2020 Top Picks of the Year Top Pick of the Year


Top Pick of the Year:

Monoprice Monolith HTP-1 Surround Sound Processor
(December/January) Read Review

After waiting many months for Monoprice to finalize the feature set of its Monolith HTP-1, a 16-channel surround sound processor with support for the Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and Auro-3D immersive audio formats, our reviewer Kris Deering fully dug in and was delighted with what he found. Primarily, he loved the HTP-1's extensive customization options—many of which can be tweaked on the fly using an iPad or other tablet. Dirac Live with Bass Control sub integration was also a high point, with Kris commenting that "the software yielded highly accurate crossover filtering from the main channels, along with better time-alignment of subwoofers than I've been able to achieve in the past with Audyssey—something that had a huge impact on sound quality with both music and movies."

Beyond all of that, Monoprice's processor simply sounded great with movies, and its Auro-3D processing of music turned out to be a revelation in the way it dramatically opened up the soundstage and emphasized bass without adding bloat. Summing up, Kris said, "When it comes to features for the price, the HTP-1 is one of the best value propositions I know of and should be on the short list of anyone seeking a state-of-the-art surround processor." $3,999, monoprice.com

SuicideSquid's picture

It's nice to see a range of pricing across your picks - good to see a mid-range priced bookshelf speaker as your top pick of the year, and a $700 set of B&Ws to sit alongside some of the $5,000 options. It's a lot more helpful to most readers than just leaning hard into the top-end.

The feature set of that Monoprice preamp looks amazing, but am I the only one who thinks it looks ugly as sin? The aesthetics of most of monoprice's gear makes me cringe.

mjmiller715's picture

Couldnt agree more.

I havent heard any of their products other than basic hdmi cables and the like.

I find it hard to believe they can copycat their way into such high quality but maybe im mistaken.

This coming from someone who uses an old anthem receiver that is not the prettiest girl at the party but it does quite well under most conditions.