Best Studio Monitors (May 2018) – Buyer’s Guide and Reviews

Best Studio Monitors

Best Studio Monitors (May 2018) – Buyer’s Guide and Reviews

If you are looking for the best studio monitors for yourself but do not know where to start with – you have come to the right place. Buying the perfect studio monitor can be an engaging task but if you have made a smart choice, it can have a huge impact on the quality of your production. Studio monitors, in the simplest language, are loudspeakers that are precisely designed for “accurate audio reproduction” from recording, editing, mixing to mastering audio. Whether it be in a recording studio, television studio, home studios or even filmmaking, studio monitors are an important part of your studio setup. But how do you know which one is ideal for you?

It can be a challenging task to select the ideal studio monitor for yourself that can suit all your needs. In this article, we have listed for you the 7 best studio monitors available on the market now and we really hope you find your ideal purchase here!

In-Depth Studio Monitors Reviews

#1 Yamaha HS8 Studio Monitor

Big. Loud. Clear. These are the first three words that will come to your mind when you work on the Yamaha HS8 studio monitor.

The HS monitor series from Yamaha is known for offering clarity in audio and a fairly flat response, which eliminates unwanted resonance.

The Yamaha HS8 Studio Monitors provide clarity and leveled frequency throughout, providing rich sound quality. You do not even need a sub when you are using these monitors.

Yamaha is a well-known brand in the market and it has maintained its brand name across generations. These monitors will give you a clear picture of what you’re working with, along with it being sound pleasing enough for casual listening as well. They are clearly the finest choice for any home studio. Whether you’re looking to handle loud kicks or snare hits, the HS8 monitors show detailed sound quality across high, mid and low spectrums.

Basic Features

  • 2-way bass reflex bi-amplified near-field studio monitor
  • 8” cone woofer and 1” dome tweeter
  • 38Hz – 30kHz frequency response
  • Room control and High Trim response controls.
  • 75W LF plus 45W HF bi-amp system for high-performance 120W power amplification

Positives

  • With an 8-inch cone woofer and a 1-inch dome tweeter, the build quality is solid.
  • The 38Hz to 30kHz frequency response provides for clarity and bass accuracy.
  • The fairly flat response makes them ideal for studio mixing.
  • With bi-amped power amplification, the HS7 studio monitors leave no room for distortion.

Why Do We Recommend It

This advanced level studio monitor from Yamaha is highly recommended by us for 4 basic reasons:

  • Power
  • Bass Accuracy
  • Stereo Imaging
  • Clarity

#2 Adam Audio A7X Powered Studio Monitor

ADAM AUDIO A7X POWERED STUDIO MONITOR The Adam Audio A7X is an incredible powerhouse in near-field studio monitor line. The A7X is an upgraded version of its predecessor Adam A7s.

The stereo imaging of this studio monitor is impressive as it makes it easy to place sounds around the stereo field.

The Adam Audio A7X Powered Studio Monitor is an excellent near field monitor. The X-ART tweeter produces detailed highs and undistorted lows with a bass response that is powerful and precise.

The frequency levels in A7X Adam Audio are separated well, offering you a three-dimensional experience in a 2-way speaker enclosure. The highs are unimaginably crisp and clear, while the lows provide the minimal level of distortion. This studio monitor is one of the most sought-after studio monitors in the market right now and its upgraded X-ART (eXtended frequency response-Accelerating Ribbon Technology) ribbon tweeter from the original A7 provides higher efficiency and higher maximum sound pressure levels.

Basic Features

  • 2-way speaker enclosure with three-dimensional studio monitoring performance.
  • 42Hz to 50kHz frequency response.
  • 7’’ mid-woofer with a 100W internal amplifier.
  • Switching Amp Technology (also called Pulse Width Modulation).
  • Upgraded X-ART ribbon tweeter (eXtended frequency response-Accelerating Ribbon Technology).

Positives

  • The 7’’ mid-woofer with a 100W internal amplifier gives direct integration with low-frequency levels.
    Switching Amp Technology (also called Pulse Width Modulation) converts signals to a series of rectangular waveform of equal heights.
  • Upgraded X-ART ribbon tweeter (eXtended frequency response-Accelerating Ribbon Technology) has a corrugated ribbon membrane, unlike most flat membrane, thereby providing seriously impressive precise sound.
  • There are 2 built-in amplifiers and compared to its predecessor, it has doubled the output power.

Why Do We Recommend It

This upgraded level studio monitor from Adam Audio is highly recommended by us for 3 reasons:

  • Translucent Sound Imaging
  • Tonal Depth
  • Stereo Localization

#3 JBL LSR 305 Professional Studio Monitor

JBL LSR 305 PROFESSIONAL STUDIO MONITORThe JBL LSR 305 Professional Studio Monitor has a plethora of useful features and is the first to incorporate JBL’s new technology, the Image Control Waveguide that will allow you to hear detailed and in-depth recordings without distortion across high, mid as well as low frequencies.

