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Bowers & Wilkins MM-1

Est. $500
Reviewed
May 2013
by ConsumerSearch
Bowers & Wilkins MM-1

Best computer speakers for music

Pros
  • Great sonic detail and clarity
  • Elegant design
Cons
  • Not as bass heavy as subwoofer models
  • Optimized for close-range listening
Where to Buy
 

Bottom Line

Bowers & Wilkins MM-1 computer speakers deliver the meticulously detailed sound definition that audiophiles demand. Critics agree that these high-quality speakers are perfect for listening to high-fidelity music and other audio when you want to hear every nuance, though the bass response lacks some of the low-end oomph found in speakers with dedicated subwoofers.

Performance

Attention to detail without muddiness. The Bowers & Wilkins MM-1 sounds amazing if you're sitting about 3 feet away with the speakers separated by about 30 inches, making them ideal for a desk setup. CNET's David Carnoy says, "At that distance, these are some of the best-sounding computer speakers we've listened to -- their strength lies in the amount of clarity they deliver." The expressiveness of these speakers also has its downsides too, since critics note that playing lower quality MP3s and recordings highlights the faults in the music fidelity. "If you put garbage in, it will sound like garbage coming out; there's no masking it," Carnoy notes.

Reviewers generally say the MM-1 has a solid bass response, but it doesn't go above and beyond in that department. "The MM-1 produces nice, full bass, but it can't duplicate the thump of a subwoofer," says Macworld's Christopher Breen. "If you're looking for speakers that rattle the windows, the MM-1 isn't it."

Design

Sleek, stylish, and well built. A relatively compact size and slick black-and-silver design make the MM-1 an attractive space-saving audio addition. The 3-inch woofer and 1-inch tweeter are neatly tucked away behind black cloth mesh, while the cables connect underneath to cut down on clutter. A USB connection is provided to let you bypass the computer's audio processing in favor of the high quality digital-to-analog converters in the speakers themselves. In addition, the MM-1 has a headphone jack and a 3.5 mm input, so you can connect an iPod or other audio device easily.

The included remote has a space-age look and handles basic volume and track changing functions. CNET editor David Carnoy expresses some concern about the amplifiers in the right speaker heating up the aluminum finish on the top during prolonged use. "It's not quite warm enough to keep a cup of coffee hot, but pretty warm nevertheless. That said, the speakers worked fine during our tests -- we left them on for a few hours straight without any problems," he says.

Value

Precise sound but pricey. Shelling out for these high-end speakers might leave you with a serious case of sticker shock, but the Bowers & Wilkins MM-1 delivers immaculately detailed sound that's ideal for listening to high-fidelity music in a near-field environment, like at a computer desk. While you can find something that'll do the trick for quite a bit cheaper, the difference in clarity is night and day above the more affordable competition.

Where To Buy
Bowers & Wilkins MM-1 Hi-Fi Speakers (Pair)

 
Buy new: $499.99 $499.00   11 Used & new from $369.00

In Stock. Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping

 

Our Sources

1. CNET

David Carnoy says the Bowers & Wilkins MM-1 2-channel speaker system delivers audiophile quality sound, especially at close range. The downside, other than price, is that these speakers will reveal every fault in low quality MP3s and low bitrate streaming audio.

Review: B&W MM-1 Multimedia Speakers, David Carnoy, May 2010

2. PCMag.com

Bowers & Wilkins MM-1 stereo speakers score well here. Reviewer Tim Gideon says this speaker system is a reasonable investment for music enthusiasts who value precision and balance. He says the MM-1 2-channel speakers aren't for bass lovers or for those on a budget.

Review: Bowers & Wilkins MM-1, Tim Gideon, April 2010

3. Macworld

Christopher Breen is also impressed with the clarity, balance and detail of Bowers & Wilkins' MM-1 computer speakers. He says, though, that these speakers are expensive, and they don't sound quite as nice from across the room.

Review: Bowers & Wilkins ( B &W) MM-1, Christopher Breen, April 2010

4. MaximumPC.com

Michael Brown gives the Bowers & Wilkins MM-1 a perfect 10 and MaximumPC's Kick Ass award. Additionally, the magazine selected the MM-1 to accompany its 15th annual Dream Machine build showcase. Brown's glowing review touts the MM-1's "pristine" sound.

Review: Bowers & Wilkins MM-1 Computer Speakers Review, Michael Brown, June 2010

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