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128 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but might not be what you think it is.
My buddy has a pair of M Audio AV 30's, and whenever I would go to his house, I would think, dang, I wish my music sounded like that. Flat. Smooth. Not kicking up the bass, not distorting at moderately loud volumes. It just sounds good. It doesn't hurt your ears. It's a pleasure, like looking at a beautiful painting, when you listen to good music through good speakers...
Published on December 13, 2011 by Matthew J. Gavin

versus
261 of 284 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great sound quality, but the right speaker broke in about a year.
I'm using these as computer speakers for
Pandora, mp3s and DAW software;
and I am enjoying the sound quality.

For the sake of informing potential buyers,
I'll say:

With a 'normal' at home computer set-up,
these are very large compared to
'normal' computer speakers,
so keep that in mind.
It's the trade off for...
Published on August 28, 2011 by Curious Reader


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261 of 284 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great sound quality, but the right speaker broke in about a year., August 28, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Active Studio Monitor Speakers (Electronics)
I'm using these as computer speakers for
Pandora, mp3s and DAW software;
and I am enjoying the sound quality.

For the sake of informing potential buyers,
I'll say:

With a 'normal' at home computer set-up,
these are very large compared to
'normal' computer speakers,
so keep that in mind.
It's the trade off for superior sound,
and not needing a sub-woofer,
or a large box shaped
power adapter plug spanning 2-3 outlets.
These have a basic electrical plug (like a table lamp).

I have these speakers pointing straight ahead,
with the tops of them around heart level,
and they sound fine.
However, it is recommended by M-Audio
that you have them at ear level,
and angled to make an equilateral triangle with your head.
I would say it's good advice, if you can pull that off.

The main speaker with the connections / volume is the left speaker.

You have two options for connecting these speakers
with your computer.
The standard 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable,
which plugs into 'Aux in' on the front of the left speaker;
or 3.5mm to RCA which plugs into the back of the left speaker.
Both cables are included.

If your computer room gets hot
you might want to turn these off
when you don't need them;
because the left speaker produces a noticeable
amount of heat from the back,
after being on for hours.
Honestly, it's the same amount
that those big box power adapters
emit; the only difference is that it's coming
from the location of your speaker.

== Update ==
10/8/2012
===========

The right speaker stopped producing sound,
on 9/21/2012, a little over a year after purchase.
A month or so prior to this
the right speaker started to produce a
crackling sound if I changed the volume
(using the knob on the left speaker)
while listening to music.

When I emailed m-audio about this the reply was a list of
repair centers that I could contact for a "non-warranty repair".
I called the one nearest to me, and they said it would be $35 to start
and then $75 per hour, plus parts. That's not going to happen...

I want to do business with a company that is
utterly fascinated about why their product stopped working;
especially when it is a recurring case, which we can see from the reviews here.
M-audio doesn't seem to care.

4 stars for the sound quality I enjoyed for a year.
-2 stars for breaking shortly after the warranty expired.
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128 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but might not be what you think it is., December 13, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Active Studio Monitor Speakers (Electronics)
My buddy has a pair of M Audio AV 30's, and whenever I would go to his house, I would think, dang, I wish my music sounded like that. Flat. Smooth. Not kicking up the bass, not distorting at moderately loud volumes. It just sounds good. It doesn't hurt your ears. It's a pleasure, like looking at a beautiful painting, when you listen to good music through good speakers. These are built for mastering music in a studio, but as far as studio monitors go, they're dirt cheap. Most professionals have something nicer than these, but as someone who only listens to music, with a budget, these are loads better than most computer speakers you'll find at best buy or whatever.

So, what the heck I thought, the AV 40's are ten dollars more, I'll go with those. They just came in today and I'm very happy with them. I have an Audio Technica ATLP 120 USB vinyl turntable currently playing Sigur Ros' album Inni, and everything is crystal clear. At low volumes, you can still make out detail. At high volumes, there's no distortion (until you crank it up to the very max... but nothing's built for that, really). Upgrading from a cheapo sony boombox to this is like night and day.

