What We Like
- Fairly linear response.
- Good frequency range.
- Decent amount of volume.
What We Don’t Like
- Limited I/O options.
- Questionable build quality.
M-Audio’s AV series offered affordable monitoring for a long time. The latest AV32 brings some changes to what the usual design. Even so, M-Audio AV32 is one of the most capable monitor speakers you can get under $100.
One theme you will notice about the AV32 is that M-Audio did their best to keep things as simple as possible. Whether they did it to cut the costs or to simplify production, there is something about the AV32 that doesn’t inspire too much confidence. However, as it turns out, this sentiment is completely misleading but more on that later. Cabinets are made of MDF except the baffle, which is completely made of composites.
Transducers are stacked, with the tweeter sitting comfortably in a rather sizable horn. The color scheme is all black, which again adds to the overall basic vibe. Lastly, there are no grills to be found, meaning that you are looking at exposed transducers. All of this leads us to believe that M-Audio did some corner cutting. However, there is a perfectly good reason for that, which we can stand behind. If you can get past the basic looks of these monitors, they will bring a lot to the table.
M-Audio AV32 are powered, two-way speakers which feature a Class A/B amplifier. RMS Wattage you’re looking at here is 10 Watts per channel, which doesn’t look like much on paper. Each speaker comes with a 3″ driver and a 1″ tweeter at the top. The powered speaker has volume control on the panel, as well as a set of standard AUX ports for headphones and media. Once you go around the back, you’ll see a fairly limited I/O section.
It comes down to a set of RCA inputs and the outputs to the passive speaker. One thing we definitely like about AV32 is the fact that the power cable is detachable. This way you don’t have to worry too much when moving or setting up the speakers. In terms of features, that is pretty much it. AV32 comes across as bare bones set of monitors which aren’t overly flexible. However, their performance makes up for that.
When you look at the specs and see the frequency range going from 80Hz to 20kHz, you will probably think AV32 are just another set of affordable monitors. It’s true, this range is associated with cheaper monitors, especially those with a 3″ driver. Where things become interesting is when you take a look at the response of both the driver and the tweeter. They are more or less fairly flat across the range.
M-Audio has cut on everything else in order to boost performance. The result is a set of speakers which are steadily setting their foot into proper monitoring territory. In other words, you can actually use these for music production. They are still lacking a lot compared to more professional speakers. However, if bang for the buck is your main concern, AV32 is one of those monitors that are hard to beat.
Lastly, those 10 Watts are loud. You can get some decent decibels without having to chase the sweet spot in your room/studio.
M-Audio AV32 are a great set of bang-for-the-buck monitor speakers. These might seem crude, but they will get you into music production with their fairly flat response across the range. M-Audio AV32 is definitely something to look out for.