Do you want to set up a complete studio at your home?
Then you must have a pair of best studio monitors available on the market. You need a set of right tools to record your audio and duplicate the audio you recorded. With such right tools, you can do the sound mixing. There are a number of companies offering studio monitors from which you have to choose the best one. With the availability of such number of options the task of choosing best one becomes difficult. We made a way for you by listing the best studio monitors 2018 available on the market with complete analysis and research.
- 1 Comparison of the Top-Rated Studio Monitors
- 2 Monoprice Studio Monitor Speakers
- 3 Edifier R1280T
- 4 KRK RP5G3-NA Rokit Powered Studio Monitor
- 5 JBL LSR305 Professional Studio Monitor
- 6 Mackie CR Series CR3
- 7 PreSonus Eris E4.5 2
- 8 Yamaha MSP7STUDIO
- 9 Mackie HR624mk2
- 10 Yamaha HS8 Studio Monitor
- 11 Mackie CR3 3
- 12 Types of Studio Monitors
- 13 Factors to Consider before Buying the Best Studio Monitor Speakers
Comparison of the Top-Rated Studio Monitors
Monoprice Studio Monitor Speakers
Dimensions: 10”(H) x 6.9”(W) x 7.8” (D)
Weight: 9.7lb each
Frequency range: 56Hz – 22kHZ
Amplifier: LF 40W; HF 30W
Controls: Volume and power controls at the back, with HF and LF level adjustment knobs.
Whether it is a home studio or a professional one you must have good studio monitor, a flat frequency response and studio speakers. If these are the needs you want to fulfill, Monoprice Studio Monitor Speakers is what you are looking for. These are the 5-inch powered studio monitor speakers from the well-known Monoprice brand. Each of the speakers is powered separately by 2 amplifiers dedicated to them. The product has height and width of 36.3 cm and 29.2 cm respectively. The product has 4.5 rating out of 5.
- Flat frequency: Helps with sound judgment and ideal for mixing acoustic sounds.
- Bi-amped: You get clearer, pro sounds.
- Warranty: You’re covered for an entire year.
- Protects your ears: The quality Kevlar drivers prevent distortion and limit fatigue on your ears.
- Weight: Manageable weight makes it portable.
- Versatile: Clear, well-balanced sounds in both high and low frequencies.
- Limiting amplifier setup: Better mids will be possible with a tri-amp setup.
- Frequencies: For clear bass sounds, your speaker’s frequency range should extend below 58Hz.
Dimensions: 6.9” x 9.4” x 5.7”
Frequency range: 75Hz – 18kHz
Power: 21W RMS
Controls: Remote control to manage volume and muting. Adjust bass, treble and volume on the system itself.
Buyers who wish sound quality with professional studio monitor can buy Edifier R1280T. This studio monitor is versatile and available at affordable price. This studio monitor features flared bass, reflex port and 4-inch bass driver. You can personalize the sound by adjusting bass and volume with the dials placed on speakers. The system also offers wireless remote control which helps you adjust the monitor function. You can connect Edifier R1280T to other audio devices through RCA inputs. These 2 X AUX inputs let you continently connect your system to audio devices.
- Warranty: Total of two year warranty period.
- Aesthetics: The wood casings enhance sound color, but also look remarkably stylish for speakers under $200.
- Control options: Adjust certain tones on the units, instead of on your desktop computer, mixer or DAW.
- Versatile use: The 3.5mm and RCA ports allow for connection to up to two devices at the same time, ideal for DJ work.
- Digital features: The volume automatically returns to a comfortable listening level each time the speakers are switched off.
- Adjustable features: You can use this wood monitor speakers with or without grills, depending on aesthetic and audio preferences.
- Limited mounting options: These powered units aren’t really mountable as they’re designed to be placed on bookshelves.
- Limited bass: The frequency range is limited.
- Noise and clarity: These aren’t high-end monitors so all audio won’t be crystal clear and you may hear buzzing noises soon after you start using them.
- Limited usage: Because they don’t deliver perfect sound across all frequencies, they’re not ideal for music production, only hobbies.
KRK RP5G3-NA Rokit Powered Studio Monitor
Dimensions: 7.3”(W) x 9.1”(D) x 11.1”(H)
Frequency range: 45Hz – 35kHz
Power: 50W output
Controls: You can adjust the high frequencies, bass, treble and volume. Power button provided too.
