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Best Studio Monitors for Home Studio

Best Studio Monitors for Home Studio

If you’re a music nerd and getting the right groove is ESSENTIAL for you, then, of course, you’d want the best pair of studio monitors!

But of course, these things don’t come cheap. Looking at the price of these things on the internet, studio monitors can be as expensive as $2000! It can be too much, right?

But, don’t fret! We’re here to recommend a set of studio monitors that are right for you!

If you’re looking for the best studio monitors for a home studio, THEN THIS IS THE MASTERCLASS GUIDE YOU’RE LOOKING FOR! Keep reading this list to find out more!

Best Budget Pick
PreSonus Eris E5

PreSonus Eris E5

Best Overall
Yamaha HS5

Yamaha HS5 Powered Monitor

Best in Value
Adam Audio A7X Powered Studio Monitor

Adam Audio A7X Powered Studio Monitor:

Table of Contents

Our Top Picks for the Best Studio Monitors

Yamaha HS5: Our Top Pick

Yamaha HS5- Our Top Pick

Taking the top spot in our list of THE BEST STUDIO MONITOR SPEAKERS is the renowned YAMAHA HS5, with its vintage classic design but packing some NEW TECHNOLOGY for your home recording studio.

These Yamaha bad boys basically come in tabletop and mountable versions, too! Now you may be wondering: How come this studio monitor takes the top pick?

Well then, you have to find out more about the Yamaha HS5 and its FEATURES!

  • Two-way, bass-reflex nearfield monitors that have a 5-inch cone woofer and a FULLY CAPABLE 1-inch dome tweeter
  • These speakers offer an EXCELLENT low-frequency and high-frequency response range at 54 Hz to 30 kHz
  • As monitors, they also have TRS and XLR phone jack inputs for your preferred signals, balanced or not.
  • Has a magnetic field design for better response
  • High trim response controls for versatility
  • It also has some VERY HANDY room control features for your home studios!

What you get from all this is CLEAN SOUND and MUSICAL ACCURACY. It doesn’t compromise on anything, with the perfect balance of price, features, and QUALITY!

It comes with a VERY MINOR drawback you should be aware of, though. It has a design flaw that can cause a noise floor, so it’s best to be aware of this!

They don’t come in pairs, too. These monitors are sold individually, so you can buy as much as you need, in contrast to the usual speakers sold by pair.

Is It for You?

If you’re someone who’s into creating a GOOD recording set-up without a compromise for sound quality, price point, and frequency response for A/B testing, then The Yamaha HS5 is the RIGHT ONE for YOU!

You just can’t go wrong with these monitors and the flat response that they provide.

Pros

  • GREAT Frequency range
  • Clean sound and accurate sounding
  • Clear imaging and transient response
  • GREAT VALUE

Cons

  • Slightly understated sibilance
  • XLR connector doesn’t latch

Adam Audio A7X Powered Studio Monitor: Best in Value

Adam Audio A7X Powered Studio Monitor- Best in Value

When it comes to brands like Adam Audio, you’ll definitely know they don’t fall short on one thing: QUALITY. And this is the exact reason why you can’t go wrong with the A7X…

You GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR! They’re taking the spot for the BEST STUDIO MONITORS when it comes to value. How so?

While these sound close to the original A7s and T-series, these feature a more sophisticated design and better elements inside of them for a REFINED SOUND.

Well, check out the features that this one PACKS:

  • Ultra-high frequency response
  • 7-inch mid-woofer with a LARGER voice coil
  • Features XLR and RCA inputs at the back
  • Controls for tweeter level and shelf filters for your sound preference
  • Pristine sound accuracy

And for the cherry on the top of the cake?

A high-end X Accelerating Ribbon Technology (X-ART) for that 50 kHz flat frequency response that you NEED in your home studios, instead of a typical dome tweeter. Talk about great ribbon tweeters, huh!

Something to keep in mind, though, is that some people don’t really appreciate the design on this one. But it’s all up to personal preference! Aesthetics may come second if you’re totally into PURE SOUND.

The Adam Audio A7X is definitely one of the mid-range speakers to look out for, especially if you love their products. Adam Audio never disappoints!

Is It for You?

