They’re not as robust at the Audio Engine 2+, but the $120 Samson MediaOne M50 Powered Monitors are a full-range speaker solution at half the price. They’re certainly worth your consideration as a desktop speaker system.
The speakers are encased in a hard plastic cabinet deigned to look like wood. They’re not ugly, but neither are they going to blow anyone away with their appearance.
Each MediaOne M50 monitor features a 5.25-inch polypropylene woofer complemented by a 3/4-inch, silk-dome tweeter housed in a custom waveguide. They’re powered by an internal 80-watt (40 watts per channel), studio-grade A/B amplifier. The Samsung speakers ship as a pair with one active monitor and one passive.
The active speaker takes the audio and power inputs and is connected to the second to create the stereo image. There’s a bass boost switch on the back to give the low end a little more depth when you need it.
Overall, the sound was good, especially the bass. Vocals are clear and crisp. And the speaker does a good job of sustaining the higher end tones, though the stereo separation was merely adequate.
You can connect a mixer, audio interface, computer or mobile audio device to the system’s rear stereo RCA and 1/8-inch inputs. A front panel headphone jack mutes the speakers for private listening sessions, while a 1/8" (3.5mm) output allows you to integrate a subwoofer to create a 2.1 system if you wish.
However. if you’re to use the MediaOne M50 to a new TV, you may need more equipment such as adapter cables. Some of the latest television sets come with digital only connectivity (HDMI, Bluetooth, or optical).
The MediaOne M50 isn’t going to wow the true audiophile. However, for most folks, they’re more than adequate for music playback, gaming, and watching videos.
Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★