Monoprice Budget $99 12-inch Powered Subwoofer Review

ErinH

ErinH

Audioholic Chief
Up for review is the $99 monoprice 12-inch powered subwoofer. You can find the product page here:
https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=304&cp_id=30404&cs_id=3040405&p_id=9723&seq=1&format=2

First, here's a video review I made. It's only 10 minutes long and I discuss some things that aren't captured in the data.


If you don't want to watch that, then the data is below. But the video covers a couple extras such as cabinet resonance and port chuffing that are demonstrated and, frankly, easier to demonstrate than type about.



Max SPL Test Results (CEA-2010-A & CEA-2010-B):

My previous round of subwoofer testing was completed with 5 budget subwoofers; all 10-inch, and all under $200 shipped to your door. I frankly didn’t expect much from this Monoprice subwoofer and while it does have its quirks and leaves a lot to be desired in the sub-bass region (as many others do even at 2x the price), this subwoofer represents a great value for those looking for a little something more in the 50-80Hz region. Some thump… some wubba wubba, how you doin’ … bass. There is approximately -14dB drop in output from ~50Hz to 30Hz. While the 10inch subs I tested, which cost more, shows a higher drop in output level. And this Monoprice subwoofer bests them all in the CEA-2010-A/B tests I conducted as well.

You can see the results of each of the CEA-2010-A/B tests in the graphic below, compared directly with the previous round's winners (the Elac SUB1010 and Polk SW10). This graphic depicts the maximum SPL measured before exceeding the respective tests' distortion thresholds. You can find the full dataset in my link below:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/18bz7z-xIlRJsC-bw6k4mHkuwv_uiGAMyEhgrTkjwdXc/edit?usp=sharing









FREQUENCY RESPONSE:
This graphic shows the measured frequency response, again, compared to the previous round's winners.
Note: SPL is based on 0.5vRMS input to subwoofer amplifier.



Bottom Line:
Let’s be honest with ourselves. A $200 10 or 12-inch subwoofer is only going to provide so much “sub” woofing. In this price range, most of these products are nothing more than midbass modules; designed to provide some solid thump in the 50-80Hz region and take the strain off your bookshelf speakers. With that said, however, this $99 12-inch takes the term “value” to a new level.

So, this one is simple. If you aren’t fooling yourself in to thinking you are going to get the lowest of the lows and earth-shattering, ground rumbling bass at 30Hz but you don’t have the money to step up to the big boys and you are OK with settling for output that falls off below 50Hz, then this Monoprice subwoofer represents the best value powered subwoofer I have tested to date.
 
afterlife2

afterlife2

Audioholic Warlord
Erin rocks! Gonna go watch the video. I can’t wait till you compare it to the Dayton 1200/1500.
 
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mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
HSU used to offer a MidBass Module for Nearfield placement. Would this work the same?
 
P

pcosmic

Audioholic
My buddy has a BiC PL 2OO ii which costs 200ish bucks. I have heard it a few times. It may be worth considering in that budget.
 
ErinH

ErinH

Audioholic Chief
Erin rocks! Gonna go watch the video. I can’t wait till you compare it to the Dayton 1200/1500.
I hope to one day. I did reach out to Dayton to see if they would be willing to loan me a review sample but they said they don't do that. Not sure how others get theirs... maybe they used to and do not anymore... or maybe I'm not a big enough fish.

So, until someone else can loan me one or I can get some extra cash to buy it myself, it will have to stay on my wish list.
 
ErinH

ErinH

Audioholic Chief
My buddy has a BiC PL 2OO ii which costs 200ish bucks. I have heard it a few times. It may be worth considering in that budget.
The post I made above about Dayton applies here as well. I did reach out to Bic but no reply. So, until someone else can loan me one or I can get some extra cash to buy it myself, it will have to stay on my wish list.
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
I hope to one day. I did reach out to Dayton to see if they would be willing to loan me a review sample but they said they don't do that. Not sure how others get theirs... maybe they used to and do not anymore... or maybe I'm not a big enough fish.

So, until someone else can loan me one or I can get some extra cash to buy it myself, it will have to stay on my wish list.
To me, this is the ~$50 question. My Sub 1200 should arrive today!

To me, the Sub 1200 is just a well established budget sub, the least risk. I looked at the MP, but just went with the Sub 1200. I have seen the sub 1200 go out of stock at least 4 times over the last 10 months, finally pulled the trigger while stock was available. So, that is the most likely scenario, PE has no incentive to send out review samples for an item they can't even keep stocked!
 

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