The 10 Best Small Studio Monitors In 2021 [For Home Studio Use]

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Producers and sound engineers have used studio monitors as their main reference point for generations now. As time has passed, more and more creators are doing their thing at home. With that, it’s only fitting that I talk about the best small studio monitors for home studio use.

Studio Frequencies is all about HOME studios, which has a different definition to everyone. Your home studio setup is different from mine, and any other producers’ for that manner. Some folks won’t be able to fit 8-inch studio monitors in their designated studio area.

That’s why 5-inch (or smaller) studio monitor options are a perfect alternative for most people, especially if you’re just starting out.

Don’t fret though, just because these monitors are smaller doesn’t mean that you’ll be sacrificing sound quality. You’ll still have a great reference point and these studio speakers will do their jobs nicely. In fact, small studio monitors might be better than their 8-inch counterparts depending on the size of your studio, but we’ll get to that later.

Before we dive into the list, there are a few important factors to go over before you make a decision. Let’s get into it!

Quick Picks

ImageProductScorePrice
TOP PICK
Yamaha HS5
Yamaha HS5

Power Config: Bi-amped — LF Driver Size: 5" — HF Driver Size: 1" — Total Power: 70W — Frequency Range: 54Hz-30kHz — Crossover Frequency: 2kHz 

9.8
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RUNNER-UP
KRK RP5 Rokit G4
KRK RP5 Rokit G4

Power Config: Bi-amped — LF Driver Size: 5" woofer — HF Driver Size: 1" tweeter  — Total Power: 55W Class D — Frequency Response: 43Hz-40kHz 

9.7
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ULTRA-COMPACT
IK Multimedia iLoud MTM
IK Multimedia iLoud MTM

Power Config: Bi-amped — LF Driver Size: 2 x 3.5" — HF Driver Size: 1" tweeter — Total Power: 100W RMS Class D — Frequency Response: 40Hz-24kHz 

9.5
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HIGH-END PICK
Adam Audio T7V
Adam Audio T7V

Power Config: Bi-amped —LF Driver Size: 7" woofer — HF Driver Size: 1.9" U-ART tweeter — LF Driver Power Amp: 50W — HF Driver Power Amp: 20W — Frequency Response: 39Hz-25kHz — Crossover Frequency: 2600Hz 

9.4
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WELL-ROUNDED
JBL Professtional 305P MkII
JBL Professtional 305P MkII

Power Config: Bi-amped — LF Driver Size: 5" woofer — HF Driver Size: 1" tweeter — Total Power: 82W Class D — Frequency Range: 43Hz-24kHz — Crossover Frequency: 1725Hz 

9.3
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BUDGET PICK
PreSonus Eris E3.5
PreSonus Eris E3.5

Power Config: Single Amp — LF Driver Size: 3.5" Woofer — HF Driver Size: 1" Tweeter — Total Power: 50W Class AB (25W per speaker) — Frequency Response: 80Hz-20kHz — Crossover Frequency: 2.8kHz 

9.2
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BEGINNER PICK
Mackie CR-X Series
Mackie CR-X Series

Power Config: Single Amp — LF Driver Size: 5" Woofer — HF Driver Size: 0.75" Tweeter — Total Power: 80W Class AB — Frequency Response: 50Hz-20kHz (-10dB) 

9
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VALUE PICK
Kali Audio LP-6
Kali Audio LP-6

Power Config: Bi-amped — LF Driver Size: 6.5" Woofer — HF Driver Size: 1" Tweeter  — Total Power: 80W Class D — Frequency Range: 47Hz-21kHz (±3dB) — Crossover Frequency: 24 dB/octave @ 1500Hz 

8.9
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ATTRACTIVE DESIGN
Edifier R1280T
Edifier R1280T
8.7
View At Amazon
POWERFUL & AFFORDABLE
M-Audio BX5
M-Audio BX5

Power Config: Bi-amped — LF Driver Size: 5" woofer — HF Driver Size: 1" dome tweeter — Total Power: 100W Class AB — Frequency Response: 52Hz-35kHz — Crossover Frequency: 2.5kHz 

8.5
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Speaker Dimensions

The most important thing to figure out is exactly what size speakers you need on a set of small studio monitors. Almost every studio monitor option consists of two drivers (also referred to as 2-way). 

