The future of music

10 Best Studio Monitors

December 29, 2023
best studio monitors

If you’re building a home recording studio, getting good studio monitors is a must.

Whether you want to become a producer or make some music just for fun, investing in quality studio monitors would certainly come with many benefits.

For starters, it would allow you to hear your mix in detail and fix it accordingly. 

To help you choose the right product, we bring you the best studio monitors on the market right now.

Read on to find out more about their features, so you can make a well-informed decision and buy the best speakers for your studio. 

1. KRK Rokit RP7 G4 – Best studio speakers 

KRK Rokit RP7 G4 - Best studio speakers 

If you’ve already searched which speakers are best for a studio, you probably came across this answer a lot: KRK Rokit RP7 G4.

Well, the quality of these popular studio speakers is undeniable.

After all, the KRK Rokit line has a long-standing reputation and they’re used by producers around the world. 

And KRK Rokit RP7 G4 speakers are ideal for electronic music; so if you’re a producer or artist focused on this genre, look no further.

They offer numerous EQ tweaking options and an integrated isolation and mounting pad. 

The in-built digital signal processing (DSP) offers a variety of handy tools such as room analyzers.

And they provide punchy delivery that will allow you to hear all the details in your music.

Their default settings are pretty good, so you can start listening back to your tracks right away.

All in all, KRK Rokit RP7 G4 are considered to be the best speakers for a home studio for a good reason – they are reliable, and they offer great value for money. 

2. Focal Shape 65 – Best mid-range monitors 

Focal Shape 65 - Best mid-range monitors 

Focal Shape 65 speakers are an excellent choice for anyone looking for reliable mid-priced monitors for their home recording studio.

They are well-designed and aesthetically pleasing, and they can fit well in any room.

Plus, they sound as good as they look.

Their passive radiators are quite flexible, stereo imaging is exceptional, and the easy-to-tweak EQ also comes in handy.

Moreover, Focal Shape 65 has an incredible frequency balance, and the highs here are very detailed.

There are still some limitations to the low end though, but that doesn’t make the overall sound less compelling.

Focal Shape 65 monitors fit well in a living room as well as in a production studio, and they won’t let you down regardless of what you intend to use them for. 

3. Genelec 8010A – Best compact studio monitors 

Genelec 8010A - Best compact studio monitors 

Another great mid-range option is Genelec 8010A.

Genelec 801A are rather small and relatively light so they’re portable, but they’re also sturdy and durable.

That said, even if they’re not the most eye-catching speakers on this list, they’re definitely worth checking out. 

They come with standard 8000 series mounting sockets and flexible Iso-Pod rubber stands, so you can easily fit them wherever you like. 

But their biggest advantage isn’t durability or portability – it’s what they deliver in terms of sound.

They provide accurate frequency response and clarity in the lower end, and thanks to the combination of a solid enclosure and a well-balanced woofer, they have a punchy delivery.

All things considered, Genelec 801A monitors aren’t cheap, but they’re a good investment, especially if you’re looking for portable monitors that will provide you with accurate frequencies and clear sound. 

4. Yamaha HS5 – Best for clarity 

Yamaha HS5 - Best for clarity 

Speaking of clear sound, you should also check out Yamaha HS5.

Thanks to their recognizable, amazing design and sound quality, they are often somewhere high on the list of the top studio monitors.

The Yamaha HS5 Series is known for incredible performance, and they are ideal for audio and music production projects. 

After all, these monitors are built with mixing and monitoring in mind.

They have built-in filters and level control, and their biggest advantages include clarity, transient response, and imaging.

They’re also not too big, so they can fit any room or home studio. 

All in all, when it comes to this price range (they cost around $250 ), Yamaha HS5 speakers are arguably one of the best-sounding monitors available. 

5. IK Multimedia iLoud MTM – Well-rounded monitors 

IK Multimedia iLoud MTM - Well-rounded monitors 

IK Multimedia iLoud MTM speakers truly have plenty to offer.

They are reliable, versatile, and compact.

They have a rather unique configuration: a symmetrical mid-tweeter-mid design featuring a pair of 3.5″ high-performance woofers and one 1″ high definition back-chamber loaded tweeter. 

If you know what that means, you also know that you can count on clear, detailed sound with these speakers. 

Since they’re relatively small and compact, they are ideal for small studios or rooms. 

Nevertheless, they’re a great choice for music production beginners and seasoned producers alike.

They offer great value for money, and they won’t let you down.

6. M-Audio BX3 and BX4 – Best on a budget 

M-Audio BX3 and BX4 - Best on a budget

If you’re searching for compact studio monitors, you should also check out M-Audio BX3 and BX4.

They are also a more affordable option.

Besides reasonable price and portability, M-Audio BX3 and BX4 provide great low-frequency response.

They are well-built, and their 3.5” (BX3) and 4.5” (BX4) Kevlar LF drivers and 1” silk dome tweeter offer an amazing bass response and accurate high-end frequencies.

Moreover, these budget-friendly studio monitors are very simple to set up, so they’re ideal for beginner producers.

