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Bowers & Wilkins MM-1

Premium Two-Channel PC Speaker Roundup
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PC enthusiasts might not be familiar with B&W, as it only just released its first purpose-built computer speakers. But Bowers & Wilkins is no stranger to audiophiles. This UK-based company has been producing high-end speakers since the 1960s, and when it comes to price, the MM-1s definitely define the high-end with a $499.95 buy-in. These speakers come with a two-year warranty, which is par for the course when it comes to premium speakers, but less than we’d hope for based on cost.

The MM-1 speaker system is undeniably attractive with brushed metal accents and a flat black cloth covering. Each enclosure houses a 1” tube-loaded tweeter and 3” long-throw driver. Take note of the size, because the other products in this roundup have larger (or twice as many) drivers. The enclosures feel very sturdy compared to the competition, and there’s some weight to them, despite the compact dimensions measuring less than 7” tall and about 4” in diameter.

The MM-1s come with an A/C adapter power cable, a five-foot long 1/8” mini-jack input cable, and a five-foot long USB cable. Why would PC speakers come with a USB cable? Because this kit employs a built-in DAC. The B&W MM-1 can actually bypass the sound hardware in your PC and convert the digital data into analog sound internally. Our tests show that this can improve the frequency response compared to a sub-par integrated audio codec.

The left enclosure’s input cable is permanently attached, but it can be removed from its plug on the bottom of the right enclosure for setup. There are even some cable-routing placements under the right speaker to keep the installation clean.

Also included is an attractive seven-function remote that allows limited control of the next, previous, and pause/play functions of your PC playback software when you’re using the USB input. The remote is always able to control power, volume, and mute, regardless of the input used.

The auxiliary 1/8” input jack is on the back of the right enclosure, just below the headphone output. The USB and auxiliary inputs work at the same time. 

The remote has most of the control functionality, but there are also built-in volume buttons built in to the right enclosure. This control is beautifully integrated into the speaker design. But for the steep asking price, we’re somewhat disappointed in the lack of bass or treble adjustments with the MM-1.

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