136 of 143 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2013
I have been buying and testing "cheap" speakers for a long while now. And 99% of the time you get what you pay for. Only the Dayton B652's had ever given more then the expected BUT required a high volume to sound good and didn't work in a desktop environment because they are still BIG speakers. These on the other hand with their 4" drivers and smaller, ported boxes not only fit on a desk and look nicer but with an actual crossover network inside provide WAY better response then anything I have heard in this size speaker even up to four times the price!
They don't require much power but I recommend something a little better then a Lepai 20wpc T-amp. The 50wpc Audiosource AMP-100 is would be my first choice but I had them hooked to my Behringer A500 amplifier (monster) for review and I could take the gain to half and these things handled it fine up to 100db+ at the listening position. The more power you can give the better the low end will perform, to a point. If you can pair these with an 8 or 10 inch powered sub I say do it and want for nothing.
The Build quality is up to par with any ~$100-200 speakers and the magnetic grills are a great addition. I actually preferred the wood grain finish of the standard MB42's vs the Matte of these new speakers but that isn't even close to a deal breaker. The 5-way binding posts on the back STILL don't fit a standard two piece Banana plug so you will need single banana terminals or to wire to the screw posts.
The packaging is more than adequate to protect in shipping and although it doesn't come with anything more then a pamphlet and some stick-on silicone feet I don't think you need anything else with your speakers. If you buy wire I never run smaller then 16ga (note: 14ga is bigger then 16ga).
I'd use these for just about ANY indoor sound application. Desktop use, commercial sound (hang in a restaurant or garage), use them for dedicated rear channel speakers in a home theater or if size is a concern confidently use them for ALL your home theater channels instead of looking at Bose or other boutique mini-speaker brands. Just buy three sets and go with a 6.1 or keep a spare and run 5.1. It will still be cheaper and FAR FAR better sounding then any Home theater in a box setup even with only a $120 Dayton or Polk subwoofer thrown in.
My video review for anyone interested http://youtu.be/tCCNXl4I5U4 and feel free to comment any questions you have. I love these things.
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2013
I have two sets of the original MB42s that I have installed the crossover upgrades in, so they are effectively the MB42Xs now.
They were pleasant sounding even before the crossover was installed, but the upgrade moves these into audiophile territory. They are wonderful sounding with surprising accuracy for such an inexpensive speaker. There are a couple of places on the frequently spectrum where they deviate, but it actually adds to the warmth of their sound. And the bass response is quite impressive for a 4" woofer.
Now...these are small speakers, so they don't have the cone surface area to blow your hat off in a large room. But having said, they do play surprisingly loud and the 4" driver is the little woofer that could. These takes well to power and you can drive them pretty dang hard before they start breaking up. Their ideal applications would be near field or in small to medium sized rooms. As Zeo mentioned above; add a sub and you got it covered! I am using one set in my office with a small sub; I listen to them for 8 hours a day with zero ear fatigue. The other set is in a work room at home; no sub (yet) but they sound great even without them. I have used one set in a workshop along with a 10" powered sub and I drove them hard in there.
I have some expensive speakers too, but like many I am on an ongoing quest for cheap speakers that sound good. I have speakers all over my home, in my office; I'm not a wealthy man so I can't afford expensive speakers everywhere. The Miccas are the most shining example of great sounding cheap speakers that I've found. I highly recommend them.
I wanted to add...I also have some of the Micca 8" ceiling speakers in my home and they are also of very high quality for low prices. I hope the company continues to expand their offering of quality speakers at low prices. I would love to see them build a big brother to the MB42X with a 6.5" or 8" woofer. Man, that would be sweet! Hello Micca...are you listening? LOL
I went ahead and ordered a set of the MB42Xs just to make sure they sound like my upgraded MB42s. They do, the speakers sound wonderful as small speakers go. Micca has obviously kept the quality where it matters.
I agree with Zeos that I liked the woodgrain finish on the old models better; they were actually kinda pretty for cheap vinyl covering. But the new matte finish is not the end of the world. And the magnetic grill is supercool!
I have speakers that cost several times as much that don't sound as good as these. Buy them, you won't be disappointed.
When you get these, make sure you break them in before passing judgement. Play them as some pretty good volumes for a minimum of 20-30 hours to loosen up the woofer and relax the tweeter. Not that they sound bad out of the box, but they will dramatically improve as they get some play time on them.
All three pairs of these that I have (one pair of X's and 2 pair of originals with crossover added) are still playing perfectly. All three have been broken in well and sound great. The pair I have in my office constantly get complimentary comments from people who are surprised at how great they sound.
As is typical with rear ported speakers; placement is fairly critical. Bass response will vary significantly according to how much reflection you get from the rear of the speaker. As mentioned previously; I have one pair that are sitting on some deep (18") shelves in a work room. The sound from the rear ports is reflected forward, enhancing the bass response. Honest to goodness...you wouldn't believe how these sound. I am not using a sub with this pair, yet the bass is very strong. They sound amazing, all by themselves in this application.
