Create the home studio of your dreams with my hand-picked selection of studio monitors. With an enhanced recording setup and higher-quality sound, you'll be able to hear your music like never before. Compare and choose from a variety of floor monitors and subwoofers to find the perfect fit for your needs.
What are Studio Monitors?
Altec Lansing's Duplex 604, introduced in 1944, was the first studio monitor that allowed mix engineers to make accurate critical mixing decisions. Today, there are many different types of studio monitors available on the market. Active studio monitors come with built-in amplifiers, while passive studio monitors require external amplification. Nearfield studio monitors have small low-frequency drivers, and large monitor models include multiple drivers for mid and low frequencies. Some even feature onboard DSP for acoustic management.
Cabinet Configuration and Studio Monitor Size
Studio monitors are designed to give you the flattest and most uncolored sound possible, which is why they usually have a woofer for low frequencies and a tweeter for high frequencies. They come in all sorts of configurations, from small nearfield models popularized by Yamaha’s NS-10 in the late ’70s to bigger tri-amped models found only in top production houses. And if you want to know how your mix will sound through consumer speakers, ante up for a pair of Avantone MixCubes—they’re specially designed for that purpose. The size of the woofer on a studio monitor determines how well it produces bass and lower midrange frequencies. Identical models in the same series often come with different-sized woofers to allow for greater customization. Depending on the intended use, additional speakers can be important for monitors meant to express the complete frequency range. However, large studio monitors can be impractical for smaller recording studios or home studios due to cost and size considerations.
Passive Studio Monitors vs. Powered Studio Monitors
Most studio monitors today are powered, or active. Powered studio monitors have built-in amplifiers and crossovers that direct the correct amount of power to each speaker. This provides a more accurate sound than passive studio monitors, which do not have these features. Passive monitors first gained popularity in the early 2000s but have since fallen out of favor with most audio engineers and producers. Active studio monitors, like KRK Rokit series models, sometimes come with simple equalizers and gain controls that let you balance the frequencies in your room. Some more advanced models of a studio monitor, such as JBL’s LSR 6000 line, have DSP to fix complex problems with acoustics in a room. Passive studio monitors aren't popular now but some sound engineers prefer them. You need extra power amplifiers for passive monitors, but they don't have electronic equipment onboard. This might be why passive high-end monitors are known for having very clear sound quality - like Amphion's products.
Surround Sound Systems and Subwoofers
Many recording studios are now incorporating subwoofers into their design for both standard stereo mixing and surround sound media production. By adding a studio subwoofer to a pair of existing studio monitors, you will then be able to monitor in 2.1 stereo. The advantage of having this 2.1 setup is that it extends the low-frequency range
that your monitors can produce, allowing the low-frequency drivers to create midrange frequencies as well. Subwoofers produce low bass frequencies that aren't as directional as mids and highs. Because of this, you won't need more than one subwoofer. While it is possible to create your own surround sound system, there are also packages offered by manufacturers such as Genelec. These kits come with a subwoofer and five or more matched satellite speakers for an easy transition into surround sound monitoring.
Monitoring Headphones and Studio Monitor Management
Studios often utilize multiple sets of studio monitors to verify mixes. They will commonly A/B between typical consumer speakers and reference studio monitors during the final stages of mixing in order to get the best results. The Dangerous Music Monitor ST and the Mackie Big Knob series are two studio monitor management systems that make it easy to switch between sets of monitors or bypass subwoofers. In addition to studio monitors, a pair of high-quality monitoring headphones, such as the AKG K240s, can be extremely useful for critical listening. Most studio monitor management systems also include headphone amplifiers.
Why shop Studio Monitors at MikesMixMaster.com?
All of the products listed on this site have been sourced from different manufacturers and physically tested for quality over long periods of time by real audio engineers. Only products with top reviews and customer satisfaction have been chosen. Affordability has also been taken into account when sourcing these items. There is lots of audio equipment online and it can be hard to know what is actually worth your money, so we've spent hours, days, and months researching and testing these items so you can spend more time recording.