Hafler M5Hafler's stunning TRM8 powered monitor was an Editors' Choice award winner in 1998; this past year, Hafler found the sweet spot again with the much smaller - and more passive - M5. Despite their diminutive dimensions, the M5s possess several of the same qualities that we love about the TRM8s, including accurate response, excellent imaging, great depth of field, and first-rate construction. Also like the TRM8s, the M5s proved remarkably nonfatiguing, even after all-day monitoring sessions.
The two models share a proprietary waveguide design that widens the sweet spot and helps establish the "phantom" center image. Other features include optical-protection circuitry for the tweeter and a switch that lets you reduce the tweeter's level by 3 dB - located, handily, on the front panel - where you can switch it and listen at the same time. The M5s don't employ smoke-and-mirrors schemes to try and overcompensate for the laws of physics, like some small monitors we've heard. Of course, their compactness makes them ideal for professional monitoring in tight spaces, and the magnetically shielded woofers ensure worry-free use when the M5s are positioned close to computer monitors.
The M5s are professional-quality monitors all the way. And with 100W RMS and 200W peak-power ratings, they pack quite a wallop, too.