Top critical review
Far from the usual quality I expect from Monoprice, but they work
Reviewed in Australia on 21 June 2020
I've bought a whole lot of different stuff from Monoprice (mostly cables) in the past and never had a problem, so when I saw these cheap, I figured I'd be happy... well, I'm somewhat disappointed.
First things first: the packaging was very good. Plain on the outside, sure, but it's what's inside that counts. Inside, everything was laid out intelligently and had enough protection to make sure it wasn't going to get damaged in shipping.
It was once I got everything out of the box and started looking up how to build the things when I noticed the first problem... the instructions are completely in broken English and littered with typos. Probably translated from another language by a non-native English speaker. I figured things out, but it did take a while of looking back and forth between the sheet and all the parts to figure out what was going on.
It comes with all the bits you need for mounting various kinds of speakers (mine just have a smaller screw thread on the back, and one of the sets of screws included matched them). Each stand comes as four pieces: the base, a two piece pole that adjusts for height, and a bracket you have to screw on top (which your speaker goes on).
The base and poles are metal, and the bracket is plastic. I wasn't too worried about that, my speakers are pretty light (i.e. not that good), but I had tons of trouble actually screwing the brackets on to the poles. The screws included seem to be really soft, I basically stripped both of them trying to get them in. I managed to finish getting one in with the screwdriver (hint: hold the bracket still and push hard on the screwdriver with your other hand), but for the other one I could barely get it in (or out) so I grabbed some pliers and started turning the screw that way (also applying pressure with my other hand). Ended up taking about an hour to get them tight enough I was happy with them, which is a pretty slow pace, for... 2 screws Fortunately the screws that hold the speakers on seem to be much better quality, I didn't have any problems with them.
Then I had to feed the speaker cable up through the stand and pole. Not the easiest job, for one I had to drop a weight in from the top, get it all the way out the bottom, tape the speaker cable to that and pull it back. It seemed to be getting caught on the backwards bend in the stand, so I don't think it's really the stand's fault (unless you want a straight pole to tip over forwards when you mount a speaker in front of the centre of gravity, in which case... look elsewhere). It could also be my cheap speaker cable (anyone detecting a pattern here?).
Once you get the cable to the top you need to get it out a hole in the back of the pole (unless maybe your speakers have their terminals in exactly the correct spot so that they line up with the other screwholes in the brackets). Not too hard, I just used some tweezers.
So this should be the end, right? Well... not exactly. This probably isn't the stands' fault, but when I was moving some other stuff around I lost my balance a little and accidentally put a bit of weight on one of the stands. That caused the plastic bit used to tighten the two halves of the pole together to crack, from the top to about a third of the way down. I taped it back up as best as I could and it works, but it's really hard to get it tight enough that the pole doesn't move, especially without cracking it a bit more. If this happens to you, make sure you know exactly what height you want it before you tighten it up again, because trust me, adjusting it will be a pain.
As I said, not necessarily a problem with the stands, but most of the other stuff I have from Monoprice seems like it could survive a small nuclear explosion, so I'm a little disappointed (and that doesn't forgive the crappy screws used to attach the brackets). But I've had them up for a while now and they're still standing (even the cracked one, which gets bumped occasionally because of where it is), so they work, but I'd expected better.