Many sound engineers need Studio Monitors for their everyday activities of mixing and recording. It is very important to understand the tone or the frequency of each sound wave included in the composition, to exactly know what is required to be altered to produce the kind of audio desired. This is the reason behind the trending sales of Studio monitors these days.
Even if you want to record your voice and do the mixing at your home, a studio monitor is required to give that perfect mix by dissecting each and every sound that is entering intoit. It is designed to produce a flat sound and avoids any bass or coloration added on to it, and produces the most consistent sound even at higher volumes.
The quality of a studio monitor depends on the components used in it. To ensure the subtlety and flatness of the sound quality, an exhaustive engineering is required in the manufacturing process. There are various types of studio monitors being sold in the market and the major reason behind varying prices is the quality of sounds they can produce.
- What is a Studio Monitor?
- Top reasons to buy a Studio Monitor
- Factors one needs to consider before buying a Studio Monitor:
- Top four Studio Monitor reviews of 2020:
- 1. KRK RP5G3-NA Rokit 5 Generation 3 Powered Studio Monitor
- 2. Edifier R1280TPowered Bookshelf Speakers – 2.0 Active Near Field Monitors – Studio Monitor Speaker – Wooden Enclosure – 42 Watts RMS
- 3. KRK RP5G3-NA Rokit 5 Generation 3 Powered Studio Monitor – Pair
- 4. JBL LSR305 Professional Studio Monitor (PACK OF 2)
What is a Studio Monitor?
Studio monitors are basically speakers which are used to clearly capture the sounds required in professional audio production. Studio monitors are increasingly been used for recording in movies, television and radio studios, various recording studios and home studios. These are expected to provide precise audio reproduction.
A studio monitor has three main parts. These are the monitor drivers, the main cabinet, and the electronic circuitry. Modern day studio monitors include an internal amplifier along with.
The two type of drivers are the woofers and the tweeters.The 2.1, 5.1, and 7.1 surround-sound monitoring setups have a separate subwoofer for increased amplification. The woofer is designed to handle the mid to low range frequencies, whereas the tweeter handles the high to mid-level frequencies. The driver material can be made of paper, Kevlar or aluminum alloys.
The cabinet is generally made of dense plastic or metals with internal bracing. These are designed to reduce unwanted resonance. A ported cabinet helps in extending the frequency response lower. This creates more bass. The accuracy of ported cabinets is lesser than closed cabinets.
Studio monitors mostly have 1/4″, TRS, XLR, RCA, or S/PDIF jacks as input circuitry.
Top reasons to buy a Studio Monitor
- Professional audio recording:
The main purpose and the reason for buying a studio monitor is to perform all sorts of professional audio recording activities to derive at an ultra-engineered sound. It would not be wrong to term Studio Monitors as Sound Doctors as they can specifically identify the frequency areas which need adjustment.
- Know all about sound specifications:
Studio monitors help in ascertaining the difference between sounds at different frequency level, Sound Pressure Level, Total Harmonic Distortion, energy Watts, and driver sizes to produce the quality of sound they produce. The frequency range for most recordings is between 50Hz- 20 KHz. Sound artists exactly estimate the mixing and recording to be performed according to their requirementsthrough the use of Studio Monitors. One important point to know is that the rate assigned to THD, SPL etc. of these monitors, might vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
- Suits your requirement:
You can buy the best studio monitor for yourself that exactly meets your requirements. For example, there are near-field monitors used for singing and guitar recording at home, while you can use assisting subwoofers for producing hip-hop tracks. If you want to produce soundtracks for video games, or other movies, videos or may be television recording, you can used a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound monitor.If you intend to do television recording, then you will require a multi-speaker monitoring system with a subwoofer.If you are into rock bands, you can consider buying studio monitors with 8″ woofers. If you just want to record the demo tracks for your band, you will need a stereo pair of studio monitors. If your music is to be heard through a home theateror club’s system, you will need a subwoofer along with your studio monitor to read the lowest bass waves. If, however, you are producing music for iPods or to be heard in the car stereo system, you might not need the subwoofer.
- Creating a detailed, multi-dimensional stereo field:
Studio monitors are known for having a wider sweet spot. The sweet spot refers to the middle area between two sides of a stereo system where the speakers overlap. This helps the studio monitor to deliver brilliant sound quality. Studio monitors thus create a better stereo imaging through this sweet spot.
Since there are a lot number of specifications available in studio monitors, you can create the most appropriate mix of specifications to meet the kind of audio requirement you want to create for yourself. Also, there are various built-in and assisting features and products that can further enhance your sound quality.
Factors one needs to consider before buying a Studio Monitor:
- Frequency range
The studio monitor you are buying must be able to fully handle the frequency range you want for your recordings. Even if the monitor handles a lesser frequency range, what is important is that it should be able to reproduce all the frequency levels without any variation or undue distortion.
