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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Nov 12, 2009
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    Two Speakers from Apple.com
    Hi guys, I have a question about two speakers from Apple store.
    My question is simple:

    Which one is better?

    1. M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Speaker System
    M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Speaker System - Apple Store (U.S.)


    2. Harman Kardon SoundSticks II
    Harman Kardon SoundSticks II - Apple Store (U.S.)

    Since I don't know much about speaker system, I can only think of a couple of criteria;

    Overall sound quality,
    Build quality.

    The website has specs and everything.
    Price for both are similar and both have good reviews.

    Thank you guys!

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Nov 12, 2009
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    Anyone? Please?

  3. #3

    osxx's Avatar
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    Specs:
    09 MBP 8GB ram 500GB HD OS 10.9 32B iPad 4 32GB iPhone 5 iOs7 2TB TC Apple TV3
    If you want deeper bass the SoundSticks ll will be it, if you are looking more towards Hi-Fi
    then M Audio would be a better choice but without the addition of a sub will not play as low and as always with speakers you need to demo them, sound is very subjective everyone has different taste but you can't go wrong with either.

  4. #4

    ZorroAMG's Avatar
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    Specs:
    | '09 24" iMac 3.06 8GB | '09 iPhone 3GS 32GB | '09 ATV 1.16TB | '07 23" ACD | '06 15" MBP |
    Also, I find that the Soundsticks are no longer a good representative of the look of current Macs. They are the same design since around 2000 when everything was clear plastic..I had them and until one speaker failed (8 years old), they sounded great.

    I replaced them with the BOSE Companion 3 v2's and they are great.

  5. #5

    osxx's Avatar
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    Specs:
    09 MBP 8GB ram 500GB HD OS 10.9 32B iPad 4 32GB iPhone 5 iOs7 2TB TC Apple TV3
    Have you considered a good set of headphones for the money the Koss Porta-Pro's and
    the Sennheiser PX-100's are hard to beat cost/performance ratio.

  6. #6

    Doug b's Avatar
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    I've not had a chance to listen to the M Audio's, but had a fairly good run in with the SS II's and even compared them to the much more expensive near field set by Focal, and thought the SSII's sounded great. The only 'negative' characteristic I could find, is that the subwoofer is a bit on the muddled side. But that's REALLY reaching. And I really mean a BIT. Hardly worth mentioning really, especially for their price.

    The one good thing about the M Audio's is that they're dual voltage compatible, so if you ever move to Europe or Asia etc.. they'll be good to go.

    Also, the Soundsticks have a much smaller desktop footprint, aside from the sub, which you keep out of the way in any case.

    On another note, I'd only have a Bose product in my house if it was given to me for free. I'd never pay the prices they ask for their over priced plastic garbage with BS 'scientific' patents. None of their stuff is worth the prices they ask. Not even half of what they ask.

    If you want to spend that kind of cash, there are much better options out there. There's a review of the AV40's at the bottom of this page:

    Product Reviews of Studio Gear

    Here's a general page.
    All About Home and Project Studio Monitors

    Wharfedale Diamond 8.2 Pro from zZounds.com

    Doug

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Nov 12, 2009
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    Oh Thanks very much guys!

    osxx, I have both Porta-Pro and px-100. They are good, don't get me wrong. I just need a set of speaker

    Things are quite clear now. Sound Stick has more base and both have great overall sound quality for the price.

    I'm curious what's the one level above those two speakers?
    I mean, suppose I had one of the two speakers for a long time and I want to move up to another speakers. What would it be?
    Say price range; under $400.

    Thanks again guys!

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Nov 12, 2009
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    Thanks Doug for very detailed reply!

    I actually have M-Audio and I totally satisfy w/ my speaker.
    Maybe only downside is that it's a little bulky and the look of it is not very fancy
    But I chose sound quality over design.
    At the time I bought the speaker, I didn't aware SSII, and last week I got a chance to hear SSII of my buddy's. It was VERY much impressive indeed and quite honestly I kinda liked the design of it. I was thinking "Well, design is important too!!" hehe
    As zoro_AMG mentioned, maybe it's not a top notch design anymore but it was still better than mine hehe

    Next time when I buy a new speaker I would consider BOTH sound quality and design!


