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Alesis M1 Active 320 USB Studio Monitor Pair

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Alesis M1 Active 320 powered monitor speakers make a lot of sense on your studio desktop and for field recording and other traveling audio engineers....Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

Portable monitoring and USB audio interface in one!

Alesis M1 Active 320 powered monitor speakers make a lot of sense on your studio desktop and for field recording and other traveling audio engineers. The Alesis monitors connect via USB to your laptop or computer for plug-and-play listening. These compact speakers are equipped with I/O for connecting a keyboard, mic preamp, guitar effects, mixer, and other audio components for easy computer recording.

M1 Active 320 monitor speakers deliver 16-bit/44.1-48kHz audio quality through a USB 1.1 port--without the need for special drivers. A Bass Boost switch increases the low-end for monitoring in big spaces. Besides the USB cable, the I/O includes quality 1/4" plugs and standard RCA jacks, a TRS headphone output, two unbalanced 1/4" phone jacks inputs, a stereo 1/8" mini-jack input, and stereo RCA inputs. Another nice benefit is that each monitor speaker is magnetically shielded, so you won't have to worry about placing them near TVs or computers.

FEATURES
  • USB 1.1 audio interface
  • 16-Bit/44.1-48 kHz recording and playback
  • Pro-grade 1/4" plugs and standard RCA jacks
  • TRS Headphone output
  • Two unbalanced 1/4" phone jack inputs
  • Stereo 1/8" TRS mini-jack input
  • Stereo RCA inputs
  • 1/8" TS output to passive speaker (cable included)
  • Switchable power supply
  • Magnetically shielded for placement near TV and computer monitors

Take your recording show on the road with this low-cost monitor pair and audio interface setup.

SPECIFICATIONS
  • Woofer: 3" lightweight, magnetically-shielded
  • Tweeter: 1" silk dome
  • Frequency Response: 80Hz-20kHz
  • Power: 10W per channel RMS
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 88dB weighted
  • Digital Conversion: 16-bit delta sigma, 44.1kHz or 48kHz sampling rate
  • Dimensions: 6"D x 5"W x 7.5"H (each)
  • Weight: Just under 5lb. (each)
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
AlesisM1 Active 320 USB Studio Monitor Pair
 
4.3

(based on 53 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (32)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

83%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Compact (24)
  • Easy to use (22)
  • Good audio (20)
  • Lightweight (17)
  • Versatile (14)

Cons

  • Unreliable (3)

Best Uses

  • Home studio (20)
  • Amateur recording (14)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (18), Professional musician (10), Novice (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

USB Class Compliant = easy installation

So the Alesis M1Active 320 USB powered monitors are USB Class Compliant, so you don't need to install drivers. This makes them compatible with Linux as well as Windows. I know this because...Read complete review

So the Alesis M1Active 320 USB powered monitors are USB Class Compliant, so you don't need to install drivers. This makes them compatible with Linux as well as Windows. I know this because my system is Ubuntu Studio and they work with it as well as with Windows when I used it. This adds to their value in terms of simplicity.

The down side is that the interface is only 16-bit instead of the more common and pro 24-bit. 24-bit interfaces tend to be quieter and more accurate.

I did notice that the sound quality is much better if you plug up the rear bass ports with a sock in each hole. This helps reduce the boominess of the bass especially if you use these close to a wall. Once you do that, the sound quality is reasonable for the price.

I have been able to compose tunes on them that translate to other systems OK.

Aesthetically, they look nice and the build quality is decent.

Other pluses is that they work as semi-portable speakers for a portable media player via the 1/8 " connection.

In softwares, they show up as "USB AUDIO CODEC" which is easy to deal with for selecting inputs and outputs.

On Windows 7 I was able to use ASIO4ALLv2 with them successfully, with acceptable DPC latencies.

On Linux, they worked with both JACK and PulseAudio, though I don't use JACK anymore in Ubuntu Studio. The latency of them within Ubuntu Studio Linux was acceptable.

Overall, I find them good for the price and thankful that the price was not too high.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Not bad, but definately not good

These are not bad if you just want to have some speakers to have at home to listen to music from your computer or something. But these are absolutely no good for studio purposes....Read complete review

These are not bad if you just want to have some speakers to have at home to listen to music from your computer or something. But these are absolutely no good for studio purposes. They are quiet and sound sort of muddy. They are also really bass heavy which is bad news for mixing. You get what you pay for. Save your money and get something you can actually use for mixing.

Reviewed by 53 customers

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(6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

what you make of it...

