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Alesis M1Active 520 USB Studio Monitors   

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M1Active 520 USB is a studio monitoring system designed for professional studio use with an internal digital-audio interface. M1Active 520 USB is a p...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

An affordable studio monitor pair with uncolored audio reproduction and built-in USB interface.

M1Active 520 USB is a studio monitoring system designed for professional studio use with an internal digital-audio interface. M1Active 520 USB is a pair of active, bi-amplified, two-way reference monitors that play from 20,000 Hz all the way down to 56 Hz to cover nearly all frequencies audible to human ears. You can take digital signal out of your computer via USB and input it to M1Active 520 USB thanks to their digital input. Priced attractively for any studio's budget, M1Active 520 USB perform with linearity, clarity, and neutrality typically reserved for monitors that cost much more.

Reference Monitoring
Alesis has built M1Active 520USB around their popular five-inch polypropylene low-frequency driver for full, smooth response in the low end and a one-inch silk dome high-frequency driver for absolute clarity in the highs. A custom crossover avoids the crucial vocal midrange, ensuring that your mixes sound the way you recorded them. The low-resonance bass reflex cabinet features radiussed edges to reduce edge diffraction and a tuned port for bass extension. A bass boost switch offers low-frequency enhancement to further accommodate for room conditions requiring a little more output in the low end.

Professional Monitoring Options
When you reach for the convenient front panel volume control, you can be confident that the power you need will be there with M1Active 520 USB's bi-amplified design delivering 25W to the tweeter and 50W to the woofer. Like the rest of the M1Active series, M1Active 520 USB are magnetically shielded, so there's never an issue of placement near computer screen, LCDs, or hard drives. The front-panel stereo 1/4" headphone output mutes the loudspeakers when connected. When you connect headphones, the main volume control automatically switches to controlling the headphone output. M1Active 520 USB feature a large, front-panel, bi-color indicator that indicates presence of signal in blue and clipping in red for instant feedback on system status.

Extensive I/O
Professional quality analog input jacks are located on the rear. Two balanced-1/4" inputs enable engineers to connect a stereo source or two mono sources. For convenient recordings, simply connect the stereo output of a mixer. You can create complete recordings with no additional audio interface. The speakers are interconnected using a standard XLR cable for secure, professional connection. For worldwide operation, M1Active 520 USB features a voltage-switchable power supply.

USB Digital Audio Interface
In addition to their capabilities as traditional monitor loudspeakers, M1Active 520 USB monitors contain a USB audio interface. Connected audio sources such as mic preamps and instruments can be recorded directly into your computer at 16-bit, 44.1 or 48 kHz. Simply plug the USB cable into your computer. No special drivers required. And when it's time to listen back to your mixes, that same USB cable sends 16-bit, 44.1 or 48 kHz, stereo audio from computer to your M1Active 520 USBs. No more complicated interfaces and messy cable tangles.

FEATURES
  • Two-way, active, bi-amplified pair of reference studio-monitor loudspeakers
  • Wide, 56 — 20,000 Hz frequency response
  • Five-inch lightweight polypropylene woofer with 50W RMS
  • One-inch silk-dome tweeter with 25W RMS
  • Integrated USB audio interface with 16-bit, 44.1/48 kHz recording and playback
  • Two balanced-1/4" inputs
  • Stereo, 1/4" headphone output
  • Magnetically shielded for placement near TV and computer monitors
  • Low-resonance cabinet with tuned bass port
  • Bi-color signal/clip indicator
  • Switchable power supply ensures worldwide operation
Includes
  • Two M1Active 520 USB loudspeakers
  • XLR interconnection cable (6 ft)
  • USB cable (6 ft)
  • IEC power cable
  • Quick start manual
  • Safety and warranty guide
SPECIFICATIONS

M1Active 520 USB Studio Monitors

  • Low-frequency driver: 5" lightweight, magnetically-shielded, ultra-stiff polypropylene cone with rubber surround and high power handling voice coil
  • High-frequency driver: one-inch silk dome with magnetic shielding
  • Frequency Response: 56 - 20,000 Hz
  • Power: 50 W / 25 W per channel RMS
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >90dB weighted
  • Digital Conversion: 16-bit delta sigma, 44.1kHz or 48kHz sampling rate
  • Inputs: two balanced-1/4"
  • Polarity: Positive signal on "+" pin creates forward cone displacement
  • Input Impedance: 10k ohms
  • Input Level: -10dBV nominal, balanced
  • Dynamic Range: >80dB
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
AlesisM1Active 520 USB Studio Monitors
 
4.4

(based on 18 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (14)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

77%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good audio (11)
  • Easy to use (10)
  • Compact (6)
  • Durable (6)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Home studio (9)
  • Amateur recording (6)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (5), Novice (5)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Alesis M1 Active 520 USB Studio Monitors

They include an XLR cord to connect the 2 speakers. In my opinion it's not quite long enough.
Yes it is made heavy-duty and "Industrial-strength", but 4 feet...Read complete review

They include an XLR cord to connect the 2 speakers. In my opinion it's not quite long enough.
Yes it is made heavy-duty and "Industrial-strength", but 4 feet long, and you lose some of that
because they're straight plugs, (never seen an angled-XLR) plugging into the backs of the
speakers, so you'll barely get 3 feet (1 meter approx.) between them.
I'm using a longer cord that I had laying around.

