I can only cringe when I look at the various Bluetooth sound system available out there. The good AND pretty looking ones cost an arm and a leg, the good ones cost an arm or a leg, and the ones that don’t cost an arm and/or a leg tend to sound either craptastic and looking craptacular. To me, spending any more than $200 for a decent portable speaker is just insane. Call me cheap, I don’t care; I’m sure there are many people who are just like myself.
Quite honestly, I’m not a huge fan of Monoprice, especially due to its name which sounds cheap. Well, with this Bluetooth Home Speaker System (Product ID: 11411), that is no longer the case. Unlike most Bluetooth speakers, this model is intended for home use rather than portability so sound quality and aesthetics become the main feature. It features a 10 watt/channel class-D stereo amplifier driving a pair of 2″ full-range drivers, as well as another 20 watt class-D amplifier driving a pair of 3″ bass drivers. It boasts a 70Hz ~ 20kHz (± 3dB) frequency response with a 70dB signal-to-noise ratio yet fares better with my at-home measurements which go down to 62 Hz !!! That’s better than many of its competitors which priced around triple its price (the full MSRP of this unit is merely $129.11)
The speaker uses Bluetooth 4.0 with the A2DP and AVRCP profiles, allowing you to stream audio from your Bluetooth equipped mobile device. It includes the aptX audio codec, which provides for superior audio clarity over a basic Bluetooth connection. Equipped with NFC (Near Field Communication), pairing is as simple as placing your phone on the speaker. What I care the most, however, due to the usage of Bluetooth 4.0, it saves quite a lot of power consumption from my mobile devices.
The speaker, as shown below, features a USB charging port, so you can keep your phone, phablet or even a full-sized tablet fully charged while streaming music. Furthermore, tt includes a 3.5mm auxiliary input, so you can connect it to a non-Bluetooth device (in my case, I connect it to my TV so this unit also serves as a soundbar). The only complain I have is that the included full function infrared remote control is not as sturdy as I’d like…but hey, for $129.11 you can’t expect everything when this unit sounds better than ANY sub $400 units.
So…what are you waiting for? When “decent” and “good enough” are just not good enough for your musical and sound quality criteria, just go and buy this unit. There is no “Monoprice” name emblazoned anywhere (it’s replaced with an understated, unobtrusive and classy “M” logo), it looks pretty, it sounds very good, it’s extremely affordable, and if you prefer to be boring, this unit also comes in black
- 2.1 channel system with two full range drivers and two bass drivers
- 10 watts per channel full range class-D amplifier and 20 watt bass class-D amplifier
- Uses Bluetooth Ver. 4.0 with A2DP and AVRCP profiles
- NFC functionality for automatic Bluetooth pairing
- Features the aptX codec for superior audio clarity
- Five selectable EQ settings (Normal, Jazz, Rock, Pop, Classic)
- 2A USB port for charging mobile devices
- 3.5 mm stereo auxiliary input
- Full function IR remote control
- 3.5 mm stereo headphone output
- Touch panel controls