BPM Skills is reader-supported. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Best Studio Monitors Under 200: Our Top Picks!

Best Studio Monitors Under 200- Our Top Picks!

Venturing out into the production industry can be rough. But you could always start by getting yourself a studio monitor!

For anyone who might still be a little lost, I’ve arranged a list of the best budget studio monitors under 200 that should help you jumpstart your music career!

So, here are the best budget studio monitors compiled in our List of the Best Studio Monitors Under 200!

Best Budget Pick
Mackie CR-X Series 3-inch Multimedia Monitors (CR3-X)

Mackie CR-X Series 3-inch Multimedia Monitors (CR3-X)

Best Overall
PreSonus Eris E4.5 Near Field

PreSonus Eris E4.5 Near Field Studio Monitor

Best Value
Alesis Elevate 5 MKII

Alesis Elevate 5 MKII

Table of Contents

Best Budget Studio Monitors Under 200

I’ve listed the best studio monitors you can get without breaking the bank!

Check ’em out!

Best Overall: PreSonus Eris E4.5 Near Field Studio Monitors

Best Overall- PreSonus Eris E4.5 Near Field


  • Price: $199.95
  • Low-frequency transducer: 4.5-inch, woven-composite
  • High-frequency transducer: 1-inch, ultra-low-mass, silk-dome
  • Dimensions: 6.42 x 7.09 x 9.45 inches
  • Frequency response: 70 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Rated SPL: 100 dB

The PreSonus Eris Near Field studio monitors are the go-to option producers should purchase.

The reason it’s my BEST OVERALL PICK is because of the accurate sound quality and customizability these studio monitors give you at an incredibly fair price.

In fact, many argue the sound reproduced by these studio monitors is surprising considering their budget pricing.

They have a wide frequency range with minimal to almost nonexistent sound quality distortion.

Additionally, there are quite a few EQ control options in its acoustic tuning controls section: high, mid, and low cutoff.

Optionally, you could also spend $99.95 for a pair of 3.5-inch PreSonus Eris studio monitors.

The 3.5 and 4.5 options come with everything you need, including $1000 worth of music production software.


  • Available in different sizes and formats to suit your needs
  • Easy setup with conveniently placed aux, headphones jack, volume knob, and on/off controls on the front panel
  • Radiofrequency interference protection
  • Built-in controls to best adjust to your environment


  • Can have a bit of line noise with no sound on
  • Sound is less pleasing at higher volumes

Best Value: Alesis Elevate 5 MKII

Best Value- Alesis Elevate 5 MKII


  • Price: $139.00
  • Low-frequency transducer: 5-inch driver in a ported enclosure
  • High-frequency transducer: 1-inch silk dome tweeter
  • Dimensions: 8.7 x 7.25 x 10.6 inches
  • Frequency response:56 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Rated SPL: 110 dB

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a pair of 5-inch studio monitors under 200 USD with quality like the Alesis, which is why they’re my Best Value option!

And yes, size DOES MATTER when it comes to monitors (although it would also depend on the size of your studio).

The Alesis Elevate 5 MKII have a decently wide frequency range that makes them a substantial set of studio monitors for a home studio setup.

These $139 studio monitors deliver great, flat sound with MANY connectivity options making them perfect for beginner audio engineers, producers, or recording artists.


  • Flexible input/output interface with a convenient headphone jack
  • Straightforward setup procedure
  • Easy-to-use Bi-amped format


  • May need a little calibrating and adjusting to sound best for your setup
  • Bass might sound too flat for certain music genres

Best Budget Pick: Mackie CR-X Series 3-inch Multimedia Monitors (CR3-X)

Best Budget Pick - Mackie CR-X Series 3-inch Multimedia Monitors (CR3-X)


  • Price: $99.99
  • Low-frequency transducer: polypropylene-coated 3-inch woofer
  • High-frequency transducer: 0.75-inch silk dome tweeter
  • Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 7.1 inches
  • Frequency response: 70 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Rated SPL: 97 dB
  • Many acoustic tuning controls

This pair of studio monitors is always a top contender for budget monitors under 200! Heck, they’re less than $100 for a pair!