There is usually one 1” dome tweeter that handles the highs and some mids and a low frequency driver that handles the other mids and bass. The low frequency driver will vary in cone-size. So, when we’re talking about a 5-inch studio monitor, we’re referring to the size of the bottom driver.

There are a number of different dimensions to take into consideration, but it’s all dependent on a few things.

First is the size of your studio space. If you’re in a small bedroom for instance, it might be a good idea to go for a set of 4-inch or 5-inch studio monitors. This is due to the fact that bigger speakers in a smaller space can easily become distorted. 

The reason why any producer invests in monitor speakers is to have an accurate reference point for their sounds. Bigger and louder speakers will overload a small space very quickly. All of this is heavily dependent on how well your space is acoustically treated as well. Click the link below to my acoustic treatment guide to learn more!

Related: The Acoustic Treatment Ultimate Guide

The second factor that determines what size monitor speakers you should get is how you plan on using them. Again, with smaller size monitors comes smaller low frequency drivers. Smaller woofers means bass frequencies won’t be as “present” as they are in bigger studio monitors.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. Smaller monitors tend to have very accurate mid-range frequencies. The frequency range between 1,000 Hz and 5,000 Hz is widely known to be one of the most important for mixing because it’s the most prevalent. Human ears are most sensitive to mid-range frequencies, so having an accurate reference point for that range is huge.

If you feel that you need more presence in your low-ends then you can always invest in a small studio subwoofer in the future. That being said, if you don’t think a set of small studio monitors will cut it for what you need in terms of mixing capabilities in the low-ends, then maybe a bigger set will work better.

The last factor here is the physical space you have in your studio. Not only will bigger studio monitors overwhelm a small space sound-wise, but they might just take up too much space in conjunction with your other gear. If you’re already cramped and you’re just starting out with your studio, small studio monitors are a perfect choice.

Related: Studio Equipment List: The Top 50 Essentials

Related: How To Set Up An Awesome Home Recording Studio In 9 Easy Steps

Keep in mind that a 3-inch monitor speaker will sound vastly different than a 4-inch. The same is true for every size up you go from there.

Positioning & Placement

The manner in which you place and position your studio monitors is a much more complex subject than you might think. One could easily write a whole article on this, but I’ll break it down as briefly as I can.

Now, some studio monitor manufacturers will walk you through this process in the user manual, but you’ll likely still need to do some tinkering. In short, how you position your monitors depends on how well treated your studio space is as well as your listening position, especially your listening distance.

Finding the right angle and the right height for your studio monitors will give you the best possible sonic reference. You want every frequency to hit your ears with clarity and minimal “bounce” so to speak. 

Say you position your monitors poorly and the frequencies are just bouncing off of every wall in your studio. You’ll still be hearing the sounds coming from the monitor speakers, but they will surely be discolored and inaccurate.

This initial process will take some patience and time as you play around with things. Trust me, you’ll know when you find that sweet spot. Also, there are plenty of resources out there to help you with this.

Resource: Studio Subwoofer Buyer’s Guide

Weight & Materials

The weight and materials used on your studio monitors comes into play in a few different ways.

Number one is if you want your monitor speakers to be portable. It’s rare that a producer would take their precious studio monitors to go. If that sounds like you though then a set of lightweight monitors made of strong plastic would be the way to go.

If you just want to use your monitors at home and keep them there, then you can opt for a heavier set. That’s assuming of course that the place you intend on storing them can hold the weight. 

