The Best Studio Monitors for Music Production
The studio monitors we use to hear our music, plays an intricate part in the success of how our music is translated across different devices, and ultimately your audience throughout the world. Not only is having the right set of studio monitors important, but more importantly is knowing your particular studio monitors intimately.
This is why you see top studio spending upwards of $10,000 on a great pair of studio monitors. However, in a home environment, a good pair of studio monitors can be achieved without spending a lot of money. To show exactly what I mean I have compiled our list of the Best Studio Monitors for Music Production.
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In order to serve the Music Production community better I have some criteria that I’ve laid out to better accommodate the home studio producer.
- $2500 Spending Limit- There is absolutely no reason in a home studio environment that any speakers or studio monitors should be crazy expensive. This spending limit is good enough to get a good quality pair of monitors.
- Notoriety- We also factored in the reputation and notoriety of each particular studio monitor. Since a “good” sound is definitely subjective, we wanted to get the word of the people do better narrow down our picks.
- One Pick per Brand- To also give more variety we decided to make the best choice out of each brand. This will allow diversity in other brand options to choose from.
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The Mackie HR824s are an absolutely great pair of studio monitors, especially for those just starting out. It is a 2-way active system that is THX pm3 certified and great in the creation of high definition audio for video, film, and video game projects.
The rear panel of the monitor also has XLR, TRS, and RCA connection inputs that are sure to fit just about all pieces of audio gear you can think of. The controls on the back contain both HI pass and low pass filters along with space matching which will help your monitors fit for each specific workspace.
- 2-way active studio monitor for high definition audio projects
- 7.5-inch woofer and 1-inch tweeter
- TRS, XLR, and RCA input options
Checkout Prices Here: Mackie HR824 MKII
IK Multimedia is most widely known for their amazing plugins. They have since however dived into the electronics game with their iLoud series of studio monitors. The monitors boast ultra-flat frequency response, a phase coherent sound, and extended buy controlled low-end.
Another notable feature on these studio monitors is it has built-in auto-calibration. This allows you to adjust depending on the room you are in for a more accurate response. You simply hold down a button and the speakers generate four frequency sweeps. Each speaker then calibrate itself all in under 30 seconds.
- Built-in Auto Calibration
- 2-way/3-speaker DSP Tuned Bass-Reflex Monitors
- TRS, XLR, and USB- Type- B Inputs
Checkout Prices Here: IK Multimedia iLoud MTM
JBL has historically been known for a long time in the audio electronics game. This time around they’ve introduced their studio monitor 30 series ranging in various sizes. The JBL 308P is bi-amplified monitor with next generation drivers. It also had class D amplifiers installed to power the 8-inch woofer and 1-inch tweeter.
The Studio monitors also include a balanced XLR input and a balanced ¼ inch TRS input, both of which offer dented level control feature. Other notable features are a EQ setting to cut any low frequencies that may interfere with the sound due to environment issues and a HF Trim that adjust the high frequencies in a room to personal preference.
- TRS and XLR Inputs
- Dual Integrated Custom D Amplifiers
- Low Frequency Port for Superior Bass Response
Checkout Prices Here: JBL 308P MKII
The KRK Rokit 7 is probably the most famous set of studio monitors I see in the Music Production scene period, and for good reason. They are relatively cheap in cost and knock hard AF. The drivers on these are also made with Kevlar to ensure sonic integrity and minimize ear fatigue of the listeners.
The monitor itself has a scientifically designed speaker enclosure and a front-firing port that helps with low end extension and punch. The KRK Rokit 7 also boasts Class-D 145W output and a built-in brickwall limiter that aims to protect the system and offer some wider dynamics.
- Front firing port optimized for extended low end response
- Built-in Class D Power Amp
- Brickwall limiter that automatically engages at maximum amp level
Checkout Prices Here: KRK Rokit 7
Dynaudio has been a leader in studio electronics for quite some time now. The handmade design of the monitors helps implement aluminum wire coils as well as Class-D amplifiers in a 96 kHz 24-bit signal path. It also has onboard DSP that helps out a lot with the audio performance.
On the back of the unit are XLR inputs for most professional audio setups as well as RCA input for those into hi-fi sound. The lightweight onboard woofer also helps translate a quick and more accurate transient response as well which is crucial for making important mixing decisions.