The overall sound balance and detailed stereo imaging is something that makes it a consumer favorite in the market.

Apart from its glossy beautiful overall looks, these speakers provide just enough controls to provide excellent sound quality and minimum distortion in frequencies.

Basic Features

  • Trim Controls for both the high and low frequencies.
  • 5’’ woofer and a 1” soft dome tweeter.
  • Fixed adjustment points for matching the output levels of the two speakers with ease.
  • Image Control Waveguide
  • Powered by two 41W Class-D amplifiers – one for the dome tweeter and the other for the woofer.

Positives

The ‘Slip Stream’ bass port located on the rear of the cabinet is designed to reduce port wind noise.
The Image Control Waveguide that will allow you to hear detailed and in-depth recordings without distortion.
These speakers can connect without the proper preamplifier. For instance, you can connect to the headphone output of a MacBook with a stereo RCA cable.

Why Do We Recommend It

This Image Control Waveguide incorporated Studio Monitor from JBL is recommended by us for 3 reasons:

  • Amazing Imaging
  • Trim Control for Frequencies
  • Deep Sound

#4 KRK RP5G3W – NA Rokit 5 Gen 3 Powered Studio Monitor

KRK RP5G3W – NA ROKIT 5 GEN 3 POWERED STUDIO MONITORKRK system is one of the most respected names for studio monitors. Their superior balance in providing low distortion and crisp stereo imaging makes them one of the most preferred brands for consumers in the market, whether they be recording engineers, artists or someone looking to master hit records.

Living up to the name, KRK Rokit 5 Gen 3 delivers the same quality regardless of what your musical style or genre be.

KRK’s ROKIT 5 G3 provides professional accuracy in recording, mastering and mixing and playback. It consists of 1 soft dome tweeter and 5 glass-aramid composite woofers. The multiple input connections ensure that the Rokit 5 G3 will smoothly integrate within any configuration.

Basic Features

  • Bi-amped, class A/B amplifier offering low distortion
  • A proprietary waveguide for excellent stereo imaging
  • Frequency response 45Hz – 35kHz
  • 5 glass-aramid composite woofers.

Positives

  • Multiple input connections ensure that the Rokit 5 G3 for universal connectivity.
  • 5 lightweight glass-aramid composite woofers to deliver clear midrange and tight bass.
  • The high-frequency levels make it adjustable according to the room acoustics.

Why Do We Recommend It

Rokit 6 G3 is the perfect combination of the following:

  • Low cost
  • Ideal Woofer Size
  • Detailed performance.

#5 Focal Solo6 Be 6.5’’ Powered Studio Monitor

FOCAL SOLO6 BE 6.5’’ POWERED STUDIO MONITORIf you’re looking for a good studio monitor within budget, the Focal Solo 6 fits the bill. Around Europe as well as in the United States, they are by far the best selling studio monitors in the market now.

Whether you’re looking for mixing, professional mastering or simply recording – whatever is your requirement this studio monitor will do the needful for you. The depth and stereo imaging of the speaker let you listen to exactly what you have mixed or recorded.

Basic Features

  • 40Hz – 40kHz frequency response
  • 6.5’’ ‘’W’’ composite mid-woofer
  • Adjustable tweeter and woofer levels.

Positives

  • The bass response and tightness of the speaker are too good.
  • The mids and highs are transparent.
  • The inverted-dome beryllium tweeter provides unbelievable detail and no harsh tweeter sound.

Why Do We Recommend It

Whatever you expect a studio monitor to do, the Focal Solo6 is capable of doing it all. But the two major reasons we recommend it are:

  • Neutrality in mid range
  • Perfect bass control.

#6 Neumann KH 120 A – Active Studio Monitor

NEUMANN KH 120 A – ACTIVE STUDIO MONITORIf you’re looking for studio monitors that can pack a punch yet not burn a hole in your pocket, the Neumann KH 120A is right for you. The KH 120 is a small yet mighty, near-field two-way configuration studio monitor that is easily portable.

The in-built Elliptical Mathematically Modeled Dispersion (MMD) waveguide provides smooth off-axis response and acoustical control. The stereo imaging is spot on and provides with the listener fine-tuned and superb listening experience.

Basic Features

  • Bi-amplified configuration
  • 52Hz – 21kHz frequency response
  • High-frequency driver: 1’’
  • Low-frequency driver: 5.25”.

Positives

  • It comes with a 1-inch dome tweeter that is made of titanium fabric.
  • The frequency response of the studio is fairly flat with bass accuracy
  • The 5.25-inch composite woofer brings in a greater degree of punch to the box.

