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10 best high-quality studio monitors of 2017!

17 February , 2018

10 luchshikh kachestvennykh studiynykh monitorov 2017-go goda

Choosing a monitor is a matter of personal taste. Monitors are the equivalent of a mirror – what you hear should be a true representation of what is actually happening in the DAW program.

The difference between studio monitors and consumer speakers is that the studio equipment is designed to clearly reproduce frequencies in a wide frequency range, while simple computer speakers can somehow color and saturate the original sound. Whatever monitors you choose, you will need some time to get used to them. And the longer you use them, the more accurate your understanding of all their advantages and disadvantages will become.

Achieving an even frequency response requires expensive elements, because high-quality studio monitors cost an impressive amount. Nevertheless, there are still many options available for adequate money, which we will consider today, which in 2017 were the most popular and best-selling products.

With or without a subwoofer?

Despite the fact that currently there are many options available in the market that work in pairs, many monitors are available in the form of 2.1 (pair + sub). Since the sub is a large unit, it reproduces the low-frequency region of 20Hz, which in small rooms can produce troughs and peaks. For this reason, we consider stereo pairs, but emphasized the availability and compatibility of subwoofers of the same manufacturer for them.

1. Focal Shape 65

Focal Shape 65

Focal Shape is part of the CMS series, which is available in three sizes – 40, 50 and 65. The largest of them – 65, is designed with a side 6.5-inch passive cone speaker that responds to sound pressure inside the monitor. This eliminates the need to purchase a subwoofer, and makes it easier to use them close to a wall and other hard surface. There is also a low directivity tweeter to achieve the best send at the optimum angle. Sound with a variable crossover set to 160 Hz and adjustable low and high frequency settings to optimize the response to the environment, together provide excellent performance at a low price.

Specifications:

  • Price (per pair): 1200 Euro
  • Construction: 6.5-inch passive speaker
  • Twitter: 1-inch aluminum-magnesium
  • Frequency response: 40 Hz – 35 kHz
  • Power: MF / LF 80W, Class A-B, HF 25W, Class A-B
  • Dimensions: 355x218x285 mm
  • Weight: 8.5 kg

2. Yamaha HS7

Yamaha HS7 Studio

Yamaha almost overshadowed the near-field monitor market back in the 80s and 90s, thanks to its legendary NS 10-M. In matt black and a wooden case with a distinctive white cone, they have become the choice of a huge number of recording studios around the world. NS10M was discontinued by the company in 2001, but their technology is implemented in the HS series of which the HS7 is a medium compact option.

Adhering to their design, HS7 got all the best from its progenitor. At a very affordable price and with the attention of owners of medium-sized studios, monitors took pride of place in 2017. They are still in demand and sold out by professional engineers.

Specifications:

  • Price (for a couple): 350 euros
  • Woofer: 2-inch bass reflex (ported to the rear)
  • Construction: 6.5 inch speaker
  • Twitter: 1 inch
  • Frequency response: 43 Hz – 30 kHz
  • Power: LF 60W, HF 35W
  • Dimensions: 210x332x284 mm
  • Weight: 8.2 kg
  • Sub: Yamaha HS8S

3. Dynaudio Acoustics LYD 5

Dynaudio Acoustics is responsible for some of the legendary high-quality speaker designs, including the famous BM15A. For those who want to buy Dynaudio quality in a more affordable package, there is the LYD series consisting of LYD5 and her larger brother LYD8. Both are available in either brilliant white or standard black. Any problems that may arise due to the fact that the speakers are located opposite the wall can be corrected by the “Position” mode. There is also a “Bass Extension” control to adapt the low frequencies to your work environment. In general, it is a smart universal monitor at a decent price.