This isn't for you if you need something to fill an entire living room. I'm in a dorm room and it's great for that.

This isn't going to rattle the floors with bass and get the ladies to remove articles of clothing to little wayne. This isn't built for that, and you'll be disappointed when this doesn't have disproportionate thumpability or the ability to tweak EQ settings. Everything sounds flat. The vocals get the same attention to detail that the drums, guitar, and flute do.

This is self powered, which means you don't need an outside amp or receiver in order to make these things make noise, which is good. I was striving to keep the number of things I needed to a minimum. This does the trick. If I tried to hook these up to a separate subwoofer or amplifier, I do not think they would interface well. Keep that in mind.

One thing you need to be aware of is that these are the SECOND VERSION of the item. Notice that these go for $100 on Amazon, and the previous version goes for $150. These are the differences I have noticed:

1) These DO NOT allow you to manually select the voltage they take in. (So if you want to take these to Europe, you can't flick a switch like on the previous version. You'll need to buy a transformer.)

2) These DO NOT have a 'bass boost' switch. This isn't an issue. These things are FLAT and that's the way most people who buy them want it. But know coming in that you won't have the bass booster the previous version had.

3) These DO NOT have a detachable power cord. I think the size is sufficient, but I'm the kind of guy who likes detachable power cords. I think it's unfortunate they took it away. If something goes wrong with the power cable, I can't just buy a new one, it has to get replaced or repaired. Very sneaky, Avid!

4) These DO NOT take in 40 volts of power (20 per speaker). They actually take in 30 volts of power (15 per speaker). Does this make a difference? I think they sound fine. I was initially concerned, but one of Avid representatives on their forum commented that this was "a typo", and that they do, indeed, take in 40v. I don't have the equipment to test this myself. My theory is that they either understated the voltage (because this is better than overstating it), or that they changed the design to be more energy efficient. Or maybe it actually was a typo, but I don't believe that.

The previous design was prone to have overheating issues (remember, the amplifier is literally built into the speaker). If lowering the voltage, making design changes to the power cable connection, and taking away the power selection switch all make the new model more efficient and less prone to failure, that's awesome. As far as I'm concerned, if this was the only available model of the item, my first thoughts wouldn't be to include those things. They're fine as is, and $50 cheaper for it.

I have not had ANY trouble with this product. It sounds as fantastic as I had hoped it would. It was incredibly easy to set up. It does not heat at all, and the volume is consistent across both speakers.

Do not throw out the comic book style instruction manual that comes with the product. It explains the importance of triangulation when setting them up into position, and provides information on how to set up a room for maximum musical enjoyment.

MANY people across the internet have reported problems with *THE ORIGINAL* av 40 speakers, as well as the *MARK II* av 30 speakers. If you intend on buying either the new or old av 30 or av 40 speakers, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you do additional research on device failures before you decide to purchase.

After doing some reading, I would have not bought these had it not been for Amazon's competitive price point and return policy. I'd say I took a slight gamble that these might not have worked. Save yourself trouble, either buy from the guy across the street in the brick and mortar store where you can negotiate a price and return policy, or buy from Amazon (and not a third party dealer... trying to do returns with them is not as painless as with Amazon themselves).

What else is there to say? If this is what you're looking for, buy em. If you need something nicer for actual studio work, skip em. If you don't like your music crisp, and tweak your EQ settings in your car to +5 treble and +5 bass while effectively flipping the bird to the mid end, skip em. If you need something that interfaces passively with a receiver, skip em. I don't regret this purchase at all. If anyone scoffs at you, and says, "You paid $100? You got ripped off, my $15 logitech speakers work just fine", they haven't listened to these.
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116 of 131 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hey Amazon! What the heck is a MK II AV40?, September 23, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Active Studio Monitor Speakers (Electronics)
This should be a good help to those with questions.

