Best Monitor Speaker Review – Top Rated Models in 2020 with Buying Guide
Are you searching for the best monitor speakers, but you have no time to read everything our researchers discovered? Just read this small paragraph, and you will know exactly what you will want to buy. The product that appears to be the most popular is the JBL LSR308. Your recordings will benefit from an excellent definition, and even the smallest details will be audible, for an ample, beautiful sound. Your room acoustics don’t matter, and that is a big plus, as these speakers will cover a large area without losing performance. Another thing that must be mentioned is that these speakers are room-friendly. Should this unit be out of stock, we recommend the Yamaha HS8, as the second model in line that deserves your money.
Our Top Choice
Designed with professionals in mind, these speakers from JBL provide outstanding sound quality. The depth of the sound is more vibrant, allowing you to enjoy an improved sonic definition. It will accurately reproduce the sounds even when you are recording in a studio, meaning you can count on it to listen to neutral sounds, regardless of the room acoustics.
When ordering this product, keep in mind that you will only receive one speaker and not a set of two.
You don’t need an amplifier to plug the speaker into your computer, and the sound quality delivered is amazing, according to most customers. What’s not to like about this product?
With a successful history of over 130 years, Yamaha is a popular brand in the market of sound equipment. The 8-inch woofer will replicate even the tiniest sound you produce, no matter the type of instrument you play. The speakers are also versatile as they come equipped with various phone jack inputs. Expect them to consume only 60 watts.
Although the overall quality is great, if you choose to turn up the volume, you won’t experience the same clear sounds.
Equipped with everything necessary to help you experience a high definition and sound clarity, this speaker from Yamaha makes a great addition for all music connoisseurs.
This Adam Audio model is a great budget-friendly solution for those who want to enjoy a clear and undistorted sound. The mini version of the product doesn’t imply a lower quality, but simply the perfect choice for those who record in small environments. It is also equipped with a version of the ART tweeter that the company is well-known for.
This item is not compatible with large recording studios as it is not powerful enough.
We all know how hard artists struggle to make themselves known in the beginning, so why not have access to high-quality products for convenient prices as a musician?
10 Best Monitor Speakers (Reviews) in 2020
We want to help you purchase the speakers you deserve, and for this, we read all the monitor speakers reviews available. From all the critically-acclaimed models mentioned by these reviews, we selected the most popular and put together the following list.
- 1. JJBL Professional Speaker LSR308
- 2. Yamaha HS8
- 3. Adam Audio F5 Powered Studio Monitor
- 4. Adam A5X Active Amplified Professional Studio Monitor Speaker
- 5. JBL EON610 10″ Two-Way Multipurpose Self-Powered Sound Reinforcement
- 6. KRK RP5G3- 59107 NA Rokit 5 Generation 3 Powered Studio Monitor
- 7. Mackie CR3 3 inch Monitor Speakers
- 8. Mackie CR3 3 inch Monitor Speakers
- 9. Behringer MS40 Digital Monitor Speakers
- 10. Samson MediaOne BT3 Active Studio Monitors with Bluetooth
- Yearly Guide & Report
1. JJBL Professional Speaker LSR308
The JBL LSR308 is among those models that all the studio speakers reviews talk about. Part of a new generation of studio monitors, it is designed to offer excellent performance and you will fall in love with its sound the moment you start listening to your recordings. Add some microphones to record your drums and instruments and you are all set to obtain the desired sound.
Talking about sound quality, let’s take a closer look at what this exquisite model has to offer. The depth of the sound will be more vibrant, providing you with a better sonic definition. The main issue with recordings in a studio is that some sounds can get distorted or capture coloration from walls.
It is not the case with this model. You will love using it, not only for its output performance but also for its ability to accurately reproduce sound even when you don’t sit in front of it. Also, covering large spaces without losing performance is something this model does well. These monitor speakers are easier to use than a harmonica for beginners.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
2. Yamaha HS8
Yamaha is one of the most reputable manufacturers of sound equipment in the world, and it should come as no surprise that this particular model also performs up to expectations. The main reason why so many people prefer Yamaha speakers from the many available for sale is their accuracy, and the Yamaha HS8 will impress you with the precision of delivering the sound you create in the studio.
Whether you play the mandolin or any other musical instrument, you will find these speakers amazing for what you intend to do. The 8-inch woofer and the 1-inch tweeter are designed in such a manner that they will reproduce the tiniest sound you create.
It must be mentioned that while these speakers offer high performance, their power consumption is just 60 watts. The speakers come equipped with phone jack inputs, for maximum versatility. No matter the specifics of your recording environment, you will be able to enjoy the highest performance available.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($310)
3. Adam Audio F5 Powered Studio Monitor
If you are looking for an affordably priced monitor speaker setup, you are looking at it. The Adam Audio “F5 5” is created for budget-minded musicians, and you will not have to break the bank to get one of these. At the same time, you will be able to enjoy the same technology major production studios use.
