Setting up a home theater system can be expensive, but the most costly parts are usually the TV (or projector) and the speakers themselves. This can be quite daunting for beginners, but happily there are bargains to be had. For a time one, of the greatest values came in the form of the, a set of 5.1 speakers -- two fronts, a center channel, two rear surrounds and subwoofer -- which sold for just $250 from the online accessory retailer.
While they sounded amazing for the money, they were basically unauthorized clones of the-- rated 5 stars by CNET, and still a budget favorite. A subsequent lawsuit from Klipsch, Energy's parent company, saw the 9774 models . Undeterred, Monoprice swiftly replaced these with the retooled which sounded even better to our ears, and was seemingly different enough to stay further legal action.
Flash forward to two years later, and Monoprice has replaced the 10565 system with the 13773. (Apparently, Monoprice's low-price philosophy means there's no marketing investment in snappy model names beyond random four- or five-digit numbers.) The design differs from the former 10565 with paperinstead of polypropylene -- and an even more homely look. Performance is geared towards home cinema use with a very exciting sound, but music takes a hit as a result.
While it's not as good as the original 9774, at the cheaper price of $200, the new model is the new lion its field: at that kind of money, it has no natural predators. If you want more refinement and better musical sound, your next best option is to stump up $350 for the aforementioned Energys -- which are still available, and still excellent.
Design and features
While the 10565 featured four satellite speakers and a wider center channel, the 13773 has opted for five identical satellites instead. The benefits are that it both keeps the costs down and ensures consistent voicing across the soundstage. The satellites are roughly the same size as the former models at 6 inches tall and 4 inches square. They include a gray vinyl wrap that's better finished than the more expensivespeakers, which left some exposed fiberboard. The Monoprice speakers feature a 3-inch paper driver and a 0.5-inch polymer tweeter which are protected by a removable grill. The connections at the rear are spring clips, and while it lacks a bracket for wall mounting there is a threaded mount on the rear.
The subwoofer is similar to the previous design and it features an 8-inch paper driver with 100 watts of power. It's also covered in the same grey vinyl as the satellites and measures 15 by 10 by 13 inches.
The sub features a ported design and is capable of reaching down to a claimed 40Hz low-end frequency. Monoprice includes typical controls such as a variable crossover and volume/phase controls. It also includes both speaker terminals and LFO/stereo RCA connections.
We used the Monoprice with two different but comparably priced receivers: the Yamaha RX-V479. We used the speakers with and without the onboard calibration and generally preferred the calibrated sound. While we didn't have the Monoprice 10565 speakers on hand, we were able to compare to the original 9774 system -- and those that they're almost interchangeable.and the