PIONEER DJ DM-50D-BT review | Can DJ monitors also play?
We were a little surprised when Pioneer offered us a duo of DJ monitors of sorts to test out. In fact, it doesn’t have much to do with gaming. On the other hand, it’s by no means a stupid idea to use two desktop speakers for sound reinforcement, especially on the PC. Especially if you are actually a DJ. Apparently, Pioneer itself was curious if using the speakers as an alternative for gaming really made sense. Well, we were convinced.
So why not think outside the box? Many gamers use their desktop or laptop computer for gaming, but also for listening to music or watching movies. Sound from a studio monitor could definitely work here. The Pioneer DJ DM-50D-BT are also available for a reasonable price of less than 240 euros, which is no more expensive than other desktop speakers that go beyond normal PC speakers.
A little aha moment appears upon unboxing. The speakers are not lightweights, each weighing over 3.5 kg. When taken out of the box, the bulge the tweeters sit in draws attention to use as a handle. Stupid idea, because the tweeters are unprotected, there is no grille in front of them and with a bit of bad luck you will crush one of the sensitive membranes if you are not careful. We were. Become stupid.
On the other hand, the two 175 x 262 x 257 mm speakers, available in black or white, cut a fine figure on the table. The design is attractive, the finish is very good and the boxes are extremely sturdy thanks to their medium density fiberboard casing with vinyl laminate. It’s nice that the important controls (volume control, BlueTooth button and headphone jack) are on the front of the left speaker.
The connections are also located on the left speaker at the rear. This seems logical given that the Class D amplifier is also in the case. The other speaker is powered via a connection cable with a clamping mechanism. The necessary cables are included. A 3.5 mm stereo jack, cinch and 2 x 6.3 mm TRS jacks await you as connection options. So basically it’s all there to work via DJ controller and mixer, laptop, PC or sound card. There is also BlueTooth as a wireless option, so you can also connect a smartphone or tablet.
Inside the enclosures there’s a ¾” soft dome tweeter, along with a chunky 5″ woofer, which should get plenty of punch from the front-firing bass-reflex channels. The frequency range covers 54 to 30,000 Hz. The power is given at 25W per speaker. The membranes are powered by a class-D amplifier with 96 kHz sampling DSP. This ensures a decent volume for PA in small rooms. It gets ugly from around 90 decibels, until then the sound remains clear.
It’s also worth mentioning that you can switch between a DJ mode and a production mode using the switch on the back. The former is said to have a little more punch in the low end, while the latter accentuates the upper ranges a bit. In practice, however, the difference is rather small. It’s worth bearing in mind that the speakers are actually in the lower price range for their actual use as DJ monitors.
Let’s move on to the practical use on the gaming PC. Of course, we started with the music first, in order to get a general impression. The speakers cut a fine figure here with clear, balanced sound that packs a good punch, especially in the lower mids. The final boom track lacks bass, but that was to be expected. The woofers in conjunction with the bass-reflex channels still get a lot out of this, especially at higher volumes.
In movies, the speakers please with good speech intelligibility, but also build a decent backdrop for more monumental sound works. When gaming, the speakers also deliver very decent performance. Thanks to the strong mids, we particularly liked what comes out of the diaphragms in action titles, but speech intelligibility in dialogue-heavy games is also competitive. In practice, Pioneer speakers prove to be competent all-rounders.
Competent all-rounders at a fair price
Basically, Pioneer’s Dynamic Duo is definitely an option when it comes to gaming on a PC or laptop and if you want a bit more punch and sound quality. If you listen to a lot of music besides gaming or are actually a DJ, you might be happy with the cheap speaker set. The sound is quite powerful and a bit heavy, which is suitable for games, for example, to enjoy gun sounds in shooters. For our taste, the highs are a little sharp here and there, and the bass is decent for the size of the speakers. Whether it’s ideal for production studio use or whether an even more neutral sound would be better remains to be seen – I have very little idea.
However, there are plenty of alternatives in this price range that aren’t really any worse for gaming, music, or movies, and some even have a subwoofer in their luggage, like the Edifier S350DB, which is now only ‘a bit more expensive. The bottom line is that Pioneer speakers are capable all-rounders that you can’t go wrong with. The price-quality ratio corresponds.
- crisp mids, crisp highs and decent bass
- many connection options
- robust processing
- beautiful optics
- little difference between DJ and production mode
- a lot of competition in the price range when it comes to games