Monoprice Monolith THX-265B Bookshelf Speakers Review


MSRP $800
(H × W × D)
15.40” × 9.70” × 11.40”
391mm × 246mm × 290mm
Power Type Passive
Frequency Response 65-24,000 Hz
Monoprice Monolith THX-265B Bookshelf Speakers

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: The Monoprice Monolith THX-265B Bookshelf Speakers showcase a commendable performance-to-price ratio. THX certification promises cinema-grade sound, and they deliver with precise imaging and a balanced audio profile. Bass response is respectable for the size, though serious low-end enthusiasts might crave a subwoofer. Some may find the aesthetics a bit stark, but build quality is solid. While they're not the last word in refinement, for those seeking THX-level home theater sound on a budget, these speakers are a genuine contender.

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Monoprice Monolith THX-265B: Our Take

In the realm of high-fidelity sound, the quest for a bookshelf speaker that can deliver a full-bodied audio experience without breaking the bank is a common pursuit among audiophiles. Enter the Monoprice Monolith THX-265B Bookshelf Speakers, a pair that seeks to marry affordability with performance. These speakers are THX certified, meaning they've passed rigorous tests to ensure they meet high standards for sound quality and reproduction. This certification is an assurance that they'll perform well in a variety of listening environments, which is always a reassuring starting point for any audiophile considering a purchase.

The Monolith THX-265B speakers boast a two-way design featuring a 6.5-inch woofer and a 1-inch silk dome tweeter. This combination aims to deliver clear highs and robust lows, claiming an impressive frequency response of 45Hz to 20kHz. The build quality, characterized by a dense MDF cabinet to reduce unwanted resonances, reflects Monoprice's commitment to offering a solid product without an exorbitant price tag. Moreover, the magnetic grilles add an extra touch of convenience and aesthetic appeal.

However, speakers are not just about specs on paper; it's about how they translate into real-world listening experiences. Users of the Monoprice Monolith THX-265B have reported a sound that is transparent and neutral, with a particular strength in midrange clarity. This makes them a potentially great match for vocal-centric music and intricate instrumental textures. The bass, while not ground-shaking due to their bookshelf size, is nonetheless tight and precise, which should satisfy users not expecting the output of larger floor-standing units or those who supplement with a subwoofer.

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Integration with Home Theater Systems

One of the unique features of the Monoprice Monolith THX-265B bookshelf speakers is their seamless integration with home theater setups. The THX certification plays a significant role here, as it guarantees a level of sound quality that is complemented by the speakers' ability to handle dynamic swings effectively. Users looking to build or upgrade their home cinema will find these speakers to be a competent choice, especially when paired with other THX-certified components for a truly immersive sound experience.

Comparisons to the Competition

When considering alternatives, potential buyers might look at offerings from established brands like the ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 or the KEF Q150. These competitors also aim to provide high-quality sound in a compact package, yet each has its own sonic signature and design philosophy. The ELAC's are known for their impressive bass response for the size and an overall warm sound, while the KEF Q150s offer a unique Uni-Q driver array that aims for a more expansive soundstage and detailed imaging.

The Monoprice Monolith THX-265B isn't without its downsides, though. One consideration is sensitivity; at 86dB, they're not the most efficient speakers around. This means they may require a more powerful amplifier to drive them to their full potential, which could be an additional investment for those who don't already own a capable amp. Additionally, some users may find the neutral sound profile to be less engaging, especially if they prefer a more colored or "exciting" sound signature.

Another noteworthy aspect is the physical footprint. While called 'bookshelf' speakers, their hefty build might demand a bit more shelf space than some of their peers. This is a minor quibble, but for those with limited space, it's an important factor in the decision-making process. Conversely, this heft is indicative of the Monolith's solid construction and can be seen as a testament to their durability and potential for delivering uncolored sound.

Finally, the Monoprice Monolith THX-265B bookshelf speakers, with their THX certification and sensible pricing, present a compelling option for the discerning audiophile on a budget. While they may not be the final word in bookshelf speakers, they hold their own in a crowded market by offering a balanced package of sound quality, build, and affordability. For anyone looking to dip their toes into the world of high-fidelity audio without diving wallet-first, these speakers warrant a close look and careful consideration.

And while Monoprice may not carry the same brand recognition as some of its competitors, the Monolith THX-265B bookshelf speakers stand as a testament to the company's commitment to quality and value. With solid performance, THX certification, and a price that undercuts many in its class, these speakers represent a serious contender for those seeking to maximize their audio investment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes the Monoprice Monolith THX-265B stand out in its price category?

The Monoprice Monolith THX-265B bookshelf speakers are a bit of a dark horse in a crowded market. Where they shine is in their THX certification, which is a bit like a badge of honor denoting high standards for movie playback. For the home theater enthusiast, this means the speakers have gone through rigorous tests to meet high performance standards for sound reproduction. This is not a common feature for speakers in their price range, making them a compelling choice for someone looking to elevate their home cinema experience without breaking the bank. The build quality, featuring a well-damped, inert cabinet, also contributes to minimizing resonance and distortion, which is another standout aspect not always seen in this price bracket.

How do the Monoprice Monolith THX-265B speakers perform in a stereo setup versus a home theater configuration?

In a stereo setup, listeners can expect the Monoprice Monolith THX-265B to deliver a clean and neutral sound profile, with a particular strength in midrange clarity, which is crucial for accurately reproducing vocals and most instruments. The controlled directivity of the tweeter ensures a wide sweet spot and a consistent listening experience across various positions in the room. When it comes to home theater use, these speakers really come into their own. The THX certification guarantees that they can handle the dynamic range of movie soundtracks while maintaining clear dialogue and impactful sound effects. Their ability to integrate seamlessly with additional speakers for surround sound makes them versatile performers, regardless of the application.

Are the Monoprice Monolith THX-265B speakers difficult to drive, and what kind of amplifier should I pair them with?

Speakers like the Monoprice Monolith THX-265B are designed with home theater performance in mind, which usually means they're made to be relatively easy to drive so that they can be paired with a wide range of AV receivers. While specific sensitivity ratings and impedance figures are essential for determining the exact amplifier power requirements, these speakers are generally receptive to most midrange amplifiers' output. It's always wise to ensure that the amplifier or receiver can deliver clean power at the impedance level of the speakers without strain. For optimal performance, look for an amplifier that provides a stable power output that matches the recommended wattage for the speakers. This will ensure that you have enough headroom for dynamic peaks in music and movies without pushing your gear too hard.

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Monoprice Monolith THX-265B

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