What Are Studio Monitor Speakers – 2022 Best Studio Speaker Guide

What Are Studio Monitor Speakers 2
What Are Studio Monitor Speakers
What Are Studio Monitor Speakers

One of the biggest mistakes home music producers can make is not using studio monitor speakers and assuming that the same hi-fi stereo speakers they use for listening are well-suited for studio work.

While most casual listeners never notice the difference, the professional producers know that studio monitor speakers are important. The more you learn about mixology, the more professional studio monitors become essential.

Studio monitor speakers are popular for their accuracy, transparency, and ability to reproduce audio without coloration—hence the name. They are often used in production studios for mixing music and film. They can be expensive, but some brands offer affordable options with decent quality.

If you are shopping for studio monitor speakers, it can be a challenge to find the one that is right for you.

But our selection of monitors has something for everyone. No matter which ones you choose, you will have the reassurance of knowing you received the advice of our product. For the neutral reviews of studio monitors you can visit Monitors Hub.

What Are The Technical Differences Between Home Stereo Speakers And Studio Monitor Speakers?

Home stereo speakers are generally passive: in other words, they do not contain a built-in power amp, and thus require an external amplifier for operation.

Studio monitors are a different breed: active, or powered, meaning that the amplifier is encapsulated within the unit. Such units must connect to a line source via an audio interface or monitor controller.

The active speakers (studio monitor speakers) feature dedicated power amplifiers for each driver (woofer, tweeter and if available mid-range speaker). These do not just offer punchier bass reproduction, but clearer imaging and a better sound stage, especially with complex music or when playing back high-resolution audio files.

Active speakers also allow the use of steeper filters in the crossover stages, which offer more detailed treble reproduction.

Passive speakers on the other hand contain just one power amp, so they do not offer the same punch and clarity as active speakers do.

A passive speaker contains only the woofer, which means that it can transfer less energy to the mid-range and tweeter. In a live or semi-live music mix, this may blur the sound image, which is why some audiophiles prefer using separate active monitors for music listening.

When monitoring audio in the studio, professionals rely on accurate reproduction of sound and instrument locations. Since the goal is to make a recording that is identical to the nuances of a live performance, the correct speaker must be used to ensure quality recording.

What Are Studio Monitor Speakers?

A pair of studio monitor speakers are a crucial part of any producer’s arsenal. We spoke with producers to find out what they look for in a pair of monitoring and compiled this clear guide.

We look at the main differences in the genre of monitors, their function in the studio, and which types are best for different uses.

If you are mixing and mastering in a home studio or on a laptop, the sound might not always be what you think it is. Your speakers might be hiding a multitude of sins.

The difference between monitors and regular hi-fi speakers is that studio monitors are designed to give you an accurate sound, free from coloration.

With a flat response curve and great frequency range, they show you exactly what your track sounds like – which is why they are invaluable tools in the studio.

Here are the best 5 studio monitor speakers:

1.Focal Shape 65

We are big fans of Focal Shape 65 and their ‘studio spaceship’ design ethos. Focal is well known for making high-value studio monitors and loudspeakers, with the Shapes sitting in between these two ranges – Alpha series and the Solo6.

They are two-way 6.5″ monitors with a black-painted MDF cabinet, walnut veneer finish, and passive radiators. You can check our recommendations on the Budget Studio Monitor Under 500 Dollars.

Spec

Frequency response: 40 Hz to 35 kHz

Tweeter type: Aluminum / magnesium inverted dome

Speaker configuration: 2-way

Input: RCA, XLR

Driver size: 6.5,” 1”

Digital connectivity: No

Powered: Yes (25w high freq, 80w mid and low freq)

Cost: $999/£600/€699 (single)

2. KRK Rokit RP7 G4

Extensive research and testing have resulted in the Rokit RP7 being branded by virtually every professional reviewer as one of the best studio monitor speakers for studios, and perfect for anything bass-heavy.

A room compensation port offers the possibility to tailor the low end to suit any listening environment. KRK’s Shadow Hills tweeters are considered by many experts, to be among the most transparent available at this price level, which is critical when crafting the perfect mix.

If you are in the market for the best studio monitors for smaller studios, then look no further than KRK’s Rokit RP7 G4 range. Not only do they sound great, but they are also a steal at this price. The Rokit comes in varied sizes. It pretty much smokes everything else there is at this price point.

