The compact Studiophile AV 40 powered reference monitors deliver the same proven M-Audio technology...

M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Powered Speakers

Rating:
3.5/5,
  • The compact Studiophile AV 40 powered reference monitors deliver the same proven M-Audio technology favored by top producers, recording engineers and musicians around the world. The combination of 4" polypropylene-coated drivers and 3/4" ferrofluid-cooled silk dome tweeters provides punchy lows, crisp highs and a balanced, uncolored response. Custom cabinets with dense wood construction deliver more accurate bass response than you could ever get from plastic multimedia speakers. The Studiophile AV 40 reference monitors are the perfect solution for traveling musicians or anyone who wants top-notch sound from their desktop multimedia system.

Recent Reviews

  1. Squeedly
    Two Models, The Old Crappy and the new Goody
    Written by Squeedly
    Published Jul 19, 2013
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Fun sound, more than enough volume,
    Cons - Apartment Dwellers should consider the AV 30
    The old version of the AV 40 to my understanding is not only ugly, but also not very good.
    The new AV 40 (pictured above) is quite handsome and musical, not unlike myself.
     
    Build Quality
    Build is solid, fairly heavy for their size. Appear to be MDF construction. Nice amplification specs and not hiss or buzzing. Come with an ok input av plug, nothing special there. Ported in the rear.Blue light is ever present when on, doesn't bother me at all. Over all they feel like you could easily bludgeon a home invader into a deep relaxing coma in a pinch.
     
    Bass:
    The new model has no bass boost, that alone was probably the most complained about feature on the old model. The new model has good bass with straight EQ settings. It does drift off at 40hz, with almost nothing at 30hz. I would not try to EQ in more bass either, my experience is a more than a 10% tweak at the low end really throws the sound off.  With rock music it becomes clear that these are a little bass heavy. Most other genres it isn't as accentuated. Heavy, punchy, and pretty tight.
     
    Mids:
    I'm not very good at describing mids, but I will give it my best. They seem accurate and clean, not over done. Overshadowed perhaps by the bass highs but not muddied by them. 
     
    Highs:
    I had to edit this. They are smoother than I remembered. I would say they are equal to the mids in that they are not emphasized but not recessed. They are just kind of there. Detail is good.
     
    Volume:
    Enough to fill a moderately sized room. These go to 11 and scream on to 12,13, and 14 if the source allows them to with no hiccups or distortion. These sound best at mid to moderate volume. High volume (near max or maxed out) they really throw out some wicked bass for a small 2.0 system. Overkill for a dorm room situation.
     
    Sound stage.
    Imaging is as good as can be expected from a 2.0 system. Decent separation and stereo.
     
    Price:
    Your mileage will vary. I got mine a couple years ago for a price lower that what is available now days. 
     
    They are very musical, terrifically loud, and fairly affordable. I would buy them again.
    1. ekolite
      Nice little review!  I had these too and am wondering if they match up well to the Audioengine a5+.  Would really like to know from someone.  I thought these went well below the 80hz mark unlike it says on the specs.  In my experience more like 50 - 60 hz in my room.  Good value for the money for sure.
      ekolite, Sep 9, 2013
  2. Arve
    Good for what they are, "my first studio monitor"
    Written by Arve
    Published Sep 27, 2012
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Overall balance, quality.
    Cons - If you are a basshead, look elsewhere
    My review is much too long to paste here, so the full-length-review can be found here.
     
    I will however summarize my review quickly, and expand a bit on it:
     
    1. These are a good choice if you are a producer on an extremely tight budget - as a "my first studio monitor" speaker
    2. Sound stage and imaging capabilities are much better than you would expect for a $130 speaker
    3. The amplifiers give off a slight hiss
    4. Tonal balance is somewhat dependent on volume setting: From a bit dark on low volumes to bright on high volumes
    5. They don't have what qualifies as sub bass, but again: They don't pretend to, and do a good job in the rest of the frequency range
     
    Also, please note that this speaker has gone through two revisions. The first revision had a bass boost control on the back of the speaker that is gone in the Mk II version.  Many of the quality concerns people have mentioned about the first edition do not seem to be present in Mk II.
     
    Note that they will easily beat out any computer-oriented brand in the same price tag, and when Tom's Hardware reviewed them, they beat out the $500 Bowers and Wilkins MM-1.
     
