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CNET First Look
Monoprice 10565: Superb sounding speakers a little short on styleThe Monoprice 10565 speaker system tops our longtime favorite Energy Take Classic speakers in sound quality, but they lack their stylish look.
Hey, I'm Matthew Moskovciak and we're gonna take a quick look at the Monoprice 10565. This is a new 5.1 speaker system for Monoprice that's currently selling for $249. Can you remember that earlier this year, Monoprice rolled out $250 speaker system that was nearly identical to the popular $400 Energy Take plastic speaker system? So identical, in fact, there was a lawsuit and the case was settled and the Monoprice speakers were discontinued. Well, now Monoprice is back with the 10565 speaker system and while it look somewhat different that the Energys, it's still pretty similar. The speakers have the same size woofers and tweeters and both sub-woofers have 200-watt amps and a down-firing 8-inch woofer. With the speakers do look significantly different. The big difference is the matte black finish which doesn't look quite as nice although it is more resistant to dust and finger prints. The drivers themselves don't look quite identical and the positioning of the speaker jacks and bass ports on the back are different as well. Overall, the minor price speakers don't look as stylish. They have more of a generic look although the Energy system is a little classier. Aside from looks, these speakers do sound different unlike Monoprice's last system, which sounded identical to the Energy system. The big surprise is that the Monoprice speakers actually sounded better to our ears. We had resident audiophile Steve Guttenberg give both systems a listen and while they are very similar sounding overall. He thought the Monoprice system had slightly deeper bass and more mid-range in treble detail. That's high [unk], the Energy system has long been our favorite sounding compact speaker system for under $500. The Monoprice speakers sounded great with both movies and music delivering sonics than even the best sound bar. The other surprises of the pricing differences between the two systems aren't as drastic as you might think. For one, the cost of the Monoprice system doesn't include shipping which can add over $40 to the cost depending on where you like. And two, the Energy Take plastic speakers are frequently discounted down to $350, sometimes even as low as $300. So if you're willing to wait for a deal, the price difference isn't that significant between the two systems. So ultimately, it comes down to what you personally care about the most. The Monoprice speakers sound a little better but the Energy system looks a little better and it has a better warranty. The nice thing is no matter which way you go, you're getting a fantastic value and great sounding speakers. I'm Matthew Moskovciak and this is the Monoprice 10565.