How to choose your study monitors
Choosing your studio monitor’s speakers may seem a bit daunting at first, but all you need to do is consider some aspects. Here is a list of things to think about:
- What is your budget? Normally, the more you spend the more powerful and accurate your monitors will be. There is a great variety when it comes to the best studio monitor speakers, so we make sure to cover all the bases for our different readers out there – from high-end to super-economical.
- Woofer and tweeter size – How much bigger better? Yes and no – look at the material and do them too. The larger they are, the more frequency capacity they are able to handle, but if it is super expensive with a “large” commercialized size, it tires. The general construction and the materials used to make the tweeter and woofer are also important (look for carbon and fiber).
- Do you want a pair or just one? I’m not sure why put this here, but be careful, since some packages only come with one speaker and some in pairs. Unless you only need one, of course.
- Size of the monitors – Some have a lot of space to work, others just have their desk. We would not let your study size determine which monitors you should get, so we recommend making space if necessary.
- Passive or active speakers? This passive versus active article speakers is useful, but we like active speakers, since it is more common so we will focus on that for today. Passive speakers will need some amplification, but some prefer those to have more of the personalization about their sound and power.
- Do you need a subwoofer? For musical production, consensus is really divided with the need for subwoofers. Two studio monitors will be fine in smaller uses and home studios, as they give you a feasible amount of that low frequency sound. We have heard many say that if anything, a subwoofer will be removed from the precision of the sound and boast the bass. However, you can always disable the sub off whenever you want (we do it all the time). Read our best studio subwoofer article if you are interested in adding a submarine at your disposal for times your mood calls for an additional hit.
For more information on the choice of speakers for studio monitors, we recommend that you read the Sweetwater studio monitor purchase guide.
The 10 best studio speakers
Below is our list of top 10 best studio monitor speakers in the market. We have provided models of all price ranges, but have gone particularly for those with the highest positive opinions around the network, as well as their overall potency, sound quality and type of specifications in combination of their price. We’ll see.
- Adam A7X Review
Adam A7XTo begin our guide, we want to bring one of the heavy hitters first to start strong. Adam Audio has a great reputation when it comes to high-end audio equipment, particularly in the supervisory category. Ask anyone what is “the best” when it comes to engineering and these guys are there. The A7X in particular is one of its many impressive studio monitors. It provides us with an advanced tweeter (X-ART) with large high and medium (uncompressed for that raw sound) and solid mid / medium woofer with 100 watt PWM amplifier.
The overall construction of the Adam Audio A7X is top-of-the-line, it comes with a 7 “woofer made of carbon, fiberglass and rohacell. That tweeter that we were talking about is handmade in Germany if you fancy the location of the creation, and the frequency response in general is quite broad at 42 Hz to 50 kHz to cover all your bases. The A / B amplifier achieves solid power, and although these things come with a price (and are usually sold separately so you’ll have to fold that price by two for a pair), you will not be disappointed and be among the pros these babies on your desk.
- Frequency range: 42 Hz to 50 kHz
- Size: Near-field
- Amplifier A / B with 100 Watts PWM
- 7 “woofer (fiberglass / carbon / Rohacell)
- X-ART 2 “Tweeter (precision made by German hand)
- Maximum SPL peak: 106 dB
- Dimensions: 8 “by 13.5” by 11 “
- Weight: 20.3 lbs.
- Genelec M040 Review
Genelec M040Coming in as another of the best studio monitors ever, Genelec gives Adam Audio a career for its money when it comes to professionals and high-end models. The M040 is one of its many monitors worth checking out if your budget allows. This particular gives us excellent active crossovers, compensation of room response, some “Natural Composite Enclosure “tech, “Directtivity Control Waveguide ” technology, and amazing optimized amplifiers. So, what do these sophisticated technological terms mean? Well, they do not just play music.
To summarize a bit, the DCW gives some advanced mechanisms for a wider listening area and improves the status of sound \ stereo images. On the other hand, the NCE describes its enclosure structure – wood injection molded (wood fibers), flame retardants, lubricants and more. For those who are familiar with the advanced constructions studio monitors really come with, it may be the perfect choice. The Genelec M040 is one of the favorites among music professionals, and grabbing two of these will have you set in the audio part of your studio for years to come.
- Frequency response: 44 Hz to 21 kHz (-6 dB)
- 5 “woofer
- 1 “metal dome tweeter
- Optimized amplifiers
- Protection circuit
- Compensation of response in the room
- Natural compound enclosure technology (NCE)
- Integrated Port Laminar Technology (LIP)
- Directivity Control Waveguide Technology (DCW)
- Weight: 15.4 lbs.
- M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Review
M-Audio Studiophile AV 40This pair of M-Audio equipment monitor speakers has received numerous positive reviews, all of which indicate its reliability in terms of lasting stability and sound precision. For the price of a hundred or two retail you just cannot beat the quality it provides if you are on a strict budget. We think that we would like to offer a more economical selection with respect to previous speakers if they were not exactly your cup of tea. It is not necessarily the majority of speakers full of features and their subs / tweeters are not massive or high-end – so if you are looking for a front-line monitor to continue on our list.
