Monoprice 8 inch 60W subwoofer review: My first sub

Monoprice 8 inch 60W subwoofer review: My first sub.

Bass: Great. Mids: None. Treble: None. 2/10. :eyes: (Sorry, I had to – ok, seriously now: If you don’t have time, go straight to “Actual review”… or even “TL,DR”.)

Intro: A long time ago, I actually used to hate subwoofers with a passion. Now I realize what I hated wasn’t subwoofers, but teens in civics with thousands watts of subwoofers costing thousands of dollars, and all the “Creative” and “Logitech” (etc.) 2.1 and 5.1 crappy “all-in-one” systems using like 10 watts for the speakers and 90 watts for the sub (it’s not an exaggeration either). For years I heard all these, went back to my place, listened to my ~100$ Edirol MA-15D bookshelves with front bass ports and the bass knob set to “almost off”, thinking “ahhh, finally, good sound”.

So, am I a “bass head” ? I don’t think so.

RCA inputs: Settings hell.

Using the RCA inputs gave a bad impression with my old AVR. Messing with the AVR “Small/Large” FL and FR speaker settings, switching “LFE/LFE+ Main” and setting the crossovers (AVR setup still) to min. or max. or anything in between all gave either weird or unsatisfactory results, always lowering the FL/FR speakers volume for example (?) and even with two RCA ins plugged in the sub and the crossover and the volume knobs on the subwoofer both set to max., it did not do much. So I finally used the good old speaker cables connection, and voilà. With the sub on or off, my speakers still sound the same, got the same volume, punch, slam. And why mess with all this stuff when you have a sub with a physical volume knob and a physical crossover knob anyway: Plugging it with speaker cables will not change the sound of your speakers. Remember, this is a powered subwoofer, plugged into a 120v outlet. Unlike your bookshelves, this does not draw power from your amplifier/AVR. Your speakers will sound the same, the sub will add something to them, getting power from another source.

Actual review (finally).

So, this review has been done using Fluance SX6 speakers, and this sub plugged to my AVR using speaker cables. My SX6’s lacked sub-bass, especially at low volumes.

Volume knob: This underpowered 60W sub (sarcasm) will give you a pretty balanced sound with the sub volume knob set to 40% (11 o’clock-ish) paired to 100W bookshelves.

Crossover knob: The “Hz” knob goes from 50 to 250hz, so the sub will reproduce frequencies “50hz and below”, to “250hz and below”. I set this knob to about 40% too (crossover goes from 50 to 250hz, so it’s set to ~90hz). I found that if you set the crossover knob to more than that, you’ll just get “slow” and “boomy” bass, so your subwoofer will just constantly sound like it’s exploded (imo). Avoid. (…And the crossover can go up to 250hz? “Oh, the humanity!”).
Note that turning this knob a few millimeters left or right will make a TON of difference. If you don’t like what you hear, turn it just slightly left or right, one millimeter at a time… or less. Yes. It’s not pad-swapping, slightly messing with 20 000 frequencies. You’re messing with 100 frequencies or less, and the volume knob is precise AF too.

But how does it sound, Zeos?

Please don’t expect precise, analytical, mechanical, “planar-like” bass and sub-bass from this one. No, this is not for music creators. Come on, this is a 100$ subwoofer. As far as I know, you need 1000$ subs for this. That’s a fun addition to my “party room”. That said, is it stupid to say a subwoofer sounds smooth? This one sounds smooth. Not muddy or bloated. Just, smooth. In a good way. In a great way. You can just lay down on your couch (or bed) 10ft away from this sub, listen to music and enjoy this cocoon of sub-bass. Your entire room is now a closed-back dynamic driver headphone. And for movies? Yup. This one will definitely give you the movie-theater-like, cinematic experience. Adds an enormous sense of depth, compared to my bookshelves that basically did nothing under 100hz (at lower than moderate volume).

I might be wrong, but it appears to be easy for the sub to add a bit more of the lowest frequencies, versus what’s in the original audio. Definitely not a deal-breaker… That is, unless the sub volume is too high. Yeah, about “lying down in a bed 10ft away from the sub”… After 30 minutes, with higher than moderate volume, I get “sea sickness” (some people are sensible to the very lowest frequencies, apparently, I am – it happened to me after pad swapping T50RP headphones too). But hey, you probably would get “sea-sick” from the bass, laying down in the studio or in front of a stage for 30 minutes too, huh.

Again, my speakers lacked bass and sub-bass, especially at low volumes. With this subwoofer, the wide, high, airy treble of my Fluance SX6’s is now completed by wide, low, smooth bass. The “mechanical-ness” of the drum kicks is now “counterbalanced” by the smooth bass, resulting in something sounding way more natural. Unexpectedly, even with the crossover set to ~90hz, male and female voices are also benefiting from this sub (yeah, mostly male voices). Some instruments started sounding more natural too. Most of all, I hear everything, everything, better, even at way lower volume levels than before. I needed my bookshelves to be loud to hear everything. Now I hear everything at moderate volume. I used to relax (or just not hear much) at 25% volume and my normal volume was 35%. I can totally enjoy music and youtube videos at 25% volume and 35% is “party-level” volume now.

As a bonus, it’s quite ironic to recommend a subwoofer to tame the highs, but hearing missing low frequencies will make you hear everything better at a way lower volume than usual – therefore, you won’t need to hear the treble peaks anymore to hear everything else clearly.

