- 1. PreSonus Eris E3.5 – 3.5″ Multimedia Professional Reference Monitors with Acoustic Tuning (Pair)
- 2. Mackie Trim 3-inch CR3
- 3. Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
- 4. JBL Professional 305P MkII 5″ 2-Way Powered Studio Speakers (new model)
- 5. KRK RP5G3W-NA Rokit 5 Generation 3 Powered Speakers
- 6. Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers
- 7. Yamaha HS5 Powered Monitor, Pair
- 8. IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitors ultra-compact 3″
- 9. Pair Rockville APM5W 5.25″ 2-Way 250W Powered USB Loudspeakers
- 10. KRK RP8G3 ROKIT 8 G3 8″ 2-Way Powered Speaker
- Studio Monitor Selection Tips
- Types of Studio Monitors
- Top Studio Monitor Brands
Everybody enjoys listening to good music as music has a way of calming your nerves and making you relax. For this reason, you need to have a good monitor that produces great sounds and ensures you keep on enjoying music. Owning a great monitor is a great way to improve your recording business. There are a few top studio monitors available on the market that are responsible for producing and making some of the great hits in the world.
1. PreSonus Eris E3.5 – 3.5″ Multimedia Professional Reference Monitors with Acoustic Tuning (Pair)
Are you looking for a top studio monitor that will not disappoint? If so, the PreSonus Eris E3.5 might just be the right pick for you. This studio speaker will provide you with all the necessary functionalities to produce your next hit song with ease. Additionally, it is perfect for gaming, and watching movies in style as it produces great sound with no hindrance. The monitor comes with a great and high-quality design, and looks as good as it sounds. The PreSonus Eris is fitted with RF interference, output current limiting, over-temperature and a turn on and turn off transient. Additionally, the speaker is equipped with three monitor replacements for the; high, low and midrange frequency controls. The input gains let you optimize and control the signal to noise ration, making the sound clearer and audible.
• Has a solid construction with high-quality components
• It has superior and clear sound
• It has great controls that allow you to control the sound from the monitors
• The monitor is powerful and works in any studio
• It is affordable
• It has no Bluetooth connectivity
2. Mackie Trim 3-inch CR3
The Mackie CR3 monitor is among the most popular studio speakers in the country. This speaker is perfect to be used both at home and in the studios, it is great for watching movies, gaming, multimedia creation, and for making music hits. An added advantage is that this monitor has Bluetooth connectivity. This allows you to connect to your computer, iPad or mobile phone from a distance without the use of a cord. The monitor is fitted with convenient features like the speaker replacement switch that allows you to decide which side you want the speaker to face.
Additionally, the monitor has a front knob to control the volume and it the knob doubles as an on/off switch. The monitor comes with tons of accessories to make it easier for you to use with zero inconveniences. The monitor comes with cables and isolation pad that are compatible with it.
• The monitor has premium components
• It has handy
• Can be connected to your smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth
• It is equipped with accessories like cables and isolation pads
• It is affordable
• The knob tends to defect after some time, but it is rectifiable by fiddling with the knob and moving it in the middle position
3. Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers
The Edifier R1280T has combined a retro old school look with modern clear sound quality. The bookshelf speaker is fitted with a 4-inch bass driver which allows you to enjoy your favourite music. Also, the speaker is equipped with a flared bass reflex port which produces a fine sound which makes you enjoy listening to music. You can control your music listening experience by adjusting the treble, bass and the volume to suit your liking.
Moreover, the monitor is equipped with a remote control which allows you to adjust the volume while seated comfortably without the need to get up and walk to the monitor. The monitor can be connected to multiple audio devices since it is fitted with multiple audio pins that can connect to your laptop, phone or tablet. This allows you to enjoy your music from any device.
• Can be connected to various devices
• Has a remote control to adjust the volume without waking up from your seat
• You can personalize the sound to suit your listening experience
• It is affordable
• Does not cancel any noise or vibrations
4. JBL Professional 305P MkII 5″ 2-Way Powered Studio Speakers (new model)
The JBL professional powered studio speaker is made with a sleek and modern design which goes with any studio upgrade. The monitor has an image control waveguide which makes the music smooth, audible and clear with the right amount of base.
