The M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 monitors are perfect for the computer musician on a budget. They're long-lasting and great for electronic, hip hop, or rock production in a small home studio setup (especially for apartment or bedroom dwellers).
You can't ask for more!
I bought these monitors two weeks ago and I have to say it goes far beyond my imagining! Nice job M-audio :)
M-Audio AV 40
I added these to my desktop briefly (for testing) and then moved them to a retail space for background music. Wonderful sound for the price. I have no regrets for the purchase. I do recommend an audio interface (Scarlett 2i2) and getting advice from Richard at Sweetwater on your final cable and interface selections. We are currently running 85 feet of TRS cable through a Scarlett 2i2 and using an Apple computer with iTunes with no issues. Again, great music value and simple, clean setup.
Extreme bang for the buck!
I wished to replace my old and failing computer speakers and also needed some decent monitors for DAW work. I heard great things about the AV-40's and what with the low cost, I decided to take a shot and see of they could do double duty.
I cannot believe how great these monitors sound for such small and inexpensive speakers. They are punchy, warm, and give a relatively flat response for accurate mixing, and sound great for anything computer related. They are loud, crisp and clear and you will not be disappointed.
Thank you, Sweetwater!
I bought these monitors for my Tascam dp-24. Nice deep bass response and clarity. Was looking at other ones but couldn't pass them up for the price. Works perfect in my home studio. I couldnt be happier...Sweetwater Rocks.
Great Desktop Speakers
They are best as a second pair of monitors to go with your mains. Great speakers for mastering. The quality i get out of them is great. I like to mix down on my big 8" monitors and do my mastering on these. I find my expensive 8" monitors have too much detail for mastering. These are like "zooming out" so you can see the big picture and tweak the whole song, instead of the individual elements within the song. They bump if you turn them up. Originally bought them for my apartment but they have made their way into my studio. I've owned these over a year and they grew on me, a great product.
Great sounding for the money & Really great service from
Okay...so at first I was having some little hiss issues...turned out to be the latency on my audio driver that needed calibrating (actually needed less lag than when I used my Rokit 8 :)
These things PUNCH for their size. Only semi downside was the cables between speakers didn't stretch long, but I have these on each end of my desk so it's really no worries :)
I was really happy it came with everything I needed. Bottom acoustic treating, audio cables TRS and 1/8th jacks, as well as the connector and power supply :)
M-Audio AV 40
I was using one of My amps. as a monitor ( not good ) and when I plugged in these WOW I couldn't believe what I missing ! . for the price You can't beat these .
These are my first studio monitors so I don't really have anything to compare them too, (other than my computer speakers) but they sound great! I had old computer speakers prior to these and I needed something more updated for my recording studio.
The difference was immense! It sounds incredibly crisp. It has a nice sleek look, and it gets pretty loud.
My one tip for people who buy this though.. is to make sure that you position them the right way! If you don't position these the right way you're not going to get that perfect sound these have to offer.
And tip #2 if you ate using the for recording music and you have an interface.. Buy the 3ft speaker cables this website sells! It only come with an auxiliary cable the plugs into your computers headphone jack and a cable to plug your mp3 into the monitors. Get a better sound with your interface! It only costs an extra 20$!
I strongly recommend these to people are serious about recording and are just starting out though! I love them and they're great for the price. Very affordable. :)
P.S. the customer service here is awesome. They gave me a bag of candy with these headphone haha.
Great monitors for the price.
These guys are great for the price, very true sounding to my ears, i use these in a small room i have mixed anything from metal to folk to praise and worship they have preformed above and beyond in all those genre's,
bottom line is if your a recording musician and on a budget these are you best bet!
Wonderful little monitors for the price.
I use these for PC gaming, music listening, and recording, and I could not be happier. For the price I payed I expected to have to settle in some areas but I can't really find anything to complain about. These are pretty much perfect for my purposes. Highly recommended.
Really the best monitors the price
I was blown away on the setup and the sound quality of the speakers.
The M-audio AV40 is a good investment. These would be my 1st pair of monitors and i have to say" I love them".
none better for the price.
When I first opened the box and saw the size of the monitors I just figured they were to small for what I needed. I have a new Tascam 2488 neo, that I hooked the AV,40's up to just to see what I had. I could not believe what I was hearing from these monitors, and the more I pushed the volume they just got better and better. My god I never would have believed that much sound could come from a monitor this size.
