Monoprice 15" Passive PA Speaker Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 397 Old 08-19-2016, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Monoprice 15" Passive PA Speakers Review

Two-way, affordable 15" PA speakers with horn-loaded compression-driver tweeters are a common sight at picnics and weddings across the world. Modern iterations of this ubiquitous speaker design are available from many manufacturers (including JBL, Yamaha, Mackie, Behringer, Peavey, etc.). They often come in molded-plastic enclosures that are lightweight, rugged, and incorporate the horn into the cabinet. This review is about the Monoprice 15" passive PA speaker ($159 each), which fits the archetype for this sort of speaker design. The question is, can they be repurposed for 2-channel music listening or for use in a surround-sound home cinema system? Click here to read the review and find out: https://www.avsforum.com/monoprice-15...eakers-review/


A pair of Monoprice 15" passive PA speakers.

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Last edited by imagic; 12-20-2016 at 07:21 AM.
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post #2 of 397 Old 08-19-2016, 12:07 PM
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Hope they paid for this review because you probably just sold thousands of these things At that price i expect them to be out of stock soon enough.

I would have loved to see direct measurements vs the behringer. It would have added a lot quantitatively to the review.

I would also love to see distortion plots etc

Last edited by 1201; 08-19-2016 at 12:22 PM.
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post #3 of 397 Old 08-19-2016, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1201 View Post
Hope they paid for thos review because you probably just sold thousands of these things At that price i expect them to be out of stock soon enough.

I would have loved to see direct measurements vs the behringer. It would have added a lot quantitatively to the review.

I would also love to see distortion plots etc
Like the Behringer review, I took the initiative out of my interest in speakers like these and because I am obsessed with finding good sound for cheap.

I wish I could, but I don't have the Behringers anymore. That could have been cool.

Here are the distortion plot with the mic 1 meter away on-axis. Please understand, my room is far from the perfect place to measure. I did turn of the central air and was very careful but all my reading have to be taken as estimates. The upshot is that anechoic measurements would likely look better, not worse. I got lower numbers than these with close-mic measurements, and can easily take more readings this weekend.


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post #4 of 397 Old 08-19-2016, 02:01 PM
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Great review Mark. Thanks for posting. I was curious about these especially since monoprice is known as bang for buck and their products generally fair well (recent amp review as example).

Would be cool to do a blind head to head against berries and mackies .... "Bang for buck" head to head lol
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post #5 of 397 Old 08-19-2016, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MysticalJet View Post
Great review Mark. Thanks for posting. I was curious about these especially since monoprice is known as bang for buck and their products generally fair well (recent amp review as example).

Would be cool to do a blind head to head against berries and mackies .... "Bang for buck" head to head lol
That would be cool, I would show up with these if a GTG/meetup in my area offered that opportunity.

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post #6 of 397 Old 08-19-2016, 04:59 PM
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Great write up one these! I'm one of the guys who's lcr and surrounds are the behringer pa speakers. Looks like I'm going to have to pick up a few and see how they sound. Thanks again for trying them out and writing a review about them. I'm looking forward to doing an A/B comparison of these and the berrys.
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post #7 of 397 Old 08-19-2016, 05:19 PM
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Great review Mark. I might try these for my Garage/Gym Setup. Pretty big area and needs to be on the cheap.
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post #8 of 397 Old 08-19-2016, 05:19 PM
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first time i've read about Classe' and Monoprice speakers in the same article. That's why I love AVS haha
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post #9 of 397 Old 08-19-2016, 05:44 PM
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Very interesting

The 3.3 KHz crossover is rather funky--but you have a quick and dirty way to drop it down to approx. 1.6 to 1.7 KHz. Remove both XO boards, take the coils and caps off the second one and put the caps in parallel and the coils in series to drop it around an octave.

You know you want to... maybe take some distortion measurements up to 100 to 200 watts and see if the compression driver holds up. They might of gone with the 3.3 KHz crossover just to save a few bucks on cap and coil sizes. $159 something has to give so maybe an option?

For garage use, I'd pull the woofer grills, spray on some 3M 77 glue and put a layer on the outside and inside to protect the woofer from dust, dirt, flying beer etc. It would improve the looks and have a function.

