With so many manufacturers pushing to create small and lighter studio monitors for the bedroom environment, it’s nice to see M-Audio bucking the trend and delivering a new range of monitor speakers that are all about the sound and not the versatility of the cabinet. So, with the new M3-6 studio monitors you don’t get a compact housing, you don’t get lightweight cabinets and you don’t get ‘go anywhere’ portability. But you don’t get speakers that sound like that either. They are a solid build and a solid sound and should be heard to be understood.
THREE LEVELS OF SOUND
As the name suggests, the M3-6 is a three way speaker design with a 6 inch low frequency driver. The upper section of the cabinet houses a concentric high frequency and mid frequency driver that work together with the larger 6 inch driver to produce a remarkable sound. There is a crisp clarity to the mid-range that has vocals just leaping out of the mix in an astonishing way. This is due to the fact that the mid-frequencies have their own dedicated driver and they are not held back by the sloppy movement of the larger low frequency driver trying to work fast than it can. This is in no means a new concept, but one that simply isn’t utilised often enough in modern speakers. The result is a clearer, hi-fidelity sound that doesn’t allow anything to hide.
SOUNDS AS STRONG AS IT LOOKS
With the three-way speaker design, the M3-6 delivers a full range sound and of course, this can need some controlling for each room that they might be used in. The rear port design sees a slotted style of port running across the top of the cabinet to reduce chuffing as air is expelled. This doesn’t allow for the M3-6 to be placed right up against a wall, but requires a little space in order to control the lower frequencies naturally. With the room dictating how these might sound, a three band EQ is included on the rear of the speakers allowing you to sculpt the sound to suit the environment. This can be completely bypassed if not necessary and a low cut filter can also be engaged at 80Hz or 100Hz should you wish to use it in smaller confines. Overall, these are a great sounding monitor speaker. They look fantastic, somewhat akin to some speakers produced by Tannoy a number of years ago, but with wood grain finish to compliment the overall effect.
Hits and Misses
Full range sound
Great EQ control
Beautiful looking speaker cabinets
Large, heavy cabinet
• Frequency response: 40Hz - 22kHz
• Input impedance: 20k O balanced, 10k O unbalanced
• Cabinet: Wood veneer front with vinyl-laminated cabinet
• Size: 9.25 (w) x 15 (H) x 9.06 (D) inches
• Weight: 10.5 kg