Monoprice DT-3BT 50-Watt Powered Desktop Speakers Review

Manufacturer: Monoprice Monoprice DT-3BT 50-Watt Powered Desktop Speakers Review

Gaming headsets are popular, but what about speakers? If you don’t need to keep the volume down, loudspeakers are still a great sound option – and you don’t always have to invest a lot of money to get a great experience.

Powered desktop speakers are obviously nothing new, with near-field monitors gaining favor in recent years. These DT-3BT speakers are in the near-field category, and Monoprice says they offer “superior sound and advanced connectivity in a compact form factor”.

Monoprice has been offering useful things at attractive prices for a long time, and today’s product is no exception. And before you ask, I know that it isn’t 1998, and yes, YouTube exists, but I’m going to combine words and still images to review an audio product anyway. Let’s get started!

Product Specifications
  • 3″ polypropylene cone woofers
  • 3/4″ silk dome tweeters
  • 75Hz ~ 20kHz frequency response
  • Class AB amplifier
  • Unbalanced stereo RCA pair, unbalanced stereo 3.5mm TRS, and stereo balanced 1/4″ TRS pair wired input options
  • Bluetooth connectivity to stream audio wirelessly
  • 3.5mm headphone jack

$99.99 USD list

Manufacturer Description

“These Monoprice DT‑3BT Powered Multimedia Desktop Speakers with Bluetooth deliver superior sound and advanced connectivity in a compact form factor. Featuring 50 watts of Class AB amplification driving 3.5″ polypropylene woofers and 0.75″ silk dome tweeters, the DT‑3BT speakers are engineered to deliver fantastic sound for near‑field listening. In addition to the wireless connectivity using the built‑in Bluetooth radio, they feature three wired options for connecting to a variety of sources.”

The DT-3BT

This is a simple 2.0 channel system, with each speaker measuring 5.5 inches wide, 8 inches tall, and 5.9 inches deep (140 x 204 x 150 mm). There are no tone controls, with a volume knob and stereo in/out jacks on the front panel of the primary speaker.

Monoprice DT-3BT Speakers Front View

These are 2-way speakers with 3-inch polypropylene bass drivers and 3/4-inch silk dome tweeters, and the cabinets are MDF. These are rear-ported, so proximity to the wall will affect bass reproduction (i.e. there will be more bass reflected back to the listener if they are close to a rear wall).

Monoprice DT-3BT Speakers Back View

As the BT in the product name suggests, these do offer Bluetooth connectivity, but are otherwise standard powered speakers with analog inputs. I say ‘standard’, but the variety of available inputs is above average. Options include stereo RCA jacks, a balanced stereo 1/4″ TRS pair, and an unbalanced stereo 3.5mm jack (the aux input on the front).

Subjective Impressions

I didn’t measure these with sophisticated equipment in a controlled environment. Instead, I put them on my desk and actually used them for a few days, listening both critically and casually. My overall impression is very positive. These little monitors sound bigger and warmer than I was expecting, and the tone is nicely balanced.

Thanks to the size of the drivers and a well braced cabinet design, the speakers provide a powerful bass with a warm midrange, and the treble is smooth – not harsh – from the silk dome tweeters. I think there is a bit of a lower-midrange emphasis (at least in my room) from these, and these contribute to that “warm” term I keep using (it’s overused in my opinion, but the term is perfect for these).

Monoprice DT-3BT Speakers Compared

The front panel offers 3.5 mm stereo input/output, but the headphone amp in that output was not impressive. I would just use my PC’s front panel audio, and stick to loudspeaker use with these.

I ended up directly comparing these DT-3BT speakers to my Creative GigaWorks T20 Series II, and while they may look very different this was a pretty evenly-matched battle. But appearances do inform the overall tonal balance.

Monoprice DT-3BT Speakers Compared

The slim T20, while making full use of a top-ported design to maximize bass reproduction, was not able to overcome the larger bass drivers from the Monoprice design. Creative’s speaker also presents a slightly brighter overall sound, with the Monoprice a bit more reserved in treble response.

Obviously, this is not the best comparison I could have come up with, but I don’t have many desktop speakers on hand (when I use a speaker setup it’s generally full-size bookshelf speakers with a dedicated integrated amplifier to drive them). At some point I will test out some more powered monitors.

Amplification Confusion (Resolved)

These DT-3BT speakers were originally marketed as bi-amped, with “each speaker and driver independently amplified” listed among the many features. Well, that isn’t the case, and after reaching out to my PR representative I was told that this was being corrected. There is an amplifier in the primary speaker, and a standard 2-wire speaker cable connects the second.

As of this writing the description and specifications still list them as being independently amplified (this would have been possible only if both speakers had the internal amps), but these are conventional 2-way speakers with a single amp and crossovers for the woofer/tweeter. And that’s absolutely fine! It works for speakers that cost thousands of dollars a pair, so why not for speakers that sell for under $100 (with an amp inside)?

Final Thoughts

The Monoprice DT-3BT speakers retail for $99.99, and provide excellent sound with plenty of connectivity options. I would love a USB connection, but adding a DAC would increase the cost. And value is a big part of the story with these.

With plenty of power on tap and a warm, full sound, I found these to be an engaging and non-fatiguing listen that would be at home in any setup. The weak point was definitely the onboard headphone amplifier, but if you are just using these as loudspeakers that won’t be a concern.

Monoprice DT-3BT Speakers Front Angle

Bottom line, considering the compelling mix of connectivity and sound quality, I can easily recommend the DT-3BT speakers – particularly if you can find them on sale (they were selling for $79.99 during recent holiday sales).

PC Perspective Silver Award

Review Disclosures

This is what we consider the responsible disclosure of our review policies and procedures.

How Product Was Obtained

The product is on loan from Monoprice for the purpose of this review.

What Happens To Product After Review

The product remains the property of Monoprice but is on extended loan for future testing and product comparisons.

Company Involvement

Monoprice had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.

PC Perspective Compensation

Neither PC Perspective nor any of its staff were paid or compensated in any way by Monoprice for this review.

Advertising Disclosure

Monoprice has not purchased advertising at PC Perspective during the past twelve months.

Affiliate Links

If this article contains affiliate links to online retailers, PC Perspective may receive compensation for purchases through those links.

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About The Author

Sebastian Peak

Editor-in-Chief at PC Perspective. Writer of computer stuff, vintage PC nerd, and full-time dad. Still in search of the perfect smartphone. In his nonexistent spare time Sebastian's hobbies include hi-fi audio, guitars, and road bikes. Currently investigating time travel.


  1. Operandi

    Looks pretty good, and for the price you can’t really fault them for any short comings they may have compared to more expensive options. That said I’d like to see something a tier or two up in general quality personally. Also, 75Hz is respectable for the size but would never cut it for a lot of people (myself included) so a subwoofer out for a speaker this size would be nice.

    • Frank Rizzo

      I have the DT-4BT, use them with my guitar interface running through my iPad amp Sims. They are loud crisp and clear. The Bluetooth is great to connect to my laptop and run backing tracks to jam along to at the same time.

  2. psuedonymous

    Kind of bizarre that they already have DACs inside them for the BT link, but omit a USB input (or even S/P-DIF).

  3. Kent Burgess

    After hearing the full story, I can’t help but feel sorry for those poor speakers and the terrible things they’ve been subjected to.

  4. Frank Rizzo

    I have the DT-4BT, use them with my guitar interface running through my iPad amp Sims. They are loud crisp and clear. The Bluetooth is great to connect to my laptop and run backing tracks to jam along to at the same time.


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