Magnepan MMG Speaker System Conclusion

Whenever reviewers cover a particularly affordable product, such as the Magnepan MMG W and MMG C, we often heap loads of praise on it in the body of the review, only to back peddle in the conclusion with caveats. That's because tailoring products to fit a price point invariably leads to compromises.

With the MMG W and MMG C, those compromises were made intelligently, and they resulted in products that hit their niche perfectly. The MMG Ws leave floors uncluttered and are about as unobtrusive as high-end speakers can aspire to be. Their on-wall placement takes advantage of boundary reinforcement, giving them more low-end extension than floor placement could. And the MMG C's curved panel translates into excellent horizontal dispersion with no hotspots or audible cancellations. It's a smart design.

However, to achieve reasonably good integration in the midbass, purchasers of the MMG W/MMG C system must supply an A/V receiver with flexible bass management and a ripping good subwoofer to convey the full range of the latest generation of Blu-ray source material. Since both are extremely affordable these days, this isn't an unreasonable expectation on Magnepan's part. In fact, five years after the MMG's introduction, the design decisions look positively prescient. The world has caught up.

So do I still recommend the MMG system? Do I ever. With Magnepan's satisfaction-or-money-back guarantee, you can't lose. Well, perhaps you'll lose some sleep as you watch just one more movie, but sooner or later, you'll get used to how good the Magnepans sound. Then you can get more sleep—at least that's what I've been telling myself for the last five years.

Very affordable
Speakers virtually disappear when not in use
An astonishingly cohesive soundfield

System requires high-performance subwoofer and bass management
Speakers need detailed setup to sound their best
System requires AVR or power amp capable of driving 4-ohm loads