The best bedroom DJ Speaker? – Pioneer DJ DM-40 BT Review
Every DJ needs speakers to be heard and the DM-40 range by Pioneer DJ is a compact bookshelf speaker system that aims to be more than just a DJ speaker. With various inputs and even inbuilt Bluetooth on some models, is the DM-40 the ultimate speaker choice for those with limited space and budget? In this review we find out!
The DM-40 speakers feature a four inch fibreglass bass woofer and a 3/4 inch dome tweeter. The speaker cabinet feature rounded edges and a nicely moulded front panel which incorporates the bass ports and diffusers. Although small, the speakers feel extremely solid and well built. Regular DM-40 speakers come with black bass drivers where as the Bluetooth models are painted silver, although visually different the sound remains the same.
Subtle in design, the moulded front panel visually looks very professional with a crescent diffuser moulded just below the tweeter. The diffuser not only looks great but helps direct the high frequencies around the bass driver. The speaker delivers a more equal sound to a wider area as a result.
The front mounted bass ports help the bass driver drop lower, moving more air as a result. Although most speakers feature a bass port, they are often found on the rear of the speaker. As a result most speakers suffer in performance if mounted close to a wall. Thankfully, Pioneer DJ have placed two ports on the front of the speaker, meaning the DM-40 is perfectly suited to being placed close to a wall.
Our only advise regarding the speaker is to take care when handling and moving the DM-40. Because the speaker uses a soft dome tweeter and doesn’t feature speaker grills it can be easy to dent, ruining not only the look but the sound of the speaker.
DM-40 Sound Quality
For a small speaker, the DM-40 sound simply superb and punch harder than their small footprint would suggest. The included convex diffusers use DECO technology from Pioneer’s sister brand TAD audio. The afore mentioned diffuser helps spread the high frequencies. Ensuring wide, even coverage around the room, reducing the need to sit directly in front the speaker to achieve the best listening experience.
When placed next to similar sized speaker, the warmth of the bass really shines through. Leaning towards the lower frequencies, it’s clear these speakers have been designed with DJ’s in mind. The bass is deep and punchy, creating a warm tone that will easily fill a bedroom or office. Given the speakers bass heavy EQ, the DM-40 is ideal for DJ use and listening to electronic music rather than any form of production work.
Powered by a class AB amplifier found inside the left speaker, both speakers are run at 21 watt. The left speaker contains the amplifier plus all the speakers controls and connections. The right speaker connects via cheap speaker cable and provides no other functionality. With no option to change which speaker operates as the left or right, the placement is sadly limited by the length of the power cable and audio connections. Something which rival models at this price range fix with a simple toggle switch.
The DM-40 speaker features both a pair of unbalanced RCA and a 1/8th inch TRRS (Aux) input. With a RCA to Aux cable included in the box, the DM-40 can easily be connected to a wide variety of sources including computers, phones, tablets and of course decks. The cable can be easily flipped thanks to both styles of connection being featured on the speaker. For example the headphone jack can be connected to a computer, phone or DDJ-200 with the RCA end connected to the speaker. Alternatively the same cable can connect to a controller such as the DDJ-400’s master out, with the headphone jack connecting to the speaker.
Although the connections are great for cheaper equipment, the DM-40 doesn’t feature any balanced connections. We don’t really expect any of the DM-40’s target market will be bothered by this exclusion though. With only more professional speakers and equipment requiring such a connection.
Finally a headphone connections (1/8th TRRS) is found on the front of the left speaker. Once connected mutes output the loudspeaker. Ideal for late night sessions, should the speaker be permanently connected to your device of choice.
Bluetooth Model (DM-40BT)
The DM-40BT model includes an internal bluetooth receiver for playback of music wirelessly. The speaker is capable of streaming music in SBC, AAC, Qualcomm® aptX™, Qualcomm® aptX™ Low Latency codecs. Although it is worth pointing out no bluetooth speaker or headphone technology is good enough to DJ with. Latency and lag is still to large using a Bluetooth connection, meaning it’s virtually impossible to beat match by ear.
The Bluetooth module included on the DM-40 is simply for easier casual listening. Making the DM-40 an easier speaker to live with day to day, the inclusion of Bluetooth broadens the speakers appeal. Although we regularly used the Bluetooth connection with our phones and laptop we found the physical analogue cable sounded slightly better.
It’s also worth noting that the speakers bluetooth will play at the same time as any physically connected devices. With no way of turning off the bluetooth module, anybody previously paired to your speaker can play over your DJ set with ease.
The DM-40 is a fantastic little speaker that’s perfectly suited for bedroom DJ’s. The compact size, front facing ports and great sound quality mean that this speaker is the ideal choice for placing on shelves and inside bookshelves. Priced at £129, the speaker packs a punch for this price point and we fully understand its popularity. The £50 price increase for the BT model is expensive though. With most rivals only charging around half of that amount for similar Bluetooth upgrades.
Speakers of this size won’t be ideal for house parties, but for bedrooms DJ’s and those wanting to escape their laptop speakers. These are a fantastic choice with the BT version only broadening their appeal!