A studio desk or speaker stands can hold a lot of weight, but if the only thing you have is a thin shelf, then go lightweight. 

One other thing to factor in is isolation pads, which add a little weight as well. Isolation pads are a must have when acoustically treating your studio monitors. They are just another tool for improving the accuracy of your reference monitors.

Isolation pads don’t weigh a whole lot, but it’s worth planning for nonetheless.

Related: Monitor Isolation Pads Guide

Frequency Response & Sound Quality

The main difference between studio monitors and commercial speakers is their frequency response. Studio monitors are designed to have a more flat frequency response for better sonic accuracy, just like a set of studio headphones vs. a pair of Beats headphones.

The frequency range of a set of studio monitors is a hugely important factor, and their frequency response is even more important. This can be hard to decipher, but rest assured that most studio monitors will be just fine out of the box.

The whole idea is to have a frequency response that has little to no embellishments across the frequency range. That means that lows won’t be overpowering and highs won’t be ear-piercing. You want your studio monitors to show you everything that’s wrong with your mix, and I mean that in the best way possible. 

The truth is that studio monitors do a better job of avoiding these embellishments than most studio headphones do. Hence why monitors have been the staple for producers for so long. You really can’t get more accurate than a good set of studio monitors.

Now, in terms of small studio monitors, frequency response gets a little tricky. Bigger monitors will have a bass range that’s more present, like we discussed earlier. The mids will be more clear though, so it really is just nit-picky. Again, you can get a studio subwoofer if you end up having issues with that lack of bass presence in a smaller set of studio monitors.

Related: Frequency Response & How It Applies To Your Music

Power Rating

The power rating of a particular set of studio monitors determines the overall volume limit of the speakers. Now, right out of the box these studio monitors will have a power rating that matches the headroom and speaker size of the set.

Power rating plays a bigger role in bigger monitors that are 8-inches or larger. For smaller monitors, it’s basically a “you get what you get” type of thing. 

Again, this isn’t a bad thing per se. With a volume limit that matches the speaker size, that means you’ll have less of a chance of overwhelming your space. This also means a more accurate sound. Just don’t play these guys at max volume all the time as that can lead to some discoloration as well.


Best Small Studio Monitors List

Now that we’ve gone over the important stuff, it’s time to dive into my list of favorite small studio monitors. Once you’ve deciphered how big you need your monitors to be and how you plan to use them, then you’re good to go. Anyway, let’s check out the list.


Yamaha HS5

TOP PICK
9.8/10Studio Frequencies Score

Specifications:

Power Config: Bi-amped — LF Driver Size: 5" — LF Driver Type: Cone — HF Driver Size: 1" — HF Driver Type: Dome tweeter — LF Driver Power Amp: 45W — HF Driver Power Amp: 25W — Total Power: 70W — Frequency Range: 54Hz-30kHz — Crossover Frequency: 2kHz — Input Types: 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4" TRS — Enclosure Type: Rear Ported — Enclosure Material: MDF — Height: 11.2" — Width: 6.7" — Depth: 8.7" — Weight: 11.7 lbs. 

Reasons To Buy:

+ Classic design

+ Clear and accurate sound quality

+ Solid build quality

Reasons To Avoid:

- Controls are on the rear

9.8out of 10

Build Quality9.8
Features9.6
Sound Quality9.9

Many years have passed since the introduction of Yamaha’s original studio monitors, the NS-10. The HS line of monitors keep the heritage of the NS-10 alive by incorporating modern features. 

For the top pick on this list of small studio monitors, I’ve gone with the Yamaha HS5 due to its compact design and their renowned sound quality. The HS line has been around for quite some time now, but they haven’t lost any steam since their release.

The HS5 is actually the smallest option available in the HS line, but that doesn’t mean they lack in loudness and clarity. On top of that, these studio monitors have one of the flattest frequency responses you’ll ever see. 

