I've been shopping for speakers for quite some time and had narrowed my choices down to Monitor Audio Bronze speakers or Axiom. I ordered a pair of M3s from the outlet store a couple of weeks ago and got them this past Friday.

First impressions were positive. What little imperfection I noticed in the cabinet was quite minimal -- one of the corners on one speaker was a little dinged. And one of the grilles was installed upside down. Small complaint for an "outlet" model! They're lovely speakers and look great on top of my wall unit, similar in color to the Mansfield Beech finish of the M3s. One other thing -- they are surprisingly heavy. I wasn't prepared for how hefty they were, and they're a lot heavier than the larger, bulkier Bose 301's I'm getting rid of.

I did some listening on Friday night just to check that everything was connected properly and spent most of the weekend really working them out.

Overall, I've enjoyed listening to them. The M3s have a nice clean, accurate sound punctuated by what I find to be an adequate amount of bass. The variations in how CDs are mixed and remixed are obvious with these speakers. Test material included the latest Eagles compilation (from 2003), as well as the latest Elton John and the Led Zeppelin boxed set from the 90s. All reproduced beautifully but even though the volume on the receiver (NAD T762) was set the same throughout, different CD's were louder than others. I listened to the Star Wars soundtrack (New Hope) and found that for this disc, the M3's were a bit lacking in bass. But then again even though its the remastered soundtrack from 4-5 years ago, its still a 25+ year old recording, so I need to try something newer. Also need to get some jazz in there this week. Miles Davis will be a good test.

DVD volume was significantly lower, but I'm assuming that this is a function of the media I'm listening to and requires adjustment of the receiver's settings. So far I've watched/listened to Metallica's Cunning Stunts and SW Episode I. I wasn't planning on a subwoofer for my living room, but it looks like I might need one, definitely for movies.

I found the M3s a little fatiguing at high volumes, but it also seemed to depend on the CD I was playing at the time. At a moderate level they're great speakers. But is this part of the break-in period? How long should that break-in period last? I'm considering doing an in-home head to head with the MA Bronze, probably B2, but from what I remember of an audition of those speakers a month or so ago, their sound is comparable to the Axioms.

But combining the initial positive impressions and great price I paid with the fact that they're already installed, the Axioms seem like keepers. I'll give them a couple of more weeks, but it looks like they'll have company in the form of some Qs4's and a VP-100 soon enough!