Getting monitor equipment is the most challenging task in building your own studio setup.
Many studio monitors work as loudspeakers within speaker enclosures.
Technically, most speakers aim to enhance and reproduce the audio produced in a studio, film, television, radio, and project or home studio.
Loudspeakers or studio monitors let music producers or audio engineers ensure that the audio material is free from any technical issues and defects, such as unwanted background noise.
This article will discuss suitable studio speakers for your room modes, listening distance, work preference, and other conditions.
How to Choose the Right Studio Monitor Size for Your Room
Experts have varied comments on whether the small bedroom size of home studios directly affects sound quality through a widened listening distance.
Honestly, room size affects choosing the right studio monitor speakers.
This article will tell you how to choose the correct studio monitor size for your area, whether in a big or small room or an untreated room.
1. Measure Your Accurate Room Size
Getting expensive monitors and even large studio monitors for your small room isn’t always the key to your audio problem; shortening the listening distance is.
Choosing the RIGHT-SIZE monitors, whether large or small monitors for your big or small space is critical in resolving these issues.
In this sense, you should first get the EXACT MEASUREMENTS of your room to identify whether large or small speakers suit your area.
More so, power is also a deal-breaker when it comes to choosing the best studio monitors.
For most people, an average-size speaker, which is 5-8 inches, works well in a small room. However, these monitors vary according to their watts, power, and budget.
Meanwhile, a LARGER room may require prominent and high-quality larger speakers to fill the space with sound.
However, the sound can warp if you have an untreated room and smaller studio monitors for a large area. You may experience reverb and sound problems involving a small speaker.
2. Wisely Position Your Studio Monitor
Speaker size isn’t the only important factor when choosing your studio monitors.
Other factors include having an understanding of where to correctly position your speakers, so they sound the best!
Without the right monitor placement, your studio monitors could not reach their full potential.
In place of this, you’ll have to place your studio monitor in a triangular shape, having you in the center. You can also put the studio monitors evenly between you and each other.
PRO-TIP: The most stable way to properly place your monitor is to position it in a perfectly measured triangle.
High frequencies are tagged to be more directional than lower frequencies, making the tweeters louder when they are directly pointed at you.
In this way, you’ll be able to maintain a consistent listening perspective from one studio to another, even out of the control room.
3. Choose Your Power Wattage
Your wattage usually depends on the output you’re trying to produce.
For instance, if you’ll work with many bass frequencies, it is best recommended to choose a wattage higher than fifty watts.
Most studio monitors with high wattages lead to a distorted-free, accurate, and detailed sound.
Meanwhile, distortion seems to be an issue for small spaces.
Thus, choosing the correct studio monitor size and wattage is crucial for your studio monitor setup. The best sound can be produced in smaller rooms only if you have a high wattage.
4. The Monitor Must Have a Built-in Equalizer (EQ)
EQ, a high-fidelity audio control, lets the user experience an improved sound quality from audio sources, such as microphones and instrument pick-ups.
You can achieve this improved sound quality by changing the individual frequency bands of the audio.
An equalizer (EQ) is an audio filter that lets users isolate a particular frequency range, such as a flat frequency response, which boosts them, lowers them, or lets them be.
Meanwhile, a sub-woofer produces and amplifies low-end frequencies within music, which are the bass and sub-bass, which an Adam Audio right-size monitor is good at.
Essentially, an EQ adjusts the sound to match room modes.
This a good investment if you want to UPGRADE your studio but still save money.
5. Use a Speaker Stand
Repeatedly, your room size can affect the sound your monitor produces. Therefore, a small room size should have a small monitor size.
Aside from that, you can also enhance your accuracy if you can put your monitor on a speaker stand.
Through this, your monitor can be on a level with your head, letting you hear sounds at their maximum level.
NOTE: A vibrational imbalance may occur in a small room caused by sound waves bouncing off materials. Therefore, if your monitor is elevated, there’s a bigger chance of having a vibrational problem-free life.