Having spent a full week researching desktop speakers to replace my old 5.1 Altec Lansing 2001 solution I decided upon the M-Audio Studiophile AV40s. The competition was a variety of Bose speakers promoted in a few trips to the local Best Buy store. I in fact bought one of the first Bose cube speaker systems in the early 80's, I considered strongly the Audioengine A2 offering. I had set a $200 soft target. The reviews for the AV40 exceeded that for other systems I considered. I have a few different systems in the house from a relatively recent home theater to a vintage stereo set up. The majority of my music has been converted to the FLAC format and I wanted a clear true sound that imaged well. This is a lot to expect for $200 speakers. I also hope to become a Spotify user but am yet to receive an invite. I use MOG and Napster also. As I was ready to check out for the $149 AV40's what should appear on my screen but the following:

There is a newer model of this item:
M-Audio Studiophile AV40 Powered Monitor Speakers M-Audio Studiophile AV40 Powered Monitor Speakers 4.5 out of 5 stars (22)
$114.99

What did this mean? Was I buying "obsolete" speakers. Were these "newer" speakers updated/better/more options/what? I went to the M-Audio web page and there was no mention of a "newer" model.
I held off the buy. In some web postings a MK II version of the AV30 was mentioned. Was this "newer" offering a MK II version of the AV40? Amazon did not mention this in the offering. Then a few postings from recent AV40 buyers mentioned that their new Amazon AV 40s did not have the bass boost option and 15 watt amps instead of the AV's 20 watt amps. When contacted M-Audio said "we do not make any AV40s with less than 20 watts per channel". Confusing, Yes. I would still like an answer from Amazon whether these are AV 40s specifically made to sell at a lower price point like the big box stores do with many of the products that they sell. And if so why was this not pointed out by Amazon. All that aside I did have a severe case of new speaker lust and decided to take a chance on the "newer" model AV 40s.
And guess what they are terrific. I can't compare whether I am missing something with 5 less watts per channel and no Bass boost, but what I have is very good at sound reproduction. I wish that Amazon comes out and openly addresses this issue.

PS. As good as the AV40's are my computer has an integrated sound card so I made a brilliant purchase of a $27 Behringer usb DAC adapter and now the sound is better than terrific. It sparkles. Close your eyes and there are no speakers. The vocals are front and center. One can hear sounds I even missed with my Ultimate Ears ear buds on my Cowon Flac player. The instruments stand out in time and space.

For $114 plus $27 I nearly have a concert hall on my desk.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very nice after modifications, June 19, 2012
This review is from: M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Active Studio Monitor Speakers (Electronics)
I actually have the previous model but I am told the design is identical with the exception of some cost cutting. In the Mk2, the dual 110/220V switch is gone (there are separate versions for the US and EU) and the bass boost has been removed. Note the picture on the box of the mk2 still shows the dual voltage but that's because they forgot to change it.

My initial opinion of these speakers was that they produced a very nice mellow sound but with an overblown bass. And that was without the bass boost (why on earth they chose to add that I don't know). I put foam plugs in the reflex ports and that tamed the bass although it was still a little heavy. The resulting sound was actually very nice for music but made some speech a little difficult to understand. For example, the BBC have a news reader who has a very deep voice and it was impossible to understand what he was saying.

After a few months I noticed a couple of changes. Firstly, there was a distinct 'pop' when I turned the speakers off. It gradually got louder and louder to the point where I was worried it might be damaging the speakers. Secondly, I started to hear a buzz, mostly from the left speaker. As I bought these speakers in the US but was using them in Europe, it was impossible to get them repaired under warranty so I decided to try fixing them myself.

Opening up the speakers is actually very easy, just remove the screws from the back and the amplifier assembly comes out. The cause of the problem was immediately obvious. Several capacitors were 'blown', i.e. bulging at the top. This can be caused by using poor quality capacitors or using them outside their designed operating range. There's a website called badcaps dot net which describes all this in minute detail. I noticed a total of 4 capacitors that needed replacing. Two were 4700uF, 35V which appeared to be used for power supply smoothing. That would explain the buzzing sound. The others were 220uF, 25V. Interestingly, one was fitted the wrong way round, something guaranteed to cause it to fail.

