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Yamaha HS5 Review: Ultimate Studio Monitor Guide

yamaha hs5 review

The Yamaha HS5 belongs to Yamaha’s iconic HS line of studio monitors. The brand has been producing quality monitors in this segment for well over 50 years.

With the HS5, Yamaha promises to deliver incredible accuracy when reproducing sounds for your home or studio. You have the option of picking up this product in three varying sizes.

It falls in the same segment as the JBL 1 series 104 — the current market leader — as high-quality monitors for amateurs and semi-professionals.

In this Yamaha HS5 review, you will find out why these monitors stand out thanks to their crystal clear sound quality and novel design.

Table of Contents

Yamaha HS5 Studio Monitor: Overview

Yamaha is currently the world’s largest manufacturer of musical instruments. It also makes high-quality related products such as AV equipment. They have a fan base for their products the world over.

Although Yamaha is a part of various productions, the wing responsible for making musical gear is Yamaha Pro Audio. It was founded in 1969 and produced its first mixer —the PM200 — in 1972.

The brand has since expanded to capture a healthy percentage of the market share. It’s now one of the biggest players in the 2.2 billion dollar pro speaker market.

Its quality has been well rewarded, as well. Yamaha has received the highest nominations in technical achievement in the TEC Awards over the last 20 years.

As a successor to the legendary NS10 model, the Yamaha HS5 studio monitor is one of the smallest and most reliable studio monitors.

Yamaha HS5

Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor

Pros

  • Unsurpassed clarity
  • Incredible detailing
  • Great imaging
  • Excellent transient response
  • Offers great value

Cons

  • Sound peaks at 1kHz
  • Bass quality drops in treated rooms

Studio Monitor Buyers Guide

When picking up a studio monitor, it’s important to remember who this product works for.

Studio monitors are for individuals looking to produce or listen to music in their home studio or amateur/professional setup. They allow musicians to get a feel for the music without spending an excessive amount of money on gear.

You can seek to pick up a studio monitor if you’re looking to begin your sound production journey or music creation. These would be the ideal customers for this category.

You shouldn’t look to invest more than 500 to 700 dollars when you’re first starting. This is why the Yamaha HS5 is ideal.

Here are some important Yamaha HS5 review factors to consider before you select your next studio monitor:

  1. Studio size
  2. Style and genre of music
  3. Studio treatment

Studio Size

The monitors’ size should be directly proportional to your studio size.

The Yamaha HS5 is 5 inches, making it ideal for homes, home studios and smaller, professional setups.

Music Genre and Style

It’s crucial to determine the music’s style and genre you want to work with and create before committing to a purchase. Different models offer varying frequency response ranges, and varying ranges work differently with different genres.

For example, if you’re making beats with low-end bass with a lot of thump, look for models with a healthy low end.

On the other hand, if you want to create heavy music that deserves the full volume treatment, you should look for a good SPL. 

The Yamaha HS5 offers excellent mids and highs. This makes it ideal for those looking to mix and master music at higher frequencies.

Studio Treatment

Based on a space’s acoustics, consider conducting studio treatment to make the most of your monitors. If the room is acoustically dead, then you wouldn’t need to do this.

The Yamaha HS5 doesn’t require any treatment. It’s a foundational product that works well in most rooms.

Features and Benefits

No Yamaha HS5 powered studio monitor review is complete without focusing on the following features and their benefits.

The Yamaha HS Series

The fact that this studio monitor belongs to Yamaha’s long-running HS series is a major positive. This is especially the case for any artist or music producer. You’re guaranteed that you’ll be receiving a product with excellent sound quality and build quality.

The HS line has crystal-clear studio monitors. Other products look to amp up the treble or bass for the sake of exaggerated effects.

This flat and neutral response ensures that the mid-range and high ranges are clear and crisp. Ultimately, this makes it ideal for mixing and mastering.

New Transducers

With the HS series comes a set of new transducers. These have been specifically designed for this range.

They utilize the magnetic field design to regulate music flow from the speakers to your ears seamlessly and pleasantly.

New Amp

The HS series also has a brand new type of amplifier. This matches and aids the new transducers’ functioning.

Specifically, it includes a unique bi-amp design with a separate amp for both the woofer and the tweeter. This helps keep the response flat and the quality in the high-resolution range.

