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If you're looking for a set of bargain speakers to use with your budget-minded computer, you might as well start looking elsewhere. The price tag on the M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Desktop Speaker System is not for the faint of heart. Carrying an MSRP of $200, the AV40 system is far from being the cheapest on the block, but you also have to consider what kind of market M-Audio is targeting with this product. The AV 40 carries the company's "Studiophile" moniker, meaning that they feel right at home within the confines of a music studio where they are "favored by top producers, recording engineers and musicians around the world." After spending a few days with these speakers, I can definitely see where the AV40's get their pedigree.

About the M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Desktop Speaker System

There's a reason why these speakers look so familiar. The AV40 speaker system is the bigger brother to the M-Audio Studiophile AV20 Portable Desktop Speaker System that I reviewed last month. As their names imply, the AV20 came with a pair of 10-watt speakers for a total output of 20 watts, whereas the AV 40 comes with a pair of 20-watt speakers for a total output of -- you guessed it -- 40 watts. There is also the Studiophile AV 30. You can probably guess where that fits into the picture.


Although the M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 is perfectly compatible with your computer or portable audio player, the stereo
mini jack, RCA and TRS inputs make them work with just about any audio situation assuming you don't need surround sound. These are a stereo (2-channel) audio system, not a 5.1 or 7.1. They're definitely built for two channel audio purists or that budding DJ friend with his mixer and turntables.


On the official feature sheet, you'll find the following:

  • 4” polypropylene-coated woofers: tight, accurate bass
  • 3/4” ferrofluid-cooled silk dome tweeters: clear, smooth highs
  • OptImage III tweeter wave guides: precision imaging for balanced stereo field
  • 20-watt-per-channel amplifier with Class A/B architecture: professional design and fidelity
  • magnetic shielding: perfect for multimedia and video work

Just like the Studiophile AV20, each speaker in the Studiophile AV40 comes with two separate drivers. The large 4-inch woofer handles all of your low-end sound, whereas the 3/4-inch tweeter handles the high-end. The net result is, pardon the pun, music to your ears.

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  • I'm getting kinda tired of seeing reviews of monitors, by people who are using them for reasons other than what they are intended. A studio monitor is designed for use in a recording and mixing studio setting. Unlike typical speakers which are designed to aesthetically reproduce sound, studio monitors are designed to accurately reproduce sound. These are designed to have a flat sound for mixing audio. Not to sound good while playing games and watching TV. The quarter inch inputs are TS not TRS. TS stands for tip sleeve, they are for sending a mono signal. TRS stands for tip ring sleeve, which are for stereo. There are two TS inputs allowing for the right and left master channels to be put in separately. The foam pads that come with them are to sit under your monitors, absorbing vibrations that would otherwise transfer into your desk or your floor. These vibrations generate false low frequencies, which makes it impossible to really hear your mix. Please, if you know nothing about recording and mixing audio. Do not review products that are for recording and mixing audio.

    • If you're going to be right, at least get the purpose of TRS correct. It is not for just "stereo" and it's actually a bonus that these speakers support it. And they are TRS as specified by M-Audio for these speakers...

      So combined with the true purpose of TRS (not for just stereo although that is ONE of the things the connection type can do) then at an entry level price, these give quite a bit of bang for the buck.

      As for those pads, honestly, you might as just well toss wood under them. They are so thin they serve no purpose but to prevent the bases from scratching because there are no feet. If you want to decouple them from a surface, as stated specifically in the review, better products (or methods) exist for that and quite often, people using monitors for mixing will employ them.

      Finally, these are a great value, and if someone wants to use them for MORE THAN just studio monitoring, then it's great that a review like this exists. Because it covered everything else that an audio engineer would not cover.

      Having a set of these myself, I enjoy them the same whether listening to music or scoring a video project. Your point of view, although valid, is narrow, and if followed, would prevent everyone else BUT someone that is ONLY mixing music, from potentially buying them to enjoy. Then you'd not only be doing a disservice to those that would have enjoyed them, but to M-Audio because you just eliminated all their potential customers for a product that clearly is so much more versatile than just being "studio monitors". And that would be unfortunate.

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