M-Audio AV42 Studio Monitor Review

Having a great sound from your studio monitor is never a bad thing. Of course, you can be disappointed when your mix doesn’t sound the way you intended it to. However, you are the one to notice the flaws and you are able to make the adjustments. If you don’t have one, you might end up embarrassed by flaws in the sounds in front of other people. Regardless of where you are recording – at home or professionally, you will benefit from it. Even if you want to impress your family or create something for yourself, it is wise to invest in a studio monitor.

Today’s market has a lot to offer to you equipment-wise. Still, it is smart to make a good investment after you’ve researched your purchase. For this reason, we have compiled a thorough M-Audio AV42 review to help you make the right decision. This speaker is excellent for those who have a home studio and who want to make high-quality mixes in it. It is a small purchase when you take into consideration the satisfaction you get from the end-result.


  • Overall excellent performance
  • Simple and minimalistic design and construction
  • Good value for the money


  • It lacks some acoustic controls

Design and construction of the M-Audio

It is obvious that the manufacturer had one thing in mind when they designed the AV series of these monitor speakers. Namely, they are there to satisfy the needs of budget-conscious users. Probably the greatest worth for your money is, in fact, the AV42 in this case. You don’t pay a lot and yet you get some great features in a great package from a reputable manufacturer.

Additionally, it is obvious that when each of the AV series monitor shares similarities design-wise. Obviously, the AV42 is a level up from the AV32 version in both design and performance aspects. This is why this monitor shares some features with the previous one. Namely, the cabinets in this speaker are made mostly from MDF. Still, the baffle is made from all composite which in some cases can be an issue upon launching it. Still, M-Audio managed to do a really good job when they made it very solid and sturdy. This also means that this monitor is resistant to external impacts.

Moreover, the transducers are stacked just in the way you would expect them to. Another thing regarding them that you need to know is that neither of the transducers has a grille to cover them up and affect the sound.

Additionally, we have to talk about the Optimage IV tweeter waveguides section. Yes, it is as cool as it gets. It works perfectly and it would amaze you, considering it comes with a 1” ferrofluid-cooled silk cone unit.

Most important features in the AV42

A lot of people claim that the AV42 is just a larger version of the AV32 and they aren’t very far from right. However, there are few differences between these two speakers. First of all, the power output segment is very different. Secondly, the full-range driver’s size is different. Lastly, the difference can be seen in practice because the AV42 is somewhat better than its predecessor. On this subject, we have to mention that the AV42 features a 4” polypropylene cone driver. This driver has been powered by a Class A/B internal amplifier. In the end, this results with a better performance and sound quality.

Moreover, the power output is 20 Watts per channel in the case of the AV42. This might look like a bad thing but that is just in the numbers. In reality, the AV42 offers excellent performance and it doesn’t lack any power – at all!

Another thing you should know about it is that the cabinets are ported. This results in having more richness and flavor to the bass. It also means that the bass gets expressed much easier. Looking at the back panel, you won’t be disappointed. You have an RCA input set as well as some passive speaker outputs. It is somewhat a bad thing that the power button is on the back panel too. However, if you are well-organized, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Also, you shouldn’t be surprised that there aren’t any room acoustic controls featuring in this set. Of course, the raw performance makes up for it because it offers excellent benefits even without these features.

Performance of the M-Audio AV42

Talking about the performance, the most important thing about this set, we have to mention that they are very capable. If we take into consideration that we are talking about 4” drivers, we wouldn’t be impressed. However, they reach low-end marks easily and without problems. Additionally, they have all the qualities you need for music production while being on a budget. More importantly, they offer excellent sound qualities.

It comes as a good surprise hot tight and balanced the trebles are. Additionally, the mids are the greatest thing the speakers can achieve. This doesn’t mean that the highs and lows are bad, but the mids are simply perfect. It would be a good conclusion to say that although 20 Watts on each channel is not impressive, this speaker handles them very nicely and accordingly. You wouldn’t be disappointed with your end product either. These speakers are there to help you make a good working environment where you can mix professionally, even in your home.


It is safe to say that sometimes in order to achieve more, you don’t need to pay more. In fact, in this case, you get excellent quality without paying way too much for it. If you have a home recording studio, the M-Audio AV42 is an excellent choice for your next purchase. It is good for working in smaller rooms and their configuration is there to satisfy your needs. With it, you will be able to create neat mixes for you and your close friends. Of course, they are also excellent to start a business with. Your home recording studio will be grateful if you make an investment like the M-Audio AV42 one.

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