What We Like
- Surprisingly powerful audio output for their size.
- A decent audio quality across the board.
What We Don’t Like
- Design is fairly uninspiring; though minimalism means versatility.
MTX has been all over the audio game for several years and in a number of fairly unique ways. There aren’t a whole lot of companies in the marketplace with offerings as diverse as bookshelf speakers and marine audio.
Many bookshelf speakers are specifically designed to be unassuming, blending into the room rather than drawing any unnecessary attention to their own existence. And the Monitor5i is no different. The design is pretty much as standard as you could expect to find: the classic black on black, oblong affair with minimal branding and nothing that is intended to draw the eye or offer too much of a visual statement. This means that these bookshelfs should easily slot into any given room; you would have to try quite hard to find an environment in which they looked especially, egregiously out of place.
Overall, the Monitor5i feels like a solidly constructed, durable product. Sure, it isn’t going to win any awards for design innovation, but at this price point, it’s difficult to fault it for a lack of visual imagination. Besides, those who enjoy a minimalistic vibe to their audio equipment will have lots to like about this offering.
Each of the two Montor5i units comes loaded with a 5.25” polypropylene cone embedded snugly into a rubber surround, and a .5” balanced dome tweeter. The combined effect here is that the former provides a pumping, rich bass response which shines especially when it comes to movie watching or playing games, and the latter contributes an extremely clear, crisp high frequency range which is just the icing on the cake.
The MDF construction allows for a great resonance within the speakers themselves, and this makes a tangible difference to the feel of their output. While they are not powered (meaning you will have to connect them to an amp), this is fairly standard for this particular price point.
The first thing you’re likely to notice when turning these speakers on for the first time is that they sound a lot larger than they actually are. They put out a lot more sound than you might expect them to, and this is only a good thing as it allows you a lot more flexibility in terms of things like placement in a room or even the quantity of additional speakers required if you are planning on creating your own, fully fledged surround sound system.
Highs soar around the room, mids are clearly defined and sit well in the mix. If there were anything to complain about here, it would be that the bass response is a little less than would be desired. That is not to say that it is lacking especially, just that it doesn’t quite live up to the quality of the other component elements of the overall audio performance.
In summary, the performance exceeds expectations. It is by no means a faultless experience, but the minor faults one might have with the audio are easily argued away by looking at just how affordable these speakers really are. It’s hard to be too angry.
Behind the unassuming, fairly bland design you’ll find a pair of speakers which pack more of a punch than you’d expect for their size and price. With solid audio performance, this is a versatile product that is perfect for entry-level.