Many of the best studio monitors ever made are available for you to buy and use in 2020. With new technology and innovations being made every day, you’re bound to find some speakers for your studio that you’ll like. To help you along with that, we’re providing you with some of the best studio monitor reviews.
Here are the best studio monitors 2020:
- Yamaha HS8
- ADAM Audio A7X
- Tannoy GOLD 8
- Ocean Way Audio HR5
- PreSonus Eris E8 XT
- Avantone CLA-10A
- Neumann KH 80 DSP
- Focal Alpha 50
- Behringer TRUTH B2030A
- Pioneer DJ BULIT6
1. Yamaha HS8
Precise and accurate playback
The Yamaha HS8 studio monitors are great at helping you make recordings that sound great, both sonically and spatially. Yamaha’s monitors have been a popular choice for producers in need of good near-field studio monitors since the 1970s.
Yamaha has created the HS8 to provide maximum sound reproduction accuracy and low coloration. It has an 8-inch woofer and 1-inch silk dome tweeter. They are active (powered) and bi-amplified, which means that there is a separate amplifier for the woofer and a separate one for the tweeter. You won’t be sacrificing any power to get the ultimate sound and accuracy from these studio monitors.
Thanks to the high-quality mounting system, the HS8 drivers deliver clear, superb audio. The mounting system reduces and eliminates vibration and resonance, so that the monitors can produce audio without having any distortion or coloration.
The monitors are made with huge magnets to deliver a robust, uniform, and tightly controlled flux field to produce smooth responses and is dynamically efficient. Another great feature of these monitors is the room control and high-trim response controls. If you’re in a conference room or a tiny closet in a hotel, no matter where you take these monitors, you can get super accurate sounds out of them.
The frequency response of these monitors is an impressive 38 Hz to 30 kHz, so you can easily do without a subwoofer, but if you want to use one, it will still pair nicely with the monitors. Overall, you get a smooth and accurate response as well as minimal coloration in a powerful unit.
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The Yamaha HS8 studio monitors are easily the best Yamaha studio monitors available. They sound really great. The frequency response is really impressive and the room control makes them an ideal set for someone who travels or doesn’t have a well-treated room. They would be good for users of any skill level who want one of the best 8-inch studio monitors.
2. ADAM Audio A7X
Great for home and pro studios
The A7X studio monitors by ADAM Audio are the company’s most popular studio monitor speakers. The A7X are a really good pair of active studio monitors.
The ADAM Audio A7X is bi-amplified and features a 7-inch woofer made from carbon, Rohacell, and glass fiber, and an X-ART (eXtended Accelerating Ribbon Technology) ribbon tweeter, which is much more superior than the typical silk dome tweeter you usually see on monitors.
The ribbon tweeter uses a pleated diaphragm that moves air four times faster than the actual ribbon folds are moving. This provides stunning detail even with frequencies up to 50 kHz.
The woofer and tweeter combined provide balanced sound with transparent high-range reproduction, clear mid-range frequencies, and smooth bass. The woofer is engineered to give you optimized low-end transparency and accurate reproduction.
The A7X has two bass ports on the front panel of the monitor below the woofer, adding punch while helping audio to remain controlled in the low-end frequency range. The A7X also features a volume control and power switch on the front panel just below the bass reflex ports. This is very efficient when mixing and mastering, especially if you don’t have an audio interface.
The frequency response of the ADAM Audio A7X is extremely wide, starting at 42 Hz and ending at 50 kHz. You can easily go without a subwoofer in a small to mid-size studio, but if you think that a subwoofer is necessary to your setup, the A7X will pair nicely with a sub.
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The A7X by ADAM Audio are an extremely high-fidelity set of studio monitors. They’re some of the best professional studio monitors available and will do best in a small or medium-sized studio that is well-treated. I recommend the A7X for intermediate to professional producers as there are no room controls.
3. Tannoy GOLD 8
A producer’s dream
A countless amount of hit records and film scores have been mixed on Tannoy studio monitors. They are some of the best studio monitors for mixing and mastering. The Tannoy GOLD 8 studio monitors are the next generation of Tannoy’s monitors. They are built with great accuracy to provide an uncolored, accurate representation of your audio.