They’re a favorite for many who vouch it produces the crispest and clearest sound for this price point and include access to Mackie music production software.

There are MANY acoustic tuning controls behind the monitors so that you can make them fit in any setup.

The Mackie CR3-X studio monitors sound good and are pleasant to listen to but I’d argue they DO NOT produce the same flat and honest sound the first two other options do.

Here’s my full review of the Mackie CR3.

If it isn’t obvious yet why they’re my Best Budget pick, they are also available in 4-inch and 5-inch options for less than $200, with Bluetooth options as well.


  • Extremely affordable but look and feel great
  • Front panel controls
  • Flexible connections and headphone jack


  • Tendency to boost the highs too much
  • Generally affects sound

Pioneer Pro DJ (DM-40-W)

Pioneer Pro DJ (DM-40-W)


  • Price: $149.00
  • Low-frequency transducer: 4-inch woofer made of fiberglass
  • High-frequency transducer: 0.75-inch soft dome tweeters
  • Dimensions: 15.6 x 10.8 x 13.5 inches
  • Frequency response: 70 Hz to 30 kHz
  • Rated SPL: ~100 dB

As their name suggests, these budget studio monitors are perfect for budding DJs to practice on!

Pioneer is a beloved brand known for its quality audio systems, and these low to mid-range monitor speakers are no exception.

They’re MORE POWERFUL than they might initially seem, especially considering their size. Plus, the bass sounds great and keeps everything sounding fairly balanced.

They’re great for those that love EDM, House, Dance, and Hip-hop music. With the high wattage and SPL, you can definitely turn up the volume on these monitors.

Admittedly, these MAY NOT be the best option for mixing and mastering — the sound ISN’T at all as clear and flat as other options in this price range.

But that’s not to say that you can’t mix and master music with these in your setup.

That’s definitely possible, and it makes the Pioneer Pro DJ great near-field monitors for a beginner DJ’s budget home studio setup.


  • Front panel control and jack for headphones
  • Easy setup
  • Great bass sounds for DJs


  • Won’t sound as great for music genres that aren’t so bass-heavy

Stage Right by Monoprice SV25 5in Bi-amplified Powered Studio Monitor Speakers

Stage Right by Monoprice SV25


  • Price: $152.87
  • Low-frequency transducer: 5-inch glass composite cone
  • High-frequency transducer: 1-inch silk dome tweeter
  • Dimensions: 19 x 11.5 x 14.4 inches
  • Frequency response: 35 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Rated SPL: 86 dB

These monitors constantly make the list of the best budget studio monitors and come highly recommended for beginners and pros who want to add a little more power to their systems.

The Stage Right by Monoprice studio monitors has amazing quality and power, with each monitor being self-powered and bi-amped.

Many audiophiles have noted these studio monitors as having clear layers so that you can hear each instrument distinctly.

These are really high-quality for their price, with a great flat frequency response making them perfect for recording, mixing, and mastering.


  • A selector switch on the back of each monitor
  • Customizable and flexible enough
  • Bi-amped


  • Have a low-level hum when turned on without sound playing
  • Would require a bit more tweaking during setup for the best sound

JBL Professional C1PRO High-Performance 2-Way Professional Compact Loudspeaker System

JBL Professional C1PRO


  • Price: $170.00 (on sale)
  • Low-frequency driver: 5.25-inch woofer
  • High-frequency driver: 0.75-inch polycarbonate dome tweeter
  • Dimensions: 7 x 4 x 6 inches
  • Frequency response: 100 Hz to 18 kHz ±3 dB
  • Rated SPL: 114 dB

The JBL C1Pros are EXTREMELY POWERFUL yet budget studio monitors, especially considering their compact size.

