No. The noise is due to sensitive tweeter playing it from the amp driving it. In a passive design there are losses due to crossover that doesn't exist in an active speaker. Your choices are a more quiet hardware, or wasting power through pad resistors, or less sensitive tweeter.Can the Twitter hiss be remedied with XLR cables?
This is a review, detailed measurements and listening tests of the M-Audio BX3 powered monitor speaker. I purchased it from Amazon by request from membership. It costs US $107.
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The speaker looks like many professional monitors we review. However, when you hold it in your hands, it is extremely light and pretty small. So light that its stiff power cord drags it left and right by its sheer weight! The little 3.5 midwoofer though seems to be of high quality with high excursion for its size. Back side shows pretty rich feature set:
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A single cable carries the output to the slave speaker.
Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than an anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.
Reference axis for measurements was the tweeter axis. Room temperature was rather cold at around 60 degrees F.
M-Audio BX3 Measurements
Let's start with our suite of frequency response measurements:
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Wow, that is one uneven frequency response! I don't know what they had in mind with this. The trough at 10 kHz is quite curious. I guessed at the dual drivers being active and causing cancellation and 3-D soundfield radiation seems to show that:
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Here is our near-field response of each radiating source:
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We can see that the mid-woofer is going strong to 10 kHz and beyond.
Directivity is good resulting in early reflections to be similar to on-axis:
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Speaking of directivity, response is indeed good in horizontal direction:
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No doubt this is due to small midwoofer not being much larger than the tweeter. Vertical response is quite narrow as the two drivers work hand in hand to beamform:
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So be sure to point the tweeter at you (elevate or tilt the speaker back).
Now we get to another problem area: distortion. Even with hearing protection I could tell the speaker was complaining, creating secondary tones during even 86 dBSPL sweeps:
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I usually go to 96 dBSPL but no way could the BX3 handle that. So I settled for 90 dBSPL. As you see, the results are not pretty there.
I forgot to run the waterfall test but here is the step response:
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M-Audio BX3 Listening Tests
I started to listen to the BX3 and attempt to develop filters to it. But no matter what I did, I kept hearing some artifacts. I traced this to the port. Boy, what comes out of that hole is ugly! In all but the faintest volumes, it would both chuff and spit out highly distorted version of the front wavefront which by the way, sounded decent! I stuffed the port but then that high reduced the low frequency response. I put in high pass filters of different shapes but none would reduce the distortion enough. And this was with the port some 1 meter/3+ feet away from the back wall. If you put it any closer to the wall, it would get even worse I am sure. So I gave up.
I don't know how companies manage to sell a pair of active speakers for just $106. But sometimes cheap is too cheap. The distortion here and uneven response is just too much to handle causing the speaker to fall below my minimum standard for good sound. But maybe I am too picky. The BX-3 has over 1000 reviews on Amazon with 4.5 star average score! So if you fall in that same bucket, and want something that is better than your laptop speakers, this will do. For me, it won't and I want to encourage to spend more and get something better.
I can't recommend the M-Audio BX3.
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.
Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
M-Audio BX3 APO EQ LW 96000Hz March062023-144638 Preamp: -2.5 dB Filter 1: ON HPQ Fc 62.63, 0.00, 1.12 Filter 2: ON PK Fc 133.16, -6.89, 1.33 Filter 3: ON PK Fc 449.61, -2.27, 6.84 Filter 4: ON PK Fc 1340.92, -4.88, 2.09 Filter 5: ON PK Fc 2045.09, -2.32, 3.96 Filter 6: ON PK Fc 3495.87, -4.15, 0.89 Filter 7: ON PK Fc 10942.59, 3.00, 0.63 M-Audio BX3 APO EQ Score 96000Hz March062023-144639 Preamp: -2.5 dB Filter 1: ON HPQ Fc 62.38, 0.00, 1.12 Filter 2: ON PK Fc 136.16, -6.64, 1.24 Filter 3: ON PK Fc 438.63, -2.31, 6.72 Filter 4: ON PK Fc 1362.91, -4.88, 1.58 Filter 5: ON PK Fc 2131.84, -1.51, 6.93 Filter 6: ON PK Fc 3226.78, -4.20, 0.74 Filter 7: ON PK Fc 10456.64, 3.20, 2.30
According to Amir, the port is the total opposite of clean: " I kept hearing some artifacts. I traced this to the port. Boy, what comes out of that hole is ugly! In all but the faintest volumes, it would both chuff and spit out highly distorted version of the front wavefront".The port is exceptionally clean. I would want to buy the speaker, just to disassemble the port and take a look how they did it!
I had opened both the microlab and Samson. Samsons tweeter imo, is quite decent for the price. It had an oversized magnet compared to the el cheapo tweeter from the microlab. Again, when I change the balance from left to right playing music or white noise, it was like I am switching between two totally different brands/ models whatever type of speakers! When they play together you won’t notice it much, but the moment you have some stereo panning it’s noticeable.Cabinet size has very minimal effect at all above 200hrz.
Are you sure your speakers just don't sound different on the L and R positions in your set-up.
I think there is some other explanation that makes more sense than having the electronics inside.
Take some measurements and see what you find & put the speakers on the same side.
Whatever is causing the difference you perceive I'd wager it is not a change in cabinet enclosure volume due to the electronics.
Could even just be plain old sample variation or plain old human biases ---->which happen within the best of us.
Having the electronics inside would make almost no difference in tonality above bass, even if 1/4 of the airspace was available.
Those are some crappy speakers you compared, did you survive the experience
Aren't the Bose speakers sub/sats? Why are the electronics not in the sub there?
The amp in the Micro Lab 77 I am familiar with there is hardly anything to it. It takes up very little inside that case.
Really I think if you saw how small the amp and electronics are in the Samson set you might be shocked.
If this forum never existed, 80 percent of the guys who lives here would have given 5 star ratings to it on Amazon.I think it’s hilarious that even with a dumpster fire product like this, at least a couple of people voted “great” in the poll. They must be contrarians to the core.
For small good quality monitors that fit on your desk, I recommend the Tannoy 402.
I'd probably say 80% of posters likely owned something better than this. Even before the site became popular. Audioscience Review didn't invent the art of measuring speakers.If this forum never existed, 80 percent of the guys who lives here would have given 5 star ratings to it on Amazon.
I personally know some of guys here in real life. They all were on the other side of the spectrum until they discovered this website. Suddenly many of the gear they owned turned bad.I doubt that.
Cool. I think I misunderstood your prior post. Thanks for the clarification.I personally know some of guys here in real life. They all were on the other side of the spectrum until they discovered this website. Suddenly many of the gear they owned turned bad.
Honestly it happened to me as well. For years I enjoyed AKG K702 and several other amps that were poorly measured here. And then after seeing how they measured, I felt like not listening to them anymore. To say, i feel inferior /insecure / listening to inferior gear after reading this website.
This is not just my experience but when I discussed with some friends of mine who are regular readers of this website, we all feel the same.