Esi Near 04 Or Alesis M1 320 Usb Or...

hi all, tight budget here and i was wondering if anyone of you had any experience with one of these
small active monitors…

esi near 04 about 169,- new ( i can buy second-hand from a friend for about 100,-)

alesis m1 active 320 usb priced 99,- new.

m-audio studiophile av40 priced somewhere around 140,- i believe…

so… what do you think?



i think all of these are “ok” monitors, at least within this budget price range.
i have used the nEar 05 pair myself for the last 4 years, and they have done a decent job so far, though i often long for bigger, better and even more accurate monitors :rolleyes:

the ESIs are quite neutral in their sound, which is good, not too bassy at all, just “honest” i guess. plenty of gain, and no notible hiss, though they maybe were a little bit nosier before i switched to XLR cables instead of jacks. anyway, no problem at all. good value for the price, all inn all.

i am thinking of upgrading to Genelec sometime soon. i guess it is just a natural step, as with all audio gear.

cheers for the reply Denim.

any more experienced peeps here regarding the speakers?..


i found this norwegian review…

is there someone here who could atleast translate the ‘conclusion’ for me?..

thnx! :)


quick translation for you:

“ESI nEar04 makes a good overall score. There has been a lot of talk about lack of bass and muddy bass, but this doesn’t necessarily mean buying these is a bad decision… With a clear and transparent sound these speakers are better then most other speakers (don’t know if they mean speakers or monitors here). The only thing that might be a downside is the possible lack of clearity in the bottom end in music where at lot of stuff is happning, with full and complex soundscapes.”

“important to have them set up in the correct position… blabla” as with all nearfield monitors.


  • clear sound
  • good sound compared to the size of the speakers"


  • lacks deep/sub bass
  • muddy bass when a lot is going on"

yeah… that’s pretty much it.

but i don’t think you should rely on this review so much.
It’s from - a place primarily for PC-building, gaming, and so on…

i don’t even know if these guys know they are meant to be studio monitors, since they keep mentioning the term “speakers”.

oh hey thanks again…didnt notice you were Norwegian:)…

i just bought the Near04’s from a friend…
so… i can be the judge on them myself!