I suspect some of the people making poor reviews on these either don't know how to properly hook them up or they are not giving them any break-in time. I don't men to be insulting; it's just that a lot of folks are not technical and don't know these things. In reading the reviews, I would recommend two things before commenting on these speakers: 1) Break them in for 20-30 hours minimum (even more is better). These speakers need break in more than some do. 2) Place them where the sound from the rear port is reflected back at you.
And, of course, the basics. Make sure you observe polarity when wiring these )plus to plus and minus to minus, it really matters) and drive them with a decent amp. Many are using the Lepai, and it's a dandy little amp. But use an amp with more headroom and the bass response will be better still. Around 50 wpc RMS is a good match for these.
Do these things and I am confident that you will agree that these are fine speakers, and a crazy deal for this price.
-One more thing-
A lot of folks are running these on the Lapai T amp. It's a dandy little amp, and I have a set running on one too. But of you really want to see what these speakers have, use an amp with more power. Speakers draw most of their power while playing low bass notes, and that is when a smaller amp will run out or power...or headroom as we call it. When that happens, the sound can sound a bit shallow, and the bass will not be as full or powerful as it should be. It can even distort.
About 50 watts per channel (real RMS watts) is what these really need to wake up. Or for a small room, you can stick with your small amp and use a powered sub, that will take some of the load off the main amp. I am using one set with a Lapai and a small powered sub, and they sound very clean in my office.
I am still a huge fan of these speakers. There is nothing in this price range that will touch them, and many speakers that sell for far more don't sound as good. I listen to two sets of these daily (one set in my kitchen and one on my office) and I enjoy them tremendously.
Long term update
I have three sets of these, two in daily use, and all are working perfectly. I listen to one set in my office several hours a day, and ejoy them immensely. Not quite audiophile grade, but pretty close, and at junk prices. Pair them with a subwoofer, and you have a fine speaker system for a small to medium sized room. The only thing I plan on changing is my sub; I currently have a 6" sub I built out of junk, and it could be better. But that takes nothing away from the Miccas.
At I have stated above; these need LOTS of break in to sound their best. But once they are loosened up, they are amazing! I think some have rated them low because of the bass response; but you can't expect a 4 woofer to shake the house. What they do well is deliver amazingly smooth and accurate sound that is very pleasing to the ears. The highs are bright and sparkling without being shrill, the midrange is clear and accurate, and the bass is realistic without sounding boomy or fake. One set I am using is on a high shelf in an ideal placement where the rear port is reflected forward, and the bass response is very satisfying and actually pretty impressive. In particular; guitars and vocals sound extremely natural on these.
I also have a pair of the MB42X-C (center channel) speakers I'm using as a stereo pair. They are even better, with the twin woofers producing stronger bass. You'd be shocked at how these compare against larger speakers!
In short...buy these. The sound is bright and warm, and so pleasing to the ears. If you like pounding bass, pair them with a sub, and you will want for nothing. Unless you have big bucks to spend on exotic speakers, buy these and enjoy while you save money.
Yet another update
I upgraded the sub at my office with a 10" Dayton sub. Decent sub for the money, and definitely a major step up from the small 6" sub I was using. Everyone who hears my office system is amazed at the sound quality. I had a salesman in last week and he was so impressed that wants to order the MB42-X's for his home now.
So yes, I still love these speakers. They are wonderfully warm and pleasant to listen to, with accuracy that will defy their price range. Not perfect, but so close...
But...I see that Amazon has had a major price jump on these; from $69 to $99. I think this is a mistake; they are now pitting these against other speakers that have better and more attractive cabinets. Don't get me wrong; these speakers are worth the price because of their sound quality. But at $100, they are no longer a steal. I hope they will see that this huge price jump is a mistake and lower it back down. Time will tell.
But I will state again...I do love these little speakers! I have found nothing better for small room applications, regardless of price.
I just can't stop bragging on these speakers.
I had a rough day at work today. Very stressful, and I wanted to slap someone.
I closed my office door, and turned up my sound system to chill out.
To refresh...a pair of MB42-X's, a Lepai 2020 amp, a Dayton 10" sub. I have a 2nd computer in my office with thousands of songs loaded on it, and a nice sound card for reproduction.
Oh what good it did me!! To be able to listen to high-end audio and relax probably kept my blood pressure down.
These aren;t the best speakers I own, but they just might be my favorites. I have some very expensive speakers that are audiophile grade. But I think I enjoy these Miccas more than I do the high-dollar models.
There is nothing anywhere near this price range that will touch them. Yes, there are a couple of areas on the graph where these show inaccuracies. But what really matters is how they please your ears. They are so sweet!
Buy a set of these! If you're a bass monger, use a sub along with them. You will have a system that you can't beat unless you spend hundreds more.
But remember...break them in for 30-40 hours before you judge. You'll be glad you did.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2014
Coming from a Logitech z623 multimedia system, these bookshelves paired with a Dayton SUB-1200 and SMSL SA-50 amplifier are a dream. Incredible sound throughout the range. Even without the subwoofer, the bookshelves have strong bass down to the 70hz range. I use them as computer speakers at my desk in a fairly small room so I can't speak to their ability to fill a large room with sound. At a desk however, they produce more than enough sound to make me cringe at 30% volume on my 50w RMS per channel amp. Really unbeatable for the price. Buy them!