One of the coolest features present on the HS5’s is the Room Control switch. This feature makes it so the monitors automatically calibrate themselves in proportion to the size of the room you’re in based on -2dB and -4dB options. Other than that there’s a High Trim switch, and two-way bass-reflect bi-amiplification design out of the box.

The one small gripe I have with these monitors is that all of these controls I’ve mentioned are located on the back panel. Not a huge deal, and it’s honestly like this on almost every studio monitor set out there, but it’ll never not be a little annoying.

Why They’re My Favorite

With a 70w amp, solid outer build quality, and excellent sound quality, it’s hard not to see why the HS5’s are at the top of the list. These studio monitors are true classics, and they’re likely to stay relevant for many years to come.


KRK RP5 Rokit G4

RUNNER-UP
9.7/10Studio Frequencies Score

Specifications:

Power Config: Bi-amped — LF Driver Size: 5" woofer — LF Driver Type: Kevlar cone with rubber surround — HF Driver Size: 1" tweeter — HF Driver Type: Kevlar dome tweeter — Total Power: 55W Class D — Frequency Response: 43Hz-40kHz — Maximum Peak SPL: 104 dB SPL — Input Types: 1 x XLR-1/4 combo — Software: KRK Audio Tools App — Enclosure Type: Ported — Height: 11.22" — Width: 7.48" — Depth: 9.49" — Weight: 10.69 lbs. 

Reasons To Buy:

+ Excellent value

+ Low-end frequencies are fantastic

+ Wide frequency range

Reasons To Avoid:

- Digital controls might be gimmicky to some

9.7out of 10

Build Quality9.5
Features9.7
Sound Quality9.8

Even if you’re just starting out on your home studio journey, there’s still a good chance you’ve seen these exact monitors before. The KRK Rokit, along with the Yamaha HS line, are among the most iconic studio monitors on the market, and there’s a reason for that.

The KRK RP5 Rokit 4th Generation studio monitors have one of the widest frequency ranges out there and the low-ends really shine. In fact, part of the reason why KRK Rokit studio monitors are so popular is because of those outstanding bass frequencies.

This has made them a magnet for producers of electronic music and hip hop. None of this is to say that the lows are embellished, they just sound great. It’s hard to find any sonic reference that projects clear lows that don’t sound muddy, but these monitors excel at it.

Now, all of your parameter controls are done via bluetooth on a mobile phone app. The graphic EQ on the app is wonderful, but the other control options might feel a little gimmicky to some users. This is just one small negative in a sea of positives for these studio monitors though.

These are the 4th generation iteration of the RP5’s, although the differences to their predecessors aren’t substantial. The main update was done to the design, which is more traditional than the previous versions. 

If you’re thinking the 5-inch option won’t cut it, then the RP7’s aren’t that much bigger than the RP5’s and you’ll get even more bass presence. In any regard, these KRK Rokit studio monitors are one of the best options out there for beginners and veterans alike. It really is hard not to fall in love with these things.  


IK Multimedia iLoud MTM

ULTRA-COMPACT
9.5/10Studio Frequencies Score

Specifications:

Power Config: Bi-amped — LF Driver Size: 2 x 3.5" — LF Driver Type: Polypropylene Mid-woofers — HF Driver Size: 1" tweeter — HF Driver Type: Back-chambered Silk dome — LF Driver Power Amp: 70W RMS — HF Driver Power Amp: 30W RMS — Total Power: 100W RMS Class D — Frequency Response: 40Hz-24kHz — Maximum Peak SPL: 103dB SPL @ 1m — Input Types: 1 x XLR-1/4" combo, 1/8" TS (ARC mic) — USB: 1 x Type B — Features: Tiltable Stand — Enclosure Type: Ported — Enclosure Material: Molded Plastic — Height: 13.39" — Width: 6.3" — Depth: 5.12" — Weight: 5.5 lbs. 

