Studio monitors are by far one of the most essential tools in a recording studio. We constantly put our trust in them in order to make crucial mix decisions and we demand a lot from them in terms of response and durability. Typically microphones, preamps, computers and plug-ins come and go over short periods of time but for many a set of studio monitors will stay in service for at least a decade so it’s important to know what your options are when deciding on a new set of monitors for you studio. In this article we roundup all of our reviews and listening tests of studio monitors and hardware & software accessories for you to check out:
Studio Monitor Reviews & Listening Tests We’ve Conducted
The HEDD Tower Mains are big main monitors and that part of the market is dominated by a handful of very respected and very established names. Can this very original infinite baffle design compete at the top end?
Why do we want great studio monitors? That is not an obvious question to answer. On one hand, we want some degree of gratification as we are working on our music. In other words, we want it to sound good. But we also want to make sure we are mixing our music properly so that it will sound great wherever it is listened to. I am going to suggest a third facet. The better our studio monitors are, the more we take them for granted. And that is a good thing! The main thing I want from my monitors is to not think about them. I mean like ever.
How much do you have to spend to get a pair of monitors which are good enough to use to make reliable mixing decisions? Considering how important monitoring is to every decision you make when mixing and that monitors are one of those categories of equipment where the people who can will spend tens of thousands on “professional monitoring”. Is it sensible to mix on monitors which cost this little?
Having enjoyed the HEDD Type 05 two way monitors Julian tries the bigger Type 20 3 way monitors and their accompanying Lineariser plug-in. See what he made of them in this, his latest on test article.
Julian checks out some monitors from HEDD and is pleasantly surprised by how much performance you can get for not a great deal of money. Monitors with a Dante option and a crafty method of adding digital phase correction without adding any hardware.
I was intrigued to hear the Kii Threes I’d heard so much about, and the opportunity presented itself on a recent visit to Russ' studio. Are they all they as good as people say?
Any Monitor Speaker Can Sound Good In An An-echoic Chamber, But How Good Are Genelec’s “The Ones” 8331 and 8341 SAM monitors in a challenging environment? Has Genelec re-written the rule book for rear ported monitors? Check out my review to find out…
Unity Audio are a small British company that have made a successful transition from high-end audio gear distribution into high-end monitor manufacturer. They currently make a range of 4 near to medium field monitors with accompanying subs and accessories and they were kind enough to send me a pair of their Super Rocks to review.
We put ADAM Audio’s new low cost T Series Studio Monitors to test to find out if they are any good. Are the T7V and T5V monitors a cheap shot to enter the budget home studio market or are these the studio monitor bargain of the century?
The Result6 studio monitor is the result of many years of research and development and has culminated in the first product from PMC that sits in a surprisingly affordable price range. Simple in design yet not lacking high tech innovation, the Result6 features a 6.5" woofer powered by a 100W amp, and a 27mm, soft-dome tweeter powered by a 65W amp. Surrounding the twetter are D-Fins which widen the listening sweet spot and reduce any negative edge effects from the sides of the cabinet.
No monitors are perfectly flat, and no room is acoustically perfect. You “learn” to work in your environment and that’s that. You learn to compensate through trial and error and experience until your mixes sound good. Period. Well, not so much. You’ll have to read through to the end of my review of the Sonarworks Reference 4 software to see how my prejudices have been modified through the experience of using this system.
I love it when new boxes appear as if by magic on the doorstep. On this occasion, it was not the normal pile of printed cardboard boxes but a nice shiny flight case that I coaxed down to the studio. Within I found a pair of DB7 Linear Phase monitors by newcomers to the studio monitor market OS Acoustics based down in Christchurch, Dorset in the south-west of the UK.
It is a well known acoustic concept that decoupling your speakers/monitors from the thing they are standing on (stands, desk or meter bridge) is the best way to get the very best out of said speakers. As much of the acoustic energy as possible is converted into sound waves and not into vibrations in your studio furniture. The DMSD 60 system does just that. These 8 little devices, four under each speaker, separate/decouple the speakers from what they are sitting on and should make the speakers sound better, but do they? Read on to find out...
Back in April 2016, I was invited to visit the Dynaudio factory in Denmark. This was to coincide with the announcement of their new range of professional studio monitors the LYD series. Later in September 2016 I finally received the opportunity to review the then, full range of LYD speaker in my home studio. Now in 2017, I am able to review the latest speaker in the LYD range the LYD48.