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2014
It is literally and actually incredible, the level of fidelity produced with such little cost. These have far exceeded my expectations, even with the hype. The sacrifices for value seem to have been mitigated extremely well by good design.
1. I think they look really good, and don't look cheap at all, as others have said, even in the back. Sure, they don't look like my Tannoy set, but they look good. The only visual issue I saw was actually that the logos on the grills aren't perfectly level, but it isn't noticeable until I look carefully. I do enjoy that the grill is attached magnetically.
2. As others have reported, there seems to be a little bit of box resonance in the middle-low end, although that could be related to the fact that I haven't properly isolated the speakers from my desk. The premium materials of much more expensive speakers hide issues like that better. The low-end exists. I can listen to organ music and hear the tonality properly, but they are of course not going to provide goose-bump-level bass.
3. The crossovers seem to be doing their job. Tones that harmonically cross the drivers line up crystal clear when my head is positioned at the suggested listening position. If you are considering these as upgraded computer speakers, note that they are a bit directional, so you may need to get into the mindset of arranging things around the speakers, instead of the other way around.
Looking back, my review seems to line up a lot with what others have said, that there are trivial, expected issues. Then how can I describe them as incredible? I don't know. They just sound incredible. It is kind of like finding a good sedan. You can't really explain it rationally. You just like it, and you are happy that you bought it.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2014
I've never been into the whole Hi-Fi thing so I'm coming from a regular layman's viewpoint who has loved music his whole life. After listening to these I realize how much I have been missing with cheap boomboxes, little Bluetooth speakers and regular mass-produced speakers. You can hear so much more with these than those typical ones. I would agree they are not "bassy" but more "detailed" and "clear". I am more of a "warm" and "rich" type guy but the clarity of these are amazing. For example, I can hear a guitarist's hands move up/down the frets on tracks where I never had heard that before; so imagine how detailed/clear other instruments sound with these speakers. I compared them to another set of similarly-priced popular well-reviewed and larger bookshelf speakers after reading reviews that these micca's sound "hollow". Well those other speakers sounded muted/muffled in comparison. The pure clarity of instrumentation on these stood out so much I made the decision to keep them in minimal time. Once you start upping the volume the quality really shines phenomenally. I like all kinds of music so play some great jazz tracks or "Some Like it Hot" by The Power Station on these and tell me they aren't fantastic and I'll say you are crazy. Why haven't I spent the money and done some research earlier? I hooked it up to a 20 buck Lepai amp and 20 buck Danibos Bluetooth 4.0 adapter and I have a fantastic, compact high-end sound system for $120. Wow! Hook it up to a nice surge protector too to keep out any AC power line interference. I love the design on these too. I don't like faux-wood veneer design and these don't have that which is great. The magnetic speaker grills are nifty, the size is perfect, the woofer-look is cool and the brand tags are subtle (why do some expensive speaker-makers ruin the look by putting garish brand tags on the front?). Aesthetically, whoever designed these has great taste that is totally the style I enjoy; they are pleasant on the eye to look at. So I give these 4 3/4 stars on both the sound quality and the physical design aspect. Taking 1/4 star off as they tend more to detailed/pure/clear sound than warm/rich to my layman's ears. Great job and thanks for the thoughtfully designed product that adds so much pleasure to my life.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2013
Okay... I admit it. Being a child of the 60's and 70's, I am old school when it comes to audio equipment. I'm not saying that's a bad thing mind you... I grew up with a strong appreciation of quality sound. Having said this, I am amazed at the sound coming out of theses small bookshelf speakers. Up until this point, I've been driving my little Optimus STA-300 receiver with a pair of upgraded Minimus 7's. For those in the know... The Minimus 7's have virtually reached cult statu for their quality. After reading the reviews of the Micca MB42 and Micca 42X, on a whim, I decided to order a pair of the 42X. I have to tell you... My expectations were low based on my affection for the Minimus 7's. Well I can now tell you that after about 5 minutes of listening to these... My Minimus 7's are now boxed up. I was astonished at the quality of these. Wow.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2014
These small bookshelf speakers push the boundaries of affordable, dare I say, "Audiophile" equipment. In a world filled with opinioned bloggers partial to the idea that "high end" obliges high cost, these speakers offer an excellent alternative for the budget minded audiophile. The sound and quality are quite good - surprising actually. However, be warned that if you are looking for a bass thumping, volume past 11, cranked set that will be active 24 hrs. a day for your dorm room, then you'd be better off buying a used pair of towers from your local pawn shop. In contrast, for a small room, with a 2 channel stereo receiver, HDTV with an Xbox 360 these speakers will impress with their clarity, bass response and revealing quality. Acoustic and instrument compositions were a delight, while testing the depth of bass with some Massive Attack brought a surprised smile to my face - certainly, as with any small set, an optional sub would only add to the experience – with the more than an expected “punch.” All in all, an excellent purchase. In fact, I'm considering an additional pair.