Monoprice 8247 review: Monoprice 8247

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.4
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 7.0

Average User Rating

3.5 stars 2 user reviews
Review Date:
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The Good The Monoprice 8247 is one of the least expensive 5.1 speaker systems we've ever seen. The system includes four small two-way satellite speakers with swivel wall-mounts, a center channel, and a compact powered 8-inch subwoofer. Most importantly, it actually sounds pretty good, as long as you're not expecting miracles.

The Bad The plastic speaker cabinets don't compare to the nicer finishes on more expensive systems. And if you can spend more money, the Energy Take Classic 5.1 and Pioneer SP-PK21BS are better in just about every way.

The Bottom Line The Monoprice 8247 does the impossible by offering a competent 5.1 speaker system for less than $100, setting a new standard for ultrabudget speakers.

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Monoprice is an Internet retailer that made a name for itself providing tech accessories at insanely low prices. (It is, in our opinion, the best place to buy "good enough" HDMI cables at prices far lower than you'd ever find at Best Buy.) Not content with accessories, Monoprice is now branching out into its own branded line of tech products. Even with Monoprice's reputation for bargains, we were shocked to see the Monoprice 8247: it's a 5.1 surround-sound speaker package you can buy for the seemingly impossible price of $84.10. That's less than $15 per speaker (including the subwoofer) and Monoprice doesn't chintz out with the accessories, including four swivel wall-mounts for each of the satellite speakers. The most impressive feat of all is that these ultrabudget speakers actually sound pretty good.

We won't hype the Monoprice 8247 any more than that. This isn't an audiophile experience and you shouldn't expect one. The speaker cabinets are made of plastic instead of wood, although they are surprisingly heavy, which at least creates the impression of build quality. The speaker connectors are better than what's available on many budget speakers, but they don't accept banana plugs. Still, the Monoprice system sounds much better than it has any right to at this price and it's the perfect starter 5.1 speaker system or secondary system for a smaller room.

Design and features
The Monoprice 8247 comes with four satellite speakers, a center speaker, and a powered subwoofer. The satellites are pretty small, just 6 inches high and 4.1 inches wide and deep, and each one weighs 1.8 pounds. The black plastic cabinets are finished in a sandy texture and while they don't look great, they're not offensive either. Considering Monoprice's rock-bottom pricing, the system's build quality is surprisingly decent.

Monoprice 8247 speaker connectors
The speaker connectors are decent, but don't accept banana plugs.

The push-to-open, all-metal connectors definitely provide a better, more secure connection with your speakers' wires than the more typical plastic wire clips used on most budget speakers. The Monoprice connector's holes are small, so they won't accept thick, audiophile wires. Monoprice recommends 16-gauge or thinner wires, and you can't use banana plugs or spade connectors with these speakers.

The system comes with four sturdy C-shaped wall-mount brackets that allow the satellite speakers to be aimed toward the listening position. Monoprice doesn't include a bracket for the center speaker.

Monoprice 8247 speaker brackets
Despite the budget price, Monoprice includes 4 swivel wall-mounts.

The speakers' perforated metal grilles aren't removable, but you can see Monoprice's 3-inch paper woofers and 0.5-inch dome tweeters through the grille. The center speaker is a traditional woofer/tweeter/woofer array, with the same drivers as the sats'. Don't be put off by Monoprice's use of paper woofers; they are favored by some audiophiles for their smoother sound, compared with more common plastic cones.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Sep. 15, 2011
  • Color black
  • Speaker System Type home theater speaker system
  • Nominal (RMS) Output Power 60 Watt
  • Amplification Type active subwoofer, passive satellites
  • Connectivity Technology wired
  • Type Home theater speaker system
  • Speaker System Configuration 5.1-channel
  • Sensitivity 85 dB
About The Author

Covering home audio and video, Matthew Moskovciak helps CNET readers find the best sights and sounds for their home theaters. E-mail Matthew or follow him on Twitter @cnetmoskovciak.

About The Author

Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Home Theater, Inner Fidelity, Tone Audio, and Stereophile.