The Samson MediaOne M50 Powered Studio Monitors are Samson’s latest entry into the full-range media speaker category. At their astonishingly low price point I was curious to see how these held up to your typical podcast / media production workflow. I spent a week with them to find out.
The M50s come as a pair, one active and one passive. You plug in a single speaker, then connect the second one to the first, and you’re ready to go. There is a set of stereo RCA inputs on the back, as well as an 1/8” input to connect directly from a laptop. The black vinyl finish looks very classy, and truth be told, these speakers feel very ‘upscale’. They definitely have the look and feel of more boutique and expensive gear. There is 80 watts of power to work with, so these aren’t going to necessarily power your next pool party, but for a small editing desk setup they will get the job done. There’s a bass boost switch on the back to give the low end a little more ‘oomph’ when needed. If you have actual sub like the MediaOne 10S, you can utilize the 1/8” output to get a true full-frequency experience.
One of the first things that struck me about the M50s is how simple and elegant the design is. On the front there is a headphone jack and power/volume control. That’s it! I find the location of the volume/power to be quite convenient as many speakers place this in the back which can be a hassle to access if you turn the speakers on/off often enough.
I plugged my MacBook Pro directly into the powered M50 via an 1/8” cable and tried a few of my typical reference tunes. I was instantly quite pleased with the sound of the M50s. They have a fairly crisp sound that is detailed without getting to robust in the high end. Many budget speakers really accentuate the outer ends of the EQ curve to fool you into thinking you’re hearing ‘every detail’ but I didn’t find that to be the case with the M50s. The sound was clear without the extremities being ‘pushed’ at me. I engaged the bass boost switch just to test it out and it does what it says it does, but to be honest, I preferred it off. I wouldn’t use the M50s at a level high enough where the pumping bass was going to be important, so all in all, I was happy with the ‘default’ sound of the M50 monitors.
I do wish there were more input options. Honestly, the sound was good enough to use as a second pair of ‘mix checking’ monitors, but to get these plugged into my pro setup would be a bit of a hassle with cable conversion. At the very least a 1/4” input would be nice, and at most, having a USB-C direction connection would make it feel like Christmas in July.
The Samson M50 monitors are really terrific value for the price. They sound great, they are dead simple to set up, and they are several large steps up from the default speakers on your laptop or desktop. Whether you are a podcaster, game streamer or music enthusiast, the M50 is an excellent monitor solution for the price.
Pros: Simple setup, very good sound, controls on the front, light weight, excellent build.
Cons: Only 1/8” and RCA inputs available.