But overall, I would tell anyone to buy them. Fantastic price to value ratio. (Bang for buck).
Only 1 small thing. The inputs are 1/4" phone plug. That would be okay if they had RCA
inputs as well. I had to buy adapters from female RCA to male 1/4 phone plug.

Sure they're cheap, about 2 dolla each. Also available right here, just type "adapters" in the
search box.
But the day your studio monitors arrive and you take them out of the box, you kind of want to
play with your toys right away and I think most of the gear which requires monitors has RCA
style output jacks.
Built like a tank. Stout and sturdy. Just heavy enough of construction that lets you know
this is professional level equipment.

Well made, no flaws.
They rival the higher priced. And in a career that spans from the 1970's to the 21st century,
I learned recording engineering from the finest teachers who worked with big names and
major labels, and I've worked in smaller studios in the 1980's, down to home studios.

These Alesis monitor speakers rival anything I've heard in my 42 year career.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Disappointing

When I unpacked them they had white writing on the front was smudged and they had a couple of smudge marks of paint on the black area. Speaker cones are very cheap looking plastic....Read complete review

When I unpacked them they had white writing on the front was smudged and they had a couple of smudge marks of paint on the black area. Speaker cones are very cheap looking plastic. Also small things like screws are not not in the middle of their cavities but off center and the round plastic around the drivers is not perfectly lined up and gaps are wider on one side. Headphones, when plugged in, play sound even if the speakers are turned off fully. Also some light buzzing from transformers when speakers are plugged in but turned off. And the cable connecting them together is rather short. Power/volume button is off center. And when listening at night they go from too quiet to too loud by just a very small turn of the volume control. For over £200 I would expect a bit better.

Reviewed by 18 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(7 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Decent, but beware false marketing!

By JimL

from Pittsburgh, PA

Comments about Alesis M1Active 520 USB Studio Monitors:

I don't know about using these for monitoring. I bought them for listening to music on my PC at work. They are a big step up from computer store speakers unless you want to hear the kind of booming bass notes that only a subwoofer can provide.The build quality looks a little tacky compared to more expensive monitor speakers, but again, it seems a good step up from computer store speakers.I knocked them in the features department because the only signal input (apart from the built-in USB sound card) is a pair of 1/4" balanced TRS jacks that are hard-wired for a -10dBu signal level. There's no provision to connect a +4dBu source, and RCA connectors or a 3.5mm stereo TRS jack would have been more appropriate for a -10dBu input. (How come they managed to put all three kinds on the tiny '320 USB' speakers?)There seems to be some confusion in the marketing department. An M1 Active 520 USB pair is NOT the same thing as an M1 Active 520 pair with USB added. It's a different design. It's less powerful, and it's actually a pair consisting of one active speaker and one passive speaker with a proprietary six-foot cable between them. Some vendors will tell you, "A 1"-thick front baffle minimizes speaker resonance and..." That may be true of the M1 Active 520 speakers, but the front baffle of the M1 Active 520 USB speakers is only 1/2" thick (I measured it.)

(6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

These speakers are excellent for the price!

By Burton Gestner

from IL

Comments about Alesis M1Active 520 USB Studio Monitors:

I got these for my birthday a month ago and they sound fantastic! Crystal clear at high volume. Nice flat response so what you hear is the real deal. Great for mixing/playback. I haven't used the usb interface yet so I can't review that part but I hooked them up to my Tascam multitrack with some Monster cables (dual 1/4" to RCA) and WOW! I was really suprised at how good they sound. If you're on a budget like me these are perfect. (M.F. had them on sale) Highly recommended.

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Alesis M1 Active 520 USB Studio Monitors

By Marc Roberge

from Calif. USA

See all my reviews

Comments about Alesis M1Active 520 USB Studio Monitors:

They include an XLR cord to connect the 2 speakers. In my opinion it's not quite long enough.
Yes it is made heavy-duty and "Industrial-strength", but 4 feet long, and you lose some of that
because they're straight plugs, (never seen an angled-XLR) plugging into the backs of the
speakers, so you'll barely get 3 feet (1 meter approx.) between them.
I'm using a longer cord that I had laying around.

