Originally Posted by jjackkrash
I am nearly 100% set on some JBL 4722n's for my next L/C/R, but I would love someone to compare these speakers to some JBL Pro Cinema offerings like the 4722s or something similar to see how they fair. I have little doubt that these Mono Price offerings trounce many less efficient, more expensive speakers for an HT application, but some comparisons to some more expensive pro cinema offerings would really tell the tail of "bang for the buck."
The main difference is how loud they can play with acceptable distortion.
So if you for example want to listen at 105db and sit only 4 meters away, you pull 117db average from the LCR speakers to get 105db in the seats.
Pieces of the sounds go over 117db, because its the average 105db you want in your seats. So really the speakers have to have acceptable distortion and ability to play, at least 6db above that.
The monoprice 15s have 97db at 1 watt 1 meter, and 500 watt "program power" makes me think they can handle 250 watts RMS continuous pink noise for 2 hours. That gives us a theoretical output at thermal limits of 121db. Assuming half the power goes into heat we lose 3db to thermal loss. That's 118db output at 1 meter.
Theater sound-tracks are a bit nicer to power draw than pink noise, but the point where harshness sets in is for financial reasons designed to be just where they run out of power headroom.
Where a speaker sounds harsh is down to how strong the cone and suspension is, and this is proportional directly to how loud they are designed to play. So they tend to try to cross over the cone+suspension stiffness at right where they reach power limits. So that there are acceptable distortion up until power limits, but no excess cone or suspension stiffness. Because excess stiffness means there has to be more magnet material to maintain sensitivity.
More expensive speakers tend to have slightly stiffer cones and suspension, because built in is just a tad more magnet, but cheap stuff wants to get away with the least amount of magnet possible.
EDIT: This means a speaker costing 250 usd that can put out 120db at power limit have a slightly softer cone and suspension, and thus more distortion at power limit, than a 500 usd speaker that can put out 120db at power limit.
It is entirely possible that the price difference is made up also, that happens a lot in home-grade stuff, just hike the price up and paint it nicer and people thinks a 250 dollar speaker that sells for 1000 dollars is actually a 1000 dollar speaker.
A pair of 4722N's simply can do louder before sounding harsh. If you do the same math for the biamp 4722s you get about 128db rms pink noise output. So they would easily be able to play 105db even 12-16 meters away. And thus you can have louder goals for the seats, or seats farther from the screen.
Picking active crossover speakers (or making passive crossover speakers into active crossover speakers) tend to raise the bar as to when harshness sets in.
But really its possible that the monoprice speakers are harsh before rated power output.
So it all really comes down to how loud you aim for and how far from the LCRs you will have seats. There's probably something between monoprice and 4722 that works well enough if you want close to or above 117db from your LCRs.