By Bill Heath

from USA

Comments about Alesis M1 Active 320 USB Studio Monitor Pair:

For the money, I have nothing bad to say about there monitors.
These monitors are small enough to fit on your desktop, and powerful enough to crank up, although if you plan on using them for mixing, you dont want to play them very loud anyways. They have a nice, yet small sweet spot, and are very clear, considering the size of the woofer. I think they make an excellent secondary monitoring system, and I have found them to work well being used to mix individual tracks. They would work well as an introduction into using monitors, and are capable of great results.They are built to last, and are well worth the money.
Built solid, easy to use.
Very capable of great results.

(5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

USB Class Compliant = easy installation

By electronic composer

from Des Moines,IA

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Compact
  • Easy To Use
  • Lightweight
  • Usb Class Compliant

Cons

  • 16-bit Not 24-bit
  • Port Sound Better Closed

Best Uses

  • Computer Speakers
  • Home Studio
  • Playback Systems

Comments about Alesis M1 Active 320 USB Studio Monitor Pair:

So the Alesis M1Active 320 USB powered monitors are USB Class Compliant, so you don't need to install drivers. This makes them compatible with Linux as well as Windows. I know this because my system is Ubuntu Studio and they work with it as well as with Windows when I used it. This adds to their value in terms of simplicity.

The down side is that the interface is only 16-bit instead of the more common and pro 24-bit. 24-bit interfaces tend to be quieter and more accurate.

I did notice that the sound quality is much better if you plug up the rear bass ports with a sock in each hole. This helps reduce the boominess of the bass especially if you use these close to a wall. Once you do that, the sound quality is reasonable for the price.

I have been able to compose tunes on them that translate to other systems OK.

Aesthetically, they look nice and the build quality is decent.

Other pluses is that they work as semi-portable speakers for a portable media player via the 1/8 " connection.

In softwares, they show up as "USB AUDIO CODEC" which is easy to deal with for selecting inputs and outputs.

On Windows 7 I was able to use ASIO4ALLv2 with them successfully, with acceptable DPC latencies.

On Linux, they worked with both JACK and PulseAudio, though I don't use JACK anymore in Ubuntu Studio. The latency of them within Ubuntu Studio Linux was acceptable.

Overall, I find them good for the price and thankful that the price was not too high.

(4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Lots of power from something so small

By Aaron Roberts

from Undisclosed

Comments about Alesis M1 Active 320 USB Studio Monitor Pair:

Overall, for the price you would be hard pressed to find better. Keep in mind that you do get what you pay for. If you want something high quality then budget more money. That said, these are fantastic monitors, they sound great and are fairly durable. They fulfill the purpose I purchased them for.
I give them an 8 because they are fairly basic so not many features (Basic is not a bad thing). The usb interface makes it so you don't need a sound card to run these on your computer.
I was amazed by the sound quality and volume that these little monitors put out. They are the size of bookshelf speakers and yet sound like speakers twice their size. The low end is decent for not having separate subs, granted units with a sub will give more bass however they usually cost 3-4 times more than these. They are built fairly well, the volume knob is solid and not some flimsy plastic thing that just hangs there. They are extremely powerful as well, I am running them at 10 oclock and my music is normal listening volume. If I turn them up to 12 they are very loud and I can hear them halfway across the house and that is with the knob at 50%. The only controversial thing that I notice is that you don't really get any sound out of them if the knob is lower than 9 oclock however I don't consider this a bad thing it is just worth mentioning.
For the price these are a fantastic value. Others have described these as expensive pc speakers which in a way is true because of their size and features. It all comes down to what you are looking for, I bought these because I wanted to do some recording on my pc and wanted a speaker system that was not dynamic (modify the eq to make it "sound better"). These seem to give an accurate representation of how a song or track sounds.

(3 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Hi-tech for Lo-Fi D.I.Y Producers

By nudge squidfish

from 43015

About Me Professional Musician

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Clear Sound
  • Compact
  • Durable
  • Easy To Use
  • Lightweight
  • Versatile

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Home Studio
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about Alesis M1 Active 320 USB Studio Monitor Pair:

    Faster, Better & Cheaper are always the right solution. I sandbox my recording systems. I balance Tape & Digital. For me, Digital is best for output. Tape is best for input. I've moved away from the Pro-Tools internet Nexus. Computers can be hacked. Vendors will mess with you! But Tape can't. Pro-Tools is great for editing cut & paste; but isn't worth a hill of beans in "Lo-Fi combat" situation. To me , less is always more. Keep it simple stupid. It's the groove not the tubes that matter in art. Just ask Neil Young!

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    ALESIS STUDIO MONITORS

    By Mastermcz77

    from New York

    About Me Experienced

    Pros

    • Durable
    • Easy To Use
    • Versatile

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Home Studio

      Comments about Alesis M1 Active 320 USB Studio Monitor Pair:

      All these negative reviews I wanted to comment on; I have bought 2 pairs of these thru MF with no problems except the bass boost being too heavy! I am curious since I have had these a couple years now with NO problems!! Have these other users have considered editing the EQ settings in the programs they are running through??? Such as EQ settings in media player or the like? I have to comment on this because other "EDITS" have NOT been mentioned in any complaints! Besides that they inexpensive what do you want for this price POINT, like the complaints mentioned. REALLY GUYS ! Either you are NOT as experienced as you say OR Don't know how to edit your own programming because this would clear up many of the problems in here as far as I am concerned! Tweak these optional settings before giving a negative review cause who knows what your EQ's are set AT !