So… I really did not knew what I was missing. And, apologies to all the bassists, I guess. You’re there, now. Even at low volume. At the same perceived “distance” from my ears with all the other musicians.

This being my first sub, this is definitely a new experience for me, and… an impressive one for 100$. I’ve been lucky enough to find the perfect complement to my Fluance SX6’s without really searching for it. (Seriously… it was cheap on amazon and I said “why not try this” and that’s all – I did no research whatsoever. I was certain it would be better than all the “Logitech” and “Creative” crap I heard anyway, and was 100% right). As a bonus, the sub basically looks like it was made in the same factory as the black SX6’s: Same wood, same grill cloth, even the “Monoprice” font is similar to the “Fluance” font.

I mostly use headphones, and new headphones never made me want to “listen to all my music collection again”. This subwoofer is doing some of that. I’m listening to headphones way less now. I was also using headphones to listen to movies (yup)… Can’t wait to try “my little home cinema” now – and hear drums and bass notes like I’m in front of a stage again (man I should have bought this thing when Covid started).


  • As I said, the RCA inputs, with my old AVR at least, were basically useless. Results may vary.
  • The “auto on” function is not working (…a quite common problem with subwoofers apparently). But, whatever, the heatsink does not even get warm. Leave it on, or get this (this is one of the few on-off switches on amazon with no pictures of it on fire…).
  • There’s a low volume, constant hum when music doesn’t play… Inaudible if you’re 5ft away from it when no music is playing, so definitely, definitely inaudible when music plays. But the sub is next to a ton, and I mean a TON of wiring here. I mean dozens of cables. This can 100% be my fault.
  • As I said, this one sounds smooth. Is it a downside? Can I say it’s “imprecise?”. I don’t even think so. It’s a 100$ subwoofer, it pairs well with 100$ bookshelves. I’ll just say one word you’ll not have in mind with this one is “analytical”. So if you want an “analytical” subwoofer, look elsewhere.

TL,DR: You’ll be blown away by what a subwoofer can actually do, if the last thing you heard was a 100$ Logitech/Creative 5.1 all-in-one kit. Seriously, these… “fake” subwoofers “only do one note” compared to this 100$ monoprice sub. You’ll obviously hear the different notes with this one. And the different drum kicks from the different drum kits. And the different bass lines, the different electronic drum kicks, the different sounds, in electronic music. Just don’t expect analytical precision from a 100$ subwoofer.

Note: I’ve tested this sub with jazz, rock, live metal shows, electronic music, youtube videos, etc. But I’ve done electronic music. Despite not wanting my bass to be louder than normal, I probably have a unhealthy preference for precise sub-bass. If you’re not like me and you have, for example, 200$ or even 300$, smooth-sounding speakers (and like them), this sub could be interesting for you. For me? After getting new bookshelves for music creation (for another place), I’ll look for something more analytical for music-creating purposes… But this one definitely stays here for music and movie listening.


Heck, that’s a longer than expected review for “100hz” of sound :flushed: lol. Anyways, enjoy. :grin: :musical_note:


how low would you say the sub can play competently? 40hz? Lower?

I have it with a pair of vanatoos and the room started shaking between 30 and 40 on a sweep, still… it’s a pretty cheap sub, the least you can have it doing the better, most decent speakers will have better quality bass after around 60hz imo, but it does help fill that lower part that they can’t do themselves.

Monoprice mentions Frequency Response being 50 ~ 250Hz.
I kinda doubt it aint cutting the 40Hz pretty well (dying).

The bigger brother (115$) 8in 200-Watt, is 40Hz ~ 1.3kHz. So it’s more in the zone.
From personal experience. Cheap subs are usually “one note” type subs but better than nothing i guess?

Something more in the Top End (~8 x price) even with 6.5" driver.
You can get 30-90Hz (-6 dB), 33-85 Hz (+/- 3dB ) ranges with around 100db.
For a desk setup… that’s pretty mind blowing right there.
Again adding the budget for more with 8" drivers. Specs get bit better as expected.

Sorry for the late reply. It plays way lower than 40hz. I just tried it with Sinegen. At moderate volume you hear and feel it working at 30hz, and if I put my fingers on the driver I can feel it moving at 25hz, even less. At “party” volume, well… Sinegen goes to 15hz max., and touching it I can basically count the 8 inch driver going 15 times a second in and out. And I’m seasick now, thanks. :grin: lol

For the “Competently” part? Huh, that’s another question. The problem with subs is, as far as I know, you either get low, “cinematic” bass (like this), or tight, analytical bass with a sealed sub, but not both. Long story short, in theory, it’s the “chuffing” port that gives you the low-but-imprecise hertz, and a sealed sub cannot “chuff”… but also cannot go that low.

If you absolutely want precision (for music production, for example), the least expensive sealed/closed sub I found is the Kanto Sub8 (specs: 125W RMS, min. 35hz), for 250$. And, again, in theory, Sub8 will make you feel like you’re in the studio (…with a big carpeted floor, absorbing the lowest hz before you can hear it?), and the Monoprice one will make you feel like you’re watching a show.

Still, be aware Zeos reviewed the sub8 and said the cutoff wasn’t working as it should – I don’t know if they fixed that – yours to decide if it matters. And yes, there’s a Sub6 for cheaper – if you can find it. But the Sub8 can probably be found for less $.