Great find for man caves and BBQs--couple it with a VBSS build or two, use an iNuke 4 channel and and go. A great way to meet members of law enforcement for around a grand.
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post #10 of 397 Old 08-19-2016, 07:23 PM
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...and along comes a better, cheaper cinema find, mere weeks after finally purchasing a trio of B215XL's for the front channels. If this trend continues maybe I'll try dusting off that old factory 6X9 and popping it into an empty beer case.
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post #11 of 397 Old 08-19-2016, 09:07 PM
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Man too late I just recommended 2 weeks ago 4 Behringer to a friend. He was looking for something cheap but with good sound.

well for next one.
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post #12 of 397 Old 08-19-2016, 09:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidK442 View Post
...and along comes a better, cheaper cinema find, mere weeks after finally purchasing a trio of B215XL's for the front channels. If this trend continues maybe I'll try dusting off that old factory 6X9 and popping it into an empty beer case.
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Man too late I just recommended 2 weeks ago 4 Behringer to a friend. He was looking for something cheap but with good sound.

well for next one.
If you don't have to pay shipping on the B215XL (Amazon Prime!) then the cost is very similar to the Monoprice.

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post #13 of 397 Old 08-19-2016, 11:41 PM
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These look promising. My only question is, do they come in white, preferably in a 1-2 cubic inch box that I can hide in the closet and get the same performance?
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post #14 of 397 Old 08-20-2016, 07:13 AM
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thanks for updating with some plots. the gated response looks pretty good. do you have any plans to show what the low mids look like?

also, it would be very interesting to see the internals of the speaker, ie what type of compression driver is used, what type of damping is inside the speaker etc.

thanks

ps. the level of performance for ht focused speakers is really becoming very affodable.

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post #15 of 397 Old 08-20-2016, 07:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1201 View Post
thanks for updating with some plots. the gated response looks pretty good. do you have any plans to show what the low mids look like?

also, it would be very interesting to see the internals of the speaker, ie what type of compression driver is used, what type of damping is inside the speaker etc.

thanks

ps. the level of performance for ht focused speakers is really becoming very affodable.
I'll revisit these, I have to move on to other reviews for the moment but I've not done. I'm interested in finding out what the compression driver is, too. I'm curious if spending a few bucks on Selenium or Eminence compression drivers and then going active with the crossover is worth it. Tinkering shall occur!

What I do see is the horn is a lot better behaved than the Behringer B215XL, when I found the gated 1-meter measurements I took of those, I was a bit shocked.

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post #16 of 397 Old 08-20-2016, 01:17 PM
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Looking at the crossover board

It appears to me that it has two caps and one coil, so it uses just a single cap for the horn? If so, it makes a lot of sense to cross it at 3.3 KHz. If so, I bet it would easily cross at 2 KHz or lower with a higher order crossover, looks to be a fun project with the active setup.

Look out JBL .... the wall of bass will soon be a wall of monoprice.

Looking forward to the tear down and what evil lurks in the heart of ABS. Thanks for the update.
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post #17 of 397 Old 08-20-2016, 02:00 PM
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$20 off $100 with code PIKE. Ebates 1% back.

Why do I read threads like these?!?!?!


Michael


edit: $73 for shipping!!!


Good, I have a reason (excuse? ) to pass.

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post #18 of 397 Old 08-20-2016, 08:46 PM
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It is tough to swallow all the recommendations for L/C/R's on this site with <7 inch drivers and <89 dB efficiency when a product like this is available at this price point. I understand some can't put these in a super-nice living room, but for rec-room or budget-basement theater, man oh man what a bargain.
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post #19 of 397 Old 08-21-2016, 08:39 AM
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15% off today, so cheaper than yesterday for a pair.
Damn!

30 day free return policy may get me to pull the trigger.
Maybe.

Michael
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post #20 of 397 Old 08-21-2016, 10:20 AM
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Thanks for this great review, imagic. I had already read your great review on the B215XLs.