    Conclusion: If you don't have more to spend, these are a good choice, but if you can afford it, and have enough space, the BX5 D2 from M-Audio offers better sound and better value for money.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. zeitfliesst
      I have these too. I'm now looking for a subwoofer that can go with it though. Any thoughts about which one I should buy and how to hook them up?
      zeitfliesst, Sep 28, 2012
    3. Arve
      @zeitfliesst
      To use these with a sub, there are two things you need:
      1. A subwoofer with low-level inputs and outputs.
      2. Something that can act as a volume control - when a sub is connected
      The reason for the second requirement is because you can no longer use the volume control on the AV 40's - it would only control the volume of the AV40's, and not that of the sub. The cheapest option for this is probably a cheap mixer, like the Behringer 302 (about $50). You'd then wire from the outputs of the behringer to the sub's line in, and from the line out on the sub to the AV40's
      With that being said, I don't like subwoofers much - it's hard to find a sub that integrates well into an existing setup, and it's hard to set one up properly, and to deal with room modes, you should rather have two than 1, and 4 rather than two, at which stage your subwoofer rig is ten times the price of your AV40's.
      If I were to make a proposal, it would be that you instead got higher-quality monitors that have bass response in to the sub-bass region, like the Emotiva AirMotiv 5 ($450) - for near-field use, they have enough bass response to deal with most of what you can throw at them. If you like M-Audio, I can also recommend the BX5 D2 (but that one essentially requires that you have a mixer or other volume control, as the speakers themselves have none, apart from a gain setting at the back of each speaker)
      Arve, Sep 28, 2012
    4. zeitfliesst
      Arve, thanks for all that information. It sure helped out a lot. I guess I'll try and hold it out without any subwoofers for a while until I upgrade to something else in the future.
      zeitfliesst, Sep 29, 2012
  3. Markon101
    Great speakers at a great price, But not without flaws.
    Written by Markon101
    Published Jul 24, 2012
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Low price, high quality, very good sound for the price.
    Cons - In comparison to my K702's the speakers are missing some details.
    For the price these are some great speakers. You won't do much better with any other computer speakers, except of course, getting more expensive studio monitors. I noticed a few missing details in comparison to my AKG K 702. Overall the speakers are good quality for a fair price. 
    1. whitemass
      You shouldn't ever be comparing Headphones to Speakers, it's completely a different tonality.
      whitemass, Apr 11, 2015
  4. jchandler3
    You get what you pay for
    Written by jchandler3
    Published Mar 13, 2012
    3.0/5,
    Pros - Decent Balance, Clear sound, Better than most "computer speakers"
    Cons - Lacking bass (to be expected), questionable workmanship, horrible customer support
    I use these speakers at work, day in and day out. Using the supplied cables straight out of an iMac, they sound awful. Instead, I'm using a iBasso D7 and a Belkin PureAV cable and it really cleans up the sound a lot.
     
    They are relatively well balanced speakers. A bit muddy prior to burn-in, but they're much better now. The bass is certainly lacking, but that's to be expected with such a small cabinet. The "Bass Boost" on the back does nothing but make it boomy, so I leave it off. 
     
    As with most near-field speakers, they are very directional, so it really helps to keep them aimed at your ears (tilted in and up, in my case). 
     
    One day, after only moderate use and turning them off at the end of each work day, the internal amp started smoking. I smelled burning and literally saw smoke coming out of the back. I unplugged it and ran it outside quickly, calling M-Audio (AVID) just moments later. They didn't even care. They wanted to charge me to talk to them, even though I was still within the 1 year warranty. After arguing with no fewer than 5 people, I finally got them to agree to replace them (like that was even a question?). 
     
    They're a decent value and sound okay for the price. Certainly suffices for office use, especially since I normally use my Westone 4Rs anyway. That being said, I would never buy these again. Horrible company, horrible support, and from my experience and others I hear online, very questionable craftsmanship. 
     
    Save up and buy the AudioEngine 5+ instead.
    1. jchandler3
      The *** you put up with? Who is to say you have to "put up with" my opinion?
      It is exactly that—MY opinion. Take it for what it's worth but I don't need to be chastised for trying to be helpful.
      And for what it's worth, no, I was not implying that a $10 cable (alone) made a world of difference. I'm saying that a much better source with a sturdier cable made a difference. You're welcome to come listen to the difference through my "toy" speakers.
      I'm just trying to help others out.
      jchandler3, Mar 14, 2012
    2. customNuts
      The only thing you can possibly do with a comment as stupid as that is ignore it.
      You are helping others and your review is definitely worthwhile. Keep it up!
      customNuts, Mar 14, 2012
    3. Hellbishop
      Excellent professional review jchandler. Very balanced and fair. Many other people would have gotten spiteful but you stayed a steady hand without any emotional colouring adding what was not needed. I was thinking of getting these but will stick to my Insignia Bass Reflex, JBL Control One and Bose Companion II bookshelves for now. Maybe i'll look into those AudioEngine 5+ when the money is there. Cheers!
      Hellbishop, Mar 15, 2012
  5. EviLium
    Good while it worked.
    Written by EviLium
    Published Mar 12, 2012
    2.0/5,
    Pros - Balanced sound
    Cons - Relatively short life span.
    For all intensive purposes, these are good sounding speakers. They're well balanced, not super punchy on the bass, and are reasonably accurate for the casual ear. It's nice to have headphone outputs for times you want to keep the music down if someone else in the room doesn't want to listen to what you're listening to at the time.

    However, that's pretty much where the good things end.

    After about using these speakers for 16 months (so they're beyond their 1 year warranty), they developed an annoying oscillating buzz when there's nothing playing, and the buzz is there when there is music playing. Volume speaker light is also non functional, and this happened at the same time as the appearance of the buzz.

    Unfortunately, an incident also happened to my AV30's (yes, I had a pair of the other model) about 16 months into ownership. However, in that pair's case, the control speaker is mute.

    So for an idea of how much I use these speakers (both sets when they worked), these are hooked up to my laptop, they're powered from a surge protector, I use them daily, and I power them down when I know I will not be using them for extended periods of time (going to work, vacation).

    If you want to deal with AVID/M-audio support on the phone, they require you to buy a 14.95 code for an incident. Supposedly they gave these codes to people who registered their products and it's good for one year. If history is of any indicator, your speakers purchased from them will die after the 1 year warranty of moderate usage. Based on what other reviewers and forums have said, it's more cost effective to buy a new pair of speakers (cost of the incident ticket, shipping to and from factory, and hourly labor charge for fixing the speakers).
     
     
     

    I have no idea how the 2nd revision of these speakers are.  Hopefully they keep the sound quality and fix build quality.  But for now, I've sworn off this brand as intolerable garbage, as I'm 2 for 2 in bad units from this brand.  Speakers really should last longer than a year and a half.
     

    *Note: Taken from my Amazon.com review
     

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