Best Studio Monitors

If you’ve made your own music, you know how important it is to invest in the best studio monitors out there. You’ve spent hours working on a song in your own studio or bedroom, and after carefully tweaking the mix, you’re quite happy with the way it sounds. But then you listen to it somewhere else – in your buddy’s studio, on your phone, in the car or even over the club’s PA speakers – and the mix doesn’t sound like in your own room.

Studio monitor speakers are essentially designed to give you a true picture of the sound you’re making. Whether you like these warts and all approaches or not, this uncompromising image of your mix balance means you can make critical choices about what to adjust, safe in the knowledge that what you hear translates to all other playback systems.

Best Studio Monitors

We’ve rounded up some of the best studio monitors on the market today, from budget speakers to pro-quality monitor setups. We’ve also found the best prices online right now.

1. KRK Rokit RP7 G4

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KRK RP7 Rokit G4 Professional Bi-Amp 7" Powered Studio Monitor, Black (RP7G4)

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Last update was on: 2020-12-03 12:05 am

If you’ve ever set foot within the studio domain of an electronic music producer, chances are you’re familiar with KRK’s famous yellow speaker cones. The Rokit series – now in its fourth generation – is the affordable nearfield range from the Gibson brand, and has a selection of neat features that make it a good impression.

For starters, the G4 series belongs to the first monitor series in this price range with a graphic EQ feature on the speaker itself. Built-in Digital Signal Processing (DSP) provides a range of tools, including a room analyzer, to ensure that the speaker output compensates for any dead zones or sonic blind spots you may be unconsciously housing. Some of the best studio monitors for smaller studios, and ideal for anything bass-heavy.

2. Focal Shape 65

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Focal Shape 65 6.5 Inches Powered Studio Monitor

Last update was on: 2020-12-03 12:05 am
$899.10 $999.00

Available in 40, 50, and 65 flavors, the latest of which we’re discussing here, the Shapes, by Focal, are now between their budget-friendly Alpha series and the Solo6 Be – another 6.5″ two-way monitor – in terms of price. Aesthetically, the Shapes are an interesting departure from Focal’s other designs. The main speaker cabinet is MDF painted black with a luxurious walnut veneer, making them look less ‘studio spacecraft’ and more ‘hi connoisseur’ – in fact, they would feel just as at home in a domestic cinema setting as they do in a production environment. Overall, this is one of the best studio monitors right now.

3. HEDD Audio Type 20

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As a newcomer to the market for studio monitors, Berlin-based HEDD Audio – founded by ex-Adam Audio MD Klaus Heinz and his son Dr. Frederik Knop – is fast-moving. The Type 20s have a sleek, futuristic, somewhat dinky look – but their ‘adorable’ size is by no means characteristic of their sound! With a frequency response from 32Hz to 50kHz, their foregrounded three-way design (7.2″ woofer, 4″ midrange driver, and 1″ ‘Air Motion Transformer’ tweeter) kicks out a delectable full-range presentation that blows us away completely. Overall, this is one of the best studio monitors right now.

4. Genelec 8010A

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At the smallest end of the Genelec 8000, bi-amplified monitor series is the 8010A. Although relatively light (1.5 kg each), the 8010A’s are solid thanks to their die-cast aluminum housing, with metal driver grids to prevent damage in transit. Portability is key, with neatly plugged in power and input connections on the back. They come with tiltable Iso-Pod rubber supports, which simultaneously provide the shaft angle and transmission reduction.

They come with standard 8000 series mounting boxes for a variety of options, from truss hanging to floor stands. These are rear gates (bass-reflex) housings, and just below the gate is a recess with five dip switches. Three contours outline the low-frequency response: -2dB and -4dB bass tilt which are combined for -6dB, and Desktop Control which dips -4dB at 200Hz. Overall, this is one of the best studio monitors right now.

