81 of 83 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2013
This is an easy 5 stars -- these are solid-sounding bookshelf speakers with the sound and sonic satisfaction of a much bigger (and more expensive) set. And they cost what I'd pay for a meal out with the wife. I am surprised at the strength of the bass and delighted with the soundstage and incredible clarity of the mids and highs.
I, too, read the reviews here on Amazon and so took a chance on a brand I was unfamiliar with -- and, after listening to rock, jazz, and clasical favorites, promptly ordered two more sets of these speakers! I paired each set with the $21 Lepai LP2020A+ amplifier (also from Amazon -- read the reviews!) and, by god, I have a trio of bonafide high-quality hi-fi systems now in the study, in the kitchen, and the third one as a gift for my daughter. Who figures on a genuine hi-fi sound and quality system for around $75??! I am used to excellent sound through my Yamaha receiver and Paradigm speakers fed by a NAD CD player or one of my iPods or iPhone (all either Apple Lossless or MP3s ripped at 320 bitrate). Good sound is a must and once you're used to quality reproduction there's no going back. These well-constructed bookshelf speakers did not let me down. This morning we were listening to a Bill Evans jazz album fed from my iPod Classic from the kitchen setup while eating breakfast: Bliss!
In a nutshell, this is one of those little life surprises that give you the giggles and make you happy at your good fortune; it's like I stumbled upon a trove of sonic treasure all by accident. I can see hooking these up to an old receiver lying around in the garage, or as a duo of rear speakers in a 5.1 home AV system (heck, I can see using them as front speakers too) and being astounded at the richness of sound. Add a sub and a center speaker for dialog and you'd spend considerably less than most any other combination for a high-caliber 5.1 home theater system.
OK, enough gushing... Buy a set for less than 60 bucks and call my bluff if you want. You won't be disappointed. An iPod/iPhone/Droid device plugged into the Lepai amp or your receiver and outputting into these speakers will make you giddy.
71 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2013
After much dithering, I decided to get these instead of Dayton Audio B652 6-1/2-Inch 2-Way Bookshelf Speaker Pair, because (1) Amazon's price on the Daytons is still over $50 (although one person reported that another web vendor still has them for $40), (2) they're a bit smaller (that was useful to me), and (3) various comments and reviews just gave me the impression that build quality might be a bit better (binding post connectors rather than the Dayton's spring-loaded wire terminals, for example).
First, the "bad": one has no right to expect powerful or deep bass at this size or price, and, indeed, they don't go down very low. But the bass is fairly solid and clean right down to where they started to lose steam (around 80-100Hz in my estimation - they really don't go down to the 60Hz specified, in my opinion). I won't concentrate heavily on specs in this discussion, because most people don't have measurement equipment, and, interestingly, most people perceive 80-100Hz as "deep bass" (they also perceive 12KHz as "very high treble"). But where you can tell is with music containing quality bass content (electric bass guitar, string quartets with bass fiddle, organ music, etc.). These speakers didn't do a bad job, but they sure don't give you the physical pounding that you get from speakers with top-class bass response (Klipschorns, or 18" sound reinforcement systems used in concerts, etc.). Room placement is key, here (this is mentioned prominently in the manufacturer's literature, in fact). I placed them along the short wall of a 15'x24' rectangular room, about 6" from the wall and 4' from the corners, and they produced shockingly pleasing sound. Again, not powerful bass, but entirely pleasant and adequate.
The only other area where I felt that my high-end speakers were audibly superior was what I would call a slight "softness" in the midrange and upper midrange. This most noticeably affects female vocals, and was, for example, noticeable on Sara K's "Hobo" album, and, to a similar extent, on stuff by Bonnie Raitt and Emmylou Harris.
To their credit, these speakers behaved very well at amazingly loud (for their price and size) levels, even though their published sensitivity is 85dBm. This relatively low number means that they need, say, 10 times as much power as a 95dBm speaker to produce the same level, and that translates to a boatload of power going into them in order to sound loud. They're rated at 75W, but I'm certain that if you actually ran them at 75W continuous, they'd be quite well cooked in a minute or so (as would your ears). So I was probably driving about 4W average into them and they sounded quite impressive.