But more than the volume they produced, was the quality of the sound. I could not get a better studio monitors any were for the price, what you
here in the mix down is just wonderful. Great bass mids and crisp highs, I don't see myself needing to get
studio monitors for a long time to come.
Nice Small Monitors
So far so good.Replaced the small cheap speakers I was using from an old HP computer sound is good clear highs and good low end. Good choice for low cost monitors'
Great for a Portable Studio
I have a home studio set up with monitors that cost nearly 10 times what these cost but they are not ment for portability. i ordered these M-Audios one for price and 2 for small size to setup a portable laptop studio. With the balanced TRS inputs, small size and decent power output, these speakers are perfect for just that. They dont sound as good as my Mackies but duh, theres that price point. These monitors ROCK for small rooms and road trips. i'm writing this from a motel room off I95 in FL and listening to Nickleback. My neighbors came over about an hour ago and wanted to know how I got the TV to sound so good!!!
If you have a small room studio setup or need to build up a portable studio, then you really need to buy these M-Audio AV 40's. Clean sound, small size and weight, easy hook up, great bottom end and nearly flat response spells out GREAT MONITORS!!!
Super nearfields for the money!
These are incredibly good speakers for a home studio. I have monitors costing much, much more that aren't any better. I'm really pleased with this product.
I honestly wasn't expecting much when I ordered these seeing as they were one of the cheaper sets of active monitors available, however they rock. Nice and flat. I use them for just about everything. I can monitor recordings, run my effects processors straight into them, I can run my zoom r16 into them and I'll even watch movies on netflix and plug them into my laptop.
Great detail and great separation awesome monitors
BIG, W-I-D-E SOUND at a grrreat price!
When I unpacked them I was a little disappointed to see that both amps are in one speaker; with a speaker cord connecting the two together. BUT! I powered them up, and was stunned by the frequency range, clarity, big "sweet spot" and overall lack of coloration. Compared to my Event 20/20's with a JBL sub, all switched by a Mackie Big Knob, it was easy to discern that, for most everyday work I was most pleased withe AV 40's. They are sonically rewarding, without "hype" or discoloration much less than you would expect to hear in such a small enclosure. A great buy, and IMO, as good as the M-Audio BX5 D2's, which only have them beat at max SPL --but at twice the dough.
Excellent small studio monitor
The M-Audio AV 40 is an excellent monitor for a small recording studio, practicing musician, or MIDI sequencer. At $149 for a pair of speakers, these are inexpensive--coupled with a modest subwoofer (for example, the M-Audio SBX10) they provide extremely accurate sound reproduction for a small monitoring space.
These aren't bookshelf speakers for your dorm room or home theater. They're "near field" speakers, which project high-fidelity audio in a very small, focused direction. Typical stereo speakers (and even 7.1 home theater systems) are designed to project a broad sound wave that will reverberate (echo) throughout the space. Near-field monitors, like the AV-40, are intended to play very high-fidelity sound directly to a very small "sweet spot" a few feet in front of each speaker--and not reverberate in the space at all. (In a studio you have sound-deadening material on all the walls, precisely to eliminate all the reverb your home theater system is designed to project.)
How big a deal is this? In the box with the AV-40 pair is a small instruction booklet detailing how to position the speakers on your mixing desk or workbench to achieve the near-field monitor pattern you'll need to use these monitors effectively.
A number of other reviews have commented on the bass output of these monitors. They're 4" monitors--they will not get you down anywhere near the 20hz frequency that defines the low end of the human hearing range (for example, C1 on a 16' organ pipe rank). Leave the bass boost switch alone--get a subwoofer. That will cost bucks--but you need a subwoofer to get accurate reproduction of your sound.
As you evaluate your recordings, experiment with and without the subwoofer (very few car audio systems have a sub)--but for your initial recording you need the sub.
Great sound in a little package. Really love these speakers!
Great sound small and easy to move around the house. Finally a lightweight great sounding set of monitors that can handle multiple ranges of music from the deep bass of techno or the raw power of the guitar these speakers really cover all spectrums of sound i am completely impressed with my new speakers.
