Monoprice is an Internet retailer that made a name for itself providing tech accessories at insanely low prices. 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. We won't hype the Monoprice 8247 any more than that. This isn't an audiophile experience and you shouldn't expect one. 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.
The Monoprice 8247 comes with four satellite speakers, a center speaker, and a powered subwoofer. The satellites are pretty small, just 6 inches high, 4.1 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.
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.
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.