If you’re someone who wants AN EXTREMELY FLAT frequency response, then consider the A7X as one of your options in selecting a speaker! It’s a GREAT MONITORING SYSTEM, we assure you.

This one-of-a-kind studio gear from Adam Audio is a must-have for a recording studio that prioritizes accurate sound reproduction, especially for A/B sound testing and monitoring through monitors!

Pros

  • Flat sound
  • X-ART ribbon tweeter
  • Impressive low-end extension for a refined listening experience

Cons

  • Might not be pleasing for casual listeners due to the flatness of the sound

PreSonus Eris E5: Best Budget Pick

PreSonus Eris E5- Best Budget Pick

Looking for the best studio monitors, but feel like you’re on a tight budget? Don’t worry! The PreSonus Eris E5 is your best option in the market.

While there are a LOT OF THINGS to consider when you’re in the market for new monitors, especially as a beginner in the field, it wouldn’t hurt to dip your toes into the best your budget can get you.

With the Eris E5, you get all the ESSENTIAL features you need for studio speakers. It’s one of the options in the market that will surprise you! Even tenured professionals swear by these monitors.

Why? Well, let’s dive into the features of this hidden gem!

  • Flat in response, which makes it good for critical listening
  • Refined mids are delivered through these studio monitor speakers
  • Stellar build quality, especially through the woven composite woofer and the front bass port
  • Lightweight but still delivers the punch needed by a music producer
  • Has kevlar low-frequency inducers, for good sound and longevity
  • Has a frequency response of 53 Hz – 22 kHz, for critical and detailed listening
  • These monitors even have the flexibility to adjust the acoustic space, depending on your studio space!
  • Boasts a silk dome tweeter with metal grill protection

PreSonus has become a proven and tested brand for many, and A LOT of people do swear by these. It has a good spot on the list for good reason, too!

One thing you need to know about these monitors though is it lacks a solid low end, due to the size of these speakers! You might need good acoustic treatment for your space as well, to maximize.

Is It for You?

If you’re looking for a CLEAN SOUND for your music room, and you have a budget to follow, the Eris E5 won’t disappoint you! It has all the essentials you need, at a good price range, too!

This studio monitor will definitely be FIT and FUNCTIONAL to your lifestyle. It’s worth every dollar, we swear.

Pros

  • Response controls and adjustment knobs
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Good performance for a low price range

Cons

  • Lacks punch and bass response in the low end

KRK Rokit 5 G4

KRK Rokit 5 G4

KRK Rokits are almost a NO-BRAINER for a LOT of people in the music industry. You’ll typically see these iconic pair of studio monitors in a LOT of people’s desks as one of the top options to listen to the sound.

They belong in the MASTERCLASS of home recording equipment!

Through the Rokit 5 G4, you get innovation and affordability in one convenient package with this set of monitors.

Why?

Because of the great value you get with these monitors! Check it out!

  • A balanced out frequency range for that PRISTINE soundscape you’ll never get enough of
  • Punchy low-ends, which makes it a great choice for music producers, especially electronic
  • Undistorted low-ends through the front-facing bass port design. You won’t need a subwoofer with this!
  • Stellar build quality with the addition of Kevlar in the design for the woofer and tweeter for consistent distribution of sound.
  • A frequency range of 43 Hz – 40 kHz, and Class D amplifiers for better power in the studio!

Is It for You?

If you’re an electronic music DJ or just someone who loves the low-end punch from the speaker drivers, then the KRK Rokit 5 G4 should be one of your top options.

A pair of these guarantees a phenomenal thump, especially for the bass frequencies which makes these STAND OUT. Rest assured, your studio will be bopping!

Pros

  • Phenomenal bass response and range of frequencies
  • Stellar graphic EQ

Cons

  • Not the latest sounds and frequencies, due to the speaker configuration

M-Audio AV42

M-Audio AV42

If you’re looking for something well-designed, balanced, and economical, this M-Audio offering will definitely tickle your fancy in monitors.

The M-Audio AV42 is not just something suited for home recording. As you can see from the name, you’d probably guess the AV stands for AUDIOVISUAL, right? Well, you’ve got that right!

