The times were that Dolby Atmos soundbars came at a premium but not any more, not now that Monoprice has launched its SB-600 5.1.2 system for under $450.
It's not just a soundbar either. The Monoprice SB-600 is a bar, a wireless 8in subwoofer and two wireless satellite speakers to help create a genuine sense of TV surround sound. Monoprice is even throwing in wallmounting brackets, a remote control and an HDMI cable too.
The main bar itself comprises 2 x 2in cones for the centre channel, 2.5in drivers for the left and right as well as tweeters and up-firing units for the sides as well. They're powered to the tune of 125W in total.
There are no height units on two satellite speakers. These are surround channels only, designed for placing behind the viewer. Their power output is just 15W each but expect plenty from the 180W sub with its down-firing cone.
Somehow Monoprice has still found change for a very healthy feature set. There are two Dolby Vision and 4K-rated HDMI inputs on the rear – so that you can use the system as something of a hub – and a single, eARC-enabled HDMI-out to help offer the best quality of audio, depending on your source. There are also ports for coaxial, optical, USB and a 3.5mm line plus wireless audio through Bluetooth 4.2.
It's certainly an excellent package for the price on paper but the proof of the pudding is going to be in the listening. With any luck, this should be a neat and compelling compromise for those on a budget looking to take their first steps into external TV sound.
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