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Spend more and get more!

      By Levi-coh-0

      from Ohio

      Comments about Alesis M1 Active 320 USB Studio Monitor Pair:

      I had a pair of Fostex powered monitors, and they were great, heavy duty, and loud. These have good sound, but they are not loud, and are plastic. They lack a realisitic reference for bass. Keep in mind though, they are 100.00 bucks, and include usb capabilites, plus multiple inputs. If you have a nice quiet room, and have superman hearing, then these may fit your needs. Other than deep bass and being quiet, they have good sound. But I recomend dropping another 100 bucks and getting the Alesis 520 Usb versus these, more power, richer sound, and better construction. But if you have 100 bucks and need something now, they will do the job.

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Very versatile

      By J bird

      from Austin TX

      See all my reviews

      Comments about Alesis M1 Active 320 USB Studio Monitor Pair:

      I purchased these speakers for mixing. coupled with a powered sub these do the job well. I love the versatility, 1/4 inch, rca, usb. They will do anything you want. My favorite feature is you can record direct to your computer using any recording software. No latency issues. So convenient to just hit record without having to unplug anythig. as long as its coming through the speakers it will record to the computer. I also use them for my projector when watching movies every one is blown away by the sound they put out. If you want a do it all set of little speakers Buy these. I just wish they were made out of wood rather than plastic. Although, my cat knocked them off my table on a concrete floor and they held up.

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Good for beginners

      By Jason Ross

      from New Mexico

      See all my reviews

      Comments about Alesis M1 Active 320 USB Studio Monitor Pair:

      Like I said they're good for beginners but I now consider myself an intermediate producer so it was time for an upgrade. Just got the KRK Rokit5's but while I was learning to mix, these Alesis' worked perfect and sound good for normal music listening as well. They get fairly loud for 3" speakers.
      Have to give this one a 9 because the volume knob started slipping after about a year but all in all these things are well built. Never had any issues sound quality wise.
      These were my first "studio monitors" and I thought it was a fair price for starting up my home studio.

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Impressive for the $$$

      By Reno J-9-vgr

      from San Antonio, Texas

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Comments about Alesis M1 Active 320 USB Studio Monitor Pair:

      I was using an Altec Lansing computer speaker setup (subwoofer + 2 satellites) as my studio monitor. They sounded good with plenty of volume, but I feared my mixes were being "colored" by speakers with bass & treble controls designed to make "already processed" music sound good. I wanted something with a "flat" response, but didn't have a lot of money to spend. So, I bought the Alesis M1 Active 320 USB to see how "studio monitor" sound would differ from "computer speaker" sound. Since the Alesis had no subwoofer & puny woofers, I didn't expect much bass. I was wrong. The M1 doesn't have as much bass as the Altecs with subwoofer, but what bass they do have is plenty adequate & much tighter. The whole sound is less muddy and more well defined from top to bottom, and I think that's the whole point. I know one could spend hundreds more for better monitors, but I'm no pro. For the price & for my needs, these work very well.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Studio monitors

      By Moose lips

      from Savannah Georgia

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Clear Sound
      • Durable
      • Lightweight

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Home Studio
        • Performances

        Comments about Alesis M1 Active 320 USB Studio Monitor Pair:

        Very nice for the price

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        A decent low-cost monitor

        By Westmusic

        from Oklahoma

        About Me Experienced

        See all my reviews

        Ask me a question

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Clear Sound
        • Easy To Use
        • Lightweight
        • Versatile

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Home Studio

          Comments about Alesis M1 Active 320 USB Studio Monitor Pair:

          I use these monitors for my home studio, and they have helped me to get a little better mix on some songs that I had mixed in the past with CAD Audio studio headphones. Once I mix with these and the headphones the mix is a LOT closer to broadcast quality

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great Sound For The Size

          By Sent4th

          from Bel Air, Maryland

          About Me Experienced

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Clear Sound
          • Compact
          • Durable
          • Easy To Use
          • Lightweight
          • Versatile

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Great sound for my laptop as my mobile studio

            Comments about Alesis M1 Active 320 USB Studio Monitor Pair:

            These small monitors are great for my laptop when I am working on my music mobile. I want to edit or listen to some of my recording during off hours when I not in the main studio. These monitors sound great, good sounding bass and specially when you adjust the mids and highs.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            Don't waste your money