The clean sound and overall balance is really wonderful (that almost insignificant midrange softness mentioned above doesn't really detract). They're just so pleasant to listen to, you really could mistake them for speakers costing 20 times more. So far, I've AB'ed them with Sonus Faber Concertinos. Admittedly not every uber-audiophile will rate those at the absolute top of the small-speaker spectrum, but they're quite respectable (and around $1000/pr). The differences with the MB42s were audible, but not severe. As I said, you would never guess that you were listening to $50 speakers, and to be able to compare them with the Concertinos in the same paragraph is nothing short of astounding.
Build quality was as hoped for: decent binding posts, excellent fit and finish (of relatively light 3/8" vinyl-covered particle board). They probably weigh 1/4 as much as the Concertinos, and while one might want something sturdier, at $50 you are simply not going to find that.
A thought about that modest bass response: a lot of folks will be tempted to add a subwoofer to make up for missing bass. I've found, sadly, that most affordable subwoofers do a really poor job of augmenting bass response. They insert a huge bump somewhere between 60Hz and 100Hz, but the result isn't natural-sounding bass, just an impressive thump-and-boom. I understand that's what a lot of people want, but that's just not going to make these speakers sound fabulous. You'd have to consider spending $500 to $1000 or more on a serious powered subwoofer system to get a combined system worth listening to, and let's face it, there's just no way it could be worth adding a $1000 subwoofer to a $50 pair of main speakers. I mean, you *could* do it and it would sound very good, but if you've got the money, you should first look at spending more on the main speakers and probably forget the subwoofer altogether.
I next hope to compare these to Bose Acoustimass 5 Speaker System - Black, a system that I've never really enjoyed listening to, but which, at $399, should, in principle, outperform the Micca MB42.
One last point: considering that you could combine these with an excellent quality inexpensive amp like LP-2020A+ Lepai Tripath Class-T Hi-Fi Audio Mini Amplifier with Power Supply or FiiO A1 Mini 2x14W Class-D Digital Audio Amplifier or Topping TP20-MK2 MKII TA2020 Class T-AMP Digital Stereo Amplifier, you'd have a killer system for around $100 that could hold its own (respectably!) against systems costing way over $1000.
So am I satisfied with my purchase? Definitely! Are they worth the money? Absolutely!
UPDATE (2 days later)
I've had a chance to listen to a lot more music, and have discovered a moderately unpleasant narrow resonance peak in the midrange (haven't measured - seems like it might be around 600Hz). This was surprisingly and annoyingly audible on a performance of The Nutcracker, "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy". To be sure I wasn't imagining it, I played the same segment on the Sonus Faber Concertinos and they performed admirably - no resonant peak, just beautiful, clean sound. Having heard that CD through many other speakers, I was pretty sure it was the Miccas, but there's no doubt about it. Pretty annoying.
Interestingly, the peak is narrow enough to not be audible on most material, but wow, when you hear it, it really sings (and not in a good way). OK, we're still talking about $50/pr speakers, here, so it's something I can overlook, but I sure won't be playing The Nutcracker on these speakers again.
If you happen to read recent reviews of the Dayton Audio B652 6-1/2-Inch 2-Way Bookshelf Speaker Pair, it seems that they've "updated" that speaker with an inferior product that buyers are quite unhappy with. So it looks like, in this price/size range, the Micca speakers are the one to buy - if you can get them.
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2013
First of all, the MB42's are on par or better with any speakers at this price range. I was hesitant to purchase these because of lack of reviews or info about this product. but what info I did find was very encouraging. After I received them very promptly from Amazon of course, and hooked them up first as desktop near-field ( be careful the MB42's are not shielded and shouldn't be placed near other magnetic sensitve equipment.) using a mini 90 watts class T amp they sounded great. As a matter of fact the more power you fed them the better they sounded taking every ounce that my mini amp could muster and still wanting more. So then I hooked them up to my 100 watts/per channel rms Yamaha receiver that has two Cerwin Vegas E-715 with 15" woofers and lett'em eat. It was as if they were made for this purpose, blending in well and hanging with the big boys. I was pleasantly surprised with how well the MB42's performed and I think you will be too. The quality and look are also superb. I haven't had them long, so I can't tell you anything about how reliable they are. but after taking them through their paces pretty hard the last few days, I think they're going to do just fine!!!
