As a full-time audio professional, I have spent at least 5-6 days a week in several professional studio facilities for the better part of the last 20 years. Having worked with hundreds of studio monitors (Genelec, Dynaudio, JBL Professional, KRK, Yamaha, Event, etc.), I chose the Alesis M1 Active 520 as the main monitoring system for my home project studio because of the Alesis name and the sound quality of these speakers for cost. They sounded great when they worked: neutral and accurate; never any surprises when I heard my work in other studios with much nicer/expensive professional monitors.
When I auditioned these in a brick and mortar store, the salesperson called these and their big brother, the M1 Active 620, "boomerangs", because they almost always came back. Unfortunately, I didn't listen to him.
I used these for about 6 months and was very happy with them. I stored them in the original packaging in a closet with all of my other equipment when my home studio was converted into a nursery for our baby and moved them to another studio after about 6-7 months. Upon reinstalling them in the new studio, I powered them up and one of them turn-on, but the LED on one of the monitors was red, instead of blue. I called Alesis support and they said that they could not help me as the speakers were a month out of warranty, which is understandable. I asked the tech if this was a common issue and he said an emphatic "no". After getting off the phone, I Googled the problem, and sure enough, it is a common issue with these studio monitors!
Take a look at the Alesis website, there is a large supply of these units in the refurb area. Why? Because the quality of these units is lacking!
I'm guessing that if these were still under warranty, Alesis may have stood behind their product and replaced or repaired my unit. However, when the market is crowded with many options for low-cost, bang for the buck studio monitors, Alesis should know better than to put a piece of garbage on the market. If you are considering these lemons for whatever reason, stay away! Instead, opt for similar products from Event, M-Audio or KRK; I have worked in edit suites equipped with these monitors that have been in operation for several years and the aforementioned brands have offered bang for the buck just as good as Alesis, with proven durability after being used day after day for years on end.
Don't waste your time with these studio monitors, there are many higher-quality alternatives on the market for the same price.
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