Studio monitors are the equipment that we rely on for our creative production of music. A quality studio monitor produces the music exactly the way it is. Unlike commercial speakers, studio monitors don’t have any coloration to the sound it produces.
The accurate frequency of your mix helps you to get your mix the way you want it to be. They assist in television-radio recording, editing, and mixing for professional audio production.
Stereo speakers produce bass and punchy sound to make the sound more attractive. It makes the music or sounds more appealing, leading to the success of those speakers. But studio monitors produce the sound as much as possible, which appears to be incorrect. For playback, it is crucial to know the precise sound and frequency, which enables you to make the adjustments to want for your music.
Quality comes at a price. For the desired outcome, investment plays the role. That being said, it is also possible to find the monitors that may fit into your budgeting. You will find the right monitors that suit your home studio as well as your professional studio. This article covers that kind of studio monitors that do the work for the budding musicians and producers out there.
Rockville APM8W is one of the affordable, appealing studio monitors. These monitors keep up their quality not only in the sound they produce but also in the manufacturing of the monitor. Keeping up a simple design, all the controls of the speakers is settled at the back of the monitor. You can see volume, bass and treble, and inputs for XLR combo, USB port, headphone and RCA input in the controls section.
Rockville APM8W deserves the top pick because of the quality outcome of the speaker. The bass performance is the finest and crisp. Even at a high level of volume, the sound is precise and undisturbed. The rubber woofers of the speakers are the feature that assists in reducing sound deformation.
- High-quality performance
- Appealing design
2. JBL LSR305
JBL LSR305 is one of the best monitors you can get for this price. The monitor tops in terms of appearance and performance. This monitor is an active bi-amplified monitor where the amps are inbuilt, allowing you to save space. It doesn’t come with wireless streaming, and the set differs from most monitors.
The ICW feature of this monitor makes it stand out from others. It helps in reviewing frequencies from all positions. Controls of the monitor include XLR and TSR inputs that are suitable for both professional and consumer signals and has additional removable power cables and stock on pads.
- Comes with features like slipstream low-frequency design and LSR technology
- Comes with image control waveguide technology which can be seen only in expensive monitors
- The size is bigger than the average monitor
- Setting up is a bit confusing since it differs from other monitors.
3. YAMAHA HS5
YAMAHA HS5 is also an active bi-amplified studio monitor. It may be a bit bigger than the average studio monitor, but these monitors are worth the price. Available in a white and black finish, it comes with a 5-inch woofer. The transducers and the amplifiers work together seamlessly producing a flat response.
The tweeter and woofer are provided with an exclusive amplifier for better performances. The controls include XLR, TRS inputs with audio interfaces, and keyboards. The low resonance enclosure design of the cabinet improves accuracy. The advanced noise reduction and updated transducers are the specialties of these monitors.
4. PRESONUS ERIS E4.5
PreSonus Eris E4.5 is the versatile studio monitors you can go for. Even if the appearance is a downside for this monitor, the features of the speaker promises satisfied work output. With impressively flat responses and incredible transparency across the variations, this speaker is a great value of money.
It is an ideal monitor for beginners, which help them in producing quality work with not much experience in the production. The speaker comes with a 1-inch tweeter and 4.5-inch Low-frequency transducers. The bass response is deep in this monitor benefits those who are into mixing. The controls of the speaker easily adjust the bass depth.
- High-quality output
- Appearance may not be that pleasing
- Bass may be a bit deeper
5. M-Audio AV42
M-Audio AV42 should be your pick if you find yourself in a tight budget. With more than average performances, these monitors are going to be a good investment of your money. Decent quality manufacturing ensures durability. The larger rear ports of the monitor make the positioning a bit of an issue.
There should be proper planning in the distance between the wall and monitor. It seems to have a bit low quality when it comes to trebles, but asking for more features in this price range may not be reasonable.
- Simple design
- Satisfied performance
- Acoustic room controls are not available
6. BEHRINGER MS40
BEHRINGER MS40 is the studio monitor that comes in vintage old school design. With good quality manufacturing and average size, this speaker produces fine output. The response is impressively flat and decent transparency. They may not be up to the mark when compared with the other listed monitors here, but this speaker has it owns pros which may them stand along with the others.
The tweeters are of 2.5,” and low-frequency drivers are of 4.75″. The power set of this monitor is 20 watts per cabinet. Also, one of the pros is that the all the volume ports, power, and the EQ section are presented in the front of the monitor, making them convenient for daily use.
- The convenient placing of the controls
- Vintage design
- Size of the monitors can be an issue for tight spaces
7. Mackie CR4
One of the best monitors for beginners, Mackie CR4, is the speaker that comes in grey color with a fluorescent green border. This speaker comes with a 0.75-inch tweeter and 4-inch woofer. It also has Bluetooth connectivity, an aux cord, cables, RCA cables, and a buffer stand. This speaker in a pug in play type of monitor which is convenient at times.