The SPL or the Sound Pressure level measures the variation across the frequency range. It is measured in decibels. You will need to check the SPL and whether it is suitable for the kind of audio-piece you want to create. A frequency range of 40Hz-21kHz ± 2dB indicates some frequencies might be louder or softer by a deviation of 2 decibels at some points over the range. A rating of ± 3 dB or less is good for a balanced studio monitor. However, if you want to work with music rich in bass, a 30Hz or lower studio subwoofer might be a good option to buy.
The audio circuit of the monitor should produce minimum distortion. A bad circuit will add quite a distortion in the range between 0.3 to 1%. This value is generally higher in speakers and headphones used for listening music at home. Thus these audio devices has a greater level of distortion as compared to professional studio monitors.
The power of the studio monitor is dependent upon the area where you want to use them. Mostly 10-60 watts monitor is enough for a normal set-up, but for larger rooms in big studios, you might require an even higher powered studio monitor. For the monitors with in-built amplifiers, manufacturers have to match wattage to each driver for the desired performance over the frequency range of the driver.
- Active vs. Passive Monitors
The recording industry initially used to work with passive monitors. Passive monitors used to have an assisting amplifier depending upon the type of speakers you are using. Active monitors have in-built amplifiers so that you do not have to carry extra racks etc. while porting it and the amplifier been fitted in,is specifically designed according to the speaker for optimal performance.
Top four Studio Monitor reviews of 2020:
- The weight of the product is 7 Kg.
- The product dimensions are 38.1 x 27.9 x 30.5 cm inches.
- Comprises new waveguide for superior imaging.
- Has one-inch Soft-dome tweeters.
- 5-inch glass-aramid woofer for mid-range and tight bass
- It provides for high or low frequency adjustment.
- The primary material used is wood.
2. Edifier R1280TPowered Bookshelf Speakers – 2.0 Active Near Field Monitors – Studio Monitor Speaker – Wooden Enclosure – 42 Watts RMS
- The product dimensions are 6.9 x 9.4 x 5.7 inches.
- The weight of the product is 10.8 pounds.
- It has a 4-inch bass driver.
- It comprises a calibrated and flared bass reflex port.
- It has bass and treble adjustments to suit your choice.
- It comes with a wireless remote control.
- It can be connected to multiple audio devices using the dual RCA inputs.
- The wattage power is 42 watts.
- The frequency response is 60Hz-20KHz(±3db).
- It comes with a silk dome 13 mm tweeter.
- It has 3.5mm to dual RCA AUX cable included.
- It is made with MDF wood with vinyl effect which also serves as good décor material.
- The product comes with a 2 year warranty and the parts are easily available.
- It can be conveniently connected to any device with a 3.5mm headphone output. It has a 2x AUX input.
- The product dimensions are 9.7 x 11.2 x 7.4 inches.
- The weight of the product is 33 pounds.
- The pair contains two studio monitors.
- It consists of a 1 inch soft dome tweeter
- It comes with a 5 inch glass-aramide woofer.
- It gives high frequency adjustment up to 35 kHz and extended bass response.
- Bi-amped class A/B amplifier grants 106dB SPL and a large headroom.
- The waveguide ensures detailed imaging.
- The bass port at the front reduces boundary coupling to allow flexible positioning of the monitor.
- Multiple input connections integrates into any kind of system configuration.
- The product dimensions are 22.5 x 12.5 x 17.3 inches.
- The weight of the product is 25.8 pounds.
- First ever Image Control Waveguide technology.
- It has high-performing transducers.
- It comes with a 5 inch high frequency woofer.
- 1 inch damp woven Neodymium tweeter.
- Sweet spot speakers deliver neutral sound despite a large area.
- It is suitable for every room size.
- Class D amplifiers provide abundant power and dynamic headroom.
- M2 Master Reference Monitor provides a superb experience.
You have to literally live with your studio monitors to exactly understand what they are all about! Listen to the everyday recordings and your favourite songs on the studio monitors to make the best use of them according to your advantage. One thing is for sure that the studio monitors will sound much different from the normal speakers. You will listen to the most bass less, dis-coloured and flat sound over any brand of studio monitor you buy. Also, the type of material used inside the drivers of these monitors will affect the quality of voice produced. You will learn to use the different kind of materials and attachments to be used over-time, for producing the kind of audio you prefer.
With the latest advancements in technology, there are multiple upgrades coming in for studio monitors which is improving the overall audio quality of recordings. One needs to research the market carefully before choosing the type of studio monitor again because of the numerous options and specifications available in the market. Experts suggest that without proper research you might end up defeating the very purpose of buying a studio monitor.