But overall, I would tell anyone to buy them. Fantastic price to value ratio. (Bang for buck).
Only 1 small thing. The inputs are 1/4" phone plug. That would be okay if they had RCA
inputs as well. I had to buy adapters from female RCA to male 1/4 phone plug.

Sure they're cheap, about 2 dolla each. Also available right here, just type "adapters" in the
search box.
But the day your studio monitors arrive and you take them out of the box, you kind of want to
play with your toys right away and I think most of the gear which requires monitors has RCA
style output jacks.
Built like a tank. Stout and sturdy. Just heavy enough of construction that lets you know
this is professional level equipment.

Well made, no flaws.
They rival the higher priced. And in a career that spans from the 1970's to the 21st century,
I learned recording engineering from the finest teachers who worked with big names and
major labels, and I've worked in smaller studios in the 1980's, down to home studios.

These Alesis monitor speakers rival anything I've heard in my 42 year career.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Big sound for a studio monitor.

By Tripod

from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

About Me Experienced

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Clear Sound
  • Compact
  • Easy To Use

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Home Studio

    Comments about Alesis M1Active 520 USB Studio Monitors:

    I bought the non-usb model 520 because I wanted both speakers to have both xlr and trs inputs as well as the sparate EQ and gain adjustments. Placement is critical but there is a switch for corner placement and close wall proximity to avoid echo. These speakers are very clear and accurate. Big sound and great for a studio. My studio is small but I could see these speakers doing fine in a larger room.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Your lucky if you buy them

    By Audiolad

    from Atlanta, GA

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Clear Sound
    • Compact
    • Easy To Use

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about Alesis M1Active 520 USB Studio Monitors:

        For the Behringer freak, those speakers aren't clean monitors. For the rest of us, monitors have no sound of their own. They are critical to allow you to mix your music to sound good in any forum. They aren't Rokit 5s, but they don't cost as much per pair either. Unless you buy the Rokits, these are the next best at the cost and nothing else will compare with them.

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Much better than expected!!

        By RAWsoul23

        from Honolulu, HI

        About Me Novice

        Pros

        • Clear Sound
        • Durable
        • Easy To Use
        • Lightweight

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Home Studio
          • Professional Recording

          Comments about Alesis M1Active 520 USB Studio Monitors:

          This is my first pair of monitors for my home studio so I don't know much about them. But from right out the box these sound much better than I expected. I'm really satisfied with these. I'll be using these at home and at mobiles as booth monitors.

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          None

          By Audiolad

          from Atlanta, GA

          About Me Experienced

          See all my reviews

          Ask me a question

          Pros

          • Clear Sound
          • Compact
          • Easy To Use

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Home Studio

            Comments about Alesis M1Active 520 USB Studio Monitors:

            I wish I received the latest model with the 50/25 amp, but the 30 watts/channel is sufficient for a big accurate sound. Best used for small studio or home recording. The limit is the 3 ft XLR cable, but it's easy enough to get a six ft replacement at any instruments store.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Awesome!

            By jsoave

            from Norfolk, VA

            About Me Novice

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Clear Sound
            • Digital-analog Converter
            • Easy To Use

            Cons

            • Flimsy Tweeters

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Events
            • Home Studio
            • Mobile DJ

            Comments about Alesis M1Active 520 USB Studio Monitors:

            Outstanding speakers. They required a few hours of break-in but sounded so much better after that. Sound is very clear and I can listen to them for hours and not tire my ears. Swicth is the beck for extra bass comes in handy. I do like the master-slave configuration since I don't have to adjust 2 volumes. The digital-analog converter is also awesome since it saves from having one extra component to deal with.
            Cons: website rates it at 75W when it's actually 60W (still plenty loud) and the HF drivers seem very fragile. Sound quality is definitely not an issue. Just be careful and do not poke them.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Pleased

            By dgholmes100

            from Pensacola, FL

            About Me Professional Musician

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Clear Sound
            • Durable
            • Easy Connect Great Sound

            Cons

            • Not Found Any

            Best Uses

            • Home Studio
            • Makes Mix Edit Easier

            Comments about Alesis M1Active 520 USB Studio Monitors:

            Flexible connection with USB or analog cables. Very good sound for mixing or listening to pre-recorded music. A good value.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            great speaker for people just starting

            By Proverbsjr

            from Rome, GA

            About Me Novice

            See all my reviews

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

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

            Cons

            • Bulkyheavy

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Home Studio

            Comments about Alesis M1Active 520 USB Studio Monitors:

            I love how the sound and these are my second and the best sounded ones I have had so far.

            Displaying reviews 1-10

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