best studio monitors

Best Studio Monitors

Studio monitors are essentially loudspeakers placed inside speaker enclosures and find their use in areas where exact audio reproduction is a necessity. Some examples are recording, television and film studios. However, of late, they have also found their place in home studios. If you are a home recorder who doesn’t want to compromise in the quality of sound produced, you can consider checking out some studio monitors discussed in this article. You can choose between an active studio monitor and a passive studio monitor. While the former uses internal power amplifiers, the latter uses external sources.

Although active amplifiers are slightly costlier than the passive ones, they are usually the preferred choice. These models are often bi-amped and divide the input signal into two parts for high and low frequency components. The high frequency part directs through a router whereas the low frequency part passes through a woofer after amplification through their corresponding amplifiers. The result of bi-amplification is an overall clean reproduction of sound. Most studio monitors are more robust than hi-fi loudspeakers because they give great importance to precision. The following are some studio monitors you can check out.

best studio monitors

Adam Audio A7X 7” 150 W Active 2-Way Studio Monitor

The black studio monitor renders natural and crisp audio effects with a vast frequency response of 42 Hz to 2.5 kHz using its X-ART tweeter and 7” carbon/glass filter or Rohacell midwoofer. The monitor also has a translucent sound image with excellent stereo localization and tonal depth. The tweeter encloses a 50W A/B amplifier, whereas the midwoofer encompasses a 100W PWM amplifier to provide distortion free performance. This combination results in nuanced and clean reproduction of natural frequencies, along with a smooth transition in the crossover from the woofer.

The X-ART tweeter delivers detailed upper mids and uncompressed highs that do not tire you even after listening for a long period. The cabinet of the near field monitor has two bass ports on the front for extension of the precise and powerful bass response, as well as RCA and an XLR input connectors.

Who should buy this?

  • The studio monitor is a great choice for those who do not want any compromise in the sonic reproduction.
  • The unit is ideal for people who want a compact monitor for their small studios.
  • The device is suitable for those looking to connect different inputs to their studio monitor.

Yamaha HS8 Studio Monitor

The Yamaha studio monitor comes with a 1” dome tweeter and an 8” cone woofer. The unit also features high trim and room response controls apart from the TRS and XLR phone jack inputs. It also has a 45W HF and a 75W LF bi-amp with a 120W total power rating. One of the two amplifiers is for the woofer, while the other is for the tweeter. The transducers use an advanced magnetic field pattern to regulate the magnetic response flow for offering natural and seamless sonic transitions. The bi-amp makes sure that the speaker renders excellent high-resolutionwith a uniform flat response and concise sound image while the transducers have a very smooth response for a wide bandwidth range. The advanced noise reduction technology eliminates unwanted noise due to air vibration.

The enclosure of the black near field studio monitor is made of resilient and dense MDF that has a damped acoustic response. It features mounting points and screws to allow you to mount the device and save on floor or desk space.

Who should buy this?

  • The ability to produce first class high-resolution sound and extended frequency range makes the monitor ideal for people who wish to use it in different music production environments.
  • The studio monitor is indispensable for those who want accuracy in sound reproduction to the maximum extent.

PreSonus Eris E4.5 2-Way Powered Studio Monitors (Pair)

The PreSonus studio monitors is available as a pair and delivers outstanding accurate and loud sound for their size and price. Each monitor has a 1” lightweight silk dome high frequency transducer, a 4.5” Kevlar low frequency transducer and a 50W Class A/B amplifier. There are also acoustic tuning controls for setting acoustic space, high pass, HF and mixing to ensure correct mixing of contour. The monitor has a vast frequency response range of 70 Hz to 20 kHz. It also offers protection from transients, infrasonics, hightemperature and output current limiting. The unit has three input options – XLR, as well as balanced TRS and RCA.

The vinyl laminated MDF enclosures ensure that the studio monitors are highly durable. They are also very easy to set up. The black matte finish gives the units an aesthetic look.  The various controls comprising the headphone and aux inputs, volume knob and power button are located on the front that makes them very easy to use.

Who should buy this?

