As an aspiring musician, you need to grasp the importance of your studio equipment. Without the right equipment, your beautiful voice may not translate so beautifully.
In order to ensure that everything is translated into your recording software with immaculate clarity, it is imperative to equip yourself with some of the best studio monitors.
In this regard, you will need some excellent studio speakers, which will give you the ability to hear precisely what you’re recording. This equipment is absolutely imperative and should not be ignored.
There is an abundance of studio monitors and finding the right ones for your specific situation can be difficult. Below, you will find a breakdown of some of the best on the market.
In a hurry? Here are our top picks for the best studio monitors
Editors Pick -
Best Value Cheap Monitors - Behringer 1C-BK
Best Small Compact Studio Monitors - Tannoy Reveal 402
Best Powered/ Active Speakers - Mackie Thump 12 PA
Top Rated Studio Monitors - Yamaha HS8
Best Monitors under £100 - M-Audio AV42
Best Passive Studio Monitors - KRK Rokit R6
Best Ideal for Professional Media Creation - JBL LSR305
Best for Beginner Home Studio - PreSonus Eris E5
Best Monitors Under £200 - Pyle-Pro PPHP103MU
Top 10 Studio Speakers
How to Choose a Studio Monitor
That’s the question, isn’t it? How do you choose a studio monitor, and how do you know it’s going to be the right one for you? There are quite a few things to take into consideration, but the below section explores each of the key aspects in details, so you know exactly what to keep your eye on. Take a look and see if it’s of any help.
Type of Monitor
The types of monitor tend to be in a few different categories:
What you choose all depends on your personal preference, the size of the room in question, and the kind of sounds you are creating. For example, near field monitors are perfect for small rooms because that is what they have bee designed for, and far-field ones are suited to more spacious areas. It’s all about doing a little bit of research before you commit to buy.
Active or Passive Monitors
An interesting fact to note is that the recording industry has used passive monitors since its conception. Although they recently switched to active ones for the sake of convenience. There are a few differences between them, but they are both equally good choices. It all comes down to personal preference in the end.
Passive monitors are modular, which means you need to match them an amplifier and crossover that works with it. Active monitors, on the other hand, already have all of this built into them so that you are ready to go immediately.
The active models are easier in that there is no need to modify them and you know they have already been fitted with all the latest gear and tech. However, the passive ones mean that you do get the opportunity to really customise your build.
Cabinet Design – Ported or Closed
This is an important feature to take into consideration before you buy a studio monitor. Many of them will have a ported cabinet, which is used to extend the frequency response so that you can get more bass.
While this can be a great feature, the sonic accuracy may not be as precise when compared to a closed design. Therefore, it really depends on your preferences as well as the way your studio has been set up.
Power - How Many Watts Do I Need
The amount of power you have in your studio monitor system has a big impact on the sound, and this is in terms of volume, dynamic range, and headroom. A higher wattage means you will be able to hear more transient detail, which ensures a better listening experience as well as more accurate adjustments.
A good amount to go for is 200w, because this offers you excellent levels of power so that you can keep things detailed. Lower wattage, say something in the 70w range, means more distortion and a greater chance of poor-quality music.
Different Driver Types and Why They Matter
What the driver is made of isn’t necessarily as important as the kind of driver that has been installed in your studio monitor. It’s all about the quality, the sound, and the feel of the driver; not the material it’s been made from. Check out the applications of the driver first, and the materials second.
What about the types of driver?
Well, there are two; woofers and tweeters. There is also the mid-
range driver, but these aren’t very common because they are found in a three-way system. When you are using a two-way monitor, the woofer looks after the low, low-mid, and midrange frequencies, while the tweeter handles all the high stuff.
When you have a three-way monitor, the mid-range driver takes control of all the mid frequencies so that the woofer and tweeter can handle the lows and highs respectively. If you decide to add a subwoofer, this will take over all the low frequencies for an even broader range of sound.
Placement and Isolation
You and your speakers should be placed in a wide triangle. So, your speakers are the two bottom points, and your head is the top. This will create a beautifully clear stereo sound, as well as a strong
frequency for the best musical results.
Speaker stands can help to improve this even more, especially because there is less for the sound to reflect off before it reaches your ears. The stands isolate the sound, creating something that is clearer crisper, and more enjoyable for your listeners.
The amount you have to spend is important, because you need to be able to find something that suits your budget. That is why I work so hard to ensure that there are products available in a whole load of price ranges; we don’t all have £500 to blow on new equipment.
However, just because you don’t have that much doesn’t mean you can’t find something that will perform well. It’s true that the cheaper models might have a few more issues, but you’ll also be surprised by how
brilliantly many of them perform. Plus, I only bring you the best so you can trust my choices with regards to the models and cost.
The Size of the Speakers
You have to be sensible here, because the speakers should be appropriate for the size of the room in question. Too big or too small, and you aren’t going to end up with the results you expect. It will be more accurate if you buy monitors that are actually scaled according to the size of your room.
Yes, larger speakers might be able to provide you with more sound variations and additional features, but that isn’t something you are going to notice if the space is too small.
Do I Need a Subwoofer?
This really does depend on what you are doing. Let’s break it down a little:
- Mixing sound for film and TV: subwoofer
- Demo tracks: no subwoofer
Home cinema systems and dance clubs will also benefit from a subwoofer because it unlocks new tones that can change the entire feel of the situation. But, for stuff that will just be listened to on a phone or in a car, there isn’t much point because the listener won’t be able to hear it.
The size of your room also plays a part because if you have one that is very small, you are going to be victim to a load of sonic inaccuracies that can ruin the overall feel of your music. Small rooms are best without a subwoofer so that you end up with quality sounds instead of distortion and sonic inaccuracies.
All in all, the market is overflowing with awesome studio monitors, but only one of these products will suit your needs and desires to perfection.
In order to find the right one, which you allow you to achieve your goals, it is essential to first identify what you need. Once you’ve done this, you’ll want to refer to our comprehensive breakdowns above.
Therefore, you will find an abundance of information, which will guide you in the right direction.