That said, if you’re looking for monitors for beginners, you should consider getting M-Audio BX3 and BX4 – you won’t spend a ton of money, yet you’ll get great results. 

7. Adam Audio A7V – Best for versatility 

Adam Audio A7V - Best for versatility 

Adam Audio monitors have earned a great reputation for their innovation. 

And if you value versatility, you should take a closer look at Adam Audio A7V monitors. 

This contemporary 2-way monitor is ideal for beginners as well as seasoned producers.

It features a 7” Multi-Layer Mineral woofer and rotatable X-ART tweeter, hand-made in Berlin.

And it has amazing DSP-based voicing, equalization, and room correction options which can be controlled remotely via the free-to-download A Control software. 

The A7V monitors offer a great depth of tone, and that’s an important factor both for audio engineers and producers.

Therefore, regardless of what you need them for, Adam Audio A7V will meet your needs. 

8. Kali Audio LP6 2nd Wave – Well-priced and good looking 

Kali Audio LP6 2nd Wave - Well-priced and good looking 

Kali Audio LP6 2nd Wave has a well-deserved place on our list of the best studio monitors because it offers a perfect blend of great looks and functionality.

As the name suggests, Kali Audio LP6 2nd Wave are made in California, and since they’re the 2nd Wave, they have a lot of upgrades over the originals.

Some essential elements remained the same: the waveguide technology, bass reflex system, and large woofer magnets, for example.

But elements like the design of the amplifier and frequency response are way better in the newer version. 

They’re also reasonably priced, so you won’t break the bank. 

All things considered, Kali Audio LP6 2nd Wave monitors sound as good as they look, and they’re a fantastic mid-range option for anyone looking to upgrade their home studio.

9. Neumann KH120 – Reputable brand and well-designed speakers 

Neumann KH120 - Reputable brand and well-designed speakers 

When it comes to home studio upgrades, it’s always a good idea to buy something from a reputable brand. 

And Neumann has been producing top-notch music production gear for a while now. 

It’s fair to say that Neumann’s microphones are legendary, but their speakers are quite iconic in the world of music and audio production as well.

Whether you’re an aspiring producer or you simply enjoy making music at home, Neumann KH120 monitors will make your process a whole lot easier.

They provide linear frequency and phase response, and they feature a Mathematically Modeled Dispersion waveguide that minimizes desk reflections.

Moreover, Neumann KH120 speakers provide amazing imaging due to extremely low tolerances.

If all of this sounds appealing to you, you should definitely consider buying these famous studio speakers.

They’re not cheap, but they’re not too pricey either, compared to some other Neumann products. 

10. PreSonus Eris Studio Series – Popular speakers with good sound quality 

PreSonus Eris Studio Series - Popular speakers with good sound quality 

If you’ve been in music production for a while now, you’re probably familiar with PreSonus.

The company produces great audio interfaces, DAWs, and controllers as well as good-quality speakers.

Their Eris Studio Series is ideal for home recording studios – they are compact so they can fit anywhere.

But they also deliver high-quality, detailed sound, and they’re used by studio engineers around the world.

They’re also quite flexible – thanks to their rear-panel ¼-inch TRS and RCA inputs and a front-panel ⅛-inch stereo line input, you can connect them to any line-level audio source, including mobile devices.

Finally, the Eris E3.5 media reference monitors come with a special edition of PreSonus Studio One Prime recording and production software.

Do I Need Good Studio Monitors? 

As you can see, there are many great studio monitors available on the market right now.

But are good studio monitors really necessary?

In short – yes, they are. 

Good studio monitors can reveal a lot about your music, and they can help you hear things that you normally wouldn’t.

So if you want to make a well-produced track, you need to listen to it carefully; that’s the only way to find weak spots and make improvements.

All professional studios have high-end monitors that help studio engineers and producers make the best track possible.

Studio monitors in a recording studio.

Luckily, you don’t need expensive speakers in order to hear your music properly – there are many affordable speakers worthy of consideration.

On the other hand, if you’re ready to invest in quality monitors and take your home studio to the next level, you probably won’t regret that. 

However, you do need to conduct thorough research before purchasing anything.

Studio monitors come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and types, so you need to find the product that suits you best.

But what should you look for in studio monitors, and how to make the right choice? 

How Do I Choose Studio Monitors? 

As we’ve already mentioned, studio monitors come in all shapes and sizes.

That said, when choosing studio monitors for your home recording studio, there are a variety of factors to take into account. 

Some of the factors you should think about before browsing monitors online and shopping include:

  • Your budget
  • Room size
  • Personal preferences

But with so many great options out there, it’s easy to feel confused or overwhelmed, even if you know what you’re looking for.

So what should you look for in studio speakers, and what features make studio monitors worthy of consideration?

First of all, studio monitors need to have flat frequency responses, meaning that what you hear is not changed in any way.

If your monitors provide good frequency response and clarity, you’ll be able to hear your mix in a proper, accurate way.

By the way, the wider the quoted frequency response the better.

The layout of speakers matters as well – many beginner monitors feature one woofer (for producing low frequencies) and a tweeter that kicks out high-mid and high frequencies. 

