Monoprice Soundstage 3 Portable review: This box rocks

Monoprice Soundstage 3 Portable review: This box rocks

MSRP $250.00

“Even when this speaker has to remain still, it can be certain a crowd doesn’t.”


  • Nice, understated design
  • Great sound quality
  • Solid playback at louder volumes
  • Good connectivity port options
  • User-friendly controls


  • Not for the beach or pool
  • No app support
  • Disappointing battery life

Finding a transportable Bluetooth speaker that may get loud isn’t all that tough in the event you consider size as a barometer. The larger the tweeters, woofers, and amplifiers, the simpler it needs to be to pump out tunes at louder volumes. Doing it for less money is what the $250 Monoprice Soundstage 3 Portable is all about.

It is a speaker capable of unusual individuals with its punch, producing a thick sound that you may take with you. We moved it around a good bit ourselves to see just how much fun it might be when positioned in front of others.

What’s within the box

The fully recyclable box is a fairly standard unboxing experience. Inside, you get the ability adapter, 3.5mm audio cable, and user manual. Reading the manual is price doing so that you understand certain nuances I’ll cover further down. The protection warnings and guidelines section is filled with tidbits, some obvious, others that chances are you’ll not have considered.


Monoprice Soundstage 3 Portable view from the front.Ted Kritsonis / Digital Trends

Monoprice has never stood out for flashy aesthetics, and that’s pretty evident with the Soundstage 3 Portable. It looks like all other speaker could look, with few outward design cues that associate it with any particular brand, much less Monoprice. Still, it’s a fairly good-looking speaker, due to accent pieces, just like the leather handle at the highest buckled down for a pleasant touch.

It’s got some heft to it at just shy of 11 kilos, with dimensions of 13.6 x 6.9 x 7.3-inches. While definitely a speaker you may lug around, it’s not one you’ll wish to carry around like a boombox. That becomes much more obvious over time based on the speaker’s design and functionality. For starters, this just isn’t really an outside speaker. You’ll be able to take it outside and entertain friends in your backyard, or take it for a day on the park, but it surely has no water resistance, nor was it designed to handle very popular or cold temperatures. Monoprice even warns against keeping it in direct sunlight for too long. Unnecessary to say, it’s also definitely not a beach speaker. With exposed drivers, you do must be mindful of what might come into contact with it, regardless of its otherwise hefty frame.

That is the sort of speaker that may slot in nearly anywhere.

An interesting circumstance for a speaker that plays while sitting still connected to its power cord, or unfettered when the 8,800mAh battery is charged up. Should you plan to maintain this thing parked, you do have to charge the battery no less than once every three months to maintain it fresh. Not only that, but Monoprice built it so that you just leave the ability activate within the back. Turn it off, and the battery won’t charge in any respect.

In total, the Class D amp powers the 2 tweeters and woofer to output as much as 50 watts. The understated design doesn’t hide them behind grilles, and the openness grew on me as I kept using it, regardless that I’m admittedly not as partial, either way. That is the sort of speaker that may slot in nearly anywhere, despite the undeniable fact that people will walk by without paying all that much attention to the way it looks. It’s the way it plays that actually matters, in any case.

Setup and ports

Rear ports of the Monoprice Soundstage 3 Portable.Ted Kritsonis / Digital Trends

You do get an honest set of controls and ports to work with within the Soundstage 3. On the back, there are analog RCA stereo inputs, a Toslink digital audio port, 3.5mm Aux-In jack, a Sub-Out connector, plus a USB-A port to charge your phone or other portable device. While it could’ve been nice to see a 1/4-inch jack to plug in microphones or other components, you do still have workarounds for that in the event you wanted to make use of it as a PA system.

The speaker’s other ports definitely open it as much as a turntable, mixer, laptop, or whatever else you would possibly bear in mind. Even plugging this right into a TV is feasible in the event you use the Toslink port. It could work with any subwoofer you may plug into the prevailing port here, too. Good options for an unassuming speaker.

View of the buttons up top on the Monoprice Soundstage 3 Portable.Ted Kritsonis / Digital Trends

Up top, a row of buttons makes things pretty straightforward. The ability activate the back is what keeps the speaker on or off, whereas the button at the highest wakes it from standby mode. The pair button permits you to initiate Bluetooth pairing. Volume is standard, and the source button permits you to cycle through your available connection — each wired and wireless.

One legacy spec here is Bluetooth 4.2, which does limit range to a maximum of 32 feet — something that comes into play when using this outdoors along with your phone in tow. The speaker can also’t stay connected to 2 devices concurrently. If a second device connects to play something, it kicks off the primary one. And in the event you wanted this to be a speakerphone for calls, that won’t occur. No onboard mics, so no technique to talk over with anyone.

