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Rating and Reviews: Alesis M1 Active 520

Get incredible definition and flat frequency response from the high-precision drivers of the M1 Active 520, a monitor from Alesis.

User Ratings
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"Alesis M1 520 Active's easily destroy all other in the price range!!!" submitted February 10, 2008

By a customer from yahoo.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Hobbyist, remixing, producing for about 8 years now.
Music Style: Electronica, Ambient, Drum n Bass, Jungle
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Sound: Overall, these speakers are great! A bit bright out of the box causing a little ear fatigue on highs but, just because they are still being broken in. They do a great job though and I have already found several bits in my recordings that I never heard before (good and bad!). I wouldn't recommend them for non studio use as they are pretty flat but again, that's their job right?!I love them and they are great for a small studio or editing bay. Much better than anything else I have heard under $700. (Quick note...M-audio's Bx5a have no low end & Yamaha 5" are way to bright so, these guys already had my vote before I checked out others which they stil crippled) Feature: High, Mid, & Bass boost adjustments on the back are a great option. The Gain dials would have been better served on the front rather than back for ease of use but, a little tweaking gets them properly aligned. Light on top looks cool but, is also a very useful reminder to shutdown plus turns red when you're overloading...nice. Ease of Use: Easy to hook up, striaght forward design and very easy to figure out controls. Superb right out of the box. Plug-n-Play. Even come with power cords which M-Audio does not. Quality: These little guys feel awesome. They are really heavy/solid for their size and buttons/dials all feel solid, not 'loose' like on other designs. Value: You are getting a great product for a great value. I checked out KRK Rockit 5's & 8's(which come heavily recommended if you go to GC), M-Audio Bx5a & Bx8a, Mackie, Yamaha 5's & 8's, & Samson...These rocked them all! The M-Audio Bxa8 and the Rockit 8's had the best bass of the lot but, they are 8's and these Alesis are very close, making up for what they lack being smaller with great features and better overall sound. The Alesis killed Mackie, Samson, & even Yamaha (on the bass end, although Yams had better mids)The big thing is, overall these guys slaughtered overall the same size and larger of the competition! Plus, they are like $200. -300. bucks less!!! Manufacturer Support: Not sure yet and hopefully I won't have to be right? I have read about the capacitors going on these so perhaps I have to deal with that down the road. Fingers are crossed for good luck. The Wow Factor: Very pleasing on the eye! Sleak silver fronts spill over the hardened black casing highlited by the neon blue glow emitting from the crown. Overall: I will gladly use these 520's for as long as they will allow however, I can see within the next year or two looking for something a little bassier to go along with these for reference reasons only.
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"Buy it." submitted February 24, 2007

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Sound: It sounds really good.The bass is great since I can adjust to my room and it's right against the wall, it's more than I need. The high are great and so are the mids. Feature: The light on the top reminds me to turn it off when I turn off my computer. Since this is shielded, I keep it right next to my CRT monitor, and no noise or interference. Ease of Use: You have to turn on/off few switches to adjust to your room, which is great for people like me with no acoustic design in the room. Quality: Great for home speaker. This thing is quite heavy, nothing like M-Audio which are light and plasticy. Value: A++++ Manufacturer Support: Have to wait for a year or two after it break down. The Wow Factor: Cool looks with black and white design. Overall: I'll buy another one since it's the pefect I need and want.
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Alesis M1 Active 520 Customer Review submitted August 7, 2006

By a customer from adinet.com.uy
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Live sound engineer, electronics engeneering student
Music Style: jazz, rock, alternative
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Sound: It sounds great, specially the medium and high frequencies. I now hear things I couldn't before. I bought them to listen to music, since I wanted small active speakers. And they are better that other fancy-brand speakers of the same price range. Feature: I wish it had a single volume control on the front. Other than that, they don't miss anything. Value: There are other similar alternatives on the same price range (M-Audio for example). But I liked these better that the BX5A. They sound way better.
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"DAMN" submitted October 4, 2007

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Sound
Features
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Musical Background: Aspiring Enginer
Music Style: Hip Hop, RnB, Drum and Bass, and Techno
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Sound: Well balanced sound, Clear bass, nice mids, and natural highs. Easlier better than the KRK Rokit 5 monitors (Which my friend uses). Feature: Straight and easy room adjustments, Few switches and simple to adjust. Ease of Use: Plug and Play and Enjoy.... Value: I only paid 245 for a PAIR of these.... NICE Manufacturer Support: I say the best since I havent had a reason to call them.. The Wow Factor: Two words: Blue Lights!!! Overall: PLEASE BUY THIS MONITORS
7 of 8 people (87.5%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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Alesis M1 Active 520 Customer Review submitted June 8, 2006