You may notice right from the start the small size of this model. It was designed like this for a reason, and that is to work at the maximum capacity when placed in small recording environments. Most people don’t have enough place at their disposal for a cello ensemble, and they need equipment that suits their needs.
The tweeter on this model is a version of the ART tweeter for which the company is well known for. It is a bit smaller than the famous model, but it is an advancement from previous versions.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
4. Adam A5X Active Amplified Professional Studio Monitor Speaker
Many musicians don’t have large studios, and that is why they are better off with monitor speakers that don’t take up a lot of space. This bookshelf size model is just what they need. The Adam Audio A5X brings together affordability, excellent design and performance, and a small footprint.
Equipped with the highly acclaimed X-ART tweeter, it will offer you the edge you need to make your mixes as accurate as possible. The 5-inch midwoofer will accurately reproduce sound in the room, while a Pulse Width Modulation feature will enhance the performance of this component even further.
The stereo system is in total control of the user, as the Stereolink does its job to connect the two speakers available with the setup. While small in size, this one offers more than outstanding performance and this is precisely why so many people have bought it and praise it.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($499.99)
5. JBL EON610 10″ Two-Way Multipurpose Self-Powered Sound Reinforcement
What would you like most in a monitor speaker setup? If it is flexible connectivity, you will be pleased to hear that the JBL 305P MkII offers you both XLR and TRS inputs, with adjustable volume control. You will love how much overall control this model provides. Its sizeable sweet spot lets you listen to your music at maximum accuracy even in a large recording environment.
Outfitted with HF and LF transducers, the model offers incredibly deep bass, and you will not experience the usual harmonic distortion that is usually associated with this type of sound. The perfect transient response contributes to the overall performance of this model.
You will not lose accuracy when the speakers are close to walls, due to the new boundary EQ the model comes along with. You can listen to your electric ukulele performance on the monitor speakers and enjoy excellent sound quality.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($148.98)
6. KRK RP5G3- 59107 NA Rokit 5 Generation 3 Powered Studio Monitor
Diminished sound distortion and the ability to perform even in a large room are two essential traits that all the monitor speakers should have, but only a few manage to do it as well as the KRK RP5G3-NA. When you purchase this model, you will get a pair of studio monitors that will aid you in mixing your music the way you want to.
These monitor speakers come with a class A/B amplifier which allows you to play music in ample spaces and still manage to listen to the sound without distortions. Superior imaging is assured by the proprietary waveguide this model comes along with.
The dome tweeter ensures that you can adjust the music to have the clarity and volume you desire. You can also make use of the high-frequency adjustments placed at your disposal so that you can get everything right, just the way you want to.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($295)
7. Mackie CR3 3 inch Monitor Speakers
Musicians need a broad range of equipment to make their art happen, from a synthesizer keyboard to more complex gear such as monitor speakers. If you want studio-quality for your sound, you will love this particular model. The ultra-wide frequency ensures a broad range, and you will be able to evaluate any audio you want.
The placement switch for the speaker is placed conveniently on the side you want, and you will enjoy how easy it is to use. The volume knob is smooth and lets you control volume as you see fit. Also, there is a jack input for your phone, so you can plug it in and listen to your music as you see fit.
Any multimedia creation you want to use these monitor speakers for will benefit from the excellent craftsmanship and high-quality materials used. The front-panel controls are easy to reach, and overall, you will love using this model.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($89.94)
8. Mackie CR3 3 inch Monitor Speakers
Anything, from electric violas to any other musical instrument recordings you want to work on will take advantage of the excellent characteristics of this model, as you will benefit from superior-quality sound reproduction. There are quite a few things to say about these monitor speakers. The half-an-inch-thick enclosure ensures that the sound you capture on the recording will be just as powerful and accurate on the speakers.
The speakers used by this manufacturer for its setups go through a complicated process of sound checking so that you receive a product that will help you achieve the performance you desire. The controls are something to write home about, too. The bass and treble control offers a wide range of frequencies, putting you entirely in charge.
There is a headphone output you can use with your smartphone, and there is also connectivity present for USB devices. The maximum sound output it can deliver is 90dB.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($119.95)
9. Behringer MS40 Digital Monitor Speakers
If you have a small computer studio, you are running a multimedia workstation, or you have a little recording rig, you will be more than pleased with this 2-way monitor setup. Two amplifiers are part of this setup, and their excellent performance will provide superior headroom.
Equipped with powerful woofers and tweeters, this system ensures a proper response, which means that you will not experience the usual distortions that can often happen when you fiddle with the sound control.
