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M-Audio BX5 D3 | Active Monitor | Measurements, Teardown & Subjective Impressions

jbyss

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Hi,

Great effort again!
Score probably not comparable to the data gathered using the NFS due to the smoothing effect of the windowing and I don't know if the PIR/ER is correctly calculated by Vituixcad. In addition these speakers are probably intended for near filed in which case the score might not be accurate.

Here is my take on the EQ based on what I believe is the Flat position of the LF Switch.

The following EQs are “anechoic” EQs to get the speaker right before room integration. If you able to implement these EQs you must add EQ at LF for room integration, that is usually not optional… see hints there: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...helf-speaker-review.11144/page-26#post-800725

The raw data with corrected ER and PIR:

Score no EQ: 4.9
With Sub: 7.5

Spinorama with no EQ:

View attachment 175239

EQ design:

I have generated two EQs. The APO config files are attached.
  • The first one, labelled, LW is targeted at making the LW flat
  • The second, labelled Score, starts with the first one and adds the score as an optimization variable.
  • The EQs are designed in the context of regular stereo use i.e. domestic environment, no warranty is provided for a near field use in a studio environment although the LW might be better suited for this purpose.
  • Quite a few sharp boost that may not translate well with other units and would definitively warant listening tests...

Score EQ LW: 5.8
with sub: 8.4

Score EQ Score: 6.2
with sub: 8.8

Code:
M-Audio BX5 D3 by Weeb Labs APO Score LW 96000Hz
December292021-111919

Preamp: -2.5 dB

Filter 1: ON HPQ Fc 53.33,    0.00,    1.29
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 132.74,    -5.27,    0.78
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 459.00,    2.32,    4.36
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 885.43,    -0.75,    3.38
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 1222.33,    2.56,    6.91
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 1771.00,    -1.45,    2.27
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 3164.49,    2.26,    1.70
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 6533.77,    1.51,    2.38
Filter 9: ON PK Fc 12142.26,    -1.31,    3.74
Filter 10: ON PK Fc 17068.65,    2.55,    1.76

M-Audio BX5 D3 by Weeb Labs APO Score EQ 96000Hz
December292021-111829

Preamp: -2.4 dB

Filter 1: ON HPQ Fc 51.33,    0.00,    1.29
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 124.83,    -5.27,    0.66
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 461.00,    2.45,    4.86
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 865.93,    -0.75,    4.88
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 1220.33,    2.56,    6.16
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 1605.33,    -1.16,    1.55
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 2821.90,    2.53,    3.20
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 5874.77,    1.06,    1.63
Filter 9: ON PK Fc 12827.15,    -1.68,    2.10
Filter 10: ON PK Fc 22244.08,    3.05,    1.36

View attachment 175234

Spinorama EQ LW
View attachment 175238

Spinorama EQ Score
View attachment 175237

Zoom PIR-LW-ON
View attachment 175235

Regression - Tonal
ON Flat with EQ Score
View attachment 175236

Radar no EQ vs EQ score
Nice improvements
View attachment 175232
Impact of the LF trim:
The measurements seem to have been taken at different times so the accuracy is not guaranteed.
I focussed on the range under 300Hz, error still better than 0.5dB.
View attachment 175230
[email protected]
Score [email protected]: 4.7
with sub: 7.5
View attachment 175240

[email protected]
Score [email protected]: 4.5
with sub: 7.3
View attachment 175241
I have a question. Between the Presonus Eris E5xt and the M-Audio Bx5 D3 which active monitor is better?
 

jbyss

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The M-Audio BX5 D3 is rather ubiquitous among budget studio monitors, so I thought it only fitting that I purchase a unit and publish the first complete set of measurements.

This monitor typically retails for approximately €80 but I paid only €60 for this particular unit, so it has the potential to represent exceptional value for money. The front baffle design is quite unassuming and the small white power LED also functions as a listening axis indicator. When viewed off-axis, its intensity is attenuated.


