After I have always worked with headphones on the PC for the last years (current: Beyerdynamic MMX300), I now wanted to have normal boxes on my desk again. My budget: up to 150,- Euro for a 2.0 system without subwoofer. My choice: the Behringer MS40which convince not only with solid technical data but also with a large number of connections.
I use the speakers in a slightly different way than the name "near field monitor" suggests: as normal PC speakers that should be able to reproduce music as well as game sound and TV sound. In other words, a classic multimedia mix. Connection to my two PCs runs via a Astro Mixampwhich is actually intended for headphones, but is also good as a player for the Behringer MS40 suitable. Advantage: you can easily mix different (digital) sources with each other and thus use game and multimedia PC at the same time.
Technical data Behringer MS40
- integrated amplifier with 2×20 Watt
- 24-bit/192 kHz D/A converter
- optical and coaxial digital inputs (cannot be used simultaneously)
- two analog inputs, which can be mixed with the digital source (3.5mm jack & cinch)
- Headphone jack (6.3 mm stereo jack)
- Frequency response: 50Hz to 25 kHz
As is the case with loudspeakers that are designated as "near-field monitors", the Behringer MS40 quite neutral in terms of the vote. Bass and treble can be adjusted with two controls. After setting up the speakers it took a while for the sound to improve significantly - either my ears got used to the speakers or a warm up effect actually came about.
Sound in everyday life
I have the Behringer MS40 with all kinds of music. The range goes from Dubstep to Classic-Rock to normal TV sound - just everything that can be played on a normal PC. Of course, sound always depends on the subjective perception, I personally like the sound that the Behringer MS40 produce a lot. The stereo stage is wide (sometimes you have the feeling that sounds are right next to your ear), the bass is not exaggerated and the trebles are very clear (without any "clinking" in the ear). In order to prevent vibrations from being transmitted to the desk the speakers are placed on two foam wedges that also ensure that the speakers are tilted slightly upwards. This way they are aimed directly at your ears when you sit at your desk.
The volume is perfectly adequate in a small study (about 10m²), the speakers do not seem to be challenged in this point. I haven't tried out how it works at maximum volume - according to various reports on the net it is said to become critical at maximum volume and the Behringer MS40 is overstrained. In practice, however, this will rarely be the case, after all, you don't want to fill a large disco with sound.
Conclusion on Behringer MS40
If you're looking for solid multimedia speakers for your PC and maybe even set a video to music or make a little music every now and then, I think the Behringer MS40 is a good choice. For round 150,- Euro (at Amazon) get two solid boxes with different inputs, without background noise and similar problems. The performance is perfectly adequate for home use, since you sit with relatively little distance to the boxes (at least when you put them on your desk). You don't necessarily need a Mixamp, but it depends on the equipment used in detail.
Update August 24, 2014
Even after more than a year I am still very impressed by the quality of the two Behringer boxes. Especially the voice output (in case you want to "misuse" the MS40 on TV) is very clear and present. No problems or signs of wear and tear have occurred in the meantime. But the Price slightly decreased to 126,- Euro at Amazon.
- Compact stereo speaker system ideally suited for home studios, multimedia applications, keyboard and vocal monitoring, etc.
- Powerful 4" woofers and high-resolution tweeters powered by two 8-Watt amplifiers
- Dedicated Volume, Bass and Treble controls for more flexibility
- Stereo RCA inputs for sound cards, keyboards, etc. that can be used simultaneously with second stereo source (e. g. CD/MD player) through 1/8" TRS stereo input
- Separately adjustable 1/4" TRS microphone input mixable with stereo inputs for playback and vocal monitoring applications
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