Reasons To Buy:

+ Very compact

+ Surprisingly loud and accurate

+ Stuffed with onboard tech features

Reasons To Avoid:

- Only suitable for very small studio spaces

9.5out of 10

Build Quality9.6
Features9.4
Sound Quality9.6

The IK Multimedia iLoud Micro MTM’s are a great option for those looking for a little flexibility in their studio monitors. I know, your first thought when looking at them is how they possibly could be loud enough to be a good reference point, right? Well, trust me, they’re loud enough.

It’s kind of mind-bending actually. These little 3-inch iLoud micro monitors push out some serious sound, and it comes out very clear and accurate too! The more you mess around with these super compact studio monitors, the more interesting they get. That’s partly due to the amount of techy features packed into them.

They sport a built-in ARC calibration system, multiple filters, and a few other onboard control options. Their “micro-studio monitor” design makes them portable, which is unique. I mean, these iLoud micro monitors aren’t much bigger than a pair of normal computer speakers, and yet, they’re just as powerful as some full-size monitors.

I can sum up everything there is to say about the IK Multimedia iLoud Micro MTM studio monitors in a few words: they’re friggin cool! They’re not going to be great for anything but a very small studio space, but again, they’re just cool.


Adam Audio T7V

HIGH-END PICK
9.4/10Studio Frequencies Score

Specifications:

Power Config: Bi-amped — LF Driver Size: 7" woofer — LF Driver Type: Polypropylene — HF Driver Size: 1.9" U-ART tweeter — LF Driver Power Amp: 50W — HF Driver Power Amp: 20W — Frequency Response: 39Hz-25kHz — Crossover Frequency: 2600Hz — Maximum Peak SPL: ≥110dB SPL @ 1m — Input Types: 1 x XLR, 1 x RCA — Enclosure Type: Rear ported — Height: 13.7" — Width: 8.3" — Depth: 11.5" — Weight: 15.7 lbs. 

Reasons To Buy:

+ Extremely accurate sound

+ High-ends are well above average

+ Feature-rich

Reasons To Avoid:

- A little pricey

9.4out of 10

Build Quality9.4
Features9.4
Sound Quality9.5

If these monitors didn’t cost more than any other option on this list, they would be in the top 3. If you want to talk about the most accurate studio monitors out there, then the Adam Audio T7V’s have to be mentioned.

These monitors produce a sound that is so satisfying it’s almost addicting. Okay, I’m letting my audiophile come out, but seriously, these things just sound amazing. Adam Audio excels at reproducing high-ends in their monitors, and the T7U are a true testament to that.

The same can be said about the entirety of the frequency response though. The stereo imaging is as good as it gets, and mono is ever-present. Everything is crisp and tight, which makes them perfect for mixing, mastering, and even tracking. On top of that, you get all of the features you’d expect in a higher-end set of monitors.

All of this comes at a price, but it’s well worth it if you have the budget. The T7U is actually the more affordable cousin to the A series from Adam Audio, but a lot of the features are still included in the T series.

All in all, these are exceptional studio monitors and they’ll make a great addition to any home studio.


JBL Professtional 305P MkII

WELL-ROUNDED
9.3/10Studio Frequencies Score

Specifications:

Power Config: Bi-amped — LF Driver Size: 5" woofer — LF Driver Type: Cone — HF Driver Size: 1" tweeter — HF Driver Type: Soft dome — LF Driver Power Amp: 41W — HF Driver Power Amp: 41W — Total Power: 82W Class D — Frequency Range: 43Hz-24kHz — Frequency Response: 49Hz-20kHz (±3dB), 43Hz-24kHz (-10dB) — Crossover Frequency: 1725Hz — Maximum Peak SPL: 108 dB SPL — Input Types: 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4" — Enclosure Type: Rear Ported — Enclosure Material: 15mm Medium-Density Fiberboard — Height: 11.7" — Width: 7.3" — Depth: 9.1" — Weight: 10.43 lbs. 