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Sound: very clear imaging, i added a krk rockit 10s and they sound great together. the highs are very clear and the bass hits very clean. natural sounding and the options on the back allow you to tailor them to your studio Feature: theres a good amount of them espacially for the price range. i really like the power buttons on top and the fact that the lights turn red when clipping
5 of 6 people (83.33%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Excellent " submitted March 6, 2012

By John B in Malibu, CA
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Musical Background: Playing guitar for 30 years. DAW work for 5 years.
Music Style: Blues, jazz, improv classical
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Overall: I am extremely happy with these monitors. I can finally get an accurate idea of what my DAW projects sound like! Headphones (no matter how expensive) and computer speakers just don't cut it when one is trying to evaluate eq,, compression, mix balance and placement. I didn't have much money to spend, and I was apprehensive about having to make yet another "budget" purchase, but I have to say these Alesis M1 520 monitors have exceeded my hopes. The spectrum adjustments on the back give a lot of control for getting the speakers properly balanced for their environment. Knobs instead of switches would have been nice, but the switches are sufficient. Just note that these required a bit of a break-in period before they really started sounding sweet...
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"I'm Happy!" submitted February 23, 2012

By John B in Valencia, CA
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
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Value
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The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Home enthusiast with professional audio experience. Guitarist for 30 years.
Music Style: Blues, rock, cinematic.
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Sound: The sound is fantastic.. full, balanced and loaded with detail. I can now tell what works and doesn't work in a mix. What a concept! Like many, I was thinking a small woofer = small bass (or hideous bass compensation), but these things can shake the room if you want them to. And it isn't just mud - It is bass with detail. I didn't think anything in the sub-$200 (a pair!) price range could produce decent accurate sound, but these little gems have surprised me. Feature: The cool, blue-lit power buttons on top of each speaker are a great touch. All the adjustments on the back are nice (and necessary), but I will always wonder why pro-audio companies don't put them on the front so you can listen as you tweak... Ease of Use: I had to spend some time tweaking the high, mid and low settings to get these guys dialed in to where I wanted them, but that was to be expected since every room is going to have different acoustics. Quality: The speakers seem very well made and solid. Heavy! The small setting switches on the back don't seem too durable, but they shouldn't be getting much of a workout. Value: In this price range, I think these have to be as good as it gets... Manufacturer Support: I haven't had to deal with customer support, which is an additional plus for these speakers. The Wow Factor: Sound-wise these have a huge wow factor for me. Visually... aside from the cool blue power buttons, not much wow. Black and gray don't float my boat. Overall: I am extremely happy with my new Alesis 520 M1's. Since I live primarily on a small, fixed income, I have had to make some unfortunate compromises in outfitting my home studio, but the good news is that for once I don't feel as though I compromised on anything by purchasing the Alesis M1 520 monitors. They deliver great, accurate sound, which is what I have been desperate for. My previous "monitor speakers" went swiftly into the trash.
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"best monitors" submitted November 20, 2005

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Sound: Great over all sound with custom control switches on back to tailor to your studio.
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"Not satisfied with product performance" submitted April 1, 2008

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Everything
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Sound: Good sound when something plays. Has a high pitched tone that is audible when nothing plays. This is so irritating that I switch the unit off when I am not playing music. Contacted tech support - they said it was normal!! Feature: Product was well made physically. Ease of Use: Easy to use Quality: I rated quality poorly because of the tone. The blue lights on the monitor blinks when music plays at half volume. Value: I don't think the value is good - cheap product - poor performance Manufacturer Support: Support was quick to get back but overall I think they set their product expectations low... Overall: If it was stolen I would not get it again.
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Alesis M1 Active 520 Customer Review submitted April 6, 2008

Sound: I paid a little price for this and all i can say is WOW... Theres no other monitor in this price range that can beat the sound of my alesis m1a520.. I spend so much time hearing lots of monitors, behringer, samson, krk, yamaha, etc... until i found these, and i totally fell in love with their sound.
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"incredible offer for the price" submitted July 16, 2007

By a customer from tiscali.it
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Musical Background: active musician
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Sound: very direct and clear, in the beginning a little harsh it needs some break in time, not forgiving with bad recordings Quality: very well and heavy built Value: much value for the price tag
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