Although I think you’ll most likely need an additional subwoofer, the JBL C1 Pros are great studio monitors to work with for both beginners and professionals.

They may not have JBL’s Image Control Waveguide like the higher-end JBL 305P MkII and the JBL M2 Master Reference Monitors, but I assure you they’ll certainly do more than get the job done.

Plus, they’ll also work great in tandem with them if you eventually do decide to upgrade to any other of JBL’s MORE EXPENSIVE models!

Thanks to their varying-angle wall brackets, they look great, last longer, and can be placed pretty much anywhere you want!

They produce faithful sounds and will handle the most demanding audio applications with JBL’s professional crossover network and drivers.


  • High-quality JBL hardware
  • Magnetically-shielded transducers
  • Varying-angle wall brackets


  • Passive studio monitors that will require more equipment

Rockville APM5B 5.25″ 2-Way 250W Active Powered USB Studio Monitor Speakers

Rockville APM5B


  • Price: $165.71
  • Low-frequency transducer: 5.25-inch woofer with rubber surrounds and polypropylene cone
  • High-frequency transducer: 0.75-inch silk dome tweeter
  • Dimensions: 24.5 x 11.7 x 14.5 inches
  • Frequency response: 50 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Rated SPL: 100 dB

The Rockville APM5B studio monitors come in a sleek black, white, or classic wood option and sound just as great as they look.

They’re made of the HIGHEST quality materials that are meant to last. Each of the bi-amped monitors contains 250 watts of power, so I can tell you that these studio speakers can get PRETTY LOUD.

The sound reproduction is pretty clean and flat, making them a wonderful and affordable option for your home recording studio.

The only really troublesome thing about these speakers is that all the controls are at the back of the monitors, but that’s not a big deal compared to everything else you get.


  • Great design and quality
  • Lined with fire-retardant silk
  • USB port for bypassing the audio interface
  • Bi-amped


  • Volume, bass, and treble tuning controls are at the back of the unit

Single Studio Monitors Under 200

While getting a pair of monitors is ideal, I understand that that’s not always possible budget-wise and space-wise.

Or, you may want to invest in a MORE EXPENSIVE monitor and of BETTER QUALITY first, and then save up for its missing pair.

Many of these monitors make it on other under 200 lists, although they don’t necessarily tell you they’re only under 200 per piece and not for a pair of monitors.

Still, there are definitely some advantages to having a single studio monitor, such as:

  • Training your ears. As with everything else in life, studio space and setup will have their own quirks you need to learn to work with. Initially, having one monitor can make your ears MORE SENSITIVE to sounds they might not usually notice.
  • Ensuring your mix sounds good in different conditions. When making music for other people to listen to, you have to know they will not have the same setups as you. You can make sure your mix sounds good anywhere this way.

This is also a pretty good game plan for a producer that’s just starting out and already has a good pair of studio headphones they like to work with!

Without further ado, here are some of my best picks for single studio monitors under 200:

M-Audio BX5 D3Compact 2-Way 5″ Active Studio Monitor Speaker

M-Audio BX5


  • Price: $149.00 each
  • Low-frequency transducer: 5-inch woofer made of carbon fiber and magnetically shielded
  • High-frequency transducer: 1-inch tweeter, made of natural silk dome
  • Dimensions: 7.76 x 6.93 x 10 inches
  • Frequency response: 52 Hz to 35 kHz
  • Rated SPL: 110 dB

Although the M-Audio is designed as a near-field monitor, I assure you that it’s powerful enough to fill any studio.

The sound quality will be pleasing enough to audiophiles while remaining truthful enough for any sort of recording, mixing, and mastering.

These are an EXTRAORDINARY budget option built for serious music makers in mind.

This series of near-field speakers is also available as a 3.5-inch and 4.5-inch pair of studio speakers for just above $200.

While a pair of these monitors will cost you over $200, they’re definitely worth investing in, even if you have to buy only one first.


