Whether you want to record, edit, mix or master audio, getting quality speakers ensures that your mix translates well to various listening systems. When you’re in a studio setting, your ears will ultimately guide you on what adjustments you need to make. That’s why getting good speakers is such a big deal. The monitor speakers you use will make a huge difference in how you perceive this sound. You need something that can reproduce recorded sounds accurately to get your mix just the way you want it.
But what, exactly, determines the quality of a studio monitor speaker? The answer to that can get pretty complicated, especially for beginners. That’s where studio monitor speaker reviews come in handy. There are so many technical terms involved and other things to consider that choosing good speakers can be an impossible task for most people. A good review will give you all the information you need to make the best purchasing decision you can for your studio.
The main aim is to get something that will give you accurate and consistent playback, no matter what the volume level is. And you don’t even have to break the bank to do this! Here are the 4 top things that you should consider when buying quality monitor speakers for your studio:
- Look Beyond the Numbers
You will come across a lot of numbers, terms, and acronyms when shopping for monitor speakers. These specifications are supposed to give you a rough guide of how your monitor will perform when in use. In most cases, the manufacturer runs a series of tests to determine the product’s performance.
But it’s important to realize that these specs should just be a starting point for you. That’s because manufacturer tests are not standardized across the industry. Sure, this information could be useful to you as a prospective buyer. But you should rely more on your ears and reviews from other professionals to help you zero in on the best options.
- Powered vs. Unpowered?
When it comes to speakers, there are basically two types of studio monitors: powered and unpowered. Powered – or active studio monitors – are the most popular option, especially for home studios. They house their own amplifiers, eliminating the need to buy an external amp to power them. Most of these speakers are bi-amplified, which allows the monitor to function at optimal levels.
On the other hand, you could go for the unpowered or passive option. They do require a separate external amp, but unpowered monitor speakers have plenty of advantages to offer. The main one is that these speakers give you more flexibility in setting up multi-speaker arrays and choosing your components. In the end, your choice between the two should depend on your specific studio needs.
- What about Wattage?
Simply put, wattage measures the power of a speaker. This is a vital consideration for those who are setting up a studio in a large room. If you’re planning to work from home, you don’t want to get an excessively powerful monitor that will annoy your neighbors! Instead, choose the best option for the space that you’re working with.
- Choose the Design
No, this doesn’t mean the speaker’s exterior design! In this case, it refers to whatever listening configuration the studio monitor is designed for. This could either be near, far or mid-field design. Near-field speakers are optimized for close listening, while far-field designs can carry sound accurately over large distances. Again, your choice will ultimately depend on finding the best speaker to suit your needs.