December 2021 - 62

REVIEW
Pioneer DJ VM-80
Active Monitor Speaker
Nail your sound and mix your set at home
REVIEW BY DAVID BLASCOE
T
he Pioneer DJ brand likely conjures visions of turntables, mixers,
samplers, and the other popular DJ-centric gear it creates. Now,
Pioneer DJ has launched the VM series of active monitor speakers,
designed for general studio use, and with a special focus on offering DJs
a club-like experience when crafting the perfect set at home. There are
three sizes in the VM line: the VM-50 (5.25 " ), the VM-70 (6.5 " ) and the
VM-80 (8 " ). The 8 " edition is under review here.
The cabinet
The VM-80 Active Monitor Speaker is
an 8 " powered monitor. The enclosure is
made of MDF covered by a black vinyl
laminate. The front has a chiseled hexagonal
design featuring an attractive
brushed aluminum faceplate that's designed
to reduce unwanted vibrations
(and it looks amazing). Seated in this
surround is a lightweight 8 " aramid fiber
cone woofer; aramid is a strong, woven
synthetic fiber often used in aerospace
applications. Above that in a recessed
oval waveguide is a 1 " silk-dome tweeter.
The tweeter has a horizontal bar running
across the front that acts as a protective
62 RECORDING DECEMBER 2021
guard (unfortunately, I have accidentally
punctured a tweeter before when moving
to a new studio, so this is a great feature).
Bass acceleration
There is a large bass port on the back
that Pioneer DJ calls its Vortex Bass
Accelerator. This free-flowing bass reflex
system is designed to deliver tight, controlled
low end.
Also on the back is a balanced XLR/
TRS combo jack and an unbalanced
RCA input. There's a master volume
knob and an auto-standby switch. When
switched on, this puts the speakers to
sleep after a period of not being used
and wakes them up when the signal returns.
There are also a pair of DSP EQ
controls we will look at below.
Specs
The frequency response of the VM80
is 34 Hz to 36 kHz with a 3000 Hz
crossover point. The star of the show is
the built-in Class D amplifier; the VM80
kicks out 120W of bi-amped power
(90W/30W) with 96 kHz sampling DSP.
DSP tone tweaks
Internal DSP allows you to tailor the
sound of the VM-80 to best fit your space,
and even allows you to exaggerate the
woofer's boom and punch for some clublike
sound. There are two DSP controls
with four settings, each for tailoring the
low and high frequencies (L1, L2, L3, L4
and H1, H2, H3, H4). L2 and H2 are flat
EQ for the most natural and accurate frequency
response. While flat, this doesn't
bypass the DSP processing; it's always
active, and to my ears presents as an
unfiltered and well-balanced sound. L1
and H1 are labeled 'Room 1' and gently

December 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of December 2021

Fade In
Fast Forward
RECORDING’s 2021Holiday Buyer’s Guide
Arturia: MiniFuse 2
AKG: Ara Professional Two-Pattern USB Condenser Microphone
A day in the head of Still Woozy: Making modern pop and beyond
Austrian Audio: Hi-X15
Plugin Outlet: Black Rooster Audio OmniTec-67A
Inside the Box with Joe Albano: Free and Entry-level DAWs
ART: Project Series USB Pre IV Audio Interface
Plugin Outlet: Reverb Foundry Tai-Chi
Audeze: Euclid Closed-Back Planar Magnetic In-ear Monitors
Session Log: The AngelHeaded Hipster, Part 12 Mastering and Beyond: The Final Steps…
Genelec 8361A
Focusrite: Clarett+ 8 Pre
Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby From the Studio to The Stage
Pioneer DJ VM-80 Active Monitor Speaker
Fade Out: Don’t Wait—Create!
December 2021 - Intro
December 2021 - Cover1
December 2021 - Cover2
December 2021 - 1
December 2021 - 2
December 2021 - 3
December 2021 - Fade In
December 2021 - 5
December 2021 - 6
December 2021 - 7
December 2021 - Fast Forward
December 2021 - 9
December 2021 - RECORDING’s 2021Holiday Buyer’s Guide
December 2021 - 11
December 2021 - 12
December 2021 - 13
December 2021 - 14
December 2021 - 15
December 2021 - 16
December 2021 - 17
December 2021 - 18
December 2021 - 19
December 2021 - 20
December 2021 - 21
December 2021 - Arturia: MiniFuse 2
December 2021 - 23
December 2021 - AKG: Ara Professional Two-Pattern USB Condenser Microphone
December 2021 - 25
December 2021 - A day in the head of Still Woozy: Making modern pop and beyond
December 2021 - 27
December 2021 - 28
December 2021 - 29
December 2021 - 30
December 2021 - 31
December 2021 - 32
December 2021 - 33
December 2021 - 34
December 2021 - 35
December 2021 - 36
December 2021 - 37
December 2021 - Austrian Audio: Hi-X15
December 2021 - 39
December 2021 - Plugin Outlet: Black Rooster Audio OmniTec-67A
December 2021 - 41
December 2021 - Inside the Box with Joe Albano: Free and Entry-level DAWs
December 2021 - 43
December 2021 - 44
December 2021 - 45
December 2021 - ART: Project Series USB Pre IV Audio Interface
December 2021 - 47
December 2021 - Plugin Outlet: Reverb Foundry Tai-Chi
December 2021 - 49
December 2021 - Audeze: Euclid Closed-Back Planar Magnetic In-ear Monitors
December 2021 - 51
December 2021 - Session Log: The AngelHeaded Hipster, Part 12 Mastering and Beyond: The Final Steps…
December 2021 - 53
December 2021 - 54
December 2021 - 55
December 2021 - Genelec 8361A
December 2021 - 57
December 2021 - Focusrite: Clarett+ 8 Pre
December 2021 - 59
December 2021 - Inside the Studio with Mark Hornsby From the Studio to The Stage
December 2021 - 61
December 2021 - Pioneer DJ VM-80 Active Monitor Speaker
December 2021 - 63
December 2021 - 64
December 2021 - 65
December 2021 - 66
December 2021 - 67
December 2021 - 68
December 2021 - 69
December 2021 - 70
December 2021 - 71
December 2021 - Fade Out: Don’t Wait—Create!
December 2021 - Cover3
December 2021 - Cover4
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