Best Studio Monitors for Mixing and Mastering!

best studio monitors for mixing and mastering
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In this article, we are diving deep to analyse the best studio monitors for mixing and mastering.

A studio monitor is an integral part of any studio. The reasons why you need studio monitors for mixing and mastering are mentioned below.

  • Studio Monitors offer a flat frequency response,
  • They do not add any color or frequency boost to the audio signal,
  • They reproduce the sound as accurately as possible.

On the other hand, regular speakers should never be used for mixing and mastering purpose. The reason are:

  • A lot of color is added to the sound,
  • It is not the accurate representation of audio.
  • Music mixed on regular speakers may not sound good on other set of speakers.

Also check: Top differences between studio monitors, bookshelf and regular speakers.

Since, we have seen the most obvious reason that why you should not mix and master on regular speakers, it is time to move to next section.

Studio Monitor Buying Guide

Before we move on to see the best studio monitors for mixing and mastering, it is important for you to know what makes a monitor or speaker suitable for such tasks.

1) Flat frequency response

The first one is the flat frequency response, or in simple terms, flat frequency response means a sound that is not colored.

Regular speakers add a ton of color to the actual sound and are not consider accurate in terms of the sound they produce. They tend to make sound exciting enough for casual purposes so that you like what you hear.

On the other hand, studio monitors reproduce accurate sound with no added color or boost. They may sound dull but emit a sound that is perfect for studio professionals to work with.

Therefore, the first step is to see whether a studio monitor offers a flat frequency response.

2) Studio Size

Buying studio monitors also need an analysis of your studio or the space where you need to place them.

Each manufacturer offers different sizes of the same studio monitor. Based on the room size and level of sound treatment that a room offers, one of the different models will most accurately match your work environment.

Small monitors are well suited for small rooms or studios, whereas large monitors are suited for highly spaced rooms, halls, or studios.

This article has chosen studio monitors of 3 inches and 5 inches, which can produce enough sound for a small and medium-sized room, respectively.

3) Monitor features and controls

Each studio monitor will offer basic features like input connectivity options and frequency tuners to match speakers to best match the acoustics of your room.

In addition, some monitors feature exclusive features limited to a particular brand to increase your productivity and efficiency in using them.

So, keep an eye on what a monitor is offering, and it is better than the other. And most importantly, is it of any use to you

4) Front Vs. Back Ported

Each monitor has a port either on the back or the front side to improve the low-end of the drivers.

Whether you should choose a backported monitor or a front-ported monitor depends on your studio space.

If you cannot leave enough space between the port (of a back-ported monitor) and the wall, then getting a front-ported monitor is going to match the sonics of your room or studio.

5) Power

Another thing that also needs to be checked is the power requirements of a monitor. It is the main driving force for the tweeters and woofers in a speaker system.

If the monitor drivers, tweeter and woofer, are not getting enough power, they may fail to reproduce specific frequencies with the desired accuracy.

Therefore, make sure to get a monitor that has more than 20W power consumption for a small room and 25W consumption for a medium-sized room.

Related: 11 Things to consider before buying Studio Monitors!

Best Studio Monitors for Mixing & Mastering!

Here are the best studio monitors for mixing ans mastering.

Best studio Monitors for Mixing & MasteringFrequency tuningBalanced inputUn-Balanced inputsPower for a single unit(W)
KRK Rokit 5 G4 Yes1055
Yamaha HS5Yes2070
Adam Audio T5VYes1150
JBL Professional 305P MkIIYes2050
M-Audio BX5 D3Yes2050
Mackie CR5-XNo2240
PreSonus Eris 3.5Yes2225

Related: Best Budget Studio Monitors

Let’s see each studio monitor in detail and see which monitor is best suited according to your personal requirements.

