All connections and operating elements are located on the rear panel. The volume control allows you to adjust the level from -23dB to +6dB. The background noise of our test pair was pleasantly low, and the maximum volume surprised us as well. You can turn the speakers up quite a bit before there is any audible distortion or compression. The connection options are also impressive. There are three input jacks for XLR, jack and RCA, whereby the first two versions work balanced and can, therefore, suppress unwanted noise.
The FX50 also shows above-average performance when it comes to the options for adapting to the room via DSP. With HF Shelf, you can boost the high frequencies from 7 kHz by 1 dB or cut them by up to 2 dB. The MidEQ offers the same options, this time related to the center frequency of 1.5 kHz. Acoustic Space counteracts the bass emphasis when placed in corners or near walls and allows the low frequencies to be cut by up to 4 dB in three steps.
Finally, there is a low-cut filter with which you can optionally remove the frequencies below 60, 80 or 100 Hz, for ex- ample, to leave their reproduction to an additional subwoofer. Such a configuration is quite impressive and particularly interesting for acoustically difficult studio environments.
The only catch here is that the actual setting is made via a mouse-type keyboard with eight stiff DIP switches. Although the corresponding code is printed on the back of the box, it is absolutely necessary to stand behind the box for the appropriate settings. It is, therefore, advisable to make the desired room adjustments with the help of a second person (one adjusts, the other controls the effects at the listening position) and to leave it at that position after final setup.
These compact monitor speakers present themselves as very balanced in terms of sound. There is no artificial bass emphasis. The bass range goes down as far as one would expect from a 5 inch woofer. For sub-basses below 60 Hz, you‘ll have to plan an additional subwoofer, but for music with less bass emphasis, the FX50 alone will suffice. The mids are also reproduced neutrally and without annoying resonances, and the reproduction of the high frequencies is effortless. Disturbing noises such as distortion and sibilance are clearly audible and are not embellished. The stereo image and location accuracy are excellent for this price class; this is where the coaxial loudspeaker pays off.
The FX50s are impressive with a well-balanced sound image that also reveals weaknesses in the mix. The speakers are, therefore, more suitable for mixing and mastering than for pure music enjoyment. The speakers perform above average in terms of stereo imaging and location precision; and the variety of connections and DSP adjustment options are clear bonus points for use in desktop studios. All this is in addition to the compact design and low price.