If you have a home studio, you need a great pair of speakers for montoring your production. But which pair would make the most worthy addition to your recording setup? We’re about to show you how incredible some of your options are, and you’re about to be blown away by how far your money can actually take you!
Before we get started, there are multiple factors you should consider. Room size and budget should be among the first, along with 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.
Another key piece of equipment, which is equally important to getting the best mixes, is a great pair of open back headphones. Click here to see our picks of the best open back headphones for mixing and mastering
But you should also, definitely, give your tracks a listen-to on the headphones you stream music or watch movies with. Don’t currently have a great pair? See the Best Wireless Headphones in 2021 right here.
All of these are really necessary when it comes to getting the perfect mix. When it comes down to it, all of your speakers are lying to you.
As the home producer, it is your job to peice together all the information you get from all of your resources. You may even want to see how your track sounds on laptop speakers and ear buds.Try your phone, too.
Ok. Now that all of that is out of the way, let’s look at the best monitor speakers for your home studio! We’ll start, as always with number 1.
Whatever genre of music, no matter your room size, the Yamaha HS 8 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!
Why Buy: To get better mixing speakers, (and to be clear, there are better mixing speakers than all of these, on this list,) you have to pay comparatively obscene prices, pushing beyond the realm of “home studio monitors.”
Why Not Buy: You can still definitely find monitor speakers you’ll love for years, on a lighter budget. There are even less expensive pairs that have, arguably better high-end or low-end.
The HS series relly gives you a clear picture of where your mix is. Superior mid-range, and clear highs are why they are an industry standard. They don’t have the best lows on the list, though. That honor goes to the next entry…
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.
These speakers are truly bangin’! Of all the monitors in our top 10, 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 Yamahas, the 7″ and 5″ pairs are just as top-shelf sounding.
Why Buy: If you’re all about that bass, I see a new pair of Rokits in your future. We love these speakers, so much!
Why Not Buy: You may have a Love Jones for the Yamaha HS. Or the next sweet pair…
3. JBL 308P Mk2
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.
I 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. And 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 I do also know producers who swear by the 3 series Mk2, even for mixing.
Why Buy: As noted above, these speakers actually do sound better than most of the monitors on this list. If you are looking for the best speakers to open, plug in and sound great for parties and DJ sets, look no further!
Why Not Buy: There’s not quite as much that you can learn from speakers that sound so full by default, when it comes to your mix.
4. Mackie MR824
We don’t think there’s any question about which speakers deliver the richest high-ends. It’s Mackie.
Why Buy: The bass you get out of these monitors, is just fine, honestly, but the primary feature is the superb high frequencies.
Why Not Buy: Yoe can definitely get better low-range and mid-range from other studio monitors, on the list.
The most fun part about writing this list, is we know all five of these studio monitors is #1 to someone. The 8″ 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.
Why Buy: 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!
Why Not Buy: Similar to the JBLs listed above, there is such a thing as too great sounding and, especially for beginners, you don’t stand to learn a truly great amount from these speakers alone. Also, the LYDs are very expensive.