Sound good for the price but lack manufacturing consistency.
I bought these speakers as they were extremely well priced for their on-paper specifications and were also of the perfect size to act as compact rear-surrounds for my 4.0 setup.
Upon receiving the speakers, I was pleasantly surprised by the abundance and quality of the packaging. The speakers and their box were contained within another box, leaving the important packaging in perfect condition which is always nice to see when trying out a new product.
The speakers come with the standard IEC (kettle lead) cables for connecting to the mains, a pack of four adhesive-backed pads for the bottom of each speaker and a concise instruction/quick-start manual.
When taking the speakers from their packaging, I was pleasantly surprised by their build. They have quite a substantial weight to them for their size and price, and just feel solid to hold. While this may not affect the sound all that much, it's something I like in a monitor.
- Now, on to the speakers' performance...
So... ?170 for a pair of active monitors - can't expect a whole lot, can you? Don't be fooled; they don't sound great for a speaker of this size, but they sound great for the price. When compared to the likes of the JBL LSR 305s, they're a fair bit behind in almost all aspects, but they are almost HALF the price.
The imaging is pretty decent and when they begin to get loud, the bottom end starts to roll in and provides a nice, full sound for such a speaker. The highs, I'll admit, lack quite a bit of sparkle, but some may prefer the more subdued signature. The minds are where they really do shine though. Vocals and such sound great through these monitors, especially in acoustic tracks and the likes. They do tend to fall slightly short during more busy sections of a track or in genres such as Drum & Bass, PSY-trance, etc.
- The cons - they gotta come some time...
Now this... this annoyed me. So I got the speakers up and running and I was playing with the back panels. The controls are all there - HF trim, low cutoff, acoustic space - even the IO is great - balanced XLR and TRS along with RCA.
The volume pots though. Don't get me started. One of them felt nice; it was weighty and responsive - worked a treat. The power switch on that monitor also had a nice, heavy click to it. The other monitor was a different story, however. The power switch was light and felt slightly flimsy which I can get by, but the volume pot just felt like what I did with it barely corresponded with what I heard. It was also light and flimsy feeling, making it hard to apply any sort of fine adjustment without some frustration.
- The conclusion...
All of that said, bear in mind that I'm evaluating these speakers at their price which is incredibly good for what you're getting. Once you have them set up and you no longer have to worry about playing with inconsistant volume knobs, then they're great. If you need a low-cost pair of very compact speakers, these are a great choice and throw out enough waves to sound a hell of a lot larger than they are.
I did not expect much out of these 5" monitor speakers, but they're actually pretty decent.
Usually monitor speakers require some room left behind them, especially when the vent hole is in the back. My Yamaha HS50M speakers lose their bass when placed too close to the wall. These Swissonic speakers however have the vent holes in the front and the bass was definitely there, even when placed as close as 10cm to the wall.
The highs and lows are clear on these speakers, but the mid-highs sound a bit boxy and distant in my opinion. Overall the sound seems to be more or less flat and honest, so one could surely get some mixing done on these.
These speakers have many controls in the back for room control that may be useful depending on your room.
The build quality is not bad, the buttons work as intended and seem to be sturdy. Be extra careful not to touch the silk dome tweeters as they have no protection over them. Keep the speakers away from children who might push the tweeters in.
These speakers will surely be enough for a beginner on a budget, but if you got the money, go for something more future proof that will be satisfactory for a longer time.
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