When shopping for a pair of studio monitors for a home recording studio you probably realize that the purchasing process can be confusing and even a little a bit overwhelming. That why I love the selection at Guitar Center.
The studio monitors vary in price and there are lots of different models. As you compare them, you’ll see some that are very cheap, while others are very expensive.
How do you know which are the best studio monitors for the money?
More then likely you are shopping on a budget. So, you do not need superior and expensive speakers but are looking for the best studio monitors that fit into your budget. Right? The good news is that you don’t have to compromise on sound quality if you want to get a pair of good studio monitors under $500. In fact, you can do it for under $200 if you shop around for the best deal. And since monitors are normally sold in pairs you end up getting a matching set for this low price (most of the time).
Top 10 Cheap Studio Monitors for 2015 - 2016
|Mackie CR3 3-Inch Creative Pair of Reference Multimedia Monitors||(4.6 / 5)|
|M-Audio Studiophile AV 30 Active Studio Monitor Speakers (Pair)||(4.0 / 5)|
|M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Active Studio Monitor Speakers (Pair)||(4.0 / 5)|
|JBL LSR305 5-inch Two-Way Powered Studio Monitor - PAIR||(4.7 / 5)|
|Presonus Eris E4.5 2-Way Powered Studio Monitor (Pair)||(4.7 / 5)|
|Alesis M1 Active 520 Powered Studio Monitor Pair||(4.4 / 5)|
|Samson MediaOne BT3 Active Studio Monitors with Bluetooth||(4.1 / 5)|
|Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor||(4.9 / 5)|
|Presonus Eris E5 80-Watt Channel Studio Monitor||(4.5 / 5)|
|KRK RP5G3WNA Channel Studio Monitor||(4.7 / 5)|
Just remember that prices change regularly, so confirm the cost of the products featured here to ensure that you’re getting the most affordable studio monitors for the money.
Studio Monitors Buying Guide
One of the first things you’re going to need when you are building a home recording studio is a pair of good studio monitors.
These are a specific kind of speaker which have an accurate and flat frequency response, and are used just for listening to your mixes and recordings in a more reliable and controlled environment.
Most of these monitors are made with accuracy in mind, and depending on the model you get they come in degrees of varying sonic quality. This ranges from mainly accurate to a flat, razor-sharp frequency response which is crisp.
There are some basic things to consider before making your final purchase, which include the factors below.
Do You Need Passive or Active Monitors?
The first thing to think about is whether you need active or passive speakers. The amplification is already built into active speakers, and don’t need anything more than electricity and an audio feed. They are the most commonly seen as well and you can find them in most studios since the external amplification is expensive and bulky. On the other hand, you’ll have to buy an amplifier for passive speakers. You will also usually get a better value and a quality that is more consistent with active speakers.
What is Your Frequency Response?
Studio monitors all have a frequency response. This is the way in which a monitor portrays the different frequency ranges in a spectrum. The best thing to do is get a monitor which is as flat as possible. The normal response for a flat monitor is between 20Hz and 20kHz. You’ll want to look for a frequency response which is no less than 20Hz to 20kHz, but preferably 10Hz to 22kHz.
How Large is Your Room?
Another thing to look at when purchase studio monitors is how large the room is where you are monitoring. A lot of these rooms in home studios are fairly small. You might be using a basement or a bedroom for your studio base, and you don’t need to fill much space. Typically, speakers which are bookshelf-sized can fill a medium-small room quite easily. If you need to setup a studio control room which can hold more than five people, you might think about larger speakers that are over seventy-five watts in power. For the smaller rooms you can usually get speakers between ten watts and sixty watts.
Trust Your Own Ears
Even though rather simple, trusting your own ears is the most often overlooked factor in choosing studio monitors. You should listen to every pair of monitors you are thinking about purchasing, and then find just the right pair based upon what you ear. Not even the best salesman can convince you to buy something you don’t need if you already know what you are looking for sonically. When you listen carefully, you’ll be able to make an informed decision which is made on the sonic quality to your ears overall. This is a very important step that should not be overlooked.
Studio Monitors Reviews – Top Picks
Here are some tips to find the best studio monitors that fit into your budget. We found some and made a list of our top rated studio monitors that are under $200. Provided are mini-reviews and information on the monitor’s features, characteristics, and what you can expect from them. You will be able to find the best speakers for your home recording studio or DJ setup without breaking your budget.
The JBL LSR2325P Two-Way 5” Bi-Amplified Studio Monitor
This monitor has high frequency and low frequency control which can be adjusted to your preference or to the absorption of the listening environments.
When you purchase this monitor you only get one speaker. You can make do with one but you really should have two. Since you really should go for a set of them, we suggest shopping around for the best price online and in local music gear stores.
The 5” woofer has high-flux motors which are able to extend low frequencies to 43Hz. There are biamplified 55 watt low frequencies and the high frequency is 35 watts. There are internal amplifiers that provide high sound pressure levels.
This is one of the best studio monitors for the size and the cost.
Alesis M1Active 520 USB Nearfield Studio Monitors
For those working on a tight home studio budget, this is set offers the best value studio monitors for the money (based on price at Guitar Center).
This monitor set has a 60W with 30W in each speaker. These speakers feature two way, bi-amplified for your audio setup. An additional feature is the USB Audio I/O.
This system also has a five inch lightweight woofer with a one inch silk dome tweeter. This result is high quality sound. You will clearly hear the highs, rich mids, and decent lows.
The speakers have shields so they can be placed near TV sets and computer monitors. You will not have to worry about sound interference. You can even switch the power supply on these speakers so they can be used anyone in the world.
They are compatible with all plugs and electric systems.
M Audio BX5 D2 5” Active 2-Way Studio Monitor Speakers
These speakers are also great for people on a budget. You will get your money’s worth with these speakers as they are a good value for the money based on price at Guitar Center. The sound is truly stunning for low price speakers.
The speakers have clear sound without any humming or hissing noises. The Custom Class A/B analog amplifiers offer great dynamics and tone accuracy.
This set features woven Kevlar frequency drivers and waveguide-loaded silk dome tweeters. This allows for clearly defined sound.
You also get a bi-amplified studio monitor with 70 watt power. There is also a 5-inch low frequency transductor and well defined low tones. The one inch high frequency drivers have natural silk domes for clear high sounds and a wide sweet spot. There are also rear porting for extended low frequencies while reducing turbulence from the air.
The biggest benefit from this speaker set is the magnetic shielding. This will help eliminate interference from other electronic devices. You will not have to spend extra money on magnetizing the monitors in your studio. This is very important when shopping on a budget.
You will love how much these speakers can do. The balanced XLR and the ¼ input will allow you to connect many different audio sources to these speakers without interference.