It’s a logical move for Pioneer to offer budget speakers for the home DJ market: and these compact ported monitors deliver. Three-quarter inch cones and four-inch fibre glass woofers with two large scooped ports deliver a warm bassy, DJ style response. If you are looking for flat response studio monitors however, then look elsewhere as the sound is designed to be bright and aggressive. They play loud without distortion and are great value. A good choice to team up with a Pioneer all in one controller.
First Impressions / Setting up
While these speakers are reasonably compact, they’re not tiny, and they’re not particularly light, either: Some speakers down at this end of the market are smaller, and other lighter, being made predominantly of plastic, but the Pioneer DJ DM-40s have a reassuring wooden construction and weight to them. This usually translates to better sound quality, because the cabinet remains still as the speaker cones move to produce the sound. The speakers are also front ported, meaning there’s a slot in the front of each to allow air to move in and out of the unit for a fuller bass.
The configuration is this: There’s a master speaker, that contains the amplifier, and this has the socket for the mains lead to plug in. then there’s a slave speaker, that has nothing around the back apart from two inputs for the bare wires of the supplied speaker cable to attach. The master has the rotary volume control and white power light on the front, and a sturdy on/off rocker switch plus twin RCA and 1/8″ TRS inputs around the back.
In the box are two power leads (European and UK in our review sample; obviously expect the correct leads to be supplied for the region you buy them in), the speaker cable, and a single audio cable, with an 1/8″ jack plug on one end, and twin RCA plugs on the other. There are also stick-on foam pads to put under the speakers; these will help reduce resonance from the surface you place them on, and stop them moving around when you pump the volume up.
If you want to plug in a DJ controller, you’d plug the jack end into the speaker, and the RCA into your controller; for attaching, say, an iPhone, you’d do the reverse. Of course, you can buy another cable and wire two things up at once, too; the speakers will happily work like that.
So how do they sound? Bassy, in a word. The sound is full, rounded, and the immediate impression is of a pair of speakers that sound bigger than they look. If anything, the treble is a little muted.
At this price point and for the use these speakers are intended for, that’s a good thing: What you primarily want when practising DJing is volume (and they have enough; 21W per side), and a warm, engaging sound with a lot of “thump”, so you can engage with the music even at lower volumes.
These little speakers deliver that in spades, and while they are definitely not for serious music production or for powering your next party (the frequency response isn’t flat enough for the former; they’re not loud enough for the latter), they fit their intended use well.
These are a well made, substantial little pair of speakers, with the right feature set for this price point, and a forgiving, warm, engaging sound. Great for any DJ starting out who wants a step up from cheap computer speakers, but doesn’t want or need to spend multiples of this price on dedicated studio monitors.