Windows Central Verdict
These are about as good as you can get without spending some ridiculous amounts of cash. 100W of power in a somewhat compact package ready for your favorite PC game or music playlist.
100W of peak output power
Decent remote control
Small footprint with integrated subs
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When shopping around for desk speakers to use with your PC, console, or other devices, it's possible to choose affordable plastic speakers that don't get loud and produce a somewhat tinny sound. On the other end of the scale are audiophile solutions that cost thousands. Slap bang in the middle are options like the Monoprice Monolith MTM-100.
The company promises a "stunning audiophile performance" for the desktop environment. But just how good are these $400 speakers and are they worth picking over more budget-friendly sound systems? That's precisely what we'll hope to answer towards the end of this review.
Monoprice Monolith MTM-100: Price and specs
The Monoprice Monolith MTM-100 costs $400 at MSRP. That's a considerable chunk of change to part with for speakers, but you are toying with lighter audiophile-grade equipment. Take a look at the specifications below as they speak for themselves.
|Header Cell - Column 0||Monoprice Monolith MTM-100|
|Frquency response||50Hz ~ 20kHz|
|Woofer drivers (each)||2x 4-inch cone|
|Tweeter drivers (each)||1x 1.25-inch silk dome|
|Passive drivers (each)||2x 5.25-inch passive radiators|
|Amplifier||Class D, 2x 50W|
|Input||Stereo analog RCA|
|Row 6 - Cell 0||Digital optical S/PDIF|
|Row 7 - Cell 0||USB|
|Row 8 - Cell 0||Bluetooth 5.0|
|Codecs||SBC, Qualcomm aptX HD|
|Dimensions (each)||6.3 x 14.0 x 7.9 inches (160 x 355 x 200 mm)|
Monoprice Monolith MTM-100: What I like
On paper, Monoprices' Monolith MTM-100 is a serious piece of kit. It's a 2.0 speaker setup that measures 160 x 355 x 200mm each. These are likely to be the largest speakers you'll place on your desk unless you've worked with some fancy audiophile equipment prior. They're not obnoxiously large, but you will need to make room.
It's important to keep an open mind when looking to buy the MTM-100. These aren't studio monitors and you may find them lacking in comparison to far more expensive speaker systems. But for computer use, they've got a lot going for them with the aforementioned specs. The MTM-100 is packed well and no damage was caused through shipping.
The speakers themselves are made of metal, another upgrade over more affordable competitor products. It's clear to see the MTM-100 means business with plenty of cut-out holes filled with cones, radiators, and more. Black is seemingly the only color available, which may be a letdown should you be on the hunt for speakers with wood or other colors.
Connecting to the speakers once unboxed is simple enough. First, one needs to connect the two units together using the included cable. Afterward, everything can be carried out on one of the two units, which also houses the amplifier. Here you can connect RCA, optical S/PDIF, USB, and 3.5mm auxiliary inputs for wired use, as well as a front-facing 3.5mm output for headphones.
Bluetooth is at hand for wireless connectivity, which is handy if you have a phone or other mobile device loaded with music. A Qualcomm chipset with aptX decoding is present for superior Bluetooth performance than what can be had with lesser wireless speakers. Really, you'll have no issue hooking up all your favorite devices to the Monoprice Monolith MTM-100.
So what are we talking about with regard to sound output? The speakers are rated at 50W per unit. That's a lot of power, especially for desktop speakers. The Creative Katana V2 outputs around 250W but that's with a dedicated subwoofer unit and a much larger soundbar.
Each MTM-100 speaker contains two 4-inch woofer cones, a single 1.25-inch silk tweeter dome, and two 5.25-inch passive radiators. Even though Monoprice offers a woofer connection on the rear to add a dedicated unit, having such a configuration per speaker will likely mean you won't require one.
When you've connected your devices, the sound experience is simply sublime. Whether you're passing through optical, AUX, or Bluetooth, the MTM-100 is capable of firing out some serious audio. Crank up the volume and you will run the risk of causing structural damage to your property. But in all seriousness, these are some exceptionally good desktop speakers.
The dynamics are solid with a smooth midrange, and the bass is more than punchy enough without a dedicated unit at hand. It truly is a joy to sit in front of these pumping out some songs, enjoying a movie, or playing some PC games. The best part is the ability to manipulate audio levels, including bass and treble, adjust sources, and more with the included remote.
Monoprice Monolith MTM-100: What I don't like
This is a tough one because for what the Monoprice Monolith MTM-100 is, it's about as good a desktop speaker setup as you can buy at this price. There's nothing I disliked through a week of usage, though I can see how some may be put off by spending so much on some speakers, even if they are approaching audiophile territory.
The MTM-100 is sort of in the middle ground, which makes it a harder sell for anyone who doesn't require studio-grade equipment, but also those who take their audio very seriously. These are some perfectly good speakers, but they'll not keep up with proper audiophile gear.
But if you do happen to have the available budget and fancy to take your audio experience to the next level, this is a very good option.
Monoprice Monolith MTM-100: Competition
The audio space is incredibly congested with products, especially for PC speakers. You've got the big brands as well as countless smaller tech companies, all with their own catalogs of speakers. I'm a big fan of the Creative Katana V2, even though it's a soundbar and not a 2.0 speaker setup, you can still use it with a PC on the desk.
The Edifier R1850DB are also very good speakers, though are significantly cheaper than this Monolith MTM-100. Audioengine's A5+ 2.0 setup would be a closer match to the product we're reviewing today and are slightly more powerful with more connectivity. They also cost $100 more. There's plenty of choice, it just comes down to what you desire from your desktop sound system.
Monoprice Monolith MTM-100: Should you buy?
You should buy if ...
- You want one of the better-sounding desktop speakers out there.
- You don't mind spending $400 on a 2.0 speaker setup.
- You want to immerse yourself in movies and games.
- You don't need studio-grade audio equipment.
You shouldn't buy if ...
- You don't feel comfortable spending so much on speakers.
- You need the very best in the audio business.
Monoprice Monolith MTM-100 is a serious speaker solution for your PC. With these installed on your desk, you'll be laughing every time you almost hit full volume. With 100W of total output and plenty of drivers in each speaker, this is an all-in-one package and will transform your audio experience if moving from affordable speakers.
The ability to hook up via optical, AUX, Bluetooth, and USB creates a versatile application that can be used for numerous devices. The remote control allows you to fine-tune the output and quickly switch between sources so you can lie back and enjoy the show. They're not cheap, but they're worth every penny in being among the best PC speakers you can buy.
Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.