The rear panel offers XLR and TRS inputs but no RCA. There is also an input gain control without detents or a unity point marker and a three position switch for LF attenuation. As we will soon discover, that switch is best left in the -4dB position.



As always, we begin with the on-axis and off-axis measurements. These utilize a composite of ground plane, nearfield and gated methods, which should be reasonably comparable to measurements acquired using a Klippel NFS or anechoic chamber. For these measurements, the LF attenuation switch was in the "Flat" position.

View attachment 175582

And the in-room response.

View attachment 175584

The on-axis response is very reasonable, although we can see a very large upper bass hump. In-room response tilt is quite steep as a result, which will sound slightly muffled. Directivity is smooth and with only a few simple PEQ filters, there exists the potential for an excellent response.

This is an example of what can be achieved using ten PEQ filters. For specifics, please see Maiky76's excellent post.

View attachment 175588


Next, we have nearfield measurements of all driver components. Port resonances are kept to very low levels, which is always nice to see. There seems to be a tweeter resonance around 14.6KHz but it does not appear in any farfield measurements. We can see a slight crossover gap followed by a rise in tweeter response, which explains the 1.2KHz dip and subsequent bump that appears in the farfield results.

View attachment 175589


Next are polar and line charts for directivity. Horizontal directivity is lovely, with almost 50 degrees of freedom.

View attachment 175204


As is often the case with non-coaxial designs, vertical directivity is not so lovely. You will definitely want to remain within about 25 degrees on the vertical axis. If you must listen off-axis, then prefer above to below.

View attachment 175206

View attachment 175207

View attachment 175208


Finally, we have harmonic distortion. This data was captured as part of the ground plane measurement and should be reasonably accurate.

View attachment 175209


Subjective impressions were excellent but I immediately identified the large bump within the upper bass region. Moving the LF attenuation switch to the -4dB position effectively engages the baffle step compensation and fixes this problem completely. You can see the rather dramatic effect below. This measurement is only valid below 13KHz, so please disregard the high frequency rolloff.

View attachment 175211

A little bit of vocal emphasis remained but after placing a wide PEQ filter at 1.8KHz, the result was an immensely enjoyable experience as I shuffled through my Apple Music library. Hanaregumi's Dokuji no Life was a particularly pleasant track on these monitors. For silly fun, I then paired my single BX5 unit with a Mackie MR524 and generated an Audiolense correction for the odd pair with surprisingly good results!



For €60-80 per unit, this is rather incredible performance and I would highly recommend this monitor to anybody with a limited budget.

Thank you for reading and I hope this thread has been of help to you.

Please find attached the full spin data. Teardown will be added very shortly.
Between the Presonus Eris E5xt and the M-Audio Bx5 D3 which active monitor is better?
 

sweetchaos

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Here's a comparison:
both.gif


Here's the stats:

M-Audio Bx5 D3:
-6db point is at 57hz
Preference Score is 4.9 and would be 7.5 with a perfect subwoofer.
Preference Score is 5.7 with an EQ and would be 8.5 with a perfect subwoofer and the same EQ.

Presonus Eris E5 XT:
-6db point is at 50hz
Preference Score is 3.7 and would be 6.0 with a perfect subwoofer.
Preference Score is 5.6 with an EQ and would be 8.0 with a perfect subwoofer and the same EQ.

Overall:
- Presonus wins in terms of bass (by 7hz), although that's hardly noticeable.
- Without EQ, Presonus has boosted treble out of the box, while M-Audio doesnt, which makes it preferred.
- Without EQ, M-Audio wins.
- With EQ, M-Audio wins.
 
Last edited:

Roland68

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I also got a pair of BX5 D3s as a near field monitor, because my DIY monitors still need a while.
I am very satisfied with them, regardless of the low price, but at night when it is very quiet, I hear a faint humming, even if nothing is connected and regardless of the volume.

Does anyone have a service manual for the BX5 D3?
 

jbyss

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Here's a comparison:
View attachment 175807

Here's the stats:

M-Audio Bx5 D3:
-6db point is at 57hz
Preference Score is 4.9 and would be 7.5 with a perfect subwoofer.
Preference Score is 5.7 with an EQ and would be 8.5 with a perfect subwoofer and the same EQ.