Replacing the 220uF caps was easy. Best to use good quality 105C rated capacitors from e.g. Panasonic or Rubycon (see the badcaps website for other brands). The 4700uF caps were more of a problem because the space is very restricted. I wasn't able to find any 35V capacitors that would fit and it made me very suspicious of the originals. I'm willing to bet they were not genuine 35V caps. Anyway, I measured the voltage across them and concluded I could get away with 25V caps. You have to be careful here because the mains supply can vary quite a bit and still be within limits. We have a 220V supply here and the voltage across the caps was just under 22V. If the supply went up to 250V, which is still technically ok, the voltage across the capacitor would be very close to 25V. No problems with fitting the replacements. The original capacitors were glued to the board as well as soldered (presumably to prevent vibration) but it was still quite easy to remove them.

After checking everything was ok and bolting everything back together, the result was a lot better than expected. Not only had the buzzing and loud 'pop' gone but so had the overblown bass. I'm not sure I would call these speakers true HiFi but the sound is definitely very pleasing and speech is much clearer than it was before.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Literally burned up after warranty expired...poor customer service!!!, July 10, 2012
By 
Whereforenot "whereforenot" (Baltimore, MD United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Active Studio Monitor Speakers (Electronics)
I liked the sound produced by these speakers, but one night shortly over a year after purchasing them, they went up in a pop and smoke. Dealing with M-Audio customer support (AVID) was a nightmare and they made me jump through all sorts of hoops. They closed the ticket and considered it resolved when I didn't respond. I won't purchase another M-Audio product ever! Buyer beware!
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars M-Audio AV40, March 15, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Active Studio Monitor Speakers (Electronics)
Speakers worked well for the first 3 months but then one channel went dead, now looking for new speakers with more stamina.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dead in 6 months, August 7, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Active Studio Monitor Speakers (Electronics)
Had these speakers hooked up to my computer and turntable. They worked great for about five months. They died pretty shortly thereafter. I did not use them too much, once a week or so for a couple of hours. I went to M-Audio's website to see if they could be fixed or what not, there I found at least a couple dozen other people with the same issue, no music only a crackling sound (or nothing). M-Audio would fix or replace them if I paid shipping (both ways) which with their weight is no small price. So I chunked them based on this being a problem that is effecting quite a number of user (surely not everyone having this problem post on their site, myself included). I highly recommend you look elsewhere for speakers, don't believe me head over M-Audio website and the forums and see for yourself.
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23 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ni-i-i-i-i-i-i-ce, September 22, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Active Studio Monitor Speakers (Electronics)
I got these a few weeks ago. Living in apartments, I love high quality sound, but don't want the letter from the office concerning sound disturbances. Got home from work, set them up, and I was a little iffy at first. Since these are flat-tuned, depending on what media player you use, you'll have to mess around with the EQ settings. Once it was dialed in, the impression was more positive. After a couple days, when they got more warmed in, I was very impressed. I threw every genre in my library at them and they played extremely well. You're not going to get that "heart-pounding" low end frequency out of them, but you'll get a good range from the sound spectrum that most audiophiles yearn for.

Un-boxing these things was nearly ceremonial, first thought: good feel, good weight, solid construction and a nice variety of connection options. They included a manual with impressive specs and a campy comic book style book instructing the consumer on how to properly place their speakers. The pack-in hardware cables were very cheesy to the touch and I'd highly recommend hitting your nearest Radio Shack for the necessary adapter cable to run these.

You just can't beat a silk dome ferro-cooled tweeter. However, I had a little problem with the ring light flickering around the volume knob. One phone call with Amazon and the problem was solved with replacements. Two weeks now, and I'm very satisfied.

The offside, they are a little big, but they sound bigger. I elevated them to a 15 degree angle to better aim them at a tall person like me and another recommendation would be to use some sort of isolation material (included foam pads and some extra isolating foam) to place them on so the good sound doesn't get defeated by the vibrations on your desk.