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2013
The motion 42 is a speaker that,though it cannot totally overcome the inherent limitations imposed on it by the fact that engineers can only go so far with materials cost on a $50 set of speakers, is a rarity. A (very) inexpensive speaker that has been made to sound good, rather than forced to sound like crap so the companies' other speakers look better.
This is a very small speaker with what seems like an increasingly common complement of drivers in small bookshelf units/desk monitors...a carbon fiber woofer and a silk dome tweeter. The speaker is rear ported and clad in black vinyl, it is also quite light. In short, it looks like alot of speakers and it sort of sounds like alot of speakers, but not like anything in its price range (of which there are admittedly few). That is to say, it sounds quite nice. Bass is more than ample for a speaker this size, midrange is adequate, and highs are clear and articulate. The speaker also has a dynamic and exciting character to it...the drivers seem quite sensitive and respond well to power. I know that a number of other reviewers have mentioned how loud they can get. With a little bit of additional equalization and a decent amplifier, these can sound pretty impressive, and will likely sound good enough to bring a good bit of joy to most listeners and impress their friends.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2014
I added a crossover...pics in the product description and the included 3.3uf cap was an electrolytic, so I made a crossover with a .50mH choke and a 3.3 uf metalized polypropylene cap from Dayton. Clear sound, the woofer can handle power, and the overall sound is Bright.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2013
This is going to be wordy, so if you don't want to read much, give these little speakers a try, you're missing out on a great find if you don't. If you want to know a bit more...read on...
I shopped...& shopped for a reasonably respectable set of price friendly bookshelf monitors (under $100) that sounded worth my time. Yes I'm picky. I wanted something that wasn't to big or bulky in my desk space/area I like my area clean & uncluttered. I didn't want something bigger than 4" woofers for nice mid range & highs in a close quarters environment (in a corner of a room). I am not rich nor am I one of those self proclaimed "audiophile" people. However I have been tinkering with speakers & sound system equipment sense I cracked open my 1st stereo my parents won in an auction when I was 7yrs old after it " mysteriously broke" (I just wanted to see how it worked), Now that I am 42, I would do it again to see how things have changed...ANYWAYS...
Do I understand everything? NO, I am NOT an audio engineer but I have hooked up car audio for many years as a hobby, helped night club DJ's & live bands set up their stages for many years. I've helped many friends with as well as installed my own "home theater" set up (they asked me to help them as they have heard how my sounds.)
After researching sound harmonics & acoustic resonance (which intrigue me) it's helped give me a better understanding on proper placement of speakers in a room. (which all depends on what's IN the room too) I have a good idea the difference between a crappy set of speakers apposed to crappy equipment. That being said I have a discerning ear for a nice set of accurate speakers & I will NOT settle for garbage. I will go without (if I have too) until I find what I am looking for & I am not concerned about overly priced "name brands" although I admit it almost takes a name brand to find a good set of speakers.
I also would like to point out proper speaker wires/cables don't need to be thicker than the gauge of wire powering the equipment...we are ultimately taking about electrical current here but that should be a common sense; although there are many who will try to convince you otherwise. I also do NOT see a need for special wire binding thing-a-mufukawuzzit's like banana plugs etc..why isn't bare wire good enough? Oh I know why, adding another connection that can cause static if it gets loose! Now it all makes sense!! FYI...K.I.S.S.
For over 3 months I looked for something that possessed fairly accurate reproduction in a full range aspect that would meet my wants for my computer audio set up both in terms of price & sound. I 1st played around with some of my older Philips, Pioneer, Polk, Yamaha & Sony satellite surround & small system speakers. As a little project I even went so far as to make a set of my own with an old set of 4" Bose speakers I got out of my Audi after I redid the system in it. Put them in cigar boxes after I coated, braced & lined them...I even put in a bass reflex port (that was a fun project).
I looked across the web, at brick & mortar specialty shops, pawn shops, even Goodwill but nothing caught my attention worth noting in the price point I budgeted. Could I have afforded higher priced monitor..yes. but I wanted to push myself in a different direction. The more I kept looking, the more I kept remembering these speakers. I began to think they were the way to go despite not being a "proven" name in audio as far as I was concerned. I saved them in my Amazon cart for 2 months, read every review at least twice as I kept looking; thinking about them in the back of my mind. I finally caved in & bought them. If I would have known just how wonderful sounding they were right out of the box from the get go I wouldn't have wasted so much time procrastinating wasting the GAS searching for something.
