M-Audio AV30 Desktop Monitors Review

M-Audio AV30

I’ve been using the M-Audio AV30 desktop monitors for a year or so now for video editing and just general desktop audio use.  They are 15-watt powered monitors driving 3-inch woofers and 3/4-inch tweeters.

The AV30s offer RCA inputs on the rear, which I connected to my PC’s audio card with one of these RCA to 3.5mm cables.  The power switch is on the rear, but the volume control knob is on the front.  I do wish that there was an on/off switch on the front – or that the volume knob would “click” the speakers off when turned all the way to the left.

M-Audio AV30 Back

A big incentive for picking up the AV30 as my desktop kit was the inclusion of a pair Aux In and a Headphone 3.5mm plugs on the front.  Having these allows me to easily attach my MacBook, phone (for Pandora) or any other portable device when I’m not actively working on my PC.  Likewise, the convenience of the headphone plug on the surface of my desk it very nice, along with the volume control knob that prevents me from having to adjusting the volume through my PC’s interface.

The AV30 monitors sound good – not great, but good.  Maybe “great” considering the price of around $100…  However, as you might imagine, the 3-inch woofers don’t quite drive the bass I’d like to have.  For what I do though, they are more than acceptable.

Of course, the AV30s are miles better than the crappy computer speakers that come with just about every desktop you purchase nowadays – and they will give you much more bass than most of those as well.  I would also venture to say that the bass is much more accurate than what you’ll get out of computer systems that offer a speaker package with a subwoofer.

When I’m fine tuning something, I’ll put on my Sony MDR-7506 headphones (which I highly recommend).  For most of the things I do, however, the AV30 monitors get me where I need to go.  Serious audiophiles will find fault with the AV30’s shortcomings; however, they are probably not going to settle on any monitors in the $100 range.  For the enthusiast and semi-pro HDSLR users out there, the AV30 monitors deliver a lot of sound for a little cash.

You can find the M-Audio AV30 desktop monitors at B&H Photo and Amazon.

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  1. Carlos Paris says

    How would you compare them to the Bose Companion 2 Series II? Those are also about $100.

    • says

      I haven’t used the Bose speakers; however, I think those are more designed for listening pleasure, while the M-Audio monitors are more aimed a prosumer audience looking for more accurate sound. M-Audio is a division or subsidiary of Avid, which makes ProTools and Media Composer, so I’m more apt to trust them for accurate sound – even if these are on the bottom end of their range.

  2. cx2k says

    Bose is for those who dont know sound. There speakers are nothing more but plastic echo chambers to increase sound. (like cupping your hands and screaming through them, like a megaphone). They have great marketing but crap products. (I would only consider their original Bose 901 speakers to be decent). As far as M-Audio (avid now), products are so-so, they are more know for ProTools. (im using M-Audio Torq for Djing). Even in some M-Audio booths at shows they were using Focal monitors. Personally for studio monitors I use Mackies and Yamaha products. (for computer speakers the M-Audio AV30 Eric is using, really are miles ahead of normal computer speakers though, not to mention if this is for a smaller space or have problems with neighbors being nearby the 3 inch is fine, you dont have to worry about noise complaints). If your on a budget and want great sound the AV30 work, but so do most self powered bookshelf speakers. (for the bose or any “satellite” speakers, just remember size does matter!).