Pioneer DM-40 studio monitor review
Pioneer Corporation, commonly referred to as Pioneer, is a Japanese multinational company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, that specializes in digital entertainment products. The company was founded by Nozomu Matsumoto in 1938 in Tokyo as a radio and speaker repair workshop. Its current president is Susumu Kotani.
The compact DM-40 studio monitors are designed for quality music listening and mixing for DJs.
The front bass reflex speaker delivers rich and deep bass and is capable of 3D stereo sound and has a wide stage picture, providing clear, energetic sound even when used for mixing music, DJ work or just listening to music.
The fiberglass, conical subwoofers deliver strong, percussive bass that retains its intensity and clarity even when the monitor is facing the wall. The “B” class amplifier guarantees balance at all frequencies. The low-frequency drive is complemented by a soft-dome, high-frequency tweeter. It handles mids and peaks, does a reasonable job thanks to the large convex diffuser. The frequency range is 70Hz to 30kHz. The impedance is 10 Ohms, maximum power is 42 Watts.
The curved front edges of the monitors provide maximum rigidity and minimum resonance for clear sound at any volume. The headphone output and volume control knob on the front panel offer flexible operation, the rear RCA and stereo 3.5mm mini jack inputs allow the connection and reception of a line-level signal.
Sound of Pioneer DM-40
We tested the Pioneer monitors in a small studio, where we had already performed an acoustic measurement, and based on the results, the acoustic treatment was also done. On the walls were printed, photographic sound-absorbing panels depicting instruments and parametric diffusers in a rather modern style. In a music studio, perfect musical materials can only be made if the acoustics of the place are treated with the right acoustic elements.
We put the Pioneer monitor pair to the test with Jason Derulo’s latest song, Love Not War. The first thing that comes to mind is the warm and pleasant lower range. Compared to a small monitor, we could hear rich and full sound. The mids and peaks were also clear and vibrant. Noisy sounds were not present, determination was characteristic of the speaker. However, the main problem was that the frequencies were not properly balanced. If we are dealing with music mixing and recording, this is certainly not a small mistake. But if someone works as a DJ or is used for simple music listening, these speakers are great. The full low ends on such a compact monitor make them an attractive choice for hobby DJs.
The DM-40 also offers high volume. Great for connecting a DJ controller to practice at home. They are not loud enough for a party, but we do not use studio monitors for loud parties or events anyway. The speaker sound is not loud enough to fill an entire room evenly. Even at higher volumes, distortion is very minimal. If you want a cheap studio monitor kit that has decent sound, the DM40 is an ideal choice.
The production quality of the Pioneer DM-40 is adequate. The housing is solid and well built. Its 4.9kg weight is good to stay stable. The included cables are also of good quality and quite long.
The sound is full, realistic, extensive, so the speaker looks bigger than it actually is. However, treble sometimes gets a little too much in the background.
The Pioneer DM-40 offers two unbalanced connectivity options, a standard RCA connection and a stereo mini-plug. The speaker also comes with an audio converter cable. The DM-40 also has a headphone jack on the front of the speaker.
The DM-40 is sleek and attractive in a matte black colour. The high, convex diffuser around the tweeter gives it a nice look. The inward-facing sloping edges and Pioneer add to this. The speakers are also available in white.
One of the attractive features of the DM-40 is its compact size. Perfect for smaller studio spaces, it also offers a pleasant sound. These monitors are also light enough to be placed on shelves. Just keep in mind that you need enough space around them for air movement. Without heat dissipation, internal components can overheat and break.
The Pioneer studio monitors offer excellent value for money. They offer good sound and quality. This makes them leading members in the category of best entry-level monitors available for hobby DJs. Although these speakers are quite compact, they are neither small nor particularly light due to the rugged use of materials. This usually means better sound quality because the cabinet stays still, resonance is not a problem when the speaker cones move to produce sound. The speakers also have a front design, meaning there is a slot at the front of each that allows air to flow in and out of the unit for fuller bass. Great choice for any starting DJ. We recommend the Pioneer-DDJ 1000 controller.
Written by Róbert Polgár