• Price: $149/£149/€179 (pair)
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Pioneer DJ DM-40D DJ/Producer Monitor Speakers Review

Last updated 24 May, 2022

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The Lowdown

A good sounding, grownup-looking speaker aimed at entry-level DJs and DJ/producers, that does the basics well, and has some thought-through compromises and design features. If you’re in the market for a speaker you can use for DJing and production at this price point, and want a speaker for DJing as well as production, they’re worth a look.

Video Review

First Impressions / Setting up

They are exactly like the half-decade-old DM-40 speakers which they replace in Pioneer DJ’s line. Sober, traditional-looking vinyl-covered wooden black boxes, boxy but rounded, with moulded plastic fronts and metal backplates. It’s a tried-and-tested design, and we have no complaints about the build quality. They have 5″ woofers and 1″ tweeters, and are front-ported.

The “primary” speaker (the left-hand one) has RCA and 1/8″ minijack stereo inputs, the power supply and on/off switch for the amp, and the terminals for attaching the basic “bell wire”-style speaker cable that’s supplied to the other, secondary speaker. In this way, one is active, and one passive.

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The primary speaker also has a volume control (for both of them) on the front, and a white light that glows when the power is on. There’s also a useful 1/8″ headphones socket on the front of this one, too.

Nice to find both the volume control and headphones input on the front.

The big “new” feature is a switch marked “DJ” and “production”. This activates two modes of the built-in DSP, designed for, as it says, DJing and producing. More about the difference that makes in a second.

So to set up, you position them, attach the speaker cable and power, plug in a source (they provide an 1/8″ minijack to 2 x RCA cable), and get playing…

In Use

Firstly, they sound great for the price. Full sound, good bass for the size of speaker, nice and clear.

Volume-wise, they go loud without being ridiculous, and stay clear at loud volumes. You should not be using speakers like this for parties (they’re designed to be listened to up close), so don’t expect that kind of volume, but for home DJ practice and producing, they’re fine.

So, to that DJ/producer switch. In producer mode, you’re getting the best attempt the speakers can give you at a flat frequency response, with clarity in the bass and clear mid and highs. In DJ mode, the bass is a bit boomier and deeper, and the mids are a bit reined in, to give you a more “impressive” sound, at the cost of some transparency.

The idea is that when DJing, the extra bass is great, but when producing, having that flatter frequency response is better.

The DJ/producer switch gives users a slight change in the way the signal sounds.

While you can hear the difference (it is subtle, though), I am not sure it’s such a big thing – speaker positioning is more important.

And actually, that’s one thing that this kind of speaker isn’t so good at, because for most DJs, I suspect having the speakers angled upwards slightly would be a better way to position them than flat on a table, which is how they’ll likely be used. You may want to get some speaker wedges to angle them so the treble is pointed directly at where your ears will be.

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Conclusion

These are a good little speaker. They’re not as good as entry-level branded dedicated individual monitor speakers, but they’re not as expensive either, and they’re easier to set up and use.

The DJ/producer button is a bit of an eyebrow raiser to be honest, but you don’t have to use it – just set it how you like the sound and forget about it if it isn’t for you. What they do, they do well, and the added convenience of the volume control and headphones socket on the primary speaker is nice.

They are more expensive than the original DM-40 though, so maybe you could bag a pair of those cheap. Either way, you’re getting good speakers for your money.

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