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Best Studio Monitors For Hip Hop: Ultimate Guide

Best Studio Monitors For Hip Hop

The best studio monitors for hip hop let’s you listen and mix music in a way that’s faithful to the original recordings. These monitors give you a true-blue experience (especially if you’re a bass addict), and they’re great at improving your mixes, edits, and hip hop beats.

Before we get into the reviews, these are our top picks for the best studio monitors for hip hop:

Runner-Up
Yamaha HS7
Best Overall
JBL Professional 306P MKII
Premium Pick
Adam Audio A7X Powered Studio Monitor
Table of Contents

Best Speakers for Hip Hop Production

1. JBL Professional 306P MKII

Best Overall

JBL Professional 306P MKII

First up is the JBL 306P MKII monitors, which is, in our opinion, one of the best 6-inch studio monitors for hip hop currently on the market. This model generates 112 Watts of power. It does this with the help of dual-integrated custom class-D amplifiers. Despite the immense power of these monitors, it sports a sleek and modern design that can liven up the look of any professional studio.

Also, a patented image-control waveguide broadens the sound. This also let’s you experience greater depth and intensity when recording hip-hop and rap music. You can also bet that these monitors will last for a considerable period. This is thanks to the 100-hour full-power test conducted by JBL to check for any errors or issues.

Pros

  • Sleek and sophisticated design
  • Offers a broad sweet spot
  • Comes with updated high and low-frequency transducers

Cons

  • Emits white noise when powered on

RELATED: JBL LSR308 vs Yamaha HS8: Which is Better for You?

2. Yamaha HS7

Runner-Up

Yamaha HS7

The Yamaha HS7 takes the second spot as one of the best studio monitors for hip hop. These monitors makes use of the newly developed transducers created by Yamaha. This helps create a wide range of bandwidth for the user. 

They also use a state-of-the-art magnetic field design to regulate the flow of magnetic response. This helps provide a seamless and natural transition in the hip hop music you’re listening to. Another key feature of these monitors is the high-performance amp unit. Yamaha matches this well with the transducers to create stunning output. 

It includes a bi-amp design with a separate amp utilized for the woofer and tweeter. This helps produce high-resolution sounds and a flat response, making it perfect for hip hop.

The use of a noise reduction technology also helps to control and reduce the vortex in the monitors. Usually, a vortex is present on either side of the port to generate air vibrations and create extra noise. 

Yamaha’s best minds were able to root out this problem from these monitors and ensure that you receive an output with no unnecessary additions. Even the cabinets used in this system are well-designed. They offer a low resonance enclosure setup. This improves the sound reproduction’s accuracy. 

The enclosures comprise of a dense and resilient MDF material that gives a damped acoustic response. This is the ideal material for creating such hip hop monitors.

Pros

  • Extended frequency response up to 30kHz
  • Offers a consistently flat response
  • Uses advanced noise reduction technology
  • Employs a high-performance amp unit

Cons

  • Inherent noise floor is quite high

RELATED:
Yamaha HS5 vs JBL LSR305: Which is Better for Hip-Hop?

Yamaha HS5 vs Yamaha HS7: What’s the Difference?

3. Adam Audio A7X Powered Studio Monitor

Best Premium Studio Monitor

Adam Audio A7X Powered Studio Monitor

If budget isn’t a concern when you’re picking out studio monitors, then we recommend a look at the Adam Audio A7X. It’s the best high-end hip hop monitor in the market today and comes with some impressive features.

This award-winning model is also one of the best speakers for hip hop production artists. This is because it offers excellent performance across the frequency spectrum. It features a set of powerful 7-inch woofers and a high frequency range to allow you to listen and capture every detail when recording your hip hop beats.

Also, the brand has updated the drivers and amplifiers from its previous model, giving the A7X a unique edge compared to other Adam monitors. One of the biggest updates is the addition of the X-ART tweeter. These monitors now offer extended frequency response thanks to this feature, allowing you to tackle sounds up to 50KHz.

On top of this, a newly designed 7 mid-woofer aids in integrating the lower and higher frequencies. This provides a well-rounded listening experience, making it one of the best professional studio monitors for hip hop music AND rap music.

Pros

  • Features updated drivers and amplifiers
  • High end extends up to 50kHz
  • Comes with a newly designed mid-woofer
  • Each driver has an own dedicated amplifier

Cons

  • Power cables’ fitting can be better

4. KRK RP5 Rokit G4 Studio Monitor

KRK RP5 Rokit 5 G4

The KRK RP5 is an impressive model that’s bolstered by some excellent design and technical choices. In particular, it has matching Kevlar drivers to maintain the sonic frequency response across all frequencies.

