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-   -   Studiophile AV 20 - Portable Desktop Speaker System (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/member-reviews/23097-studiophile-av-20-portable-desktop-speaker-system.html)

mattlef September 14, 2009 02:58 PM

Studiophile AV 20 - Portable Desktop Speaker System
 
http://www.m-audio.ca/images/interfa...audio-logo.gif
Studiophile AV 20 - Portable Desktop Speaker System

Webpage Description:
Hear your music, movies and video games the way they were meant to sound with the M-Audio Studiophile™ AV 20 multimedia speakers. Built with the same M-Audio technology that professional recording studios have trusted for years, the AV 20 system provides an excellent audio upgrade for your computer. With internal amplification plus dedicated high- and low-frequency drivers, the AV 20 system lets you experience every detail of your sound. Custom cabinets with dense wood construction deliver a more accurate bass response than you could ever get from plastic multimedia speakers. And if you’re the creative type, the Studiophile AV 20 speakers are perfect for crafting your next remix, recording original tracks or adding music to a home movie.

Specifications:
Low-frequency Driver: 2" composite paper/fiberglass woofer
High-frequency Driver: 1" ferrofluid-cooled Mylar balanced-dome tweeter
Stereo imaging: OptImage III wave guides for superior imaging
Shielding: magnetic shielding
Dynamic Power: 5W Class-D amplifier
Input connectors: RCA unbalanced inputs
Indicator: Front-pannel controls for volume and on/off
Cabinet: Angled wodden Cabinet


When I got these speakers, I had no idea what to expect. These were my first from M-Audio. I had always given my well earned dollars to brands such as Logitech and Bose in the past. Misguided purchase decisions, as I had no clue what it was I was missing.

A member here recommended the M-Audio line of speakers in passing saying: “they were the best I have ever used.” So, like the enthusiast I am, I ran to Canada Computers here in Ottawa, and picked up the last set they had in stock. Popular? I don’t know, it’s a small store that had just opened…. I might have bought the only set they had.



On to the actual review….

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Packaging
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http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...w/IMG_0179.jpghttp://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...w/IMG_0180.jpg
The speakers came in a box that really didn’t do all that much aesthetically. It did the job to state what the speakers could do, specs and so on, but left more to be desired when it comes to the wow factor that comes with certain packaging strategies.


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Speakers:
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http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...w/IMG_0181.jpghttp://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...w/IMG_0182.jpg
The speakers themselves are big for a 2.0 set. They Measure about 8" tall, 6" deep and 4" wide. The left speaker features the main volume control. At the back of the same speaker are the connection ports. RCA provides the audio in. Speaker wire connection to connect the two speakers and the short (maybe 6foot) power cable. They are powered by a single 10w(per channel) amp, which caused for these little guys to have that extra weight.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...PAV20_Back.jpg
Surprisingly these speakers really do have some weight to them. Being a 2.0 system, one wouldn’t believe that they were as heavy as they were. But, then again, when you cram this much auditory goodness into a small package, its going to get heavy.

So onto some testing:
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Music:
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Test albums:
·Innerpartysystem – Innerpartysystem (Electronic Rock)
·Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III (Rap)
·John Legend – Once Again (Jazz)
·Shinedown – The Sound of Madness (Rock)


This was a pleasant surprise. The Lows were deep, the highs had that proper snap that you would expect, but most importantly… there are mid ranges! These speakers actually provided something I had not heard in any others. The experience was very enjoyable to say the least.
One thing I did notice however, is that the speakers need to be angled a specific way. They need to point right at you to get complete sound.
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Movies:
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I’ve watched quite a few movies with these, but with digital copies of a film, the quality is also based on the sound card attached. I’m running these tests with my onboard audio card. (I know… I know….) With that taken into consideration, most films would benefit from a surround sound setup.
The sound quality reproduced didn’t change from my first impressions. The speakers performed far past what can be expected from a 2.0 sound system. Overall Quality is evident in ever spoke work, explosion and music note. The more I used these speakers, the more I can truly appreciate the quality.
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Games:
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For this test, I’ve stuck to the standard benchmarking games I could get my hands on. Crysis Warhead, FarCry2, Call of Duty 4 and GRID. In FPS games, explosions are hearty because of the surprisingly strong bass. With my motherboards “virtual surround” games reproduce an almost surround experience (but nothing can replace an actual 5.1 setup.) GRID however is where these speakers made me smile from ear to ear. The reproduction quality of an engine roaring was enough to make my arm hair stand on end.
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Overall:
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I love these speakers. I wish I had purchased the model above the AV40, just for the bling factor, but these perform well beyond all my expectations. The quality, and range of these speakers are second to none. As I have yet to actually create a “rating system” I’ll give these 4.8/5

jcmaz September 14, 2009 07:08 PM

Nice review, can you give us the dimensions for the speakers???

THX

mattlef September 14, 2009 07:41 PM

They stand about 8" tall, 6" deep and 4" wide.
Thanks for pointing that out.... added to the review.

Nodscene September 15, 2009 06:44 AM

There is a huge difference in audio quality when get into Monitors. Sure it's a little more expensive than Logitec's etc but you can't compare the two really. I have a pair of the Alesis M1 Active MKII powered monitors and I'd never go back.

Great review and enjoy!

Cptn Vortex September 15, 2009 10:28 AM

Nice review...I knew you would like these!

probationer September 17, 2009 02:10 PM

How much did you pay for them?

Thanks for the review, could you post and update after you've had a chance to wear them in a couple of weeks see if you report any difference in sound quality.

mattlef September 17, 2009 04:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by probationer (Post 256878)
How much did you pay for them?

Thanks for the review, could you post and update after you've had a chance to wear them in a couple of weeks see if you report any difference in sound quality.

They were 80 and change locally at canada computers.
I actually wrote this review about 2-3 weeks after the purchase so I can be as impartial as possible with a bit of a long term impression.(no more honeymoon syndrome).. I haven't noticed any difference at all actually. Like Paul, I'm a big advocate for the M-Audio line now. Imagine his speakers, but a little less power and low end.. same quality.


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