The Tannoy GOLD 8 monitors have an 8-inch woofer and a 1-inch titanium tweeter. They are active (powered) and bi-amplified. The Tannoy GOLD 8 monitors have plenty of core technologies that make it extremely accurate, including a Dual Concentric driver and advanced Klippel analysis. This results in crazy good accuracy all while keeping you from getting listening fatigue.
The GOLD 8 studio monitors are very precise. Due to the Dual Concentric monitors, there is only one crossover point, reducing potential phasing issues and creating a more natural sound from the studio speaker as well as a wide sweet spot and accurate stereo imaging.
Dual Concentric driver technology preserves the tonality, sonic characteristics, as well as harmonic integrity of any audio that passes through it. You get a flat response, controlled dispersion of audio, and a large sweet spot.
In the driver is another feature tailored for the tweeter called Tulip Waveguide. Tulip Waveguide replicates a single point audio source which delivers natural performance and a broad yet focused stereo imaging sweet spot. The drivers are powered by Class AB amplifiers.
The GOLD 8 features an input trim, bass, and treble controls to tailor the monitors to your room acoustics and also has a power saving mode. There’s also a front firing bass port on the unit to allow for near wall placement of the monitors.
The frequency response of the monitors is pretty good, starting at 54 Hz and ending at 20 kHz. You’ll likely want a subwoofer with the monitors.
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The GOLD 8 by Tannoy are a really good high-end choice for professional studio monitors. They sound great and have all the latest technology, including controls for adjusting the monitors if you need to tailor them to work with your interface. The frequency range may leave you a bit wanting, but overall the monitors are an ideal option for advanced to professional producers.
4. Ocean Way Audio HR5
Flexible high-resolution monitors for the audiophile
The Ocean Way Audio HR5 studio monitors are powered studio monitors that have huge dynamic range and tons of accuracy. It has a 7-inch aluminum cone woofer, and a high definition 1-inch tweeter.
The HR5s are integrated with a 24-inch waveguide system that provides an extremely large sweet spot (100° horizontal dispersion and 40° vertical dispersion). The HR5s are bi-amplified to allow for the maximum volume output and high-quality audio reproduction accuracy.
At the core of the HR5’s design is the waveguide system mentioned above. Because of the waveguide modeling, a huge dispersion pattern is created over a large frequency range, making for great detail across the listening environment. That means that even if you’re in the corners of the studio you’ll be able to hear a large amount of detail in your audio. This makes the Ocean Way Audio HR5 monitors especially ideal for large studios, but they would do well in smaller and mid-sized studios as well.
The drivers are extremely high-quality. The low-end driver has a vented chassis to allow for low compression and optimal strength. It’s mechanically time-aligned with the high-frequency driver, so that there is a seamless crossover that doesn’t give you any phasing issues.
The 2-way design allows for tons of flexibility in terms of monitor placement and the low-frequency response almost completely gets rid of the need for a subwoofer with the frequency response range starting at 45 Hz and ending at 25 kHz. If you need to be able to get a full idea of the sub frequencies, a subwoofer will work fine with these monitors.
The overall sound of these studio monitors is very, very transparent and clear. Expect crisp, clean audio with an almost tangible feel to the stereo image.
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The HR5s by Ocean Way Audio are some of the best speakers for music production. They are one of the most expensive single monitors on the list, but are absolutely well worth getting if you strive to have one of the best sounding studios or if you are an audiophile who really enjoys high quality music.
As they are quite costly, I would not recommend them for anyone but advanced or professional producers, but they definitely are the best studio monitors under $2000.
5. PreSonus Eris E8 XT
The best studio monitors under $300
The Eris E8 XT studio monitors offer a very balanced sound with deep lows, smooth highs, and beautifully wide stereo imaging. This is all due to the drivers that work with an EBM waveguide and the monitor’s state of the art enclosure.
The Eris E8 XT monitors have an 8-inch woven composite woofer and a 1.25-inch silk dome tweeter. The Eris E8 XTs are bi-amplified with Class AB amplifiers to provide lots of power but no distortion in the signal. Class AB amplifiers are great at providing smooth low-end and bright high-end with a lot of power; you get the best of both A and B type amps.
The EBM waveguide is a small feature that makes these studio monitors so great. It creates a large sweet spot, so that you can hear an accurate mix no matter where you are in your studio. However, that’s not the only thing the EBM waveguide does. Because it has such a narrow vertical dispersion of sound, it decreases reflections from your desk, giving you even more accurate stereo imaging and a super clean sound.
