When it comes to audio, it is very important that every stage of production is carefully curated, in order to arrive at the final stages of mixing and mastering with quality products.
If you have carefully taken care of the acoustic treatment of your home studio and carefully chosen all the instruments, you must make sure that listening for mixing and mastering is also suitable.
If you’re looking for the best studio monitor speakers, read on!
What’s the Best Studio Monitor Speaker?
The task of a studio monitor speaker is to offer a linear sound, as similar as possible to reality, so that the operator can hear everything clearly and in detail to perform his work in the best possible way.
To choose the best model, there are also other factors to consider, such as the size of the room in which they will be used, the genre of music you intend to work on and the sound quality of the studio.
Below we present the best active studio monitor speakers:
PIONEER DM-40BT-W monitor speakers
Let’s start the analysis of the products we have selected with the Pioneer DM-40BT-W model.
Compatible with all types of equipment, it is a 2-way active bass reflex model, which supports Bluetooth technology.
The tweeter is a 3/4 inch soft dome, while the woofer is fiberglass and measures 4 inches.
Inside the package there are the power cable, the cables to connect the two speakers together, the audio converter cable (3.5 mm stereo mini plug to RCA).
The dimensions and weight are slightly different between the right and left cases: the left measures 146 x 227 x 223 mm and weighs 2.7 kg, while the right is 146 x 227 x210 mm for 2.2 kg of weight.
The inputs are an RCA line and a mini jack line, while the output is a headphone monitor (mini jack).
The most particular feature? The white color!
Behringer MS40 speaker set
Let’s now see the Behringer MS40, or two active near-field studio speakers with high resolution 24-Bit / 92Khz D / A converter and integrated 2 x 20 watt amplifier.
The speaker is 12cm and the tweeter is 6.5cm.
As connections we find the 6.3 mm headphone output jack (front), a 3.5 mm jack input, the RCA input, the coaxial input, the optical input and the RCA output to connect the two speakers.
The frequency response ranges from 50 Hz to 25 kHz and the product is recommended for computer studios, audio and multimedia workstations and keyboard monitoring.
The dimensions are 27.9 x 17.3 x 24.5 cm (HxWxD).
The regulators on the front are interesting, thanks to which you can customize the high and low levels and the volume of each individual speaker: a very useful option on occasions when you will not be connected to an audio interface, such as in the case of use for monitoring. keyboards.
Alesis Elevate Active Monitor Speakers
The Alesis Elevate 5 are bi-amplified active desktop speakers.
The woofer has a diameter of 5 inches (12.7 cm) which offers rich and precise bass, while the power is 40 Watts.
The construction material is high density wood and there is shielding to minimize interference.
Also in this case there is a powered speaker which is connected to its twin through a special jack cable.
The other connections present are the L / R jack or RCA outputs. Also on the back of the case are the power button, the power input and the bass boost button.
On the front there is the volume adjustment and a headphone input.
The color is black, alternating with smooth and shiny and rough and opaque surfaces. The inside of the woofer and the Alesis logo are instead white.
KRK ROKIT RP6 G3 monitor studio speaker
The KRK ROKIT RP6 G3 is a bi-amped speaker with a 73 watt rms class a / b amplifier (48 watt bass + 25 watt high).
Patented waveguide technology offers superior stereo imaging.
Regarding the frequency response, we find a range of 38 – 35.000 Hz.
Other characteristics? 2.3khz crossover, 1 “high resolution silk dome tweeter and 6” glass and aramid composite woofer.
Interesting is the auto standby which is activated after 30 minutes of inactivity.
We also find both balanced and unbalanced inputs (xlr + jack + rca), volume control (-30db to +6 db) and adjustment of high, medium and low.
Also in this case there is magnetic shielding.
The sale is per single item, so a cash box will be included in the purchase.
The dimensions are 29 x 22.6 x 33.2 cm and the weight is 8.4 kg.
The design is the classic of the KRK, with black cabinet and yellow woofer.
Yamaha HS5WH Active Speaker Monitor
This HS5WH model from Yamaha is also sold individually and not in pairs.
The first thing that strikes you is the white color, very original since most of the other models are black.
The shape is simple, essential, with rounded corners.
This model is a bi-amplified near-field bass reflex and is of the active type.
The woofer measures 5 “, while the dome tweeter is 1”. The frequency response indicated is 54Hz – 30kHz, with a 2kHz crossover.