Bottom line: So far, so good (or excellent). Use good cables and connectors, rather than the pack-ins they supply you with and give them some time to warm up and break in. Yes, they do get a little hot, but not enough to differ oneself from having them.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money! Here's something way better for a similar price., September 23, 2013
By 
Keith F. Kelly (Redmond, WA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Active Studio Monitor Speakers (Electronics)
This is the second pair of consumer-grade powered M-Audio desktop monitors I've owned in less than 4 years. The amp inside the first pair died after only 1 year, and the amp inside this pair also died after 3 years. The amps don't simply die all at once -- they gradually fizzle out over time in noticeable ways (one or both speakers will develop volume/static/clipping/hum). Out of curiosity, I took the left speaker (containing the amplifier) apart to see if it was something I could repair. Inside I found four visibly leaked/blown electrolytic capacitors and several other charred components. Some were so burnt that they had crumbled in pieces away from the circuit board. M-Audio clearly uses poor-quality components. Then they cram all those components into a tightly-enclosed space without sufficient ventilation or heat dissipation. No wonder the amps burn themselves out! And I never ran these very loud either -- they were always at 50% or less on the volume knob.

I bought the following items to replace my busted M-Audio AV40s. This setup blows M-Audio's stuff away in all regards: build quality, sound quality, efficiency/thermals, and volume. Using a cheap (but still good quality) outboard amplifier means you won't have to throw out the speakers if the amp ever dies, and it also means there are no thermal issues with the amp being crammed inside a small speaker. Why spend $140 on something that sucks when you can spend $200 on something infinitely better?

JBL Control 1 Pro High Performance 150-Watt Miniature Studio Monitor Speaker (Pair, Black)
These speakers are excellent. They have a wide flat frequency response with good clarity and sound stage. I ran my usual tone-generated sine wave sweep (10Hz - 30kHz) through these things (using the Lepai amp below) and there were no noticeable drop-outs or peaks at any particular frequencies. These truly are the closest you'll get to studio-quality reference monitors in a small desktop package below $200.

2013 New Version!! Upgraded LP-2020A+ Lepai Tripath Class-T Hi-Fi Audio Mini Amplifier with US Power Supply Black, US Shipping!!!
These little Lepai amps have a great reputation, and I'm happy to say this one lives up to the hype. The 20W output easily pushes the 150W JBLs to extremely loud volumes while still running completely cool.

12v 6a Adapter Power Supply for LCD Monitor with Power Cord
Probably unnecessary, but cheap, so why not? Technically the 12V 3A supply included with the Lepai should neatly drive the 2x20W output without coming up short, but it never hurts to have the headroom.

Yamaha YST-SW012 8-Inch Front-Firing Active Subwoofer
This is the subwoofer I've used all along, so I thought I'd mention it here so that this list represents a complete system. It's been great to me: powerful, runs cool, good price. My only complaint is that the only input connection it provides is a single mono RCA jack, so I had to throw together a simple passive mixer circuit to merge the left/right channels down into a mono feed for the sub. I'm an engineer so that was easy for me, but if you're not interested in DIY electronics and just want something that works, you might want to look for a sub that has separate left/right RCA inputs.

Audioengine DS2 Desktop Speaker Stands (Pair)
These are the desktop speaker stands I've used all along, so I thought I'd mention them here so that this list represents a complete system. These angle the speakers up just enough to project at your head, while also acoustically isolating the speakers from the desktop.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars M-Audio AV40, July 24, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Active Studio Monitor Speakers (Electronics)
These monitors are what I expected - great reference monitors that offer equal levels of sound across each frequency. I'm using them as computer speakers and the bass is tight & terrific and the trebles are crisp. I listened to Mackie MR5s and KRK Rokit 5s, which both sound better, but of course they are going to sound better - they both have 5" drivers and a much bigger cabinet. Taking into account, the size of the AV40s, the look of them and the features, these monitors are exactly what I needed.
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M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Active Studio Monitor Speakers
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