Selecting a pair of cheap studio monitors can be challenging. Striking the balance between performance and price is difficult. Plus there are plenty of poor-quality monitors out there. In this review, we check out the MediaOne BT3 from Samson. Does it tick all the right boxes? Read on to find out.
Samson MediaOne BT3
The Samson MediaOne BT3 offers a range of solid features. With an aggressively low price point, it still manages to deliver reasonable performance. Check out the highlights before we take a deeper look into these compact studio monitors.
The Samson MediaOne BT3 is a compact set of monitors that will appeal to those on a budget. But the price point isn’t everything. Below we take a deep dive into these monitors to see if they are worth picking up.
The audio quality from the Samson MediaOne BT3 is better than you would expect. Normally cheap studio monitors don’t deliver. While they are not amazing they are still miles ahead of generic computer speakers.
The clarity is high and distortion is minimal especially at reasonable volume levels. The highs and mids are crisp with plenty of detail showing through.
The low end however is disappointing. It does lack that depth and kick that bass-lovers will want. But with a 3-inch woofer, you can’t expect too much.
For general listening, these are more than capable. Pleasant without any harshness. But for more serious studio work the flaws begin to show. The balance across frequencies is not the best. These are not ultra-flat.
For detail-orientated studio work, they will let you down. But for light multimedia editing like podcasts and YouTube videos, these are a good choice.
When you consider how cheap these monitors are they perform very well.
Another problem with cheap studio monitors is that they often feel as cheap as they are. That is not the case with the Samson MediaOne BT3. These are very robust and solid. More dependable than some expensive monitors I’ve reviewed in the past.
The Samson MediaOne BT3 is a well-constructed pair of monitors.
The cabinet is MDF and very durable. It also features black vinyl wrapping. It is scratch-resistant and thanks to the satin finish it doesn’t attract fingerprints. All connection points are secure and good quality.
The addition of a grille to protect the woofer is also a welcome sight. Especially if you have these within reach of kids. There is something about exposed woofers that kids gravitate towards. The allure of the big button-looking center is too much to resist!
The Samson MediaOne BT3 feels more expensive than they are. An excellent balance between price and quality.
The Samson MediaOne BT3 offers a single amp with 30W of power. 15W for the low-frequency driver and 15W for the high-frequency driver. Like many budget monitor pairs, one speaker serves as the master while the other is a slave speaker. It does feature AV shielding which makes these a great choice for multimedia work.
The MediaOne BT3 is lightweight but lacking in bass response.
The frequency response of 80Hz – 27kHz highlights the lack of low-end delivery. If you want a richer low-end response you’ll need to add a subwoofer to your setup. Or look at buying larger studio monitors with bigger woofers. There is a noticeable jump in response when you look at the specs of the larger BT4 and BT5 models.
The MediaOne BT3 is also very lightweight. At 10.56 lb / 4.8 kg (pair) these are easy to move around.
The Samson MediaOne BT3 doesn’t offer any tuning options. I’ve yet to come across a set of cheap studio monitors that offer tuning options. If you do need to adjust these to your studio space you’ll need an external audio interface.
Studio monitors are often not the most attractive. They always prioritize function over aesthetics. Even some of my favorite high-end monitors are not the most appealing things to look at.
The MediaOne BT3 design is clean and sleek.
The Samson MediaOne BT3 follows the same path of simple black boxes. But there are a few design choices that do set it apart. The satin finish adds a professional feel. The integration of the grilles is also great with a distinct gloss trim. The slightly bulbous curve at the front is also a departure from other monitors. These are clean, simple, and capable.
One of the best features of the Samson MediaOne BT3 is its compact footprint. These are perfect for small studios and smaller desks.
The Samson MediaOne BT3 is ideal for small studios.
While they are small they are rear-ported so not the best choice for bookshelves. You’ll end up with too much low-end build-up so ideally have some space around the back of these.
The Samson MediaOne BT3 offers a solitary RCA connection point from the main speaker. Speaker wire connects the slave monitor to the master.
Beyond this basic connection, the MediaOne BT3 does offer some other features. The biggest is of course Bluetooth connectivity. It is quick and simple to pair and the range is fantastic. Streaming audio quality is good but there is a noticeable delay. This is an issue when editing or when watching media. But for casual listening, these perform really well.
The MediaOne BT3 gives you access to Bluetooth and AUX.
You’ll also have access to an AUX connection on the front of the monitor. Great for connecting relevant devices. A front ⅛” headphone connection rounds out your choices.
This highlights the purpose of the MediaOne BT3. A flexible and capable set of studio monitors that can handle a variety of tasks.
The value offering of the Samson MediaOne BT3 is exceptional. These monitors are super affordable. It is one of the most impressive aspects of Samsons’ entire range of products. Aggressive pricing without huge sacrifices in quality. If you want a cheap pair of dependable monitors these are a solid option.
The Samson MediaOne BT3 is popular due to the low price point and the features it offers. Bluetooth range and flexibility are often mentioned. But along with that, there is a clear distinction to be aware of. These are good for general use but not the most balanced speakers for professional studio work.
The Power Of Flexible Monitors
When setting up a small home studio you’ll rapidly realize how expensive it can get. Between your workstation, software, and hardware the costs can escalate quickly. This is where flexible monitors come into the picture. If you are a hobbyist you are often better off looking for monitors that can pull double or triple duty in your life.
Bluetooth is among the most versatile technologies you can take advantage of. Monitors with Bluetooth allow you to enjoy listening to music conveniently via paired devices. They can also help minimize the number of cables involved in your setup.
Bluetooth connectivity gives you more flexibility.
Other connection options like headphone ports and AUX further increase flexibility. When you couple that with a lightweight and compact profile you can move your speakers between rooms when needed.
Don’t get me wrong. Focused, high-quality studio monitors will always perform better. But if you want to save money there is nothing wrong with a jack-of-all-trades option to start with. You can always upgrade down the line.
There are some appealing alternatives to the Samson MediaOne BT3 available. Here is a selection of other compact studio monitors worth considering.
Presonus Eris E3.5 Review
If your goal is to buy studio monitors with a flatter response the Eris E3.5 is a great choice. It offers a neutral delivery that is better suited for mixing and mastering.
- An excellent neutral sound profile with high clarity.
- An aggressive price point that is similar to the BT3. Great value for money.
- These don’t offer Bluetooth connectivity.
Presonus Eris E3.5
IK Multimedia ILoud Micro Review
The MediaOne BT3 studio monitors are compact but the iLoud Micro takes that to a new level. Perfect for super tight studio spaces. If you are willing to spend more these are a great alternative.
- Excellent balance across all frequencies. Good for studio work.
- Ultra-slim profile along with EQ options and Bluetooth.
- These are a lot more expensive than the MediaOne BT3.
IK Multimedia iLoud Micro
IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Review
Staying with IK Multimedia, the next level up from the Micro is the iLoud MTM. This innovative studio monitor features a tuning system that adapts the monitor to your studio space.
- The highly neutral output makes this monitor a good choice for mixing.
- Tough and durable design while maintaining a low weight.
- Not the best performance at higher volume levels.
IK Multimedia iLoud MTM
Should You Buy?
The Samson MediaOne BT3 does tick a lot of boxes. These monitors are compact, affordable, and well constructed. The addition of excellent Bluetooth and connectivity options adds plenty of flexibility. If you are not doing detailed mixing and mastering the sound profile is satisfying. While not perfect they offer great value for money. A big step up from generic computer speakers and worth more than the sticker price.
Samson MediaOne BT3