Behringer Truth B1031A Active Monitors
Behringer has a great reputation for cut-price products. Responsible for building a wide range of gear from outboard and microphones to guitar amp modellers, they deliver the goods at some hard to believe prices with some designs and feature sets being clearly inspired by other far more expensive gear.
Take the subject of this review, for example: a pair of monitors that look and sound very similar to a pair of KRK's, but weigh in at half the price.
"There's no doubt that this is an impressive pair of monitors for the price."
The B1031's are active, with a 1" silk dome tweeter sitting above the 8" Kevlar woofer, with a crossover frequency at 2.5kHz. The woofer features a 100W amplifier, while the tweeter is driven at 50W.
Kevlar is used for the woofer to ensure strength, which should translate to rugged, distortion-free, focussed bass and the Truths score immediate points in this regard, as theory does translate into practice.
One of the design requirements of the B1031A's was a wider-than-average sweet spot and once again Behringer have done well - you don't need to sit rigidly in one position to enjoy optimum sound.
One of the benefits of this is that the Truths could be used comfortably in a surround system, even for rear-speaker placements. Connection-wise, you're greeted with balanced ¼" jack and XLR inputs and, unusually, an RCA input too. Rocker switches are also included to allow you to adjust High Frequency, Low Frequency and Room (Proximity) Compensation, so it's possible to tailor the sound to your room's needs.
The final adjustment to be made at the rear is an input trim knob, with travel from -6 to +6dB.
We tried the Truths with a wide range of material and they stood up well across genres. Starting with dance music, we were pleased by the level of detail in the lower mid-range and struck too by a decent level of spank at the bottom, though with cutoff at 35Hz, these shouldn't be the only monitors you use if you're testing mixes for club systems.
The top end was pleasing too, with a good level of detail without over-sharpness. Impressively, the monitors didn't start oozing distortion when tested with hip hop, though there was a slight boxiness here, in keeping with monitors of this size with such material.
With electronic pop, the monitors showed up well in 'detail' tests - we were pleased that a large number of individual elements could be discerned even in busier mixes.
There's no doubt that this is an impressive pair of monitors for the price. In fact, we've heard little better at this price point, so if you're on a budget then your prayers have been answered.
The bass end is nicely rounded, while there's good detail in the mid-range too. Treble is so subjective that only you'll know what level of sparkle you like to hear but there's a pleasing clarity and, most importantly, these speakers don't produce a sound that will quickly lead to ear fatigue.
In particular, if you're a fan of KRK's excellent monitor range but can't afford to stretch to that price point, then the remarkable B1031As are well worth a listen.
The cost. Good bass response. Wide sweet spot.
A quality set of active monitors at a breakthrough price. Thoroughly recommended for the money.
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