Sound quality

The Monoprice Soundstage 3 Portable outside.Ted Kritsonis / Digital Trends

What’s immediately obvious when playing anything on the Soundstage 3 Portable is how low the register is off the bat. With 30 watts of the 50-watt output coming from the woofer, and 10 apiece for the tweeters, it’s not all that surprising that it plays with an actual thump.

The excellent news is that it doesn’t cannibalize itself due to it. Some speakers skew too far to the lows and muffle the mids or highs to deliver that very same sort of rumble. The Soundstage 3 Portable doesn’t try this, producing vivid highs and a solid mid-range that come through for a wide range of musical genres. You may play something from Led Zeppelin or the newest Dua Lipa track and luxuriate in listening to each despite the very clear differences between them so far as their respective genres go.

Equally impressive was the speaker’s ability to not fall over a cliff with distortion at higher volumes.

Granted, Monoprice isn’t chasing after audiophiles with this speaker. It’s alleged to be a crowd-pleaser, not a sonic revelation. Stereo separation would’ve been higher with dual woofers, but considering what this speaker was really designed for, I doubt a gaggle of individuals listening to it could care all that much. If it gets anyone dancing because they’re feeling the sound coming out of it, that’s already a win for the Soundstage 3 Portable. After I played it for others, it got universally good feedback, with the bass because the standout feature. It might not rumble quite as much as, say, the Monster Blaster 3.0, but this speaker handles mids and highs with more clarity.

Equally impressive was the speaker’s ability to not fall over a cliff with distortion at higher volumes. Sound felt clear and crisp at 80% volume, which is already quite loud for this thing, and still sounded good at 90%. It won’t match the resonance of something just like the Marshall Stanmore III, but its value proposition is the mix of audio performance, portability, and port options, the latter two of which aren’t available with the Stanmore.

Without an app and EQ, there is no such thing as a technique to tailor the sound. It’s also limited to the SBC Bluetooth codec, so not much leeway there, either. Even so, whether you’re just chilling to it at default volume or blasting tunes to entertain a crowd, the Soundstage 3 Portable does the job.

Battery life

Holding the Monoprice Soundstage 3 Portable.Ted Kritsonis / Digital Trends

Monoprice rates battery life at 10 hours with 50% volume. That was pretty accurate in my testing, though you’ll raise the quantity on it as a rule. At 60-70%, it tapped out at seven hours, which seems low for something this size. It’s low in comparison with other speakers, and solidifies the actual fact that is a transportable speaker with somewhat limited range. You’ll generally need to seek out a spot for it near an influence outlet because it might just go for so long as you wish it to while plugged in.

You’ll be able to charge a phone or other portable device using the speaker’s battery or while it’s plugged into an outlet. Doing it while playing on battery power naturally reduces how long the speaker lasts until you plug it in or recharge, but it might be convenient, especially in the event you don’t have a free wall outlet to plug your device in.

Our Take

The Soundstage 3 Portable is a fun speaker for what it does. It could be the speaker you employ to hearken to audio content at home, in addition to one you may depend on to entertain guests. It doesn’t have the outdoor ruggedness others do, but you may get away with using it in your backyard, and that could be enough for what you wish. As for the pool or beach, this probably isn’t what you wish for those situations.

Is there a greater alternative?

the Soundstage 3 Portable as each a stationary and portable speaker opens it as much as various competitors. One actually comes from Monoprice itself in the shape of the Soundstage 3, a carbon copy of this one, save for the upper wattage, included handheld remote control, and lack of battery power. Not to say it only costs $160, so definitely a cheaper option. One other example could be the bass-heavy Monster Blaster 3.0 boombox, which is less complicated to hold around and lasts considerably longer on battery, yet doesn’t offer as much durability as you would possibly expect. You’ll be able to take it outside nearly anywhere though, so there’s that.

The Marshall Stanmore III is costlier at $380, and won’t play with no power source, but it surely delivers excellent sound and has an app for some EQ tweaking. Should you’re pondering you should go larger and louder with some portability in mind, then the Soundboks Go may scratch that itch. It costs $700, so it’s in a unique price bracket altogether, but it surely packs the sort of punch other speakers simply don’t.

How long will it last?

As long as you don’t get reckless with it, the Soundstage 3 Portable should last a protracted while. It has no IP rating in any respect, and clearly just isn’t built for any rugged pursuits. Keep it away from water and sand, especially. As noted earlier, you do have to recharge the battery no less than once every three months to maintain it fresh, in case you intend to maintain the speaker plugged in the complete time. Monoprice’s one-year warranty covers functional problems, but not damage from the weather. It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Must you buy it?

Yes, since you do get your money’s price. At $250, the Soundstage 3 Portable comes at an affordable cost for what you get.

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