No home recording studio is complete without a good pair of studio monitors. Without them, it’s impossible to create good mixes.
There are tons of good companies that manufacture high-quality monitors for studios. They differ in sound quality, features, and price. And sometimes it’s hard to choose the right one for you.
Especially for home studios. Because depending on your room size or budget, you may have a hard time choosing the best studio monitor. Here I am to help you.
What Is A Studio Monitor
Studio monitors are speakers that are made for audio recording and mixing specifically. Because they are configured a specific way, it’s easier to mix tracks with them. You hear everything correctly – lows, mids, and highs.
The studio monitor must have a flat frequency range. If there are little cuts or boosts in the frequency range, it won’t get you the original sound. So, you need to choose a monitor with a flat frequency.
Some people mix their songs in headphones. There’s nothing wrong with it, you can do it. But with monitors, it is much better. You hear every detail of your mixes. Headphones are great for reference.
Powered vs Unpowered Monitors
There are two types of studio monitors. One type is powered and the second type is an unpowered studio monitor. You can also see active and passive instead. Both are great for studios, have the same purpose, but have a little difference. They work slightly differently.
Unpowered monitors require an external power source to work. They have an amplifier inside so it needs the power to work properly. So, if you decide to buy it, have in mind that active monitors require power.
On the other hand, powered studio monitors don’t need any power to work. They are more convenient and popular among home recording engineers. I love using passive monitors.
Best Studio Monitors Under $1000
First, let’s see the best monitors you can get for under $1000. These are very high-quality products with great sound. You will create better mixes with these high-end speakers.
1. Avantone Pro CLA10
Avantone Pro CLA10 is a great-sounding studio monitor. It’s very popular among famous mixing engineers such as Chris Lord-Alge. This is an active studio monitor with a CLA10 and CLA200 amplifier inside.
Although it’s a great studio monitor, its frequency is not as flat as it should be. But that’s not a problem in this case. You have to get your ear to get used to its sound and you will have no issues. Has a 7” speaker and a tweeter.
If you want to have a good pair of speakers and have a budget for it, you must get a pair of Avantone Pro CLA10. Highly recommended.
Avantone Pro CLA10 Features:
- Includes 200W Class A/B amplifier
- Mid-heavy sound
- 7” speaker and 1-⅜” tweeter
2. KRK V8 S4
KRK is one of the most popular brands in the audio world. And KRK V8 S4 monitors in an amazing product by a great brand. It’s a 230W-powered studio monitor with an 8” woofer and 1” tweeter. Speakers have custom Kevlar drivers.
These studio monitors are great for recording, mixing, or mastering. It’s the flat, full frequency range that gives you the ability to hear every detail of a mix. Very versatile and amazing product for your home studio.
Also, V8 S4 monitors have adjustable controls for EQ. You can make it custom according to your room. Very flexible product.
KRK V8 S4 Features:
- 8” woofer and 1” tweeter with Kevlar drivers
- Flat response from 35Hz to 19kHz
- Level attenuator
3. Yamaha HS8i
Yamaha HS8i is a powered, 120W studio monitor with an 8” woofer and 1” dome tweeter. One of the best sounding speakers you will see in many recording studios. Perhaps it’s a bit expensive for a home studio, but if you have a budget, buy it. You won’t regret it.
HS8i offers great sound, and flat response, and covers the frequency range from 38Hz to 30kHZ. It’s equipped with an advanced magnetic circuit design and has high-performance drivers. Yamaha makes awesome products.
Yamaha HS8i Features:
- The frequency range of 38Hz to 30kHz
- 8” speaker and 1” tweeter
- 120W power
4. Focal Shape 50
Another great high-end studio monitor is the Focal Shape 50. It’s a 5” speaker with an additional 1” tweeter. It has a frequency response from 50Hz to 35kHz. And the uniqueness of this monitor is in its speaker design.
It includes a flax fiber layer which makes it more rigid and light. And the sound is awesome. Also, it has features such as high-pass filter control, LF shelving, LMF EQ, HF shelving, etc. Focal Shape 50 is a great studio monitor for small studios. Excellent for home recording environment.
Focal Shape 50 features:
- Various EQ controls
- Unique speaker design
- Perfect for home recording
5. ADAM Audio A7X
ADAM Audio A7X is a great, 100W active studio monitor. It has a 7” main speaker and 50W X-ART Folded-ribbon tweeter. With its unique design, this pair of studio monitors stand out. Also, it has various controls such as EQ and tweeter volume.
A7X offers balanced sound, great high-frequency reproduction, a very clear midrange, and is very transparent. With A7X you can hear everything clearly and create amazing sounding mixing. Great for home recording studios.
ADAM Audio A7X Features:
- Offers 150W bi-amplification
- Great sounding midrange
- The frequency response is 42Hz to 50kHz
6. Genelec 8030C
And the last but not least amazing studio monitor you can buy for under $1000 is Genelec 8030C. Genelec is a very popular brand among recording and mixing engineers. This particular model is an active monitor with a 50W 5” speaker and a 50W 0.75” tweeter. Has great sound and delivers very focused sound and great deep bass.
