Monolith MM-3 Powered Multimedia Speakers Review

Monoprice MM-3 powered multimedia speakers feature Bluetooth with AptX wireless capability as well as a front headphone jack and class D amplification. These compact speakers are powered by 50 W (25 W per channel) and utilize DSP to provide high performance sound including bass down to 55 Hz. 


In each speaker, a 3-inch polypropylene woofer and three-quarter inch cloth dome tweeter handle audio reproduction. On the back of the active unit (which contains the amplification) you’ll find both a pair of stereo RCA inputs and 3.5 mm TRS Jack (headphone jack input). And on the front you’ll find a headphone jack.

These speakers ship with angled isolation stands that reduce the transfer of vibrations from the speaker to the desktop. They have the ancillary benefit of aiming the speaker tour of the listener. Furthermore, the bottom of each speaker features a mounting hole.


The passive speaker connects to the active unit with a 6-foot cable.

With both wired and wireless connectivity, these speakers make it affordable and easy to outfit your desktop with quality sound.

When using the isolation stands, the design of these speakers is optimal for a desktop. Over they may also be used as active bookshelf speakers in any room and are available in both black and white finishes to blend in with the decor.


Setup and listening

Thanks to well tuned DSP, these speakers sound great right up until the volume limit. They are surprisingly capable, by any standard. I decided to use the pair in my living room, flanking my center channel speaker, and listen critically from my usual spot. After connecting to Bluetooth, which is a simple as pushing a “pair” button on the rear and adding “MM3” on the source device (in my case a Galaxy note 10+) I launched into a critical listening session that wound up being a real surprise for my ears.

I put these speakers in my living room, flanking the center channel I usually use

These speakers will never reproduce concert volume levels, but at a casual listening volume their performance was on par with what I’ve heard coming out of passive bookshelf speakers up to $500/pair. That’s no exaggeration, the imaging and soundstage is holographic, wide, detailed, and the speakers disappear. So far so good!

Crisp but non-fatiguing treble brings out the details. Midrange is clear and free of collision. And crucially, theses speakers manage to sound bigger than they actually are when it comes to bass. Not because there’s too much bass, but rather because the bass itself is very clear and tight. You’re not gonna mistake this for a system that has a powerful subwoofer, but they still easily exceed expectations for both extension and dynamics.

From electronica to rap to reggae dub to rock, the clarity and detail of the Monoprice MM-3 powered speakers stood out. Good production comes through in the texture of the sound, if the track is supposed to sound “big” then what you hear is big—close your eyes and you’ll have no idea what size speakers are making the sound you hear.

What it comes down to is this… the Monoprice MM-3 and a phone =a legit stereo system for an apartment or condo. In that context, of course they also make a great multimedia speaker system for a desktop. With nearfield listening, you still get great sound but the perceived volume is higher. 

The Monoprice MM-3 speakers still exhibit great soundstage and Imaging with near field listening. That was not just fun for music, it also translated to accurate sound placement for gamers and with movies and TV, it provides a “phantom center” effect for vocals. Overall these speakers provide the sort of sound you’d expect from a larger and considerably more expensive system than this.

A pair of quick measurements (nearfield and from the main listening position) using REW and a UMIK-1 showed that the bass extension claim made by Monoprice holds up in practice and reveals a very nice response curve that clearly translates into the subjectively great sound I heard coming from these compact and affordable multimedia speakers. 

The headphone jack worked as expected and appears capable of driving full-size headphones to high output levels. You wouldn’t necessarily buy these speakers for the headphone amp, but when used on a desktop, the feature is handy since it puts a headphone jack and a physical volume control conveniently within arm’s reach.


Pros:

  • Excellent sound for the price
  • Include angled isolation stands
  • Headphone jack
  • Physical volume knob
  • RCA and 3.5mm stereo inputs

Cons:

  • Proprietary cable to connect the speakers
  • No digital input (optical/USB)

 


Conclusion

Whether used as AptX Bluetooth wireless bookshelf speakers, or on a desktop connected to a computer, Monoprice MM-3 Bluetooth multimedia speakers are shockingly good for the money. They are a Top Choice for affordable powered desktop multimedia speakers.

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Monolith MM-3 Powered Multimedia Speakers – White (Pair) with AptX Bluetooth, Front Headphone Jack, Digital Class D on Amazon ($199.99)