  • The monitors must not be missed by people who will not settle for anything other than the best, when it comes to accurate mixing.
  • The units are an excellent option for those who want to have the flexibility of acoustically tuning the monitors themselves with respect to the room they are in and the musical genre.
  • The pair is ideal for those who want affordable studio monitors that are compact, lightweight and rugged at the same time for their home studio.

Audioengine A5+ Active 2-Way Speakers

The Audioengine A5+ black set is a big speaker and a slightly smaller one with enhanced thermal management and a frequency response range of 50 Hz to 22 kHz that produces superb quality DAC. The sound clarity is at the best like in high quality audio monitors. The bass effect is very natural irrespective of the volume level and quite close to the original music. They come with hand finished wood cabinets, 3/4″ silk dome tweeters, custom 5” Kevlar woofers, inbuilt Class A/B monolithic analog amplifierswith 50W per channel RMS.

The active speakers also have a USB power/charge output, a variable RCA output and 1/8” mini-jack and RCA inputs.The bookshelf style speaker set supports Bluetooth functionality with a wide coverage that allows you to stream the music from even your computer or phone. The speaker has a sleep button that helps you minimize power consumption when you are done with using the speakers.

The set is black in color and comes with a remote control and necessary cables as accessories.The rugged remote control is made of aluminum and helps in adjusting the settings of the monitors from any part of the room you have kept them. The solid construction speakers are compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems and are perfect for a desktop computer arrangement.

Who should buy this?

  • The bookshelf speakers are ideal for those who want to connect them to different output sources like computers, TVs, gaming consoles, turntables and more.
  • The speakers are a good choice for people looking at minimum options for connectivity without apps, plugins or software.
  • The compact size of the set makes it suitable for placing in your living room or close to the desktop for both recording and listening to music.

Focal Twin6 Be

The Focal studio reference monitor works by placing it horizontally. It has two woofers, a rigid beryllium tweeter and an inverted dome tweeter. The beryllium tweeter offers the best in range performance, whereas the inverted dome tweeter renders precision and high efficiency.Together, they offerexcellent bass with detailed highs, midrange neutrality, mid-bass response and articulate bass.

The “W” composite sandwich cone allows you to optimize the frequency response curve. The near field studio monitor has a near-linear and clear frequency response range of 40 Hz to 40 kHz. The slightly high priced unit comes with an XLR type input connector.

Who should buy this?

  • The reference monitor has a woody finish at the top and bottom of the enclosure that makes it ideal for those who wish to have a classy looking monitor.

Avantone Pro MixCube Active Studio Monitor (Single)

The active studio monitor has no crossover and renders a smooth midrange with very transparent and accurate top end response.  The unit performs the sound mixing activity well,resulting in the delivery of smooth and flat midranges and transparent accurate top end response with extended bass.

It has a combo XLR input that you can use to connect a three-pin conductor or a balanced male XLR plug. The full range monitor also offers you provisions to connect a balanced TRS 1/4-inch connector, a two-inch conductor or an unbalanced TS 1/4-inch male plug. There is a variable control for maintaining the system gain. It adjusts the sensitivity of the signal that occurs at the input. The illuminated ON/OFF switch helps in turning the amplifier section off when the studio monitor is not in use. 

Who should buy this?

  • The studio monitor is ideal for people who do not want to use any distortion during their recording sessions in a small studio.
  • The active unit is helpful if you want to include vocals in your recording mix.
  • The butter cream-colored enclosure with a cube design and a smooth finish makes the device a good idea for those who want their studio monitor to look different from the usual models in the market.

Genelac M040 Active 2-Way Monitor

The Genelac active monitor is a standard size near-field unit with 2-way drivers. The device has a 6.5” low-frequency driver and a 1” high-frequency driver. The studio monitor features a frequency response range of 48 Hz to 20 kHz, output power of 80 W and a maximum peak SPL value of 107 dB. There are two input connectors of XLR type and TRS type and an LED light to indicate if your unit is ON or OFF.

The design of the black studio monitor is such that it appears to be resting on two legs. This makes it stand a bit high on the surface you place it. It is a slightly expensive recording device.

Who should buy this?

  • The active 2-way monitor is worth considering by people who want a unique looking unit to meet their recording requirements.