Reasons To Buy:

+ Detailed sound quality

+ Mids and Highs are extremely accurate

+ Great build quality

Reasons To Avoid:

- Low-ends are below average

9.3out of 10

Build Quality9.3
Features9.2
Sound Quality9.4

JBL is well-known for everything they do in the audio field. Finding a bad JBL product is almost unheard of, and their P line of studio monitors are no exception.

The 30-P line of monitors have become a widely popular option for audiophiles everywhere due to their detailed sonic reproduction, especially in the mids and highs. We all know how important those ranges of frequencies are and JBL has made studio monitors that capture them very, very well.

As with any JBL product, the 305P MkII’s are built to last. In fact, that might be the best part about these monitors. They just feel rugged. JBL is no stranger to innovative features and these monitors are full to the brim with crazy good technicalities.

For instance, the new boundary EQ drastically improves the sweet spot range and it’s easy to use. There really isn’t another on-board EQ like it on any other set of studio monitors.

These monitors aren’t perfect though. Even though the sound is crisp and clear in the mids and highs, the lows definitely feel a little flat, especially in the 5-inch 305P version. The 308P’s are a major improvement on this, but they cost a bit more and take up quite a bit of space. JBL has a great studio subwoofer to counteract this issue, but it might not be worth it to some of you out there.

JBL has a reputation for putting holes in folks’ pockets, but these studio monitors aren’t horribly priced, and you get a great product from a great brand.


PreSonus Eris E3.5

BUDGET PICK
9.2/10Studio Frequencies Score

Specifications:

Power Config: Single Amp — LF Driver Size: 3.5" Woofer — LF Driver Type: Woven Composite — HF Driver Size: 1" Tweeter — HF Driver Type: Silk Dome — Total Power: 50W Class AB (25W per speaker) — Frequency Response: 80Hz-20kHz — Crossover Frequency: 2.8kHz — Maximum Peak SPL: 100 dB SPL @ 1m — Input Types: 2 x 1/4", 1 x Dual RCA Stereo, 1 x 1/8" (aux in) — Output Types: 1 x 1/8" (headphones), Bare Wire strip (out to right speaker) — Features: Over temperature protection, RF interference protection, High/Low frequency boost/cut — Enclosure Type: Rear Ported — Enclosure Material: Vinyl-laminated MDF — Height: 8.3" — Width: 5.6" — Depth: 6.4" — Weight: 6.4 lbs. 

Reasons To Buy:

+ Very flat frequency response

+ Lightweight

+ Very affordable

Reasons To Avoid:

- Hard to find the sweet spot

9.2out of 10

Build Quality9.1
Features9.2
Sound Quality9.4

Next up is probably the most affordable option that comes from Presonus. Just like the MTM’s from before, these little studio monitors are louder than they seem. The difference between the Presonus Eris 3.5’s and the MTM’s is the frequency response, which is much more flat on the Eris.

That makes these little monitor speakers great for mixing and mastering in a tight area, and with a tight budget. These monitor speakers are commonly seen in numerous recording studio bundles that Presonus offers because they make such a great entry-level option.

The Presonus Eris studio monitors also look great. They have a clean design that makes them look attractive in any studio setup. There’s not much here in terms of flair or extra features, but they have a great sound in a small package. 

The only glaring issue is finding the sweet spot with these little monitor speakers. Also, the bass is a little flat but that’s to be expected. There are a number of different size options offered in the Eris line of studio monitors though, so go bigger if you feel like it’ll be an issue.

All in all, at this price point you can’t really go wrong with the Presonus Eris studio monitors. Presonus is a respected brand that puts out quality products, and these tiny monitor speakers live up to the name!