  • Great build quality
  • LED light for easy alignment
  • Built-in waveguide


  • Connections and adjustment controls are found in the rear

KRK RP5 Rokit G4 Studio Monitor

KRK RP5 Rokit G4


  • Price: $179.00 each
  • Low-frequency transducer: 5.25-inch Kevlar Aramid Fiber woofer
  • High-frequency transducer: 1-inch Kevlar Aramid Fiber soft dome tweeter
  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 11.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Frequency response: 43 Hz to 40 kHz
  • Rated SPL: 104 dB

The KRK monitors are another fan-favorite for studio monitors of this price range, making it to many best studio monitors lists! And again, it’s never without reason.

The KRK RP5 Rokit G4 studio monitors are of exceptional quality for their price.

It’s got a serious frequency response range — the HIGHEST on this list. This makes it great for any music genre.

Even though they might be too large for smaller studios, initially investing in only one might just be the solution to that problem.

When you’re ready to upgrade to a BIGGER space, you could get your KRK’s missing pair as well.

Plus, it’s got so many features that make them the perfect addition to your collection or setup.


  • Durable build
  • Built-in waveguide
  • LCD screen


  • Too large for smaller home studios

Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor

Yamaha HS5 Powered


  • Price: $199.99 (on sale) each
  • Low-frequency transducer: 5-inch cone woofer
  • High-frequency transducer: 1-inch dome tweeter
  • Dimensions: 7 x 9 x 12 inches
  • Frequency response: 74 Hz to 24 kHz
  • Rated SPL: 90 dB

Yamaha is another well-known and beloved brand of audio & visual products.

The Yamaha HS5 lives up to the Yamaha standard and simply has amazing quality despite being the smallest in the Yamaha HS series.

Its frequency response range is on par with its bigger counterparts in the Yamaha HS series and arguably produces the MOST ACCURATE sound for studio monitors at this price point. The Yamaha HS8 can be an alternative to this too.

Despite the monitors’ frequency range, you may still want to buy a subwoofer on top of getting these Yamaha monitors.

Check out other variations of this Yamaha studio monitor.


  • Bi-amped
  • Room Control features for sound optimization
  • Premium design for a lower price


  • Bass frequencies aren’t that great
  • Performance is compromised when placed against a wall

ADAM Audio T5V Two-Way 5-inch Active Nearfield Monitor

ADAM Audio T5V


  • Price: $179.00 each
  • Low-frequency transducer: 5-inch woofer made of polypropylene
  • High-frequency transducer: 1.9-inch ribbon tweeter
  • Dimensions: 15.5 x 14.7 x 10 inches
  • Frequency response: 45 Hz to 25 kHz
  • Rated SPL: 106 dB

The ADAM T5Vs are a staple in many professional recording studios worldwide, showcasing innovative designs with high quality.

Instead of the typical soft dome tweeters, the ADAM T5V features ribbon tweeters that are incredibly light and responsive.

This makes them a GREAT OPTION for producers who like to pay attention to the minuscule details.

Overall, they produce neutral and accurate sounds that give them professional studio monitor level status for a fair and affordable price.


  • Excels with high frequencies
  • A very comfortable listening experience
  • Lightweight but solid construction


  • No power indicator light on the front panels

Kali Audio LP-6 6.5-inch Power Studio Monitor

Kali Audio LP-6


  • Price: $149.00 each
  • Low-frequency transducer: 6.5-inch woofer
  • High-frequency transducer: 1-inch soft dome tweeter
  • Dimensions: 10.25 x 8.75 x 14.25 inches
  • Frequency response: 39 Hz – 25 kHz
  • Rated SPL: 112 dB

The Kali Audio LP-6 studio monitors are some of the best available in the market today, boasting the ability to adjust EQ at a level seen in more high-end studio monitors.

They claim to give listeners a 3D experience, which is not all that necessary when producing music.