This is better for budgets and more oriented towards home study and leisure listening. The frequency response is on the average mark higher than 85 Hz at 20 kHz, but I really would not complain about the price. 4 “woofers and 1” tweeters give you a pleasant feeling in terms of low and high frequencies. What I like most about the Studiophile AV 40 monitors is the additive protection against RF interference, not to mention the help of temperature, transient and subsonic filters. The only thing we recommend is keeping the speakers off when you do not use them to save their useful life.
- Frequency response: 85 Hz – 20 kHz
- Type: Two-way reference
- 4 “woofers (polypropylene coated woofers)
- 1 “tweeters (silk dome)
- Tweeter waveguides
- 20 watt amplifier per channel (class A / B)
- Magnetic shielding to reduce interference
- Wood cabinet port design
- Front panel controls: 1/8 “stereo auxiliary input, 1/8” headphone output, volume control
- JBL LSR305 Review
JBL LSR305I’ve heard so many people talk about the strength of the LSR305 that we only had to put these after the AV 40’s. The music of JBL has been very solid with the monitors (I mean, they make PA systems …) and this is their best speaker for music in our opinion. These monitors provide a very precise and clean sound. The performance is very good, providing a much lower frequency than the AV 40 (only up to 85 Hz). As a pair you can get a little expensive, but once you grab these you are set for a good 3, 4 or even 5+ years of investment.
The woofers are above the average size at 5 “(most are around 4”) and the tweeters are like all the others, although their frequency transducer and waveguide image control help with an even cleaner sound on top of the controllers. If you have money seriously think about getting a pair of these for any study. They are not necessarily as strong as some competitors (82 watts), but that is not always the key when looking for a good pair of studio monitor speakers. The JBL LSR305 studio monitor is reliable at a reasonable price. The LSR305 review by MusicTech also praises these for their power and price.
- Frequency range: 43 Hz – 24 kHz
- Weight: 10 pounds
- 3-series class D amplifiers
- JBL transducers
- Woofer: 5 “long range
- Tweeter: 1 “Neodymium
- An XLR input and a balanced TRS
- Type: Active speakers
- Image Control Waveguide
- -10 dB / + 4 dB sensitivity sensor (ability to connect to professional gait without input overload)
- LF Trim and HF “TRIM” switches
- 41-watt class D (low and high frequency) for a total of 81 watts of power
- Yamaha HS8 Review
Yamaha HS8Yamaha music instruments are ready when it comes to speakers. These studio monitors are very popular, only falling behind the JBLs in terms of popularity in the network (probably because they are a bit more expensive). If you can take a step forward in terms of budget, we recommend you grab these. They have a huge 8 “cone woofer and a 1” tweeter (the lower models come down basically in woofer size, hence their model names). The frequency response is above the average and what I particularly like is that it allows you to go down to 38 Hz for the bass mix. The watt count is very high at 120, so if you turn this baby up you are getting the walls to feel it on the infrastructure.
It is a bi-amplifier design so only two way here, but the mid’s are not missing at all. The Yamaha HS8 monitors also have something built-in called “ROOM CONTROL” that allows you to trim low and high frequencies to obtain a more precise and precise sound according to your taste. Finally, it has a standard XLR and TRS plug, but not RCA. These things are bestial and note that they are pretty damn heavy, but hey, what do you expect with something so powerful? These are the cream of the harvest. If money was not a factor, these would win for the best studio monitor speakers.
- Frequency response: 38 Hz to 30 kHz
- Weight: 23 pounds
- 2-way reflex bi-amplifier
- Power of 120 watts (75 low frequency and 45 high frequency)
- Woofer: 8 “cone
- Tweeter: 1 “dome
- ROOM CONTROL and high trim response control
- Ports: XLR and TRS on the back
- Alesis Elevate 6 Active Review
Alesis Elevate 6 ActiveThe Alesis recording equipment has always created a solid and lasting gear in our eyes. The Elevate 6 is new and an update to the original Elevate 5 monitors that have received a lot of positive feedback since its release. The Elevate 6 active speakers (which also have a passive version that we listed above, but you need an amplifier for them) has a waveguide that is elliptical as opposed to a straight or even curved, which has been applied in engineering frequently and it is stated to give a smoother frequency range (no drops or sudden spikes on the highs).
A woofer 6 “larger than normal and a standard 1” tweeter here and the wattage is a total of 75 (50 low and 25 high), so they are not too crazy in terms of breaking windows but they are very feasible for the most budget- Cozy studios. Wooden cabinets with bass porting does not hurt either, making these a very solid pair (if you buy two separately) from the studio monitor speakers. I would say that the Alesis Elevate 6 active speakers are relatively standard, but quite low in terms of price with some of this woofer size and overall clarity. The frequency response is very flat so you are getting a nice and precise sound to be sure with in your mixes. Here is an overview of the Elevate 6 video.
