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Computer Speakers item created by jacksonchansf, Aug 29, 2012
Pros - Amazing mids,highs,soundstage
Cons - Bass could be more punchy,no rca,not the best looking speaker out there
This is my second review of M Audio BX5 D2 and is the proper review of the studio monitors,in my last review of the BX5 D2 i was using a Asus xonar U7 soundcard which had a very low soundquality compared to Schiit Modi DAC that i use right now.Comparing the soundquality between the Schiit Modi and Xonar U7 with the speaker is night and day,if i was to put a woolen cloth in front of the speakers that is the sound with the U7,with Modi sound signature is so much different it's like using a new speaker.The soundstage is wider,bass is punchier,midrange is clear,highs are accurate with no added coloration like that of U7 which is mainly designed for gaming speakers and headphone which the BX5 D2 is not.It is a studio monitor designed for studio use.Although i used to play a few games and boy i was blown away more on that later.
Build Quality & Design
I am not qualified to say anything about inner build quality of the BX5 D2,but after using it for 6 months now i will try my best to give you an idea of the buildquality and design of the studio monitors.The design is not going to win them any awards it doesn't look as good as the Audio engine A5+ or KRK Rockit 5s,but it doesn't look bad either it is intended to just sit on your desk and functionality is given more importance than visual eyecandiness.The problem with studio monitor speakers is that it doesn't have many features compared to consumer oriented AudioEngine A5s it doesn't have any rca ports on back which is deal breaker for most people,it has only XLR and TRS inputs(6.5mm).I use a Hosa rca to quarter inch adaptor cable which works great but if you have the budget buy better cables.The main frustrating part of these speaker is that it has individual volume dial on each speaker and the fact that it is located on back doesn't help either,after tinkering with volume dial and carefully placing them at 2 o'clock position i don't usually touch the dial,i use the computer to change volume.At 45% the volume is loud enough with Schiit modi.
The BX5 D2 has a 5 inch kevlar woofer and 1 inch silk dome tweeter it has a rear port for moving air out of speaker.It is also magnetically shield so no problem placing it next to monitor.
This little guy made all the difference
A speaker is good only if it sounds good,and boy the BX5 D2 sound seriously good considering it's price.To get the best performance don't connect directly to a pc,mac or a low end soundcard from creative or Asus.Get a cheap amazing sounding DAC like Schiit modi or similar DAC to get the best sound.The sound of BX 5 D2 can be described as accurate which means you can hear both good and bad part of the recording.Playing low quality youtube videos and mp3 will sound compressed and horrible through the speaker which will make you double check if there is something wrong with them.Flac files and high quality mp3 will sound amazing,provided you have a good DAC.Sound is exactly as described in the box accurate,if you are looking for playing bass heavy EDM tracks,games and movies buy the Audio engine speakers because it got more bass and tuned with consumers in mind.I prefer accurate sounding though and the BX5 D2 delivers it has good instrument seperation,detail in mids and highs,playing a live concert dvd is amazing we can hear every instrument playing and vocals are clear and precise.Bass is one area that could improve,bass is punchy but compared to other 5 inch speakers out there low frequencies sound a bit weak but i have never felt the need for a subwoofer,i recommend buying a subwoofer because it will take the sound to another level and definitely worth your money and space.
Ludovico Einaudi-Divenire,Primavera(Flac) These 2 songs are amazing,Einaudi piano notes are so clear and precise which makes them mesmerizing to listen to,you want to hear it again and again.I can't put the music played by him into words because i can't convey the detail and precision you won't hear from low quality creative speakers.
Evanescence-My Immortal(Flac) This is the first song i play whenever i test a speaker or headphone that i use it for the first time.Amy Lee vocals is amazing that if any headphone or speaker can't produce clearly it doesn't have very good midrange,In BX5 D2 her vocals come to life without losing any detail of the instruments playing.Overall i am impressed.
The Cranberries-Linger,Zombies(Flac) The Cranberries is an Irish rock band that i really love,their songs are special and make me stop whatever i am doing and makes me listen no matter how many time i have listened to them.Vocals of Dolores are clearly heard with drums and guitar clearly heard with the vocals.
Hans Zimmer-Dark Knight Soudtrack(320kbps)-This is the track i use to test the bass of headphone and stereo that i have.The speaker doesn't have any problem playing them as Hans Zimmer intended with the drums jumping from right to left to right monitors seamlessley creating the illusion that the orchestra is conducted right before you.I didn't expect this level of sound from a set of speaker i got for 230 dollars.
My first test was to watch couple of youtube movie trailers to know if it was affected by low bitrate audio of videos
Star Wars Episode 7 teaser trailer(EPIC!) If you are not excited for this movie you have not idea what you are missing,but this isn't about the movie but about audio.I have never enjoyed a teaser more in my life than this teaser the sound is just mindblowing with the sound really give a workout for the speaker,the dialogue really is menancing and the hearing the light saber really brings back my excitement when i watched the original trilogy.Finally the soundtrack i have only one word to describe EPIC!!!
Captain America Winter Soldier(DTS)-I played the dts bluray of Winter Soldier and watched the amazing fight scene between Cap and the Bucky,the sound really makes a difference and is way more enjoyable than watching it with headphones because we can feel every punch ferocity and strength of the charecters that an headphone can't really show unless you are using a 500 dollar headphone,i recommend watching it with speakers,5.1 if you can afford it.You can defenitely live without a subwoofer with this level of bass.
This is a good value for money studio monitors that you can buy,this is clearly made for people who love to hear the music as accurately as possible,BX5 D2 can also be used as a desktop speakers but please be aware of the limitations before you do so,if you play the music all day long heat sink heats up and it will be too hot to touch in the back so please don't turn it on for days might be bad for the speaker.If you only listen to dance music go for AudioEngine or KRK ROKIT,if you watch more movies than hear music i also recommend Audio Engine A5+ for others like me M Audio BX5 D2 is a fantastic studio monitor for the money.