1) KRK Rokit 5 G4 Powered Studio Monitors

KRK 2 Pack ROKIT 5 G4 5″ Powered Near-Field Studio Monitor, 43Hz-40kHz Frequency Response, Black – With 2 Pack 20′ 6mm Rubber XLR Microphone Cable
  • 2 Pack ROKIT 5 G4 5 ” Powered Near-Field Studio Monitor – AC…
  • Professional grade 5″ (bi-amp) studio monitor designed and…
  • 5″ matching woofer and 1″ tweeter made with Kevlar

Last update on 2023-09-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Product Specifications

  • Tweeter size – 1 inch,
  • Woofer size – 5 inch,
  • Frequency response – 45 Hz to 20 kHz,
  • DSP-driven Onboard EQ with Visual LCD,
  • Front firing acoustic port on each monitor,
  • Back panel volume controls and input ports,
  • Balanced ¼-inch TRS and XLR combo inputs,
  • Dedicated sliders to control High frequencies & boundary EQ,
  • Power: 55 W.

check the price of KRK Rokit 5 G4 on Amazon

A Deeper Analysis

The latest KRK Rokit studio monitors have an entirely different look and improved drivers for clean transients and punchy low-end. Undoubtedly, The 5″ G4 model is one of the best studio monitors under $500.

The fourth generation of studio monitors from KRK has:

  • New cabinet shape and build,
  • New Exclusive features,
  • Completely redesigned drivers and woofers.

The G4 monitors look very stable and sturdy due to their new boxy shape and allow a producer to align them in different settings. The drivers are made of super durable kevlar material to reduce wear and tear during each mixing session.

Not to forget, the sound quality of the monitors is flat and highly accurate, making it one of the best studio monitors for mixing and mastering. The transients remain crisp and untouched, whereas the low-end is well balanced as well. It is not all over the place, neither is it too shallow.

These five-inch G4 monitors are perfectly loud for a medium-sized room or studio. Because these are front-ported, you can use them in small spaces or studios as well.

KRK Rokit 5 G4

The rear panel of the monitor houses all the essential features and inputs. It includes balanced input ports, a volume knob, a power switch, and an LED screen to modify additional controls. By using the display offered by the monitors, you can fine-tune the sound coming out of the monitors.

There are a total of five EQ options to choose from, and modify the sound coming out of the monitors to best match the sonics of your room. In addition, the display can be used to change basic setup of the monitors.

I would say that you can never go wrong with KRK Rokit Studio Monitors. These are best-in-class studio monitors with an exclusive display, kevlar-made drivers, and highly accurate sound quality.

Pros

  • Flat frequency response,
  • Equipped with all necessary features,
  • Best suited for small to medium-sized rooms,
  • Rokit exclusive display to control and fine-tune low and high-end frequencies.

Cons

  • I cannot find any!

2) Yamaha HS5 Studio Monitors

YAMAHA Hs5 Powered Studio Monitor, Pair
  • Includes (2) Yamaha HS5 studio monitors
  • 2 Way bass reflex bi amplified near field studio monitor…
  • Has monitors emphasize sonic purity without any coloring or…

Last update on 2023-09-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Product Specifications

  • Tweeter size – 1” dome,
  • Woofer size – 5” cone,
  • Balanced TRS and XLR inputs,
  • Frequency response – 54 Hz to 30 kHz,
  • Back firing acoustic port on each monitor,
  • Back panel volume controls & frequency tuners,
  • Dedicated sliders to control High frequencies & boundary EQ,
  • Power: 70 W.

check the price of Yamaha HS5 on Amazon

A Deeper Analysis

The Yamaha HS line of studio monitors is the flattest studio monitor that I have ever encountered. These monitors add no color to the sound whatsoever.

Be it high, mid or low-end frequencies, you will hear the most accurate frequency response from Yamaha HS monitors. That is why it deserves a spot on the list of best studio monitors for mixing and mastering.

In this list, we have included the HS5 monitors that perfectly match the requirements of small and medium-sized studio or work environments. It is a back-ported studio monitor, so leave ample space between the port and the walls to prevent sound accumulation.

Also check: Best studio monitors for Home Studios!

However, if you have a huge studio or spacey work environment, I recommend going with Yamaha HS8 monitors. They will offer you enough loudness and definitive low-end response for large studios or rooms.

Yamaha HS5

The front panel of the cabinet houses a single-inch tweeter and a five-inch woofer. On the other hand, the rear side is equipped with the necessary controls and features. It includes a volume knob, frequency/EQ tuning sliders, balanced XLR, and TRS inputs.

