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No compromise small room system
Posted by: ct06033 from: Denver, CO on
I actually had to return the first set, they would buzz when playing piano music at high volumes (but only piano music, rock, folk, techno was no problem at full volume), for a speaker this expensive, that is unacceptable. The second pair fared much better. Setup is a breeze, i run Ubuntu and it recognized the speakers via usb and the remote controls vlc, movie player, banshee etc as well as system volume without tinkering with anything. Also, the remote only increases loudness by 10 percent and the first 50% of the volume range is useless but i think this is an ubuntu problem since in windows the remote increases by 1% increments etc.
The remote is also a fingerprint magnet but actually very comfortable to hold and use, it just fits in your hand, albeit a bit daintily. Also, if you plan on moving these speakers a lot, that cloth covering does not feel too durable but not any less so than the fabric on any other speakers I've owned.
First, let me say, these are considered a "no compromise" solution for those who place a lot of value in both sound quality and design over value. The reality is, there is some tradeoff, but it is not as bad as many reviews i have read make it seem.
The detail these put out will blow you away. Most recordings sound like the band is playing in the room in front of you. even normally flat techno and hip-hop will have a more lively sound through these. I would say it is their single greatest strength. And yes, you will notice the difference between 128kbps recordings and 320kbps.
Many reviewers have complained that these do not get loud enough. In my experience, it is not that they don't get loud enough - i can't listen to them in my room at full volume (12' x 12') but they do get a bit harsh as you up the power since the dsp cuts power to the poor woofer to prevent distortion at high volumes. This is not noticeable with anything other than techno,hip-hop,and some rock so if you like pumping Celine Dion, you'll be fine.
As for bass, the low end is remarkable in that it can reproduce bass pretty low in the spectrum. The difference is the lack of presence that only a larger speaker can create. That being said, sitting both at my computer desk and across the room, the sound was always full bodied, accurate, and deep. moving to the middle of the room (which puts acoustics against the speaker) you will notice a lack of anything below 60hz or so.
All in all, for filling a small room, or for listening at a desk, there really is nothing better of comparable size (thats the key). I would recommend this system to anyone looking to up their music experience save for bass junkies. Go for the Klipsch system for rock your socks bass.
26 out of 26 found this review helpful.
top notch high quality speakers
Posted by: yellowsub821 from: on
If you're in need of a great pair of computer speakers, look no further. These bad boys are worth every penny and have a hell of a punch.
Sleek, modern style is a huge plus for me. These look phenomenal right next to my macbook pro.
As far as sound, these crush everything else I've heard clarity wise. I was skeptical since they were only a 2.0 system and not 2.1, but they have plenty of bass to keep the heavy drive going.
The USB connection is great, these use they're own DAC to convert the sound instead of your computers sound card. This was a huge factor for me, as B & W is known for all of their high quality sound.
32 out of 35 found this review helpful.
These are fantastic speakers, a definite buy.
Posted by: watchout4aliens from: on
A little background information for anyone who hasn't heard of Bowers & Wilkins, they are a British speaker company with one goal which is to offer the best sound in whatever size and price they are offering and that is what they pride themselves on. The began in the 60's and build speakers for some of the leading recording studios around the world.
Now to the speakers themselves, although they are only a 2.0 they carry a ton of bass for their size and this is something I was pleasantly surprised with. I personally don't listen to a lot of music which has emphasis on the bass but for the songs I do listen to you can hear every drumbeat crystal clear. They have great highs and just like their floor standing and book shelf speakers the mids are phenomenal. I've been needing to get a new set of computer speakers because mine where starting to go and I was hesitant at first due to the price, but once I brought these home all my concerns vanished. If you are serious about your audio and you don't want a compromise your sound experience than look no further.
I also have a friend with Klipsch 2.1 computer speakers and I thought I was going to get those as well, I must say now after hearing these I made the right choice.
13 out of 13 found this review helpful.
Placement is important!
Posted by: johcor from: Frederick, MD on
The MM-1s deliver very clear sound. Female vocals in particular really stand out, and the soundstage is very well portrayed; When positioned three feet away from you and three feet apart, you can pinpoint the location of the various instruments. It's as if the sound is coming from your monitor with a guitar a little to the left and maybe the piano way over on the right. The remote is fine; it integrates well with Windows Media Player. And setup is ridiculously easy. I just connected everything together, and Windows 8 automatically routed the digital signal out the USB cable while silencing my sound card (which is connected to my other speakers). This allowed me to do some easy A/B testing because as soon as I turn off the MM-1s, my other speakers come online automatically.
I did the comparison with a couple different formats: some 263 kbps+ files as well as CDs. I'm comparing against a Cambridge Audio 2.1 system that is no longer produced. Overall, the MM-1s are clearer... lighter. The Cambridge is muddier as if the band is behind a thick curtain. But that can also make the MM-1s sound too thin and not as warm. Which I don't think would be a problem if these were placed closer to a wall where the bass could be accentuated. And that leads to the big sacrifice in this design....
