The last fifteen years have been witness to an unprecedented amount of innovation in technology. It feels as if every single day, something new is released by some startup or an established giant that ends up completely changing the way we live and think.
What has also occurred is something many of us have taken for granted. The fact that much of what was once expensive and difficult to access has now become easy and readily available.
There was a time…
When audio equipment was expensive and hard to find, then it became easier to find but remained expensive. And then, lots of cheaply-made electronics started to flood the world markets. These were much easier to find, but the good stuff remained expensive.
Finally, technology has come to a point where being affordable and well-built are no longer mutually exclusive. Instead, it is almost expected.
Micca is one manufacturer who has risen to the challenge admirably. Notably, with their around $130 speakers, that sound like they’re worth a lot more. In fact, I was blown away by more than the price and sound of the pair I was sent for this in-depth Micca RB42 Review.
Design and Build
First off, these speakers look good; in fact, they look like they cost more than they do. Luckily, it’s not a false start, as is the case with many other similarly priced speakers. When you pick them up and turn them round in your hands, it just gets better.
The weight instantly makes you feel better about your purchase. Thanks to a well-designed and solidly cast steel frame, the RB42 is more than sturdy enough to handle the power of the speakers it houses.
The RB42’s come equipped with 4-inch paper cone woofers at the bottom and 0.75-inch silk dome tweeters at the top. These speakers have an impedance rating of 4-8 Ohms. Additionally, the 0.75-inch thick MDF panels are on all sides of the cabinet.
Stylish Audio Equipment
The rounded corners, combined with magnetically-attached cloth grills, further impress. The sturdy gold-plated wiring posts on the back are the aesthetic cherry on top.
The RB42’s come in at a comparatively small size compared to similarly-priced and powerful speakers. The dimensions are 8.7 in length, 4.9 inches in width, and 7.9 inches in depth. Therefore, these are some of the best compact bookshelf speakers you can buy.
Like any good speakers, the RB42’s begin to shine when it comes to sound quality. Some users might find the “WOW” immediately, as I did when I put on my first test track.
On the other hand, some users might need a little time to realize it. Likely, depending on the song that you choose. However, overall, these speakers performed so well that it left me quite surprised.
Acoustic material from Nirvana’s MTV unplugged album often lacks the mid-range depth that makes the songs magic when played on small speakers. However, the RB42’s made these tracks come to life.
R.E.M live sets, which often tend to sound sharp and overly bright, especially vocals and layered guitar parts, were very well-defined and didn’t get screechy when played at higher volumes. Also, the RB42s do a beautiful job of minimizing distortion.
Bass that shouldn’t cost this little
The bass quality and capability of the RB42s almost defy the laws of speaker design, not to mention the economic cost of materials in the 21st century. So, it’s fair to say these are some of the best value for the money bookshelf speakers on the market.
There is nothing in the physical design that implies improved bass capability. So, it is no less than miraculous that speakers of this size and cost can produce a low-end of this quality. Without a doubt, these are some of the best bookshelf speakers for bass and low-frequency articulation.
The studio recording of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” has not only the immense power in the intro but the depth to go with it. When played loud, this song’s intro should sound like you’re in a giant empty swimming pool. With the RB42s, that’s exactly what you get.
Compared to other speakers…
With the same driver and enclosure size, there is nothing that could beat the RB42’s for bass in this price range, and in some cases, even higher. There was one major brand competitor that is considered as good but with a much larger enclosure and higher cost.
One thing that needs to be mentioned. To get a sense of how well these speakers can produce bass that is defined and present, you need to run them at quite high volumes. But, when you do, there are some of the best sounding bookshelf speakers you can buy.
Soundstage and Imaging
If the excellent bass quality and overall warmth don’t stand out, then the Soundstage and Imaging capabilities will. I tested these with the beginning of Metallica’s “One.”
The song features sounds from a typical war scene that fade in and out before the single clean rhythm guitar cuts through the middle, and the song starts in earnest. Never before on speakers of this size and price range, has this intro been so immersive and well-imaged.
The voice of a soldier shouting something illegible was clearly heard, moving from right to left. As if he was running past. Cannonballs wailing down and impacting the ground sounded distant, which gave depth. Gunshots were real and visceral.
One other thing to note…
Using the “Room Gain” to create more power. The first area this will become prevalent is in the lower range. Of course, I encourage you to do this as you will get a good sense of the warmth of these speakers.
However, if you place them too close to the walls or near the corners. That extra power will cause a loss of definition in the mids and perhaps even brightness in the treble frequencies. So, experiment with it to get a sound that works for you in the room that you’re in.
Micca RB42 Review – Pros and Cons
- Very affordable.
- Good build quality.
- Great sound quality.
- Compact size.
- Nice looking design.
- The warm low-end can make for less defined mids and highs.
- When used at lower volumes, the low-end seems to lose its presence.
Searching for Sweet Speakers?
We got you covered. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Bookshelf Speakers, the Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $500, the Best Bookshelf Speakers Under $200, the Best Floor Standing Speakers, the Best Powered Speakers, and the Best Speakers For Vinyl you can buy in 2023.
Also, take a look at our detailed reviews of the Best High End Home Theater Speakers, the Best 7.1 Home Theater System, the Best Wireless TV Speakers, the Best Ceiling Speakers For Dolby Atmos, and the Best In-Wall Speakers currently on the market.
Micca RB42 Review – Conclusion
The Micca RB42’s are well-built, great-sounding, compact, and affordable speakers for professionals who want a small good sounding portable option. Likewise, they are great speakers for everyday users who want quality without breaking the bank.
These are hands down the best performing 4-inch woofers on the market. Gorgeous, well-defined low-end will roar across whatever you’re listening to. So, turn them way up because that’s when the real warmth of these speakers will fill your listening room.
Just watch where you place them and when using the “Room Gain.” Both can cause your mids and high to get muddy. However, for the money, you will struggle to do better. The final score is a very impressive 9 out of 10.
Until next time, happy listening.