What Makes a Good Studio Monitor?
A good studio monitor shall be able to provide the user with an accurate sound. Typically, monitors will not give you the classic sound most regular speakers give.
Instead, studio monitors shall give you an accurate, warts-and-all copy of your produced recording, letting you hear and recognize issues that should be resolved.
In general, studio monitors want to improve your finished audio quality without adding much more bass frequencies so that the final output will sound good.
Moreover, a good set of new monitors must accurately deliver a wide range of frequency responses, both high-end and low-end sounds, without distortion.
To summarize, good monitors are the ones that could give an accurate reproduction of your original audio recordings.
These improve any wrong points in the home recording for properly treated music production.
Things to Consider When Buying a Studio Monitor
When investing in such a huge amount, you should always think twice before purchasing anything.
Here’s what you should consider before buying studio monitors.
1. Understand the Monitor You Need
You should consider many things when buying a studio monitor, such as its price and features.
PRO-TIP: You must only buy what you need.
A cheap entry-level monitor carrying everything you need will be okay if you’re just a beginner in the audio production industry.
Meanwhile, if you’re already an experienced audio engineer, a much more advanced set of features would be your product of choice.
In a nutshell, be sure to be firm on the decision that you’re about to make. Conduct research on what you exactly need.
2. Make the Most of Your Budget
Once you’ve worked out your budget, the next step is ensuring you get the MAXIMUM VALUE for your money.
Choose a provider that ensures you good quality products while getting the lowest price.
Different monitors have different pros and cons.
Light, easily transportable, and smaller monitors are perfect for people who are always on the go with their studio monitors.
Meanwhile, a dedicated home studio artist would want a bulkier monitor size to get their full specifications.
Nevertheless, some monitors are better at reproducing high or low frequencies.
3. Know What Power Wattage You Require
People mistakenly think a studio monitor’s audio stage is equivalent to its maximum volume level.
In reality, a HIGH-WATTAGE set of monitors will give you a much more accurate and detailed sound across a wider dynamic range.
These let you control the sound it produces without distortion.
In general, bigger rooms need greater wattage, so 50 watts makes a good starting point for a studio space.
4. Your Monitor Should Have Better Accuracy to Produce Good Sound
Your monitor will give the BEST possible form to improve your audio’s finished product.
Note that these monitors add a more powerful bass response or a clearer high-end like speakers do.
Furthermore, they will exhibit any frequency problems that need to be changed.
5. Your Recording Space Must Have Appropriate Acoustic Treatment
Regardless of the money you allocate for your studio monitor, you have to consider if your home studio space has proper room acoustics.
Since you’ll be unable to have a money-back guarantee if you can’t maximize your unit’s potential, the sound of the speaker’s audio may be affected based on the monitor’s placement.
Ideally, you should be 1-2 meters away from your studio monitor — the optimum listening position.
Studio Monitor Recommendations
Here are the most recommended studio monitors in the market today.
1) KRK Rokit RP7 G4 7″ Powered Monitor
- 42 Hz – 40 kHz frequency response
- 110 dB maximum SPL
- 145 Watts power output
- Balanced TRS/XLR combo jacks
- Height 13.35″ / 339 mm
- Width 8.86″ / 225 mm
- Depth 11.19″ / 284 mm
- Weight 16.76 lb / 7.6 kg
KRK’s prominent yellow speaker cones are one the MOST SOUGHT-AFTER bi-amp professional low-end monitors in the market — recommended for hip hop.
The Gibson-owned brand’s affordable mid-range units, the Rokit series, is the fourth generation with a varied selection of neat features, making it worthy of every penny.
The unit is perfect for beginners as it includes a graphic EQ function on the speaker itself, despite its affordable price bracket.
Specifically, the studio monitor has a DSP-driven Graphic EQ with 25 settings, which lets your speaker have multiple levels of VERSATILITY.
