Behringer is a company that makes a variety of audio gear, especially the affordable kind. As such, it is not at all surprising for them to offer a decent set of monitor speakers. We are talking about the Behringer MS40, one of the most interesting monitors to get under $200.
A quick glance at MS40 monitors reveals their somewhat old school nature. Even so, there are many design solutions on these that make them anything but standard. Cabinets are made of decent MDF, with baffles being rather subtle. Instead of going with rear firing ports, Behringer chose to do things a bit different. If you look at the front of the cabinets, you will see that tweeters are offset to the left in order to make room for two front firing ports.
One of the very cool design solutions on MS40 is the control panel placement. Not only did they put the volume and power buttons on the front of the active unit, but this is also where you will find your EQ section. That is a huge plus for Behringer, especially considering how most other brands can't seem to figure this out.
So far, we have established that the design is fairly unusual compared to other speakers in this category, but so is the hardware. The Behringer MS40 set feature 2.5″ tweeters where most others went with standard 1″ units. Low-frequency drivers of choice are 4.75″ units with enough real estate to move some serious air. Power is set at 20 Watts per cabinet, or 40 Watts total. As we have previously mentioned, MS40 come with an EQ section. You can adjust the highs and lows to match your needs.
What is interesting about these monitors is that you have both optical and coax inputs available on top of the standard analog array. Lastly, we have the true 24-bit/192 kHz D/A converters that push the capabilities of MS40 even further. Overall, MS40 represent something completely different from what we are used to seeing in this price range.
The first impression we got from MS40 is the clarity in the mids/highs. In other words, vocals will be easy to work on. That can be attributed to larger than normal tweeters. With that said, the transparency you get from these is decent at best. You can definitely affect that to a point using the built in EQ section. Where this excel the most is versatility.
Not only do you get an array of different inputs and outputs, but you get two separate lines you can use. Volume is there and is abundant. Since MS40 are hybrid near field speakers, you will have to spend some time finding that sweet spot. The only issue with that is the size of the speakers, which can be a bit hard to deal with in tight spaces. The amount of control these puppies offer is something you don't often see in this segment.
Overall, Behringer MS40 speakers are not necessarily better than their competition in terms of performance. They are different though. All of the additional control over the sound is a welcome change which we would like to see in more models in this price range. Behringer MS40 is a very solid choice.