The MSP3 from Yamaha is a powered monitor that delivers very good sound in a desktop friendly design. Yamaha has been making this family of monitors for quite some time and for good reason. They look and sound great and have a small footprint. The MSP3s cost about $165 a piece. That’s a bit more than some other small monitors for the desktop, such as the popular JBL Control 2Ps we recently reviewed. However, we think it’s money well spent.

The MSP3 is the baby of this Yamaha family of monitors but don’t let the small size fool you. The 20-watt amplifier is clean and packs plenty of punch. The 4” woofer and 7/8” tweeter are accurate enough that mixes done on our studio JBL 4408As actually translate very well to these little wonders. Ironically, they seem to have more in common with our big JBLs than some of the smaller desktop JBLs we’ve tested.

The MSP3 have XLR, ¼” and RCA jack inputs and two inputs can be used at once effectively giving you the ability to monitor four sources in mono if necessary. There are volume controls for two inputs and EQ controls applied to all inputs. We used the MSP3s in a desktop video setting connected to a Mackie Mixer and also direct with a variety of sound cards.

Once thing we’d like to change would be to make the power cord modular and not hard wired to the unit. We’d also like one master volume control in addition to the two input controls. JBL did a nice job with its Control 2P monitors putting the volume knob on the side of the unit. It’s a better ergonomic approach. Even placing the volume controls in the top right and left corners of the MSP3s would work better although it would look a bit funny and I’m sure the design folks chose the solution that “looked” better.

Visit Yamaha for more information.