- Frequency response: 55 Hz – 30 kHz
- 75 Watt output power per speaker
- Bi-amplification (50 woofers and 25 tweeters)
- Flat frequency response
- Wooden cabinets (high density)
- Elliptical waveguides
- One XLR and 1/4 “input (balanced) and RCA input (unbalanced)
- Adjustment switches for HF and LF – -2 to 2 dB
- Automatic blocking of energy saving
- KRK RP6G3-NA Rokit 6 Generation 3 Review
KRK RP6G3-NA Rokit 6 Generation 3These babies are very appreciated in the field of music equipment. KRK Systems manufactures pairs of very solid headphones and monitors. The Rokit 6 has reached the third generation version and for good reason, offering a dome tweeter of 1 “bi-amp and 6” woofers (composed of glass-aramid). It goes up to the standard 35 kHz in terms of frequency response and as low as 38 Hz (same as the Yamahas). The power is about 100 watts, but the difference of 20 watts between these and Yamaha is barely perceptible in terms of power, so take these if you want to save a few dollars, although the woofers are 2 “less.
A great advantage of the KRK Rokit 6 G3 studio monitors have been declared by many are the maxima especially clear. Some have complained about the size of the full-sized bookshelf speakers, so keep in mind if you need to keep the space in mind (size should not really dictate whether you buy these or not – we say make space if necessary ). All in all, you will not be disappointed in this; They are appreciated by a lot of gearheads.
- Frequency response: 38 Hz to 35 kHz
- Weight: 20 pounds
- Woofer: 6 “composite of aramid glass
- Tweeter: 1 “soft dome
- Amp: AB Class
- Type: active 2 ways
- Entries included: RCA, 14 “TRS and XLR
- Black vinyl finish
- Front firing port (reduces coupling)
- M-Audio BX6 Carbon Review
M-Audio BX6 CarbonIt was between this speaker and M-Audio of the original music, highly regarded BX5 D2 studio monitors, but we have gone with its medium model of the BX Carbon series, since it is a personal favorite of ours. We have reviewed all the models of their new studio monitors and I love the precision and stability of these. The flat frequency coupled with the 6 “woofer (Kevlar fabric – large brand) and 1” tweeters combined with a 130 watt (Class A / B) create a powerful monitor. M-Audio also includes its Acoustic Space Control technology, which allows you to have more control over the mixing environment to adjust speaker placement.
The frequency range is not necessarily as wide as many speakers (45 Hz to 22 kHz), but the quality of the woofers and tweeter makes it worthwhile. Take the BX6 Carbon studio monitor into serious consideration if you have the mass, or you can check out the lower versions (although smaller woofers) to save some bucks.
- Frequency response: 45 Hz to 22 kHz
- Woofers: Kevlar fabric 6 “
- Tweeters: 1.25 “natural silk dome
- Wave guide with LED placement indicators for images
- Acoustic space control
- 130-watt Bi-amp (class A / B)
- Low frequency: 70 watts
- High frequency: 60 watts
- Tickets: One XLR and one TRS
- PreSonus Eris E4.5 2-Way Review
PreSonus Eris E4.5 2-WayThe PreSonus team flies a little under the radar, but their equipment is very solid and quite affordable. The woofers are 4.5 “but they are Kevlar, so a bit smaller than some others out there but made quite nice. The tweeter is the standard 1 “(25 mm) with silk domes. The amplifier is only about 50 watts so it’s about half the biggest guys out there, but this is also half the price without sacrificing too much, in addition to power. It’s not that it is not reproduced out loud (they are more than enough for a small study at home), so do not let it discourage you.
The Eris E4.5 2-way monitor has obtained many positive reviews about its listening accuracy in the near field, as well as compliments with its smaller size. Not cheap plastic, knobs are made quite well – just a solid construction altogether. Something to see in the two Benjamins by par area, especially if you want something to fit on your desk.
- Frequency response: 70Hz – 22kHz
- Weight: 14 pounds (pair)
- Woofer: 4.5 “Kevlar Cone Transducer
- Tweeter: 1 “silk dome
- RF interference limiter
- Temperature, transient and subsonic protection
- 25 watts of power (each)
- Audioengine A5+ Review
Audioengine A5 +Audioengine make your studio monitors are great and we definitely recommend going with one of your models. These have been compared to almost all popular monitors out there, so we thought it was for a reason. People talk about these in terms of “saving for them”, since they are $ 400 a pair, but they are some of the best in the market that we have seen. With a decent frequency response of 50 to 22 kHz, the most amazing quality is its 150 watts per speaker – the most on our list.
If you’re looking to grab these because they also have very clear sounds in terms of low and high frequencies (despite the 3/4 “tweeter – you can come out with 1/4” in our opinion). Amazing sound quality on the Audioengine 5 + studio monitors and if they are a bit too expensive for you the lower models are listed above.
- Frequency response: 50 Hz – 22 kHz
- Type: 2-way active shelving
- Woofers: 5 “(Kevlar)
- Tweeters: 3/4 “silk vault
- Amplifier of double class A / B
- 150 watts of power
- Available in black, white or bamboo
- Remote control included
- USB power charging port
- Magnetically armored
- Includes all the cables you need
- Front panel: volume control and power indicator
- Rear panel: Audio input (2 of them), power
- USB, passive speaker output, on / off, voltage selection