Mackie CR-X Series

BEGINNER PICK
9/10Studio Frequencies Score

Specifications:

Power Config: Single Amp — LF Driver Size: 5" Woofer — LF Driver Type: Polypropylene-coated — HF Driver Size: 0.75" Tweeter — HF Driver Type: Ferrofluid-cooled Silk-dome — Total Power: 80W Class AB — Frequency Response: 50Hz-20kHz (-10dB) — Input Types: 1 x 1/8" (aux), 2 x 1/4", 1 x Dual RCA Stereo — Output Types: bare wire connectors +/- (connects pair), 1 x 1/8" (headphones) — Enclosure Type: Rear Ported — Enclosure Material: Solid MDF with Black Vinyl wrap — Height: 10.2" — Width: 6.9" — Depth: 9.3" — Weight: 14.9 lbs. 

Reasons To Buy:

+ Quite loud with good accuracy

+ Budget-friendly

+ Includes an RCA cable

Reasons To Avoid:

- Build quality is subpar

9out of 10

Build Quality8.9
Features9
Sound Quality9.1

Just like the Eris monitors that I just went over, the Mackie CR-X series studio monitors are a great beginner option. These might be just a little better for that particular use actually. The reason for that is the ease of use that comes with them.

Three out of the five options in the CR-X line of studio monitors are small enough with 3-inch, 4-inch, and 5-inch versions. I would probably recommend the 5-inch though.

The overall sound quality of these studio monitors is pretty good. There’s no glaring discoloration, and there aren’t any frequencies that sound overly embellished. It’s not like you’re getting the most detailed sound ever heard, but these monitors are still a great reference point for most producers just starting out.

The one issue I have is the build quality of the CR-X series monitors. The plastic feels a little flimsy and the cones feel cheap. The technology inside is great, but I’d be careful with these things if you go this route.

Again, these are a wonderful option for beginners and they won’t put a massive dent in your wallet.


Kali Audio LP-6

VALUE PICK
8.9/10Studio Frequencies Score

Specifications:

Power Config: Bi-amped — LF Driver Size: 6.5" Woofer — HF Driver Size: 1" Tweeter — HF Driver Type: Soft Dome — LF Driver Power Amp: 40W — HF Driver Power Amp: 40W — Total Power: 80W Class D — Frequency Range: 47Hz-21kHz (±3dB) — Frequency Response: 39Hz-25kHz (-10dB) — Crossover Frequency: 24 dB/octave @ 1500Hz — Maximum Peak SPL: 112 dB SPL @ 1m — Input Types: 1 x XLR, 1 x RCA , 1 x 1/4" — Enclosure Type: Front Ported — Height: 14.125" — Width: 8.75" — Depth: 10.25" — Weight: 15.54 lbs. 

Reasons To Buy:

+ Tweak-able dip switches

+ Great bang for your buck value

+ Great transparent sound

Reasons To Avoid:

- Build quality is iffy

8.9out of 10

Build Quality8.7
Features9.1
Sound Quality9

Kali Audio is the new kid on the block in the studio monitor field, but they’ve put out some great products in that time. One of their more popular options is the LP-6 studio monitors and there’s a lot of good things to say about them.

One feature in particular is the onboard dip switches. On the back panel you’ll see a plethora of switches with illustrations. These switches aid in fine-tuning the studio monitor’s response to their environment. It actually works really well too!

The sound quality of the LP-6 studio monitors is very balanced and transparent. There’s nothing to complain about in that regard. The lows are quite pleasant as well.

The one common problem with these studio monitors is the build quality. They seem to be made well enough, but a lot of users have stated that their products showed up damaged. That’s not always a good sign for the overall build quality.

For a new-ish brand, Kali Audio has made a set of studio monitors that’s making a name for themselves. I’m certainly excited to see what comes next from these guys, but for now, the LP-6’s are a solid choice.