    And I would very much appreciate if anybody threw me ideas.

    p.s. I'm not a huge fan of BOSE. I suppose it's a good speaker but I FEEL (not necessarily true, so no offense) it's a little bit overpriced, and possibly overrated.

  9. #9

    osxx's Avatar
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    The next step up would be a DAC/AMP and bokshelves from one of the high end dealers
    like B&W,Paradigm,Focal or Revel's and a ID sub like one from SVS or you could just use
    the optical out of your Mac and feed it into your receiver/amp to your home system.

  10. #10

    clayneal's Avatar
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    late 08 macbook 2.0 4gig 320hdd10.7.3 32 gig iPhone 4s
    I know it was not a choice but...Here is my pic ! I have been using a set of these for 12 years ( well mine are 4.1 but I only use the front end )
    And I think you would be hard pressed to find a better pair of dedicated computer speakers at any price.

    ProMedia 2.1 iPod/Computer Speaker - Computer Speaker System, PC Speakers, 2.1 Computer Speakers - Free Shipping - 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee - Overview

    And I also agree with Doug b on bose being over priced junk ! I have been a low voltage tech for almost 20 years and have countless dedicated home theater installs under my belt and If a potential client specs bose for any part of it I wont take the job.

    Just my thoughts
    Clay
    MY ADVICE COMES WITH A DOUBLE YOUR MONEY BACK GUARANTEE!

  11. #11


    Member Since
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    Thanks osxx and clayneal.
    Wow, the next step is almost like a serious home theater system. That would be too much for any time soon.

  12. #12

    ZorroAMG's Avatar
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    Oh the BOSE bashers rejoice...lol!!

    If any of you bashers live in a condo, I dare you to tell me that you need more than the performance of what a BOSE system can put out. Yes, your neighbours must LOVE your tower speakers and 1000w rms per channel booming systems for the 7 seconds you turn it up that high without a noise complaint.

    I have always owned condos and BOSE stuff is more than enough based on sound quality, volume, aesthetics and price according to MY ear.

    Unless you've owned a set, don't bash - installers need not apply, you are as bad as contractors recommending overpriced, over powered appliances for your bottom line - next you'll be recommending Monster Cables hahahaha!!



    PS sure BOSE doesn't publish specs but in the end, isn't it about the sound?

  13. #13

    clayneal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZorroAMG View Post
    Oh the BOSE bashers rejoice...lol!!

    If any of you bashers live in a condo, I dare you to tell me that you need more than the performance of what a BOSE system can put out. Yes, your neighbours must LOVE your tower speakers and 1000w rms per channel booming systems for the 7 seconds you turn it up that high without a noise complaint.

    I have always owned condos and BOSE stuff is more than enough based on sound quality, volume, aesthetics and price according to MY ear.

    Unless you've owned a set, don't bash - installers need not apply, you are as bad as contractors recommending overpriced, over powered appliances for your bottom line - next you'll be recommending Monster Cables hahahaha!!



    PS sure BOSE doesn't publish specs but in the end, isn't it about the sound?
    The only thing worse then bose is anything made by monster ! And its not about loud its about quality / price and bose dosnt compete on either . I dont let my clients waste their money I try very hard for them to get the most bang for the buck . And if you knew anything about contracting / installing then you would know that there is not enough margin in product to make any money , thats what labor is for.

    Clay
    MY ADVICE COMES WITH A DOUBLE YOUR MONEY BACK GUARANTEE!

  14. #14

    ZorroAMG's Avatar
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    Yeah but the "higher end stuff takes longer to install" - PS I only mentioned volume since some douches think that's what matters - I ALSO mentioned quality.

    I do know that there are many installers/contractors out there that are honest, I was just stereotyping (punny, hey?) a bit. There is nothing wrong with BOSE and most people that complain about it have never owned the stuff. Also the other companies that you think have better quality, I'd love to see their version of a system that is non-intruding like my acoustimass system.

    I like my system and it sounds great....so there!

  15. #15

    clayneal's Avatar
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    Agreed on the looks of the bose stuff and for your purposes it is not a bad way to go ( but still to darn expensive) But in the end all that matters is it works for you and you are happy.

    Clay
    MY ADVICE COMES WITH A DOUBLE YOUR MONEY BACK GUARANTEE!

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