Studio Gears

Best Home Studio Monitor 2020 – Good Sound Under Budget

STUDIO MONITORS BUYING GUIDE

Before we dive in which is the best home studio monitor, let’s take a look what you should notice.

DON’T CHOOSE MONITORS WITH “GOOD” SOUNDING

You won’t want to buy monitors that make your mixes sound good, you want to buy monitors with flat frequency response that deliver accurate and raw sound, so any decisions you make won’t be affected by the character of your monitors. It doesn’t mean you have to buy bad sounding monitors, it means you have to buy monitors without extra colorations.

BIGGER ISN’T BETTER

You may think there’s a bigger model in that series, why not go for it. That’s not right, choose the monitors based on the size of your workroom. If you have a smaller room, you don’t need to put a pair of giant monitors on your desk. Smaller monitors will sound better than bigger one in a small room. The point is to choose a pair of monitors that match your workroom.

BEST MONITOR? DOESN’T EXIST

Like what I’ve mentioned, you should choose monitors base on your needs. Different genres and purposes will have different needs, you should make sure what you need first. There’s no best monitor, only the best monitor suitable for you.

OK. here we go.

1. Mackie CR Series

CR Series also known as affordable series, the price is surprisingly low. Let’s start with CR3, this pair of good sounding monitors may even cheaper than your interface, but it doesn’t sound cheap at all. With studio quality performance and ultra-wide frequency range (80Hz – 20kHz), Mackie CR3 can easily beat other competitors in the same price range. All Mackie CR Series has the ability to let you choose which side of your desk gets the volume knob, and also let you plug your phone or other sources right in front of the speakers and listen instantly, this is what other monitors lack.

CR3

  • 1 Active 1 Passive
  • 3″ polypropylene-coated woofer
  • 0.75″ ferrofluid-cooled silk-dome tweeter
  • 50 W (Pair)
  • 80 – 20,000 Hz
  • Inputs : 6.3 mm jack, 3.5 mm jack, RCA
  • Headphone output on the front panel with volume control
  • Speaker Position switch
  • Headphone output on the front panel with volume control
  • Convenient front panel volume knob with lit power ring

COMPARE PRICE : AMAZON THOMANN

CR4

  • 1 Active 1 Passive
  • 4″ polypropylene-coated woofer
  • 0.75″ ferrofluid-cooled silk-dome tweeter
  • 50 W (Pair)
  • 70 – 20,000 Hz
  • Inputs : 6.3 mm jack, 3.5 mm jack, RCA
  • Headphone output on the front panel with volume control
  • Speaker Position switch
  • Headphone output on the front panel with volume control
  • Convenient front panel volume knob with lit power ring

COMPARE PRICE : AMAZON THOMANN

And here is the really cool feature, the following two models let you stream music from any Bluetooth devices, so you don’t need to worry about where to plug, what to plug, just open Bluetooth and enjoy your music.

CR4 BT

  • 1 Active 1 Passive
  • 4″ polypropylene-coated woofer
  • 0.75″ ferrofluid-cooled silk-dome tweeter
  • 50 W (Pair)
  • 70 – 20,000 Hz
  • Inputs : 6.3 mm jack, 3.5 mm jack, RCA
  • Headphone output on the front panel with volume control
  • Audio playback via Bluetooth
  • Speaker Position switch
  • Headphone output on the front panel with volume control
  • Convenient front panel volume knob with lit power ring

COMPARE PRICE : AMAZON THOMANN

CR5 BT

  • 1 Active 1 Passive
  • 5″ polypropylene-coated woofer
  • 0.75″ ferrofluid-cooled silk-dome tweeter
  • 50 W (Pair)
  • 60 – 20,000 Hz
  • Inputs : 6.3 mm jack, 3.5 mm jack, RCA
  • Headphone output on the front panel with volume control
  • Audio playback via Bluetooth
  • Speaker Position switch
  • Headphone output on the front panel with volume control
  • Convenient front panel volume knob with lit power ring

COMPARE PRICE : AMAZON THOMANN

2. PreSonus Eris Series

Here is another pocket-friendly series. The PreSonus Eris series gives you nice and clear sound. With custom Kevlar woofer and silk dome tweeter, you can get smooth and accurate frequency response, this is the feature that makes Eris so well-known. This series also allows you to adjust low and high frequency, so you can have your monitors to match your workroom. PreSonus Eris series definitely worth the price, it has so many features that normally will only feature on higher level models.