Additionally, the image control waveguide provides you with a detailed image which makes you experience great ambience in the recordings. The settings of this monitor enhance its sound, and every studio aims at getting the monitor. Moreover, the monitor is approved to be used near any magnetically sensitive devices. It is fitted with the JBL 100 hour full power which ensures that it will last you for a long time and it reliable. The monitor can be connected to a woofer to make it produce more base and make the music interesting since the bass is not enough, but there is the option of connecting it to the woofer. The design is an updated version of the monitor which makes it have clearer sounds with minimum harmonic distortion.
• The design has updated low-frequency transducers
• It is equipped with image control waveguide
• It can be connected to a woofer
• Can be used near magnetically sensitive devices
• The bass is not enough
5. KRK RP5G3W-NA Rokit 5 Generation 3 Powered Speakers
The KRK Rokit 5 Generation 3 is one of the top rated studio speaker sets that can be used in your studio or in your home. The monitor has a high-frequency adjustment which means you can adjust the volume, bass and treble to your taste. Moreover, the monitor has a sleek design that looks good and upgrades the appearance of your home or office. The monitor produces a sound which is loud enough for you to enjoy music without making noise to the neighbours. Produces audible and clear sound which ensures that you won't miss a word in the song.
• Looks good
• Highly durable
• It is loud and audible
• The bass is lacking in depth
• It has a standby mode which can be annoying if you wanted to dive into the song
6. Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers
The Edifier R1700BT has built-in tone controls which are located at the side of the speaker making it easier for you to reach. This allows you to adjust the music to fit your listening experience and have a great time. It is equipped with a volume button that doubles as a volume adjustment button a Bluetooth reset dial.
Moreover, the monitor can be connected via Bluetooth to any device that has Bluetooth connectivity from a smartphone, laptop or a tablet. At the back of the monitor, there are two sets of audio pins inputs where you can connect to your PC, phone or iPad. Additionally, it is equipped with all cables that are needed reducing the burden of looking for a cable to connect to the system. Moreover, the monitor comes with a remote control which enables you to control and adjust the volume without moving from where you were seated.
• Has a remote control
• Can be connected to any device via Bluetooth
• Equipped with various cables
• The monitors look good and are a great fit in your home
• The Bluetooth keeps connecting with the neighbour's devices
7. Yamaha HS5 Powered Monitor, Pair
Yamaha Company has been on the market since the early 1970s, and it is still a trusted brand until now. The Yamaha HS5 is a newly upgraded model that is equipped with knobs that can adjust the bass, treble and volume of your system. This allows you to enjoy music. The monitor is not affected by any magnetic devices near it, and it still transmits soft, seamless and natural sonic sound. The speakers' use high performance amplifies which make the sound clearer and loud enough. Furthermore, the HS5 design has a bi-amp which can be equipped to both a tweeter and a woofer to ensure that the sound produced is of high-resolution. The Yamaha comes with screws and points to mount the monitor to the wall or the ceiling.
• Has a speaker port to reduce over wall sound
• Has a new installation that helps mount the speaker
• Produces accurate sound
• Produce loud enough sound
• Bass is not that strong
• It is a bit expensive
8. IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitors ultra-compact 3″
The IK Multimedia micro monitors is a great speaker to use in small spaces as they do not take up a lot off space. Due to the size of the monitors, it is easier to position them in your studio. They have a great super near field design that puts the sweet spot on your ear while working on a desk. The monitor is equipped with a desktop or shelf switch that can adapt response from any place you put the speaker. The speaker has a built-in limiter which prevents distortion and damage to the speaker if you put at maximum volume, this is a great feature if you love listening to music with a high volume. It has a frequency between 45Hz to 20Hz which makes it deliver a great bass response.
• Has built-in limiter that limits distortion
• It is small which is perfect for small spaces
• It has proper power amps
• It is designed for closer listening which means you can hang near you
• Since it is small, it is not great for big spaces as the sound won't be loud enough
9. Pair Rockville APM5W 5.25″ 2-Way 250W Powered USB Loudspeakers
Add a touch of luxury and taste to your office with this new wood monitors. The monitors are made with long-lasting wood that makes them stand out and complete your studio with a touch of class and sophistication. This monitor is not all about looking good as it delivers clear, soft and great sound. The monitor comes in three finish options which you can choose from, the black painted, white painted and wood finish with a vinyl front board. The monitor's enclosure is built with perfect air space that improves, maximizes and enhances the sound. Additionally, the Rockville is built in a way that it cancels the vibration sounds and any unwanted noises making your music clearer and better.
