M-Audio’s BX series of studio monitor speakers are very attractive. This particular model, the BX5 Carbon studio monitor, is the lowest speaker available but still packs a very powerful punch. As we saw in both the review of the BX6 Carbon speaker and BX8 studio monitor, the overall build, stability, sound quality and frequency accuracy is deemed very effective with these. The make and size of the woofer and tweeter may not be as large as the higher versions, but if you’re looking to save some money with your budget yet still add some great audio quality to your home or professional studio, we recommend going with this one. Let’s take a look at the main features.
Main features of the BX5 Carbon
- Retail price: $150 (each)
- Weight: 11 lbs (each)
- Dimensions: 9.8″ x 6.9″ x 7.9″ (H x W x D)
- Type: 2-way near-field studio reference
- Frequency response: 57Hz – 22kHz
- 5″ low-frequency driver (woven Kevlar)
- 70-Watt Class A/B bi-amp
- ‘Acoustic Space Control’
- Waveguide with LED placement cues
- 1″ tweeter (natural silk dome)
- Low-frequency amp: 40-Watt
- High-frequency amp: 30-Watt
- Inputs: one XLR and one TRS
The frequency response doesn’t go as low as the BX8 (go down to about 38Hz), but it goes as high as both the BX8 and BX6. The 57Hz of bass is feasible for home or even some professional studios, so if you’re concerned with that I wouldn’t let it be the deciding factor on spending the extra money. The frequency range is better than cheaper monitors in the market.
The tweeter is also 1″, whereas the higher versions are about .25″ larger. Again, this is relatively fine with those on a budget. The wattage may concern some, but it’s really up to you for how loud you’d like to go. 70 is a bit lower for me as I typically look for monitors within the 100 range, but it’s not like these won’t work!
The low-frequency driver is curved voice with a rubber surround and magnetically shielded. The high-frequency tweeter is also magnetically shielded, made of some really nice silk dome.
Overall build and stability of the speaker
M-Audio music equipment has always brought on the real deal when it comes to build and stability of their products. My original studio monitors were made by them and had lasted me about 3 years with no problems (I did take care of them by always turning them off, cleaning frequently and keeping them in good, safe temperatures). I had the Studiophile AV 40 before upgrading. Take a look at them if you want to save some money. However, these are a lot better than the Studiophile in terms of specs and tech, so I recommend saving up a few extra bucks if you’ll be using them for a few years.
The woofer and tweeter are magnetically shielded which helps with protection of overall RFI and dust. It’s also shown good signs of no output current limiting, temperature problems (be careful with heat if you get these — make sure they are in a safe environment, as all of your equipment should be. I’m talking to you garage studios!), as well as transient noise or subsonic filters.
The overall build and stability gets an A-. The carbon make is great, and the woofer and tweeter are a bit vulnerable in terms of where they are located but as long as you aren’t playing catch with the monitor you’re fine. This will be a good investment for you.
Sound quality of the studio monitor
In terms of sound quality, these are very accurate in terms of frequency distribution. You’re looking for studio monitor speakers for a reason, so if you’re needing speakers that you’re going to be using at a party that you want the bass to kick I’d look elsewhere — no emphasis or favoritism of any particular frequency here! These are for mixing and those who want that flat sound. And flat they are. Very satisfactory in terms of mixing and being able to tweak those smaller ranges of frequencies to get an accurate tracking.
Final word on the BX5 Carbon by M-Audio
We love the M-Audio B5 Carbon studio monitor, especially because of it’s affordability as compared to the higher models in M-Audio’s BX Carbon series. It made it into our top 10 best studio monitor list.
For around $150, a pair will be $300, which is average in terms of pricing for a higher quality monitor speaker setup. If you want to compare some similar, newer reference speakers available, take a look at our review of the Akai RPM500 and RPM800. You may also want to check the price of the older (very popular) studio monitors by M-Audio, the BX5 D2 5″ studio monitors. Check the prices of these frequently as since they are now aged, will get some discounts here and there as time goes on.
Nevertheless, if you do end up going with the BX5 Carbon’s you won’t be disappointed. They will last you quite a long time and very high quality for your mixing and music listening endeavors.