Monsoon MH-500 Flat Panel 3-Piece Computer Speakers
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- Affordably combines flat-panel technology with conventional cone technology
- 3 dedicated amplifiers produce robust sound
- Features 51 watts of total power output
- Ported subwoofer delivers plenty of bass for excellent gaming and music listening
- Convenient control puck includes mute and volume options
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|Sold By||Available from these sellers||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Audio Plaza||Amazon.com|
|Item Dimensions||13 x 12 x 10 in||17.31 x 11.87 x 12.25 in||13.78 x 9.25 x 8.54 in||13 x 6.5 x 9.25 in||0.42 x 0.85 x 0.57 in||12 x 11.5 x 9.5 in|
|Item Weight||—||18.35 lbs||9.8 lbs||7.1 lbs||2.09 lbs||9 lbs|
The Monsoon MH-500 provides a rich multimedia sound experience. The two flat dipole speakers consist of a transducer (tweeter), which provides clarity for high-range sounds, and a cone, which provides dynamic sound quality for midrange sounds. Planar Focus technology directs the sound at the listener, minimizing reflections from the desktop and monitor sides. The 17-watt monopole subwoofer, which comes with its own volume control, provides rich bottom end sound to CD audio, DVDs, 3-D games, and MP3s. The system also includes the Monsoon puck, a small device that controls the volume for the entire system and even lets you mute it completely. This system works on both PC and Mac systems and comes with a one-year parts-and-labor warranty.
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The bass is very clean and deep for such a small sub, the two satellite speakers have a sweet spot you have to be in to enjoy the best sound quality these speakers have to offer. I was amazed at the crystal clarity and natural sound these speakers produce. I am also startled by the imaging that these speakers produce as well. I say they are second to none under 100 bucks as far as clarity and imaging goes. The only thing i don't like is the little buzzing noise coming from the sub when no sound is being processed. It can easily be undetected with a computer running or something of that nature if you hear it at all. Thats just being picky. Still they are my first pick for a 3peice system under $100.
The subwoofer's output is, at all settings of the level control, muddy and "boomy". Clearly Songistix is going for more volume level than any sense of audio fidelity---with a system designed for closs-range listening, ie multimedia speakers, this is a fatal flaw. Speakers like these aren't made to shake the whole house. Your desk and immediate surroundings, of course, but at least then you'll hear something more discernable than a rumble reminscent of a dying, bloated whale coming out of your sub.
The satellites, a strange hybrid of a traditional cone speaker for the mid and a flat-panel for the highs, don't fare any better. The crossover point for the mids isn't correct---there's a sizable gap between the upper ranges of the sub and the bottom ranges of the mid. (This probably accounts the system's poor clarity on the lower end.) The upper crossover point into the high is too low. Male vocals often completely disappear, and lower female vocals seem unanturally thin. Acoustic guitars reproduce poorly. The highs themselves are almost nonexistant, overpowered by the muddy lower-end response.
What sweetspot there is is absurdly small. One of the faults of flat panel speakers in general (even audiophile quality which these clearly are not) is the small sweetspot; to maximize what you're given extra is attention required when positioning the speakers and position yourself relative to the speakrs. The MH-500s are ridiculous. Shift your chair a foot in any direction from the spot---including vertically---and the "sound quality" deterioates. I feel like I'm shackled in one spot.
Overall judgement: they might be good for a game of Quake, but anything else is better served by higher quality speakers. Medeski Martin & Wood, Neutral Milk Hotel, the Olivia Tremor Control, Bright Eyes, Nick Drake, Phil Pritchett, etc. simply fall apart on these speakers.
I feel dirty for listening to good music on such poor speakers. ... .
This model is actually the bottom of the Monsoon flat panel range; the two satellites each have a flat panel element (for the high frequency range) and a smallish cone speaker (for medium frequencies). The subwoofer has plenty of power for a small office with a concrete floor, but may be a bit quiet in a big carpeted room. Oddly, the next model up in the Monsoon range has no mid-frequency cone elements, which to me makes the MH-500 a better buy, especially for the price (less than US$100).