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11 Best Studio Monitors For Perfect Audio Editing

You’ve spent hours tinkering with sound in your studio, only to have it sound completely different when you play it on another set of speakers.

How do you know what the real sound is?

That’s where studio monitor speakers come in. They’re designed for you to be able to hear the true sound you’re making.

This can help you decide what exactly has to be altered so that you can achieve the best sound quality possible.

You can also be sure your sound will translate to any other speakers so everyone can hear your tracks how you want them to be heard.

Contents

What Is a Studio Monitor? Why Might You Need One?

A studio monitor is a kind of speaker which has been specifically designed to monitor the sounds made while recording. The name comes from their use: monitoring sounds in your studio (home or professional).

Most commercial speakers that are available commonly have features to boost the sound of the audio in order to improve the listening experience.

However, this detracts from the true quality of the sound. Professional musicians prefer to utilize studio monitor speakers as they can replicate the actual sound of the recording without altering it anyway.

The fundamental thought process behind studio monitors is that if the person mixing or recording the sound is able to make something that sounds great on a studio monitor, this will sound just as good on an everyday speaker.

7 Factors When Choosing the Best Studio Monitor

There’s more detail after our top picks, but here’s a quick rundown of the seven things you should focus on when evaluating the best studio monitors.

Factor What To Look For
Passive vs Active Active studio monitors come with a built-in amp while passive studio monitors don't.
Speaker Size & Weight Choose a 5-inch woofer if you have a smaller space and choose an 8-inch one if your studio area is larger.
Wattage The higher the watt rating, the more volume you’ll get and the less distortion you’ll have when recording.
Frequency Response The flatter the frequency response of your studio monitor, the more clarity you’ll have.
Listening Distance Near-field monitors are meant to be placed close to the listener’s ears and are meant for smaller rooms. Mid-field and professional monitors are meant to be placed further away in bigger rooms.
Connection Type For active monitors, jacks, USB ports, and more can be plugged directly into your computer. For passive monitors, you have to connect your computer output to an amp and sync that with your monitor.
Speaker Layout You can pick between two-way, three-way, and four-way monitors depending on how much you want to delineate your mid-range frequencies.

1. Focal Shape 65 Studio Monitor

focal shape 65 studio monitor

Benefits

Extra Features

Drawbacks

Buying Guide

The Focal Shape 65 is the top pick for best price-considered near-field monitors and is a phenomenal example of a 6.5-inch two-way monitor.

2. Yamaha HS5 Studio Monitor

Benefits

Extra Features

Drawbacks

Buying Guide

The Yamaha HS5 is a great two-way speaker which can showcase the true sound of your recording. If you can make your sound shine on these, they’ll sound amazing on any other speaker.

3. JBL 305P Professional Studio Monitor

Benefits

Extra Features

Drawbacks

Buying Guide

The JBL 305P Professional Studio Monitor is amazing for all your professional studio needs thanks to its ability to produce a sound that has great clarity and detail.

4. KRK Rokit RP7 G4 Studio Monitor

Benefits

Extra Features

Drawbacks

Buying Guide

The KRK Rokit RP7 G4 is a highly affordable near-field monitor that works great for electronic music and bass-heavy sounds. It’s one of the best monitors for small studios.

5. Fluid Audio FX80 Studio Monitor

fluid audio fx80 studio monitor

Benefits

Extra Features

Drawbacks

Buying Guide

The Fluid Audio FX80 is one of the best two-way studio monitors with a coaxial design and is a great value for your money.

6. HEDD Audio Type 05 Studio Monitor

Benefits

Extra Features

Drawbacks

Buying Guide

The HEDD Audio Type 05 is the best high-end studio monitor that you can buy that performs well in every single area, though with a price tag to match.

7. Mackie XR624 Studio Monitor

Benefits

Extra Features

Drawbacks

Buying Guide

The Mackie XR624 is one of the best mid-range, two-way monitors and is a great bang-for-your-buck option. It’s especially great for guitar-heavy recordings.

8. Genelec 8010A Studio Monitor

genelec 8010a studio monitor

Benefits

Extra Features

Drawbacks

Buying Guide

The Genelec 8010A is hands-down the most compact and strongest mid-range two-way studio monitor and is ideal for those who travel often and want to take their studio monitors with them.

9. IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitor

Benefits

Extra Features

Drawbacks

Buying Guide

The IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitor is one of the best portable two-way studio monitors.

10. Adam Audio T5V Studio Monitor

adam audio t5 studio monitor

Benefits

Extra Features

Drawbacks

Buying Guide

The Adam Audio T5V is one of the most affordable near-field monitors which is especially suited for smaller rooms thanks to its compact build and small footprint.

How To Choose the Best Studio Monitor

Everyone has different requirements when they’re shopping for the best studio monitor for their needs. These seven factors will help you make the right decision.

1. Passive vs Active Studio Monitors

This is the most important consideration when you’re buying studio monitors. There are two kinds of studio monitor speakers available:

  • Passive studio monitors
  • Active studio monitors

Passive studio monitors come without a built-in amplifier. You’ll need to buy and connect external amps to use them. Active studio monitors come with an amplifier that’s built-in so you can use them as they are.

2. Speaker Size & Weight

Studio monitor speakers come in a variety of weights and dimensions.

The general rule about studio monitors: The larger the woofer, the better its bass response.

If you have limited space, you can opt for a 5-inch woofer. However, if your priority is improved bass response, you should go for an 8-inch woofer.

3. Wattage

Wattage, or the power rating of a studio monitor, is an important factor to consider. The higher the watt rating, the more volume you’ll be able to get out of your studio monitor. Higher wattage can also minimize your sound’s distortions and flaws when recording.

4. Frequency Response

When it comes to studio monitors, you need a flat frequency response to be able to hear sound accurately. The flatter the frequency response is, the more clarity you’ll have in your sound.

5. Listening Distance

You can also classify studio monitors based on listening distance and woofer diameter.

Near-field monitors range between 3-8 inches. They’re designed to be placed close to the listener’s ears and are suitable for small and medium rooms. Midfield monitors are designed to be placed further away in bigger rooms while main/full-size monitors are meant for professional large studios.

6. Connection Type

Active monitors come with jacks, phono, digital, XLRs, or USB connections that can be plugged into your computer. With passive monitors, you have to connect your computer output to an amp and then sync that with your monitors.

7. Speaker Layout

Traditionally, two-way monitors use a single woofer that produces lower frequency sounds combined with a tweeter that produces mid-range and higher frequencies. These are kept separate by crossover filters that divide the sound into low and high bands

In more high-end monitors, you can see three or four-way designs that help keep mid-range sounds even more clear and free of crossovers.

Final Thoughts on the Best Studio Monitors

Studio monitors are a great tool for ensuring everyone hears your music as you intend.

If you’re looking for a superb two-way studio monitor, go with the JBL 305P Professional.

If you’re looking a great three-way professional monitor, go with the HEDD Audio Type 05.

If you’re looking for a compact, portable studio monitor, go with the Genelec 8010A.

Good luck with finding the best studio monitor the fits all of your requirements. If you want a great studio monitor stand to pair with it, check out our top picks and buying tips for those.

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