Purposeful looking mid market ported studio monitors, with an innovative touch: 1.5 inch tweeters mounted right in the middle of the 6.5 inch woofers. Pioneer claim this helps increase the audio sweet spot by avoiding having the usual vertical stack of woofer and tweeter. Constructed in die case aluminium, to increase the quality feel – if not the weight, as they are pretty hefty. There’s plenty of attenuation options on the back panel and an auto off switch for when they are not in use.
First Impressions / Setting up
The speakers are sold separately as is normal with this type of monitor, and each comes with simply a kettle-style mains electricity cable, and some stick-on feet/pads in the box.
The first thing you notice is how heavy they are, something that’s worth bearing in mind if you think you’re going to want to move your speakers regularly. Of course, the isolation offered by having a die-cast aluminium body is designed to help the clarity and definition of their sound.
Likewise, the striking design feature of having the 1.5″ tweeters mounted inside the 6.5″ woofers also has a practical purpose, namely to make the “sweet spot” (the area in front of the speakers where everything sounds optimal) wider and truer than the more usual design of having tweeter and woofer stacked vertically.
The RM-07s are front-ported (meaning they have a slot facing forward to allow the air moved by the woofer to “escape”), and their slightly hexagonal/curved shape is reminiscent of Genelec monitors.
Round the back, each monitor has an unbalanced RCA in and a balanced XLR in (note: no balanced TRS in), as well as a toggle switch to turn off auto standby (auto standby cuts power to the speaker after 25 minutes of no activity, switching on again automatically when the music begins to play).
As well as the volume control (not stepped, something that would have made matching left and right speaker volume easier), there is also a set of EQ controls on the back, which this time are stepped. The low EQ has -4, -2, 0 and +2dB, the mid has -4, -2, -1 and 0dB, and the high has -2, -1, 0 and +1dB. As with all monitors of this type, these controls are not meant for EQing your sound, more for fine-tuning each speaker once it is placed in a room (for instance, tailing the bass off a little if the speaker is in a corner or too near to a wall).
Add in the big chunky power on/off switch, the power socket for the power lead, and an integrated heatsink, and that’s the sum of what’s on the back of the speaker.
With 100W fed to the woofer and 50W to the tweeter, these class AB bi-amped monitors are definitely loud, with a rounded bass and lots of detail in the mids and highs – they sound fantastic and full. They have low electromagnetic interference-emitting transformers, to reduce any chance of buzz or hum from the power source, and they sounded perfectly clean to us (tested with nothing playing, volume right up).
They’re not scared to be punchy and in your face, though, which is good quality for studio monitors, as they will push any imperfections in your mix right back at you (after all, it’s a quality that didn’t do the diminutive and legendary Yamaha NS-10s any harm for all those decades). The 150Hz roll-off (mid EQ) allows you to temper the mids slightly if you find them just a little too harsh in your listening environment, although you won’t be able to make them flattering or polite with this control.
We liked the way you could position them in two ways using the thick and thin stick-on feet provided; the thick ones put the speakers level for placing on speaker stands at ear level, whereas the thinner pads allow you to put them on a work surface and angle them slightly up towards the ears.
Testing them in our studio over several weeks with the Pioneer DDJ-RZ rekordbox controller playing a mixture of mostly 320kbps MP3s and the occasional WAV, mainly dance music of various genres, we definitely found them at their best when driven to reasonable volumes, and also they benefited from not being close to walls or corners (we had them pretty much mid-room).
One thing we noticed they were forgiving about was where your ears were in relation to them, although as with all monitors, being equidistant from each with each speaker angled around 30 degrees towards you is optimal.
The RM-07s offer a competent monitoring solution, and are appealing in both design and construction. They genuinely innovate too, with the tweeters mounted in the woofers, something with a tangible audio boost too. Having them made in die-cast aluminium again appears to offer both sonic and aesthetic benefits, giving them the undeniably whiff of luxury to boot. Most importantly, they appeared to offer a true and engaging sound, not too punchy, not too laid back, and designed for pro monitoring where getting the mix right is paramount.
Of course they are not cheap, and Pioneer DJ is entering into a crowded market with these and with the the RM-05s, but alongside other production items (such as the Toraiz SP-16 sampler and the HRM range of headphones, including the recently reviewed Pioneer DJ HRM-7), it is clearly it is a market Pioneer DJ feels it can succeed in. If you like the styling and can see the benefits in the technology on offer here (and especially if you’re a DJ or DJ/producer already using Pioneer gear), I can see these being mighty appealing – assuming you have the budget of course.