I'm going to keep an eye on this thread for the next year or two and see how they perform over time. My teenage son will be going off to college in a couple of years, and something like these Monoprice with a $200 amp would make the ultimate budget house party speakers. Especially since I already told him that sophomore year--after he moves out of the dorms--he could have my dual Chase 18.1 subs. They are midbass monsters. That would be a killer combination!

And yes. The advantage of having a teenage son is that not only do you get to buy audio equipment for yourself, but you get to pick out equipment for him, too!
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post #21 of 397 Old 08-21-2016, 12:15 PM
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Actually, I don't believe shipping is included in the return policy.
Oh, well, ordered anyway.

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post #22 of 397 Old 08-21-2016, 01:08 PM
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Hello LastButNotLeast, please keep us posted on your results listening to the speakers.

I just might purchase these myself.

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post #23 of 397 Old 08-21-2016, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Right now I have the Monoprice and a pair of speakers that cost 25 times more. Same sub. Both treated with Dirac. Yes, the most expensive speakers are better. But not, like, 25 times better. Or 10 times better. Or 5 times better. Maybe twice as good? That's impossible to quantify. There's real satisfaction to be had when listening to these as-is. After CEDIA wraps up in a few weeks, I'm going active with the help of MiniDSP.

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post #24 of 397 Old 08-21-2016, 05:54 PM
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I'll see how I like them stock. Assuming I don't send them back (a reasonable assumption), I may experiment with my Fusion 8 CD, perhaps even the xo.
I just hope I have the room for them - these things are BIG.
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post #25 of 397 Old 08-21-2016, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post
Thanks for this great review, imagic. I had already read your great review on the B215XLs.



I'm going to keep an eye on this thread for the next year or two and see how they perform over time. My teenage son will be going off to college in a couple of years, and something like these Monoprice with a $200 amp would make the ultimate budget house party speakers. Especially since I already told him that sophomore year--after he moves out of the dorms--he could have my dual Chase 18.1 subs. They are midbass monsters. That would be a killer combination!

And yes. The advantage of having a teenage son is that not only do you get to buy audio equipment for yourself, but you get to pick out equipment for him, too!
Update:

I sent the pic in this thread of the Monoprice speakers to my teenage son (he lives with his mother during the school year) and the link to the product page.

His reply, "Those look nuts."

When I asked him if he needed any, he said, "If I wanted to give my mom an aneurysm, yes."

LOL
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post #26 of 397 Old 08-21-2016, 06:51 PM
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Mark, regarding the woofer's limited dispersion as it approaches that high crossover, would you have concerns for HT covering 4 seats wide that are 11-12 feet away from the speakers?

Thanks,
Ross

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post #27 of 397 Old 08-21-2016, 07:31 PM
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Thanks for the review. I didn't know they are that cheap. I'm on vacation now and there is a bar uses these speakers. They play rock & jazz music mostly at afternoon and techno after midnight. I liked how they sounded. Very clean. But they need subwoofer. Now i imagine 7.2.4 full surround system with these speakers.
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post #28 of 397 Old 08-21-2016, 08:51 PM
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Having a $1000 room correction bit of kit is surely going to help any speaker sound pretty good? Would using a standard AVR's audyssey or ypao room correction give a similar result to what you have used?
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post #29 of 397 Old 08-21-2016, 09:22 PM
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That's a good point, and why I'm still using my first-gen Pioneers instead of my Alchemys; the commercial boxes look better and I'm able to get similar measurements. I use REW and Equaliser-APO, so I could probably get most any speaker to sound as good as it possibly can in my room. I tried Dirac Live software and it didn't do any better (though, for a neophyte, it would certainly be easier).
However, you still can't make a silk purse out of a cow's ear. Speakers that are cheaply made or poorly designed won't sound good under any circumstances.
I'm familiar with Pioneer's MCACC, though I don't use it. Any of the comparable room correction systems will work its magic, but, again, can only make a given speaker sound as good as that speaker possibly can.
A few models are developing a reputation for being a good value at a given price. I'm willing to give these a try based on Mark's experience.
I have high hopes.
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post #30 of 397 Old 08-21-2016, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
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Now i imagine 7.2.4 full surround system with these speakers.
You'd need a BIG room.

And I don't know happy I'd be sitting underneath four of these overhead.

Michael
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