The frequency tuners modify the sound coming out of the drivers to match the acoustics of your room best.

It is best to go with Yamaha HS studio monitors if you need a highly accurate audio reproduction. The HS5 offers a crystal clear transient details and highly balanced low-end response.

Pros

  • Power-packed,
  • Most trusted monitors year after year,
  • Suitable for small or medium sized rooms,
  • One of the flattest studio monitors in terms of frequency response.

Cons

  • Not enough loud to complement large studios.

3) Adam Audio T5V studio monitors

Adam Audio T5V Active Nearfield Monitor (2-Pack) Bundle 25-Feet XLR Male to XLR Female Microphone Cable (2-Pack) (4 Items)
  • Bundle Includes: 2 x Adam Audio T5V Active Nearfield…
  • Ergonomics: The Adam Audio T5V Active Nearfield Monitor is a…
  • Mechanism: The waveguide’s highly uniform dispersion of…

Last update on 2023-09-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Product Specifications

  • Tweeter size – 1 inch,
  • Woofer size – 5 inch,
  • Frequency response – 45 Hz to 20 kHz,
  • Back firing acoustic port on each monitor,
  • Balanced XLR & un-balanced RCA inputs,
  • Dedicated knobs to control High frequencies & volume,
  • Power: 50 W.

check the price of Adam Audio T5V on Amazon

A Deeper Analysis

Adam Audio is one of the finest studio monitor manufacturers. They have industry-leading products and compete fiercely with top brands like KRK, Yamaha, and JBL.

We have included the T5V studio monitors that are best suited for small to medium-sized rooms or studios in this list.

Not to forget, these are back-ported monitors, and the company recommends leaving an ample amount of space between the backfiring bass port and the wall. The area will make sure that there is no frequency accumulation in the corners of your room.

Furthermore, the monitors offer a clean and simple design that blends quite smoothly with any studio or room. These monitors come in a matt-black finish with the well-grounded build quality.

Also Check: Superior sounding monitors under $1000 for Mixing and Mastering!

Adam Audio T5V

The back panel of the cabinet houses almost all of the controls of the monitor. It includes a volume knob and a balanced XLR input.

On top of that, you also get frequency tuning options to modify the EQ of the monitor. The HF and LF trim allows you to fine-tune the drivers’ sound to best match your studio environment.

All in all, the studio monitors from Adam Audio mean nothing more than quality. They offer a simple design, a robust build quality, and crystal clear audio quality. These monitors are well suited for people wanting to listen to every harmonic to make their mixes perfect.

Pros

  • A strong build quality,
  • Sharp and detailed transients,
  • Perfect for mixing and mastering purposes.

Cons

  • There is no TRS inputs.

4) JBL Professional 305P MkII Studio Monitors

JBL Professional 305P MkII Next-Generation 5-Inch 2-Way Powered Studio Monitor
  • MkII series features next-generation JBL transducers, new…
  • Updated HF and LF transducers: new design improvements…
  • New boundary EQ: restores neutral low frequency response…

Last update on 2023-09-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Product Specifications

  • Tweeter size – 1 inch,
  • Woofer size – 5 inch,
  • Back firing acoustic port on each monitor,
  • Balanced ¼-inch TRS and XLR output ports,
  • Sliders to control high frequency and boundary EQ,
  • Back panel volume controls, power switch and input sensitivity adjusters,
  • Frequency response – 80 Hz to 20 kHz,
  • Power: 50 W.

check the price of JBL 305P MKII on Amazon

A Deeper Analysis

JBL 305P MKII is one of the most competitive and best studio monitors under $300. The monitors offer an ultra-clean sound response without any noise whatsoever.

A thing that I love about the MKII monitors is that they sound much fuller and emit a significant frequency response. The drivers are made of durable material, and the cabinet material feels tough as well.

JBL Professional 305P MkII

On the rear side of the cabinet, you’ll see all the necessary inputs and controls. It includes a volume knob, three sliders to control the EQ of the monitors, balanced XLR and TRS inputs.

