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.
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.
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