After I received them (very prompt shipping) they looked & felt very nice. I hung them up in "the zone" of which is approx. 2.5ft from my head, ear height where I sit at my desk in a corner so I can have more of a head phone type sound without putting on head phones (They will need a hanger of sorts in the back as there isn't one installed), hooked them up (you get a choice of banana plug hook up OR the caps twist to open up a hole so you can hook them up with bare wire), then refined & tuned them to my liking on my computer and amp..the speaker monitor set up I have currently 1 6.5in Bass Inferno BIM6CD as a center channel [3ft from & just above my head] which I will be changing up soon to a Atlantic Technology 2200C-BLK, these Micca MB42's on the sides & a 10" Kicker comp sub for under my desk I had collecting dust. It's all amped with a Lepai LP-168HA 2.1 2 x 40-Watt Amplifier and 1x68W Sub Out for the time being. I will be swapping out the amp & sub for a more accurate sounding Topping TP-22 amp & go subless.
The greatest set up on the planet..NO, but it works for now. From how these Micca's sound (which I think are a bit to "boomy" for such near field application) I wont need the sub anymore unless I want to seriously turn up the music for MORE bass for some of the music I listen too.
So far I am rather impressed by these speakers (I do NOT impress easily.) Very clean sounding almost neutral, detailed, full, rich, crisp are words I must use to describe the sound which doesn't appear to distort at higher volumes. I'm sure they will sound more rounded out & warmer once "burned in", which I can't wait to finally hear. After I turned my sub back up from after fine tuning, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. These speakers filled in the sound balance I knew I was lacking in my set up. I always felt there was something...missing. These cool looking (with covers off) unassuming (with covers on) book shelf monitor speakers that I have never heard the name of (save electronics) fixed the hole in my sound system. Yes I could have spent A LOT more & gotten FAR better, BUT for the price they CAN'T be beat!
The woofer is a smooth BLACK "carbon fiber" (not bronze-ish in color as the picture seems to depict) with a soft rubber surround. A standard rounded voice coil cap made of thin hard-sh plastic. The tweeters are soft to the touch & go back to original form if a child feels the urge to touch them (yes, I have a 3yr old & he HAD to touch them). Construction seems well done, not slapped together. They are not "high end solid wood" cabinets, but not cheap crappy particle board either. They seem to be a nice solid higher grade 1/4in MDF. kinda like pro monitors are made of just thinner, so they are solid in how they feel but not overly heavy. The outside is covered in a black vinyl, wood pattered type "sticker". They look rather nice & appear protected from light scratches, scuffs & humidity. They come with 8 flat silicone "feet" 4 for each speaker. you will need to apply, after the feet are in place the speaker is almost "stuck" where it sits. Very stable feeling & won't slide or move by vibration from the harmonics of the speaker when turned up to higher volumes.. From the sound of them so far I get the feeling they do not have dampening materiel in them, but I would have to pop them open to be sure. If they don't I may put some in, but wont bother with that until after they have had time to "bloom/burn-in". The sound will change somewhat by then & they may not need it.
To sum up, if you are unsure about these speakers, I urge you to give them a try. They aren't a set of Energy CB-20's but from how they sound to how they look; if they were asking $80 to $100 for them, it wouldn't be too far fetched. They are worth every cent they are asking for them in my opinion, at least so far...I have also come across a internal crossover upgrade for $30 to enhance the sound quality even further. Personally I will need to wait & see if that may be needed after they "burn-in". If you don't know how to fine tune your audio in the first place, by all means, go for the crossover kit, I don't think it's going to be needed for what I will be using them for though...
Now that I have given them enough time to work them selves in. They didn't work well in a near field scenario. They seem a bit too "punchy/boomy" in such close quarters. They need more room to sound right. I don't need something turned up to the levels these things almost "need" to sound full/colorful so at about 3ft from my head isn't the place for them. I ended up adding them to my TV room set up. Incorporating them as my main side monitors.