The power is 45W (LF) + 25W (HF) and the dimensions are 17 x 28.5 x 22.2 cm for 5.3 kg of weight.
On the back we find the power input, the on / off button, the volume, an XLR input, a jack input and the room control and high trim regulators.
The cabinet is in MDF and the product is suitable for both stereo mixing and 5.1 surround.
Alesis Elevate 5 MKII Active Desktop Speakers
Let’s go back to the Alesis brand, this time with the Elevate 5 MKII model, a set of two active speakers, suitable for use in the home studio, for video editing, for gaming and even for portable devices.
The output power is 40W per channel, so we will have a total power of 80W.
The cabinet is made of high-density wood which suppresses unwanted resonances and the waveguide of the elliptical tweeter optimizes sound diffusion and stereo imaging.
The tweeter is domed, made of silk, measures 1 inch and delivers clear treble sounds, while the woofer is 5 inch.
These studio speakers are recommended for mixing, mastering and multimedia content.
The sound is extremely defined, warm and full-bodied.
On the back we find the jack and RCA inputs, the bass boost button, the on/off button, the input for the power supply and the jack input for the connection of the two speakers.
KRK ROKIT RP5 G3 monitor speaker
And we find the KRK brand, with the ROKIT RP5 G3, a bi-amped speaker with 50 watt rms class a / b amplifier (30 watts on the bass + 20 watts on the highs).
The patented waveguide technology. It is optimized to deliver superior stereo imaging.
The frequency response is 45 – 35.000hz, the crossover at 2.6khz and the tweeter is 1 “with a dome shape and made of high resolution silk, while the woofer is 5” and built in aramid composite fabric and glass.
The maximum spl is 106db and the device automatically enters standby after 30 min of inactivity.
On the back we find the balanced and unbalanced input (xlr + jack + rca) and the volume, high and low controls.
The presence of magnetic shielding also offers protection from interference.
The dimensions are 24.6 x 18.8 x 28.4 cm for a weight of 5.9 kg and the main color is black, enlivened by the iconic yellow woofer.
Buying Guide For The Best Studio Monitors
Let’s now see some of the main factors to consider before proceeding with the purchase.
Yep, price can be a problem for some of us. You’ve probably already spent a fortune on a computer, microphone, midi controller, but don’t worry!
There are great products that won’t force you to mortgage your home!
The size of the speakers depends on the size of the room in which they will be placed.
If space permits, you can opt for larger models.
It is essential to choose a product that can manage the frequency range of the audio files on which you will have to go to work.
This range is measured in hertz (the lowest frequency) and kilohertz (the highest frequency).
The number of watts is important: larger rooms will require more power, while a small home studio may be satisfied with a few watts.
If you will work with music, you can also evaluate the genres you will produce and based on which one to choose: for pop music near-field with 4.5-6 inch woofers are fine, while for rock and hip-hop it is better opt for something that can handle the bass better.
Some models are therefore more suitable for certain particular genres: you will find ideal products for electronic music, others for rock, …
Before choosing the product you need to check that the speakers offer connections compatible with your equipment.
Monitors are usually available with jack and RCA inputs, as well as TRS, XLR and mini jack.
Some have unbalanced inputs, others balanced inputs, and still others offer both.
Single-Amp, Bi-Amp, Or Tri-Amp
Single amplifier cabinets automatically divide the output power of an amplifier, so the right frequencies are sent to each monitor.
In the bi-amp, we find two amplifiers: one feeds the high frequencies, the other the low ones.
A tri-amp instead presents the division of the signal on three different amplifiers: one manages the highs, one the low and one the mids.
The design of the cabinets affects the sound quality: the best models that do not modify the sound are made of metal or dense plastic, or otherwise rigid and robust materials.
In your budget you should also consider buying studio monitor stands, which are essential if your desk does not offer suitable shelves.
These stands are very practical and are also height adjustable.
There is also the option of the wall bracket, useful for those with limited space.
But remember that in any case you will have to leave some free space behind the devices!
You may also find it useful to purchase a dedicated controller that will allow you to manage the volume and other functions (such as connecting multiple pairs of different monitors) in a practical and convenient way.
What Are Studio Monitors?
Loudspeakers for those who work in recording, radio or television studios and for those who produce, record, mix or master music, must have special characteristics.
Studio monitors, also known as studio speakers, are specifically designed to offer these categories the best possible listening and a high resolution to work with audio.