Edifier R1280T

ATTRACTIVE DESIGN
8.7/10Studio Frequencies Score

Specifications:

Click here for specs

Reasons To Buy:

+ Comes with a remote control

+ Great aesthetics

+ Mid-range is very clear

Reasons To Avoid:

- Bass frequencies are almost non-existent

8.7out of 10

Build Quality9
Features8.5
Sound Quality8.7

The R1280T studio monitors from Edifier are somewhat of an anomaly. They look, and perform, like they should break the bank, but they don’t. These monitors are some of the most aesthetically pleasing in existence. 

Not only that but they have a distortion rating of less than 0.05% which makes some of the most sonically clear studio monitors on the market!

That clear sound quality is really present in the mids. The whole frequency response is great, but the mids hug the 0dB line all the way up to 5,000 Hz. They are genuinely great sounding monitors that will give you an amazing reference for mixing.

That being said, the bass frequencies are virtually inaudible and the frequency range is a modest 75 Hz – 18 kHz. These might present some issues with tracking and mastering songs, but it doesn’t entirely limit the capabilities of these studio monitors.

Like I said at the beginning, these monitors are an anomaly, which makes them hard to decide on. So, I recommend them strictly as a good option for mixing. Plus, they just look so dang good.


M-Audio BX5

POWERFUL & AFFORDABLE
8.5/10Studio Frequencies Score

Specifications:

Power Config: Bi-amped — LF Driver Size: 5" woofer — LF Driver Type: Kevlar with rubber surround — HF Driver Size: 1" dome tweeter — HF Driver Type: Silk dome — LF Driver Power Amp: 60W — HF Driver Power Amp: 40W — Total Power: 100W Class AB — Frequency Response: 52Hz-35kHz — Crossover Frequency: 2.5kHz — Maximum Peak SPL: 110 dB SPL — Input Types: 1 x 1/4" TRS, 1 x XLR — Features: Acoustic space bass response switch — Enclosure Type: Rear Ported — Enclosure Material: Vinyl laminated MDF — Height: 10" — Width: 6.9" — Depth: 7.8" — Weight: 12.3 lbs.

Reasons To Buy:

+ Low-ends sound great despite the size

+ Handles high volumes quite well

+ Lightweight and affordable

Reasons To Avoid:

- No High Frequency EQ options

8.5out of 10

Build Quality8.4
Features8.5
Sound Quality8.6

M-Audio is a great mid-range manufacturer. Nothing they make is bad, and most of it is affordable. The BX5’s studio monitors are the perfect poster for that reputation.

The BX5’s are the 5-inch version of the BX line, and I think they’re the right choice, although the 4-inch variation are decent as well. The speakers are just big enough to give off some great sound, and the case isn’t too big for most spaces. Don’t let the size fool you though, these little monitors can handle peak volume with ease.

Not only that, but the bass frequencies really stand out, which is surprising at this size. Actually, the lows sound better than some bigger counterparts out there. Overall, the sound quality is very impressive on these studio monitors.

The one thing lacking in these monitors is the features. One in particular is a high frequency EQ option. This is the one factor that brought these monitors down the list in my eyes, but they sound so good that they’re still worth including.

Veterans will be both impressed and disappointed by these monitors, and beginners will enjoy them. It’s a tough call here, but the BX5 studio monitors are powerful and can create a great mixing environment.


Conclusion

Okay, so we went over a lot of stuff here. I gave you a vast array of options because it’s such a complex decision. Not only that but it’s heavily dependent on your setup, and I don’t know your setup.

With that, I think the best option for almost any studio is the Yamaha HS5 studio monitors. They are an all around great option with awesome sound from an all-time classic company. There’s not a whole lot more to say about them than that, they kind of speak for themselves!

All of the options on this list have plenty to offer for everyone with a small studio though. My only hope is that this guide has provided you with some helpful information as you’re doing your research.

As always, feel free to reach out on the contact page with any questions you might have!

Happy hunting!

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Jeremy Bongiorno
I have been a musician and producer for over 15 years. My goal is to provide reliable, honest information and hopefully help to improve the quality of life in your studio.

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