Monoprice Monolith THX-265B vs. NHT SuperZero 2.1

Monoprice Monolith THX-265B Bookshelf Speakers NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker
$800 $300
Dimensions (H × W × D)
15.40” × 9.70” × 11.40”
391mm × 246mm × 290mm
9.00” × 5.50” × 5.00”
229mm × 140mm × 127mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
65-24,000 Hz 85-20,000 Hz
ASR Score
n/a 3.4
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
n/a 6.7

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of budget audiophile bookshelf speakers, the Monoprice Monolith THX-265B offers a cinematic experience, boasting THX certification and a muscular, detailed sound profile. Conversely, the NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor targets the purist, delivering remarkably neutral and articulate audio in a compact form. Monolith's larger drivers provide more bass heft, while the SuperZero excels in midrange clarity. The Monolith impresses in home theaters, whereas the NHT shines for critical stereo listening. Ultimately, the choice comes down to the listener's preference for impactful dynamics or the subtlety of a well-tuned, smaller enclosure.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to selecting a pair of bookshelf speakers, audiophiles know that the quest for great sound can lead down many paths. With an ever-expanding market, two contenders have repeatedly come up in discussions among enthusiasts: the Monoprice Monolith THX-265B and the NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker. These two models represent vastly different design philosophies and listening experiences, which we'll delve into headfirst.

Design and Build Quality

The Monolith THX-265B exudes a sense of robustness that is immediately apparent. Its design adheres to THX standards, ensuring that the speakers not only sound great but can also withstand the rigors of dynamic movie soundtracks. The cabinet is solid and dense, which translates to less resonance and cleaner sound output. Meanwhile, the NHT SuperZero 2.1 takes a more minimalist approach, with a small footprint that makes it an ideal candidate for those with limited space. Although less imposing than the Monolith, the SuperZero's build quality is still commendable, especially given its more approachable price point.

Sound Quality: Highs and Mids

The Monolith's sound signature is characterized by its crystal-clear highs and articulate midrange. The THX certification is not just for show; it guarantees that the speakers can deliver sound accurately and with great detail. This is particularly beneficial for listeners who revel in the nuance of a complex musical piece or the subtleties of a movie's dialogue. In contrast, the SuperZero 2.1, with its smaller size, manages to produce a surprisingly clear and balanced sound. The highs are crisp without being piercing, and the mids, while not as forward as the Monolith's, still present with a natural tone that is a delight to the ears.

Bass Response

Bass is where the Monolith and the SuperZero begin to part ways significantly. The Monolith THX-265B, with its larger enclosure and drivers, produces a bass response that is both powerful and controlled. This is a speaker that can stand alone without the absolute need for a subwoofer, though pairing it with one would elevate the low-end experience. The SuperZero 2.1, true to its 'mini-monitor' title, offers a more modest bass response. While tight and accurate, it doesn't have the same extension or impact as the Monolith, making a subwoofer a necessary companion for those looking to experience the full spectrum of sound.

NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker
NHT SuperZero 2.1 arrow (at

Where the Monolith speaks the language of authority and presence, the SuperZero communicates with finesse and subtlety. The former may be the go-to for those who want their music and movies to pack a wallop, while the latter suits the listener who prioritizes placement flexibility and a sound that can fill a room without overwhelming it.

Immersiveness is another consideration. The Monolith's THX certification ensures that these speakers are engineered to create an enveloping sound field that pulls the listener into the heart of the performance. The SuperZero, with its compact size, does an admirable job of creating a soundstage that is wider than one might expect, but it might fall short in rendering the same depth and dimensional believability that the Monolith achieves with ease.

When it comes to driving these speakers, the Monoliths are relatively easy to power, but their performance ceiling is raised with a high-quality amplifier. The SuperZeros, being less demanding in terms of power, can shine with modest amplification, which again underscores their appeal to those with existing entry-level systems or a tighter budget.

Value and Versatility

Considering value, both speaker sets bring much to the table. The Monolith, with its higher price tag, offers a palpable step up in performance and build, which may justify the investment for serious enthusiasts. The SuperZero 2.1, on the other hand, punches above its weight class in terms of sound quality, making it an excellent value proposition for the budget-conscious audiophile.

In the final analysis, the choice between the Monoprice Monolith THX-265B and the NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker boils down to the listener's preferences and needs. Do you crave cinematic thrills and full-bodied music reproduction, or do you need a compact, unobtrusive speaker that still respects the integrity of the audio it's tasked with reproducing? Regardless of which path you choose, both sets of speakers stand as testaments to the audio world's vibrant diversity and the myriad ways we can experience sound.

Check Current Prices:

Monoprice Monolith THX-265B Bookshelf Speakers
Monoprice Monolith THX-265B Bookshelf Speakers
NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker
NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker

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Disclaimer: the speaker data listed on this website are correct to the best of our knowledge, but we do not guarantee the accuracy of the data. Please double-check any measurements with the manufacturer before making a final purchasing decision.