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Alesis M1 Active 320 USB 3" Powered Studio Monitors with USB Reviews

4.0 stars based on 35 customer reviews
Questions about the Alesis M1 Active 320 USB 3" Powered Studio Monitors with USB?

Questions about the Alesis M1 Active 320 USB 3" Powered Studio Monitors with USB?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

  • Phil
    from Utah June 6, 2016Music Background:
    musician, recording artist, hobbyist

    Good monitors

    I am really impressed with these little speakers, sound quality is amazing, very easy to connect, very compact for using them on the go. they are small so there is lacking of bass, as should be expected. You could use a bass box to fix that very easily. Love these, im sure there are better out there but for the price these are really awesome starter monitors or anyone who wants to mix while traveling.

  • steve hammill
    from Montana March 29, 2016

    Incredible little speakers

    These little guys knocked my socks right off! Of course, these are not in the same league as my studio speakers, but WOW! For what the M1-320s cost and the footprint on the desk, I cannot imagine anything better.

    ...and SUPPORT was remarkable. No problem with the speakers, just a recording studio owner making a real newbie mistake with this new-fangled digital stuff :)

  • Charly
    from Las Vegas May 24, 2014Music Background:
    amateur recording singer

    awesome mini studio monitors!

    for the price,these speakers have high quality monitor sound and musical instrument separation like youd get from the ones they use in professional studios.Id say the alesis 320 are pro sound for desktop pcs and with the interface feature it tops it off for an all in one solution...again,within the price,these are the best mini studio monitors,you cant go wrong with these for quality and portability

  • Robert Stull
    from Vero Beach, FL June 18, 2013

    Great USB Speakers

    These were just what we needed to provide audio for the small seminars we do in our ministry. Thanks Sweetwater for not only a great product, but a fantastic price!

  • His Productions
    from Howe, Indiana June 11, 2012Music Background:
    Musician, Hack Engineer, and Radio Producer

    For $100...CAN NOT BE BEAT!!!

    I am in the broadcast industry and in our main production studio I use Adam's A-7 monitors, WHICH I LOVE!!! But, I couldn't justify $1000 for a couple of secondary locations for our editors. I bought these monitors for 2 of our editors and upon first glance, these are REALLY decent monitors, ESPECIALLY for the price. I was really blown away by the fullness of the sound out of something so small and so inexpensive.

  • Christopher S
    from Boston MA October 8, 2011Music Background:
    Songwriter

    My overall purchase experience

    Your combination of knowledge, experience and customer care impressed me very much. The equipment is well suited for the application. I will certainly shop with you again!

  • Ryan McAtee
    from Bloomington, MN November 23, 2010Music Background:
    Guitarist, bassist, songwriter

    Why buy run-of-the-mill PC speakers for the same money?

    After being disappointed by the sound quality of Bose Companion II speakers, and with the onboard audio of my gaming/entertainment PC starting to fail, I decided to take a chance with the M1 Active 320s. Music playback was leaps and bounds better than on the Bose set, and as USB audio devices, I was able to bypass my onboard audio. Games sound great, and music sounds better than I've ever heard on a PC. Although I wouldn't use 3" speakers for tracking or mixing, these don't seem to boost the low end like so many PC speakers and headphones do, and are certainly sufficient for listening to mixes on something other than your large(r) monitors.

    For $99, I don't see how you could go wrong with these.

  • Peter Gutierrez
    from Elk Grove, CA, USA December 19, 2009Music Background:
    Pro guitarist, playing a variety of genres for over 40 years

    Terrific sound and great value

    Just received and connected these speakers to my PC. I am getting into recording my guitar in a modest way and needed an upgrade to the spkrs that came with my PC to get a better sound for the mixing process. Set up was easy. Three simple connections and the necessary cables/power cord were included: One to connect the left and right speakers, one power cord, and one USB cable to the PC. No need for drivers or other steps, just connect and you are done. Audio quality exceeded my expectations. For the price, an outstanding value. Thanks to Mark Magdich my sales engineer ( X 1265 ) for helping me make a super choice. In addition to mixing, there is so much great free guitar instructional material on the Web that now I can hear the audio portions of lessons or rhythm tracks and playing in front of my PC is far more enjoyable with quality audio. The Alesis speakers really deliver!

    Peter Gutierrez
    Elk Grove, CA

  • C Wright
    from Indiana September 17, 2016Music Background:
    Pro Audio 40 years Computing 30 years

    Great PC Speakers as well!

    We bought these knowing that Pro Audio was there primary focus, but also hoping that PC gaming on a budget would be a great off-label use. They work right out of the box with Windows 10 and sounds better than most any PC speaker from the usual sources. PC speakers are plagued by motherboard noise as well as the horrible 1/8 jacks that oxidize and always require periodic twisting in the socket to restore the signal. USB connections don't typically go bad due to atmospheric conditions nearly so quickly.