All I can say to that is for their size in a room with space to spare (20'X25') these little 4" monitors have found there place. They sound clean & almost airy (neutral) now that they are being pushed with ample power. The "boomy/punchy" aspect to them is gone & replaced with solid mid bass that doesn't distort the vocals or highs. I am pretty impressed at how well they fill a room of such size with music. it's rather shocking actually. I wont be needing to find a new set of side monitors now. They can handle the power I am now pushing them with which is also somewhat shocking.
Now that these are in the TV room I will be trying a set of Pinnacle S-FIT SAT 150's for my near field set up at my computer.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2013
I'm 60 years old and decided to get back into vinyl after years and years of mp3 and CDs.. I had sold all of vinyl back in the mid 80's when CDs came out.. Not a bright move on my part.. Back in the old days I had the big floor speakers and a vintage receiver.. Fast forward to today and I decided to get back into vinyl.. Bought a new receiver, turntable and a set of speakers.. The receiver didn't have that warm vintage sound so I purchased a vintage receiver and decided I needed better speakers which set me on a journey to find something that sounded great and didn't require a lot of floor space.. and was affordable.. I stumbled across these speakers on Amazon and YouTube.. Everything I read and saw was all positive. Sure, there are always people who find fault with anything and everything so I wrote those reviews off.. I couldn't believe how affordable these speakers were and still get the great reviews.. I thought I'd give a try.. I knew they would sound good because of the reviews, but I was blown away when they arrived and got them hooked up.. These things are amazing.. Do they sound like those towers that run $1500?, No of course not, but they sound fantastic. I'm know nothing about tech specs.. What I do know is what sounds good to my ears, and these do.. If you are reading reviews on these speakers then you are considering purchasing them.. Do it.. You will not be disappointed.. It's not brain surgery, it's an affordable set of speakers that will blow your mind with how rich and full they sound.. I hope this helps your decision.. The other peoples reviews helped me..
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2013
I wasn't expecting a whole lot out of speakers these size and this price but when I hooked them up to my 500W Sherwood receiver these things just kicked!! I was just shocked at the sound that comes out of these, the bass response is incredible with the carbon fiber woven woofers with rubber surrounds. The highs are also crystal clear with the silk dome tweeters on these. I am more than satisfied with these speakers! I highly recommend these to anyone if they are looking for smaller speaker to save space but still want that kick and high quality sound expected from floor speakers and such.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2014
Very decent sound for the price. Arrived quickly and in excellent condition. Build quality is solid. One note: the manual describes these as 4-to-8 ohm speakers. I'm not sure what is meant by that. My receiver is 8 ohm only -- it does not have a 4 ohm switch, as do some receivers. Nevertheless, these sound fine on my system and I've had no problems.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2014
First off, I've watched the MB42 vs MB42x YouTube shoot out video.Twice. And apparently I am the only one out there who just does not hear what is alleged to be a shocking audio difference in robustness and clarity, advantage Xs. I lean into my computer screen to watch each switch over, and I listen carefully and, yeah, I guess I pick up some sort of difference a couple of times, but nothing that causes me to smack my forehead or, to be candid, is even noticeable, nothing I would detect or note if I wasn't consciously focused on TRYING to hear said differences. Perhaps if I had a pair of each in my study and had the ability to go back and forth, I would be as impressed as others are by the superiority of the Xs.
Whatever, I have my MB42s, that I picked up for $39.95 with free Prime shipping by hitting the ordering window just right (1 pair only at that price) and they appeared to be brand new, everything sealed in plastic bags, no evidence of ever having even been touched.
I hooked them up to a little vintage Harman Kardon hk350i (25wpc) and, like others posting reviews here, was instantly, well, shocked----in a good way----by the expansive "fullness", tonal range, and utter crispness and clarity of the audio that flowed out of these small speakers. Everything from the sweeping symphonic suites from "Victory at Sea" to Van Morrison to vintage Louis Armstrong/Ella Fitzgerald to Holst's "Jupiter" to assorted Springsteen to the varied Americana soundtrack from the film "Brother Where Art Thou?" sounded, to use an overworked word: Amazing.
I might well be missing something by not returning these in favor of some Xs, and I will probably be castigated by the X-o-philes for this review, but I'm content with what I already have, So the 42s will remain where they presently sit.
With their woodgrain cases and rounded corners (nice touch), the MB42s are aesthetically pleasing as well.
Hard to see----impossible, actually----how you are going to score audio anywhere this rich and layered for anywhere near this price.