Best Studio Monitors At Any Budget Part 1
Todd Simpson
Nov 23 2021, 07:52 AM
Posts: 24.143
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
We have looked at studio monitors at various price points in previous posts. However, what if you are working with a much higher budget. Or were looking to add an expensive pair of monitors as well as a less expensive set. Or perhaps you want to have 3 sets of monitors as many professional studios use. Let’s take a look at monitors that run the gambit from starter to more high end.

It’s important to remember that the function of good studio monitors is to be as neutral as possible. They are not meant to sound “good”. They are meant to sound flat. In other words they should not add to what isn’t there. So a good pair of monitors shouldn’t add more bass or treble than is actually on the track. If a pair of speakers sounds “good”, and has good bass and treble, maybe too good on bass and treble, then they won’t make good monitors. This is why home audio speakers (hifi speakers) often don’t make great monitors. They “color” the sound. This is exactly the opposite of what you want monitors to do.

1.)FOCAL SHAPE 65 ($900 Each)
FOCAL has been making great monitors for a long time. These are NOT cheap, in any way. These monitors use good materials and have a flat/neutral response that make them great for use as tools for mixing. These particular monitors feature a “Passive Radiator” which looks like another driver, but it doesn’t have a voice coil or magnet. It is moved by air pressure from the main driver. This is a way to create more bass response without using a ported design. These are very nice mid field monitors with plenty of tweakability on the back panel to adjust to any room.

Frequency Response: 40-35khz
Speaker Config: 2 Way, 6.5 inch driver 1 inch magnesium tweeter and passive radiator
Power: 105 Watts

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2.)GENELEC 8010A ($350 Each)
Genelec monitors are legendary and for good reason. They have been making monitors that have been used in the best studios in the world for decades. They make really nice gear and in recent years have started making smaller monitors that are being used with subwoofers to create larger setups like those required for DOLBY ATMOS rigs. This particular model is one of their smaller form factor offerings. They have a small footprint and are designed to work with a subwoofer as the drivers are small and don’t do much in the way of bass response. They are very articulate and very neutral as good monitors should be. Best of all, they are quite affordable as Genelecs go that is. They are also built to get rugged. The enclosure is a die cast aluminum and the speaker grills are metal. They feature eq contour switches on the back to adjust for a given room. These are a ported design and have a variety of mounting options.

Frequency Response: 67hz - 25khz
Speaker Config: 2 way, 3 inch driver .75 metal dome tweeter
Power: 50w

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3.)HEDD AUDIO TYPE 20 ($2,000 Each)
A bit further up the high end ladder are these units from HEDD AUDIO. You may not have heard of these guys before. They are fairly new on the scene. They are based in Berlin Germany and were started by a father son team from ADAM AUDIO. You may notice that the tweeter looks similar to the Adam tweeter. These are very high end monitors as indicated by the price. At 4k per pair, these are a serious investment. The brand has had very good feedback thus far has made a name for themselves. These monitors go down to 32hz so you don’t really need a subwoofer for most mixing duties. Also, the tweeter goes up to 50khz which is well beyond the range of human hearing. Many folks are saying that these are the best studio monitors being produced by anyone at any price.

Frequency Response: 32hz - 50khz
Speaker Config: 3 way, 7.2 inch driver 4 inch mid driver, 1 inch tweeter
Power: 300w

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This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Nov 30 2021, 02:19 AM
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