Monoprice 10565 Home Theater Speaker System - Review

Big sound for little cash!

Monoprice 5.1
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Monoprice is well known amongst home theater fans as a seller of very inexpensive, but very good quality audio, video, and HDMI cables, as well as other home theater accessories.

However, they are now starting to create quite a stir in more mainstream audio/video gear, including speakers.

The Monoprice 10565 5.1 Channel Home Theater Speaker System is one of their product offerings that is designed to provide big home theater sound for smaller rooms, and, more importantly for many, tighter budgets.

Priced less than $250, this System features five speakers and an 8-inch powered subwoofer. For all the details, keep reading this review.

Center Channel Speaker

The center channel speaker is a 2-Way Bass Reflex design that incorporates on polypropylene midrange/woofer, two small rear-mounted ports, and an aluminum-dome tweeter.

The speaker features solid fiberboard construction with a matte black finish. It weighs 3lbs and is 4.3-inches high, 10.2-inches wide, and 4.3-inches deep.

For more specification details, refer to my Monoprice 10565 System Center Channel Speaker Photo Profile Page

Satellite Speakers

The four satellite speakers are also 2-Way bass reflex that incorporates one polypropylene midrange/woofer, one rear port, and aluminum-dome tweeter.

Employing the same fiberboard construction and matte black finish, the satellite speakers each weigh 2.9lbs and are 6.9-inches high, 4.3-inches wide, and are 4.3-inches deep.

For more specification details, refer to my Monoprice 10565 System Satellite Speaker Photo Profile Page

Powered Subwoofer

The powered subwoofer included in the Monoprice 10565 Home Theater Speaker System also incorporates a Bass Reflex design as evidenced by the combination of an 8-inch down firing driver in combination with a front-facing port.

The built-in subwoofer amplifier is rated to deliver 200 watts of power. The cabinet dimensions are 12.6-inches high, 12.6-inches wide, and 12.6-inches deep, and weighs a very light 19.8 lbs.

For more specification details, refer to my Monoprice 10565 System Subwoofer Photo Profile Page.

Audio Performance - Center Channel and Satellite Speakers

The center channel speaker features one mid-range/woofer driver in combination with one tweeter in a horizontal arrangement, unlike most center channel speakers, which commonly incorporate two midrange/woofer drivers in combination with one or two tweeters.

However, given that design variation, the center channel performs well as a vocal and dialog anchor, which is the center channel speaker's main task. Midrange frequencies are emphasized, as they should be, but very high frequencies are a little subdued, softening high frequency and transient sound detail.

The front-placed satellites provided very accurate left and right soundstage and the surround satellites provided very good directional placement of sound effects, as well as providing an immersive 5-channel listening experience for movies and music. However, just as with the center channel, some of the finer details, such as transient sound effects were a little subdued.

Using the Digital Video Essentials Disc (and with the subwoofer turned off), the observed low-end audible frequency on both center and satellite speakers were about 72 Hz, with usable audio output beginning just below 90Hz, which bodes well for the 10565 system.

Audio Performance - Subwoofer

The subwoofer features an 8-inch down-firing driver, supported by a front-facing port that provides added bass extension. The subwoofer pushed out a strong output down to about 45Hz decreasing down to its lowest audible point of about 27Hz, as observed using the audio tests provided on the Digital Video Essentials Disc.

The subwoofer was not as impressive with music as it is with movies but was not overly boomy in the mid and upper bass frequencies.

When compared to the other subwoofers I used in conjunction with this review, I found that subwoofer provided with the Monoprice 10565 definitely has good bass output and extension, but didn't have the power or texture of the Klipsch and EMP Tek subs used in the comparison systems (see additional components list at the end of this article). However, we are talking a smaller driver and a big price difference on that score.

The Bottom Line

The Monoprice 10565 5.1 channel speaker system is very interesting indeed. Despite its low $250 price point (does not include shipping), the system delivers a credible surround sound experience for both movies and music - but is best suited for movie listening. The center and satellites provide good midrange response but taper off a little on very high frequencies, which slightly dulls transient sound detail, such a breaking glass, rustling leaves, and percussive effects.

On the other hand vocal, dialog, and surround effects are directed well and the 5 channel configuration provides an appropriate immersive sound field. Also, although the subwoofer didn't provide quite the punch and impact as the Klipsch and EMP Tek subs in the comparison systems, it definitely produced a deeper bass response and minimal midbass boominess than you might normally expect from a system in this price range.

Also, the transition between the subwoofer and satellites was smooth at crossover settings ranging from 90 to 120Hz, but I settled on the 110Hz crossover point suggested by Monoprice.

The build quality of the system is solid and the black matte finish, although not so stylish, is resistant to scuffing and annoying fingerprint impressions that really bug me on speakers with a glossy black finish. The compact size of both the speakers and subwoofer make placement easy within just about any room size and decor.

If you are looking for a speaker option for modest home theater setup that is definitely a cut above what you can get from a sound bar, but on a limited budget, consider the Monoprice 10565 Home Theater Speaker System as a possible option.

For more precise performance measurements for the 10565, with additional comparison to other similar speaker systems, check out the report from Stereos Expert, Brent Butterworth

Additional Components Used in this Review

Blu-ray/DVD Disc Player: OPPO BDP-103.

Home Theater Receiver: Onkyo TX-SR705.

Loudspeaker/Subwoofer System 1 used for comparison (5.1 channels): 2 Klipsch F-2's, 2 Klipsch B-3's, Klipsch C-2 Center, and Klipsch Synergy Sub10.

Loudspeaker/Subwoofer System 2 used for comparison (5.1 channels) EMP Tek Impression Series Speaker System (E5Ci Center channel Speaker, four E5Bi compact bookshelf Speakers for left and right main and surrounds, and an ES10i 100 watt powered subwoofer).

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