I bought these because I am just starting out and they really fit my budget. Plus my former audio professor recomended M-Audio to me. When they arrived I had my doubts, but they sounded almost as good as the Mackie HR824's I used to us in school.
Just copped the AV40's for the WIN!!!!!
I have to say before buying these I did a lot of research and all I heard for the most part was good reviews on these monitors! Hearing is believing I've had my AV40's for about 3 days now and WOW! If your looking for a great set of monitors to hold you over until you can upgrade these will work perfectly! I'm a recording major and at school we have NS10's, & Mackie's HR8's so I know quality studio monitors and the build quality is superb they have a great solid fell and nice weight to them, but more importantly they sound incredible so I'm very pleased with my my purchase! I plan on upgrading to the M-Audio BX8 a Deluxe! I say for $150 you can't go wrong nothing in that price range can contend with these monitors!
Excellent beginner monitors
Honestly, i didn't expect a WHOLE lot from these but i was VERY impressed when i got them home and plugged in. Just running a line from my imac's line out into the rca's and listening to some familiar songs on itunes, i was able to hear subtle details in the music that i had never heard before!! Very impressive sound. I purchased these to be able to do some solo recording at home (i have access to a full studio also) and feel that they were a great buy. As another reviewer stated, no they aren't perfect, but they are a great buy for the money and an excellent start for home recording in a basic studio setup.
Very Competitively Priced
To comment on some other reviews I read from this site: The AV40s don't sound harsh in the highs or muddy in the bass--the reviewers are confusing the speakers' sound with the sound of their electronics (fatiguing highs) or poor placement (interaction with furniture and walls). Please read this review to understand what I'm talking about...
I have listened to PC speaker systems costing less [Logitech (Z-10 + others), Creative (T-20 + others)] and more [Bose (companion series 2, 3, and 5)] than these speakers, but none of them had the dynamic snap and even midrange of the AV40 speakers--I could tell that just listening in the store. I wish I could comment on the comparative focus and realism of the speakers, but I only took the AV40s home and not the others, so there's your caveat for the rest of this review.
The first thing that impressed me was the imaging behind my monitor--but I was also a little disappointed initially, because I was used to the in-your-face treble of cheaper speakers. Vocalists and lead instruments sounded a little recessed, but focused and not lacking in detail. Things quickly got better after the amp warmed up, and since that time, I haven't noticed a recessed sound, and the speakers seemed to open up. So I think the amp does need a little breaking-in to sound its best.
Even when playing simple recorded voices from YouTube, I was struck with how focused and life-like the voices sounded. I could hear more parts to my CDs than before. I played "Step Into Liquid", and immediately noticed how overly processed recordings ("Back to You") sounded somewhat better, while cleaner tracks ("Endlessly", with deep harmonized vocals, percussive hollow woody instruments being thonked, etc.) totally blew me away! The voices and percussion sounded beautiful, rock-solid, and much more lively than I recalled hearing on cheaper speakers.
These speakers can deliver a very dynamic punch on the right music. I played "La Folia" on track 11 with the drums, and I can't recall ever hearing such a palpable impact on the attacks except when I played that CD in a car which had MB Quart speakers, known for their high dynamic kick. We're talking midrange kick, not bass--if you hear the Bose system, you'll understand the difference (Bose puts all of its dynamic range into the bass module, with mids and highs sounding flaccid). There was plenty of bass to satisfy a music lover, but probably not a bass lover. For near-field sound, it's perfect.
Because the sound was as good as it was, and because I played these using the built-in sound chips on my motherboard (Dell Precision 390), I was motivated to buy an M-Audio Audiophile 2496 sound card to see just how good my system can be on a budget (to be continued, below).
This is a follow-up review. I installed the M-Audio Audiophile 2496 sound card, and a 1 meter pair of Audioquest Diamondback interconnects. The sound card/cable combo required about 3 hours to break-in (initially, the new components made the sound restricted and somewhat bass-shy).
But after 3 hours, what a difference:
1) Bass was now tight and extended, and I realized I had been hearing a slight bloat before. So I flicked the bass boost switch on the speakers, which gave a small boost to the lowest range of the speaker--no coloring of the midrange per se (human voices remained unchanged), but a lift added from the upper bass on down. If the bass was not so tight and well-controlled, using this switch would have been unacceptable. In fact, before the upgrade, the switch WAS unacceptable.