- Bi-amped monitor design with 2 Class-D Amplifiers
- 45Hz – 21kHz Frequency Response
- Nearfield Monitor with a 7-inch Woofer
Checkout Prices Here: Dynaudio LYD 7
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The Yamaha HS series is also a fan favorite and monitors I definitely see in a lot of home and major studios. The HS series is bi-amped and designed specifically for accurate sound reproduction. On the back of the monitor it has both TRS and XLR inputs as well.
The HS series is designed from the ground up to eliminate any unwanted resonance to reproduce the most accurate sound production possible. The room control feature allows you to attenuate any unnatural or exaggerated low end bass that can accumulate when speakers are put next to walls or in small room.
- Both TRS and XLR inputs from balanced and unbalanced sources
- Room Control feature for attenuating unwanted frequencies
- 8-inch woofer, 1-inch tweeter
Checkout Prices Here: Yamaha HS8
Genelec studio monitors are an incredible addition to any studio for good reason. The 8040B is equipped with Intelligent Signal Sensing (ISS) technology which automatically activates the monitor when an audio signal is detected. It also places the monitor in standby mode when there is no signal detected as well.
The monitor is itself is enclosed in a die-cast aluminum enclosure which minimizes any unwanted artifacts cause by edge diffraction. It features a 90W Amplifier for its ¾-inch tweeter and another 90W amp for its 6.5-inch woofer.
- Two 90W Amplifiers that power a ¾-inch tweeter and 6.5-inch woofer
- Included ISO-Pod table stand insulates the monitor from vibration
- Tones Controls that allow you to optimize the studio monitors environment
Checkout Prices Here: Genelec 8040B
The Twin6 by Focal is widely known in the industry for top notch quality without a doubt. The Twin6 Be definitely doesn’t disappoint, boasting two 6.5-inch subwoofers, one handling the bass and the other handling the mid/bass regions. This helps to preserve the signal dynamics without masking the midrange frequencies.
Each driver has an amplifier to give the monitors a total of 400W of sheer power. The rear panel has a XLR input and an input sensitivity control for both the subwoofer and the tweeter. The monitor is also magnetically shielded to prevent any interference from other electrical equipment. The Twin6 BE can also be positioned both vertically and horizontally.
- Two 6.5-inch woofers for handling the bass and midrange
- Independent controls for both the tweeter and woofer
- Standard XLR connection on the rear of the unit
Checkout Prices Here: Focal Twin6 BE
I must say I might be a little biased because I own these studio monitors, but they are simply amazing, especially given the price point. It features a 7’ carbon fiber midwoofer and X-ART tweeter that help give wide ranging frequency response and ultra-crisp and accurate audio. Each driver also has its own amplifier providing 150W of power.
On the back of the unit are both XLR and RCA input connects allowing you to connect virtually all audio equipment you may need to hook up. The A7Xs also have two bass ports on the bottom which help to extend the bass response. There is also high and low shelving controls on the back of the unit as well.
- 7-inch carbon fiber midwoofer with X-ART tweeter
- Dual bass ports for extended bass response
- XLR and RCA Inputs for wide compatibility
Checkout Prices Here: Adam A7X
The Avantone Mixcubes to me are the gold standard for studio monitors and a must no matter how big or small the studio is. Back in the day and still currently, the Yamaha NS-10s were gold standard for transparent flat response studio monitors. Today the Mixcubes in my opinion have matched that effort. These are also great to mix music that translates on lo-fi speakers like laptops and smartphones.
The Mixcubes come in both passive and powered options, with the powered option having an accurate 60W amplifier. On the back of the unit are both XLR and ¼-inch inputs that accept both balanced and unbalanced cables. These are a great reference monitor to hear how your mix will sound on things like, car stereos, televisions, clock radios, ear buds, and computers.
- Both XLR and ¼-inch Inputs
- Passive and Powered Purchase Options
- Ideal for Mixes that sound good on Car Stereos, Laptops, Smartphones etc.
Checkout Prices Here: Avantone Mixcubes
When it comes to the best studio monitors for music production, it really comes down to taste and functionality. You may need many different tools for the job, and each set of monitors may serve a different purpose to achieve the sound you want.
It is important however to understand the strengths and weaknesses in each and purchase accordingly. Hope you enjoyed our picks for the Best Studio Monitors for Music Production!
What are some of your favorite Studio Monitors for Music Production and Recording, and why? Did your favorite make our list? Comment below!
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