On top of all this, there are also acoustic tuning controls for your room on the back of each monitor. There is a gain knob for setting the output of the monitor, a mid-frequency and a high-frequency trim control for compensating for the frequencies that your room treatment causes deficiencies in, a low-cut and high-pass filter for when you want to bring a subwoofer into your mix, and also an acoustic space control for fixing any boundary issues that may occur, specifically when the monitors are placed in a corner or near a wall.
Another great feature is the monitor enclosure that is made from MDF and vinyl laminate. It has a front port for emitting extra low-end, and it also protects the monitors from electromagnetic field interference, extreme output currents, and excessive heat.
The frequency range of the monitors starts at an impressive 35 Hz and ends at 22 kHz. You may want a subwoofer for these, but you definitely don’t necessarily need one.
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For an 8-inch studio monitor, the Eris E8 XTs by PreSonus are the best monitors for a home studio. They would fit best in a smaller studio or bedroom. They sound really great for the money and are quite affordable, so they’re easily the best value on this list. The Eris E8 XT monitors would be good for beginners or intermediate to advanced users.
6. Avantone CLA-10A
The best studio monitors under $1000
If you want a monitor pair that will expose all the shortcomings of your mix and give you the ultimate reality check, for just under $1000 you can get the Avantone CLA-10A studio monitors. The active powered version of the Avantone CLA-10 is a new model.
Most active powered monitors use a Class D amplifier, but the CLA-10A monitors use a Class AB amplifier. The CLA-10A is based on the Yamaha NS10M and is essentially a modern reworking of it.
The CLA-10A is extremely transparent. If you want to find out where all your flaws are in your mix, the CLA-10A is sure to expose them. Quite frankly, the frequency response isn’t flat. It is mid-range-heavy and can be very fatiguing to listen to, and it has a limited bass range.
So it’s not the best sounding pair of studio monitors available, but that’s not where the magic lies in these monitors. Because of the high-quality components of the monitors, if you can get your mix sounding perfect on them, your mix will sound perfect everywhere else.
Now, getting into the specifics of the monitors, they have a 7-inch woofer and 1.3-inch tweeter. Their frequency response is 60 Hz to 20 kHz, so you will absolutely want a subwoofer to pair with these monitors.
You are probably wondering why these monitors are so expensive – it is because of the materials used. They have the same materials as the Yamaha NS10M, even down to the same resin. The only thing different about them is the Class AB amplification.
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You may wonder why these monitors are so coveted, but it’s true – the CLA-10A by Avantone Pro are some of the ultimate monitors available. Although they have little bass and a ton of mid-range, they will help you get your mixes sounding perfect.
If you have not developed your ear much and are still struggling with your mix, these monitors are probably not flat enough for you. For that reason, I absolutely would not recommend them to anyone but advanced and professional producers.
7. Neumann KH 80 DSP
Compact studio monitors that pack a punch
You may have heard of Neumann, the company known for the world-renowned U 87 condenser microphone. Neumann has branched off into creating studio monitors too, and the KH series proved that they are a great company no matter what they make.
The KH 80 DSP studio monitors are a solid choice for a fairly affordable near-field studio monitor. The Neumann KH 80 DSP has a 2-way design with DSP controlled technology. It’s bi-amplified and you can control it right from your tablet or computer, making it great for surround sound configurations.
Like you would expect from Neumann, the monitors sound great as well. The KH 80 DSP has a 4-inch woofer and 1-inch titanium fabric dome tweeter. Incorporated into the design of the front panel is Neumann’s Mathematically Modeled Dispersion (MMD) waveguide, producing a wide sweet spot and smooth response no matter where you are in the studio.
You can really feel the depth of your mixes due to the excellent stereo imaging ability of these studio monitors. The KH 80s have a really good frequency response – smooth and natural – and despite the woofer being only 4 inches, it delivers bass extremely well and really packs a punch due to the bass ports on the front panel.
Mid-range frequencies remain detailed and precise, and are balanced just enough. The frequency range of these monitors is 57 Hz to 21 kHz, so you may want a subwoofer.
The neatest feature of the KH 80 DSP monitors is the bi amplification that lets you manage and control multiple monitors from a computer, iOS device, or Android device. This can be handy when working in the studio for so many reasons, especially if you need to multitask.
Also featured on the back of the KH 80s are acoustic controls for tuning the monitors to your room specifications, as well as monitor settings and output level.