2) Treble was now extended to my liking, with a remarkable smoothness (lack of grain). No peakiness, just good honest extension.
3) Better imaging, better focus (definite placement of instruments; more palpable).
4) A sort of constriction had been removed. I could enjoy a more emotional flow to the music--better dynamic response.
I could now play some of my best CDs and get that level of excitement I had felt was missing before. These included "Just Friends" by the LA4, "Modern Cool", by Patricia Barber, and "Salamander Pie", by Jay Leonhart. These CDs were missing that magic breath of life before the upgrade, but now they were "in the zone". Vocalists and instruments consistently had more presence. The timber of drums sounded much more correct. Guitar was sweet and plucked bass was outstanding (pluckier, better defined, less boomy, but nevertheless full on the bottom).
I played Vaughan Williams' "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis" with the sound card volume maxed out and the speaker volume over halfway--really loud! I wanted to hear the massed strings get muddled, harsh, break up. The music hit its high crescendo, I waited, clenching my teeth, and--it all held. Instruments stayed well-defined, and those massed loud high notes never lost their profile, became grainy or harsh. They just got very, very, loud... Oh, and the bottom was definitely missing from this orchestral work, even though I was getting plenty of 'motion from the violins.
Clannad "Macalla", track 1 (low voiced choir)--mission accomplished. Fresh Aire III--mission accomplished, but... I noticed that if there was electric or synthesized bass in just the right area, I would hear a resonance in the mid-bass on a couple of notes, but I think it's more due to the speakers' location on my desktop in the corner of my office. This could be mostly remedied by knocking back down the bass boost switch.
I even went back to YouTube and listened to some of the audiophile recordings there and was astounded all over again at the quality. Try searching for "Greek Audiophile" for an example.
A final caveat: in my room, I use a 1500 watt APC UPS and plug everything into it. I have to believe the battery power conditioner helps. Also, I am using a very dead-sounding wood-and-steel-frame modular table from Ikea. And I use flat-screen monitors, with the speakers to the sides and slightly behind them, about 4 inches from the back wall--no obstructions on either side of the speakers. This means there isn't much interaction between the M-Audio speakers and my office furniture. And last but not least, I had chosen the Audioquest Diamondback cables to help balance-out this speaker's profile, in that they are very extended in the highs, and just slightly on the lean side.
In the end, I found the AV40s to perform best on human voice, percussion, and bass. They work well with chamber ensembles, close-miked instruments, and basically anything acoustic that has a nice dynamic character. Acoustic guitars hold onto their honey-sweet character. Horns and flute are without annoying resonances or harshness. And it all comes across full-bodied in character.
So there you have it. The AV40s are capable of a high-end uncolored yet engaging sound--but possibly only if you hook 'em up with high-end interconnects and a "music-oriented" high quality sound card.
Great for small spaces
I like all the options of inputs for these (TRS / RCA / 1/8th" ) and if you are in an apartment where you can not be too loud these will be indispensable !
I bought these speakers as a secondary sound system but the quality of sound and BASS just made them my #1 speaker system! I was quietly surprised and am thinking about a second set because the sound is awesome!!
Excellent near-fields for a small room
I have had my AV40s for over 7 years and I absolutely love them. Some reviewers had complained about drastic drops in bass response below 100hz...it's a 4" woofer...of course there's a drop in bass response below 100hz. I have mixed on these for many years occasionally purchasing bigger and "better" monitors (RP8s and RP6s) only to come to the conclusion that they were overkill for your standard small bedroom 8x10 to 10x12 studio (which is typically the size of room I've used). I have tried to use a sub as well, but this also deemed to be overkill in that size room. Really if you're running a small bedroom studio or do a lot of electronic music (I do EDM as well as Metal/Hard Rock) you can't beat these...especially for the price. I have learned to work around the lack of sub-bass response by burning my mixes to disc (along with another professionally recorded track from an artist I am quite familiar with on all kinds of different systems) and running out to my car to listen and A/B against the reference track. I also will listen on high quality headphones to make sure stereo imaging is correct as well. This is good common practice even when you have $5k Genelecs. After doing this a few times you will start to get more of a feel for where your mixes need to be to translate well on other systems. I originally purchased these with a Pro Tools recording pack which included an M-Box, Pro Tools, and an M-Audio LDC mic. All that I ended up keeping were these speakers. They are getting old now and starting to crackle when I adjust the volume knob, but I just keep that stationary now and use my interface's volume control. When these go out I will probably replace them with the same model. Kudos to M-Audio for designing a killer set of inexpensive near-fields.