            By lmccat

            from Las Vegas, NV

            About Me Experienced

            See all my reviews

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Compact
            • Lightweight

            Cons

            • Unreliable

            Best Uses

            • Home Studio

            Comments about Alesis M1 Active 320 USB Studio Monitor Pair:

            The problem I have with these speakers is the left speaker is constantly losing its signal and the drops the sound. They're great if they work, but they're unreliable. I would recommend putting the money into a better set that are more reliable.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great little monitors

            By little joe

            from Wilmington Delaware

            About Me Novice

            See all my reviews

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Clear Sound
            • Compact
            • Durable
            • Easy To Use
            • Lightweight
            • Versatile

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about Alesis M1 Active 320 USB Studio Monitor Pair:

                If your like me just setting up a small bedroom studio these are great, just the right size and they sound great.

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Very cool monitors and a good price.

                By RR2000

                from Hesperia, CA

                About Me Novice

                Pros

                • Clear Sound
                • Compact
                • Easy To Use
                • Versatile

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Amateur Recording

                  Comments about Alesis M1 Active 320 USB Studio Monitor Pair:

                  Good price for a good, simple, monitor. Thanks!

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  2.0

                  Not bad, but definately not good

                  By Joe

                  from Grand Rapids, MI

                  About Me Experienced

                  See all my reviews

                  Ask me a question

                  Pros

                  • Compact
                  • Durable
                  • Easy To Use

                  Cons

                  • Limited Functions
                  • Poor Sound Quality

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Alesis M1 Active 320 USB Studio Monitor Pair:

                    These are not bad if you just want to have some speakers to have at home to listen to music from your computer or something. But these are absolutely no good for studio purposes. They are quiet and sound sort of muddy. They are also really bass heavy which is bad news for mixing. You get what you pay for. Save your money and get something you can actually use for mixing.

                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    So far so good

                    By the butcher

                    from Mason City, Iowa

                    About Me Experienced

                    See all my reviews

                    Ask me a question

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Clear Sound
                    • Easy To Use

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Events
                      • Home Studio

                      Comments about Alesis M1 Active 320 USB Studio Monitor Pair:

                      When I hooked these up to my laptop I couldn't believe how big they sounded. These things get loud if you want them to. Nice and full sounding too. They sound like much bigger monitors to me. There is a bass boost but there is plenty without it so I keep it off. For the money I am very happy with the purchase. I will be getting another set for outdoor music to our patio actually because they are loud enough to get the job done in a big space I believe.

                      (1 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      1.0

                      Unbalanced Mess

                      By Boots McJeffers

                      from Ohio

                      About Me Experienced

                      See all my reviews

                      Pros

                      • Compact
                      • Easy To Use
                      • Lightweight

                      Cons

                      • Dull
                      • Extremely Bassy
                      • No Definition

                      Best Uses

                      • Landfill Space Holder

                      Comments about Alesis M1 Active 320 USB Studio Monitor Pair:

                      I bought these monitors a few years ago, thinking they would suit my dorm. I was in college at the time. I happened across them on MF today and was shocked how well rated they are. These monitors are completely terrible. I have owned and used many quality speakers and monitors over the years, these are certainly not that. The response is completely unbalanced. Imagine listening to music through speakers with broken tweeters. Then, as if that weren't bad enough, add in a huge boost in the low end. I remember eqing iTunes to cut low frequencies by at least 10db and boosting the highs all the same, and still had a hollow sound with slight clarity. These are useless for trying to create a mix, master, or even reference while recording. Definitely avoid them for your home studio.

                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      M1 Active 320 USB studio monitor pair

                      By LD

                      from Land Between the Tunnels, Va.

                      About Me Experienced

                      See all my reviews

                      Ask me a question

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Clear Sound
                      • Compact
                      • Durable
                      • Easy To Use
                      • Lightweight
                      • Versatile

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Amateur Recording
                        • Home Studio
                        • Mobile DJ
                        • Professional Recording

                        Comments about Alesis M1 Active 320 USB Studio Monitor Pair:

                        These are great versatile speakers. The only issue I have with them is that the sound quality gets poor if you are not more or less directly in front of them...however given their size they are amazing.

                        (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        very good

                        By middlemonkey

                        from new york, ny

                        About Me Professional Musician

                        See all my reviews

                        Pros

                        • Clear Sound
                        • Compact
                        • Versatile

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Amateur Recording
                          • Home Studio

                          Comments about Alesis M1 Active 320 USB Studio Monitor Pair:

                          You get what you pay for and these are perfectly priced, excellent quality monitors. I am using them as computer speakers and they bring studio qualities to my most often-used listening post (i.e. detail, non-fatiguing smooth treble, acceptance of no low end so no boom). Probably best used in a studio as modern, inexpensive aurotone replacements... definitely useful.

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