• Cancels unwanted noises
• Great air space to transfer music sound
• The monitor looks good
• Some customers say that it produces a little hum sound
10. KRK RP8G3 ROKIT 8 G3 8″ 2-Way Powered Speaker
The Rokit G3 is among the top speakers that are frequently used in the studios. The monitor is paired with an 8" lightweight glass aramid woofer which delivers clear music and gives a nice bass. Additionally, the monitor has a 1" soft dome tweeter to make the sound frequency clearer and better from 35Hz to 35kHz which allows you to enjoy your music. The monitor is a great addition to your studio as it produces high-frequency sounds which ensure that you produce great hits. The KK has been known to produce great hits known to humankind due to its amazing sound frequency and the ability to cancel noise and vibrations.
• Has high frequency which is great for producing music
• It delivers clear and tight bass response
• It is quite expensive
Studio Monitor Selection Tips
Studio monitors play a vital role in the production of music. When selecting a studio monitor, it is necessary that the requirements correspond to a good level of reproduction fidelity and adequate resistance.
The differentiating factors between monitors lie in the frequency response that guarantees their high-quality sound quality. A flat frequency curve allows the monitor to reproduce the sound.
It is essential that a monitor is as transparent as possible and linear frequency response. This enables you to assess the actual behavior of the sounds. Perfectly calibrated speakers provide a reproduction that makes it possible to optimize every aspect of the acquisition and the audio editing of your productions.
The size of the studio and electroacoustic components (woofer, mid-woofer, midrange and tweeter) play a fundamental role in the choice of monitors. Carefully select the size of the cones in relation to the placement and the size of the room. Near-field monitors are undoubtedly the most suitable for basic use at home. They provide excellent quality to price ratio.
The size of the woofer is important as it not only determines the physical size of the entire monitor but, above all, the bass frequency response. In other words, larger woofers can produce better and deeper bass. A monitor with an 8-inch woofer will be at the same level as a 5-inch speaker.
If you produce electronic music and low frequencies are fundamental, you can opt for a 7-inch cone. Another option is to start with 5- or 6-inch speakers and add a subwoofer later. For example, you could opt for a pair of KRK RP5 RoKit monitor and then add the KRK 10s 2 subwoofer.
Before buying your new monitor studio pair, evaluate its size and weight. A studio monitor is meant to have a fixed point in a home recording studio, so it is not so much a matter of portability as the space you have available.
Pay attention to the dimensions. Imagine your new monitors on the desk and calculate how much space you need. If you are running out of space, place your monitors on speaker stands. Also, keep in mind that most studio monitors are not lightweight. A single Adam A7X speaker weighs 19 pounds.
The difference in size between near-field and main-field loudspeakers ensures greater acoustic coverage of the environment. The latter are usually amplified individually. They use one or two 10-, 12-, 15- or even 18-inch woofers. The most complex main-field loudspeakers use transducer pairs not only for low frequencies but also for medium and high frequencies.
On the other hand, mid-field units are suitable for listening in medium-sized rooms and usable as main monitors thanks to their high performance. When buying a monitor studio it is always advisable to perform a comparative listening test, which allows you to decide according to your personal taste, quality, desired performance and the available budget.
Types of Studio Monitors
The studio monitors available on the market can be active or passive. Active monitors have an integrated amplifier while passive ones need an external amplifier. To make life easier, it would be useful to opt for active monitors. They are multi-amplified and equipped with all the driving electronics. As a result, active monitors can produce the desired and reduce external interference that could affect performance.
Studio monitors can be further classified into three additional categories: main-field, mid-field and near-field monitors.
Near-Field monitors – loudspeakers dedicated to listening at a short distance (usually placed on the desk or mixing console). The dimensions for these variants generally include 3-, 5- and 7-inch speakers.
Mid-Field monitors – loudspeakers capable of guaranteeing the best performance if placed at a certain distance from the listener, generally in the order of a few meters at most. (Sizes include speakers from 8 to 10 inches).
Main-field monitors – large loudspeakers that must be positioned far enough from the listening point. (Also known as far-field monitors, the sizes incorporate 10, 12, 15 or even 18 inches).
In a stereo listening system, the monitors must be symmetrically positioned with respect to the listener, thus forming an equilateral triangle (60-degree angles). The listener’s head will be positioned completely within this triangle.