Presonus Eris E5 XT:
-6db point is at 50hz
Preference Score is 3.7 and would be 6.0 with a perfect subwoofer.
Preference Score is 5.6 with an EQ and would be 8.0 with a perfect subwoofer and the same EQ.

Overall:
- Presonus wins in terms of bass (by 7hz), although that's hardly noticeable.
- Without EQ, Presonus has boosted treble out of the box, while M-Audio doesnt, which makes it preferred.
- Without EQ, M-Audio wins.
- With EQ, M-Audio wins.
Thanks Man
 
OP
Weeb Labs

Weeb Labs

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Added thermal imaging for the rear panel when idle. Somewhat uncomfortable temperatures for continuous unsupervised operation. I will be adding the teardown later this evening.
 

Saabale

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hi! thanks for this review. I have a pair of bx5 d3. I use these for listening to music on my desk through my MAC. I like their punchy low end but sometimes I think they are not so pleasant to listen... too boomy. I use it at -4db switch for the woofer.
1) Do you think I'll have more equilibrate listening with some better speakers? like jbl 305p or adam t5v. I will use it for hi-fi purposes.
2) I cant equalize it with some good program on MAC and On PC?
thanks!
 
OP
Weeb Labs

Weeb Labs

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hi! thanks for this review. I have a pair of bx5 d3. I use these for listening to music on my desk through my MAC. I like their punchy low end but sometimes I think they are not so pleasant to listen... too boomy. I use it at -4db switch for the woofer.
1) Do you think I'll have more equilibrate listening with some better speakers? like jbl 305p or adam t5v. I will use it for hi-fi purposes.
2) I cant equalize it with some good program on MAC and On PC?
thanks!
I would highly recommend implementing room correction and/or the anechoic EQ provided by Maiky prior to making any new purchases. Given adequate correction, there is very little wrong with these monitors.

You can make use of EqualizerAPO and REW or one of the various commercial solutions. A measurement microphone such as the IMM-6 or UMIK-1 is essential, if you don't already own one.
 

Walter

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I cant equalize it with some good program on MAC and On PC?
thanks!
 
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Weeb Labs

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Thomann appears to have raised the price of these monitors from €79 each to €99 since this review was published. A coincidence or something more?
 

jbyss

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What would be the crossover frequency when connecting the monitors to a sub
 

Walter

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Thomann appears to have raised the price of these monitors from €79 each to €99 since this review was published. A coincidence or something more?
Still slightly cheaper than in the USA, and about the same as the price in Thailand. Certainly not the great bargain they were before, unfortunately. Especially in the USA, if one can wait for the JBL 305p to go on one of their frequent sales, it would seem the better choice.
 

Walter

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@Weeb Labs, your reviews have been really helpful to me and I'm sure many others, as well. Do you have plans to do any additional reviews, like maybe the Tannoy Reveal 402 or 502? Or are you limited by what you have easy access to?
 
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Weeb Labs

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@Weeb Labs, your reviews have been really helpful to me and I'm sure many others, as well. Do you have plans to do any additional reviews, like maybe the Tannoy Reveal 402 or 502? Or are you limited by what you have easy access to?
Yes, I do intend to produce further reviews and the Event 20/30 is next on my list. :)


1655328850618.png
 

Walter

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Seems a strange choice since it is discontinued and does not even appear to be readily available second hand, but I'm sure the review will be a good read anyway.
 

rjn

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Should I get this one over an Edifier MR4 2.0?
 
Last edited:

rjn

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I did my researching and already ordered an MR4. Then the M-Audio BX5 D3 became available in here. I already chose MR4 over Mackie's 3" and Presonus Eris E3.5. Since I don't have any idea about speakers and I can not understand all those image documentary, I am going to stick to the comments and will do what I hear from your side.

Should I prefer this speakers over the MR4? Is it better and reliable overall? The price difference is going to be minimal, I just want to buy the better one between those two.
 
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