Still, I assure you that these powerful studio monitors will give you a pleasantly clean and accurate sound experience while you’re working on your next big hit.


  • A built-in 3D imaging waveguide
  • Flexible customization through dip switches
  • Easy setup and use


  • May hiss when no sound is playing

Beginner’s Buying Guide for Studio Monitors Under $200

Beginner_s Buying Guide for Studio Monitors

Everything on this list is definitely workable for beginners.

But for those that may not know yet, or want to get really into what will make a certain monitor work better for you, I highly recommend that you research the following:


Wattage will determine how loudly you can turn up the volume on your speakers, so be sure to keep this in mind! Many have turned up the volume too loud and ended up destroying them.

Hopefully, this won’t be the case in a small studio.

Frequency Response Range

The frequency response range refers to the bass, treble, and mid-level sounds that your monitors can reproduce.

However, even the best budget studio monitors might have lower sound quality with too low and high frequencies, even with a wide range.

Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)

Finally, the total harmonic distortion determines the accuracy of sound reproduction. This may also vary at certain volume levels.

Now, unless you’re an audiophile looking for the best sound quality, what you have to look for in-studio monitors is basically the ability to reproduce sounds as honestly as possible.

This is what you’ll hear many people call a “flat” sound. It’s a sound that doesn’t exaggerate or underplay any low, mid, or high-frequency sounds.

The best studio monitors won’t distort your mix and make it sound any better or worse than it actually does. That way, you’ll be able to make adjustments to it as you see fit.

Things to Consider

However, you also want your studio monitors to give you a pleasant enough listening experience, so you don’t fatigue your ears, and you will be able to work for as long as you need to.

It’s also important to note that sound is still relatively subjective. That means your monitor SHOULD cater to your needs.

Some studio monitors with a certain frequency response may also suit other genres more, like EDM, which is MORE bass-heavy.

And like we mentioned before, you want to make sure your mix sounds good regardless of a person’s setup. A studio monitor that sounds flat will help you do that.

I recommend you try listening to some music with the studio monitor in person before purchasing as much as possible.

You can also check out Youtuber and singer-songwriter Edward Smith’s channel here, where he reviews and compares studio monitors of varying price points.

(Although the sound will probably be distorted if you’re simply listening through your laptop or phone speakers.)

Active vs. Passive Monitors

To put it simply, an active studio monitor already has built-in amplifiers making it self-powered.

Meanwhile, a passive studio monitor requires an additional separate piece of equipment to provide it with power.

This can be anything like a mixer, an amplifier, or even a subwoofer.

Active Monitors

Oftentimes, budget studio monitors are a set of active studio monitors. This way, there’s NO NEED to buy a separate piece of equipment.

Because active monitors are self-powered, they are much simpler to set up and use, although that usually means they will be tied down to one spot.

Passive Monitors

On the other hand, passive speakers are great for bigger venues and easily upgradeable by any additional equipment you purchase to power it up.

However, some systems will also be a mix of BOTH. You can also power up passive speakers with active speakers by connecting them with a mixer.

What Should I Choose?

At some point in your music career, you might want to upgrade your system and add in passive speakers, at which point you’ll probably already have an extra subwoofer.

But for the sake of a simple yet effective home studio, I suggest investing in good self-powered studio monitors to start.

Monitor Size and Room Size

Another thing to take into consideration when buying a studio monitor is your studio room size and setup.

The best studio monitor is the studio monitor that fits your room size — think of it as if you were Goldilocks — everything has to be just right.

If you have minimal space, a 5-inch studio monitor does the job.

It only costs you more without any benefit. In fact, something too large for your space might affect the neutrality and flatness of the sound.

A small pair of monitors with cones between 3 to 5 inches will be more than enough for a tiny room studio.

The Parts of a Studio Monitor

The Parts of a Studio Monitor

The body of a studio monitor that holds its electronic components is referred to as the cabinet. These are usually made of wood, plastic, and metal, while some are a combination.

A basic studio monitor usually features a 2-way speaker system with 2 types of drivers: the lower frequency driver and the higher frequency driver (driver and transducer are interchangeable here).

However, some other monitors will feature a third mid-range frequency driver.

The LF driver is the woofer, while the HF driver is called the tweeter, which is usually placed vertically on top of the woofer.

Each driver has an electromagnet behind it, moving the driver forwards and backward to produce audio signs and vibrations in the air that we hear as sounds.

The wires needed will depend on which speakers you have and whether they have a USB port connection, TRS, XLR, TS, or RCA cable connections.

When buying your monitors, make sure to check if the monitors’ connection requirements fit your existing equipment or if you’ll need an adapter.

Driver Types: Tweeters and Woofers

You might have noticed in reviews that tweeters and woofers are two MAIN parts of the monitors that are mentioned.

Below, I’ll explain what these are and why you should pay attention to them.


Most speakers we see have a soft dome tweeter made of soft materials like the soft silk dome tweeters featured on most of the speakers on our list.

These tend to have a more convex, natural dome shape. This gently breaks up and distributes high-frequency sounds for a pleasant listening experience.

Like we mentioned earlier, the ADAM Audio monitors feature innovative metal ribbon tweeters that are more sensitive.

This affects the sound quality so that you WILL hear if anything is wrong with the mix you’re listening to.

Some people will prefer this kind of tweeter, but it will really just come down to a matter of preference.

Most studio monitors feature a 1-inch tweeter, though some go smaller for even higher frequencies.


The woofers found for home studio monitors will generally have a similar frequency range of 20 kHz.

The smallest woofer size is usually 3 inches for studio monitors, and its size usually determines how low the frequency range goes.

This is why if you want to hear more bass, you’ll need a subwoofer with a lower frequency range or make adjustments to your setup.

It’s also important to note that the sizes of the tweeter and woofer shouldn’t differ too much, or it could make the sound feel really unbalanced.

Like tweeters, woofers can be made of a variety of materials that will affect audio quality.

There hasn’t been any material that’s come close to being dubbed “the perfect woofer material” because innovation is pretty much nonstop.

However, it’s BEST to buy woofer speakers consisting of stiff and damped material so that the vibrations begin and end clearly for a crisp sound.

Common woofer materials include paper, polypropylene, metal, Kevlar fiber, carbon fiber, and fiberglass.


Demanding accuracy from your monitors means having a wide enough frequency response range to accommodate all the sounds generated by your music production application.

For studio work in a small bedroom or office, monitors with a frequency response range from 50 Hz to 20 kHz are usually more than adequate.

Even with a wide frequency range, however, most monitors will have a certain threshold. If it’s too high, some speakers start to sound fuzzy.

If it gets too low, your speakers can end up sounding muddled.

This is why it’s best to test how well these speakers work in person. Still, each set of speakers will have their quirks that you need to learn about.

All the featured monitors on this list will usually work well after a few tweaks and adjustments to their EQ controls.


Equalization is a GREAT TOOL, especially in smaller home studios.

You might think that adjusting your EQ controls would mess with the accuracy of the sound, but that’s NOT always the case, as long as you’re doing it correctly.

Adjusting the EQ of your monitors can help make any pair of monitors that you choose produce its best possible and most neutral sound!

Why Should You Know How to Adjust the EQ?

Learning to adjust EQ will be especially helpful for those that plan to record in their studios and whose monitors have a bit of a hiss when they aren’t playing any sounds or music.

This will make sure your recording is clean and at the best starting point possible to make any future editing and mixing a breeze.

And unfortunately, it does make a difference whether or not your speakers are placed on top of shelves or your desk.

The monitors’ closeness to the wall will affect how well they reproduce sound. You’ll have to make adjustments whenever you move the monitors around.

What Other Adjustments Can You Make to Optimize EQ?

