The Best Studio Monitors – Redefine the Way You Feel Music

Audio production is an art, like writing and composing! As a great sound engineer or an elite musician, it is your ultimate responsibility to perform this art at its best and deliver the finest to your fans. No matter, is it a music track or an audio program; it should be a material that the world would like to listen to. An elusive combination of beautiful lyrics, great melody and a blessed singer can make a masterpiece, but to carry this great creation to the abundant audience with all its grace, it needs to be recorded very professionally.


Just want to see the best studio monitors? Click here for a quick list.


Today’s recording studios are outfitted with high-end equipment, and most of the analogue devices are replaced by the new generation Digital Audio Workstations. The DAW makes the sound engineer’s job much easier and defined, but for a great outcome, a precise mixing is utmost important. For that, you have to trust your ears and the studio monitors, because only they can portray your work for you, in real time. Here, the monitors play a role more or less important than any other music production gear in your studio and you will definitely need the best studio monitors to make every project a masterpiece.

Finding the perfect monitors for your studio is probably the most important decision you will make as they have a great influence on your output. In this scenario, you owe some extra effort to find the best studio speakers that is chiseled to your exact requirements. There are many models that suit every vault and taste, and there is no point in spending money for a pair that cost more than a Corolla. You can find many best studio monitors under 300 that offer exceptional sonic characteristics.

What makes studio monitors different?

The studio monitors are entirely different from normal bookshelf speakers, though both of them serve the same purpose at the end of the day. The normal stereo speakers come with design tweaks that enable them to emphasize some frequency bands, and produce deeper bass and crisp treble. However, studio monitors are not intended to do this, and there are no cuts and boosts.  Good studio monitors are supposed to have flat frequency response in the entire audio spectrum, and produce sound as precisely and accurately as the actual recording. This means that they will immediately let you know if a poorly recorded or mixed sound is played.

Buying studio speakers is a tricky business and here are a few important elements that you should never overlook while searching for the best cheap studio monitors.

Passive or Active

The monitors can be either passive or active. Active monitors have their own amplifier built-in and there is no need for a separate amplifier. As these devices work as a stand-alone unit, you don’t need any separate gear to operate them, which is a real advantage in the tight studio space.  In addition, these units come with matching drivers and amplifiers, fine-tuned to provide seamless performance. The better performance and convenience have made the active monitors a standard for studios.

On the other hand, passive monitors need an external amplifier to drive them. If your studio already has power amplifiers, these units will offer a price advantage as their cost does not include the price of the onboard amplifier. Usually, the passive monitors come with inbuilt crossover network, and you can connect the amplifier directly to its terminals.

Frequency Range and Response

For most of the studio works, a pair of good studio monitors with a flatter frequency response in the range 50-20,000 Hz is fine. You can find many monitors offering more impressive figures, but what matters is their actual performance in the range. Therefore, before making a decision, definitely go through the product specifications and check the frequency range and its variation. For example, if it is specified as 50Hz-20KHz ±3dB, it means that the response of the monitor may vary from +3dB to -3dB at some frequencies across the said range, and if you are expecting a well balanced sound, it is recommended to keep away from monitors with a rating more than ±3dB.

Power

In a recording studio, the power of the monitoring system has considerable effect. Higher wattage monitors let you hear more transient details, extend the dynamic range and provide ample headroom before signals peak. This will enable you to make precise adjustments of the limiters, compressors and gates. In general, 20 to 60 Watts RMS will be enough for small studios, but bigger studios may need much more than that. The calculation of power should be done considering the volume of the room and its acoustic treatment.

Cabinet Design

For good studio monitors, the cabinets are designed to get the best out of its drivers, and to a great extent, its size is determined by the size of the studio and type of the music you intend to record. If your production mostly includes genres that feature heavy bass and low frequency, bigger cabinet with matching drivers will be a better choice. However, they are not good for smaller studios as the bass frequencies have higher energy and often bounce back around the walls and mislead your judgment.