E3.5

  • 1 Active 1 Passive
  • 3.5″ Kevlar woofer
  • 1″ silk dome tweeter
  • 50 W (Pair)
  • 80 – 20,000 Hz
  • Inputs : 6.3 mm jack, 3.5 mm jack, RCA
  • High and mid frequency control : +/- 6 dB

COMPARE PRICE : AMAZON THOMANN

E4.5

  • 1 Active 1 Passive
  • 4.5″ Kevlar woofer
  • 1″ silk dome tweeter
  • 50 W (Pair)
  • 70 – 20,000 Hz
  • Inputs : 6.3 mm jack, 3.5 mm jack, RCA
  • High and mid frequency control : +/- 6 dB
  • Low cut filter : Flat, 80 Hz, 100 Hz
  • Acoustic space control: Flat, -2 dB, -4 dB

COMPARE PRICE : AMAZON THOMANN

E5

  • Active
  • 5,25″ Kevlar woofer
  • 1″ silk dome tweeter
  • 160 W (Pair)
  • 70 – 22,000 Hz
  • Inputs : 6.3 mm jack, 3.5 mm jack, RCA
  • Bi-amped, Class A-B amplifier : LF 45 W, HF 35 W
  • High and mid frequency control : +/- 6 dB
  • Low cut filter: Flat, 80 Hz, 100 Hz
  • Acoustic space control : Flat, -2 dB, -4 dB

COMPARE PRICE : AMAZON THOMANN

E8

  • Active
  • 8″ Kevlar woofer
  • 1.25″ silk dome tweeter
  • 280 W (Pair)
  • 35 – 22,000 Hz
  • Inputs : 6.3 mm jack, 3.5 mm jack, RCA
  • Bi-amped, Class A-B amplifier : LF 45 W, HF 35 W
  • High and mid frequency control : +/- 6 dB
  • Low cut filter: Flat, 80 Hz, 100 Hz
  • Acoustic space control: Flat, -2 dB, -4 dB

COMPARE PRICE : AMAZON THOMANN

3. KRK RoKit 5 G3

This pair of monitors gives you very clean and clear response up to 35kHz. You can hear the top end really well, especially hi-hats, you can hear the crispy sound of hi-hats. One of the features of KRK RoKit series is it has low distortion. The bass performance is very powerful, but also remains flat response throughout the spectrum. You can manually adjust the high and low frequency to match your personal taste. There is also a KRK RoKit 6 with more powerful output and wider frequency range.

  • Active
  • 5″ Aramid Glass Composite woofer
  • 1″ Soft dome tweeter
  • 100 W (Pair)
  • 45 – 35.000 Hz
  • Inputs : 6.3 mm jack, XLR, RCA
  • Bi-amped, Class A-B amplifier : LF 30 W, HF 20 W
  • High and Low frequency adjustment

COMPARE PRICE : AMAZON THOMANN

KRK RoKit 6 G3

  • Active
  • 6″ Aramid Glass Composite woofer
  • 1″ Soft dome tweeter
  • 146 W (Pair)
  • 38 – 35.000 Hz
  • Inputs : 6.3 mm jack, XLR, RCA
  • Bi-amped, Class A-B amplifier : LF 48 W, HF 25 W
  • High and Low frequency adjustment

COMPARE PRICE : AMAZON THOMANN

4. JBL LSR 3 Series

Let’s say you have an untreated room, and you are worried about monitors may sound “bad” in your room. With JBL LSR design, 3 Series Studio Monitors deliver superior accuracy regardless of the size and shape of your room, so your mixes will sound as good as it should be. The Class D Amplifiers provide you powerful output and dynamic headroom. It also has greater low frequency extension.

