Technology

Monoprice DT-3BT Desktop Speakers Review: A Great Multi-Purpose Speaker

Rating:
7/10
?

  • 1 – Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 – Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 – Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 – Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 – Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 – Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 – Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 – Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price: $99.99

Sarah Chaney

Great speakers are hard to come by, especially when you’re also looking for an affordable option. Luckily, Monoprice’s set of two DT-3BT desktop speakers hits that sweet spot between awesome sound quality and a price tag that won’t break the bank.

Here’s What We Like

  • An extremely affordable pair of studio speakers
  • Attractive exposed design
  • Clean sound with noticeable highs and lows

And What We Don’t

  • Overall sound isn’t as full as I’d like

These speakers are durable, have a compact form factor, and most importantly, play a wide array of music genres with the same attention to detail, from low bass notes to higher treble notes. That said, if you have money to spare and want to invest in an even better set of desktop speakers, check out Monoprice’s Monolith desktop speakers.

Specs As Reviewed

  • Frequency Response: 75Hz – 20kHz
  • Woofer Driver (each): 3.5-inch polypropylene cone (12W)
  • Tweeter Driver (each): 0.75-inch silk dome (8W)
  • Amplifier Type: Class AB
  • Inputs: Stereo 3.5mm, stereo RCA pair, balanced stereo 0.25-inch pair
  • Headphone Jack: Yes, 3.5mm
  • Bluetooth Version: 5.0
  • Bluetooth Range: Up to 32 feet
  • Dimensions (each): 5.5 x 8.0 x 5.9 inches
  • Weight (each): 3.5 lbs

Design: Nothing Too Fancy, But They’re Sleek

MonoPrice DT-3BT desktop speakers box contents
Sarah Chaney

When I received Monoprice’s DT-3BT speakers and unboxed them, my first impressions were obviously on their design. Overall, I love the decision to go with an exposed design on the woofers and tweeters. A covered speaker can look good in some instances, but for the most part, I love the exposed look.

At $100 for two speakers, I wouldn’t expect to see premium, heavier materials or a fancy exterior design. The rounded cabinet surrounding the internal speakers is made of MDF (medium-density fibreboard), which is similar to particle board, but a lot denser and stronger. Although this material makes the DT-3BT speakers extremely lightweight, they’re pretty dang sturdy.

Backs of MonoPrice DT-3BT desktop speakers
Sarah Chaney

Monoprice’s budget-friendly speakers also come with handy non-slip feet stickers you can attach to all four corners, preventing them from sliding on your desk. While a desk is the perfect place to display these sleek, black speakers, they’d look great and work well in a number of locations. You could put one on each nightstand next to your bed, in an entertainment center, or really anywhere throughout your home you could listen to music or binge a TV show.

Sound Quality: Surprisingly Crisp and Well-Balanced

When I saw the price of these speakers, I didn’t think there was the slightest chance that they’d be decent, let alone great. I listened to quite a few songs from different genres, streamed a TV show’s audio via Bluetooth, played around with the volume level, and I didn’t have many complaints. In fact, I kind of only had one complaint: the overall sound wasn’t as well-balanced as I would’ve liked. And there’s no way for you to change the levels via a mobile app or anything like that.

And you might be thinking, “Well, if the sound wasn’t well-balanced, how could they possibly sound good?” Well, read on, my friend. Even though the songs I listened to didn’t come across as well-balanced as they do on my more premium headphones or expensive Bluetooth speaker, they were still way more balanced than a lot of other cheap speakers out there.

Controls of primary MonoPrice DT-3BT desktop speaker

I could clearly hear the low bass notes in every song, though the speakers were missing even lower sub-bass notes. Now, this totally makes sense because the lowest frequency in its advertised range is 75Hz and sub-bass notes are in the 20Hz to 60Hz range. But it’s worth mentioning because this fact contributes to the speaker’s overall sound lacking more depth.

The mids and highs on Monoprice’s DT-3BT speakers are crisp and don’t come off as tinny or otherwise unpleasant to listen to, even at high volumes. I think where a lot of budget-friendly speakers fall short is in their ability to pay attention to the full audio spectrum, instead of giving people what they think they want: a super bass-heavy speaker. Monoprice seems to have lightly touched the highs, mids, and lows within this speaker, giving each part a chance to shine.

One of my favorite songs to listen to when testing out speakers—standalone, smartphone, laptop, you name it—is Check the Lock by clipping. It has such obscure musical elements and a soft beat, which make it an excellent choice to test the overall quality of a speaker. On a bad speaker, this song is laughable because it just sounds like words; the music is barely distinguishable and you don’t get any of the eerie reverb effects. A good speaker, like these two from Monoprice, celebrates that reverb and emphasizes little musical nuances.

Conclusion: Fantastic Budget-Friendly Desktop Speakers

If you want a simple set of speakers for your desk at home, Monoprice’s DT-3BT pair is an excellent choice. Are there better speakers out there? Sure, but they’ll cost you more money. And for the average person, these speakers are more than good enough to grace your desk, whether you want to listen to music, watch a show on Netflix, or play a video game with external audio.

In addition to being a budget-friendly set, Monoprice’s DT-3BT speakers are also an awesome option for anyone who’s short on space in the home. Bluetooth speakers can connect to your smartphone, laptop, TV, or any other device that supports the connection, but most people have a dedicated speaker for a single use.

If you’re short on money and space, these speakers don’t take up much room and can easily stay set up at your desktop computer while you connect your smartphone via Bluetooth. Don’t have room for a TV? That’s fine! You can stream a movie from your desktop monitor and get a nice stereo sound experience.

Rating: 7/10

Price: $99.99

Here’s What We Like

  • An extremely affordable pair of studio speakers
  • Attractive exposed design
  • Clean sound with noticeable highs and lows

And What We Don’t

  • Overall sound isn’t as full as I’d like



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