PreSonus have announced an update the the popular, and remarkably good value Eris line of nearfield monitors. We were very impressed with the old design so an update will hopefully take and already good sounding and very good value speaker and make it even better. With the proliferation of greater than stereo installs, be they 5.1, 7.1 or even Atmos the demand for inexpensive monitors which deliver excellent sound is greater than ever so these monitors should be of interest to users at all levels from bedroom producers to serious post work. So what have they changed?
The new Eris XT active studio monitors feature an all new elliptical waveguide design that provides a wider sweet spot and more focused vertical dispersion. The new custom elliptical waveguide design provides high-frequency response with a broad 100° horizontal dispersion to expand the sweet spot. The tightly focused 60° vertical dispersion minimises early reflections, helping to eliminate one of the most common sources of environmental interference, creating a more consistent response both on- and off-axis. The result is a consistent listening experience in any mix environment.
What Is A Waveguide Anyway?
In the past I’d assumed that a waveguide was the same thing as a horn. This isn’t the case. While all waveguides are horns, not all horns are waveguides. Anyone who has ever rolled up a newspaper and shouted down it will understand how horns are loading devices, which can be used to “make stuff louder” (excuse my technical language). A waveguide controls directivity, which while related to loading, isn’t the same thing.
An ideal loudspeaker behaves as a point source, with all frequencies spreading out evenly in all directions. Just walk around a speaker and it’s clear that this doesn’t happen. We all know that bass frequencies are effectively omnidirectional. In a typical 2 way speaker design the bass/mid driver operates beyond this range and as frequencies get higher the dispersion of the speaker narrows. At the crossover between the bass/mid driver and the physically very different HF driver, there will be a discontinuity in terms of the dispersion pattern between the two drivers. This is one of the things a waveguide can help with.
By carefully controlling the dispersion pattern of the HF driver with the highest frequencies handled by the bass/mid driver and matching that dispersion pattern, the off axis sound is better controlled and more consistent resulting in a wider sweet spot at the listening position.
Drivers And Cabinets
There are two new models available, the E5 XT and the E8 XT which feature 5.25” and 8” composite woofers respectively. Both feature silk dome tweeters and come in larger, front ported cabinets which extend the bass compared to the old versions.
The E5 XT is available alongside the old E5 but the E8 XT replaces the old E8. The rear panels offer balanced XLR and 1/4” TRS alongside unbalanced RCA connectors and 3 way EQ complements 3-way acoustic space tuning that allows you to easily compensate for the sonic consequences of speaker placement against a wall or in a corner and a 3 position HPF switch.
The new Eris XT monitors are available now at PreSonus dealers at US street prices of: Eris E5 XT $149.95 each; Eris E8 XT $249.95 each. For more information visit the PreSonus website.