A powerful set of affordable shelf speakers.
My desk set-up is pretty minimal I am currently working off of a Bush Series C Credenza Desk (with hutch), which is only 24 inches deep and 60 inches long. It’s perfect for my laptop and some odds and ins since I technically have a ‘mobile office’ but one thing that I really need as a necessity is speakers. I love music and am almost always playing it in some form while I am working. Therefore, I have used just about every style of speaker in my set-up trying to find the ideal fit for me and my desk. That said, I have not tried a set of shelf speakers for one main reason — they are simply too big for my desk. I did, however, decide to give this set from Samson a whirl.
The MediaOne M50s are active 2-way powered studio monitors. They are 5.25″ in size and are considered a “multimedia speaker system.” They are sold as a stereo pair (one active and one passive speaker) and are designed to be used for music playback, production, gaming, and video applications. They are powered by an internal 80-watt (40W per channel) studio-grade A/B amplifier. The cabinets are constructed from wood with a polypropylene woofer and 3/4″ silk-dome tweeter. The MediaOne M50s have the option of RCA and 1/8″ inputs. There is also a front-panel headphone jack for private listening sessions. In addition to the input options, there is also a 1/8″ output which allows you to integrate a powered subwoofer to create a 2.1 system.
- Amplifier: Class AB
- Power Rating: 2 x 40W
- Frequency Response: 50Hz–20kHz -3dB
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 83dB
- Distortion (THD): <0.9%
- Input Impedance: 13KΩ
- Product Dimensions (Each): 10.75″ x 7″ 8.25″ (273mm x 180mm x 209mm)
- Product Weight (Pair): 14.3lb (6.5kg)
The Samson MediaOne M50 speakers come in a branded box with an image of the product on the front. There are minimal details included but the name of the product is front and center on the box. The speakers are packaged well with plenty of styrofoam padding the individual boxes. They ship with a user manual, power cable, adhesive cushioned feet, and a 1/8″ cable for connecting the two speakers together.
One of the things I really like about these speakers is that they are elegant in their simplicity. The two black speakers have a very subtle, but professional style with them. There isn’t anything particularly flashy about them, but they have a strong presence as 5″ bookshelf speakers. The right unit is the active speaker. It has the RCA inputs (R and L channel) as well as the Bass Boost switch, 1/8″ Stereo Input, and the 1/8″ Stereo/Sub Out. To set up the speakers you simply plug the power cord into the right speaker and a power source. Then, you plug the input cables into the appropriate port. That’s it. There are no messy set-ups steps or apps to fool with. I will typically wish for a Bluetooth connection but I rather like the fact that these speakers are strictly analog in nature.
Within the past couple of months, we added a new TV to our home office. So, naturally, I decided to try and hook the speakers up to that device first. What I found though was that the TV did not allow for that type of connection. The only outputs it has are digital ones (HDMI, Optical, or Bluetooth) so I was left with some limited options given the digital world we live in. I ultimately decided to try the M50s out with my laptop. The set-up with my laptop was quite easy. I plugged in a 3.5mm stereo aux cable into my MacBook Pro dock and then selected that device as the output for my computer’s audio. The speakers sounded amazing! I actually felt like I was sitting inside a pair of high-quality headphones. The sound was so crisp, clear and they have amazing bass depth. I love that they have a built-in amplifier, too. I primarily used the M50s as music speakers but could see them being wonderful for many different uses.
The Samson MediaOne M50 speakers are a wonderful option for set-ups that use analog inputs and while you could use them with a digital set-up, you would need additional equipment to make it work properly. The sound quality speaks for itself with these speakers and at a price around $120 for the pair, it’s hard to pass these up if you are looking for a 5″ set of bookshelf monitors.