This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.
First Look: The best-sounding ultrabudget speakers
About Video Comments (0 ) Transcript

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.

New releases

Olympus Pen E-PL7 is ready for...
2:58 August 27, 2014
With a touchscreen that tilts down 180 degrees, the Pen E-PL7 is designed for users who love selfies and want...
Play video
Tomorrow Daily 043: Time traveling...
24:00 August 27, 2014
On today's show, we discuss using virtual reality as an illusion of time travel, check out Royal Carribbean's...
Play video
Easily run Windows and Mac OS...
2:49 August 27, 2014
Parallels Desktop 10 makes switching between operating systems a snap
Play video
Not quite high caliber blendin...
2:41 August 27, 2014
Beneath the overblown health hype, the NutriBullet works well enough, but doesn't stand out from less expensive...
Play video
Melitta's cheap drip makes bitter...
2:07 August 27, 2014
Think twice about choosing the Melitta 10-Cup Coffeemaker to save cash.
Play video
Too-hot tech: Overheating Surface...
2:55 August 27, 2014
Hewlett-Packard recalls more than 6 million defective power cords, Microsoft promises a fix for overheating...
Play video
The gigantic Lexus GX 460
5:59 August 27, 2014
Lexus' second largest SUV may be a better fit for big luxury drivers.
Play video
The Bowers and Wilkins CM1 speakers...
1:50 August 27, 2014
The Bowers and Wilkins CM1 S2 speakers look great and sound terrific but aren't the best choice for punk...
Play video
 

Video discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre