2018 Best Studio Monitors

Studio Monitors are the driving force in perfecting how your music is heard. Monitors reveal more sound information to the producer. Unlike standard speakers studio monitors allow for music to harmonize perfectly giving the user a balanced sound that can be dispersed on multiple channels.

 

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Standard speakers in all aspects operate on a smile curve. Listeners love this sound because of the blasting highs and bassy lows. Consumers play music through our headphones, computer speakers, phones, and tv’s in most cases terrible acoustic environments that can muddy the true sound of a track.

Producing with monitors creates less distortion regardless of where and what the music is played through. Monitors have no curve, every element must be manually tuned to perfection giving the highest quality and greatest range. Recording with studio monitors allows the producer to hear the flaws and fix any type of errors, giving the most accurate sounds possible.

When it comes to monitors one of the biggest indicators of quality is the price. There are great and affordable monitors but as a rule, the more you spend the better range and accuracy you get. When purchasing monitors you must keep in mind that two are required and they are commonly priced as a single unit. We are including the price as a set and any highly recommended hardware.

Personal Recording

If you are looking to step your game up and add quality to your SoundCloud tracks or demos, these monitors for under 1,000 are for you.


KRK RP5G3-NA Rokit 5 Generation 3 Powered Studio Monitor

This set is great for a first-time investment in monitors. With a price tag of $299.00, you get a quality set of monitors that come highly regarded on numerous review sites. KRK’s Rokit 5 G3 (Generation 3) will give you the professional sound you are looking for when recording, mixing, experimenting, mastering, and playback. The set has multiple input connections making them easy to integrate into any system.

Price starts around $299.

Features:

  • 1 Soft-dome tweeter provides pristine clarity and extended response up to 35kHz
  • High-frequency adjustment for perfect vocal clarity and extended bass response
  • Multiple input ports
  • Compact design
  • One of the most used studio monitors in the world

Add accessories:

EAN 1/4 inch TRS Pro Balanced Interconnect Cable, 5 feet

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools | First

$149.00


JBL Pro LSR308

Very high regarded speakers at a modest price point of 398.00. The JBL Pro LSR308 have an innovative wavelength that allows you to hear right and left placement of sounds and hear depth in where instruments and mics are placed while recording. The low volume control allows you to check balance without creating turbulence from their specialized double-flared ports. JBL Pro LSR308 monitors feature a wide sweet spot which allows for great sound even when you are not in perfect position. These monitors can easily be used as reference speakers when tuned in properly.

Features:

  • Bi-amped active studio monitors with 8″ LF driver and 1″ HF driver
  • Wide frequency range
  • Image Control Waveguide for dimensional stereo image
  • HF and LF trim controls to customize to your studio’s acoustics
  • XLR and TRS balanced inputs

Add accessories:

Ultimate Support JS-MS70 JamStands Series Studio Monitor Stands (Pair)

$79

Auralex Acoustics MoPAD-XL Monitor Acoustic Isolation Pads, 2″ x 8.75″ x 12″, 1 Pair, Charcoal

39.99

Yamaha HS8 Powered Studio Monitors Pair Black w/ XLR Cables – Bundle

Yamaha has been producing speakers since 1967 so their branding and following delivers with the HS8 model. You can purchase a bundle for around 700.00 This monitor delivers clarity and perfection on all ranges. The HS8 lets you tailor these speakers whether you have perfect acoustics or are mixing in your home studio. If you are looking for monitors with built in power and bi-amplification these are for you. There is no need for additional power amplifiers meaning the monitors can be perfectly match to your equipment used and creates superior sound in just about any environment.

Features:

  • 2-way bass-reflex bi-amplified nearfield studio monitor
  •  8″ cone woofer
  • 1″ dome tweeter
  • 38Hz – 30kHz frequency response

Add Accessories:

Yamaha HS8 Studio Subwoofer

$449.00

Startup to Mid-sized Studio

Once you make the leap to open your own studio, it’s time for another investment, superior monitors. These monitors offer greater range, cleaner sound quality, and more features than the previously listed monitors.

Genelec M040 Active 2-Way Monitor

A pair of Genelec monitors will cost you around 3,000. Genelec has some unique features not just having to do with sound but also it’s materials. This monitor is the first “earth friendly” monitor, it sleek and simple design is made from all natural composite materials and uses 90% less power than similar monitors in the startup to mid-sized category. A special feature associated with Genelec is their reflex port design. The reflex port allows airflow creating deep bass without compression. Genelec also offers a great warranty with any purchase, for the first 2 years all parts and labor are covered, for an additional 3 years all spare parts are covered the consumer must pay for labor.

Features:

  • Eco Friendly design and materials
  • Great warranty and support
  • High-efficiency custom Class D power amps: 80W LF, 50W HF

Recommended Products:

Avantone Pro MixCube Active Studio Monitor – Reference Speaker

$249.00

Focal Twin6 Be with Expert Setup

This French-made studio monitor is Twin6’s best seller. It showcases perfect clarity and can work in many room sizes. The monitor can be mounted vertically or horizontally to fit your studio type. Known for its 3 cone design and wide range the Twin6 Be offers stellar performance for mixing, recording, and mastering. The Be is especially noted for its bass delivery and midbass registers. Twin6 also encourages consumers feedback and direct development of new products. Expect superior craftsmanship in this unit as well as artistic design elements on all of Twin6’s products. If there is one time to completely stick with one brand to create an exclusive look in your studio, the Twin6 brand is it.

Features:

  • 40Hz-40kHz frequency response
  • extraordinarily transparent
  • Berylium dome tweeter
  • Mid-range neutrality

Add accessories:

Focal – Utopia Headphones

$3,999

Mackie HR824mkii 8-inch2-Way Studio Monitor

Mackie active monitors are perfect for the audiophile looking for high definition sound. The monitors are on the larger side but have built-in brackets allowing for easy wall and corner mounting. A new baffle design was introduced and created with a solid piece of aluminum which allows for minimal diffraction, clear sonic image, and tight bass response. Mackie continues to make strides in sturdy design details and almost zero deviation between units. Mackie HR824mkii is an incredibly accurate monitor that works in any room size and require little maintenance. Many audiophiles have kept their set of speakers over a decade with absolutely no degreation of sound or the actual unit.

Features

  • 8.75″ high-precision, low-distortion LF driver
  • 1″ titanium dome ferrofluid-cooled tweeter
  • Twin FR Series amps: 150W LF, 100W HF
  • Acoustic Space Control
  • OmniMount for easy wall or ceiling placement

Add accessories:

Mackie ProFX22 Professional Effects Mixer with USB

$649.00

Professional:

 Want to know what your favorite artists and producers are using for monitors? What you will find at this level are handmade monitors that have been produced and tested rigorously before they are packaged. Professional level monitors have the widest range but require an expert when operating these highly technological monitors.

Adam Audio S4X-H 800W 3-Way Active Mid-Field Studio Monitor

This heavy hitting, horizontal monitor can be seen in professional studios all over the world. Handmade in Berlin, Germany ADAM (Advanced Dynamic Audio Monitors) consistently ranks highest in clarity in large control rooms. Although the S4X-H  is large it never over compromises with too much bass. It is suitable for both near and midfield monitoring. ADAM’s proprietary X-ART technology brightens sound in the ribbon tweeter while complimenting two 9” hexacone woofers, and 6” hexacone midrange driver. You can seamlessly move through a wide range of of frequencies effortlessly.

Features:

  • 5 year warranty
  • Winner of Sound on Sound Awards, TEC awards, Delamar
  • Used in music and movie production
  • 6″ HexaCone midrange driver, two  9″ HexaCone
  • 250 Watt PWM amplifier

Add Accessories:

Gearlux Studio Monitor Stands


ATC SCM150ASL Pro 15″ 3-way Powered Studio Monitors

When you speak about ATC monitors time again you will hear they are the greatest quality, most accurate, and superior performance. ATC are made in the United Kingdom and are considered some of the finest monitors in the world. ATC began building loudspeakers in the 1950’s and have been the leading force in innovation and superior craftsmanship. The list of artists and producers who are using can make anyone who is having a split decision go with ATC without questioning. The sounds heard with ATC monitors is simply unmatched. While they come with a hefty price tag, around 20K they are well worth the investment.

  • Very highly regarded in the sound engineering field
  • Massive range and power output
  • Used bPink Floyd,Tom Petty, Skrillex, Lenny Kravitz, East West Studios ( Los Angeles, CA), Blackbird Studios ( Nashville, TN) just to name a few.

Add Accessories: