CNET First Look
Monoprice 13773 speakers say yes to movies, no to musicThese surround speakers offer home cinema thrills on a tight budget but are not suited to listening to music.
[MUSIC] For the past few years, Monoprice has had a reputation for good gear at ridiculously low prices. But its new 13773 surround set of speakers isn't quite up to the standard we've come to expect. It's cheap at $200, and it's a full 5.1 setup. It sounds great with movies and has a really forward, exciting sound. The 8-inch sub is really the star and can go quite deep. It mixes quite well with the satellites which are about 6 inches by 4 inches square. These speakers feature paper drivers and 0.5-inch polymer tweeters. The 13773 replaces the clones of the energy tape classic set which came out a few years ago, the 9774 and then the 10565. And while these speakers now feature a lower price, inevitably they will be compared to the older sets. And that is a problem. The issue is that the exciting sound these have Is too [UNKNOWN] for listening to music. Whether it's violins, tambourines, or even the human voice, music takes on a steely edge that can make this speaker set difficult to listen to. Compared to the 9774s, the new speakers lack the finesse of the old model. But given this is the replacement for the Monoprice's budget range, this is not the only option you have that's available at the price. If you never listen to music, the travel forward nature of the speakers won't be an issue. Movie dialog sounds clean and clear of nasalness and boxiness. If you want to listen to the occasional tune though, you might need to consider paying more for a system from, say Pioneer or the Energies. This has been Ty Pendlebury for cnet.com. [MUSIC]