You can also use the DSP-driven room-tuning within the 25 visual graphic settings to perfect your recording studio space. You can also reduce and correct any acoustic abnormalities through this. This further fine-tunes recordings and edits.

On top of this, KRK Rokit has opted for a custom-designed class-D power amplifier to evenly drive the speaker monitors and improve audio integrity. Also, a built-in brick wall limiter finds the highest amp levels, creating and retaining a balanced sound with ease.

Finally, a low resonance enclosure minimizes the monitor’s distortion and coloration. The high-density ISO-foam pad creates a gap between the speaker monitors and the surface to reduce vibration transmission. This makes these pair of monitors perform well for the music production of hip hop music.

Pros

  • Great low-end extension and accuracy
  • Comes with an LCD to visualize EQ settings
  • Offers laminar airflow for reduced port turbulence
  • Made using high-quality materials

Cons

  • Low-end response could be better

RELATED:
Yamaha HS5 vs Rokit 5: Comparison Guide

KRK Rokit 5 vs JBL LSR305: Studio Monitor Comparison
Rokit 5 vs Rokit 6: Which KRK Studio Monitor is Better?

5. Mackie MR624 Studio Monitor

Mackie MR624 Studio Monitor

Mackie has produced quality studio monitors since 1988, so it knows what it’s doing. And so, this 6.5-inch unit is by far one of its best offerings for hip hop music. Of note is the accurate mix translation. This means that you’ll hear an exact reproduction of the hip hop music produced from these studio monitors, whether at home or in a professional setup.

Also, Mackie’s proven logarithmic waveguide provides an ultra-wide sweet spot and enhanced stereo imaging. This increases the clarity and consistency of the sounds across a wide space. Besides that, the precise alignment system ensures well-balanced sound across all frequencies.

The design also features a versatile acoustic space control feature and high-frequency filters. These optimize the monitors for a wide range of environments. It also includes the MRS10 studio subwoofer for you to pick up on and appreciate the low ends while reproducing hip hop music.

This combines well with the variable crossover system. Ultimately, you can use the foot pedal to control the subwoofers based on your requirements.

Pros

  • Features Mackie’s proven waveguide design
  • Powerful 65W amplification system
  • Ultra-wide dispersion for enhanced studio stereo imaging

Cons

  • Tweeter tuning is on the shrill side

6. PreSonus Eris-E3.5 Studio Monitors

Presonus Eris-E3.5 Studio Monitors

PreSonus has a knack for creating high-quality products at low price points. These pair of monitors are a fine example for this hip hop studio monitors segment.

They’re 2-way 3.5-inch near-field studio monitors that work for home studios, casual listening, recording, and gaming. They also rely on the same technology used in other Eris models. This means they provide studio-quality output with an accurate frequency response.

All monitors in the Eris series include custom-woven Kevlar. The use of this material creates a constant dispersion pattern across the frequency range. This results in a cleaner sound rap producers and music producers would love.

Also, the tweeter has a 1-inch silk dome to further refine the sound and build on the reproduction of transient and higher frequencies. On top of this, the tweeter provides a wide dispersion pattern, allowing you to listen to the sounds uniformly in any given space.

Pros

  • Conveniently located controls
  • Monitor design offers a smooth dispersion pattern
  • Tweeter creates a wide dispersion pattern and broadens the sweet spot

Cons

  • Limited input options

Guide to Studio Monitors for Hip Hop Production

In this section, we bring you all the information you’ll need to help you find the ideal speakers for your home or studio.

Active vs Passive Speakers

As a hip hop producer, it pays to know the difference between the two major types of studio monitors — active and passive speaker monitors. 

The major difference here boils down to the availability of amplifiers:

  • Active speakers: Tend to have built-in amplifiers that only need a battery or external power source to run.
  • Passive monitors: These have no-such built-in feature — you’ll need an external power amplifier to gain this attribute. 

On top of this, active speakers function like an all-in-one unit for your studio. This is similar to the combo amplifiers used by bass guitarists to modify or amplify their sounds.

They can also include other important features. Examples are built-in mixers, microphone preamps, and EQ settings.

All of these features are missing in passive monitors.

They only serve to function as a monitor speaker for your setup. You’ll need to add additional features to your setup based on your requirements.

However, passive speakers are much cheaper than active models, and they’re also much easier to use for an amateur hip hop producer. Nevertheless, we suggest picking up active speaker monitors because they’ll give you more to work in the long-run.

How to Choose the Best Studio Monitors

four studio monitors on speakers stands

Look into these following factors to help you find the right monitors for your home or studio.