The converters for ultra-high resolution provide a broad dynamic range ensure that you will get to play the sound you want at a professional level. This model will help you harness your talent, offering you the possibility to play your creations with maximum accuracy. You can connect this monitor speaker setup to digital audio sources, with the help of the optical and coaxial ports present on the model.
Click to see the price on Amazon!
10. Samson MediaOne BT3 Active Studio Monitors with Bluetooth
These rear-vented speakers are an excellent choice, as they provide you with the superior performance you need to evaluate your recordings at the highest precision possible. The port enclosures are tuned for accuracy, and the overall construction of these speakers spells quality.
The woofer and tweeter come with metal grills that will prevent any damage to occur to the delicate components found inside. You will love the fact that this model comes with Bluetooth connectivity. Your music sources are, therefore, expanded, and you will be able to use your speakers with any input you desire.
Equipped with 3-inch woofers and 1-inch tweeters, this model ensures that you will produce the sounds you desire. The level controls are easy to operate, and many people appreciate the headphone output present on the front panel. The back panel has the Bluetooth button and also RCA inputs for more connectivity.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($94.99)
Yearly Guide & Report
Any musician who wants to create high-quality audio can appreciate a set of monitor speakers that are capable of delivering the performance they expect, and they want to provide further to their fans. But finding the best studio monitors may not be such an easy task.
With so many excellent models on the market, making the right choice seems a bit daunting. That is why we decided to offer you a bit of help, by including here a few critical aspects that you should always bear in mind when you go shopping for such devices.
What does transparency mean and how can you find the right one?
When you browse through the many monitor speakers available, you will notice that there are plenty of models available and that experts and buyers alike speak of something called transparency. The better the transparency a monitor speaker setup has, the better. But what does this mean and how can it help with the purpose you have in mind?
Transparency is the balance between the volume reached in decibels and the frequency range. A model with balanced transparency will have no problem to render your sounds without any distortion and with maximum performance.
To get an idea of what such speakers can do, let’s proceed with an example. Some cheap studio monitors will not be able to cover the entire frequency range correctly. For instance, the highs and the lows may be better handled than the mid-range frequencies. So, what should you be looking for?
In simple terms, you need a monitor speaker setup that can handle all frequencies equally, without sacrificing sound volume. That might not be easy to find, but it is worth a try, as there are models out there that can perform at the highest volume possible without a glitch.
This helps you when you want to detect any flaws in your mix. In any musical arrangement there will be instruments that could be heard more prominently, and others that do not offer the same performance. What you need is that your mix sounds well and that even the tiniest details are easy to listen to. Without a high-performance monitor speaker setup, you will not be able to achieve this.
Power doesn’t mean volume
It is quite a common mistake to believe that the more watts a model has, the higher the volume you will get. But this is not how monitor speakers work. The first thing you need to establish is whether the setup you are looking at is active or passive.
Active models come with their own amplifier, which means that there is no need for you to purchase an external amplifier. As you may well suspect by now, passive models are those that have to be hooked up with a stand-alone amp.
You will find that the best studio speakers on the market are usually the active kind. Some models have one amplifier per cabinet, but you will also see models that come with two or three. Expect to pay more for models that come with more than just one amplifier.
Dedicated amplifiers for transducers will get you better accuracy and transparency, but only high-end models can offer such extra performance. To talk about power again, you will not need more than 20 watts, as you will have plenty of volume if you only intend to run some recordings at home. Nonetheless, there is one area where more power offers extra benefits.
That is headroom. If you get a system with more power, you will benefit from more headroom, and, if this is something you want, you can safely go for a more powerful model. The more headroom you have, the more leeway you are given for pushing your speaker volume without ending up with distorted sounds.
How far can you sit from your monitor speakers?
To provide the sound quality you expect, many good monitor speakers require you to be within a decent range from them. However, you will find that some models are not as pretentious, and they can help with many different arrangements.
Still, if you don’t want to pay extra just for this, you can always fiddle with the positioning of your monitor speakers. The speakers should be placed in regards to your head at an equal angle. Practically your head and the speakers should create an equidistant triangle. This way, you will get the best out of your setup.
There will be no conflict between the two speakers, and you will benefit from excellent transparency, too. Make sure that the speakers are not placed too close or too far away from one another, as you will get skewed sounds as a result.
Do you need excellent room acoustics?
Your recording environment influences your results when you use speakers. To protect your musical instruments, you use extra items such as a trombone case for your trombone, or a violin case for your violin. For excellent sound reproduction, you need good acoustics.
Sounds have wavelengths, and these may differ, which is why you must use a room with good acoustics. However, you may discover that there are monitor speakers out there that do not care as much about this aspect. They are more versatile, and they can provide you with the quality you need for excellent sound mixing.