M-Audio AV42 Desktop Multimedia Speakers Review: Poor Build and Design Let These Down

The volume knob in this picture is set to half. I never got even close to this in my week with the unit. It would have destroyed my head.


The AV42’s make audio go with a 4-inch woofer and a 1-inch waveguide-enhanced tweeter. The character of the sound is very nice and balanced. The high frequencies stick out a little more, but certain mid-bass sounds will bring the right amount of thump. They don’t go nearly as low as something with a dedicated subwoofer, but they provide enough bass that you won’t feel like you’re missing too much…although they don’t render the sub-bass thump from Avril Lavigne’s Sk8er Boi that I test headphones with. But neither does the Bose Companion 20. That’s just a physics limitation.


M-Audio’s design is pretty darn standard and boring for desktop monitors, with some quirks and unfortunate deficiencies. The left speaker houses the amp and all of the connections, and the power switch is on the back. Why is the power switch on the back and not built into the front volume knob? No idea.

Final Thoughts

Maybe don’t buy the M-Audio AV42s. They’re not very good, and there’s a solid chance that your pair will have a channel imbalance and poor shielding. I returned my pair to the store after a week of frustration. They didn’t have any others in stock for me to try, so I bought a couple of cheap pairs of headphones and a copy of Mass Effect Andromeda instead. I’ll have reviews of all three of those things later this week! Thanks for reading.



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Alex Rowe

Alex Rowe

I write independent game reviews and commentary. Please support me directly if you enjoy my work: https://xander51.medium.com/membership