Unless you put these speakers next to a vertical surface, you can forget about bass. And I am NOT a basshead. Honestly, I listen mostly to Norah Jones, Sarah McLaughlin, and some jazz. The problem is that I can't hear the bass (as in the instrument) or a drum, so I'm missing a lot of material below 100Hz. My desk is kind of in the middle of the room, so I moved the MM-1s over to a wall, and the bass did pick up a little bit, but I didn't pay $500 to listen to these speakers off to the side somewhere. (Nobody puts Baby in a corner.) There's just so much one can do with a speaker cabinet this small.
The headphone jack works well, but honestly, I couldn't hear a difference between the MM-1 DAC and the DAC that's on my AC892 chip on the motherboard (using Sennheiser 280Pro). Both were very clear with an absence of static/noise. And speaking of noise, I don't have that white noise problem that some people complain they hear from the MM-1s. I also don't understand why B&W put the headphone jack on the back of the speaker. Who wants to reach around to the back of the speaker to plug in their phones? Also, when running at two-thirds volume for an hour, the top of the right speaker gets a little bit warm, but it's nothing to worry about. It's just the amp inside. It's not actually hot, so I think some people make too much ado about that.
It pains me, but I'll be returning these. I just need to hear all the instruments on the stage, and frankly, the MM-1s miss a few.
11 out of 12 found this review helpful.
Posted by: tgonz from: Temecula, Ca on
I got my speakers about a year ago and it just blew my mind. Although I'm not really all into speakers but I got this because my cousin was crazy about the manufacturer. Well, it turned out to be the most amazing, clear, crisp sound I've ever heard. I thought speakers were just that...amplifying the sounds...but geez...this was life changing for me. Now I like listening to music from my ipod or watching movie on my laptop. The prize is a little bit too much but when i heard the sound coming from those speakers i didn't mind how much it cost me anymore. Excellent sound indeed!
8 out of 8 found this review helpful.
Sound quality similar to the M-1 theater speakers
Posted by: vsollozzo from: Powhatan, VA on
We like to bring music with us, whether it's out on the porch or traveling and wanted something small enough to chuck in a bag and go. We have a pair of the B&W M-1 home theater speakers and we love the sound of those, so we bought these hoping they would be like M-1s with their own amplification. So far, that's pretty much as I would describe them, as M-1 actives. They are rich in presentation with a naturalness to voices and instrumental timbres that you don't expect from something this size. They have more low end punch and dynamic chops than anything this size should be able to produce and they do it without vibration or without blurring other musical content. They handle plosives and crescendoes without sounding compressed. They handle rhythm and tempo well and can credibly cast a sense of presence and spatial correctness. This is very much an audiophile level of design judgement scaled down to fit something the size of a Foster's can. We went into it realizing what they simply cannot do because of their size, but we came home with something that surprised us for what it DOES do for its size. Worth it? You bet!
7 out of 7 found this review helpful.
Top Notch Sound Quality
Posted by: Kentroller from: Houston, TX on
These little speakers are fantastic! The detail and clarity of the sound is amazing. I was really surprised with the bass response, it is rich and full. If you are willing to spend the money, I would not look anywhere else.
7 out of 7 found this review helpful.
Great sounding...until they get oversaturated
Posted by: Cardinals from: Minneapolis, MN on
I had long wanted these speakers and finally picked them up. I installed them and at first, they sounded great. I used the USB connection to my iMac so I would be benefitting from the MM-1's built-in Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC).
Initially, I was very impressed with the sound. However, it quickly became apparent that they were becoming oversaturated and buzzy-sounding at VERY moderate volume levels--approximately 35% to 40% volume level. The effect was most notable with piano and bass notes.
I quite unhappily packed everything up and took them back to my Magnolia. They mentioned that this was the second set they had had come back this week!
I would avoid this product.
8 out of 9 found this review helpful.
GREAT SPEAKS FOR COMPUTER
Posted by: KM25 from: FAIRFIELD, CA on
Got these speakers as demos. They in very good shape and had good price. These speakers a better then most. They take the signal from the usb, because they have their own D/A converters. This gives the system a better over all sound. The remote is a nice touch and it's advantages are help full. It is one the better units. I am glad I did not have to the full price.
The highs are very clear, with a good mid tone. The bass is good, because they are large speakers. The over all sound is excellent for speakers of this size. They are very good to listen to. Just a liitle more power would nice.
4 out of 4 found this review helpful.
Same as expect
Posted by: Ellery from: Plano, TX on
MM-1 is exactly the computer speaker I had always been looking for, which has decent performance, delicate design of appearance, etc.
The unique connection via USB between speakers and PC, bypassed the original sound card in the PC, instead, an embedded one in MM-1 played the both roles of decoder and speaker.
The only thing I am not satisfied is that the 'openbox' item, as described on bestbuy website is short of MANUAL ONLY. However, when I pick them back home, I found the remote was not included. Customer service insisted it is not BB's fault to give a mistaken or incomplete description. Eventually I bought the remote from B&W online parts store.
Nevertheless, MM-1, the speakers themselves, are so perfect that I didn't return them even without the remote.