From music playback to watching movies and hardcore gaming sessions, this monitor speaker definitely deserves a place on your desk for PURE entertainment and sound quality goodness.

Check out what it packs!

  • Flexing a 4-inch woofer and 1-inch tweeter apiece, a CRISP and BALANCED sound is guaranteed in this 20-watt-per-channel amp
  • The driver size of the bass ports is solid, but not too overwhelming, too!
  • Class A/B architecture
  • RCA inputs for your gaming systems, mixers, and other tech goodies
  • BEST DESIGN FEATURE: Speaker cones for that sleek and oh-so-sexy finish!

Now, what does that tell us? Well obviously, you’re getting one of the best studio monitors for the PRICE. You get a mix and match of multimedia functions with this pair in your studio!

Although, you should be aware that while these DO sound like a good deal, it’s more of a jack-of-all-trades. It gives a little bit of everything in the mix!

But these aren’t specifically made for home recording, mind you. The speaker configuration of this pair is best suited for something like Hi-Fi listening, not exactly suited for accurate sound reproduction.

Is It for You?

If you think you’ve been looking for a pair of a monitor that can also function as a surround sound system for entertainment, then the M-Audio AV42 can take a top spot in your list.

While it’s not as sonically accurate as any of the other options in the list like the Yamaha HS5, these still do a stellar job of giving a balanced sound and frequencies, still making it one of the best options!

Trust us: this monitor will get you addicted and rediscover entertainment, from the comfort of your home studio-slash-entertainment room! It definitely deserves a spot as one of the best studio monitors out there.

Pros

  • Small and compact
  • Geat soundstage, and good imaging
  • Universal inputs and compatibility for comfort
  • HIGHLY AFFORDABLE, compared to other monitor options in the list

Cons

  • Not specifically tailored for music production

JBL 3 Series MKII

JBL 3 Series MKII

As you all know, JBL is definitely one of those household brands we all know and love. You probably have one of their products in your home right now.

We all love a GREAT pair of cans and Bluetooth speakers, am I right?

But for this list, we’d love to introduce to you something they have, and we assure you: it’s one of the best studio monitors for bringing along to parties, events, gatherings, and even at home with family!

The JBL 3 Series MKII is ASTOUNDING, because of what it can offer!

  • Rear reflex ports with a Slipstream™ port design for better linearity
  • Adjustable boundary equalizer to balance out the frequency response
  • A solid and sturdy build quality that you’ll want from studio monitors for your home studio
  • A frequency of 43 Hz – 24 kHz through a driver size of a 5″ woofer and 1″ tweeter
  • TRS and XLR connection options for flexibility in the studio

And for the crowning glory of this studio monitor? The Image Control Waveguide that widens the soundstage of these monitors! It makes the sweet spot for imaging and the stage WAY BETTER.

So basically, for these speakers, you get a warm, bassy sound that DJs will SURELY LOVE, but still with balance and not overbearing. We gotta love that low-end room boom that JBL is known for, right?

But of course, something you should know about these speakers is it’s not the most balanced one out there for critical listening, unlike the other studio monitors in the list, and some hiss may come out.

Other than that we think it’s still well built and one of the best studio monitors you will FALL IN LOVE with!

Is It for You?

You may be wondering if these JBL speakers are for you, huh?

Well, if you’re someone who loves making a DJ mix and loves a bit of sonic thump in your room, these monitors are the right one for you!

It has a great soundstage, stellar bass output, flexible tuning options, and the modern technology you need to maximize everything you can get out of these!

Audiophiles, music connoisseurs, and audio engineers are in for a treat with these. It’s a mix of everything good you’d want for entertainment and sound monitors for your studio.

Pros

  • Great sound stage
  • Stellar bass output
  • Flexible tuning

Cons

  • Not the most balanced studio monitors for critical listening
  • Slight hiss may come

IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitors

IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitors

Who says you need a BIG AND CHUNKY driver size to make a loud sound? We’re here to tell you that speaker size ISN’T A BIG DEAL with these, as one of the best studio monitors for your home studios!

IK Multimedia stepped up the game in the monitors market with the iLoud Micro Monitors.

Commonly, studio monitors are typically shaped boxy, but these ones look aesthetically sleek and smaller, which is a huge benefit if you have limited desk space.

