PROS / This is a very inexpensive speaker.
CONS / It is underpowered and doesn't do well with frequencies below 50Hz.
VERDICT / This subwoofer doesn't compete with the best, but it's an inexpensive option if you want to upgrade a basic system.
The Monoprice 150-watt 12-inch is an all-black subwoofer with an unassuming design. It has a black wood finish that isn't glossy or flashy by any means, with a black removable grille covering the front of the enclosure. On the back you'll find both RCA and speaker-level inputs to connect the subwoofer to older receivers. It is one of the most affordable speakers in our home subwoofer reviews, but it was also one of the least impressive subwoofers during our testing.
This sub is quieter and less powerful than the other speakers we reviewed. To reach [blank] decibels during testing, we had to turn the volume up as far as it could go. Many of the subwoofers reached this decibel level at quarter strength. Even with the subwoofer's volume matched to its competitors, our panel felt that this subwoofer was underwhelming and lacked drive and presence. Many of our panelists described the subwoofer as weak and thin.
According to the manufacturer specifications, the lowest frequency this subwoofer can reach is 50Hz. That is the worst low-frequency response in our lineup. The best subwoofer we reviewed can produce frequencies that are twice as low as the Monoprice subwoofer. Our testing confirms the manufacturer's ratings. In our evaluation, the subwoofer sounded best between 50Hz and 100Hz. Below 50Hz we began to hear a decline in performance.
The adjustable crossover frequency dial ranges from 50Hz to 150Hz. According to our frequency testing, the best place to put the dial is somewhere around 120Hz. Above that, we started to notice a decline in performance.
On the back of the subwoofer there are RCA inputs to connect the subwoofer to the receiver, but there isn't an LFE port. An LFE port is a single input specifically for connecting subwoofers; it's common on modern AV receivers and subwoofers. The RCAs and speaker-level inputs suggest that this subwoofer is made for an inexpensive upgrade to an older system. You can always buy an RCA to single male cable to connect the subwoofer using the receiver's LFE input, but the Monoprice home subwoofer does not come with the cable.
The Monoprice subwoofer is covered by a one-year warranty. This includes the electronic components and the speaker itself. You can also contact Monoprice via telephone or email if you have any questions or concerns about your subwoofer.
This powered subwoofer is an inexpensive option for adding more bass to your home stereo system. It is not the most powerful or best-sounding out of our group, but it is the least expensive. If you're looking for a budget buy, this subwoofer is worth consideration.