Bowers & Wilkins MM1 vs Focal-xs, Which is the best?
Jul 27, 2011 at 8:48 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 45

YoengJyh

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Posts
583
Likes
34
Hi Guys, i would like to purchase either MM1 or Focal-xs as my PC speaker.
 
Could u advise? Which is the best?
 
No bookshelf speakers or other alternatives.. Thanks!
 
Jul 29, 2011 at 5:15 PM Post #2 of 45

Mad Max

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 12, 2009
Posts
7,556
Likes
342
Location
USA
MM1 seems to only be good for very, very quiet listening, I don't know about the other one.
 
Jul 29, 2011 at 5:27 PM Post #3 of 45
I haven't heard the Focals yet, but I'll be discussing the MM-1 (and another pair of desktop speakers) in an upcoming video.
 
Mad Max is correct that the MM-1 does not play very loud.  I generally tend to listen at quieter listening levels than most of my friends, so the MM-1 gets loud enough for me for desktop use.  And for as loud (or not loud) as the MM-1 can play, I like it a lot.  It's a very small pair of speakers, and its bass quality is good for the size, but the extension is what I'd expect from the size (which is not very deep).
 
I would expect that the Focals (with the subwoofer) would have more extended bass, but, again, I've not heard that model yet, so, of course, I can't comment on how they compare.
 
Jul 29, 2011 at 10:44 PM Post #4 of 45

YoengJyh

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Posts
583
Likes
34
Thanks Mad max and  jude, i just bought the MM-1. Cause i couldn't compare the Focal-xs 2.1 speaker also.
 
Ya, it is true. Due to lacking of a sub woofer, MM-1 can not play loud sound. U could play music in loud condition but if u want it to be "boom boom boom" and make your floor shaking... MM-1 may not able to perform in that way, lower performance in bass action but doesn't meant it has no bass.
 
But MM-1 does a really good job in vocal, jazz and classical songs.  Further more, sub-woofer is considered an additional equipment to beautify/as an aesthetic for musics. Strong bass may not a real purpose of a song that artist wants it to be delivered.
 
For me, MM-1 does a really good job in Pitch, Loudness, Phase, Direction, Distance and Timbre... (Six Qualities of Sound)
 
Therefore, if you are not a "big head" member in Bass, this MM-1 definitely will give u a "mind blowing"!!!
 
Jul 31, 2011 at 7:38 AM Post #5 of 45

crumpler

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 16, 2009
Posts
626
Likes
19
I was considering the MM1, Focal and the Harman Kardon GLA-55 just a while ago and eventually went for the GLA-55. Too bad i couldn't get my 2cents in in time.
 
Happy to read you are enjoying the MM1s tho. 
k701smile.gif

 
Jul 31, 2011 at 12:28 PM Post #6 of 45

YoengJyh

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Posts
583
Likes
34
Hi Crumpler,
 
Read from reviews, HK GLA-55 seem not really a nice speaker. How is working? ok?
 
Jul 31, 2011 at 12:40 PM Post #7 of 45

crumpler

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 16, 2009
Posts
626
Likes
19
Let's just say i'm really really enjoying the speakers and they do everything i bought them for i.e. to look good and make decent sound.
 
Can't say i've much experience in desktop speakers tho. I was looking for a set of aesthetically pleasing speakers that would fill my room with music and the MM1s and Focal just didn't do it for me. 
 
The MM1s were basically near-field speakers and i wasn't too impressed when i did an audition at the shop. 
 
The Focals were out for me because i really didn't want to clutter up my room with an external subwoofer and didn't see myself using the iPod charger that came with the Focals. So it would basically just collect dust and didn't quite dig the design of the tweeters as well.
 
The GLA-55 are a topic of conversation everytime my friends do swing by and they are even more impressed when they hear the "skull" looking things do make sound. I would say it sounds nothing compared to my headphone setup but it does offer clear crystal highs, decent mids and awesome bass considering it doesn't come with an external subwoofer. So all in all, i am really happy with them so far!
 
Sep 15, 2011 at 8:33 PM Post #8 of 45

shuttleboi

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 1, 2005
Posts
344
Likes
44
For those of you with the the B&W MM-1, can you tell me if you hear any hissing sound coming from them? I hear the sound two ways:
 
 

1. The speakers are powered on. I plug in the RCA cable into the speakers but leave the other end unattached. I hear hissing coming from the speakers.

 

2. The speakers are powered on. I plug the USB cable into the speakers and other end into the computer. No music is playing. I hear hissing from the speakers.

 

In both cases, I can hear the hissing from about 3 feet away and certainly when I place my ear right up to the speakers. Can you hear anything? 

 
Sep 15, 2011 at 9:28 PM Post #9 of 45

alexsj

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 10, 2011
Posts
151
Likes
13
I was looking for a nearfield desk top set up not too long ago and looked at the MM-1 and the focal xs before deciding to go with the audioengine P-4 speakers and N-22 amp.  I liked the headphone amp in the N-22 and wanted to add my own dac (HRT music streamer) rather than rely on the ones built into the MM-1s or focal xs.  I love the set up, it gets plenty loud, and the headphone amp in the N-22 is pretty good (but not as good as my audio gd fun). 
 
Sep 16, 2011 at 8:38 AM Post #10 of 45

YoengJyh

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Posts
583
Likes
34


Quote:
For those of you with the the B&W MM-1, can you tell me if you hear any hissing sound coming from them? I hear the sound two ways:
 
 

1. The speakers are powered on. I plug in the RCA cable into the speakers but leave the other end unattached. I hear hissing coming from the speakers.

 

2. The speakers are powered on. I plug the USB cable into the speakers and other end into the computer. No music is playing. I hear hissing from the speakers.

 

In both cases, I can hear the hissing from about 3 feet away and certainly when I place my ear right up to the speakers. Can you hear anything? 



dear shuttleboi,
 
i think you gotta refer to facebook/bowers and wilkins, try to leave a message to them pertaining to your problems.
 
i got no problems at all. Are u using apple laptop? i found those apple owner will have the same problem like you.
 
good luck, once u are able to contact B&W, i think your problem could be solved.
 
Regards
 
Apr 18, 2013 at 6:56 PM Post #11 of 45

angevoi

Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 1, 2011
Posts
82
Likes
12
Focal XS has a very great, spacious, fast, lively sound for its size. Realistic until i compared it with my Sennheiser HD580. Coloration is very enjoyable, cool and full of life. The bass is not deep but solid. Sound is lifeless on low volume levels.
Bowers MM-1 had a nice detailed sound in the store, very clean, well defined on low volume levels. These sound odd from distance, they are very much meant to be desktop use.
I've listened to audioengines and found their sound the worst out of these so far.
 
Apr 20, 2013 at 4:05 PM Post #13 of 45

SoloHead

New Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 12, 2011
Posts
17
Likes
10
Quote:
Focal XS has a very great, spacious, fast, lively sound for its size. Realistic until i compared it with my Sennheiser HD580. Coloration is very enjoyable, cool and full of life. The bass is not deep but solid. Sound is lifeless on low volume levels.
Bowers MM-1 had a nice detailed sound in the store, very clean, well defined on low volume levels. These sound odd from distance, they are very much meant to be desktop use.
I've listened to audioengines and found their sound the worst out of these so far.

Are you referring to the Focal XS 2.1 w/sub, or the XS BOOK? I'm trying to decide on which set I should go with and leaning towards the XS 2.1. Any advice or input?
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top