The secret to turning these insanely popular and cheap computer speakers into viable reference check and listening monitors is using Sound ID Reference software and their calibrated condenser microphone to calibrate them–or alternatively placing an EQ plugin with the correct calibration curve on your main outs.
As you can see from the video, the factory curve basically removes almost all of the mid range and boosts the highs and lows. But after the calibration, the mid range is restored, the harsh highs are tamed, and the bass is brought up. Then the speakers are super flat and become perfect companions to your primary reference monitoring system. In the video, the sound starts with calibration on (green curve). But then notice how the horns (mid range) basically disappear and the highs become harsh and sibilant when I disable the calibration (purple). But when I turn the calibration on again (green) the highs are tamed and horns are restored. These speakers can be calibrated to be great little reference check monitors as well as pleasant speakers for listening to music. And they will only set you back $20.
Granted, you need high quality monitors to justify buying the Sound Ref software, but even if you don’t own the software, you can place an EQ curve on your main outs using the following curve as a template and you will accomplish just about the same thing. Yes, this curve is calibrated to my room, but it’s an average room like most people have for their home studios so it will come pretty close to making the speakers flat. You can always adjust to taste…