Best Studio Monitors Under $500

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A group of powered monitors, including (clockwise from top left) Samson MediaOne BT3, Mackie Creative Reference CR3, Eve Audio SC203, Tascam VL-S3, M-Audio AV32 and Genelec 8010A, on May 11, 2016. (Photo by Joby Sessions/Future Music Magazine)

Are you looking at enhancing your music production skills? Unfortunately, you have no idea what device or equipment will help take your music production skill to the next level. It is normal for you to desire to get better at your craft, and one device or equipment that guarantees to boost your music production skill is a pair of studio monitors.

If you are not a newbie to music, I guess you already know what a studio monitor can do with sounds. Still, there are millions of studio monitors out there, which might get you confused on what studio monitor to settle for.

The truth has excess decent-sounding devices might cause an overload of information, and you might not find shopping for a decent pair of studio monitors easy. However, this guide will walk you through the best studio monitors for under $500.

Studio monitors are crucial equipment that must be in a home or small studio setup. You will be able to achieve excellent studio sound production by using a high-quality studio monitor. If you are a mixer or a producer, hearing your production the exact way you worked on it is essential, as it tells you what areas you might need to adjust.

Traditional speakers, regardless of how expensive they are, are not considered efficient when reproducing sounds. It is why you need the best studio monitors to help you assess every track sound and detail for everyone’s listening to pleasure.

There are numerous studio monitors on the market, and just by pronouncing their names, you already have this feeling that they will be costly. That might sound true to the ears, but it isn’t always so all the time.

You don’t have to create a hole in your pocket because you want to shop for a studio monitor. Instead, there are various studio monitors of high quality that will fit your budget. This guide focuses on the five hundred dollars budget, so stick around for more vital information.

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best studio monitors under $500

It doesn’t matter if you are a newbie to music production or if you want to set up a recording studio; every music lover must have a good set of studio monitors. It also doesn’t matter if you want to listen to some cool songs alone or create your own music; studio monitors are devices that put out sounds the way the producer recorded them.

You can be economical when shopping for a studio monitor. Still, first, you need to understand that a studio monitor gives you an uncolored and accurate representation of whatever music you create.

Spending some extra change to get a good studio monitor will do more good than harm. You will agree that a five hundred dollars studio monitor performs better than a three hundred dollars studio monitor. In addition, the best studio monitors will last longer within the five hundred dollar budget and not get replaced in years to come.

Best 3 Studio Monitors Under $500 Reviews

1. Edifier S2000pro Near-Field Active Studio Monitor

You are staring at a stylish and elegant studio monitor housed in a real wood cabinet that gives it a unique appearance. Its diaphragm is flat, ensuring that it offers a flat response rate and making sure it takes advantage of high-frequency sounds.

Thanks to its aluminum-made woofers, users can bank on this studio monitor to produce crisp and unique sounds. In addition, there is a back panel on this studio monitor used for handling inputs and controlling this studio monitor. We refer to this studio monitor as a universal studio monitor, and this is based on the fact that you can use it either in a studio or at home.

Being used in a dual setup means switching between its EQ settings is possible. Users must do this if they want to get the highest sound, but attention should be paid to the vocal settings when performing. Its dynamic and classical settings are used for movies or gaming.

Specifications

  • Brand – EDIFIER
  • Item Weight – 41.5 Pounds
  • Color – Brown

Key Features

  • Wireless Bluetooth
  • Coaxial and optical inputs

What We Like

  • This studio monitor model handles high frequency.
  • Its EQ selection ensures proper settings are used.

What We Don’t Like

  • It is big compared to other portable studio monitors.

2. Presonus Studio Monitor (ERIS8)

Just like the first studio monitor we talked about in this guide, this is another reliable near-field monitor, and even though this studio monitor might look big, its stylish design cannot be overlooked. It boasts a laminated MDF black vinyl cabinet that offers a stylish and classic look, and in terms of design, all of its connections and controls were placed at the rear of this studio monitor.

Users will have to work with XLR, unbalanced RCS sockets, or a balanced TRS jack, while one feature that sets this studio monitor apart from all other studio monitors is its 3-position acoustic space switch.

The acoustic space switch is used in adjusting bass response only when you are faced with no choice but to place this studio monitor in a corner in your room or next to the wall. However, if you want a studio monitor to add to your subwoofer system, this studio monitor will come in handy.

Specifications

  • Brand – Presonus
  • Item Weight –
  • Color – Black and Blue

Key Features

  • Kevlar low-frequency transducer
  • Class AB amplification
  • RF interference

What We Like

  • This studio monitor comes with a huge amount of volume.
  • Its controls help in shaping the tone.
  • Bass tones can be shaped to sound less boomy.

What We Don’t Like

  • This studio monitor has no alternative with the same specs on the market.

3. KRK Studio Monitor (59107)

Next is the KRK 59107 studio monitor, and everyone knows what the KRK brand is capable of producing. This studio monitor from KRK boasts superior imaging, unmatched response, and low-level distortion.