During music production and mixing and mastering, it is essential to listen to your tracks in the most balanced way possible. The purpose of Studio Monitor is precisely to reproduce the sound in a transparent way. This allows you to evaluate the merits and defects of a recording and correct where necessary. Studio monitors are a very important purchase and can be expensive.
Top Studio Monitor Brands
When selecting a studio monitor, it is vital to familiarize with the best offerings on the market. Some of the top studio monitor brands include Adam, Yamaha, KRK, Tannoy and Focal. The A5X is one of Adam’s best products in this monitors market. Like all the other studio monitors of the AX series, it is equipped with the new, precise and brilliant X-ART tweeters.
The diaphragm is in carbon, Rohacell and fiberglass, which is the same alloy also used in the two larger monitors of the AX series. This material is light but very rigid and avoids the occurrence of any resonance. This allows it to offer excellent dynamic behavior and guaranteeing an impeccable sound quality.
Focal offers several quality options, including the Alpha 65, which reproduces both instrumental and electronic music. It is provides substantial versatility benefits. This model consists of a 6.5-inch (165mm) woofer with a Polyglass cone and a 1-inch (25mm) inverted dome aluminum tweeter with a dedicated 35W amplifier.
Yamaha also offers an impressive range of monitors from which to choose, including the HS7. Since 1970 the famous white woofer, Yamaha reference monitors have become an industry standard. The Yamaha design team managed to make the sound of this monitor particularly flat and helped make it very reliable.
Tannoy boasts extraordinary prestige in the world of studio monitoring. The Reveal 502 provides a tonal clarity of absolute quality, whatever the style of music you work on. A lot of power combined with super-efficient custom woofers for a bass emission with surprising performance and remarkable precision. A skilled tuning of the filter-crossover alignment ensures the optimal timing between the drivers. This produces the best sweet-spot possible, so as to be able to move freely in the workspace without ever losing the stereo image of the mix.
LYD-7 monitors use Advanced Digital Signal Processing to extend or limit the response to 10Hz low frequencies where needed, while Position and Sound Balance provide better performance in any environment. The 7 “woofer helps to extend the bass response. The case provides the ideal mix of stiffness, weight and damping for audio precision and incredible stereo.
Attractively designed, the Mackie amplified studio monitors of the MR mk3 series are designed to guarantee a linear listening experience. Perfect for any studio environment, the MR6 MK3 monitors have been completely redesigned. The all-wood casing with curved woofer and 1-inch silk dome tweeter combine together to produce a crystalline, natural sound with powerful bass.
PreSonus Series Eris speakers are specially designed for use as a studio monitor, providing a very accurate response, with precise bass and super-detailed highs. Thanks to Kevlar woofers, dome tweeters, Class A/B amplification, and professional acoustic controls, the Eris offer the best in their price range.
The first aspect that distinguishes the new A7X monitor from the old A7 is the X-ART tweeter. The X stands for “eXtended frequency response” and the extension of the frequency response is just one of the improved features in the development that brought the ART technology of Adama Audio to a new level.
Studio Monitor Pricing
The average pricing for studio monitors ranges between $100 and $300. Users can select the ideal option based on their budget and sound requirements. The pricier units provide the best performance for both professional and home use.
Buying a Studio Monitor: Question and Answer (Q&A)
What are the best studio monitors for mixing?
The speakers of the Yamaha HS series have been designed to guarantee a precise reference, offering an ideal sound platform on which to rely during mixing.
What’s the difference between studio monitors and regular speakers?
The purpose of studio monitors is to make you feel the details of the instruments, to perceive the errors of a recording and to allow you to improve the overall balance of your records. In contrast, regular speakers are designed to provide good audio quality for basic entertainment.
Can you use headphones instead of studio monitors?
Headphones make it easier to misjudge the quality of the mixes.
What are near field monitors?
Close listening speakers that are ideal for home recording studios.
What are the best KRK monitors?
The KRK Rokit 5 G3 (Generation 3) studio monitors are renowned for providing impressive performance and impeccable accuracy. The frequency response reaches up to 35kHz and the unit boasts great rendering for the vocal tracks and bass response. On the other hand, KRK V Series 4 monitors provide accurate reproduction.
Do studio monitors come in pairs?
Some units come in pairs while others are available individually.
George A. Smith received a Masters Degree in Music Education from the University of Berkeley. George has been teaching music professionally for the past 8 years. George regularly contributes content to several music websites including LoadRecords.com.