Price/Budget

There’s a direct correlation between monitor price and quality. Therefore, it’s important for you to understand how much you’re willing to pay for studio monitors. Once decided, stick to the price range. 

Our experience is that a 500$ budget will get you a pair of outstanding speakers.

But if not, you could check our list on the Best Studio Monitors Under $200.

If you’re looking to get started on a budget, the PreSonus Eris-E3.5 Studio Monitors will do as a pair of start-up monitors for amateurs. It’s reasonably priced and comes for a pair of 3.5-inch monitors to help you kickstart your journey.

Some of the other gear you’ll need to support this unit would be a healthy subwoofer, an amplifier, mics, and a computer system.

Sound Quality/Performance

High-quality studio monitors ensure you hear all sounds. They should reproduce the best and worst parts of the track to help you make the necessary adjustments.

In this regard, finding a set of monitors with the flattest frequency response helps you attain this neutral output. Speakers tend to boost certain frequencies and suppress others. So, your monitors should approach all frequencies with unanimity for accurate editing.

In particular, hip hop production tends to have a lot of beats and samples used during production. Fine-tuning these levels and arrangements is only possible when you have a great pair of studio monitors guiding your ear.

In terms of sound color, it’s advisable to seek models with a neutral tone. Those with a warm or cool tint will modify the sound to your ear and impede your mixing.

As the beats in hip hop are quite frequent, they utilize a fair amount of bass response. Thus, you should seek out a model with a healthy low-end frequency range to pick up the bass notes.

Concerning the mids and highs, always aim for clarity — you don’t want the sound to distort at higher frequencies. You’d also want as much leeway as possible when trying to pump up the volume to listen to those mids and highs.

Size

It isn’t always about picking up enormous monitors to blast some wicked beats. Instead, pick up monitors that compliment the size of your studio. Based on the size of most studio spaces, we always recommend monitors between 5 and 8 inches

You’ll also want to place the monitors equidistant from one another and from your head. This will produce a more accurate frequency response and sound quality. 

Subwoofer

A subwoofer is crucial to accurately recreate lower frequencies. Most quality models include a mid-woofer or subwoofer. The Adam Audio A7X Powered Studio Monitor is a good example of this.

You won’t need a separate speaker if your model comes with a subwoofer, but consider picking one up if that isn’t the case.

Isolation Pads

soundproofing for music studio

These are helpful if you want to add an extra layer of clarity to your listening experience. But, they also reduce vibrational interferences.

They’re especially useful in projecting lower frequencies. This is needed while making hip hop music production.

Studio Setting

When producing hip hop music for the first time, you’ll usually work at your home studio or have an amateur setup. Each of the six products featured on our list works well in this setup. They’ll also provide excellent results.

However, as your space expands, you’ll need to look past 5 to 8-inch monitors and consider bigger models. Until then, the six products featured will do well to match your needs.

Once you start expanding, consider acoustic treatment for your space to reduce disturbances. For this, use bass traps to capture low ends while recording. These aren’t necessary with the studio monitors on our list for now. You can make do with their quality in your hip hop home studio.

Brands

Some of the best music industry brands have their hand in making studio monitors in all types of price ranges and segments. Our two favorites are JBL and Yamaha. Therefore, it’s no surprise that these two companies’ products also take the top spots on this list.

They produce quality monitors in the amateur and semi-pro segment. They also offer excellent products without charging an exorbitant price. That’s exactly what every rap music producer is seeking when they’re starting. So, it makes sense to pick either of those two brands.

Quality and Frequency Range

When you’re working on hip hop beats, find a set of monitors with a wide frequency range. They also shouldn’t create any distortion. This is a dynamic range, and it’s crucial for hip hop and EDM music due to their varied soundscapes.

As our ears pick up sounds between 20Hz and 20KHz, pick monitors near this minimum and maximum zone. An example of this is the JBL Professional 306 MKII

Conclusion: Best Studio Monitors For Hip Hop Beats

The JBL Professional 306P MKII is our top pick in this segment. This is thanks to its updated HF and LF transducers and neutral, low-frequency response. These 5-inch wonders offer 112W of total power, all built-in to a sleek and modern design. It works well for home studios and professionals setups alike.

The Yamaha HS7 is the next best thing in this segment. We recommend you pick this model if you aren’t attracted to the JBL. It’s a powerful 6.5-inch monitor with top-quality materials. It also has a wide frequency range of 43Hz to 30KHz.

Get those beats poppin’, start your hip hop music production, and make the most of your studio setup with any of the six models featured on our list!

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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.