LSR 305

  • Active
  • 5″ Magnetically-Shielded woofer
  • 1″ Soft dome tweeter
  • 43 – 24.000 Hz
  • 164 W (Pair)
  • Inputs : 6.3 mm jack, XLR
  • Bi-amped, Class D amplifier : LF 41 W, HF 41 W
  • High and low frequency trim control : +/- 2 dB
  • Image Control Waveguide Technology

COMPARE PRICE : AMAZON THOMANN (single unit)

LSR 308

  • Active
  • 8″ Magnetically-Shielded woofer
  • 1″ Soft dome tweeter
  • 37 – 24.000 Hz
  • 224 W (Pair)
  • Inputs :  XLR, RCA
  • Bi-amped, Class D amplifier : LF 56 W, HF 56 W
  • High and low frequency trim control : +/- 2 dB
  • Image Control Waveguide Technology

COMPARE PRICE : AMAZON THOMANN (single unit)

5. Yamaha HS Series

Yamaha HS series gives you clarity and flat frequency response. Without extra coloration, it’s really great for mixing and mastering. The newly developed tweeter is able to deliver smooth, distortion-free high end up to 30 kHz. The low resonance enclosure design and noise reduction technology eliminates unwanted resonance and noise that can influence the overall sound. Like other high-end monitors, HS series also features room control and high frequency trim. When seeing Yamaha, you can expect the quality.

HS5

  • Active
  • 5″ Ultra-responsive cone woofer
  • 1″ Dome tweeter
  • 54 – 30.000 Hz
  • 140 W (Pair)
  • Inputs : 6.3 mm jack, XLR
  • Bi-ampedClass-D amplifier : LF 45 W, HF 25 W
  • High frequency trim control : +/- 2 dB
  • Room control (under 500Hz) : 0, -2, -4 dB
  • Noise reduction technology

COMPARE PRICE : AMAZON THOMANN

HS7

  • Active
  • 6.5″ Ultra-responsive cone woofer
  • 1″ Dome tweeter
  • 43 – 30.000 Hz
  • 190 W (Pair)
  • Inputs : 6.3 mm jack, XLR
  • Bi-amped : LF 60 W, HF 35 W
  • High frequency trim control : +/- 2 dB
  • Room control (under 500Hz) : 0, -2, -4 dB
  • Noise reduction technology

COMPARE PRICE : AMAZON THOMANN

HS8

  • Active
  • 8″ Ultra-responsive cone woofer
  • 1″ Dome tweeter
  • 38 – 30.000 Hz
  • 240 W (Pair)
  • Inputs : 6.3 mm jack, XLR
  • Bi-amped : LF 75 W, HF 45 W
  • High frequency trim control : +/- 2 dB
  • Room control (under 500Hz) : 0, -2, -4 dB
  • Noise reduction technology

COMPARE PRICE : AMAZON THOMANN

6. Adam T Series

Adam? Budget? Yeah, Adam Audio released the new affordable high-end monitor series at the beginning of 2018, the Adam T series. Adam Audio is known for its incredible monitors, they are being widely used in professional studios. The T Series also features Adam’s U-ART Accelerated Ribbon Tweeter, which creates higher sound pressure levels with lower distortion. The T Series includes multiple innovation designs that were used in Adam’s flagship S Series and AX Series, one design that worth to mention is the HPS waveguide, it can make imaging more stable over a wider area and also reduce early reflections. Thanks to Adam T series, we can finally have high specs monitors with the budget price.

T5V

  • Active
  • 5″ Polypropylene woofer
  • 1.9″ U-ART ribbon tweeter
  • 45 – 25.000 Hz
  • 140 W (Pair)
  • Inputs : XLR, RCA
  • Bi-amped : LF 50 W, HF 20 W
  • High frequency trim control : -2, 0, +2 dB
  • Room control (under 500Hz) : -2, 0, +2 dB
  • HPS waveguide from the S Series

COMPARE PRICE : AMAZON THOMANN (single unit)

T7V

  • Active
  • 7″ Polypropylene woofer
  • 1.9″ U-ART ribbon tweeter
  • 39 – 25.000 Hz
  • 140 W (Pair)
  • Inputs : XLR, RCA
  • Bi-amped : LF 50 W, HF 20 W
  • High frequency trim control : -2, 0, +2 dB
  • Room control (under 500Hz) : -2, 0, +2 dB
  • HPS waveguide from the S Series

COMPARE PRICE : AMAZON THOMANN (single unit)

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2 thoughts on “Best Home Studio Monitor 2020 – Good Sound Under Budget

  1. Excellent website, It gives you great insight into budget monitors for budget studio’s.
    I have read a lot of books on audio engineering and now I fully understand what flat frequency response is.
    I would seriously buy a product from you and this website, Knowing that I am getting the best deal from your selection.

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