On-wall speakers

Monolith by Monoprice OW-1 and OW-3 THX-Certified Compact On-Wall Speakers


Let’s be honest, it seems not a week has gone by recently where Monoprice hasn’t released a new Monolith product. We are almost sick of talking about them. But, since nearly every product seems to be hitting some pretty impressive price-to-performance ratios, we’re not going to stop now. Introducing the Monolith by Monoprice OW-1 and OW-3 THX-Certified Compact on-wall speakers.

Shared Heritage

The Monolith by Monoprice OW-1 and OW-3 THX-Certified Compact on-wall speakers are both very different. The $499/each OW-3 is designed to be a single enclosure, three-speaker LCR (Left, Center, Right) passive soundbar solution. The $499/pair OW-1 are standalone speakers that can be used as fronts or surrounds. But these have more in common than you’d think.

The OW-1 and OW-3 sport a 4.5″ woofer with a concentric .75″ tweeter (technically 20mm). This is the same driver combination included with the Monoprice Monolith Satellite speakers (they made our Favorite Small Speaker list). All the rest of the drivers are passive radiators. This means that the OW-1 has two passive radiators while the OW-3 has six (two for each channel). This gives the Monolith OW-1 and OW-3 THX-Certified Compact on-wall speakers the bass output Monoprice wants without having to worry about ports.

While the OW-3 might be much larger, it is really just three OW-1s in a single large, thin box. This means that their specs are nearly identical. With 4-ohm impedance, 84.4dB sensitivity, and 70Hz extension at -3dB, these should sound remarkably similar. They should cross over nicely into a subwoofer. The real difference, of course, is the size. While they are both only 3.5″ deep, the OW-3 is 47.2″ wide and 7″ tall. The OW-1 is 7″ wide and 16.1″ tall. Both have keyhole mounts on the back. There is no integrated option for mounting the OW-1 horizontally.

Features

All of these speakers sport the THX Compact Certification. This means that they are certified to hit reference level in rooms up to 1000 cubic feet in size. So, not huge? But if you are sitting close to your speakers, these could be very good options. If you have THX-Certified speakers already, and want to expand to Atmos, these will work nicely.

Aside from the integrated keyhole mounts, the Monolith by Monoprice OW-1 and OW-3 THX-Certified Compact on-wall speakers have a wire-channel leading to the spring-loaded binding posts. With tight clearance to the wall, these types of binding posts make the most sense.

The speakers all sport a matte black finish over the MDF enclosures. While this might not be the fanciest finish we’ve seen, it certainly makes sense here. Monoprice is trying to keep the costs down on the Monolith OW-1 and OW-3 THX-Certified Compact on-wall speakers. Having a single, basic finish is one way to do that.

Anticipated Questions

We are already seeing people asking questions about the Monolith by Monoprice OW-1 and OW-3 THX-Certified Compact on-wall speakers. Here are some answers:

Can you use the OW-1 as a center?

Yes. The keyhole mount won’t work in its orientation. But you can buy an aftermarket mount. It shouldn’t affect the performance of the speaker. The problem is, as of now, there is no way to buy just one. This means if you want a five or seven speaker system consisting of all OW-1s, you’ll end up with an extra. Hopefully, Monoprice will provide a single speaker option in the future.

Can you use the OW-3 as one large center?

Absolutely. Follow our guide here. Understand that the multiple tweeters may cause some cancelations. There is a reason even large center speakers have only one tweeter. We can’t promise it will sound good. But that’s not what was asked.

Can you use the OW-3 as a large left/right speaker?

Of course. The keyhole mounts won’t work so you’ll need to get some sort of aftermarket mount. Again, the multiple tweeters might cause cancelations. Follow our wiring guide we linked above.

Will my receiver be able to power these 4-ohm speakers?

The THX Compact certification is for rooms up to 1000 cubic feet. If you place these speakers in that size room, any consumer-level receiver will be able to drive them just fine. If you put them in a larger room, you may need more amplifier power. Follow our guide here.

Our Take

A 5.0 system with three OW-1 speakers and two Satellites will run you around $1250 plus tax and shipping. Well, technically you’ll have a 6.0 system because you can’t buy an OW-1 individually. Still, that’s pretty impressive. Pair it with one of Monoprice’s THX-Certified subwoofers (the M-10 V2 will crush a 1000 cubic foot room) and you’ll spend probably under $2000 if you can sell that extra speaker. That includes shipping and tax (depending on where you live). That’s a system that is fully THX certified, has enough bass to break things, and all the output your small room will need. The Monolith OW-1 and OW-3 THX-Certified Compact on-wall speakers are a great edition to the Monoprice lineup.

Check out Monoprice.com for more information.


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