Improved Connectivity

You’ll also find that the twin-control system adapts to your rooms’ varying sizes and shapes. The two response controls feature detailed settings that even beginners can figure out.

You also have greater options for input connectivity. This is thanks to the TRS and XLR connector jacks.

Low-Resonance Enclosure 

Yamaha always pays close attention when it comes to creating special product designs. The HS5 is no different.

In particular, the special low-resonance enclosure design removes any unwanted frequencies or vibrations from drifting into the output. Doing so would reduce the reproduction’s authenticity.

Noise Reduction

It’s well-known that the speaker port design influences monitor output. This is why the HS5 has a special noise-reduction technology to reduce the vortex around the port. This keeps the sound quality, pure and authentic.

Yamaha HS5 Alternatives

If you’re still looking for a few more options after reading our HS5 studio monitor review, we have three solid alternatives for you to consider:

1. JBL LSR305

JBL LSR305

JBL is one of the best direct competitors to Yamaha’s long-running line of speakers. The JBL LSR305 is a top product in this segment.

It’s a part of the brand’s first-generation of professional studio monitors. It’s also an excellent alternative to Yamaha’s HS5. 

The LSR305 is a 5-inch studio monitor and has an 80W output while offering a wide listening angle. This allows you to comfortably place these monitors almost anywhere in your studio without worrying about a loss of sound quality.

This model is ideal for those looking for a punchier bass and a more solid mid-section.

It also has an excellent build quality and design that will blend well in most studio setups.

Here are the main differences:

  • Size: The JBL LSR305 is larger than the HS5
  • Power: It offers more power output — 80W versus the 70W power output of the HS5 speakers
  • Price Category: JBL LSR305 speakers are more expensive

For more info, check out our JBL LSR305 vs Yamaha HS5 guide.

2. Fostex 6301ND

Fostex 6301ND

Fostex may not make as many ripples in the market as JBL or Yamaha. But, it’s certainly known to produce reliable speaker monitors, such as the Fostex 6301ND.

It may not be as powerful or large as the HS5, but it produces extremely clear feedback. This is thanks to the 20W D-class power amplifier.

It’s also beautifully designed — possibly one of the best in this respect. It has a top-notch build quality, using an aluminum die-cast enclosure to keep the hardware well-protected. It also has a dedicated 4-inch full-range driver for crystal clear sound reproduction.

This is the ideal choice for those looking for a compact substitute to the Yamaha HS5.

Besides, its main differences to the HS5 are:

  • Driver size: 4 inches in the 6301ND against Yamaha’s 5-inch woofer
  • Inputs: Only offers ¼ TS input as against Yamaha’s XLR and ¼-inch TRS input
  • Price Category: Cheaper than the Yamaha HS5

3. KRK Rokit 5

KRK RP5 Rokit 5 G4

KRK has been belting out some quality studio monitors for a while. The Rokit series is easily its most popular offering.

The Rokit 5 falls right in line with the Yamaha HS5 as one of the best 5-inch studio monitors available.

It’s particularly compact, but it sure manages to squeeze a lot of features into this design. It offers an excellent frequency range of 43Hz to 40kHz and has an adjustable crossover frequency system. This allows you to have greater room control when switching between the sounds from the main speaker and the subwoofer. 

For the main differences:

  • Price Category: These speakers are less expensive than the Yamaha HS5
  • LF Driver: While the Yamaha LF driver consists of a conical model, the Rokit sports a Kevlar cone with a rubber surround
  • Frequency: The frequency response range is 43Hz to 40kHz. For the Yamaha HS5, it’s 54Hz to 30kHz. This means the Rokit offers both a better low and high end

You can find more information about this product in our Yamaha HS5 vs Rokit 5 article.

Final Thoughts

Amateur studio monitors are excellent products to help introduce you to the world of music. Bottom line: these speakers are ideal for home music producers and up-and-coming musicians. They allow you to get your feet wet without bleeding your bank account dry.

After creating this HS5 review, it’s clear that it’s an excellent monitor at an affordable price category that’s great for a lot of people.

It can fit into any small or mid-sized setup while offering excellent clarity in the mid and high-ends. It also features Yamaha’s excellent lineage and quality design.

You can check out the HS5 product here:

Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor

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Changelog:

May 26, 2021 – updated SPR schema

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.