Curious what this one can bring for your studio? Check it out here!

  • A pair of small drivers with a 3-inch woofer and a 3/4-inch tweeter for a big sound
  • Front-facing bass port and isolation base for less shake
  • A set of RCA and TRS stereo inputs for your mix devices. It doesn’t have XLR, though!
  • Bluetooth connectivity for streaming audio from your devices.

So basically, you can get all of these slick features for a competitive price point with the iLoud Micro Monitors. Rest assured, while these are called micro monitors, the sound isn’t.

It offers a clean and balanced sound you will definitely enjoy for monitoring and critical listening, thanks to a GREAT speaker configuration. With the Bluetooth functionality, you can also use these as casual listening speakers, too!

It’s a little bit of everything! (Pun intended)

But of course, some drawbacks you need to know about these monitors is it doesn’t have an XLR input, which is critical if you have specific mixers that are only XLR-compatible.

It’s also important to take note that the bass reproduction can be limited at higher volumes, due to the smaller nature of these studio monitors.

Is It for You?

Sometimes, we don’t need gigantic speakers covering up most of our deskspace. And sometimes, we love bringing our monitors on the go, too! The flexibility these things offer is UNPARALLELED.

Just imagine… You can prop these monitors right up at your home studio, and pack them for a quick gig!

The performance is STELLAR as well, with a clean and balanced sound you can get from surprisingly small monitors, especially for the price of around $300.

Competitive, right?

If you love the small form factor, room calibration function, and the added Bluetooth functionality in a speaker, then this offering from IK Multimedia just might be right up your alley as one of the best studio monitors for home recording… and beyond!

Pros

  • Small and compact
  • Bluetooth functionality
  • Balanced and clean sound

Cons

  • No XLR input

Neumann KH 120

Neumann KH 120

Neumann has been known for making the FINEST microphones in the world for a long time now.

Almost a century, in fact! And now they’re entering the foray of audio, but this time, in the field of monitors…

AND THEIR OFFERING IN THE MIX DOESN’T DISAPPOINT!

The company sets new standards on sound quality with the KH 120. It’s a small yet mighty beast with a GREAT SOUND. German precision on technology surely does make its waves.

And of course, with precision engineering comes GREAT features!

  • A solid aluminum case that makes these EXTRA DURABLE. It’ll last you a LONG TIME
  • Easy to install and set-up, with adjustable EQ levels for BETTER FLEXIBILITY
  • Tuned with accuracy, and can go down to 49 Hz at -2 dB
  • Metal grilles on the drivers, and with tweeter domes protected by perforated metal
  • Electrical protection circuits to shield the speaker from a SUDDEN SURGE
  • And most importantly: ACCURATE LEVEL CALIBRATION for extra sound precision

It’s basically a SURGICAL CLEAN sounding monitor and will let you hear anything in the mix, both the good and the bad. It sounds frank and sharp and crisp, made for CRITICAL LISTENING.

A bad thing we’d like you to be aware of this monitor is the proprietary power cords are too big and stiff, which can be a HEADACHE for routing around your studio or audio room.

There can also be a slight hiss if you’re too close. Neumann specified there is a recommended minimum listening distance, and that is 0.75 meters or 30 inches. It doesn’t come cheap, too!

Is It for You?

If you’re looking for a frank and honest monitor that will spit PURE ACCURACY, then don’t hesitate with the KH 120. It won’t sugarcoat anything, and will only force you to make BETTER AUDIO.

And yes, it’s definitely a GOOD THING!

This monitor is in it with you for the long haul and is quite a hefty investment. But, of course, it’s definitely well worth it if accuracy is your game.

Pros

  • Crisp and accurate sound from the monitor
  • Well protected drivers and durable build, compared to other monitors

Cons

  • Proprietary power cable for the monitor can be too thick and stiff
  • Slight monitor hiss if you’re too close

Avanton Pro Active Mixcube

Avanton Pro Active Mixcube

In the world of studio monitors, and recordings in general, there is a slight dilemma…

While the studio mix can sound spectacular from studio monitors, it CAN sound way different once it comes out of the recording room, and to the consumer’s radios.