All three sliders, namely, boundary EQ, HF trim, and input sensitivity, allow a user to control the low and high-end coming out of the monitors.

It is one of the most critical sections of a studio monitor. These controls will allow you to fine-tune the sound coming from monitors to match the acoustics of your studio.

If the speakers offer a robust low-end response, you can lower it using the EQ sliders and vice versa.

Getting JBL 305P MKII is a perfect option for people who are not super critical of their mix but still need a very accurate sound reproduction. The bass is well-grounded and does not lose its shape even at high volume. In addition, these monitors can be used for casual purposes due to their highly customizable sound.

Pros

  • Highly cost effective,
  • Multi-purpose studio monitors,
  • A well balanced sound dynamics,
  • Proper size for small as well as medium-sized rooms.

Cons

  • A bit colored bass.

5) M-Audio BX5 D3 Active Studio Monitors

Sale
M-Audio BX5 – 5″ Studio Monitor Speaker for Music Production & Mixing with Acoustic Space Control, 100W 2 Way Active Speaker, Single,Black
  • Professional class A/B bi-amplified design with 100 watts of…
  • Superior transparent sound quality: 5” low-frequency…
  • Versatile, conveniently located XLR balanced and 1/4”…

Last update on 2023-09-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Product Specifications

  • Tweeter size – 1” natural silk domes,
  • Woofer size – 5″ Kevlar cone woofers,
  • Frequency response – 52 Hz to 35 kHz,
  • Back firing acoustic port on each monitor,
  • Balanced ¼-inch TRS and XLR output ports,
  • Back panel volume control, power switch & Acoustic space switch,
  • Power: 50 W.

check the price of M-Audio BX5 D3 on Amazon

A Deeper Analysis

You cannot forget M-Audio when talking about studio gear. M-Audio has been making pretty decent studio monitors for a while now. That is why we have included the M-Audio BX-5 D3 studio monitors, which offer a highly cost-effective solution.

These studio monitors have a single-inch tweeter and a five-inch woofer size. This site is well-suited for small to medium-sized rooms or studios.

Not to forget, since these are back-ported monitors, make sure that your work area is well managed to fit such types of monitors.

The most impressive aspect about these monitors is how they look and feel. Only by looking can you tell that the monitors are built very strong with solid material and have a good finishing material added to the cabinet.

On the rear side of the cabinet, you get all the required inputs and controls. It includes a volume knob, a switch to control EQ response, a balanced XLR and TRS input port.

These features make it a super handy studio monitor that can pair with most of the studio equipment to output a clean audio quality.

Also, the monitors do not distort, have ultra-low noise levels, and show a character of studio monitor. However, the bass on these monitors is super punchy and quite strong. Therefore, if you do not have a well-soundproofed room, I think that you should stay away from these monitors.

Pros

  • Suitable for small or medium rooms,
  • A sturdy build quality and beautiful looking monitors.

Cons

  • A bit overpriced,
  • The low end hits pretty hard.

6) Mackie CR5-X Studio Monitors

Mackie CR5-XBT Creative Reference Series 5″ Multimedia Monitors with Bluetooth (Pair)
  • Professional studio-quality sound
  • Flexible inputs – 1/4”, RCA, and Bluetooth
  • 80 watts of clean, articulate stereo sound

Last update on 2023-09-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Product Specifications

  • Tweeter size – 0.75″ silk dome,
  • Woofer size – 5″ polypropylene-coated,
  • Frequency response – 80 Hz to 20 kHz,
  • Back firing acoustic port on each monitor,
  • Front panel volume knob/power knob and headphone output,
  • 2 Balanced TRS and 2 un-balanced RCA output ports on rear panel,
  • Power: 40 W.

check the price of Mackie CR5-X on Amazon

A Deeper Analysis

The Mackie CR5-X is one of my top picks for best studio monitors under $200. These monitors offer a digestible design, a dynamic low-end response, and well-balanced high & mid frequencies.

The drivers are built pretty strong, and the cabinet quality is what you would expect from a studio monitor in this price segment. Most importantly, the monitors are pretty stable and do not distort even on high volumes.

