The best studio monitors for hip hop allow you to listen and mix music in a way that’s faithful to the original recordings. These monitors give you a true-blue experience. They’re great at improving your mixes, edits, and beats.
In a rush?, Click the link for the winner – JBL Professional 306P MkII.
Before we get into the reviews, these are the best studio monitors for hip hop in 2020:
- JBL Professional 306P MkII
- Yamaha HS7
- Adam Audio A7X Powered Studio Monitor
- KRK RP5 Rokit G4 Studio Monitor
- MR624 Mackie Monitors
- PreSonus Eris-E3.5 Studio Monitors
the Best Studio Monitors for Hip Hop
1. JBL Professional 306P MkII
- Sleek and sophisticated design.
- Offers a broad sweet spot.
- Comes with updated high and low-frequency transducers.
- Emits white noise when powered on.
First up is JBL’s 306P MKII, which is, in my opinion, the best 6-inch monitor in the market currently. This model generates 112 Watts of power. It does this with the help of dual-integrated custom class-D amplifiers. Despite its immense power, it sports a sleek and modern design that can liven up the look of any studio.
Also, a patented image-control waveguide broadens the sound. This also allows you to experience greater depth and intensity during recordings. You can also bet that this model 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.
Rating: 5 Stars
2. Yamaha HS7
Professional Beatmakers Choice
- Extended frequency response up to 30kHz.
- Offers a consistently flat response.
- Uses advanced noise reduction technology.
- Employs a high-performance amp unit.
- Inherent noise floor is quite high.
The Yamaha HS7 takes the second spot as one of the best studio monitors. This series makes use of the newly developed transducers created by Yamaha. This helps to 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 music you’re listening to. Another key feature of this model 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. The use of a noise reduction technology also helps to control and reduce the vortex in the device. 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 the unit 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 with a damped acoustic response. This is the ideal material while creating such monitors.
Rating: 4.75 Stars
3. Adam Audio A7X Powered Studio Monitor
Pro Quality Option
- Features updated drivers and amplifiers.
- High end extends up to 50kHz.
- Comes with a newly designed mid-woofer.
- Each driver has a own dedicated amplifier.
- Power cables’ fitting can be better.
If budget isn’t a concern when you’re picking out studio monitors, then I recommend a look at the Adam Audio A7X. It’s the best high-end 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 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.
Also, the brand has updated the drivers and amplifiers from its previous model, giving the A7X a unique edge compared to other Adam products. One of the biggest updates is the addition of the X-ART tweeter. The monitor now offers 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 studio monitors for rap music, too.
Rating: 4.75 Stars
4. KRK RP5 Rokit G4 Studio Monitor
High-Quality 5-Inch Monitors
- 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.
- Low-end response could be better.
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 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 has opted for a custom-designed class-D power amplifier to evenly drive the speakers 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 speakers and the surface to reduce vibration transmission.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
5. MR624 Mackie Monitors
High-Quality 6-Inch Monitors
- Features Mackie’s proven waveguide design.
- Powerful 65W amplification system.
- Ultra-wide dispersion for enhanced studio stereo imaging.
- Tweeter tuning is on the shrill side.
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. Of note is the accurate mix translation. This means that you’ll hear an exact reproduction of the hip hop produced from your studio, 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, 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 monitor 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.
This combines well with the variable crossover system. Ultimately, you can use the foot pedal to control the subwoofers based on your requirements.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
6. PreSonus Eris-E3.5 Studio Monitors
Budget Entry-Level Bundle
- Conveniently located controls.
- Monitor design offers a smooth dispersion pattern.
- Tweeter creates a wide dispersion pattern and broadens the sweet spot.
- Limited input options.
PreSonus has a knack for creating high-quality products at low price points. This pair is a fine example of this for the 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 the other Eris models. This means they provide studio-quality output with an accurate frequency response.
Every model in the Eris series includes custom-woven Kevlar. The use of this material creates a constant dispersion pattern across the frequency range. This results in a cleaner sound.
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.
Rating: 4.25 Stars
Studio Monitors for Hip Hop
Ultimate Buyers’ Guide
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
When picking out studio monitors, it pays to know the difference between the two major types—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 amateurs. I suggest picking up active speaker monitors because they’ll give you more to work within the long-run.
How to Choose the Best Studio Monitors
Look into the following factors to help you find the right monitors for your home or studio.
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. Once decided, stick to the price range.
My experience is that a 500$ budget will get you a pair of outstanding speakers.
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.
High-quality studio monitors ensure that 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 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 music 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. Thus, you 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.
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, I 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 and a clean sound.
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.
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.
When producing music for the first time, you’ll usually work out of 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.
Some of the best music industry brands have their hand in making studio monitors in all types of price ranges and segments. My two favorites are JBL and Yamaha. Therefore, it’s no surprise that these two companies’ products also take the top spots on my 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 musician is seeking when they’re starting. So, it makes sense to pick either of the 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.
Studio Monitors For 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. I 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’ and make the most of your studio setup with any of the eight models featured on our list.
- 3 Series MkII features next-generation JBL transducers, new Boundary EQ, and a sleek new design
- Updated HF and LF transducers: new design improvements result in optimized damping for superior transient response and impressive deep bass with lower harmonic distortion
- New boundary EQ: restores neutral low frequency response when speakers are placed on the work surface and adjacent to walls
- Sleek, modern design provides a dramatic flair to any studio
- Broad sweet spot: neutral frequency response across a wide area allows you to fine-tune your mix even while listening off-axis
- Purchase includes: 306P MKII studio monitor (x1), Power Cord (x1), quick set-up guide (x1), peel-off rubber pads (x4)