Spec

Frequency response: 42 Hz to 40 kHz

Speaker configuration: 2-way

Input: Combo input XLR / 6.3 mm balanced jack

Driver size: 7”, 1”

Digital connectivity: No

Powered: Yes (145w)

Cost: $239/£208/€209 (single)

3. IK Multimedia iLoud MTM

The MTMs are proven and take imagery up to a stage that we would expect to hear from monitors costing three times as much.

Subtle mid/high features that earlier went undetected become completely audible, making corrective focus on individual elements within the mix almost mystically easy. Low-end strength and management are incredible for a speaker of this size and they never really seem to get fatiguing.

Featuring a 1” tweeter and 3.5” mid-woofer in a D’Appolito configuration (1 tweeter, 2 woofers), the iLoud MTMs are meant for both performance and space-efficiency. They mount flawlessly on stands and fit into skin-tight corners smartly and subtly.

Spec

Frequency response: 40 Hz to 24 kHz

Input: 1 x Combo XLR -1/ 4”TRS balanced input: 1/8” TS ARC microphone input

Speaker configuration: 2-way / 3-speakers bi-amped

Driver size: 3.5”x2, 1” tweeter

Digital connectivity: 1 x USB type-B (service use only), input for omnidirectional, mems-based accuracy measurement microphone

Powered: Yes (LF power: 70w RMS, HF power: 30w RMS)

Calibration: Yes (completely automatic and built-in digital calibration plus a microphone)

DSP: Yes (tuned bass reflex)

Cost: $349/£369/€349 (single)

What Are Studio Monitor Speakers 2
What Are Studio Monitor Speakers 2

4. Genelec 8010A

Designed for both amateur and professionals, it is both lightweight and aesthetically pleasing. Their die-cast aluminum enclosure provides a robust but portable solution and is amply protected by metal driver grilles to prevent damage incurred during transport.

Small but solid, the 8010A delivers powerful bass and outstanding stereo imaging for a room-friendly monitor that packs more punch than you would think. It is a perfect fit for small mixing environments, installation and post-production as well as home-studios.

When it comes to small-scale but full-size monitor performance, the Genelec 8010A is hard to beat. Adjustable bass tilt and desktop control ensure exceptional sound for recording, rehearsal and broadcast applications.

Its compact size and light weight make it the ideal candidate for mounting on a wall or vertical surface. An innovative Iso-Pod support set with integral tilting mechanism makes hand-carrying a breeze.

Spec

Frequency response: 67 Hz to 25 kHz

Input: XLR

Speaker configuration: 2-way

Driver size: 3”, 0.75”

Digital connectivity: No

Powered: Yes (tweeter 25w, woofer 25w)

Tweeter type: Metal dome

Cost: $350/£259/€305 (single)

5.HEDD Audio Type 20

The HEDD Audio Type 20 monitors are voiced in Berlin, making them easy to integrate into any pro-audio rig. The cabinetry is built from real wood. Use the Type 20s for monitoring instruments, vocals or mix downs.

The HEDD Audio Type 20s have a sleek, futuristic, somewhat dinky look – but do not let the cute size fool you! With a frequency retort of 32Hz to 50kHz, their front-ported three-way model kicks out an incredible full-range presentation that totally blew us away.

These monitors are addictive to hear and they are one of the best we have ever heard to date.

Spec

Frequency response: 32 Hz to 50 kHz

Input: XLR. RCA

Speaker configuration: 3-way

Driver size: 7.2,”4”, 1”

Digital connectivity: HEDD Bridge, Dante, AES67

Powered: Yes (300w)

Tweeter type: Air Motion Transformer

Cost: $1,999/£1,499/€1,719 (single)

Conclusion

Studio monitor speakers are one of the most crucial components in any studio.

Studio monitor speakers are used for two main purposes: as near-field monitoring and as ambient listening. Both serve to help us better examine audio and make the best possible mix or master.

Depending on the application, there may be certain features you will look for when purchasing your own pair of studio monitor speakers.

Whether you are a professional making music or videos for clients or a hobbyist mixing on your laptop, it is worthwhile to invest in studio monitors. They will mix better than your consumer speakers and can really help improve the sound you deliver.

 

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