• Price: US$149 for the AV42 pair, and US$100 for the AV32 pair.
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M-Audio AV42 & AV32 Speakers Review

Phil Morse
Last updated 11 October, 2021

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The Lowdown

Got rubbish computer speakers that annoy you whenever you try and practise DJing with them? Something like the AV42s would fit the bill. We’d advise against the AV32s unless your budget is severely limited and / or you really don’t have the space for the bigger model as the sound quality is much better.

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Video Review

First Impressions / Setting up

They’re much lighter than the AV30s and AV40s: It turns out these are half the weight of the speakers they replace, while still being made from MDF rather than plastic. They’re also slightly bigger. The impression they give is of understated, simple, and rather tiny monitors. They have ditched the grilles over the tweeters from the previous models (apparently, it allows a cone to be introduced here to aid dispersion in the high frequencies), although the tweeters are very durable (check the video for a demonstration!)

They have a volume control on the front although the on / off switch is not built into that control, instead being around the back (would have preferred to see this on the front for convenience). They have an Aux In on the front for plugging in a portable or second audio device, while round the back are RCA ins for your main audio device (typically a DJ controller, of course), power receptacle, a bass port, and two speaker wire grips.

The “master” speaker is plugged to the “slave” speaker using the provided link cable, and is just a passive speaker, all the electronics (inputs, outputs, and amplifier) are in the master. Once you’re all plugged in (there’s a minijack-to-minijack and an RCA-to-minijack, but no RCA-to-RCA cable provided), the master controls everything.

In Use

Front and Rear
The front of both AV42 and AV32 house the volume knob and jacks for Aux In and headphone outputs. while the back has the power switch, RCA inputs, speaker wire terminals, and power socket.

We tested these with music playing through a Pioneer DJM-850 mixer, so we could run simultaneous music to both models and compare how they sounded.

First the good news: They sound a lot better than cheap computer speakers, with both having more bass and a fuller sound. Unsurprisingly, the AV42s sound considerably better: They’re rated at 20W per channel rather than 10W for the AV32s, but as well as the extra volume, they sound fuller, more refined, and clearer. The AV32s sounding harsh, boxy, and dull in comparison.

The bad news of course, is that small, light, value speakers are never going to perform as well as more expensive, bigger speakers, so these are great for doing justice to music played from your computer or for DJ controller practice in a bedroom, but they’re not up to the mark for music production or anything other than personal., near-field listening. While they didn’t distort at full volume, they simply aren’t loud enough for anything more than that.

Conclusion

Got rubbish computer speakers that annoy you whenever you try and practise DJing with¬†them? Recently bought a DJ controller and need something that’s reasonable value but that’ll give your audio some bass, clarity and volume lacking in your current set-up? Something like the AV42s would fit the bill.

We’d advise you not to go for the AV32s unless your budget is severely limited and / or you really don’t have the space for the bigger model as the sound quality is much better. That said, don’t expect studio monitor type sound from these, as similar models from other manufacturers, they’re designed to be one step up from entry-level computer speakers, not two.

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