But high-end monitors usually have three-way or four-way designs that employ more speaker drivers.

Size is another important factor – if you plan to put the speakers in an average-sized room, 4 inches is more than enough, and if you produce music in a larger room or a studio, you should opt for 7-8 inch speakers.

At the end of the day, it all depends on your specific situation.

Once you know what you need, you can’t go wrong with either option on the list we presented to you above.

Best Studio Monitors – Final Thoughts 

We hope our top picks for best studio monitors helped you narrow down your search.

If you want to produce good music, getting great monitors for your studio is essential.

A good studio monitor has to be reliable and versatile, and it needs to provide a sound that will help you hear the intricate details of your mixes.

But at the end of the day, you should choose studio speakers that fit your preferences, goals, and budget.

If you opt for one of the speakers from our list (that aligns with your priorities), you won’t be disappointed.

FAQs

What are the best studio monitors for mixing and mastering?

The Yamaha HS5 is often regarded as one of the best studio monitors for mixing and mastering. These monitors are highly respected for their accurate and transparent sound reproduction, making them a popular choice among professionals. The HS5 monitors provide a flat frequency response, allowing for precise monitoring and accurate representation of the audio being mixed or mastered. They offer exceptional clarity, detail, and imaging, enabling engineers to make informed decisions during the mixing and mastering process. With their reputation for reliable performance and industry recognition, the Yamaha HS5 studio monitors are a top recommendation for achieving accurate and professional results in mixing and mastering applications.

How loud should my studio monitors be for mixing?

The loudness level of your studio monitors for mixing should be set to a moderate and comfortable volume. It is important to avoid listening at excessively high volumes, as it can lead to ear fatigue and inaccurate perception of the audio. Maintaining a moderate volume allows for better clarity, accurate frequency representation, and prolonged listening sessions without strain. It is recommended to set your studio monitors at a level where you can clearly hear all the details and dynamics of the audio without causing discomfort or distortion.

Do I need an amplifier for my studio monitors?

Whether or not you need an amplifier for your studio monitors depends on the specific type of monitors you have. Some studio monitors have built-in amplifiers, known as active or powered monitors, which means they don’t require an external amplifier. These monitors can be directly connected to your audio interface or mixing console.

On the other hand, if you have passive studio monitors, they do require an external amplifier to power them. In this case, you will need to connect the monitors to a separate amplifier to drive the audio signal.

It’s important to check the specifications of your studio monitors to determine if they are active or passive and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for proper connection.

Does monitor speaker layout matter?

Yes, the monitor speaker layout does matter for achieving accurate and balanced sound reproduction. The speaker layout refers to the placement and positioning of the monitors within your listening environment. The proper speaker layout can significantly impact the stereo imaging, frequency response, and overall listening experience.

Ideally, the monitors should be positioned symmetrically and at an equal distance from the listening position, forming an equilateral triangle. This setup helps create a balanced stereo image and accurate representation of panning and spatial effects in the mix.

Additionally, considering the room acoustics and minimizing reflections from walls and surfaces can further enhance the accuracy of the speaker layout. Some adjustments, such as angling the monitors towards the listening position or using acoustic treatment, may be necessary to optimize the sound quality in your specific environment.

Overall, a thoughtfully arranged monitor speaker layout can greatly contribute to better monitoring accuracy, allowing you to make more informed decisions during the mixing and mastering process.

What size studio monitors should I get?

The size of studio monitors you should get depends on various factors such as your listening environment, the intended use, and personal preferences. In general, larger studio monitors tend to offer more extended low-frequency response and can provide a fuller sound, which can be beneficial for mixing and mastering applications. However, it’s important to consider the size of your room and the listening distance. If you have a smaller room or will be sitting close to the monitors, smaller-sized monitors can still provide accurate and detailed sound reproduction without overwhelming the space. Ultimately, selecting the right size of studio monitors involves finding a balance between the available space, the desired frequency response, and your specific monitoring needs.

What is the difference between studio monitors and stereo speakers?

The main difference between studio monitors and stereo speakers lies in their design and intended use.

Studio monitors are specifically designed for accurate and transparent audio reproduction, making them well-suited for tasks like mixing, mastering, and audio production. They aim to provide a flat frequency response, allowing engineers and producers to make precise decisions regarding sound balance, EQ, and dynamics. Studio monitors prioritize accuracy over emphasizing certain frequencies or adding coloration to the sound.

Stereo speakers, on the other hand, are generally designed for recreational listening and enjoyment. They often come with various sound enhancements, such as built-in equalization, bass boost, or other features to enhance the audio experience. Stereo speakers may prioritize delivering an enjoyable sound for a wide range of music genres and listening preferences, rather than aiming for a strictly flat and uncolored sound.

While both studio monitors and stereo speakers can be used for listening to music, the primary distinction lies in their intended purpose and the level of accuracy and transparency they offer in sound reproduction. Studio monitors are tailored for critical listening and accurate monitoring, whereas stereo speakers prioritize a pleasing and immersive listening experience.

You may also like: Best DAWs

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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