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CNET First Look
Monoprice 8247The Monoprice 8247 does the impossible by offering a competent 5.1 speaker system for less than $100, setting a new standard for ultrabudget speakers.
Hey, I'm Matthew Moskovciak at CNET.com and this is the Monoprice 8247. Most people know about Monoprice from the company's excellent line of cheap HDMI cables. Now, the company is branching out to some other home theater products. The Monoprice 8247 is a 5.1 speaker system and the pricing is just incredible with this whole system costing just $84. That's less than $15 per speaker if you include the subwoofer. Now, the system includes 4 small satellite speakers, a center channel and the subwoofer. The cabinets are plastic with the sandy texture, but they have some way to them so they don't feel completely cheap. At this price, we were also shocked to see Monoprice included 4 swivel wall mounts in the package, which is something you don't even find on more expensive speaker systems. Now on the back, you'll see the metal speaker connectors, which are pretty decent, although it won't accept banana plugs and you'll need to use 16-gauge or thinner speaker wire. The 60 watts subwoofer has a down firing 8-inch woofer with a base board on the front and design as a pretty plain boxy look. Now for $84, we were expecting pretty lackluster sound quality, but Monoprice really surprised us. It doesn't sound great for a system of this size. It sounds pretty good. The subwoofer blends nicely with the satellite speakers and they can play pretty loud without getting distorted. Of course like any system in this size, it does fair better with movies rather than music. So if you expect to listen to a lot of 2 channel music, you'll probably wanna consider something else. We also put it head to head with the $400 Energy Take Classic 5.1 system and there is no doubt that the energy sounded better and just about every way possible, but the Energy System is more than 4 times as expensive and we're sure many listeners would be perfectly happy with the Monoprice's sound., so should you buy the Monoprice 8247, that depends on how much you're willing to spend. For $400, you can get much better sound quality from either the Energy Take Classic System or the larger Pioneer SP-PK21BS. But if you can't spend that much, the Monoprice 8247 is the best deal we've seen for under $400 and it really is a perfect starter 5.1 system. I'm Matthew Moskovciak and this is the Monoprice 8247.