Function: Studio Monitors
Price: $349.99 (Each)
What’s New: The M3-8s are the newest studio monitors from M-Audio. A three-way design, The M3-8 sports a low, mid, and high driver and enough power for any studio application.
Features: Housed in an attractive wood cabinet, the M3-8 features an 8” woofer, 5” mid driver and a 1” tweeter. The midrange and high drivers are set inline to aid with stereo imaging and provides a unique look to the monitors. Controls are all placed on the rear panel and include volume, low, mid, and high EQ controls, EQ on/bypass switch, and a low cut switch that filters out frequencies at either 80Hz or 100Hz. Inputs include balanced XLR and TRS and unbalanced RCA in.
Sound: Right away I could tell the M3-8s were going to be a lot of fun. At 220 Watts, the M3-8s provide plenty of volume and sound great at loud volumes. After playing with the EQ controls, I found a setting that sounded good and flat in my room, and started playing music to get a sense of how the monitors responded. The first thing I noticed was the bass. In my small (but well treated) room, I was hearing low end like I never did before! You don’t just hear low end with the M3-8s, you experience it. Dance, hip-hop, and rock and roll sounded phenomenal! In addition to deep, punchy bass, the midrange was smooth and worked nicely with the top end, which was clear and not harsh at all. Working all day, I had very little ear fatigue with the M3-8s, which came as a relief after years of working NS10s (which fatigue my ears on a daily basis!). A note of caution, be sure not to lay the monitors on their side, it messes with the stereo imaging quite a bit, and gives a false sense of the width of your mix.
Bottom Line: The M3-8s are a producer’s dream. Powerful and loud enough for any situation, huge frequency response, deep bass balanced with smooth midrange and top end M3-8s are a great pair of monitors and a ton of fun, especially when programming or working up tracks. The added midrange driver sets the M3-8 apart from most studio monitors in its price range and makes a huge difference in the sound and stereo imaging. Depending on your room, you’ll probably need to EQ the speakers to your taste, but once set, the M3-8 delivers a pure, smooth sound that will stand with any other monitor in its class.
For more information about the M3-8s and other products by Maudio, visit maudio.com
Tech Editor, WL mag