Furthermore, the monitors are very flat and offer a crispy high-end and an remarkable low-end response for their price. I have no complaints whatsoever.

Mackie CR5-X

On the front panel, you get a power/volume knob and headphone o/p for quick accessibility and smooth workflow. The rear panel of the monitor houses all the necessary features like balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs. You can use these inputs to connect an audio interface or different studio equipment.

However, you should note that there are no knobs or sliders to control the EQ settings and sound coming out of the monitors.

Related: Best studio monitors for small rooms or studios!

So, if these monitors produce a strong low-end response in your room, it is best to soundproof the room. There is absolutely nothing that you can do with the monitors in such cases.

All in all, I’d say that the CR5-X monitors offer a very cost effective performance. The sound quality is flat enough to give you an accurate idea of your mixes. These monitors target a very different audience than those targetted by KRK Rokit monitors.

Pros

  • An eye-catching design with green outlines on the cabinet,
  • Fills a small room with enough loudness without any distortion.

Cons

  • No frequency tuners,
  • The drivers produce a hissing noise when connected to unbalanced inputs.

7) PreSonus Eris 3.5 near-field Studio Monitors

PreSonus Eris E3.5-3.5″ Near Field Studio Monitors (Pair) – Powered Desktop Speakers for Music Production, Studio-Quality Recording, and Active Media Reference
  • The reviews speak for themselves!.Waterproof : No
  • The only true studio monitor for multimedia, gaming,…
  • Now comes included with Studio One Prime and Studio Magic…

Last update on 2023-09-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Product Specifications

  • Tweeter size – 1 inch,
  • Woofer size – 3.5 inch,
  • Back firing acoustic port,
  • Knobs to control High and low end frequencies,
  • Balanced ¼-inch TRS and 2 un-balanced RCA outputs,
  • Front panel volume controls and AUX in,
  • Frequency response – 80 Hz to 20 kHz,
  • Power: 50W.

check the price of PreSonus Eris on Amazon

A Deeper Analysis

The PreSonus Eris lines of studio monitors cater to every room size. But, in this list, we have picked the smallest 3.5-inch studio monitor as it is simply one of the best studio monitors under $100.

Now, let’s talk more about Eris 3.5.

The Eris 3.5 are powered studio monitors meaning that one of the speaker units has a built-in amplifier, thereby reducing the need to connect an external amplifier. This means more efficiency and less management from your end.

I love how these studio monitors sound. The monitors offer a flat frequency response and ultra-clean audio suitable for mixing and mastering purposes.

Next, the build quality of the cabinet is strong enough to withstand some falls and stress conditions. In addition, the woofers are highly durable built out of kevlar.

PreSonus Eris 3.5

Not to forget, you get basic controls like a power switch, volume knob, headphones, and AUX input on the front panel of the monitors. However, features like frequency control knobs, balanced XLR, and unbalanced RCA inputs are incorporated on the monitor’s rear panel.

The frequency tuning options let you fine-tune the sound coming out from the drivers to match your room sonics. You can either increase or decrease the low/high end of the monitors.

Lastly, for newbie producers or producers with super-compact space, there is no better option available under $100 than Eris 3.5. It has shaken the sales of other similarly priced monitors due to its excellent audio quality and beautiful design.

Pros

  • Highly portable,
  • Pretty low noise levels,
  • Cost effective studio monitors,
  • Compact and ultra light weight,
  • Perfectly suited for small studios or room.

Cons

  • Low cabinet build quality.

Conclusion

In a world where there are many brands producing studio monitors, you need to research a lot to get the most out of your investment.

Several things make a studio monitor suitable for mixing and mastering purposes. We discussed it in the beginning section, and it might have given you a fair idea. To drive the point home, let’s recap all the points one more time.

Following controls and features make a studio monitor suitable for mixing and mastering purposes.

  • Accurate drivers,
  • A proper size to match your room acoustics,
  • Controls to change the EQ or sound coming out of the monitors,
  • Flat frequency response meaning no color is added to the sound.

I hope you liked this article, and do let me know in the comments about your top pick for best studio monitors under mixing and mastering.

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