Our list of the best studio monitor speakers for home studios is one of our favorites to make, and we have a lot to say about it!
These are the best monitor speakers you can buy, for your home studio. Depending on space, and a multitude of other factors. GetTechSquare feels confident that the best monitor speakers for you, are on this list!
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The Best Home Studio Monitor Speakers
1. Yamaha HS8
Whatever genre of music, no matter your room size, the HS8, from Yamaha is widely regarded as THE versatile, all purpose monster that it truly is! The other sizes are of equal superior reputation and the wide, flat-sounding Yamaha HS series isn’t specifically FOR home studios; it’s been a pillar of professional recording studios for decades!
2. KRK Rokit 8
The best low end on the list comes from a favorite for DJ’s, Hip Hop, Trap, R&B, Electronic, EDM, and Pop producers, the KRK Rokit 8.
These speakers are truly bangin’! Of all the monitors on this list, the Rokits give you a very honest sense of your sub and bass. Practically as wide, and close to the flatness of the other list toppers, I actually prefer how my mids sound better on the KRK’s even though their mid-range certainly isn’t as clear. That doesnt necessarily present problems for everyone, so like me, you might even prefer the Rokits to even the Yamaha HS series, at number 1. Also, like the Yamaha HS, the 7″ and 5″ pairs are just as accurate sounding.
3. JBL 308P MkII
The Image Control Waveguide technology of their higher priced, professional studio models is featured in these dynamic, almost too great-sounding, splendidly priced home studio monitors.
We recommend the JBL 3 series to DJ’s, over the two above, simply for the fact that they do sound the best. For mixing and mastering your track, however, that already wide, loud sound isn’t particularly honest.
With the 8″ JBL 308P, no matter where you stand in a room of any size, there is a bit less indication of the real issues you may be having, in your mix. At the same time, it’s entirely subjective and we do also know producers who swear by the 3 series Mk2, even for mixing.
It would be hard to argue with anyone who thinks the JBL 308P MkIIs are the best home studio monitor speakers, especially if they need them for multiple purposes.
4. Mackie MR824
We don’t think there’s any question about which speakers deliver the richest high-ends. It’s Mackie.
The bass you get out of these monitors, is just fine, honestly, but the primary feature is the superb high frequencies.
If you’re at the point where you want to have multiple speaker types, with contrasting frequency range capabilities, or if you simply require more high end accuracy, the Mackie MR824, or smaller models, may be the best home studio monitor speakers for you.
5. Dynaudio LYD 7
The most fun part about writing this list, is we know all five of these studio monitors is #1 to someone. The 7″ LYD doesn’t exactly come in at “home studio” price range, but the smaller pairs do, and they all sound terrific. Dynaudio makes possibly the most well-rounded sounding speakers of any on the list. Even at a little bit higher of a price point than others on the list, the LYD series offers some of the best home studio monitor speakers on the market.
The Dynaudio LYD is an extremely versatile pair of monitors. It really doesn’t matter what genre of music or expierience level you’re bringing to the studio; the LYD rocks!
6. EVE Audio SC205
If you want tight and full frequency bass but you don’t need a subwoofer, then the SC208 is probably one of the best home studio monitor speakers for you.
With the larger woofer and more powerful amplifiers, the SC208 is already being used as the primary speaker in a lot of professional and home-studios.
SC208 also uses EVE’s custom AMT (Air Motion Transformer) RS2.
7. PreSonus Eris E7
Bring your music to new levels with accurate mixes. What sets PreSonus studio monitors apart from other monitors in this specific price range is the Eris’ ability to create accurate mixes—mixes that sound good on other playback systems, like phones, earbuds, and even computer speakers.
The Eris 7 comes included with Studio One Prime and Studio Magic plug-in suite, over $1000 USD worth of music production software, at Amazon
Home Studio Monitor Speakers Buyer’s Guide
Before you purchase your mixing speakers, there are multiple factors you should consider. Room size and budget should be among the first issues you take into account, followed by which genre of music you are planning to create.
A Hip Hop or Trap producer in a large, open room, for example, will certainly have a different criteria than, say, a classical music composer in a very small office. Every room has its own acoustic qualities, and sometimes you just don’t necessarily need a pair of highly priced, 8 inch studio speakers.
Regardless of your genre, room conditions, or budget; we don’t recommend relying exclusively on whichever monitor speakers you purchase for recording, mixing and mastering. I always play my mixes in the car, just to get a feel for what my listeners’ experience will be.
Active vs Passive monitors
There are plenty of active studio monitors to choose from these days, it’s worth noting that the recording industry evolved mainly using passive monitors. Neither type is superior to the other. They are simply different
Passive monitoring systems are modular in nature, so you’ll have to match your speakers with its own required amplifier and crossover. Active monitors have all that built in, so you won’t have to worry about it at all.
We recommend just using an Active monitor. Studios everywhere use active systems with no problems. Unless you already have a specific reason to prefer a passive system, you’ll enjoy getting much easier results from an active studio monitoring system.
How many watts will you need?
In general, 50 watts is enough to get started with.
Higher wattage allows for a greater ability to hear more transient detail. Wattage determines your dynamic range and the amount of headroom you have before signals peak. More watts allows you to more properly adjust compressors, limiters, gates, etc.
While you don’t necessarily need the most power in the world, more wattage will produce more definition and dynamic range, not just make everything louder.
The importance of driver types
Aluminum Alloy and Kevlar are fairly frequently used materials, in monitors. Manufacturers will get creative, and use paper, and other new innovative approaches to making speakers.
At the end of the day, the sound quality and dynamic range are what are important, not really what your drivers are made of.
Ported or Closed Cabinet?
Having a ported cabinet helps extend frequency response lower, for deeper bass. However, the sonic accuracy of ported cabinets may not be as precise as closed cabinets. If you place ports too close to a wall there will be distortion
If you can’t avoid putting your studio monitors close to walls or corners, you may want to choose front-ported or closed designs to avoid inaccurate monitoring.
For the most accurate frequency response, place your studio monitors so they form an equilateral triangle with your head when you’re seated in your mixing position, so that they’re as far from you as from each other. This will result in the clearest stereo image, as well.
Speaker stands help, a lot, buy simply not adding a largely reflective source, directly beneath your speaker. Placing your monitor speakers on a desk or a bookshelf, adds distortion which can be quite detrimental to the accuracy of monitoring.
Does size matter?
The size of your speakers should fit the size of your room. If you’re mixing in a small space, then a pair of 5 inch monitor speakers will give you better accuracy.
A great pair of monitors should deliver to you an accurate balance across the entire frequency range. The job of monitors is not to sound excellent, but to honestly reveal every detail in your mix.
Controlling the acoustics in your recording space is a must, and we highly recommend acoustic treatment, of some kind. Setting aside a little cash at first is advisable, at least until you learn the hardships that ensue as an immediate result of not having proper sound recording conditions.