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First Look: The best-sounding ultrabudget speakers
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First Look: The best-sounding ultrabudget speakers

2:20 /

The Monoprice MBS-650 are best-sounding ultrabudget bookshelf speakers and the $32-per-pair pricing makes it easier to put up with the generic styling.

[MUSIC] Buying a cheap set of speakers that actually sound pretty good has never been easier; thanks to a wave of ultra budget models from brands like Thaden Audio, Micca and Monoprice. Hey, I'm Matthew Moskovciak for Cnet, and the model price MDF650 is actually the best sounding ultra budget speaker of the bunch. And more impressively, it's selling for just $32 per pair plus shipping. While they sound good, you're not getting much in the looks department from these speakers. They're as generic looking as they come with a black matte vinyl finish and boxy sharp edges. They're also pretty big, so if you need them to fit in a smaller space, you may wanna check out the competing Micca MB42. Around back, you'll find a keyhole wall mount and a base for it, along with a speaker connectors. Unfortunately, Monoprice's spring clip connectors aren't very strong. So if you find yourself actually moving the speakers, the speaker wire may slip out. Behind the speaker grill, there's a half inch tweeter and large 6.5 inch woofer. There's not much else to these speakers; there's no built-in wireless technology like Bluetooth, WiFi or airplay. Nor is there any kind of integrated amplification. That means you're going to need a separate amplifier, but luckily, there are other cheap options, like the $18 Lepai LP2020 A Plus. Plug in your phone, wire up the speakers and you're good to go. Where the Monoprice speakers really shine is their sound quality. This isn't a premium speaker experience, but they outclassed the other Ultra budget options when we compare them side by side. Music sounded particularly natural. And there is more detail than you'd expect from a speaker at this price. It even held its own when we turned up the volume. The smaller Micca MB42 speakers started to sound harsh. Now the Monoprice speakers can't compare to more expensive models like Pioneer's $130 SPBS22LR speakers. But to be fair, they're also a fraction of the cost. And that's pretty much all you need to know about these speakers. If you're looking for the best sounding Ultra budget speakers, you can't beat Monoprice's MBS 650, although they are gonna work best in a garage or a den where looks aren't quite as important. I'm Matthew Moskovciak for Cnet, and this is the Monoprice MBS 650.

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