Several users have run their tests for this specific unit; it shows that the speaker is one of the best studio monitors for small rooms, perfect for bass response heavy.
The speaker can also reduce operating temperatures and improve audio integrity, producing a good-quality sound even for low-end frequencies.
2) Genelec 8010A
- 67 Hz – 25 kHz (-6 dB) frequency response
- 96 dB maximum SPL
- Height 7.68″/195 mm
- Width 4.76″/121 mm
- Depth 4.53″/115mm
- Active crossovers
- Room response compensation
- Iso-pod foot provides excellent isolation and angle control
- Weight 3.3 lb/1.5 kg
The 8010A is one of the smallest studio monitors in the audio equipment industry today.
The talk of the town’s best sound equipment has its reproduction characteristics as natural, uncolored, and extremely low distortion.
You can never go wrong with 8010A’s true reference performance and low-end frequencies extension — a Genelec accurate and powerful monitor despite monitor size.
The reliable studio monitor is perfect for people with a limited area for their studio space.
The small monitor is perfect for MOBILE applications — get that superb accuracy even in tight spaces!
The 8010A is also given a die-cast aluminum Minimum Diffraction Enclosure (MDE) for the bonus part.
This feature gives it relatively large internal volumes, softly curved edges, and outstanding mechanical strength.
3) Focal Shape 65
- 40 Hz – 35 kHz (±3dB) frequency response
- 109 dB maximum SPL @ 1m
- 105 Watts power output
- 6.5″ passive side radiator
- Near-field monitor
- 3-band EQ, High-pass filter
- Height 13.35″ / 339 mm
- Width 8.86″ / 225 mm
- Depth 11.19″ / 284 mm
- Weight 16.76 lb / 7.6 kg
Through its collaborative breakthrough design with technologies, Focal leads the market in the BEST AFFORDABLE near-field monitors.
Indeed, it is the go-to brand for developing high-end models such as its SM series.
This near-field series serves as an overall reference monitoring system for songwriting or digital audio workstations, editing suite, and other systems that need accurate monitoring within a limited area.
The near-field speaker promises to deliver linear, distortion-free, and clear midrange intelligibility and imaging.
This was pumped by its groundbreaking acoustics, cutting-edge flax-sandwich cone, m-shaped inverted-dome driver, and ideal electronics.
Furthermore, the near-field Shape 65 can also be placed near the walls, which still lets you hear extended low-end frequencies that are tight, controlled, and accurate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most frequently asked questions for getting the right size monitor.
Should I Get 1 or 2 Studio Monitors?
Maximize your potential with a PAIR of studio monitors.
Most studio monitors will ensure that our audio channels are correctly balanced.
People with an additional budget may also get another pair of studio monitors for playback. This will give you an idea of what your audio will sound like to the average consumer.
How Much Should I Spend on Acoustic Treatment?
The price depends on the setup that you’re eyeing.
For room size like that of a home studio theater, prices can go as high as $5,000.
However, for basic soundproofing placed inside a bedroom or living area, the price can be as low as $300.
In a nutshell, you should at least prepare to pay between $10 and $30 per square foot for your room’s soundproofing.
Are 5-Inch Studio Monitors Big Enough?
As previously discussed, studio monitors, room modes, and sizes always coincide. Your room’s size is an important element for producing good sound quality.
Generally, the bigger your monitor is, the larger your room size should be; otherwise, your speaker will probably not work the way it should.
It is highly advised that if your room size is larger than 4 x 4 x 2.5m, you can set up an 8-inch monitor.
For a home studio setup, undoubtedly, monitors are one of the most complex audio equipment — whether high-end or low-end.
You have affirmed that choosing the right studio monitors that fit your room size and listening distance affects the process and quality of your audio production, letting you hear even the most low-end sounds.
PRO-TIP: Improve the sound of one speaker by putting up some bass traps and reducing phase cancellation.
We hope this article helped you reduce technical issues and defects on your studio monitors for your next big project!