Specifications:

  • Price (pair): 800 Euro
  • Design: Two Way Active
  • Woofer: 5-inch MSP cone
  • Twitter: 28mm soft dome
  • Frequency response: 50 Hz – 22 kHz
  • Power: LF 50W, HF 50W
  • Dimensions: 170 x 260 x 211 mm
  • Weight: 5.7 kg

4. MunroSonic Egg 150 Monitoring System

MunroSonic Egg 150 Monitoring System

As contenders for the most unusual design of studio monitors, the MunroSonic Egg 150 Monitoring System takes pride of place, justifying its name. They consist of a pair of unique passive speakers in the shape of an egg and are controlled by a special external analog power amplifier, which is included, and is complemented by two cables of 3 m each for connection.

Of course, there is a good reason for such a deviation from the form. The company’s literature says that “the traditional wooden box has been replaced with a scientifically proven curved case that virtually eliminates the diffraction and resonance effects that distort and color the original sound.” In combination with a stand-alone amplifier, which has inputs for source selection, active analog crossovers and LF and HF equalization to compensate for indoor interference.

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Egg-shaped monitors are placed on a special foot to provide flexible positioning in all directions, which is helped by the blue guide LEDs above each tweeter to help you find the right location for the sound engineer.

Specifications:

  • Price (pair): 1299 euros
  • Construction: 2-inch, with bass port and external analog power amplifier
  • Woofer: 165 mm polypropylene cone
  • Twitter: 25mm
  • Frequency response: 45 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Power: MF / LF 50W HF 50W

5. Eve Audio SC204

Eve Audio SC3010

The smallest monitor in the Eve Audio product line, the SC204 combines a 4-inch speaker with AMT (Air Motion Transformer) ribbon tweeter and its own proprietary design, which is used in all the company’s lines.

The RCA and XLR analog inputs are fed directly to Burr-Brown’s digital converters, after which the signal is processed digitally, sent before reaching the PWM Class-D digital amplifiers that power the drivers.

A unique addition is the front panel volume control. This is what can usually be seen on the speakers of a home computer, except that this knob controls many other functions, including standby mode, filter selection, speaker symmetry, phase adjustment, and even the brightness of the LED display. In general, these are miniature and affordable speakers that sound better than many other competitors.

Specifications:

  • Price (pair): 500 Euro
  • Design: Two Way Active
  • Woofer: 4-inch cone
  • Twitter: AMT RS1
  • Frequency response: 64 Hz – 21 kHz
  • Power: MF / LF 50W, HF 50W
  • Dimensions: 145 x 230 x 195 mm
  • Weight: 3.8 kg
  • Compatible Sub: Eve Audio TS107

6. PMC twotwo 6

The smallest monitor in the Eve Audio product line, the SC204 combines a 4-inch speaker with AMT (Air Motion Transformer) ribbon tweeter and its own proprietary design, which is used in all the company’s lines.

The RCA and XLR analog inputs are fed directly to Burr-Brown’s digital converters, after which the signal is processed digitally, sent before reaching the PWM Class-D digital amplifiers that power the drivers.

A unique addition is the front panel volume control. This is what can usually be seen on the speakers of a home computer, except that this knob controls many other functions, including standby mode, filter selection, speaker symmetry, phase adjustment, and even the brightness of the LED display. In general, these are miniature and affordable speakers that sound better than many other competitors.

Specifications:

  • Price (pair): 500 Euro
  • Design: Two Way Active
  • Woofer: 4-inch cone
  • Twitter: AMT RS1
  • Frequency response: 64 Hz – 21 kHz
  • Power: MF / LF 50W, HF 50W
  • Dimensions: 145 x 230 x 195 mm
  • Weight: 3.8 kg
  • Compatible Sub: Eve Audio TS107

7. ADAM А7х

ADAM А7х

Another brand known for its legendary tape tweeter. Their version from Adam Audio is known as X-ART (due to the claimed flat frequency response, covered up to an amazing 50 kHz). Does this make sense if the limits of human hearing do not reproduce above 20-22 kHz? A good question, but the idea of ​​the company is to achieve detailed uncompressed high-frequency highs, which does not bother you with long-term work with them.

ADAM A7x are recognized as one of the best monitors on the market, and significantly improve the original A7 model in almost all aspects – from the updated tweeter and new amplifiers to the redesigned driver for low and medium frequencies.

