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B&W MM-1 Multimedia Speakers Review

by August 23, 2010
B&W MM-1 Multimedia Speakers

B&W MM-1 Multimedia Speakers

  • Product Name: MM-1 Multimedia Speakers
  • Manufacturer: Bowers & Wilkins (B&W)
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Value Rating: StarStarStar
  • Review Date: August 23, 2010 05:15
  • MSRP: $ 499.95
  • Buy Now
  • 2-way active speakers
  • Nautilus tube tweeters
  • Digital amplifier w/DSP
  • Switch mode power supply
  • USB streaming from PC/Mac
  • Remote control
  • Drivers: 3" woofer, 1" tweeter
  • Frequency: 38Hz - 22kHz
  • Amplifier power: 4x18W
  • Rated power consumption: 12W
  • Standby power: <0.8W
  • Inputs: 3.5mm mini, USB 2.0
  • Software upgrades via USB
  • Outputs: 3.5mm mini headphone
  • Height: 6-7/8" H x 4" W x 4" D
  • Weight: 1.9 lbs. ea.
  • Finish/Enclosure: ABS with spun aluminum top plate
  • Grilles: Black cloth

Pros

  • Unbelievable lows
  • Tactile bass

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Narrow soundstage
  • Lackluster power supply
  • Potential for mid-bass bloat

Introduction

B&W sells speakers. And I don't mean for that to sound trite. I mean, they sell speakers. Lots of them. They are known for both high-end studio monitors as well as audiophile home audio. What more and more people are also finding out, however, is that B&W can make a mean small speaker as well. "Small" as in a multimedia, PC speaker. Last year we reviewed the B&W Zeppelin and found out that big things can come in small packages. Well when we cracked open the MM-1 speakers we were less skeptical. That's good for us, but for B&W it just meant that they needed to maintain their rapidly-rising reputation among our staff of listeners.
About the author:
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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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Recent Forum Posts:

ichigo posts on August 24, 2010 22:27
It looks like it's designed to compete with the Bose MediaMate or some other hyper-small satellite speakers. Based on what I've heard, I don't think these are going to beat larger mid-tier pc speakers in the $200 range.

Notice how there measurements (intentionally) were omitted in the review, although they did measure the Logitech Z-5500s? I'm sure they are horrific and showing them in the review won't go well with B&W's marketing team.

I'm sure it goes well with the Apple Crowd. Spend a lot of money on mid-end products with your favorite company logo and a nice polished skin.
Clint DeBoer posts on August 24, 2010 16:46
ratso, post: 744928
“While the MM-1 speakers feature an audio output if you were to connect any additional speakers or subwoofer the speakers would mute, negating this addition.”

so here is another example of a company doing something so amazingly stupid that i'm starting to think it's personal. they just don't like me. why would you put out a bass weak speaker and then NOT allow a sub to be used? just stupid.
Well, in their defense, it's a headphone jack and that is exactly how it SHOULD behave. The Aux jack is an input, not an output, and it operates in tandem with USB.
WaynePflughaupt posts on August 24, 2010 09:48
You can get the Swans M2000 MkII and a small sub for less than what the MMI’s cost.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
cwall99 posts on August 23, 2010 14:44
@ratso… I think if you wanted to do that, you should look at the sound card in your computer. I would suspect that a decent sound card, capable of 5.1 audio would have outputs for a subwoofer and three additional speakers.

I think, by design, B&W omitted the surround sound processing circuitry from their speakers.

I'm just guessing, but it seems pretty logical to me.

And it doesn't sound as if they're THAT weak in the bass department, seeing as, on the first page of the review, Clint had these two comments about the pros…

Unbelievable lows
Tactile bass
ratso posts on August 23, 2010 13:20
well here is a product that i have been looking for for quite some time. my wife and kid loves to watch movies and listen to music on the mac. why they don't watch downstairs on the HT i don't know. so i went over to the B+W site to look at this and found this in the FAQ's.

“ 17. Can I add additional speakers or a subwoofer to the MM-1 speakers?

While the MM-1 speakers feature an audio output if you were to connect any additional speakers or subwoofer the speakers would mute, negating this addition. ”

so here is another example of a company doing something so amazingly stupid that i'm starting to think it's personal. they just don't like me. why would you put out a bass weak speaker and then NOT allow a sub to be used? just stupid.
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