Digital optical input
3.5mm and RCA analog inputs
Subwoofer output for even more low end
USB charging port
10 hours of battery life
Rear ported for enhanced bass performance
When the Monoprice Soundstage 3 arrived, I didn’t know what to make of it. It has a retro square black speaker look that took me back to the days of my brother making mix tapes with his DJ equipment. It might look bulky and boxy compared to some of its competitors on our best Bluetooth speakers page, however, even if you aren’t a fan of the retro looks (as I am) its performance is where it really shines.
If you're throwing a party in your apartment or dorm, you’re going to be hard-pressed to find a Bluetooth speaker in this price range with the thumpiness and overall sound quality of the Soundstage. The all-black Monoprice Soundstage delivers clear, bombastic bass, solid mid-tones, and excellent highs; what more can you ask for in the kind of speaker that will annoy your petulant neighbor?
Let’s take dive and enjoy a booming bass-inspired dance and talk about the Monoprice Soundstage 3.
Monoprice Soundstage 3 design
Monoprice is not the most well-known or flashiest brand, which is clear when you peek at the Soundstage 3. It looks like a retro black speaker box from the 80s or 90s that someone may have stuck into their trunk to create that booming system their parents hated. If you ask me, it's a great-looking speaker and has some accents that take it up a notch, like its leather handle and well-designed control buttons at the top of the unit.
The Soundstage is a big betty Bluetooth speaker weighing nearly 11 pounds, with dimensions of 13.6 x 6.9 x 7.3-inches. Thanks to its comfortable leather handle, you don’t notice the weight too much if you choose to lug it around or strap it to your bike like this guy that frequently terrorizes my street at 1 am. However, the Soundstage 3 is obviously not a speaker you want to carry around all the time and is meant to be used around the home or in the backyard.
Before you go leaving it outside, you should also know this is not a true outdoor speaker as it lacks any IP rating for water resistance, so make sure folks keep their drinks at bay. Intriguingly Monoprice also warns against leaving it in direct sunlight. If you were also alive in the 80s then I will spare you asking, no Monoprice didn’t say anything about feeding it after midnight, so I don’t believe there’s any risk of it becoming a gremlin.
You will notice immediately that its drivers are exposed to the elements, so be mindful of this at all times. I am not saying it’s not sturdy, as it did easily survive an accidental three-foot drop with no damage done but it’s not an all-terrain, weatherproof speaker.
The built-in amp that powers the Soundstage 3 will deliver up to 50watts of room-filling audio. Via its woofer and dual tweeters. I wish they were hidden behind protective grills, but that would detract from the overall look and appeal of the Soundstage 3. I will add that thanks to its tight dimensions it is a great-looking Bluetooth speaker to prop up on a shelf and use whenever the mood strikes you.
Setup and ports
The Soundstage 3 comes with an abundance of controls and ports to work with. On the rear, we find analog RCA stereo inputs, a Toslink digital audio port, a 3.5mm Aux-In jack, a Sub woofer-out connector, and a USB-A port to charge your phone or other devices like a tablet. We also find the main power switch on the rear.
With all these ports, the Soundstage lends itself to being connected to televisions, record players, and almost any other devices you have. The ability to connect a subwoofer to it makes it a nice addition to a home stereo setup.
On the top of the Soundstage 3 is a row of control buttons that are very straightforward. The power button acts more like a wake-up button as the main switch is on the back, and the power button allows you to go from standby to on with a push. There is a pairing button, which lets you initiate Bluetooth pairing. You will also find a volume buttons and a source button at the top, the latter allows you to cycle through your audio sources and choose one.
Range on the Soundstage is limited to 32 feet due to the use of Bluetooth 4.2, which is what it is, but again since this speaker is meant more for indoor use that shouldn’t be too large of an issue. The Soundstage also cannot connect to two separate audio sources via Bluetooth, if you try one will be knocked off.
Monoprice Soundstage 3 audio quality
The obvious thing about the Soundstage 3 is it was designed to keep the crowd moving and not meant to impress audiophiles with audio perfection. Let’s face it, what is perfect for you isn’t always perfect for someone else. I prefer a speaker that pumps out bountiful amounts of bass with just enough mid-tones and sweet highs, which the Soundstage 3 does very well.
The woofer uses 30 watts of the 50-watt output, with the tweeters using 10 a piece. Surprisingly that fills up a room with thumping audio to kick off any party. I will add that no matter how much I raised the volume, there was never any distortion, which can happen with speakers this size. The Soundstage 3 Portable produces excellent, bright highs, solid mid-range, and thumping bass that makes listening enjoyable for all. You can go from System of Down’s “Toxicity” to Bruno Mars and Silksonic, and despite their differences, both genres of music are produced impressively at all volumes.
Like I mentioned above, to my neighbor's chagrin, I blasted Bruno Mars and Silksonic's “Smokin Out the Window” and got my groove on as Bruno sang about “paying her rent and being alone,” wondering how she did that to him. When the drums kicked in the Soundstage 3 reproduced them with an excellent thump as Bruno’s falsetto was smoothly reproduced.
Since I had already awoken my neighbor, I went full-on System of a Down with “Toxicity” and its gear-grinding guitars and power vocals. However, I wasn’t done so I added Megan Thee Stallion to my music choices and blasted the hit song “Her” as Meg admitted she is pretty as that word I can’t write. The House Music bassline thumped loudly and cleanly through our entire apartment and I got up and danced, giggling, knowing I woke my neighbor up.
The Soundstage 3 Portable is truly perfect for your house party, even if it’s just you partying by yourself.
Sadly, there is no EQ app or other application to manipulate or control the audio performance. Not that one is needed and you can download one of many EQ apps for either your Android phone or iPhone to make adjustments to the audio output. Some may harp on this, but it’s not a major issue in the grand scheme of things.
The Soundstage 3’s battery life is rated at ten hours at 50% volume and that is a very accurate rating from my experience. I don’t ever listen to music at 50%, so my results were closer to seven and a half hours, but that maps out about right for ten hours if you are a little lighter on the volume. Also, since it is really not a travel speaker and is meant more for indoor use, you can just plug it in and let it go all night.
The 8,800mAh battery can also be used to charge your phone or tablet by plugging it directly into the USB-A port in the back of the speaker. Now that will affect battery life but, it is not a bad backup to have if you’re enjoying music in your backyard. This is a convenient extra, especially when, like myself, you don’t have a backyard outlet to plug devices in.
The Soundstage 3 Portable is literally a blast of a Bluetooth speaker that easily takes the party from one room to another and even out to the backyard. It is a great choice for when you have friends and family over for a party and will provide hours of music to dance to and celebrate.
However, it is not meant for extreme outdoor adventures as it lacks the ruggedness and water resistance you want in a true outdoor speaker, this is not a Bluetooth speaker you keep poolside or take to the beach. Overall thanks to its excellent audio performance, and attractive retro look, it makes for an excellent option if you’re in the market for a loud, bass-thumping Bluetooth speaker for your home or office. However, if you’re looking for a more travel-friendly option with good audio performance the Anker Soundcore Motion Boom, might be a better fit for you.