The KRK brand has proved next level of industry standard. This studio monitor delivers facilities to monitor its functions accurately. The latest version of this studio monitors KRK RP5G3-NA Rokit 5 gives superior images quality by providing optimization. These studio active monitors are available at best price. This system is best for a home studio. The product has the dimension of 38.1 x 27.9 x 30.5 cm. It approximately weights up to 6.7 kg. You don’t need to assemble the system. These KRK RP5G3-NA Rokit studio monitors are manufactured with wooden material.
- Clear high frequencies: A soft dome tweeter produces clear sound.
- Look: The striking yellow detail adds character to a producer’s studio.
- Accessories: The brand doesn’t supply accessories such as cables to use on the interface.
- Weight: One of the heavier items on this list, making it a less portable option.
- Mute function: The mute mode takes too long to wake up again.
JBL LSR305 Professional Studio Monitor
Dimensions: 7.3” (W) x 9.9” (D) x 11.7” (H)
Frequency range: 43Hz – 24kHz
Power: 82W output
Controls: Manage bass and treble, but also input sensitivity. Volume and on/off buttons come standard.
This is a professional studio monitor from top-rated JBL brand under $300. You can enjoy the depth of sound you record. Each and every detail can be heard clearly. This sound detail can be heard also if it is a dense mix. It is not necessary to be right in front speakers for adjusting your mix as they are the room-friendly system. It delivers neutral sound at large workspace also. The speakers come in a sturdy black finish. The product weighs about 14 pounds. The speakers have passive amplification. The product has dimension as 10 x 13 x 15 inches.
- Enhanced setup options: A wide arc of options in terms of a positioning sweet spot. This also makes for clear sound no matter where you are in the room.
- Multiple embedded controls: Find the perfect volume and level by using the controls on the speakers.
- Bass range: Lower frequencies than most speakers on this list.
- Limited mid range: This isn’t a tri-amp setup so you won’t get optimal mid range sounds.
- Bass not ideal for mixing: The low-frequency range is better than some speakers on this list of reviews, but still only enough for general listening, rather than mixing audio professionally.
- Size: The larger speaker size benefits the range of capabilities but limits where you’re able to install them.
- Aesthetics: The focus was on function, not style, as the exterior is rather rough and plain. This is not a very stylish addition to your studio.
- Bass problems: Because the bass port is at the back, some frequencies will hit the wall instead of being directed to the listener. This mostly relates to the smallest studios.
Mackie CR Series CR3
Dimensions: 8.2”(H) x 5.5”(W) x 6.2”(D)
Weight: 9.4lb for the pair
Frequency range: 80Hz – 20kHz
Power: 50W peak output
Amplifier: Class AB
Controls: Switch to adjust which speaker is left and right. Volume knob provided as well as power button.
These are the speakers for a studio which promise ideal performance in terms of entertainment. It has quality design and sound. This system is made up of professional components to result from the optimized performance. The system has a volume knob on its front panel which makes it easier to handle and adjust volume. These compact studio monitors are available at a budget price of under $100. The speakers actively amplified. The product is light weighted having 6-pound weight. The product has a small dimension of 8.5 x 15.3 x 11.5 inches. It comes with the slick black finish. It is affordable and gives high performance.
- Layout: Practical layout with the accessible power knob and connection ports at the front.
- Versatile: Pick which side of the studio you want the volume knob. Simply flip the speaker placement switch so your equipment layout won’t affect the sound quality.
- Connectivity: These loudspeakers even allow for Bluetooth connections for music streaming.
- Practical kit: The brand provides isolation panels and additional wires to help you set up your studio fast.
- Size: As some of the smallest studio speakers on this list, you can get excellent stereo sound even in limited space.
- Limited range: With low frequencies only supported from 80Hz, this isn’t ideal when you mix or listen to some music genres. It can lead to distortion or artificial bass notes.
- Quality: Many users report short lifespan, or distortion after only a few months.
- Imbalance: As speakers get older their volume levels start to differ.
PreSonus Eris E4.5 2
Dimensions: 6.4”(W) x 7.1”(D) x 9.5”(H)
Frequency range: 70Hz – 20kHz
Power: 50W nominal output
Controls: Control bass, volume and treble.
