What We Like
- Good performance across the frequency range.
- Simple cabinet design with a few well thought out solutions.
- Positive bang for the buck ratio.
What We Don’t Like
- Less than perfect Behringer quality control.
Behringer has always been one of those brands that might not offer the best of the best, but deliver strong core performance. Their MS40 is among one of the most balanced bookshelf speakers under $200.
Considering the price of these speakers, Behringer’s choice to go with a simple design doesn’t come as a surprise. They went with a standard configuration, boxy shape, and simple baffles. There are no grilles, which is perfectly fine considering that those drivers are a huge part of the overall aesthetics.
Actually, they are pretty much the only defining feature on these speakers. One cool thing about MS40s is that all of the controls are on the front side of the active speaker. Usually, you will get to see a volume knob and maybe a power button there, but with MS40 you will also find the EQ controls right at the front.
The back side of the active speaker reveals a sufficient I/O cluster. We got one digital input and standard analog ones. From an aesthetic standpoint, the simplicity of MS40’s design gives them a certain dose of appeal. If you appreciate simple but alternative cab design, you will love these speakers.
Being active, a set of Behringer MS40 speakers will deliver some 40 Watts of power combined. That is 20 Watts per speaker. One aspect where MS40 stands out from the competition and generally from the industry standard as a whole, are the tweeters. Instead of going with an average 1″ tweeter, Behringer opted for 2.5″ units.
This definitely has an impact on the overall performance, especially if you are after clarity. Full range drivers meant to deal with the rest of the frequency range come in form of 4.25″ units. The lack of transducer diameter was compensated with two front firing ports. That way you still get some low-end response that feels wide despite the somewhat limited choice of transducers.
In terms of features, you won’t fund a lot on MS40. However, the stuff it does offer adds a lot to its performance.
Speaking of performance, Behringer MS40 paints a pretty unusual picture. Trebles are pretty defined, there’s no other way to describe it. Having a two-inch tweeter is a factor that definitely helps in that regard. However, that’s not the most interesting part.
With larger tweeters, you can expect to hear a much more flexible mid-range. There is a certain type of girth to them, which is quite refreshing for this price range. The low end is there but limited. Even with two ports, you will sense that something is lacking.
On the other hand, the fact that Behringer has put those ports at the front of the cabinet instead of the rear means that you don’t have to be as careful when it comes to speaker positioning.
In all honesty, if you spend some time dialing in the EQ and positioning the speakers, you will get a pretty solid sound stage.
Behringer MS40 is a set of very solid performing speakers. They are convenient, offer great performance for the money and introduce a new flavor to a somewhat stale segment of the market. That is something we can stand behind.