This particular Genelec model is a great solution for every home studio owner. With these pairs, your mixes will sound amazing. Great for mixing and mastering.
Genelec 8030C Features:
- Precise and focused sound
- Greta low-end delivery
- Separate bass and treble amplifiers
Best Studio Monitors Under $500
Many mid-range monitors are great for home studios. They offer great sound, and quality, and the price is very affordable. These monitors are the perfect solution for most home studios.
7. KRK Rokit 10 G4
KRK Rokit 10 G4 is perhaps the best mid-range studio monitor for home recording. It offers awesome sound and features. It has some unique features that you won’t find in many other great studio monitors.
It has three speakers. Huge, 10’ low speaker, 4.5” middle, and 1” tweeter on the top. Other than these it has room correction options, LCD visual EQ, and a limiter. Powered by Class D amplifier. You can’t go wrong with Rokit 10 G4.
This is the best solution under $500. Has awesome features and sounds great. It will be an amazing addition to your recording gear.
KRK Rokit 10 G4 Features:
- Three speakers
- Includes limiter
- Visual EQ
- Clear sound
8. Neumann KH 80
Neumann KH 80 is an active, studio monitor with DSP control. Includes 4” main speaker and 1” tweeter. The frequency range is 57Hz-21kHz. This is the best when it comes to mixing and mastering.
Also, KH 80 has a great price so everyone can get one. Has a clear sound and a good depth. Great lows, mids, and highs. If you want to have a good studio monitor or just want to upgrade to a better one, buy these pairs.
Neumann KH 80 Features:
- The frequency response from 57Hz to 21kHz
- Clear low, mids, and highs
- 120 watts and 70 watts amplifiers
9. Kali Audio IN-8
Another great mid-range and affordable studio monitor is Kali Audio IN-8. This is a powered monitor with an 8” speaker and 1” tweeter. Also, includes a 4” midrange driver. Additionally, it has EQ controls for different placements. You can make room corrections easily.
IN-8 offers a very flat and clear sound. You will hear exactly what frequency your audio consists of. Transparency is critical in audio recording and mixing. And Kali Audio delivers it perfectly.
With its tri-amped design, features, and price tag, Kali Audio IN-8 is one of the best studio monitors for your home studio and recording gear.
Kali Audio IN-8 Features:
- Three high-quality speakers
- Room correction controls
- 140W Class D amplifier
10. Tannoy GOLD 8
Tannoy GOLD8 is a powerful, 300W studio monitor with a very slick and modern design. Has an 8” woofer and 1” titanium tweeter with Tulip Waveguide. On the front, you have input and HF control knobs which is a great addition to its features.
Tannoy GOLD 8 offers a very clear sound. It delivers detailed lows, mids, and highs. Class A/B amplification powers it and generates a huge, 300 watts. Great equipment for every home studio. Great speakers for mixing mastering and just for listening.
Tannoy Gold 8 Features:
- 300W A/B amplifier
- 8” Dual Concentric speaker
- Includes input trim, bass, and treble controls
Best Studio Monitors Under $100
Now. let’s see the cheapest but great studio monitors for home recording studios. These are great for beginners who want to learn mixing. Also, for those who use only headphones during mixing or mastering.
11. PreSonus Eris E3.5
PreSonus Eris E3.5 is one of the best studio monitors for beginners. Not only good for mixing and mastering, but also for just listening to music. These are great upgrades from headphones too. If you starting now, I highly recommend Eris E3.5 monitors.
It includes a 3.5” speaker, a 1” dome tweeter, and a 50W Class A/B amplifier. On the front panel, you have an aux-in and headphones out. On the back panel, it has acoustic tuning for lows and highs. Has clear sound and plenty of headroom. Your mixes will sound better with Eris E3.5 monitors.
PreSonus Eris E3.5 Features:
- 50W amplifier
- Controls for lows and highs
- 3.5” woofer
12. Mackie CR3 X3
Mackie CR3 X3 is another great active speaker for beginner mixers. Has a 3” woofer and 0.75” tweeter. Although it’s not a studio monitor, it will be a great upgrade for your home studio. It’s much better to mix with these than headphones.
It has volume control and output for headphones. This can be a great beginner studio monitor and also a great reference speaker. You can mix and master tracks with Mackie CR3 X3. After you become a better mixer, you can upgrade to more high-end monitors.
Mackie CR3 X3 features:
- Headphone output
- 3” main driver
- Best for beginners
13. Behringer MS16
And the third beginner-powered studio monitor is MS16 by Behringer which makes great affordable products. This model is a 16W monitor with a 4” main speaker and a 1.5” tweeter. Each speaker has the power of 8W. Affordable speaker for beginner engineers. Great for learning.
Also, it has features like controls for bass, mid, and treble for more flexibility. Its frequency range is from 80Hz to 20kHz which is pretty enough for correct mixing. If you are on a budget, I highly recommend this monitor.
Behringer MS16 Features:
- Controls for lows, mids, and highs
- Good sound
- 4” woofer and 1.5” tweeter
If you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced mixing engineer and have a home recording studio, there are studio monitors for you. You have the luxury to choose from these awesome products. They offer great features and the price range is vast. I hope this list will help you to choose the right monitor for your studio.