In addition, you can find closed and ported cabinets. Nowadays, the ported cabinet dominates the segment due to their improved efficiency and enhanced frequency response in the lower band. Ported monitors can produce bass much effectively, but in some poorly engineered designs, we can see that the sonic accuracy is compromised for this. The placement of the monitors is also an important factor while selecting the model. Some cabinets come with the port at its back, and if you place this type close to the studio walls or corners, it can adversely affect the accuracy of the sound. In such cases, it is advised to choose one with front port.

Field

The studio monitors are available in three designs optimized for near, mid and far listening fields. The near-field monitors are more compact and relatively smaller than the other types. They are perfect if you place the monitors just a few feet away from your position. The advantage of this model is that they can form the sweet spot at a closer distance, and enable you to hear the sound directly from the speakers. The sound will be more balanced and free from any reflections from the floor and walls. The far-field monitors are designed to transmit the sound precisely over greater distance and are ideal for a studio that is large in size. The midfield monitors fall between these two.

With all these features in mind, we have short listed a few Best studio monitors that enable you to make critical decisions confidently.

 

Mackie CR Series CR3 – 3″ Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors (Pair)

best studio monitors under 300

Check out price and availability here!

 

 

The CR3 is the most affordable model in the Mackie’s promising CR series. Though it looks similar to many conventional active near-fields, they have something very distinct to offer. No need to hesitate with its size or price, it is one of the best among the small studio monitors. The CR3 is built with all professional grade components and comes with impressive built quality. It is a perfect combination of stunning design, compact size and remarkable performance. The precisely engineered drivers and the low foot-print solid all wood cabinet with True Studio Monitor Waveguide enables it to deliver impressive bass and portray the mid and high frequency ranges very lucidly.

The pair includes one passive and one powered speaker outfitted with 3” polypropylene coated woofer and 0.75” Ferro-fluid cooled dome tweeter, which is driven by a 50W Class AB stereo amplifier. The Ferro-fluid helps to alleviate the heat from the voice coil and provide sustained performance even during extended sessions. They are capable to deliver surprisingly high playback levels and outstanding stereo imaging. The bass port is provided in the rear and this model offers incredible field depth and linear performance throughout the 80-20,000Hz frequency range.

The key features

  • Optimum sonic performance with Studio quality design and professional grade components
  • 50W high-efficiency Class AB power amplifier
  • 3” Woofer with polypropylene coated diaphragm
  • 75” ferro-fluid cooled dome tweeter
  • Solid all wood cabinet providing natural sonic characteristics
  • Swappable left and right speakers with speaker placement switch
  • Front panel mount volume control and power switch for convenient operation
  • Improved wave guide design for unmatched clarity and sound dispersion
  • Custom tuned bass port for a customized bass response
  • Multiple connectivity options for simplified connectivity with studio gears and PC
  • Bunch of accessories for quick and hassle free setup

Pros:

  • High Power
  • Superior fidelity
  • Compact size
  • Ready to use in minimum time
  • Comes with all accessories and cables

Cons:

  • Comparatively small woofer size
  • Limited frequency range

purchase from amazon

 

 

KRK RP5G3-NA Rokit 5 Generation 3 Powered Studio Monitor – Pair

best studio monitors

Check out price and availability here!

 

 

 

For more than a decade KRK Systems have been there with a handful of models that were widely appreciated by professionals for their well-balanced frequency response, low harmonic distortion, and superior stereo imaging. With RP5G3 also, they continue this legacy and offer a pair of powered near-field monitors that perfectly match your needs regardless of your style and genre. The previous models of the Rokit series has a little hyped low and high frequency response, but the new generation comes with an enhanced high-frequency accuracy and a wide array of options for fine tuning the frequency bands to match the acoustic characteristics of your studio.