The main features of these speakers are:
- linear frequency response
- precise stereophonic localization
- wide reproducible frequency range
- realistic transient response
What’s The Difference Between Stereo Speakers And Studio Monitors?
If listening to audio professionals did not require any particularities, we would find simple speakers like the ones we all have at home to listen to the stereo, or in clubs to broadcast audio.
If to listen to music in your free time you can be satisfied with the car radio or headphones of your smartphone, the situation is different for those who produced, mixed and mastered that music.
Let’s see the differences between “common” speakers and those used by audio professionals.
Hi-fi stereo speakers are generally passive and therefore require an amplifier to “play”.
Studio monitors are almost always active and therefore have an integrated amplifier.
The difference at first glance? Simple: the active models have an input for the power supply, the passives only have audio cables that will be connected to the amplifier.
Active speakers have advantages, that is, they are composed (usually) of multiple amplifiers: the woofer, tweeter and midrange speakers each have their own internal amplifier and this offers a more precise dynamic response.
In the passive models it happens instead that a woofer, which requires a lot of power in the reproduction of “bass” sounds (bass, bass house), can take it away from the other speakers.
Using monitors with dedicated amplifiers for each speaker also allows you to build a higher quality crossover for clearer and more detailed sound.
Different Products For Different Needs
Traditional speakers tend to modify the original sound: many hi-fi speakers amplify the bass and treble, for example, to make the music crisp and powerful.
Each device you use (car stereo, smartphone, pc speakers, stereo, …) offers a different sound.
Music professionals, on the other hand, work with equipment that can offer a sound as close as possible to reality, which when listening can even be “worse”.
Working in this way allows you to grasp every little nuance and therefore be able to identify the areas on which to operate.
Once the audio product is perfect with this listening, in common speakers (of at least decent quality) it will sound even better, as the devices “for ordinary people” aim to color the sound to make it more pleasant.
Passive vs. Active speakers
We have already seen how amplified speakers are generally preferred and why.
However, it should be noted that some professional studios choose to use passive models: in this way they can buy and use different amplifiers to be used according to the different needs that can be created.
Whenever possible, it is always best to have several sets of speakers available to verify that your work is perfect with each different listening.
Among the various listening we often find also the one called “ignorant”, which happens through common amplifiers and which reflect what the average listener will listen to.
Near-Field Vs. Far-Field
What does it mean? The near-fields are compact and designed to be heard at close range.
This allows direct listening, which reduces the problems associated with an environment with less than excellent acoustics.
Far-fields, on the other hand, should be positioned further away from the listener, they can handle higher volumes and also allow you to hear the “bounces” of sound in the room.
On sale we also find studio subwoofers, which can be integrated with mid-field monitors: the subwoofers will give intense and clear bass and are a good option for those who already have a monitoring system and need to improve the bass performance.
The Importance Of Sound Quality In Your Studio
A good musician, speaker or singer, may be able to perform in perfect performances even in less than ideal listening conditions.
If the quality of the music equipment used to record is not good, a good performance can be ruined and a poor sound quality in a studio can nullify excellent artistic skills and investments in microphones, audio interfaces and other high-end peripherals.
The importance of sound quality must not only be sought for recording in optimal conditions, but also for mixing and mastering.
Today, producing quality audio material costs much less and technology offers possibilities and qualities that even the largest studios could not even dream of years ago.
This means that the quality is generally of a high standard and listeners have also become accustomed to a certain standard.
An imprecise job today would disfigure at first listen if compared with the average quality!
So try to take care of the sound quality of your home studio as well as possible.
Some warnings also offer the possibility of calibration: on the back there are special keys to (for example) cut the bass.
There are many products of different brands on the market: there is the cheapest and the most expensive and in between a thousand different models.
What do you recommend to make the right choice?
First of all, to create your own personal opinion, calmly looking at home for the characteristics and specifications of different models that are for sale online.
Without rushing, select the most suitable products for connections, sizes, frequency range etc. to then already have a good skimming.
Since some models are sold in pairs and others as single pieces, read the descriptions carefully so as not to risk ordering a product with the belief that the proposal offers two items.
Remember to spend a few dollars more, but don’t give up on a product with magnetic shielding: it will prevent annoying interference with other devices!
Just like when choosing headphones for mastering or mixing, personal preference factors also contribute.
If possible it is best to try the product, or at least watch the numerous video reviews that are online to get an idea.
Often you will find low-priced offers of excellent products, due to special promotions, sales or other: take advantage!