In addition to moving your monitors around, simply bringing in other new equipment or materials for soundproofing and acoustically treating your studio may require further adjustment.

Luckily, most studio monitors have enough EQ features for a home studio setup, but if you find that you might need something extra, you can invest in an external EQ.

Audiophiles and those with really sensitive ears might like having an external Graphic Equalizer or Parametric External Equalizers in their setup.

There’s definitely a learning curve with EQ controls, and it will be different for each piece of equipment.

However, it would definitely be worth it because it helps you become a better and more creative producer.

And all in all, if your chosen budget monitor features great built-in EQ controls, it would be a good idea to play around with the controls anyway to get the sound just right.

Power or Wattage

How many watts your monitors use will determine how much power or how loud they can get. They are important to take note of to avoid blowing out and busting up your monitors.

For small bedroom or office studio setups within a small space, 10-60 watts is a good range to go for.

If you are in a BIGGER room, you’ll definitely want to go for something with MORE wattage.

But for starters, budget home studio monitors are great and can easily be backed up with the addition of higher-wattage monitors later on!

How to Place Studio Monitors

How to Place Studio Monitors

The key to placing your studio monitors is finding the sweet spot. The sweet spot refers to the focal point between two speakers, where it sounds best and well-balanced.

There are a few monitor features to consider when placing them.

One of the questions you should ask is whether you want to go for a  near-, mid-, far-field design.

As its name suggests, this design determines what sort of listening configuration your monitor is meant for distance-wise.

For a smaller home recording studio, near-field monitors would be best. This will ensure you hear the sound directly from the speakers instead of any echoes bouncing off the walls.

The sweet spot will also be determined by how many monitors you are using. For a simple setup with a pair of small monitors, keeping them at both ends of your work desk is best.

Although this would depend on whatever EQ settings you’ve made on each of the monitors, you’ll generally want to play them equidistant from each other and from where you’re seated at.

Look For That “Sweet Spot”

You’ll also want to angle them identically in a sort of mirror image, angled towards you so that while you’re seated and working, you’re right in the middle of that sweet spot.

Some studio monitors will have a BROADER sweet spot, using technology like the JBL Image Control Waveguide.

M-Audio’s BX5 tweeter is mounted in a custom waveguide for accurate dispersion and a wider sweet spot. And for ease, you should take note of where the tuning controls are.

If they are in the rear, you’ll want to make sure they aren’t too up against the wall so you can make adjustments.

This won’t be a problem for monitors like the PreSonus or Mackie CR-X series with controls on the front panels.

Easy-to-reach and adjustable controls are great to have, especially when you want to up the bass sounds for smaller monitors.

This is because a quick fix to improve the bass is putting your monitors closer to the walls.

As you change things around in your studio, you’ll want to move stuff around and test out different adjustments for what sounds best to you and is the best configuration for you to work in.

What to Expect from Budget Studio Monitors Under $200

What to Expect from Budget Studio Monitors

There are pros and cons to everything, budget studio monitors included.

The obvious cons would be the LIMITATIONS on technological and build quality, size, connectivity, and adjustment options.

You also have to consider how long these monitors last.

However, I assure you that there are loads more pros in investing in budget options like:

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Easy to set up and configure to fit most rooms
  • Perfect size and powerful enough for smaller studios
  • Easily upgradeable

In total, while you can get fantastic results from budget speakers, even the best budget studio monitors simply don’t hold a candle to better expensive studio monitor options on the market.

But, I did list several great options that have lasted many a producer until they made it big time!

And it all eventually works out because a bigger studio monitor will just be too much for a smaller room.

However, it’s important to manage your expectations— you WON’T be getting the best experience with budget options, and that’s a fact.

However, you will be getting studio monitors to make your studio environment a more productive and comfortable space to work in.

These budget studio monitors were designed for beginners and small studio setups that make any configurations you need to adjust really straightforward.

