Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Monoprice Premium 5.25 Bookshelf 10532 Speaker Review

Monoprice Premium 5.25 Bookshelf 10532 Speaker Review

Monoprice has always been known for exceptional values on tons of audio products. It's many enthusiasts go to retailer for all things wire, cable, cord and connection related. Monoprice has also had some surprise winners in their small home theater in a box systems (9774), that even got them in a little bit of hot water for being a little too similar to the Energy Take Classic system.

One of my first attempts at a speaker review compared the Dayton B652 and the Monoprice 8250. In that situation the Dayton was the ultra budget victor. But now Monoprice has come out with the 10532 bookshelf speaker (and a matching 4 inch sibling) which retails for about $80. That looks to try and compete with the likes of Pioneer, Infinity and Micca. 

It's a good enough looking black box. Seems to be very well built for the price. Heavier than the Pioneer BS22, pushing Infinity p153 weight. Drivers look fine. But the edges on the left and right side concern me. It seems ripe for diffraction issues. Port and terminal cup looks like it was taken right from the BS22

Grills look sonically terrible. With a lattice work that covers the whole tweeter. There is a measurable differences without them on. I wouldn't used them. But the cross over looks ok and are more complex than many others at this price point. See the full album for details.

Here are the normal close mic driver measurements and outdoor @ 1m gated measurements. 

Port is probably tuned to the 60hz range. 

I was initially pretty excited to see how fast the woofer drops off past the cross over point. However there remains a pretty large spike from what I would attribute to cone break up at 4khz. This peak is audible and see in full range measurements. 

The tweeter response is the oddball here, it reaches it's output peak at 5khz and then falls off pretty early. This is "dark" sounding speaker for sure. Not particularly airy or detailed sounding. 

From about 100hz - 3.5khz the speaker plays pretty flat and neutral. But that cone break up spike remains noticeable to the ears. If it would be EQ'd out or if a xover change could notch it out  then I think the mid range driver would be pretty ok.

However the early roll off of the tweeter darkens and dulls the sound. Not much in the way of "sparkle" going to be happening here. The terrible grill really accentuates this killing everything after 8khz.

Gated 1m outdoor On/Off Axis measurements

Nothing particularity exciting of the off axis responses. Seems to roll off pretty predictably despite the lips on either side wall. Getting below the woofer and tweeter causes a large null at the at the cross over point.

Matched in REW @ 600hz where the measurements begin to be effected by ground reflections.  

I really wanted to like these, they look good enough, they are built as well as speakers 2-3x as much. 

But for me, that tweeter that rolls of so early makes these a very dull and uninspiring speaker. The easiest way to describe these, would be as, this is what people think the Dayton B652 sounds like until they hear the Pioneers or Infinity’s. Even though they are priced to compete with the Micca's, they don't beat them by a long shot. If you are stuck with $80ish dollars to spends I would look to the Infinity p143 (when on sale), Micca MB42x, and Insignia NS-SP213 (if you are also planning to use  a subwoofer) 

While they are not offensive, though notching out the cone break up would go a long way. And while they are worlds ahead of the Monoprice 8250 speakers (which make Dayton B652's sound good), they don't keep up with the likes of the Infinity's, Pioneers or even the IMO underappreciated Insignia bookshelf found at Best Buy.  

While I'm not much of a speaker builder or modder myself. If you had expendable cash, I think these might make for good platform to build on top of.

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