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The Neumann KH 80 DSP monitors are a great option for someone who wants portable studio monitors. They are easily the best studio monitors under $500, and with a brand like Neumann, you won’t be let down. I would recommend these studio monitors for anyone who travels a lot or makes music in a bedroom or small studio, regardless of skill level.
8. Focal Alpha 50
Unerring accuracy in a small package
The Focal Alpha 50 studio monitors are another set of top-rated compact studio monitors that you can take with you when traveling, but also keep in your studio for great sounding audio.
The Focal Alpha 50 is composed of a 5-inch woofer with a Polyglass cone and a 1-inch aluminum inverted dome tweeter. The Focal Alpha 50 is bi-amplified with Class AB amplifiers and has a frequency response of 45 Hz to 22 kHz.
The Alpha 50 is a very balanced sounding monitor, with the tonality sounding the same at low and high volumes, so you can trust that the Alpha 50 isn’t going to add any coloration, honk, or brightness to your mixes.
The chassis that holds the woofer and tweeter is made with MDF (medium density fiberboard), making the monitors extremely durable and sturdy. There is also a port on the front for bass frequencies to be emitted in the case that you put the monitors near a wall.
The Alpha 50 has low directivity, making it sound great no matter where you are in the room, and in general they produce no distortion and are very neutral. The Focal Alpha 50 monitors have tonal controls on the back, allowing you to change the bass and treble of the monitors to match your room acoustics. Another feature of the monitors is a power saving mode that turns off the monitor if no audio has come out of it in 30 minutes.
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The Alpha 50s by Focal are very reliable and accurate sounding monitors. With them being small enough to travel with, they are one of the best budget options. With Focal’s unerring accuracy, you can be sure that the Alpha 50s are the best 5-inch studio monitors on the market. I’d suggest them for beginners or people who travel, as well as those who have small home studios or a bedroom studio.
9. Behringer TRUTH B2030A
A cheap yet reliable monitor
If you’re in the market for an amazing-quality monitor but don’t want to hurt your wallet, the Behringer B2030A studio monitors are a budget-friendly way to get into the world of studio monitors.
The TRUTH B2030A is equipped with a 6.75-inch woofer and a .75-inch dome tweeter cooled with ferrofluid. They are active powered monitors and also have a built-in limiter circuit to help keep them safe from power overloads. They also have a wide sweet spot to give you well-dispersed audio thanks to Behringer’s waveguide.
Also featured are room compensation switches to tailor the monitor’s low- and high-frequency response to your mixing position no matter where you are. The frequency range of the TRUTH B2030A monitors is 50 Hz to 21 kHz, so you’ll probably want a subwoofer to go with the monitors. Overall, they are very accurate and balanced sounding.
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The TRUTH B2030A studio monitors from Behringer are a great choice for beginners or someone with a small studio. They would also be good for traveling. If you are on a tight budget, they are a great option to look into, and easily one of the best studio monitors under $200.
10. Pioneer DJ BULIT6
A newer high-end budget model
The Pioneer DJ BULIT6 active monitors are another ideal high-end budget option. The BULIT6 has a 6-inch aramid fiber woofer and a 1-inch soft dome tweeter in an MDF enclosure. It’s bi-amplified for lots of power and no distortion.
The BULIT6 has a convex diffuser that provides a high-end image of the stereo field and a large sweet spot. Additionally, you get a lot of low-end punch out of these monitors. Another great feature of them is a power saving option that helps allows you to automatically choose when they are shut on and off to help you conserve power.
The frequency range of the BULIT6 is 45 Hz to 20 kHz and overall they sound extremely balanced and transparent.
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The BULIT6 active studio monitors from Pioneer DJ would be great for beginners or those with a small studio who want a lot of punch in their mixes. For a high-end monitor with such a low price, it sounds really great. I recommend it for anyone who likes to travel or even as a set of monitors for a desktop.
There we have it, the top 10 studio monitors that will fit really well into your home and provide you with hours upon hours of clean, transparent, great sounding audio monitoring. Now you can more easily decide what the best studio monitors for you are. For more studio monitor reviews as well as other articles, check back soon.
Jordan is a music producer, content creator, writer, and session musician. He has been producing music and engineering live performances for over 7 years. He is an experienced guitarist and enjoys listening to and playing many different genres of music.