I've always been a sucker for PC gaming hardware with a look. Drop, a company recently acquired by Corsair, has consistently served as the place for purchasing niche enthusiast PC gaming peripherals. And it especially caters to PC gamers who prioritize aesthetics based on vibes.
The Drop BMR1 Nearfield monitors differ from your typical desktop speakers because it uses Balanced Mode Radiators, or BMR. The BMR1 speakers use compact drivers inside a 2-inch disc instead of the cone-shaped diaphragms you see in everyday speakers. Situated beneath the BMRs is a dual force-canceling passive radiator. So, what does all this sexy speaker talk mean? Essentially, a more immersive sound experience from a more condensed speaker setup.
You need not direct the speakers squarely towards your face, as the sound disperses across a broader range. Consequently, the auditory experience remains consistently impressive regardless of your position within the room, or whether you opt to orient the speakers horizontally or vertically.
If your preferred work soundtrack comprises primarily pop music, the BMR1 is a good choice. Personally, I've recently experienced a wave of nostalgia for Interpol and found myself engrossed in their 2002 album, "Turn On The Bright Lights." The album's distorted vocal tracks are faithfully reproduced through the BMR1.
Frequency Response: 80 Hz - 24,000 Hz
Speaker Size: 3.5-inch x 1.5-inch x 11.5-inch
Drivers: Single 2-inch full-range Balanced Mode Radiators
Connectivity: 3.5mm, Bluetooth
Weight: 13 ounces / 368.5g (Right) 12.36 ounces / 350.4g (Left)
Price: $129, $25 for optional magnetic grille covers
Much like everyone else on the planet, I've immersed myself deeply in Baldur's Gate 3. When I'm not reveling in the satisfying sounds of goblins ablaze or Astarion's seductive line delivery, the game's remaining audio envelops me in richness, volume, and intricate detail.
The speakers stumble, however, in the bass realm. Anything with a strong bass presence lacks the desired punch, although not to the extent that tracks become unbearable. To enhance the music-listening experience, adding a subwoofer with an AUX port is the best way to solve this issue.
An additional advantage is the speakers' modest spatial footprint. Standing tall at dimensions of 3.5-inch x 1.5-inch x 11.5-inch, they comfortably inhabit even the most cluttered desks, unlike my prior experience with the Razer Nommo Chroma speakers. Despite being excellent, the latter dominated my desk with its oddly cylindrical shape.
As previously mentioned, these Bluetooth speakers connect through 3.5mm aux and headphone ports (switchable through the front LED button), offering the flexibility to toggle between 2.0 and 2.1 stereo sound on the fly. However, this exhausts the extent of the available connectivity options. Personally, I favored Bluetooth over the 3.5mm connection to reduce cable clutter.
It's disappointing that the BMR1 ships without magnetic grilles, given the appealing color options (Skiiboard Orange looks awesome), though $25 for a pair seems steep. Drop included a pair of Black grilles with my review sample, but I opted for the exposed radiator appearance. Unfortunately, this extra layer of choice drives the BMR1's pricing beyond the realm of competitive affordability for those aiming to infuse their speakers with personal style.
While I appreciate these speakers, certain design issues have irked me during regular use. Firstly, the absence of physical volume controls stands out. While it might not concern some users, having on-device volume control is essential, especially when connected via Bluetooth to a phone or when gaming and you want to adjust the volume on the fly. It's simply an odd omission.
Speaking of the lack of buttons, the BMR1 is also missing a power button. To turn it off, you must disconnect the rear power cord—the ability to power down the speakers when not in use would be convenient. I've encountered instances where my phone inadvertently played through the speakers while I was using it in another room and was still connected to the speakers.
✅ You're looking for a stylish pair of great-sounding speakers: I love the overall look of these speakers, but I'm even more surprised by how good they sound, even if that deep bass isn't there.
✅ You're in need of speakers that are easy to set up and don't take up much space: The BMR1 has a relatively small desk footprint while still delivering a big sound.
❌ You're looking for an affordable, customizable gaming speaker: What you see is what you get. There are no volume controls or even a power button, heck, for the same price, you can get other speakers with more features and even a subwoofer.
The proprietary cables that link the speakers and auxiliary cables are excessively short. The auxiliary cord extends roughly three feet, which presents a challenge when using a standing desk, especially with a PC positioned on the floor as the desk ascends. Fortunately, longer auxiliary cables are readily available. Still, the same can't be said for the other cable connecting the speakers, which limits how you can set the speakers on the desk.
For a similar price, the Logitech Z407 for $114 offers a Bluetooth speaker package with a wireless dial and subwoofer that I found enjoyable and used for about a year. Admittedly, the BMR1 far surpasses Logitech's audio quality.
Setting aside minor criticisms, the Drop BMR1 Nearfield Monitors effectively fulfill their role as visually and acoustically appealing Bluetooth desktop speakers. For those seeking more feature-rich options, particularly for gaming, a plethora of choices exist within the same price range, some even including subwoofers. However, it's unlikely that these alternatives will match the BMR1's aesthetic charm.
The upcoming Drop BMR1 Nearfield Monitors batch is scheduled to ship on August 21 for $129. Drop employs a limited-quantity release strategy, meaning that if you miss out, there might be a significant wait before you can purchase them again.