Moreover, the build quality of a budget studio monitor won’t always be the best, so you’ll need to take care of them to make them last longer.

If you’re looking for more high-end products, check out this list of the Best Studio Monitors Under $500.

Are Cheap Studio Monitors Worth It?

Are Cheap Studio Monitors Worth It-

Based on what’s available on the market today, these budget studio monitors are definitely worth investing in! (NOTE: Budget-friendly products DON’T necessarily mean low quality.)

Technological advancements and innovations have made it possible for anyone to start working in the music industry.

Our list has proven that so many convenient and affordable studio monitors are available at various price points!

And again, while the build quality and design may be lacking by some accounts, the TECHNOLOGY that’s available for much lower prices is a steal.

Budget studio monitors are definitely the place to start until you’ve gotten a groove down on your writing, recording, and mixing process.

The nature of music production involves a large amount of subjectivity and learning about what you like, so you’ll definitely need to start slow and experiment first.

Once you’ve got that down pat, it will be MUCH EASIER deciding what to spend larger amounts of money on down the line.

Do I Really Need Studio Monitors to Make Music?

Technically, NO, you don’t!

BUT, if you want to get serious about music production, you WILL have to invest in a good set of studio monitors.

Without a proper setup, I can say that it can be difficult to really hear what you’re mixing. Lacking proper studio monitors means missing out on your mix’s honest sound.

Luckily, our modern times brought about some of the best cheap studio monitors for a great, productive home studio setup!

A Recap of the Top Picks

Before I end this roundup article, let me give you a recap of the top picks.

Are Cheap Studio Monitors Worth It-

Best Budget Pick: Mackie CR-X Series 3-inch Multimedia Monitors (CR3-X)

Don’t have enough funds for a high-end studio monitor? Don’t fret!

The Mackie CR-X Series will help you produce top-tier audio at a budget-friendly price point.

The front panel controls are easy to manage, so you won’t have to worry about NOT getting the sound you want.  

Even the more expensive monitors might not produce crisp and clear sounds like the Mackie CR-X model.

Consider this a STEAL for its price!

Best Value: Alesis Elevate 5 MKII

Do you want a slightly cheaper option that offers excellent value and usability? Why not go for the Alesis Elevate 5 MKII!

This monitor features a wide frequency range, user-friendly bi-amp setup, and ergonomic size, giving you a holistic experience at the controls.

You won’t have to worry about connectivity issues, making it the best studio monitor option for anyone, regardless of skill level production-wise. 

Best Overall: PreSonus Eris E4.5 Near Field Studio Monitors

Are you looking for the cream of the crop? This is your BEST BET!

I’ve chosen these budget studio monitors as our Best Overall Pick for the following reasons:

  • Their great price-to-value ratio
  • The favorable size options for various setups
  • The flexibility and customizability of their features
  • Their flat and neutral sound that a good percentage of users agree on
  • Their simple upgradeability

All in all, you can’t go wrong with this high-class and state-of-the-art PreSonus studio monitor.

Final Thoughts

It can be daunting when you want to try starting anything new and even scarier when it involves a lot of money.

But you have to start somewhere, and the best affordable studio monitors are a great place to start— infinitely much better than what anyone else in the past may have started with!

These top picks easily bypass any cons I’ve previously mentioned for budget speakers.

Just remember that sound is subjective, so as much as possible, try and test out the sounds in person before making a decision.

Also, don’t forget to consider your current setup and what genres of music you’d like to explore before picking which budget studio monitors to buy! Check out these reviews for the best DJ speakers.

Have you tried out any of these speakers? Which ones do you want to try out or suggest to other people?


December 27, 2022 – minor formatting updates

April 12, 2022 – minor content edits

About the author


After becoming obsessed with the beats that were the soundtrack to his youth, Nick became a student of hip hop, digging for vinyl records, looking for the perfect break. Before he got his hands on an MPC sampler, he would mash these records, beats, and breaks into mixtapes and live DJ sets.