Unlike hi-fi speakers, which are designed to make music sound as good as it possibly can, the job of monitor speakers is to reveal the sound source as it really is. A decent pair of monitors will highlight rogue frequencies and volume fluctuations in your podcasts, music productions or DIY movie soundtracks, allowing you to make the appropriate adjustments before unleashing your masterpiece on the world.
The Alesis 620 M1 stereo monitors go about it in the right way, each powered by its own internal amp, thus avoiding any speaker or amp mismatches and minimising colouration issues.
They connect to your mixer or audio interface via balanced XLR plugs or TRS jacks (to reduce noise and hum). Each has a power light surrounding the ‘on’ button that turns red when the respective inputs are overloaded.
Sound on each is delivered via a 1in silk dome tweeter, with a 6.5in woofer handling mid-range and bass, backed up by a rear-firing bass port. ‘Acoustic space’ switches on the rear panel allow the speakers to be adjusted according to their proximity and relation to walls (to avoid resonance at low frequencies), and three EQ switches are available, including a low-frequency filter to accommodate the addition of a subwoofer.
No sub required
These 620 M1s are the big brothers of the incredibly affordable 520 M1s (£135), but are still firmly in budget territory in monitor terms. Even so, the 620 M1s don’t disappoint, painting high frequencies in sometimes embarrassing levels of detail, with an even distribution down to a respectably low low-end.
Movie moguls may want to add a sub, but musicians should have no need for any added depth. As for volume, they go loud enough without exceeding sensible monitoring levels.