    The sound quality is quite good for this price point and provides plenty of volume for the home user.

  • Doug Van Fleet
    from Ohio September 14, 2016

    Alesis

    I'd give it 5 stars but I'm not enough of a gear guy to qualify. My mixes are now working. Now that I can hear what's really going on.

  • Roger
    from California May 11, 2016

    Good product, great price, Excellent Service

    These are a strong 4.5; not 5.0 because I'm not 'blown away'. They are good quality, sound great, hooked up in seconds...Bottom line: Totally as expected, delivered fast, the usual Sweetwater great support.
    These speakers aren't intended to be anything but small studio monitors and they do that job very well.

  • Customer
    from May 6, 2015

    Perfect for a Home Studio

    I have very limited space in my home studio and these monitors fit perfectly on my desk. The sound they produce is good for my needs (I'm a voice actor) and the price point is excellent.

  • Marcos
    from February 27, 2015

    PC speaker minded

    Got these to replace a buzzing pair of PC speakers. Can't go wrong. Crisp and clear sound you would expect from a monitor type speaker. Great for games and personal music listening. I like jazz. Not much deep base sound but I can hear the instrument clearly. What do you expect though. I have no intention to mix with these but they sound like you could do it, consider adding a sub in my opinion. For the price and how I use them. Great!

  • Matt
    from TN January 30, 2015Music Background:
    Solo Musician

    Great Sound, Not So Great Interface

    I've had these for over a week now, and have been impressed with the sound they produce. Granted, you're not getting thousand dollar sound out of these things, but what you do get is better than your standard computer speakers.
    The only issue I have had so far is when I try to use the interface that is built into the monitors: there's a persistent hiss present when I try to use it as an input in my DAW (Sonar Platinum, in case you're curious.)

    I was hoping these would be an all-around solution, but I ended up having to hook my eight year old TonePort GX back up due to the hiss in the monitor's interface.

    In short, get these if you want low budget studio monitors. If you're wanting an interface, look elsewhere.

    Hope this helps, and have a great day!

  • Nicole
    from Indiana, PA USA September 4, 2013Music Background:
    Audio Instructor

    Alesis M1 Active 320 USB

    I ordered these speakers for my basic audio recording class and I am very happy with the product. I have yet to use the built in interface so I'm not sure how well it works. The speakers are small and cheap, but have a great sound. The highs and lows are crisp and clear and pack a punch. If you are looking for a good set of small, inexpensive speakers, these are a great buy.

  • Steve
    from Palm Beach, FL United States June 17, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist/former semi-pro musician

    Perfect product for my use

    These are perfect for my wife's laptop. I would recommend them to anyone. Big sound out of small speakers!! I also have the Alesis M1 Active 520 USB for my iMac and both sets of speakers are quality all the way. I am very pleased!

  • Em
    from New York, NY September 5, 2011Music Background:
    producer, pro keyboard player

    Small but powerful

    I ordered these monitors thinking they'd just be some "good-for-now" type speakers, but once I got them hooked up, I was really impressed. They are light, easy to hook up but VERY powerful. These are great for referencing mixes if you want to hear tracks through something different. These are also really great for a mobile/travel recording set-up, which is why I bought them. Super easy to pack and carry, easy to set up, GREAT sound for the size and price and adds to the ease of recording on location.I highly recommend them.

  • Joe K.
    from Southern New Jersey, USA September 7, 2008Music Background:
    Recording and Performing Musician/Vocalist

    Some Pluck for your Buck

    A great and economical solution to desk top [and remote] mixing, and potentially many other applications. They were actually a little better than I expected, and I had fairly good expectations. The USB input/playback options are nice features, too. I feel that these speakers were a very good investment for me. They sound real good for my monitoring applications considering the money spent.

    And, I must commend Sweetwater [and A.J.] for a speedy overall transaction. {Free] shipping time was very fast...thanks! I'll be back.

  • CEZAR BEATS
    from Miami,FL March 14, 2008Music Background:
    HIP HOP PRODUCER

    CANT BEAT THE PRICE!!

    This is a great buy! Plug and play. very nice sound. you cant beat it for a $100

  • Douglas Nelson
    from TX April 11, 2017

    Exactly what i expected

    Very good sound for, despite being low wattage. Perfect for my garage, just background music.

  • Dr. Bill
    from September 7, 2016

    Very Good Buy

    For their size and price, Alesis has done a fine job with the M1 Active 320 USB speakers. Not the best thing since Swiss Cheese (I like Swiss Cheese quite a bit!), but a very usable, affordable product. Perhaps a bit bright. Mids are adequate, ows are adequate - again for their size. If money is a restriction, this is a very good buy.

