could have some serious bass performance, so it may be that they can get by pretty nicely without subs. Four beefy 6.5” bass drivers and a large ported cabinet bode well for the bass capability of Monolith’s new tower speakers with reported bass extension down to 29Hz .

One interesting design tactic that Monoprice has used in the new towers is that the bass drivers sandwich the midrange dome and tweeter in an equal quantity. This helps in a number of ways. First, by having the bass drivers at a roughly equal distance from the tweeter and midrange, the lobing patterns that occur along the vertical axis are much simpler than when multiple bass drivers are all set to one side or the other of the tweeter and midrange. Another reason why this design can be an improvement over standard tower speaker designs is that the woofers can interfere with each other, and this can be used as an advantage in reducing vertical dispersion altogether. If you are standing dead ahead of both woofers, the time-arrival of their sound will hit you simultaneously, and their output will sum perfectly, but if you are standing at an angle that puts them at different distances, the time-arrival between them is different, and this difference causes interference with each other and can cancel output. The result is that less sound is emitted at off-axis angles in the vertical axis, so there will be fewer acoustic reflections from the ceiling and floors. That can be beneficial for these speakers in that floor bounce, where the acoustic reflection off of the floor interferes with the direct sound of the speaker, will be less of an issue. Floor bounce primarily affects the mid and upper bass regions and manifests itself as a rocky and uneven frequency response.

The driver arrangement (which can be thought of as a semi-MTM design for you speaker nerds out there) makes the tweeter/midrange driver become the acoustic center of the speaker in a more meaningful way than traditional speakers that place the tweeter above the bass drivers. This further helps the speaker in pushing the Atmos speaker higher above the intended listening axis. Atmos speakers that use ceiling reflections such as this one sound best when only the reflected sound is heard rather than direct sound from the Atmos speaker. By shifting the Atmos speaker up higher in altitude, less direct sound will reach the listener (as long as the listener is not seated abnormally high). The towers can be had with and without an additional Atmos speaker mounted at the top. The Atmos version has a $150 surcharge and may be worth the extra cost for those users who want Atmos but do not want to install ceiling speakers. We really like that Monoprice offers a version without the Atmos driver in this tower and wish they'd do the same with the mini-towers too.

Atmos Tower w grille.jpg Atmos Tower.jpg

Initial Impressions

Pricing for the Monolith towers is set at $850 each for the non-Atmos version and $1000 each for the Atmos-enabled version. They look to be very competitive at this price point and would have fit in very well with the recent round-up of 5 Killer Tower Speakers Under $2k/pair that we ran in this price range.  Given how well Monoprice designed the Mini-tower and Center Speaker, we expect these to be very high performers indeed. We will try to catch a demo of these at the CEDIA 2019 show this week to give some listening impressions. Otherwise, expect us to do a full detailed review next year. One thing is certain, Monoprice is serious about high-end audio and they are coming out swinging with some heavy hitting products.

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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 October 12, 2019 17:26
gene, post: 1339521, member: 4348
Hi Dawn; Sorry we've been non stop in meetings and shooting videos for the last 2 day. Next year hopefully we will be there long and can meet up.

Hey Gene really great videos and articles on all the CEDIA offerings man I was blown away by all the stuff out there this year these companies just went off

I just wanted to take this time and moment because I have no shame to my game and beg you guys sometime in the future if you can to grab the new JBL HDI series speakers for review

I've fallen in love with JBL thanks to you guys and love my 5 series my 590's and 580's but I am DROOLING over that new HDI lineup!!!!

I know it's not always possible but if it is I'm publicly groveling and begging for you guys to give those a review in the future!
gene posts on October 09, 2019 02:20
Savant Smart Soundbar, Precision Audio Meets Ultimate Home-Connectivity
gene posts on October 06, 2019 22:36
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utopianemo posts on October 02, 2019 13:54
I'll have to check that end clip out at home on my dual 18" sub setup. I love how the low frequency waves cancel out all other sounds. At home, on certain very low frequency-heavy clips, those large sine waves literally cancel out my voice. I'll talk to somebody ten feet away and almost no sound I'm making reaches them.
hangin7 posts on October 01, 2019 18:55
CyberAthlete, post: 1341296, member: 56538
Doesn't sound like (pun intended) that they're any different in drivers than the ones they're replacing. Just an aesthetic over haul but that's about it.
Your joking right,aesthetic overhaul better reread dude!!!!!
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