Akai RPM3 Studio Monitors Review
Introduction to myself and the Akai RPM3
I was a little dubious about buying these studio monitors as for the price they seemed to good to be true. In their advertising literature Akai were promising a studio monitor with audio interface for under £80.00.After a year of using them I'm pretty confident it seemed to good to be true because it is was. These are not studio monitors but instead they are good quality portable speakers. However that does not mean I am not happy with my purchase.
Who am I to judge
I think it is important that I tell you a few things about me before you read this review. I am an amateur music producer. I make Drum and Bass for a hobby and have had a few minor successes. I sell a few downloads and have had my music played on local and national radio in the U.K. However I am not a professional musician . I use these monitors for the mixdown but I do not master my own music.
Product overview of the Akai RPM3
Here is a very brief overview of the specs and features.
- 3" woofer
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 6.0” x 5.0” x 7.5” / 15.3 cm x 12.7 cm x 19.0 cm
- Weight (total): 7.5 lbs / 3.4 kg
- 1/8", 1/4" TRS or RCA stereo inputs on rear of monitors.
- headphone jack on front of monitors.
- magnetically shielded to protect from interference from computer monitors.
Pros and Cons of Akai RPM3
Good things about the Akai RPM3
Ease of use
I had never used studio monitors before so I was worried I would have problems setting them up. However the setup could not have been easier. The monitors are connected to the computer by USB and therefore are plug and play. Within 5 minutes of opening the box the monitors were working perfectly.
Having a headphone jack on the front of the monitor is a good bonus as it mean I can easily plug in my headphones to get a different angle on the sound. Similarly as the monitors are connected by USB if I want to listen to a lo fi version of my music I can unplug them and listen on the laptop speakers. This really helps me when I am mixing down tracks.
Weight and Size
I make music using a laptop and do not have a fixed "studio point". This means that I end up making music wherever I can get some peace in the house. For this reason the RPM3's are great as they are very small and light. I have also taken them to other musicians houses to record vocals.
Built in audio interface
This was a major bonus as I had managed to get my hands on a Microkorg. Within a few minutes I had plugged the microkorg into the monitors and was able to record live into my D.A.W. I have also recorded vocals using the audio interface and again this was very easy to do. The amount of different input choices is also another major plus point.
Bad things about the Akai RPM3
Bearing in mind that one of the draws of this product is that it is easy to carry about I was a little disappointed with the strength of the item. I managed to knock them off my desk and this was enough to break the headphone socket.
Although these are marketed as studio monitors I feel this is misleading as they do not deliver flat sound. The frequency Response is 80 Hz – 20 kHz. However despite this I do use them successfully but again please remember I do not master my music and I am not sure it would be possible to do so using these monitors.
1/8 Stereo connection
After a year my monitors can now only be connected to the computer by USB and I no longer have the option to connect by 1/8 stereo connection. This started to malfunction after I had the product for 6 months (before I dropped them). However this may only effect me and not be a general problem with the product.
This may be me just being picky but I do not like the way that when you turn the volume the sound goes from silence to LOUD! with no warning. I'd like a lot more control over the volume through the monitor rather than having to rely on the computers volume controls.
Overall I am delighted that I bought these monitors. They are cracking speakers that are a decent volume for when I am listening to music and watching films on my computer. They also serve me as an amateur musician when composing. They allow me to complete my mixdowns to an acceptable level before I send them to be mastered.
However if you are a serious musician or are considering a career in the music industry then I do not feel these are the monitors for you. From speaking to people in the rave scene who produce music for a living it seems that the professionals choice is the KRK Rokit range. If however you are an amateur musician who wants some good quality speakers and audio input at a low price then I wholeheartedly recommend the Akai RPM3's.
If you are in the U.K and wish to compare price for Akai RPM3's then check out the price comparison section at The Rave Directory.