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First Look: Micca MB42: Compact, stylish speakers on the cheap

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First Look: Micca MB42: Compact, stylish speakers on the cheap

2:30 /

The Micca MB42's classy, compact design makes it a top budget speaker pick when style counts, although Monoprice's MBS-650 sound better for even less.

[MUSIC] If you are in the market for a bookshelf speaker, you may be surprised to find there's a handful of ultra budget models, available for $60 and even less. Even more surprising is that, some of them actually sound pretty good. Especially if you compare them to the tiny bluetooth speakers that are becoming so common. Hey, I'm Matthew Moskovciak for Cnet, and the Micca MB42 is one of the most affordable bookshelf speakers out there, selling for just $60, and what really sets it apart from other budget speakers, is it's stylish design. There are all kinds of nice touches, like the rounded edges on the cabinets, there's a faux wood grain finish. And even the build quality feels pretty solid in your hand. It's also much smaller than other popular speakers in this price range. When you put it next to the moderate price MBS 650, there's no question which speaker has a nicer look. That surprising level of quality also carries over to the binding post speaker connectors on the back, rather than the cheap spring clips found on other budget priced speakers. There's not much else to the MB42's. There's no built in wireless technology, like bluetooth, WIFI or airplay. Nor is there any kind of integrated amplification. That means you're gonna need a separate amplifier but luckily there are some cheap options available, like the $18 Lepai LP 2020A. Plug in your phone with an adapter cable, wire up the speakers, and you're good to go. The only catch with the Micca MP42 is that they don't sound quite as good as some larger bookshelf speakers that cost about the same. Like the Monoprice MBS-650, and the Dayton Audio B652. The micca sound pretty good on their own but head to head, you do notice they are a little less detailed and the sound is a little thinner. And if you're listening to hard rock, the MB42's can sound a little strained when you crank up the volume. it's not surprising that the bigger speakers sound better. But you should be aware that you can get better sound quality for the same price if that's what you're looking for. But that doesn't mean you should totally dismiss the NB42's. If style and size are more important, the Miccas easily win over its boxy, budget speaker competitors. And ultimately' it may come down to where you plan on putting the budget speakers. Mono prices NBS650's look at home in a basement or a garage, but the Micca MB42s are probably a better fit for an office or a den. I'm Matthew Moscovciak and these are the Micca MB42 bookshelf speakers. [MUSIC]

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