These little guys are wonderful. The only drawback is the lows are not as responsive as some bigger speakers but they are still pretty good. The sound is clean and precise. Love the aux input and headphone jack. Makes it easy to connect my laptop to real speakers when I need to. Worth the money and Sweetwater's service was excellent as well.
AV 40 Speakers
Speakers have a great sound. Very clear also.I would buy these again.
M-Audio AV 40
These work exactly as advertised and are a great value. My studio space is limited as in my budget and these little fellows fit the bill perfectly.
I got these to use with my video editing workstation and they are nearly perfect. Thanks for putting a h-phone jack on the left side side speaker M-Audio. I wish mixer companies would do the same. Why only 4.5 stars? To turn them on you have to go behind the main speaker instead of the volume knob on the front. No big deal really, but it would have been nice. To all the people that comment on bass range: Hey, if you need 30hz get something bigger than a 4" or 5" speaker. NOBODY makes small speakers that thump your chest. To be candid, these would not be my first choice for near fields in an audio workstation, but, for my purposes (mastering for TV) they are quite appropriate. BX5's with a sub have nicely for my audio workstation. For any bad mouth M-Audio receives let me just say that in their price range they are the biggest sellers, and for a reason. You get what you pay for.
These monitors are the greatest monitors you can buy for this low of a price! and they come with 3 cables! they work great and are loud! Zero latency as well!
Great Equipment For a Great Price!
these speakers are great if you learn them!
thee speakers are great! with any speaker,you have to learn them.learn how they sound and how industry tracks translate out them.i've had these for 3 years and use them for mutimedia use,recording,mixing and mastering.once i learned how industry mixes translated from them,getting my mixes the translate was no problem at all.of course there not the best but for 180$ there a serious contender! the highs and mids are verry acurate and the bass is decent! if the bass roll off was at 15 herts less,it would make all the difference in the low end but the low end is still good as long as you learn it! i would denfently recommend these over the mix cubes because they have slightly more response in both sides of the spectrem.im gonna do a upgrade to cx8's soon but these work verry well and really allow you to really learn how your mix will translate!
Excellent monitors for the money
Ok, so I am 17 years old and I have excellent hearing - I'm not the average 17yo that just wants more bass and louder speakers. I am looking for a precise, clean speaker. I run FOH at fairly large church.
Overall, these speakers are a great buy and I have no complaints for the money I spent.
These speakers are a bit harsh in the high end. I actually turned the 16KHz down in iTunes because they were killing me. But again, for the money they are great.
Do not expect much bass from them. 4" woofers don't go too far. With bass boost off you can hear very detailed bass, again, for the money spent.
With bass boost on (which I rarely turn on) you lose a ton of definition. I mean a TON! You can throw clean out the window. It gives you more bass (not much more though) but they will definitely run most of the bass "stop lights".
These speakers would be awesome with a nice sub that would really round out the low end. I do a fair amount of mixing with them and you can forget trying to get the bass in balance because you can't tell with them.
Overall, if you have $150 and are looking for incredibly detailed sound for the money don't buy crappy creative or even worse bose (cough cough) speakers! Just get these and someday buy a sub. Next step? Rock out.
These are amazing for the price, very clear. fairly flat response. the low frequencies roll off around around 75 - 100 Hz. be careful not to mix the bass in too much with these speakers though.
Versatility and value
For less than $150 a pair, you get a lot of features and great quality. The main reasons I purchased these were their small footprint and the large number of inputs -- how often will you find monitors this size with 1/4" balanced, RCA, *and* and auxiliary? I can hook up a desktop main out, a laptop headphone out, and the main outs from my MOTU 828 all at the same time without having to unplug anything or flip any switches when I want to jump from one setup to another.
