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Building a Respectable Audio System for $125 … or Less!

[August 2022] Earlier this month, Dana described how careful purchasing can result in a great studio monitor system. But not every location needs “Golden Ear” level audio. Many station personnel are more interested in knowing the station is on-the-air, and reasonably clean. In this article, Dana describes a monitor solution just a notch lower in output, but much less costly.

I recently did an article on building a great monitor system for around $300. We put together some excellent components for a monitor that will satisfy almost anyone.

Now, here is one that is 75% of that system – yet can be put together for nearly $200 less – around $125. If you substitute the Miccas, you will go even cheaper: 115 dollars.

Sure, in this price range, compromises must be made. The speakers will not play quite as loud or have as good a bass extension as the Jamos in the previous article. Also, the amplifier will be lower power.


Moukey M20-1 speakers are $75 on Amazon (but frequently discounted as low as $60).



I used these speakers for almost a year. I found then completely satisfying. They sound good and image well.

Yes, they do sound a bit boxy but what do you expect form speakers that cost me $60 a pair pre-Covid? They have a front port and keyholes to hang them on the wall. They are rated 4.5 stars on Amazon with 1500 reviews. They are the value leader in under $100 speakers there now.



A viable alternative speaker is the Micca MB42, now on sale at Amazon for $65.

These image superbly, but their 4-inch woofer does not have nearly the bass extension as the Moukey’s 5-inch one and their sensitivity is a couple dB lower than the Moukeys (65 db).

If you want to go this route, you will likely also need a subwoofer (while the Moukeys can stand on their own):


The Neohipo NT-10A amplifier is just $40 on Amazon.

This amplifier is made by Fosi Audio, one of the biggest boutique Chinese value audio companies.



It has tone controls, and comes with a 24 Volt power supply. The manufacturer claims it will put 100 Watts per channel into 4 Ohms. I do not believe that. This amp will probably put 60 Watts into each 6 Ohm Moukey speaker, which is still enough to fill the average room with music.

It even has dual amp chips for like-monoblock stereo separation.


Of course, at this pricing, you will have to come up with your own speaker wire and interconnect cables.

But there you have it: For $125, you can have a more than respectable stereo monitor system.

Over the years, Dana Puopolo has been in markets large and small. His emphasis on audio purity is well-known. You can reach Dana at

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