Since most professionals trust the KRK brand, you can expect nothing less than an amazing recording with a professional performance. Its playback and mixing are very accurate, and you can bank on this studio monitor to deliver an extended and high-frequency bass response.

Adjusting its frequency is very easy, making it possible for users to adjust the system to fit into whatever requirements they have at hand. This studio monitors gas a foam pad at its base, ensuring no buffer between the surface and the studio monitor.

Specifications

  • Brand – KRK
  • Item Weight – 12.87 Pounds
  • Color – Black

Key Features

  • Soft dome tweeter
  • glass aramid composite woofer

What We Like

  • Users complemented its unique frequency separation.
  • It is .an affordable, high-quality product.

What We Don’t Like

  • Its bass is not punchy and bright as expected.

4. JBL Professional speaker (LSR308)

Other than its large size, you are staring at high-quality studio monitors that will produce apparent and natural sounds. It gives you the sound the exact way it is without coloration or alteration.

Its tweeter uses a waveguide design which works efficiently in offering users total control over lower frequency ends. Durability is a feature that will not go unnoticed when talking about the JBL LSR308 studio monitors, as it boasts a polymer-coated aluminum housing.

The materials used in making these studio monitors tell you it’s built to last, and the amplifier is the Class D type, capable of providing a 56-watt split between the woofer and tweeter.

Lastly, mounting this studio monitor at the corner of a room or to walls can be achieved using its sdB switch at its rear. The purpose of doing this is to cut down bass response.

Specifications

  • Brand – JBL
  • Item Weight – 18.9 Pounds
  • Color – Multi-colored

Key Features

  • Room-friendly
  • Broad sweet spot
  • Increased HF Detail

What We Like

  • This studio monitor is best suited for large rooms.
  • If you are looking for limited or controlled dispersion, this is the right studio monitor for it.

What We Don’t Like

  • Its cabinet requires amendments as it is poorly constructed.

5. JBL Professional 308MKII Next-Generation Studio Monitor

We are closing up this review with another top-tier product from the JBL brand, and this is the second product from the same brand to find its way to our detailed review. Again, this tells you the brand means business when it comes to making high-quality studio monitors.

If you are keen on enjoying a solid and legendary performance, the JBL 308MKII studio monitor has got you covered. This studio monitor will take advantage of any workspace providing users with stunning sound details, a unique dynamic range, a wide sweet spot, and precise imaging.

Its enjoyable mixing experience and outstanding performance will definitely take your music production skill to the next level. We will not forget to commend this studio monitor’s stylish look, as it would serve as a visual upgrade anywhere it is set up.

An outstanding feature of this JBL studio monitor is its linear spatial reference design that guarantees exceptional accuracy in any workspace. Lastly, the JBL 308MKII studio monitor has undergone a 100-hour full-power test, proving to you that what you are looking at is a studio monitor that you can rely on for years.

Specifications

  • Brand – JBL
  • Item Weight – 40 Pounds
  • Color – Black

Key Features

  • Leveraging patented technology
  • Image controlled waveguide
  • Magnetic shielding

What We Like

  • This studio monitor delivers sounds in exceptional clarity.
  • It also offers a strong bass response.
  • It is very crisp and clear with sound, ensuring you hear any underlying static.

What We Don’t Like

  • The cables didn’t arrive with the complete package.

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Studio Monitor Buying Guide

It doesn’t matter whether you want a studio monitor for professional or home use; selecting the best studio monitor is very difficult because of the numerous choices you have available to you.

However, circumstances surrounding why you want a studio speaker might be different, but you need to consider a couple of things before making a studio monitor payment.

The type of studio monitor you desire will depend on one or two factors, and these factors might include how much you can afford to spend on a studio monitor, the size of your studio, the type of music you want to produce, and some more factors.

Power Rating

The combination of power rating and frequency response will dictate how loud your studio monitor sounds will be. However, how loud your studio monitor gets depends on your studio size, meaning if your studio is small-sized, you need a studio monitor with a low power rating. Conversely, you will need a studio monitor with a high power-rating if your studio is a big one.

Positioning

Studio monitor speakers should be positioned so that their listening area faces the sweet spot, and you must position your speaker this way while mixing tracks. Different studio monitors come with various waveguide and baffle designs, so carrying out a little research on sweet spot coverage and speakers’ positioning will help you get the best out of your studio monitor speakers.

Frequency Response

The frequency ranges that a studio monitor is capable of handling refer to the frequency response. What frequency range a studio monitor can handle depends on the HF and LF drivers. If your studio monitor has a wider frequency range, it means it will be able to handle a music broader frequency spectrum.

However, all other frequencies will strive to compete for attention, and this might cause you to lose out on some vital information. Checking a studio monitor’s frequency response is crucial, but it will be better for you to opt for a flat frequency response to work with vocal and acoustic elements.

Conclusion

If you are looking towards getting the best from your mixing and production abilities, investing in a studio monitor isn’t a bad idea. Every studio monitor discussed in this review is the best to lay hands-on and get to work immediately. In addition, you will be able to enjoy several amazing features for just five hundred dollars.

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