M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Review

M-Audio Studiophile AV 40
M-Audio Studiophile AV 40

My M-Audio Studiophile AV 40's arrived in the mail from Woot a few days ago and I've been using them ever since. These things kick ass, let me tell you. For only $100 they were an amazing deal and I'm glad to finally get rid of my old amp and speakers. With an amp built right into the speakers, these are a great space saver for any music producer or audio aficionado. The Woot sale is long gone, but you can purchase these for a similar price over at Amazon for about $150 (still well worth the price): M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Powered Speakers

The first thing I should let you know, these aren't as good as their expensive studio monitor counterparts. But, unless you're mixing for big bands, you will not notice the difference.

On the front of the speakers are headphones out and a line in, both 1/8″, and a volume knob. Turning the knob all the way down will not power off the speaker, to do that you'll need to use the switch on the back of the speakers. The device has RCA inputs, and outputs to run to the second speaker on the right. There is also a bass boost switch on the back of the speakers, which seem to contrast with the purpose of the speakers.

In order to get the optimal sound out of these speakers, you'll want them to be standing vertically, and in a triangle with the position of the two speakers and your head, with the three items being 6 feet apart. If you don't believe me, go ahead and move these things around, you will notice the difference.

These things also come with a double male 1/8″ pin (for the line in), a wire to the second speaker (of course), and an 1/8″ pin to RCA cable. I thought this was a nice touch, a lot of hardware manufacturers refuse to ship these sort of cables, especially when not all clients would need them. Thanks M-Audio for being awesome!

I do a little bit of music production, though not as much as I used to. These will be replacing my old speakers and will primarily be used for listening to music and for video game audio. So far they do an amazing job. They can get very loud and keep from distorting.

There are a few drawbacks to these speakers, although the drawbacks only apply to someone not using these for audio mastering. The bass isn't the best on these things (the graph depicting frequency response for these has a big drop off near the bass end). Consumer level speakers do a little bit of internal EQing to boost the bass and treble and dropping the mid's so that the music sounds a little better, these speakers do not do that. If you leave the speakers on all the time, they will get pretty hot in the back and suck power out of the wall. The power switch is on the back, so they can't be hidden and forgotten somewhere on your bookshelf.

Conclusion: If you are an audio nut looking for a good deal and who doesn't mind a little inconvenience in exchange for sound quality, grab these! If you're a casual listener and don't plan on doing any music production, there are better speakers out there for you.

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Thomas Hunter II Avatar

Thomas has contributed to dozens of enterprise Node.js services and has worked for a company dedicated to securing Node.js. He has spoken at several conferences on Node.js and JavaScript, published a book on microservices, and is an organizer of Nodeschool SF.