I believe I read somewhere that powered monitors are the best... but I fear that some that cheap might sound bad. Would it possibly be more in my interest to get some unpowered speakers like these (that I hear sound really, really great for the price):
Honestly, wait a month or two till you can spend a bit more. Just use whatever you\'ve got for now. Two weeks after you buy those you\'ll hate \'em! [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
I personally feel that this is one of the most important pieces in your studio. But what isn\'t? [img]graemlins/tounge_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
There are much better monitors than that in the $400 to $500 price range. Don\'t know off hand what they are though. I wonder how much the smallest Genelecs are? Maybe check into that... Or something by Event or Truth. Genelec, Dynaudio, and Adam are the best but pretty darn expensive. Oh, also look at Blue Sky!
BTW... The one piece in my studio that I know I\'ll never sell are my monitors (Genelec 1032\'s love \'em!).
The smallest Genelecs (the 1029A) are still around 800 bucks street price. You can do better with that money going with something else when you are working on music. They really need a sub. Or they are good as surround speakers.
For 200 dollars, you are relegated to the used speaker world. Buyer beware. There really isn\'t anything in the 200 dollar price range that is worth using.
Because your budget is such a long way from getting \'decent\' pro standard speakers I doubt a couple of hundred extra will get you more than the M-Audio speakers (the ones in the link you posted) can offer. I know a guy who owns them and thinks they\'re pretty good (but I haven\'t heard them myself).
I was in the same boat and picked up a pair of Videologic Sirocco Spirit speakers. Basically, they\'re multimedia speakers, but for $250 I doubt you\'d get anything near as good. They\'re powered and shielded, by the way. They ain\'t top of the range (Videologic does a Siroccco Pro version for around $900 that has a built-in digital to analogue converter) but they will do the job better than a lot of more expensive offerings.
Search the web for reviews. I think you might be surprised at how good these speakers are. They won a ton of awards in Europe but are quite difficult to get in the U.S. - they were designed by a guy from the \'computer\' world who felt that the whole speaker market was way overpriced (he\'s right about that) and he wanted to build something very high quality BUT CHEAP.
They have a total of four separate amplifiers (two per satellite) powering four Audax cones (French company builds these - they\'re pretty small but size isn\'t everything). They have two pairs of inputs and a variable output (if you want to add a sub). They also have a headphone jack - which is a nice feature. You can crank them almost right up without any \'hum\' or distortion at all, and they do have quite a lot of oomph for the specification (it ain\'t always about raw \'watts\').
Here is the full spec:
Amplifiers: Four integrated amplifiers. Self Peak Instantaneous Temperature (°Ke) (SPiKe™) Protection Circuitry for protection against overvoltage, undervoltage, overloads (including shorts to the supplies), thermal runaway, and instantaneous temperature peaks.
Power output: Satellites: 25 W rms per channel. Full system (all channels driven): 50 Watts rms at 10% THD or 40 Watts at 1% THD.
Frequency response: < 10 Hz to > 100 kHz.
Input sensitivity: Input 1 0.3 V rms, Input 2 1.4V rms.
Power supply: 220-240V AC 50 Hz (UK/Europe); 115V AC 60 Hz (North America).
Bass/mid frequency drive unit: Audax 4\" cone.
High frequency drive unit: Audax 10 mm polymer dome.
Frequency response: 45 Hz to 20 kHz.
Cabinets: Wood construction MDF cabinets with removable grille, each with mid-frequency (bass/mid) drive unit and separate high-frequency drive unit (tweeter), both magnetically shielded..
Dimensions: Right: 144 mm (W) x 274 mm (H) x 216 mm (D including grille and control knobs).
Left: 144 mm (W) x 274 mm (H) x 194 mm (D)
Weight: Right: 3.7 kg, Left: 2.16 kg.
Controls: Volume, Attitude, Power on/off (located on rear of Right satellite).
Right satellite connectors: Two stereo phono inputs, headphone out jack, DIN output to Left satellite, subwoofer out jack, switched IEC mains inlet.
Left satellite connectors: DIN input from right satellite.
Cables supplied: IEC mains cable, 3.5 mm stereo jack to phono and speaker cable.\"