This is the cheap studio monitor that is perfect for home studios. You can replace computer speakers with this studio system. The system has professional adjustment control. You can get this studio monitor in the budget of under $500. As per customer reviews, it is most recommended studio monitor. You can simulate different environments for listening with varying frequencies to create the magic of accurate mixing results. The product has a dimension of 10 x 15 x 10 inches. It weights heavier in comparison with another studio speaker. These speakers have active amplification.
- Options: You can change features such as bass and treble at the back of the monitor, so you can customize your listening experience to your preferences without even using your computer interface.
- Perfect for a home studio: The decent range makes it a practical option for hobbyists and for general listening.
- Design: If you need your studio to impress visitors, these are rather stylish and sleek.
- Internal design: You get a stable unit that will take the punch of loud music, thanks to the internal bracing. This protects components and suppresses resonance, so sounds will be clear.
- Clear markings: Controls at the back are clearly labeled so you know exactly how to hook up your speakers.
- Limited power: It produces less power than many other speakers on this list. While it’s impressive coming from a 4.5-inch unit, it’s not enough for commercial use or serious mixing.
- Not for professionals: Bass frequencies and power are limited, so these aren’t ideal if you’re building a professional sound studio for producers, DJs and recording.
- No grills: Depending on what you use your speakers for, you may miss this protective measure.
- Heavy: The units are heavier than some other speakers mentioned here, making them less portable.
Dimensions: 8.6”(W) x 9.3”(D) x 13”(H)
Frequency range: 45Hz – 40kHz
Power: 130W nominal output
Controls: Power, on/off switch available as well as frequency controls for bass, sensitivity, trim switches and filters.
The Yamaha MSP7STUDIO is from most popular Yamaha brand. This studio monitor is a professional system which features woofer of 6.5 inches. It drives amplifier of 80-watt power. It also has a dome tweeter of 1 inch which has its own amplifier of 50-watt power. The product comes in black color with the dimension of 23.5 x 21.8 x 33 cm. This studio monitor has sensitivity control of 10kHz and 50Hz switches incorporated with XLR inputs. The system comes in one piece design which does not need to be arranged.
- Power: You get a total of 50W just from the tweeter unit alone, so it’s rated as quite a powerful unit overall.
- Design: The molded one-piece outer casing prevents noise and rattling sounds because there are fewer screws & panels that can come loose or start vibrating.
- Range: With one of the best frequency ranges on this list, this speaker is beneficial in many different scenarios, when working with diverse music genres.
- Versatile options: This is another speaker that gives you utmost control thanks to the frequency controls embedded at the back.
- LED screen: Know whether you’ve forgotten your speakers on and get a warning—when they flash red—that you’re pushing your speakers too hard.
- Appropriate for mixing: No matter your application—home, hobby or professional mixing in the music industry—these units provide what you need thanks to wide frequency range and power. If you’re looking for great pro studio speakers to use when working on your DAW, you’ve found them.
- Heavy: These aren’t speakers you want to move around often. They’re rather big and too heavy to be truly portable studio monitors.
- Harsh: Some users find the bass sounds and very high frequencies irritating – and fatiguing – to sensitive ears.
- Setup: Note that this is a one speaker system, calling for a customized studio setup.
Dimensions: 13.1”(H) x 8.6”(W) x 12.6”(D)
Frequency range: 45Hz – 22kHz
Amplifier: LF 100W; HF 40W
Controls: Apart from the usual power switch you get:
- Sensitivity control
- Acoustic Space selection (3 Way)
- LF and HF filter switches
Mackie HR624mk2 is the active studio monitor having high resolution. It uses the ultra-linear response for frequencies to give accurate mixing. The system includes titanium dome of 1 inch and a cooled tweeter. It also has a waveguide for a wide and sweet zone. The product has the dimension 12.4 x 16.1 x 17.9 inches. It is a good studio speaker which has positive consumer reports who rated full marks to the system. Users of this studio monitors reported that it is the best studio monitor available on the market.
- Wide sweet zone: Studio set up is easy thanks to a wide sweet zone, brought on by an optimized Waveguide.
- Cooled tweeter: Limit damage to components and keep sounds clear with this tweeter that’s kept cool with ferrofluid.