5. IK Multimedia iLoud MTM

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IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Compact Studio Monitor with Built-in Acoustic Calibration (White)

Last update was on: 2020-12-03 12:05 am

IK’s latest addition to the growing monitor offering, the iLoud MTMs are packed with technology that can’t live up to their relatively low price point. The ‘MTM’ bit refers to the D’Appolito configuration, which in this case places a 1″ tweeter between two 3.5″ mid-range woofers, with a bass reflex port around the back. Everything is DSP-controlled, and they can be calibrated for your room using IK’s proprietary ARC calibration system, which is built into the speakers and the measurement microphone is bundled as part of the package. Overall, this is one of the best studio monitors right now.

6. Yamaha HS5

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Yamaha HS5 W 5-Inch Powered Studio Monitor Speaker, White

Last update was on: 2020-12-03 12:05 am

The famous story about the old Yamaha NS10 studio monitors was that they were not chosen because they sounded great, but because they did not. The theory was that if you could mix a track to sound good on them, you could be sure it would sound good anywhere. Of course, times have changed and even modern entry-level monitors do their job, but the appeal of owning a piece of real studio history is strong.

The Yamaha HS5 series are reference speakers built exclusively for mixing and monitoring. There’s no Bluetooth or graphic EQ, and room correction is basic at best. For pure accuracy, however, they’re hard to beat in this price range. Put your mix right on these speakers and it’ll sound great anywhere. Overall, this is one of the best studio monitor speakers right now.

7. Fluid Audio FX8

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Fluid Audio FX8 8-Inch Coaxial 2-way Studio Reference Monitor, Black

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Last update was on: 2020-12-03 12:05 am

Fluid Audio says it prides itself on the importance of speaker imaging. The goal is to present a realistic sound image where you can pinpoint each instrument and place it exactly where you want it in the mix. A dual concentric design that does its job should achieve that goal and when listening to some of the mixes on the FX8’s it becomes clear that there is a nicely detailed soundtrack. There is a very good feeling of sound location over the stereo dispersion and a good feeling of space from back to front.

When mixing a track with the FX8’s we were able to hear the instruments clearly while putting them in place. Sound clarity is very good across the entire frequency range and the 8-inch woofers, in combination with the port, will give you a lot of bottom end; although if you think it’s too much for your situation, there’s no bass cut facility to help sort it out. Overall, this is one of the best studio monitors right now.

8. Mackie XR624

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Mackie XR624-160W 6.5” Two-Way Active Professional Studio Monitor (Pair) with Xpix TRS...

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Last update was on: 2020-12-03 12:05 am

Mackie’s HR Series professional monitors have more than 20 years on the clock and many fans, but for the six-inch HR624 Mk2 they don’t come cheap. The new XR Series shaves about a third of that price tag and delivers a new design with Class D background amplification (note that the HRs use a passive radiator panel and Class AB amplifiers). Despite its less impressive bass extension, the XR624 is especially revealing for guitar-heavy tracks, and this can be a tough test for even the best studio monitor speakers.

9. IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitor

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IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitors Ultra-Compact 3" Studio Monitors with Bluetooth -...

Last update was on: 2020-12-03 12:05 am
$239.99 $299.99

This two-speaker installation is a sister product of the original iLoud single-box and is billed as “the smallest active studio reference monitoring system in the world”, and is designed for use in small “makeshift” workspaces. iLoud Micro Monitor certainly has the appearance of a reduced “good” monitoring system rather than a classy pair of consumer-level computer speakers. The speakers have an attractive “roundness” and are reassuringly heavy, although they’re certainly small and light enough to carry. There is a cable connection between the two speakers, with the left speaker containing all controls and connections. Overall, this is one of the best studio monitors right now.

10. Adam Audio T5V

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ADAM Audio T5V Two-Way 5-Inch Active Nearfield Monitor (Single)

Last update was on: 2020-12-03 12:05 am

The T5V is one of the most affordable Adam monitors yet, the T5V is built around a 5-inch woofer and Adam’s U-ART (Unique Accelerated Ribbon Tweeter) tweeter. This Class-D powered two-way design with rear-ring bass reflex is the smallest of the new T Series designs. From a sonic standpoint, the top end is highly tuned, while the HPS waveguide delivers a wide horizontal sweet spot. This contributes greatly to the overall image and separation, which is excellent. Although the cabinet is quite deep, from front to back, the units feel compact. Overall, this is one of the best studio monitor speakers right now.

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