If you’re looking for a rather large (for desktop speakers, at least), easy to set up and reasonably loud pair of speakers to use with your DJ controller and/or computer on a budget, these are worth a look. Don’t expect true monitor quality, though.
First Impressions / Setting up
They’re built to a price, but having said that appear pretty solid. They’re quite lightweight, especially the “slave” (as they’re a slave/master set-up, with the amp and all controls in one of the two speakers, with linking cables so that they work as one). The cabinets appear to be veneered chipboard although they may be MDF (felt a bit light for that though), and the slightly curved fronts are plastic. The bass speakers have a black metal grille across them, there are two front bass port holes top left and right of the 5.25″ cone, and the dome tweeters have a plastic strip protecting them.
Around the back of the master speaker, a screwed-in metal panel houses the power switch, power socket, TRS and RCA inputs, “bass boost” switch, and two outputs to the left speaker. Two outputs, I hear you say? Yes, one is a single TRS mono socket to take the audio to the other speaker via the (rather short) supplied cable, the other does the same for the power to light up the “on” LED on the other speaker, which happens to be built in to the plastic strip covering the tweeters. This is what gives the speakers the distinctive look you’ll see in the photos.
Due to that short linking cable they really are designed simply sit on your desk either side of your laptop or monitor (and/or DJ controller) as they can’t go much further apart; a set of stick-on feet come in the box so you can make sure they sit nice and firmly in place.
They are sold as magnetically shielded (apparently to stop them interfering with other stuff, not other stuff interfering with them). Nonetheless, one test of desktop speakers is whether they are interfered with by close-by computer equipment, but in this case there was very little background noise apparent, certainly not enough to cause any concern (especially at this price point).
The fact that they are quite large for desktop speakers helps the cabinets to deliver quite a full, warm sound, and compared to the Cerwin-Vega! XD4 model we auditioned them against (minus the Cerwin-Vega! subwoofer in that review), they had less boomy bass. They also went louder; they’re quoted at 80W “dynamic power”, and while I wouldn’t use them anywhere near a party, they’re fine for bedroom/desktop use. They also appeared to disperse the treble especially quite wide, meaning they’re not too fussy about positioning for a decent sound over a reasonably wide area.
While we didn’t find them massively engaging or exciting, they’re fine for their intended purpose of DJ practising at home.
They’re a real improvement on the last Numark speakers we reviewed, the similar although admittedly cheaper Numark NPM-5, delivering decent volume, and an overall fairly balanced sound. We did find the two cables linking them to be a bit disappointing, though; why not use a single custom cable instead?
While they aren’t as articulate as entry-level DJ monitor speakers such as the KRK Rokit RP5 G3s, they are half the price, easier to set up. and more practical for smaller spaces. Maybe the bigger competition comes from speakers such as the smaller Mackie CR4s or Alesis Elevate 5s, both of which are highly rated among our readers, although we haven’t yet reviewed either so can’t offer a direct comparison.
If you’re looking for a rather large (for desktop speakers, at least), easy to set up and reasonably loud pair of speakers to use with your DJ controller and/or computer, and aren’t bothered about having the kind of sound quality necessary for music producers (but certainly want something better than computer speakers for DJing through), you ought to add these to your list. They serve the purpose they’re intended for well enough, although those unnecessary two linking cables do make them feel a bit “budget” to us.