Why good speakers are necessary
Many musicians like to spend a lot of money on their instrument. There is even a budget available for the right music software or audio interface. When buying a studio monitor, however, people tend to skimp or use headphones.
In a way, this is understandable because for many a speaker is not exactly as sexy as a new synth or a guitar. But there are good reasons to invest a correspondingly large budget, especially for good speakers and monitor boxes.
Listening monitors are the interface between music and human hearing. What the speakers reproduce ultimately determines what will happen to the recording or the mixdown. If it sounds too muffled, the treble is raised. If there is too much bass, this is reduced with the equalizer. But what if the boxes lie?
Budget for studio monitors
Everyone knows their budget, their financial limit. And in many cases, it cannot be shaken. You just have to find the best model in your own price range. There is no way around it.
However, if you still have a little more time or are managing the budget for more than just one tool for the home studio, you are welcome to reserve a large part of the best studio monitor speakers under 100.
If your monitors are fooling you into something that doesn't sound like the original, you will make wrong decisions. These are noticeable when the music is played on another monitor. Perhaps the bass is booming excessively in the car or the vocal that is so present in the headphones is barely audible on the kitchen radio.
The transitions between the individual segments are fluid and should only give you a rough guide. Some speakers can already play in the next higher price segment, but have fewer features or come from a lesser-known brand.
Up to 200 Dollars
Studio monitors for less than 200 Dollars in pairs are aimed at beginners. Many producers reach the limits of these models relatively quickly. Since many music consumers own loudspeakers from the same price segment, they can be used later as a second monitor.
200-500 Dollars / 500-800 Dollars
Most offers can be found in the price range of up to 500 dollars, and even more, experienced musicians will find useful monitoring here. In terms of sound, it gets a little finer in the next level up to 800 dollars in terms of depth graduation, impulse fidelity, and bass reproduction. Most musicians will strike in this segment and be happy with their choice for years to come.
Top studio monitor buying tips: Listen to them for yourself
It sounds like a truism, but there is no getting around it. Each studio monitor and speaker has its own sound and character - a color that your personal taste may or may not like. Therefore, if possible, you should get your own first impression in the store of your choice.
Our studio monitor tests will tell you how well a model performs compared to others in the same price range. You can also use these to filter out the sound disciplines in which the tested speaker performs particularly well or poorly. You should compare these impressions with your own and make sure that it fits your music genre.
Correct reference listening
So that you can assess how good a speaker is in the store, you should only play music on it that you know really well. Pieces of music that have accompanied you over many years and that you have therefore listened to on many different music systems are best. Only when you know a piece of music inside and out will you even notice the sometimes subtle differences between different listening monitors.
Another possibility is to use the reference tracks listed above. These are selected by us and sound engineers who are friends according to different criteria. Some have a very tight bass, others have a wonderfully diversified stereo panorama and still others convince with an outstanding gradation of depth.
Correct installation in the showroom
In many showrooms at music dealers, numerous models can be found next to, above, and below one another. Sometimes these are even placed all around in a (too) small room so that they look at each other.
The positioning of the loudspeakers in a room has a significant influence on their sound. In other words: the position and set up in the room can have more effect on the sound differences between the two models than their technology or construction.
Listen to studio monitors at home
The best way to get a real impression of studio monitors: You can have the two most interesting models sent home or given to you. So you can compare the two models where they will be used later - under realistic ambient conditions.
If the speakers are oversized, you can hear immediately if they activate your room modes too strongly and cause a boom. If they are too small, you will notice when they are not playing loud enough.