KRK RP5G3-NA Rokit 5 Generation 3 comes with a bi-amplified pair of speakers and each unit consists of a 1”soft dome tweeter and a 5 inch Aramid-Glass composite woofer. The tweeter is capable of delivering high frequencies up to 35 KHz, enhancing the frequency range to an impressive 45 to 35 KHz. The powerful 50Watt Class AB dual amplifier provides ample headroom with very low distortion and grants exciting 106dB SPL rating. It is a ported model, and the front firing bass port helps to enhance the low frequency response and eliminate any possible diffraction distortion. A handful of input connections are offered in this model and it can be easily integrated with any existing studio systems.

Features at a glance:

  • Bi-amped with 50 W class AB amplifier (30 W for low and 20 W for high frequency)
  • Superior sonic imaging with waveguide proprietary to KRK
  • Extended frequency range 45-35KHz
  • 5″ Aramid Glass Composite woofer and 1” soft dome tweeter
  • Low and High frequency adjustment to match the monitor to your room acoustics
  • Convenient front-firing slot bass port
  • Reduced distortion with low resonance cabinet design
  • Factory fitted isolation pad
  • Easy integration with existing studio equipments

Pros:

  • Bi-amped design
  • Bigger woofer size
  • Broad frequency range

Cons:

  • Bit expensive in its range

purchase from amazon

 

 

 

PreSonus Eris E4.5 2-Way Powered Studio Monitors (Pair)

 

best cheap studio monitors

Check out price and availability here!

 

 

 

Eris E4.5 is a compact, accurate and high-quality studio monitor in the Eris E series of affordable studio speakers. It is a powered near-field monitor that comes with a 45 W powerful class AB amplifier and for better performance and extended life, the amplifier is protected from transients, RF interference, over current, over temperature etc. With its 4.5” Kevlar woofer, silk dome tweeter, professional acoustic controls and a highly responsive amplifier, PreSonus Eris E4.5 offers you much more than you expect from a studio monitor of its class. It is very compact in size and measures 6.42”x 9.45”x 7.09”, and it will not consume too much of your precious studio space.

The PreSonus Eris E4.5 boasts a wider frequency response of 70Hz to 20Khz and the cabinet with resonance suppressive internal brazing enables it to deliver thumping bass and soaring treble without any distortion. They come with a ±6dB tuning control in the mid and high frequency ranges that let you adjust the monitor’s sonic characteristics to match with the acoustics of your studio. The unique tweeter design enables the E4.5 to radiate sound in a broad dispersion pattern and create a fairly large sweet spot, so you can hear every little nuance very accurately even if you move around your studio space. It comes with multiple audio input options, making it easy to feed from any line level source including the mixer, media player or anything similar.

The important features:

  • Superior performance with 4.5” Kevlar woofer and 1” low-mass silk dome tweeter
  • Powerful 50 Watt Class AB amplifier
  • Multiple amplifier protection for extended life
  • Exceptional low frequency reproduction with front firing bass port
  • Improved resonance suppression with unique internal bracing design
  • Impressive 100dB continuous SPL
  • Easy tune up with HF and MF adjustments, high pass filter and acoustic space setting
  • Fully fledged connectivity options

Pros:

  • Impressive performance
  • 5” Kevlar woofer
  • Rear ported Bass reflex cabinet
  • Good low frequency reproduction
  • Easy integration with the existing studio setup

Cons:

  • Occasional Low frequency roll off

purchase from amazon

 

 

The bottom line

In our pursuit to find the best studio monitors, we found three near field studio monitors that worth checking out before you make any decisions. All these models offer the features and performance that would make the audio production more easy and accurate. In the above three models, we recommend KRK RP5G3-NA Rokit 5 Generation 3, as it offers some added advantages such as bi-amplification, 45 Hz-35 KHz frequency range and a bigger 5” Aramid Glass Composite woofer. In addition, the KRK’s strong market reputation and the solid build quality make it a true value for your money.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.