Mackie HR824mkii 8-Inch 2-Way Studio Monitor

The two-way studio monitor is enclosed in a wooden cabinet with internal bracing and has an 8.75” LF driver with low distortion and high precision. The monitor also encompasses a 1” Ferro fluid cooled titanium dome tweeter and twin FR series amps with 100W HF and 150W LF. It features an omni-mount mounting style and supports three types of inputs – unbalanced RCA, XLR and TRS. The internal damping mechanism keeps midrange artifacts at bay.

The unit includes an LED power indicator and a passive radiator that renders excellent bass response and reproduces low frequencies with minimum distortion. Its elliptical design makes the radiator cover almost the full rear surface area of the monitor. The one-piece cast aluminum zero edge baffle controls sound waves effectively and deliversarticulate mids, detailed lows and shimmering highs. The acoustic space controls help in adjusting the low frequency response according to where you place the monitor. The studio monitor has a high-gloss piano black finish that matches the charcoal gray color of the zero edge baffle.

Who should buy this?

  • The studio monitor is a great option if you want a professional looking unit that suits any environment.
  • The unit is worth considering for those who wish to place the studio monitor on the ceiling or on a wall.

Edifier Near Field Studio Monitor

The Edifier studio monitor comes as a set of two units with Bluetooth connection. The optical input helps in establishing a digital connection to various devices. On the other hand, the two auxiliary inputs allow you to connect the near field studio monitor to any device with a dual RCA output and/or a 3.5 mm headphone output. The remote control unit helps in performing multiple functions such as switching from one input to the other, adjusting the volume and selecting the desired digital processing mode. The power switch is located on the back panel along with the built-in tone control unit. The tone control unit allows you to set the treble and bass from as low as -6 dB to as high as +6 dB.

The studio monitor comes with an optical cable for establishing a digital connection and a RCA cable that is a combination of a 4’ 3.5 mm to RCA cable, a 4’ RCA to RCA cable and a 16’ 5-pin speaker cable. It is available in piano black and cherry black color choices.

Who should buy this?

  • The near field studio monitor is a good choice for those who want to establish wireless digital connection using Bluetooth or connect two devices at a time using auxiliary inputs.
  • The cherry wood option is suitable for those who want their studio monitors to look different with a woody finish.

Yamaha HS8 Studio Monitor

This studio monitor comes as a single unit with a 1-inch dome tweeter and an 8-inch cone woofer. It has a wide frequency range of 38 Hz to 30 kHz and a power consumption of 60 watts. The device performs as a bi-amp system (45W HF and 75W LF) comprising a dedicated separate amplifier for the tweeter and the woofer. The high trim and room control response controls have various settings for adaption to surface acoustics of rooms in varying sizes and shapes. The TRS and XLR phone input jacks allow you to connect the unit to various unbalanced and balanced sources such as audio interfaces, keyboards and mixers. The magnetic fields on the transducers offer smooth, natural sonic and seamless transitions over different bandwidths. All switches and controls of the studio monitor are present on the rear panel.

The Yamaha studio monitor is available in the two colors namely black and white.

Who should buy this?

  • The studio monitor is ideal for people who would like to connect different input devices to it.
  • The white colored device is a good choice for people who give importance to aesthetics and music production environments as it can adapt very well to such settings.

Tascam VL-S5 Professional 2-Way Studio Monitor with Kevlar Cone and Bi-Amped Design

The two-way studio reference monitor has a 5” curved Kevlar cone, a bi-amplified power amplifier (40 W + 30 W) and a 1” silk done tweeter. The Kevlar cone features a damped rubber surround and a high temperature voice coil that helps in reproducing the entire frequency spectrum without any distortion.  The Kevlar driver sets the crossover limit to be at a high value to avoid distortion while the Kevlar woofer prevents warping during playback. The silk dome tweeter reproduces the original recorded track as it is and renders crisp highs with exact and correct high-end playback.

The black studio monitor has a rear port that has a frequency response ranging from 60 Hz to 22 kHz. It also supports 1/4” and XLR inputs that have a trim control and support low noise connection. The recording unit has many protection circuits like RF interference circuit, output current limiting circuit, external main fuse, subsonic filter, turn ON/OFF transient circuit and over temperature protection circuit.