  • ronnie lawson
    from bend or March 27, 2015Music Background:
    semi-pro musician

    alesis m1 monitors

    there r very clear and loud enough for my home studio. good quality for the money.

  • Eric
    from Western Washington March 24, 2014Music Background:
    amateur

    Pretty nice

    These are decent little speakers. I use them with a laptop, mostly to play backing tracks for practice. They are plenty loud in a small room, and have what seems to me to be very good, wide range frequency response. These speakers are nice and heavy, which indicates that they have large permanent magnets, and minimizes unwanted vibrations.

  • Wayne Farrell
    from February 18, 2014Music Background:
    Audiobook Production

    Neat And Tidy...

    I bought these as the "low-end" of a chain of three sets of monitors from Yamaha MSP-7 to M-Audio BX5a to these Alesis ones, to check spoken voice work for quality among a spectrum of listener systems.
    They work very well. What you would expect from a $100 set.
    I don't use the Bass Boost or the USB but if you were starting out mixing or producing in a bedroom or small home studio and used these as your primary monitors they'd do the job just fine.

  • matt wright
    from LA, CA September 14, 2013Music Background:
    Retired pro.

    I needed inexpensive monitors

    These were so much cheaper than everything else. I thought they'd be crap. But I bought them because of the positive reviews. They sound like true small monitors, not a computer speaker. Not much bass, but you knew that.

  • Jimi Trujillo
    from Colorado July 30, 2012Music Background:
    Singer, songwriter multi Instrumentalist and allround good guy.

    Super

    Just got the Alesis active 320 usb speakers perfect for your laptop not to big not to small.If your looking for a boost to your pc's sound,grab thies little box speakers and youll be amazed.

  • Paul Strikwerda
    from Easton, PA USA January 19, 2010Music Background:
    Voice-over professional

    Big sound, small package

    My computer never sounded better! After experimenting for years with cheap external speakers for my laptop, I finally found these miracle monitors.

    As a voice-over professional, it's important to me to be able to hear my voice back, the way my clients would hear it. These active monitors do the job very well, without taking up too much space on my studio desk.

    When I watched my first blockbuster on my laptop, I realized that these small speakers can really rock the house!

    With a simple USB-connection, it's plug-and-play straight out of the box. Coupled with Sweetwater's excellent service, these monitors offer exceptional value for money.

  • Robert Maier
    from NC November 9, 2009Music Background:
    Broadcast Production Instructor/Producer

    Solid Speaker

    I bought 3 sets for a college. Sound much bigger than they are. Love all the Input options. bass boost. Very sturdy. Plenty of power for desktop.

  • M
    from Broomfield, CO March 19, 2008Music Background:
    Musician

    Flat Response, Great Soundstage

    These speakers have really grown on me, perhaps they're breaking in. They reveal detail well, even in the lower frequency range. Their soundstaging is impressive, e.g. vocals can appear to come from between the speakers. My only problem was a slight mismatch in volume balance. Definitely worth the money. Compared to higher-priced units these don't have separate power supplies and cords, and they share a volume control mounted on the front of the right speaker - nice conveniences. Recommended.

  • Scott Sundberg
    from South Central MI March 10, 2008Music Background:
    Mucking about in the basement ...

    Terrific Bang For the Buck!

    While this monitor/interface system isn't going to set the pro recording world on fire, for those of us who fiddle around for fun, it's quite hard to beat the combination of small, powered monitors and a usuable USB audio interface.

    Having used another USB interface that I abhored, I was fully prepared to have this one be easily clogged with data. I am using an HP dv2000 laptop (dual processor and 2 gig of RAM), with the latest version of ASIO4ALL installed. I recorded my test into Audacity.

    When the 320's arrived, I promptly set them up in place, and proceeded to hook up my Soundcraft Compact 4 mixer (with two open mics and a CD player running through it), MC-909 and an MP3 player. Even with that cacophony blaring through the speakers, I had no audible lag, nor did it hang up on me - the 320's performed like a champ! Honestly, I will probably never put that much signal through the system again, as what I do is pretty minimal, but it was a good way to find out what it could handle.

    I must admit to having been a combination of both skeptical and hopeful when I first saw these on Sweetwater's site. When I watched the demos Alesis posted, I was even more so. However, after testing them like I did, I am sold! For a small, integrated system, these are great and I have no qualms in recommending them to others in similar situations.

    Thank you, Alesis, Sweetwater, and my rep Jeff for a terrific product!

  • Customer
    from January 26, 2017

    Not Bad, Not Exceptional

    I grabbed these specifically because I was putting together a small, casual recording space, on a very limited budget. I needed an easy and affordable solution.