Lack of acoustic room controls is a con; however, with all the basic features it offers Mackie CR4 is the right choice. Even though this speaker does not guarantee a professional level performance, but they promise to get your job done.
- Way cheaper for entry-level music producers
- Fits well in smaller studios
- No room acoustic controls
8. NUMARK N-WAVE 580L
This is one of the finest DJ speakers you can find under $200. The magnetic fields within the drivers help to get rid of the interferences. The crisp and particular sound of the speaker in the highs and lows is promising. The sound is balanced at every volume level.
The bass may not meet your expectations, but it cannot be labeled as terrible. When coming to appearances, the appeal is quite attractive. With changing LED lights covering the speaker works on pulsating and slow cycle mode. This adds fun to the occasion, and it can be turned off which they are bothering you.
Things to keep in mind while setting up your studio monitors:
Setting up your studio monitor is as important as choosing the monitor. The whole work depends on the performance of the speaker, and the performance of the speaker depends on the placement of the monitor. Improper setup can mess up the recording even with the top monitors.
- Never go with the hyped sound– As mentioned before, most of the commercial speakers come with the boosted sound quality, which is more tempting than the studio monitors. These speakers already have accentuated bass frequencies that make the music to be brighter and punchier. Always go with the speakers that show what wrong with the recordings rather than the one which shows how good it sounds. The case with this kind of hyped speakers or modifications is that they may not sound the same outside the studio. The need for studio monitors is to produce the precise recording mix, which helps to listen to the specific elements of the mix critically.
- Place the speaker away from walls– There is this common tendency to keep the speakers against the wall for stronger bass. But this will have an adverse effect when coming to the low-end frequency adjustment. The bass response is not guaranteed to be precise, and the uneven frequency will be a threat to your creation. Most of the speakers are designed to produce an accurate and smooth response. Even without any enhancement, the monitors away from the walls can able to produce a crisp and particular frequency that assist you in balance and EQ adjustments.
- Strive for symmetry– While setting up the speakers, it is important that they are symmetrically placed. The walls and reflections of the room can cause variations in the sound that is produced. It is ideal to face the speakers towards you and to place your station somewhat middle of the room. By placing the speakers equidistant from the walls will help to have the same effects causing both the speakers and to have a balance in the recording. The positioning of the monitors should also form an equilateral triangle with your head. All these should be kept in mind for a high-quality outcome.
- The distance between the speakers– The distance between the speakers should not be so far or too close. The speakers must be 60 ̊ from each other or should form an equilateral triangle between you and the speakers (say, 30 ̊ from each side). Speakers placed too far causes distortion ending up the mix to be adjusted inappropriately. Same with the speakers placed too close; the recording may sound like the elements are bunched together, leaving you unable to benefit the stereo sound field. The recommended position will be 3 feet from the listener and each other. It also helps in reducing the effect of room reflections.
- Manage the effect from reflections– It is important to avoid all those strong reflections onto your workstation since these reflections can distort your playback. Everything in your room causes their portion of disturbance to your recordings. It may not be possible to avoid all those reflections but avoid them to the maximum extent. At least eliminate them from interrupting the space between the speakers and between the listener as well. Make sure your working environment will not cause any trouble in your work.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
- What is the difference between speakers and professional studio monitors?
Studio monitors are designed to have a flat response with minimal distortion. They are more accurate and transparent, producing natural playback recording.
While consumer speakers are the ones seen in the home audio system. They have a shaped frequency response and have the setting for boosting the bass and frequencies for quality sounds. They come with their modification to produce a more appealing response.
2. What are the different parts of a studio monitor?
A studio monitors comes with components like a Tweeter (this takes care of treble response), an Amplifier, an Acoustic port (this helps in producing specific frequency response which helps the monitor to work efficiently), Woofer (this takes care of the bass response), and the cabinet (the body of the monitor).
3. What is the difference between an active speaker and a passive speaker?
The main difference between these speakers in the amplifier. Active speakers come with an in-built power amplifier and for passive speakers need an external power amplifier.
4. Is the studio monitor and loudspeaker the same?
No. Studio monitors are for producing accurate and exact playback without any coloration and perfect for critical listening. While loudspeakers are for high-power and distortion free sound play, quality for both the speaker response will be the same, but both the speakers are used for different purposes.
Before settling with your studio monitors, it is important to find your listening position. It is recommended to face the shortest wall and place your workstation symmetrically at the center. Remember to place the monitors on a stable platform eliminating the vibration from high-mass speakers.
When it comes to creativity, the quality of your studio monitors matters. You need to know the response the same way they are recorded. Only with that kind for practice, you will know your work improvement. Make sure you are investing in the right monitor. The finest monitor gives you the finest work.
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