Monoprice 8251 Review

The Monoprice 8251 speakers are a good looking and interesting pair of speakers, priced at only $80. The first thing I should note is they are BIG. They sport a small tweeter, a 4″ midrange woofer and a 8″ large woofer. The drivers themselves look pretty good with the grills off.

Monoprice 8251 with a Micca MB42X on top

The design of the Monoprice 8251 is what’s called a three-way design. Instead of the usual tweeter and woofer, there’s two woofers of different sizes and a tweeter.  This means that each driver is responsible for a 3 octaves a piece (roughly) instead of 4 or 5. That way each driver can specialize and do a great job at a smaller part of the spectrum.

That’s the theory, in practice, three-way designs are very difficult to make and require a complicated set of crossover circuits. When you’ve only got an $80 budget, lots of shortcuts get taken and the result is a speaker you should avoid.

When you listen to music or TV through these, it just doesn’t sound correct. The warm coloration is very distinct. Different frequencies sound like they are coming from different places. While that is technically true, a good speaker won’t make that obvious to a listener.

The thing this speaker should do well, providing bass, is lacking. I immediately wanted to add my subwoofer back into the setup when I was listening to these. You don’t buy speakers that giant so you can use a subwoofer.

All-in-all, if you’re looking to spend this level of money on a speaker, get the Micca MB42X. As you can see from the picture above, its quite a bit smaller. It also sounds remarkably good.

Now let’s take a look at the measurements.

Wow, that frequency response looks awful. I normally set the level at 1000 Hz to 0dB, but the dip is so large it misaligns the whole response curve, so I used 900Hz instead. The dips at 1000Hz and 10000Hz, along with the resonance at 4000Hz are just unacceptable for listening. Not to mention the steady slopes of the response curve in between large peaks and nulls.

I can’t mince words with this one, the speaker is just not something you want. Get a Micca MB42X instead. Here’s the review for a much better, similarly priced speaker.

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