Monoprice is on its way to eliminate the home theatre industry. The company started with HDMI cables at low rates but has now extended to consumer electronics and introduces new products at half the price offered by the competitors.
Where To Get It: amazon.com
Quick Specifications: Available in black; system configuration is 5.1 channel; speakers include 4 satellite, 1 center speaker and 1 subwoofer of 3in or 0.75 inch; input impedance is 8 ohm; Sensitivity of 89 dB and power output 200 Watt.
- Manufacturer: Monoprice
- Part number: 9774
- Product type: Speaker system
- Speaker type: Home theatre speaker system
- Output features: Bass reflex
- Magnetic shield and detachable grilles: available
- Audio amplifier: Integrated
- Connectivity technology: Wired
- Connector type: Audio line-in ( RCA phone × 2)
The Good: Monoprice 9774 is very similar to our Energy Classic 5.1 home theatre system but at a price which is $150 less. The speakers are compact and the sound quality is really amazing especially at such cost.
The Bad: Bigger speakers are still superior and the warranty is just for a year.
The Bottom Line: At about $250 only, this speaker system is considered to be perfect as the home audio value and yet the speakers have excellent design and sound quality.
Monoprice 9774 5.1 speaker system at $249 plus shipping charges, is the best of all such products brought out by the company. It’s a clone of the excellent Energy Take Classic 5.1 at $394 so you get a big discount of around $150. When it’s said “clone”, it means these speakers are exactly the same as the Energy Take Classic except for some negligible cosmetic differences, like the different logos. When put side-by-side, Energy 5.1 and the Monochrome speakers look identical, be it the finish or the placement of drivers.
Energy and Monoprice both have six-piece glossy black speaker sets, with four identical satellite speakers, a subwoofer and a centre channel. Satellite speakers are only 6.7 inches high, 4.8 inches deep and 4.1 inches deep, which is amazing, given their amazing performance. The drivers are the same as in Energy, with 0.75-inch aluminium dome tweeter and 3-inch ply-titanium mid-range driver. The center channel has the same two drivers and is a bit longer than the satellites. Other than this, the major external difference between both companies’ speakers is the removable grilles. The entire face is covered by the Monoprice grilles whereas those in Energy have a bit round edges and pop up just over the top of satellites. The Energy subwoofer, though looks different, has the same size but appears big due to the larger plastic feet. Even the bass port looks big on front but that is only because of the plastic shape that surrounds it.
But is the production of such similar products under different brands legal? The question was surely put to the owner of Energy who just said that it’s being investigated. Anyway, we have already seen instances where similar products by different companies do exist in market, take OEM PC for instance. What we know is that Monoprice 9774 is the cheapest available home audio speakers. The next best option available is the Pioneer SP-PK52FS speaker package at $630, which is about $400 more and even the speakers are larger so what do you think you would go for?
Where the less costly Monoprice would be the choice of many, yet some might wouldn’t find it specifically thrilling to own budget associated speakers with “Monoprice” logo on them. But thinking reasonably, the only point that goes against Monoprice is the 1 year warranty only, which is significantly less than the 5 years offered by Energy on its speakers and 1 year on subwoofer.
The speakers are easy to set up on speaker stands and the center channel could be put on a shelf with the TV. The satellites could even be mounted by means of their keyhole slots, without putting much stress on walls, with just 2.9 pounds weight. The same connecting hardware is used too. The speakers have small binding posts that can take in wires and banana plugs too. For using the banana plugs, the tight caps covering the holes will have to be removed with some needle-nosed pliers.
The bass of satellite speakers respond to 115Hz, the average for a speaker of the same size and Energy’s satellites. The subwoofer-to-speaker balance produced awesome, smooth blend at 120Hz. Depending on your room, the optimum crossover point for the best sound might be different and could be known by some testing.
The Same Excellent Sound At Your Disposal! At Amazingly Low Cost!
The performance is quite nearly identical to Energy Take classics 5.1 so the two products sound alike and that could be easily experimented by putting them side-by-side in a room. This system really sounded good while we were testing, and needless to say, such quality is exceptional with a system at just $249. The little speakers generate a room-filling sound effect, acoustic bass sounds really solid and the definition is clear and distinct. When the small system was tested with the sound effects of “The Hunger Games”, and at a time when trees turn to a wall of flames as Katniss runs through that forest, the Monoprice produced an excellent real effect that was much better than even the SpeakerCraft CS3 at $700. So how low-priced you can further imagine your home theatre to go?
The 9774 is undoubtedly much powerful than could be expected of other speakers of its size, but the size still has limits as is shown by the performance of Pioneer speakers, that is, full and rich sound, superior dynamic range, and the ability to play loud with no strain. This doesn’t place 9774’s performance in question—it’s just the fact that the size of speakers does decide the performance limits to some extent.
Anyway, the only point that raises some suspicions is that how could a company manufacture a product that bears such similarities to another one in terms of design and even the engineering work. Though Monoprice has confirmed that the design wasn’t licensed from Energy, it hasn’t even told exactly what has caused these similarities then. The product has been out for quite a time now, and Energy hasn’t formally complained about the fact too.
Whatever the story behind, at the moment, Monoprice 9774 could be considered the perfect home theatre speakers system available in the market with amazing and incredible-sounding speaker.