Specifications:

  • Price (pair): 950 euros
  • Design: Two Way Active
  • Woofer: 7-inch
  • Twitter: X-ART (2 “equivalent diameter)
  • Frequency response: 42 Hz – 50 kHz
  • Power: MF / LF 100W PWM, HF 50W Class AB
  • Dimensions: 13.5 x 8 x 11 “(337 x 201 x 280 mm)
  • Weight: 9.2 kg
  • Compatible Sub: Adam Audio Sub 10 Mk 2

8. ATC SCM25A

The SCM25A is the world’s first compact three-stage active studio monitor. The previously available large models from ATC received awards from all over the world of music, creating a reputation for accurate and detailed reproduction of the entire frequency spectrum of the speaker. The SCM25A continues the family tradition and has a whopping 30 kg of weight. As soon as you pick them up, you will understand that you are dealing with a quality product!

Structurally, it is one of the few on the market that offers a choice between two different design approaches. On the side panel, next to the subwoofer, there is a large ventilation hole that can be blocked by a dense foam shutter, converting the speaker from a reflex structure to a sealed one.

It should be noted that the SCM25A is one of the most expensive monitors on the market, but the accuracy and quality of their performance really justify the cost.

Specifications:

  • Price (pair): 7440 euros
  • Construction: 3-way active, with side port
  • Woofer: 7-inch / 164mm cone manual
  • Middle: manual 3/75 mm soft
  • Twitter: 25mm Neodymium
  • Frequency response: 47 Hz – 22 kHz
  • Power: LF 150W, MF 60W, HF 25W
  • Dimensions: 264 x 430x 369 mm
  • Weight: 30 kg

9. Barefoot Sound MicroMain 45

Barefoot Sound MicroMain 45

For those who are not limited in budget, high-quality studio monitors will be a good choice! Barefoot is a kind of monitor equivalent to Rolls Royce. MicroMain 45 is a stripped down version of the flagship MiniMain12. They are designed to work in the near field and have an 8-inch bass driver, two 2.5-inch midrange and 1-inch radiator twitter.

Barefoot’s approach to speaker design has always been to provide outstanding sound quality, wide dynamic range and enhanced bass at every stage of the audio production process. Now they have implemented MEME technology, which allows you to make them work in the style of Hi-Fi speakers with one click or accurately emulate the character of the classic Yamaha NS10M. It is surprising.

— See also: The best plugins for mastering music! —

Specifications:

  • Price (pair): 6000 Euro
  • Design: 3-way active
  • Woofer: 8-inch aluminum cone
  • Mid: 2 x 2.5-inch aluminum speakers
  • Twitter: 1-inch roundabout
  • Frequency response: 40 Hz – 45 kHz
  • Power: LF 250W, MF 180W, HF 180W
  • Dimensions: 1279 x 394 x 279 mm
  • Weight: 17 kg
  • Compatible Sub: Barefoot MicroSub

10. Genelec M040

The Finnish company Genelec has an excellent studio pedigree that extends until the early 80s, when their large wall models were a great choice for a huge number of professional recording studios around the world. They are still strong and affordable. Pay attention to their shiny, small and powerful M040 (or even smaller model – M030).

Genelec threw an impressive amount of power to create the M040. There is a directivity waveguide (DCW ™) that provides flatness to the overall frequency response. Built-in laminar port (LIP ™), to ensure correct bass reproduction and intelligent sounding of signals (ISS), which automatically goes into standby mode if music is not played within 30 minutes.

Specifications:

  • Price (pair): 1078 euros
  • Design: Two Way Active, Ported
  • Woofer: 6.5-inch cone
  • Twitter: 1-inch metal dome
  • Frequency response: 44 Hz – 21 kHz
  • Power: MF / LF 80W, Class D, HF 50W, Class D
  • Dimensions: 337 x 235 x 229 mm
  • Weight: 7.4 kg
  • Compatible Sub: Genelec 7040A
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