As for the sound, these clearly don't sound as good as monitors in higher price ranges. How could they? There's a slight muddiness in the low-mid range when you turn up the volume, and the "bass boost," while very effective for what it is, is no replacement for a subwoofer. Except for those shortcomings, the sound coming out of these is clear and generally very clean; absolutely excellent for a composer or recording artist who needs pleasing and crisp uncolored sound. The frequency balance is very good (except for the aforementioned muddiness), and the wood cabinets of the monitors provide some nice resonance, especially for speakers so small. The high end is particularly well-defined; great for those buzzing synths and distortion effects. Solid stereo separation, as noticed when using a virtual orchestra (I primarily use these for scoring).
I would buy these again in a heartbeat -- M-Audio clearly put a lot of thought into them, and the quality shows.
I am picky with audio equipment. I like these speakers for my computer. They would not be good for surround sound for your home theater, but they make a very nice pair of accurate sounding computer speakers
For the price- really hard to beat
When you really don't need the big gear from the big boys with the big price, but you do need crisp sonic quaility. These two do the job very well. Better than average.
No Bass Boost as Advertised
Minus a star for the bass boost. The pictures show a bass boost switch. my monitors do not have this switch. I bought these for multi-media speakes, so it isn't worth sending these back. Nice feature having the aux and in on the front. I wish the volume control was also a push button power switch.
These Speakers are great for the price. Since, having them i have been able to make a better mix of the songs that i have created. I am so Happy that i Ordered Them!
Great Beginner Monitors
This was my first set of monitors... I'm a college student with a very limited budget and I got these a month ago as my first attempt to mix for my rock band. However I've been using them more as my desktop speakers for general music listening.
I'll say they're excellent for the money. I compared these only to the KRK RP5's at the time, which were a bit more transparent but not really worth twice the price for me. As expected, there are a few downsides to these, considering such a low price. After about a couple hours listening to the AV40's, you start feeling the effects of ear fatigue. It could be my room, but the highs are a bit abrasive for me when you crank up the volume. The bass is very good for their size but they are still relatively weak at high volumes. I'll agree with the other reviewer that the mid to low range is pretty muddy, I had a hard time mixing that level.
As for overall accuracy, for the most part they're spot on. However, keep in mind the shortcomings... when I mixed what sounded best on these monitors, my friend felt that there was too much mids on his home speakers. Also there was too much bass when I listened to my songs in the car. I know that for $150, you're never going to get real monitors, so I got these kind of as a warm-up before moving up to the real stuff. If you're a beginner like me, you'll actually grow to appreciate the sound quality and detail on these compared to your regular speakers. I feel like I've developed a keener sense of hearing from spending a few hours on these everyday. I'm definitely now prepared for the next level... I'm saving up for a good $1000 pair for next year.
I'm far from an expert on studio monitors but these get the job done. They're quite an upgrade from my PC speakers. I don't have anything to compare them to, but the sound coming out is clear, crisp, and loud which is all I need for my home studio. I'll sell a kidney someday and get a pair of JBL's but these will work until then.
Not Reference Monitors
First off, I have owned these monitors for two years and used them in 3 different rooms. These monitors are great if you are just listening to music for personal enjoyment. They have decent highs. However are lacking in the low end as they only go down to 85Hz. Their mid range leaves much to be desired as well. My mixes don't translate well on other monitors when I mix on these M-Audios. They have a very colored sound.
Bottom line: if you are looking for a nice pair of desktop speakers for jamming to, these are a pretty decent buy. However if you're looking at editing/mixing on monitors definitely avoid these monitors. Save your money and invest in monitors that translate. Your mixes will thank you.
I new I was taking a chance buying such cheap monitors, but the multitude of good reviews persuaded me. I was very disappointed with the sound from these speakers; very boxy, in my opinion. I ran some tests with some sine waves to gauge the low-frequency response, and I heard a steep drop-off starting at 100 hz. By the time I got to 50 hz, there was almost nothing there. Sure enough, the documentation that came with the speakers lists the range as 85 hz to 20 khz. This is not nearly low enough for decent studio monitors, unless you have a sub in your monitor setup, and many people do not want to use a sub. The only other monitors in this price range I have compared these to are the Alesis M1 Active 520s, which I liked much more, definitely worth the extra $50.