Who should buy this?

  • The professional studio monitor is the best choice for people who want to reproduce music genres like hip hop, EDM, acoustic, rock and more without any distortion even at home.

KRK RP5G3-NA Rokit 5 Powered Studio Monitor

The KRK powered studio monitors come as a pair with bi-amped Class A/B amplifiers that render low distortion and provide large headroom. Each device has a high frequency adjustment system to use it according to personal preferences and a soft dome tweeter with utmost clarity and extended 35 kW frequency response rate. The Generation 3 units also have a proprietary waveguide that assists in high quality imaging.

Who should buy this?

  • These black and yellow Rokit 5 studio monitors suit the needs of people who want their devices to look different from the normal black counterparts.

JBL 308P Mkll 8” 2-Way Powered Studio Monitor

The powered studio monitor offers flexible connectivity with its balanced 1/4″ TRS and XLR inputs. The adjustable volume control allows you to choose the volume based on your preferences.  The revised design of updated LF and HF transducers render optimized damping that result in deep bass with minimal harmonic distortion and excellent transient response. The image control waveguide gives you detailed imaging capabilities and lets you hear even the lowest sound with excellent clarity.

The broad sweet spot of the recording unit helps in fine-tuning the recording mix when listening to it off-axis and experiencing ambience and in-depth recordings at the same time. This feature also maintains a neutral frequency response across a large area. The neutral boundary EQ functionality maintains a low neutral frequency response when you place the speakers on a work surface that is near the walls.

Who should buy this?

  • The black 8” two-way studio monitor is a good bet for those who are particular about looks and want a modern sleek studio monitor to complement their home studio.

Rockville APM8C Powered Studio Monitors

The Rockville setup comprises a full-fledged set of a pair of 8” powered studio monitors, an active 10” subwoofer, a couple of isolation pads and two stands for mounting the studio monitors. The USB supporting two-way studio monitors have a quad amp design with two amps for the highs and two amps for the lows. The speakers have an overall output power rating of 500 W for rendering truly loud sound. The enclosure of each studio monitor is made of high-grade MDF overall 0.5” thickness with the front board has a thickness of 1”.

The subwoofer has an inbuilt 200 W Class D amplifier with an LED power-on/stand-by indicator on the back panel and an auto-switching power supply. The 1.5” neodymium silk dome tweeter has a metal grill for protection and a 1” voice coil. The black height adjustable stands are made of steel with triple enforced steel triangular bases for ruggedness. The EVA monitor isolation pads at the top of the stands are made of high-density high quality foam that put off unnecessary vibration and have three adjustable angles. Each stands have a nylon clutch for height adjustment. The curved front bezel cuts off distortion due to standing waves.

Who should buy this?

  • The studio monitor setup is for those who want a professional studio at home.
  • People interested in a stylish set up will definitely find the studio monitors and subwoofer with a black body and classy wood finish with matte texture very impressive.
  • If long lasting is your mantra, the baking paint on the wood surface will not let you down.

M-Audio BX5 D3 Powered Studio Reference Monitor

The M-Audio studio reference monitor comprises a 100 W bi-amplifier (60 LF and 40 HF) that produces accurate and powerful sound. The 1” natural silk dome tweeter ensures excellent transience.  The unit also has a 5” low frequency Kevlar driver, damped rubber surround and high temperature voice coil. The black studio monitor has a front mounted LED that helps to identify the right listening spot and place the unit in the correct position.

The device features a computer-optimized tweeter waveguide that helps in precise imaging. The acoustic space control system assists in fine tuning low-end responses.

Who should buy this?

  • The studio monitor is useful for those who want the studio output to be exactly in line with the space in your studio.
  • The recording unit serves the needs of people who would like to connect it to different studio equipment like interfaces and mixers.

Adam Audio A5X Powered Studio Monitor

The studio monitor comes with a Bookshelf size speaker cone, an X-ART tweeter and a 5” midwoofer for reproducing frequencies lesser than 2.5 kHz. It also has decoupling feet on the enclosure, double bass reflex tubes, two shelf filters for both low and high frequencies, a 50 W pulse width modulation amplifier for the midwoofer and a 50 W Class A/B amplifier for the tweeter. The unit has two AFX speakers with a connection such that you have control over the overall volume of the stereo using any one of the speakers.

