It wasn’t long ago that to make a record you needed to spend (or have someone else spend) many hundreds of pounds or dollars on a trip to a professional recording studio. But those days are long gone. Many of us now have very sophisticated recording set ups in our bedrooms or garden sheds. To this environment, may I introduce the Dynaudio DBM50 desktop monitor. This, as far as I can tell, is the first powered speaker specifically designed to sit on your desktop, that’s the one your computer is sitting on, not the one on your computer screen.
The DBM50 is based around a very cleverly designed cabinet, angling the front baffle back to aim the sweet spot directly at the ears when sitting or standing.
The 7.5” woofer and 1” soft dome tweeter are driven by a 2 channel 50 watt RMS class D power amp, making the speakers very lightweight but still able to output well over 110dB SPL (Peak). In the real world they are loud, should that be your want. However, personally I’m not into monitoring at ear splitting volumes I’m much more interested in audio quality and if I can get a track to sound great through these. Well I’ve mixed on Dynaudio speakers before and let me say these do the brand very proud. The rated frequency response claims of 46Hz to 21KHz might be accurate but I’m quite sure my room does not have a flat response so it’s down to using my ears. The two tracks I have been working on with them are both in a pop rock style and I have been very pleased with the nice tight bass sound I have been getting. Vocals come across clean and clear and it’s very pleasing to hear lots of detail in the reverb tails and delays.
Now as you can see from the picture these are ported speakers so you might think that putting these near a wall would destroy any chance of getting a natural sound from them however, the back panel also houses the inputs and controls. Input is via balanced XLR or RCA Phono. A sleep mode button allows the amps to sleep when not in use to save power. These auto wake when an input signal is present. There is a level control for 0, +4 or -10 operation and then there is the EQ setting. These allow you to tweak a Hi Pass filter between 60Hz, 80Hz and Flat, and a LF, MF and HF cut boost depending on the range. To be honest I set it all up flat and I was not unhappy with what I heard. There is also a Remote output jack. This allows you to connect the optional remote control to change the output of the class D amplifier (it’s a volume control).
OK so we can talk about specs all day but in use and in testing I like these speakers a lot. I didn’t get tired of listening to them. The top end is smooth and accurate and the bass and low end felt good and solid. Now I don’t normally like to do comparisons but my normal monitors are from an equally well respected brand and it’s always a good idea to A/B your mix. It also should be said that the DBM50 speakers are available for £390 each (street price) but until the end of the year there is an offer on for £319 each. My monitors of choice are significantly more pricey, but I have to say that the DBM50s stood up very well. Will I be trading in my normal monitors, well no…. but will I want to give the DBM50 monitors back…. No I really like them as a second pair. If you want a very good pair of powerful active speakers that sound great on your desk then these are a great way forward.
Thanks to Bruce and all the folks at TC Group for letting me try these. For more on the Dynaudio DBM50 check out: http://dynaudioprofessional.com/bm-series/monitors/dbm50/