Why Do We Recommend It

With flexible acoustical control and analog class-AB amplifiers, the Neumann KH 120A is an extraordinary little speaker system that is one of the best in the market at present. We highly recommend them for two main reasons:

  • Clarity and leveled frequency
  • Rich sound quality.

#7 KRK RP5G3 – NA Rokit 5 Genera

KRK RP5G3 – NA ROKIT 5 GENERAThese are the most popular choice for pristine monitoring in the market for both professional consumers as well as learners. KRK has been designing studio monitors within an affordable price range to cater to home studios as well as big professional studios. The Rokit5 Genera raises the bar for reference studio monitors for producers and musicians.

When it comes to accuracy in recording, mixing and playback the KRK’s Rokit 5 G3 Genera aces it. It consists of a 1-inch dome tweeter that delivers high frequencies up to 35kHz with vocal clarity.

The accuracy that you get in these studio monitors is a rarity that is hard to find in most other studio monitors in the market, irrespective of the price.

Basic Features

  • 2 KRK Rokit 5 Generation 3 Powered Studio Monitors
  • Nano Patch Plus Studio Monitor Controller
  • 1-inch soft-dome tweeter provides clarity
  • Frequency response up to 35kHz.

Positives

  • Class A/B bi-amp configuration used for minimal distortion and pristine sound quality.
  • The 1-inch soft dome tweeter allows you to hear detailed and in-depth
  • The recordings without distortion.

Why Do We Recommend It

The KRK RP5G3 – NA Rokit 5 Genera is highly recommended because of 3 basic reasons:

  • Vocal Clarity
  • In-depth Recording

5 Considerations To Make Before Buying Studio Monitors

Best Studio Monitors

Now that we have shed light on the 7 best studio monitors that are available in the market today, we will share with you 5 basic considerations that you need to look for in your studio monitor. The most important question is what do you need to consider before buying studio monitors. In this article, we list out 4 important considerations to be kept in mind to ensure that you have purchased for yourself the best studio monitor available in the market.

#1 Types of Studio Monitors: Passive or Active Studio Monitor

Although active studio monitor is the most sought-after option these days, passive monitors are a great option as well. The difference between the two lies in the requirement of a dedicated inbuilt amplifier or whether you want an external amplifier to power them.

Passive studio monitors don’t have an inbuilt amplifier, which means that you will have to have an external amplifier to connect with it. Whereas, active studio monitors have an inbuilt amplifier, making it a lot more convenient to connect with.

#2 Power: single-amp, bi-amp, and tri-amp

meterYour channel of amplification to power your studio monitor determines whether it’s a single-amp, bi-amp or tri-amp configuration.

If your studio monitor uses a single configuration to adjust the frequencies – low frequencies to the woofer (a loudspeaker designed to reproduce low frequencies) and high frequencies to the tweeter (a loudspeaker designed to reproduce high frequencies), it’s called single-amp configuration.

If your studio monitor uses two separate amplifiers to produce both high frequency as well as low-frequency sounds, it’s called bi-amp configuration.

If your studio monitor uses three channels of amplification to power, one to power the woofer, second to power the mid-range and third to power the tweeter, it’s called tri-amp configuration.

#3 Frequency Response

Frequency Response
Frequency Response Chart of a Studio Monitor

What is the one prime reason for which you purchase studio monitors? Accuracy in your mixes and recording, right? And that is exactly what you need to keep in mind before buying your ideal set. Therefore, what is expected from your studio monitors is to have a fairly flat response so that there is clarity in sound. Hence, the flatter is your frequency response the better is going to be your mixing or recording.

#4 Size of the Speaker

studio monitor speaker sizeThe size of the speaker typically implies to the size of the woofers. If you’re looking to purchase a good studio monitor within a said budget you ought to know the different sizes of woofers available in the market, and how good they are for you. The rule of thumb here is that the bigger your size of the woofer is the better is going to be the bass production, whereas if the size is smaller the bass production will not be as powerful as compared to a bigger woofer.

Another thing that you need to consider with regard to your speaker size is that a bigger woofer will take bigger space in your room, so you need to make sure to have the right kind of space in your room to install it in your room.

#5 Budget

budgetThis is the most important consideration that you need to make before you buy anything actually! In order to make your budget for the best studio monitor, you have to know the various price ranges in the market for it.

If you consider high-end studio models you have to ask yourself what exactly is it that you are looking for in your studio monitor and understand the specifications and features. Another important thing to understand here is what is the nature of your recording going to be like.

Final Words

Now that you have got the entire buyer’s guide to purchasing the best studio monitors for yourself, go out there to get yourself the ideal monitor and get going with your awesome recordings and don’t forget to share with us about the experience!

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