- Setup: Note this is another model on this list that’s only a single speaker. Some consumers prefer two units in their studios.
- Limited uses: Because they don’t produce all frequencies exceptionally well – they especially let you down when it comes to the mid-range—they’re not ideal for professional producing or mastering, only for general listening.
Yamaha HS8 Studio Monitor
Dimensions: 9.8”(W) x 13.1”(D) x 15.4”(H)
Frequency range: 38Hz – 30kHz
Power: 120W nominal output
To record better sound you have to take help of Yamaha HS8 Studio Monitor. These studio monitors are from one of the best brands. This Yamaha’s near-field monitor which have woofers designed in a white coned pattern. Yamaha continuously does efforts to improve the quality of the pair of studio speakers. This Yamaha’s studio monitors are best for music production. As per the customer review, it is top rated studio monitor. Its cost is about $500 with one year warranty on its manufacturing defects. The studio monitor has more bass response and more power.
- Design: Make an impression on your studio design through these speakers with the striking silver colored woofer in a black casing.
- Versatility: You can plug both XLR and TRS mini-jacks into the speaker so you can easily use this with keyboards or other music sources.
- Mid-range clarity: It’s only a bi-amp speaker, so your midrange frequencies may be less clear.
- Noise reduction: Thanks to the brand rethinking its port design, there will be fewer vibration sounds coming from inside the unit. The sound is further improved upon by the interior design that cuts out unwanted resonance.
- Flat response: With flat response no matter the frequency, many sound genres are enjoyed optimally via these speakers, making them ideal for producing and for recording in your home studio.
- Range: You’ll struggle to get a speaker in this price range that delivers low frequencies so clearly.
- Weight: This is another one of the heaviest speakers on this list, so it’s not a portable option.
- Setup: Note that there’s only one speaker—not two—so you need to purchase another one or rethink your studio positioning.
- Interference: Because they’re sensitive, devices in the vicinity—such as Smartphones turned on—may interfere with the sound output.
Mackie CR3 3
Dimensions: 5.5”(W) x 8.25”(H) x 6.25”(D)
Weight: 9.4lb (pair)
Frequency range: 80Hz – 20kHz
Power: 50W peak power
Amplifier: Class AB
Controls: Volume and power knobs.
A high-quality design studio monitors offered by Mackie CR3 3. These monitors are creative and performance oriented. These are the ideal monitors for entertainment and creation of perfect studio. The system is manufactured with premium and good quality components. You can conveniently control the system with its front panel. The system ensures professional sounds and gives perfect features for work and play. These monitors are perfectly designed for home studios, the creation of multimedia and gaming purpose. The monitors have Bluetooth connectivity to help you stream music and use the system without hassle.
- Compact: Great solution to get decent sounding volume and quality if you have limited space. They’re also light enough to make them a portable speaker option.
- Full kit: Included stands provide practical setup solution even for beginners that are only starting to build up studios.
- Sturdy stands: The stands are heavy duty, so they’ll survive when you need to transport speakers often.
- Design: The striking green features on the black exterior make for a stylish addition to any studio.
- Versatile: Provided ports make for easy connection to mobile phones, a guitar or other audio sources.
- Small size: If you need speakers that blow you away with their power, you have to look elsewhere. At only an entry level 50W peak power, you’ll have limited clarity and volume with these mini monitors.
Types of Studio Monitors
Why do you sometimes struggle to hear the finer detail of a recording, even if you have quality speakers? There may be nothing wrong with your equipment, except the type you picked. Let’s help you understand them—and what applications they’re suited for—a little better.
Types of Components
Your monitors can contain one or both of these:
Tweeters: For high-frequency sounds, you need tiny, quality tweeters. But you also have to see which type is best for your needs: A good metal tweeter will give excellent detaill.
- One with a soft dome is beneficial if you’re listening to music for long periods, as it may be softer on the ear.
- A ribbon tweeter can produce an amazing range of frequencies.
Sub-woofers: These are designed to produce quality low-frequency sounds.
Additional differences between monitors can best be explained be drawing comparisons.
- Active vs passive: An active speaker’s amplifier is built in, therefore you don’t need an additional piece of equipment. While this is usually more beneficial, it’s easier to improve a passive system by simply connecting it to another amp.
