The Best Studio Monitors in 2021

Before you dive into the review, I want to tell you that no matter which monitors you choose from this list, you can’t go wrong. Yes, there are much more expensive options out there, but you don’t need to overspend for quality. I will not recommend a product that is in the thousands of dollars simply to get a higher commission. Instead, I ONLY advise products that I 100% believe in and use myself. Enjoy.

These are the Top 4 Studio Monitors for 2021:

1) Best Small Size Monitor: Yamaha HS5: 

These are the main monitors I use. I absolutely love my HS5’s!

The HS series offers the best bang for your buck, and they are great for both beginners and experienced musicians. I guarantee these monitors will surprise you with their surgical precision. These are the best 5-inch monitors you can buy and is what I currently use.

2) Best Big Size Monitor Yamaha HS7: 

This is the HS5’s bigger brother.

Same as their little brother only with a deeper low end, these 7-inch monitors are a solid choice and the best you can buy at this price range. Buy them If you must hear the sub frequencies while mixing or producing.

3) Second Best Small or Big Size Monitor: KRK Rookit G4 Series: 

KRK is a very popular brand that has been used by many big-name music producers.

This is your alternate optionIf, for some reason, you don’t enjoy the Yamaha HS series, have a look at the Krk Rookit monitors. They are very popular, especially among music producers. Just pick your preferred monitor size. That said, I still recommend the Yamahas. Period.

4) Best Budget Monitor For Very Tight Budgets: PreSonus Eris E4.5: 

This is your budget option. If you’re on a tight budget, these 4.5-inch monitors are your best choice.

Are you also looking for a new audio interface? Visit this page to find out more.

Read This If You’re in a Hurry

If you’re in a hurry, stop right here and purchase either the Yamaha HS5 or the Yamaha HS7 studio monitors. Both the HS5 and the HS7 are very reliable, combining exceptional quality with outstanding durability. 

Since larger monitors have a larger low end, if you produce bass-heavy music, opt for the HS7 or another 7-inch monitor from this list. 

Keep in mind that you will absolutely need either monitor stands or isolation pads to minimize sound leakage! Follow this link to explore my list of the best accessories for studio monitors.

Now for the breakdown:

Why I Picked The Yamaha HS5 Studio Monitor

NOTE: The Yamaha HS series comes in 5,7 or 8 inch sizes.

As I mentioned before, the Yamaha Hs5 is the clear winner for smaller size monitors. Order them from Amazon, and in the rare case you don’t like them, send them back. But I bet that 99.9% of you will keep these babies. As I did!

  • The Yamaha’s are very clear and accurate in the highs and mids.
  • The Yamaha’s are very durable and will last for years. 
  • The mixing engineers out there will be happy to know that the HS series have an EQ selection on the back. This allows you to improve your mixes by emulating how small speakers sound.

When you compare the Yamaha HS -series to other monitors of the same price range, the difference is surprising; this is because of their crisp and clear sound quality. They are simply the best at their price range!

Yes they lack in the low end, but this should not come as a surprise considering their size (5-inch). That said, if you don’t produce bass intensive music, -buy them! And if you do need the extra bass, opt for a larger speaker (7-8 inches) or combine the HS5 with a Subwoofer. You can check out my subwoofer recommendations right here.

The mixing engineers out there will be happy to know that the HS5 has an EQ selection on the back. This allows you to improve your mixes by emulating how small speakers sound.

Its true that one of the great benefits of the Yamaha HS series is that they honestly represent your music as they uncover troublesome frequencies very easily. The build-structure of the Yamahas provides them with a very high level of clarity wich allows them to accuratly represent the mids and highs. This gives them a character sound that won’t flatter your music, yet you will experience your music in the most accurate way possible!

YAMAHA HS5 SPECIFICATIONS

Some of the features that come with the HS5:

  • The HS5 feature a 5-inch cone woofer and a 1-inch tweeter.
  • They produce low distortion sound with a well-defined bottom.
  • They have a 54Hz to 30kHz frequency response.
  • Height: 11.2″.
  • Width: 6.7″.
  • Depth: 8.7″.
  • Weight: 11.7 lbs.
  • 70 Watt.
  • Bass reflex system.

On the back of the HS series, you can adjust the output signal by adjusting the EQ parameters; they provide two adjustable settings:

  • High trim switch (+/- 2dB at HF) / 
  • Room control switch (0/2/4 dB under 500Hz)

I have found the EQ control to be very useful since, with proper adjustment, you can replicate the sound of the legendary Yamaha NS10!

