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I could be wrong but I beleave the term monitor got it's start in the recording studio regarding a very neutral speaker system which may or may not have been full-range and could play very loud if needed.
I think the line may have become somewhat blurry over time and as far as Audiogon for sale goes.
Monitors would be the smaller type boxes that are less than full range...this line also can be somewhat blurry from what I see in the adds sometimes.
To add to "Dave"'s response, "monitor" often meaning a small, revealing, heavy-duty speaker that will fit into tight spaces or on top of a mixing board, usually used very near-field. Today's powered keyboard speakers that sit on top of a keyboard would sort of fit the original bill..
Weren't the old 70's Roger's cylindrical speakers designed this way to fit into a mobile recording unit, in a van?
Today, I believe the term is used for speakers that sit on a stand to reach ear level and usually have limited bass response, either by design or the fact that they are away from the floor, which reinforces the low end frequency response. Few stand mounted monitors reach as low as floor-standers, which may not be a bad thing, depending on how much bass you want.
Robm321, you are comparing apple to oranges
You'll be surprised that many monitor speakers can sound as good or better than floor stander. It has to do with your room acoustics and system synergy. In a small to mid size room, I would almost always choose monitor speakers. The control, imaging and overall tonal balance is much better than most of the floor standers.