    The monitors are very easy to setup and use. I'm running them off of a Focusrite Scarlett Solo, coming out of a MacBook Pro running Logic, and personally, I find they color the sound IMMENSELY. If you are looking for transparent monitors, these are not for you. The sound is always richer in the low-mid range (No, I do not have the Bass Enhance on) and it can't be dialed out on the monitors themselves. The result is your mix ends up light on the low end.

    They are powerful enough for a small room, but aren't too powerful that you'll blow your ears out in twenty minutes of recording. But, then there is that issue that you have to adjust your ear to the monitors, or risk a hollow-sounding mix.

    Overall, for the money, they're not terrible, but I am going to look for something more neutral when money allows.

  • Johnny K
    from Chicago Suburbs, IL September 7, 2013Music Background:
    Engineer, musician, sound dude.

    Excellent Sound and Great Value!

    Overall, I'm very pleased with them so far. I am using these as desktop monitors for tracking and mixing with my DAWs (Reaper, Adobe Audition). Don't expect much low end with these guys, even with the bass boost enabled, so I also have a powered sub-woofer that fills out the bottom end quite nicely (I check my mixes with the sub on and off). These M1Active monitors present a very nice stereo image and they have depth as well. I have them set 3'1" apart and my listening position is the same distance from the stereo center. I haven't used the USB audio interface, so I can't comment on quality of the A/D converter or latency. The inclusion of a 1/8" headphone jack on the front of the right channel is handy and useful. One thing I have noticed is that the left speaker sounds a wee bit louder than the right channel, but without measuring with test tones and an SPL meter, I can't be certain. The built-in 20w power amp seems very capable, having good dynamics and punch. As a point of reference, I've mixed on Tannoy PBM8's, System 10's, JBL Control 5's, Yamaha NS10M's and many others. While these aren't "studio grade" monitors, they sound miles better than any powered computer monitors I've ever used.
    Bottom line: if you're going to spend the equivalent money on PC speakers, just go ahead and buy these instead.

  • Pete Wildermuth
    from Ashfield, MA November 30, 2010Music Background:
    Live Audio Engineer

    Not a well-built product, buyer beware!

    Only 12 months after I bought a pair of these (exactly when the 1 year warranty expires!), the left speaker on a regular basis, after just a few minutes of listening at moderate volumes, dropped down in level by about 10db below the output of the right speaker, causing a severe and distracting balance issue, that can only be remedied by turing the volume knob way up on the right speaker (the speaker which houses all the inputs, outputs, and amplifier stages). That would temporarily kick the left speaker back into gear and resolve the balance issue, but the problem will return with a few minutes of listening at regular volumes. I am an audio engineer who troubleshoots complex audio systems on a regular basis, and trust me, I eliminated the possibility of it being a bad cable or audio source. These speakers are cheaply built and I don't trust that they'll work for more than a year or so. I called and the technical support personnel at Alesis did nothing to help, except direct me to take them into have them fixed on my own dime at an authorized repair facility two states away, in New Jersey! (I live in Massachusetts). To sum it up, I wish I hadn't spent my hard earned money on an Alesis product.

  • Mark
    from Atlanta, GA April 21, 2010Music Background:
    30 years playing and recording

    Sounded good for the few minutes they worked

    Within minutes of setting these speakers up, the left (slave) speaker would intermittentlly lose the audio signal for as long as 15 to 30 seconds at a time. Since this is a slave speaker with the audio coming from the right speaker through a small-gauge wire and mini-plug, there is no way the problem was related to the source or signal to the master speaker. I admit they sound good for the size/money, but I'm taking these back and will probably replace them with another brand model.

  • Customer
    from January 6, 2017Music Background:
    performing singer/songwriter

    solid but underpowered

    I looked forward to having these monitors to use with my Roland keyboard. I immediately knew, however, that something was wrong. rated at 10 watts/channel, these speakers delivery nothing near that from a line level output. I was able to compare them directly with Edirol monitors of the same rating, as well as my Peavey portable PA with the same rating. both of them delivered a lot of output, filling the room; the Peavey was turned to just over 1 and blew me away. the M1 was so low in volume as to be unusable as a practice tool, with both the speakers and the keyboard at maximum volume. only by using the additional amplification of the earphone output on the keyboard was I able to achieve good volume. I am disappointed and sorry to lose the usb connection, but I cannot recommend these monitors for anyone.

Questions about the Alesis M1 Active 320 USB 3" Powered Studio Monitors with USB?

Sweetwater's Sales Engineers are regarded as the most experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the music industry, with extensive music backgrounds and intense training on the latest products and technologies. They are available to offer you personalized product advice any time you need it.

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