 Yes, the HS5 is hard to beat. I absolutely love them!

Why I Picked The Yamaha HS7 Studio Monitor

NOTE: The Yamaha HS series comes in 5,7 or 8 inch sizes.

Again we have a clear winner here, this time in the large monitor size. If you need a good low end these are the best monitors you can get!

Even if I have their younger brother, the HS7 is a wonderful option! Same as the smaller HS5; the HS7 delivers great mid-range and high clarity. Plus, they come with a solid low end that will astound you.

The HS7 has about 95 watts available, 60 for the low end and 35 for the high end. The white woofer has a diameter of 6.5 inches, suitable for a natural bass response starting from 38 Hertz. Room Control and High Trim make the HS7 sound optimal in any room. The HS7 comes with powerful and is surprisingly affordable.

If you want to know more about the Yamaha HS7 check out my review of the HS5 (read above); since a lot of the features that come with the HS7 are similar to the HS5.

SPECIFICATIONS

Some of the features that come with the HS7:

  • The HS7 feature a 7-inch cone woofer and a 1inch dome tweeter.
  • They produce low distortion sound with a well-defined bottom.
  • They have a 38Hz to 30kHz frequency response.
  • Room control and high trim response controls (For further information check above my review of the HS5’s).
  • Height:13″.
  • Width:8,2″.
  • Depth:11,1″.
  • Weight: 18 lbs.
  • 90 Watt.
  • Bass reflex system.

Why I Picked The KRK Rookit G4 Series Studio Monitors

The KRK Rokit fourth-generation series with Kevlar drivers is a significant improvement compared to the older third generation. No matter which size you choose ( 5-inch, 7-inch, 8-inch, or 10-inch), they all offer punchy warm bass, thick low mids, and slightly pleasant trebles!

Let’s explore a bit more the 7-inch series.

The KRK RP7 is a mid-budget popular choice amongst music producers and music enthusiasts. As I mentioned before the new generation (Gen 4) offers a more flat frequency response and a more robust bass compared to the older generation.

The KRK RP7’s are a solid choice. These are some of the features it offers:

  • The KRK RP7 G4 feature a 7-inch cone woofer and a 1-inch kevlar tweeter.
  • 55 Watts output.
  • Frequency response: 43Hz – 40KHz.
  • 25 visual Graphic EQ settings for different environments.
  • KRK App with Room Correction Tools.
  • Onboard LCD Visual DSP-driven EQ.

I want to talk a bit about something really exciting, the LCD screen found on the back of the Rookit series! 

KRK is the first company to implement such features to studio monitors; what this screen does is help you get the perfect acoustic tuning for your environment. You can also download an app for android and apple that guides you through the process and helps you with proper speaker placement, subwoofer level, and level matching. 

I believe this is the way of the future, and I hope other companies will follow KRK’s example!

The Reason Why I Don’t like the Krk’s as Much as the Yamaha’s

Lastly, because this is an honest review, I want to share with you that I dont enjoy the KRK’s as much because when I compare them to the Yamahas HS series I find that the Rookit has a not that clear bass. My ears tell me that the Yamahas

Why I Picked the Presonus Eris e4.5 Studio Monitor

There are cheaper small monitors out there, but for this price, they offer the maximum value you can get. 

Of course, the PreSonus Eris E4.5 are entry-level studio monitors, don’t expect the sound quality you find in more expensive monitors. Their low end is decent, and they sometimes can smooth out higher freequencies; this results in a lack of clarity. Again for this price, they are absolutely your best choice and 100% better than you standard stereo speakers you might currently have at home.

  • The Eris E4.5 have a 4.5″ Woofer with Kevlar
  • 1″ Tweeter
  • Frequency range: 70 – 20,000 Hz
  • MF control: Peak EQ, 1 kHz, +/- 6 dB
  • HF control: Shelving filter, 4.5 kHz, +/- 6 dB
  • Switchable high-pass filter: 80 Hz / 100 Hz
  • Two integrated 25 Watt Class-AB amplifiers in the left speaker
  • A front panel on/off switch
  • Volume control and headphone jack, stereo mini-jack
  • Inputs: TRS (balanced), RCA pair and stereo mini jack (unbalanced)
  • Height:9.4″.
  • Width:6,4″.
  • Depth:8″.
  • Weight: 8,1 lbs.
  • 50 Watt.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this page, no matter which studio monitors you choose from this list, you can’t go wrong, simply pick the ones you prefer, and start making great music!