The concept of buying a complete 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos sound system for under $300 is certainly appealing at face price, but there’s arguably no point if the speakers produce inferior-quality sound. With that said, where does this small home theater setup sit on the scale of immersive audio?
A Compact Home Theater System
In this new audio age where listeners seem more focused on building smaller, less obtrusive sound systems, some inevitably compromise quality in the process. Many are turning to soundbars with multiple speakers sitting inside a single enclosure, which is then usually placed underneath a television screen. The Monoprice 5.1.4 system doesn’t just manage to compete in terms of size, the additional speakers genuinely add to the immersive experience.
The system is made up of a center speaker, a subwoofer, and four satellite speakers containing upward-firing cones. The satellites measure 4.5" x 10.5" x 5.3" and each weigh a very reasonable 2.9 pounds.
The largest component, as expected, is the subwoofer with an 8” downward-firing driver. This sub is also one of the most impressive features, allowing the Monoprice system to effectively reproduce a relatively-wide frequency range.
The system manages to balance small size and subtle design, but is the sound up to scratch?
These speakers are best tested with Dolby Atmos content, either via Blu-Ray disc or streaming via an Apple Music or Tidal monthly subscription. They yield a satisfying, room-filling sound with both music and visual content.
The sub is a highlight, with a variable crossover and a 200W amp firing through an 8” speaker. It is the largest part of the system, and it isn’t always subtle, but if you want to hear an impactful low end in a movie or your favorite albums, it does a good job.
It’s fair to say that, for the low price tag, this speaker setup exceeds expectations. Assembling a 5.1.4 system with separate components is a big investment for the non-audiophile, and Monoprice should be applauded for providing an inexpensive option for those looking to dip their toe in the water. It’s an excellent starter system in that regard, and offers a far more credible reproduction of multichannel audio content than a soundbar would.
The system has a lot to like for newcomers to Dolby Atmos as well as casual home listeners. Though it is a little limited in some regards, it is among the best immersive speaker products in its price range.