The solution?

A secondary reference monitor to simulate how it sounds to the mass market.

Enter the Avanton Pro-Active Mixcube, a secondary reference monitor to make sure everything’s in place for your listeners and their peripherals!

The features are also locked and loaded in this one, too!

  • Offers a clear and crisp sound, even through limited frequencies as a secondary reference
  • A high performing, professional-grade amplifier that has all the essential features, with robust headroom for the monitors
  • Features a frequency response of 90 Hz – 17,000 Hz
  • Small and lightweight at around 7.13 lbs per monitor

These studio monitors are basically the second opinion you need, in case you need a check before you release the audio to the public!

But of course, a thing you need to be aware of is they are still a SECONDARY REFERENCE, and not meant as a primary driver!

Is It for You?

If you’re an audio engineer with a home recording studio, chances are, your speakers might be too high in frequency to hear what the crowd will absorb.

It’s best to have monitors with you for a second check and polish, just to simulate how your mix can sound once it enters the homes of your fans or consumers.

Pros

  • Crisp sound and accuracy
  • Active shielded full-range stereo

Cons

  • Used as secondary reference only, not for primary mixing

How to Choose the Best Studio Monitor

How to Choose the Best Studio Monitor

If you’re considering making the jump to get a BRAND NEW STUDIO MONITOR, there are factors to consider, and we’ll walk you through it to help you out, too!

What Speaker Size Should You Get

When it comes to getting a studio monitor, one thing you should consider is the size. Monitors come in different sizes, and the usual ones are 5, 7, and 8 inches.

The right monitor size is CRUCIAL, and if you’re starting out, maybe consider 5-inch monitors for home recording, and upgrade to bigger ones if you think you’re gonna need more power!

Your Budget

Of course, considering the price of these monitors is ESSENTIAL, too! These things don’t come cheap, and some even come with a hefty price tag on top of them!

Getting the best kind of speakers for your studio is definitely an investment and something you need to carefully consider.

When you get the right one for you, we assure you: THE PRICE IS DEFINITELY WORTH IT!

Our advice? Identify what you need from speakers, how you’ll use them, and what audio you’ll be playing back. Speakers have their own personalities so it’s better to choose one you relate with.

They’re your friend through the audio journey!

Room Size

Another factor to consider whenever you’re choosing the right studio monitor for you is, of course, how big your room is!

A general rule of thumb is that a 5-inch speaker is enough for a small room, and progressively demands a bigger one the larger your room is.

REMEMBER THIS: Bigger speakers, more power, bigger sound.

Compatibility With DAWs

Before buying your monitors for your home studio, always consider the compatibility and features of these speakers with your preferred Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs).

When using DAWs, it’s generally favorable to use accurate studio monitors to get the most accurate sound reproduction possible!

It’s always best to check and consider, depending on your preferred DAWs, as well!

How Should You Set Up Your Studio Monitors

How Should You Set Up Your Studio Monitors

Setting monitors for home studios is EASY, but often neglected. Placing them right is HIGHLY ESSENTIAL, mind you!

Just follow this basic masterclass in case you’re setting up:

  • Make sure the speakers are 8 to 12 inches away from the wall behind them.
  • It’s ideal to place them at the 10 o’clock and 2-o’clock positions, facing towards you, forming something like a V-shape.
  • Monitor stands and acoustic foam are WORTH IT, as they produce more balanced audio and sets you free from the unwanted rumble.

Final Thoughts

Getting the best studio monitor for you can be confusing, especially if you’re new to the market. But of course, we’re here to recommend the best ones out there for you to make it EASIER.

  • The Yamaha HS5 takes the top spot for its sonic clarity and well-rounded features, as well as the competitive price point. You can’t go wrong with the Yamaha, it’s proven and tested over the years!
  • But if you’re considering value, though, the Adam Audio A7X provides an AMAZING price-to-performance ratio that’s definitely worth every dollar.
  • And lastly, the budget king. The PreSonus Eris E5 takes the crown when it comes to price. It has all the basic features you need, and more for such a LOW PRICE!

We hope this little masterclass on the best studio monitors for home studios helped you decide to take the jump in buffing your studio!

About the author

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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.