- Near-field vs far-field: You would think a far-field system—that powerfully sends sounds over long distances—will always be best. But it’s not true. If you’re working in a small space, near-field speakers will deliver clearer sounds. For optimum use of far-field monitors you must at least have a big enough area where you’re 10ft away from the units.
Know what you need yet?
Let’s look at a few more categories before you make your final decision.
Factors to Consider before Buying the Best Studio Monitor Speakers
There’s not a general best option when you’re out shopping for your monitor speakers. And picking the most expensive pair isn’t the best reference either. You prefer your audio a certain way, right?
So let’s see how different features impact your experience and recording work, so you can find the perfect pair and install them correctly so you get that theater quality even in your bedroom.
Bigger isn’t always better. You must pick your size speaker so they align with these guidelines:
- Does the size allow them to be installed in a location for proper work positioning (see below)?
- Do you need larger components such as a subwoofer? This is essential when working with low frequencies.
Size also refers to the space you have available, as this determines whether you need near-field or far-field units (see above).
Contrary to popular belief, power is not only how loud your speaker can produce sound. It’s actually about:
- How clear the audio will come through.
- The good definition you’ll hear of the recording.
- How dynamic you’ll hear the range.
What will happen if your speaker can’t handle the input audio’s frequencies? It will come out distorted, which renders the system quite useless. You need to find a speaker that can handle the amount of power you want to push through. Your application of the speakers plays a huge role in your selection. For gaming or general listening in your bedroom, you may be happy with a 50W or 70W speaker.
However, when you produce music you’ll occasionally have extreme sounds coming through such as a high pitched snare drum or cymbal. This detail will distort among other sounds and prevent you from mixing sounds properly.
For this use, you don’t only need a speaker with a proper frequency range (see below) but one that will produce these frequencies clearly, even at high volume, without peaking.
However, don’t think you always need high power. During mixing, the sound simply needs to be clear in the small space where you’re working. You only need loud volume when playing it to others. Power is expressed in Watt and it’s determined by the capabilities of the amp you’re using.
Your eventual experience won’t be determined by your purchase only. It’s also about the setup at home or in your studio. And you need to plan this before you start browsing for equipment:
- What sized speakers will fit in your space?
- Can you position them so your head creates an equilateral triangle with them when you’re monitoring the sound from in front of your mixer or PC?
- Is there enough space so they’re not right against a wall, as this will cause bass response problems?
- Are you considering unported or front ported units? Speaker type determines the overall effect.
With these guidelines you must find the sweet spot: The location in the room where you enjoy optimal listening quality, thanks to the sound traveling to your ears, accurately and balanced.
Will the music you produce sound good to most others listening to it? The sounds you create or mix should be clear on mobile devices, through headphones or via large speakers.
This is possible when your speakers:
- Don’t tire out your ears with distortion.
- Fit the size room you work in so there aren’t any echoes.
- Low frequencies are correctly produced in a large space thanks to an additional subwoofer.
It’s about accurately reproducing sound, so quality speakers are necessary.
Frequency Range & Response
Here the question is: How many frequencies do your audio include and how loud do you want to hear them?
Let’s start with a frequency range. It’s expressed in Hz (or KHz) and tells you how wide a range of sounds your speaker can produce. The accepted minimum brands should cater for is 20Hz – 20kHz. Low and high sounds outside this range won’t come through the system clearly. Now you also need an inkling of how loud these sounds can be played. This is the frequency response, which is expressed in dB.
Tips for unique scenarios:
- For recording work, you actually need speakers with 50Hz – 20kHz range.
- For hip-hop and electronic music, you’ll need a wide range to cater for low audio.
- If your work or hobbies require you to listen to bass sounds a lot, your speakers must handle at least 30Hz or even lower.
- Acoustic and certain vocal sounds are better handled by flat response monitors.
Single-amp, Bi-amp, Tri-amp
How picky are you about the clarity of each sound wave? If you need to hear the detail of each frequency, it’s best when different components produce them. But it’s only possible if your amplifier setup can orchestrate it:
- Single-amp: All frequencies will be channeled by one amp and then be split to go to one of the speakers.
- Bi-amp: Here you have two amps, so the one can generate low frequencies and the other will handle higher ones.
- Tri-amp: With three amps, you can now receive clear high, mid and low frequencies, resulting in the audio being clearer and more detailed.