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M-Audio AV32 Review – Quality You Can Afford!

Picking out your very first set of speakers for your home studio, can get a little tricky right? While there are many models to choose from, many beginner home producers do not have very deep pockets to acquire the best ones. This is why in my “M-Audio AV32 Review” today, I will prove to you that quality doesn’t always have to be expensive!

Product OverviewAV32

You might not have heard of M-Audio studio monitors, but believe me, they are getting more popular with home recording enthusiasts everywhere. Especially with the AV series of monitors, M-Audio now offers professional standard of audio quality at a really affordable price. You can now attain high quality productions without breaking the bank.

The AV series of studio monitors now comes with newly added features and design improvements such as its custom-tuned cabinets, optimized speaker design, and advanced crossover technology. These speakers are also designed to be very flexible in terms of device connectivity, and you will have no problems integrating them into your home setup!

Primary Specifications

  • Frequency response: 80 Hz – 20,000 Hz
  • Power capacity: 10 Watts continuous, per channel
  • Weight: 5.6 lbs (pair)
  • Two-way speaker
  • Crossover frequency: 3,300 Hz
  • RMS (SPL): 101.5 dB @ 1 meter

Let us now look at the major features of the AV32, and see how they will benefit you!

Enhanced Sound Quality

The AV32 speakers may be very affordable, but it is in no way lacking in quality when it comes to sound reproduction. The 1-inch tweeter utilizes a flexible, ferrofluid-cooled silk cone, which allows it to take advantage of the OptImage IV’s intricate waveguides, in order to produce superior imaging and detail. This results in a richer sounding mix.

Tweeter

Not only that, the AV32’s speaker monitor cabinet is carefully designed to incorporate an acoustic material that actually enhances the low frequency response of the AV32, thus making it sound much bigger than it is. What you will be getting is a smooth and natural bass response, allowing you to enjoy your audio content from games or music to the fullest extent.

Design Improvements

The new AV32s has come a long way in terms of overall design improvements, as compared to their predecessors. First off, their weight has been reduced by nearly half, and the enclosure of these monitors are built using special medium-density fiberboard (MDF). The interior of the speakers has also been reinforced to absorb vibration and minimize distortion.

Woofer Cone

In order to significantly upgrade the sound quality, the AV32 speakers does not use protective grills for both their tweeters and woofers. However, you don’t have to worry about your kids poking around in them. The engineers at M-Audio have brilliantly design the speaker cones so that they will actually “pop” back out, if any pressure is applied on them.

Flexible ConnectivityRCA Cables

One thing I love about the AV32 is its connection options. There is a headphone output, together with a 1/8″ aux input, conveniently placed at the front of the speakers. You can now plug in your headphones for quiet listening sessions at night. The aux input also allows you to plug in any external playback device, without having to unplug from your computer.

Every purchase of the AV32s, will come with a stereo 1/8″ cable, and a 1/8″ to stereo RCA cable. This means you will be able to connect your computer and other playback devices immediately, without having to worry about cables. You will also get a pair of acoustic pads for your AV32s, which will help to absorb the low-end vibration and improve monitor accuracy.

Here’s a great video showing the AV32’s awesome features!

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Very affordable price point
  • Lightweight and portable design
  • Flexible connectivity
  • All required cables included
  • Comes with acoustic pad
  • Easy access to headphone output and aux input
  • Great sound quality

Cons

  • May not be suitable for bigger rooms, especially if you are listening from a distance
  • Not the best bass response due to the small woofer, and might require a subwoofer to compensate

ConclusionBest Price

The AV32 desktop monitors from M-Audio are not designed to impress audiophiles with high standards. But it does packs a lot of punch for speakers that are below a hundred dollars. For beginner music producers, this may be an excellent starting point for studio monitors. I have listened to a few M-Audio monitors throughout the years, and they don’t sound bad at all.

I am quite impressed at the amount of thought they put into implementing the various connection options for the AV32 speakers. As an audio engineer myself, I know that there are many better quality studio monitors out there, but the AV32 is still a valuable piece of equipment to have around, especially after considering the free accessories that comes with it.

If this is your first time dabbling with desktop studio monitors, and you have a pretty tight budget, then the AV32 speakers from M-Audio will be worth every cent of your hard earned cash. I totally recommend them!

Farhan

When I'm not rocking out to great music, I'd prefer to be sleeping on a field on a windy day =)

4 Comments

  1. Very timely Farhan. I’m on the lookout for a set of studio-quality monitors to do some sound mixing on a video project I’m in the middle of. And my existing speakers aren’t up to it. I was expecting to pay significantly more than what the AV32s cost. With the sub-woofer the whole set seems impossibly cheap ($200…are you kidding me?). I like the frequency response and they’re perfectly sized for my work area – they’d leave plenty of room for video monitors, and it sounds like they deliver the sound. Time to make the move.

    • Hey Larry!

      The AV32 speakers will definitely be a great starting point if you are very new to studio monitors. In my experience, I’ve heard and read a lot of positive reviews about M-Audio speakers. They really provide great value for money, and even if you are looking to upgrade to better studio monitors in the future, these AV32 speakers would still make a great “reference monitor” of sorts.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. Hi there,

    I know that this is not suitable for bigger rooms. Can you give me a rough estimate as to how “big” the room should be when using this?

    I will be needing a two-way speaker for my “big” room which is around 50 square meters. Will this work?

    Thank you.

    Regards,
    Pitin

    • Hi Pitin!

      If my estimation is correct, your room is too big for the M-Audio speakers. You might want to look at home theatre systems, as they are generally designed to be more suitable for big home spaces. The AV32 speakers are designed for listening at close proximity. They make excellent multi-purpose desktop speakers.

      Thanks for dropping by!

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