If you’ve been reading my posts over the past few years on a regular basis, you’ll know by know that I’m a self confessed audiophile. My iTunes library is full of lossless tracks that I’ve ripped from my growing CD collection (yes, until I can download music losslessly, I will continue to buy CDs and vinyls), but until now I haven’t had a truly great pair of speakers that can do all of those tracks justice.
The Bowers and Wilkins MM-1s caught my eye a few months back, with their promise of great sound and technology taken from their studio speakers, not to mention the incredible design work that is clearly present in every aspect of the units.
Rather than purchase the MM-1s over the internet as I normally would with technology, I chose to hear them in action first. After all, if I’m going to spend £400 on a pair of computer speakers, they have to be worth every single penny. To do this, I visited an audio specialist in York, which was incredibly accommodating. I was able to listen to the speakers for half an hour in the shop’s private demo area above the shop floor and choose from a plethora of CDs that could put the MM-1s through their paces. Needless to say I snapped them up almost instantly, or I wouldn’t be discussing them right now.
It’s clear that the speakers themselves have been painstakingly designed with every last detail in mind; even the metal material which covers the top of the units look great. Around the back of the main unit, you have a power input, USB input (more on that in a second) and a cable that connects the two speakers together. To ensure that the speakers sit flush on your desktop, special gaps have been made in the base to accommodate the cables. Unfortunately, you’ll have to find somewhere to place a rather intrusive power brick, as the speakers require one to be powered. This is certainly a downside, but well worth the tradeoff for some great sounding music.
Although you can connect the MM-1s to your computer via 3.5mm, you should definitely choose to connect via USB if you can, as the raw audio data is transmitted along the cable for the internal sound card, which is located within the main speaker, to decode. As a result, your tracks will sound as good as they possibly can, although you will have to sacrifice a precious port on your computer.
After the speakers have been running for a prolonged period of time, the main speaker can get rather hot at the top. There have been a few complaints about this on various review sites, but the speaker is never too hot to touch, and gets lukewarm at worst.
The Bowers & Wilkins MM-1s, although expensive, blow every other speaker that I’ve ever owned out of the water. The sound is great, and they pack a lot of bass for such small units as well, so rock lovers needn’t worry. As with any speakers, I’d definitely suggest that you see them in action before you buy, but they will definitely be £400 well spent for most.