The diaphragm of the studio monitor is made of carbon fiber or Rohacell or glass fiber. The studio monitor is black in color.

Who should buy this?

  • The A5X powered studio monitor is the right choice for people looking for a small studio monitor to use in their small studio.

Sterling Audio MX5 5” Powered Studio Monitor

The Sterling Audio studio monitor has many drivers including two-way low frequency drivers, a 5-inch mid-frequency driver and a 1-inch full range driver. The 5-inch low frequency driver cone has excellent damping properties to lessen unnatural resonance and sonic artifacts whereas the 4-layer voice coil offers superior low-frequency performance. The amplifier has Class A/B output power rating of 70 W.

The device has a bi-amped monitor that features dual axis WaveGuidanceVH technology to render clear, articulate and top quality sounds with high and wide frequency dispersion. The rear port of the black studio monitor cuts down the low-frequency distortion and turbulence considerably, which in turn enhances the low-end delivery. The 1-inch silk dome with neodymium magnets offers a natural and smooth frequency response.

Who should buy this?

  • The powered studio monitor meets the requirements of people to tune the device using low and high filters in order to match their listening environment and preference.

Focal Alpha 50 Studio Monitor

The standard size single studio monitor features two-way polyglass drivers comprising a 5” low frequency driver and a 1” high-frequency driver. The near-field recording unit has a sound frequency response of 45 Hz to 22 kHz and an automatic standby mode that turns the device off after half an hour of inactivity. It also comprises a Class AB amplifier with an output power of 103 W and the standard XLR and RCA input connectors along with adjustable treble and bass levels on the backside.

The two key components of the device are a 6.5” midrange speaker or woofer with a polyglass cone and an inverted dome 1” aluminum tweeter. The woofer unit is placed in a big laminar port with a 35 W amplifier while the tweeter has a 20 W amplifier. The studio monitor can perform in different capacities with both electronic music and instrumental music. The sleek vinyl finish with black paint gives the unit a classy look while consuming less power at the same time.

Who should buy this?

  • You must consider giving this device a thought if you want a powerful yet compact device for your studio setup.
  • The recording unit is a good choice for people who want tonal balance with no decrease or increase in volume and same sound at any point in the room.
  • It is ideal for music lovers who wish to connect two extra audio sources to the studio monitor.

PreSonus Eris E5 Near Field Studio Monitor Bundle

The PreSonus offering is a pair of near field studio monitors. Each monitor has a 1” low weight silk dome tweeter, a Kevlar transducer, a front firing acoustic port, an unbalanced RCA input and a balanced XLR 1/4″ input. The recording units also feature midrange, high-pass, HF and acoustic space settings to mix the contours correctly. They also support resonance suppressing optimized internal bracing functionality.

The black studio monitors render upper ends of utmost clarity and tight bass that result in the delivery of a very accurate response. These monitors also save you the hassle of buying the accessories separately. They come with matching mounting stands, instrument cables and Austin Bazaar polishing cloths for both the monitors.

Who should buy this?

  • The studio monitors are best suited for those interested in serious recording.
  • They are ideal for people who do not want to buy studio monitor related accessories separately.

Conclusion

Studio monitors come with various specifications with respect to size, color, shape and price. What feature you must pay attention to depends on why you would want to use the recording unit. It is important to note that to buy a good quality studio monitor, you do not have to invest in an expensive unit. Edifier and PreSonus are two pioneers in manufacturing studio monitors. If you are a novice trying to learn how to record, it is worth investing in a studio monitor. However, in most home recording cases, you do not have to check out expensive units because headphones would serve the purpose.

Often, near field studio monitors are the preferred choice for home recording. They are not only economical but also have a couple of interesting features that are ideal for a small studio. Firstly, these monitors remove reflections present on the walls in which the studio is set up. Secondly, the design of these speakers is such that they are near the listener. In other words, it brings the listener close to the source of sound. These studio monitors are also usually very compact in size. However, if you have a very small studio monitor, the speakers will render limited bass. You will then need a subwoofer to overcome this problem.

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