We don't do star rated reviews on Pro Tools Expert but if we did the IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitors would get 10 out of 10, two thumbs up and a lolly pop for being good. IK Multimedia sometimes gets a bad rap for their hardware products being too consumer or not "pro" enough, that may be true in some areas of their product range but don't paint the iLoud Micro Monitors with the same brush.
In this review Mike Thornton, Editor of Pro Tools Expert, takes a look at a new entrant in the room correction arena the Dirac Live solution which is available as software and as a 1U hardware unit embedded in a miniDSP unit. Mike explains how the Dirac Live system works, how he installed and used the miniDSP DDRC-88A to use on his 5.1 monitoring system and of course what he thought of it.
Cards on the table time - I've long been a fan of Genelec - I like the sound their monitors make, and personally feel that they translate well. However I am very aware that they're not to everyone's tastes, and I've experienced quite a few installations where they've been forced into speaker locations and acoustic environments that don't help them sound their best.
I can't believe that many of you out there would not have heard of Dynaudio. I would put money on the fact that most of you have mixed or worked on a pair of Dynaudio monitors. In fact, the first studio I ever worked in had a paid of BM5s on stands behind the console. Now they have a new range of monitors, the LYD range.
When you think of loudspeakers, Presonus isn't the first name that springs to mind. Whilst searching the internet for a set of LCR front loudspeakers that needed to fit a very specific specification, I came across these, and decided to get a set in to try out.
My first encounter with Amphion speakers was in Basevalley studios in Holland, I was very impressed with the sound quality, but while I was working in Holland I only got a chance to produce using these monitors so I was intrigued to see how well they performed in a mix scenario.
Russ checks out the PreSonus Central Station PLUS Monitor Controller, find out what he thinks of it.
The team at New Audio Technology have been working a a number of '3D' audio solutions and this one is great for playing back multi-channel content to the client with a laptop and a pair of headphones or earphones and using the binaural principle to enable the listener to experience surround just by listening through headphones.
Russ from Pro Tools Expert unboxes and then reviews the Focusrite VRM virtual monitor system. Find out what he thinks.
Recently I have become aware that my beloved Rogers LS3/5a monitors, that I have had since 1977, are not as good as I thought they were. It may be their age or the design limits of the speakers, but it has become clear to me that they were not as neutral as I thought they were.
You may remember these innovatively shaped monitor speakers first came out a couple of years ago when acoustics guru Andy Munro and Sonic Distribution’s James Young & Phil Smith first collaborated on the Egg system under the sE Munro brand.
The Eve SC205 have garnered a lot of praise from reviewers and owners alike - it’s not hard to understand why. The Eve SC205 offers a nice transparent and open top end and a tight low end.
There’s a lot of small near-field monitors on the market, but this offering from ESI intrigued me.Mostly because they seem to offer a cheaper alternative to my trusty Yamaha HS50M monitors at around 75% of the price, so I called up my buddies at Time and Space and had them ship a pair up to me - if for nothing else, to satisfy my curiosity.
Studio Monitoring Setup & Buying Guides
For those new to music production and mixing, an expensive set of $1,000+ near field active monitors could very well be out of budget, but that’s ok, there are plenty of great sounding studio monitors out there that you can buy today for far far less.
In this article we list 5 great sounding studio monitors that you can buy today for less than $500 a pair.
When quality studio monitors are concerned I don't believe it really matters how much they cost, If a set of studio monitors are not positioned correctly in your studio you will most likely get a cheap and nasty sound from them that you won't be able to live with or trust when mixing. If you have not put any care and attention into setting up your monitors you will struggle to mix a track to translate properly on playback systems outside the studio.
In this short 1 minute video we show you how to quickly fix a pushed in studio monitor tweeter dome. It seems young children cannot resist the urge to push in monitor tweeters, why they do this? We haven't a clue.
As long as the pushed in tweeter isn't punctured or damaged in any other way this tip will help you pull out pushed in tweeters returning them back to their normal shape in seconds.
Monitor stands are very simple devices that provide a wide range studio monitoring benefits. By and large, the biggest benefit of placing monitors on stands is that this setup improves studio monitor performance thus the overall sound quality that monitors can produce in studios.