Friday, January 13, 2017

5 Monitor Speakers for Accurate Music Mixing

Monitor speakers are used in many professional and home recording studios for playback during mixing. The goal is to provide accurate sound reproduction without coloring like many other home theater speakers will cause. There are many different monitor speakers available, but this article will only cover active speakers.

Active monitor speakers have a built-in amplifier, so there’s no need for any equipment. Simply plug in the line output from your audio interface to the back of each speaker, hook them up to power, and you’re good to go.

Alesis M1 Active 320

If you’re looking for a cheap, small, and portable set of monitor speakers, check out the Alesis M1 Active 320. These speakers connect to your computer by USB, so there’s no need to carry around an audio interface with them. They also allow for recording instruments such as a keyboard directly. However, the portability of these speakers will influence the accuracy of these speakers, since small speakers can’t reproduce low frequencies very well.

Mackie CR3 Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors

Another small, portable speaker option is the Mackie CR3 Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors. These speakers have a nicer look to them, and they’ll work with audio interfaces instead of directly through USB. Like the Alesis speakers, these also have a 3” speaker that has a bottom frequency response of 80 Hz. They also feature convenient controls such as the front panel power and volume knob.

Behringer MS20 Monitor Speakers

The Behringer MS20 Monitor Speakers will provide a little more power with a slightly bigger 3.625” speaker. These speakers allow for both digital and analog inputs, and have volume, eq, headphone, and power controls on the front of the speaker. They also have a frequency ragne of 65-25,000 Hz, so they’ll be pretty decent for low frequency mixing even if you choose not to use a subwoofer.

KRK Rokit 5 Powered Studio Monitor

The KRK Rokit 5 Powered Studio Monitorsstrike a great balance for many people doing home recording. They’re more expensive, but each speaker provides 50 watts of power and is capable of reach 45 Hz. They’ll be very accurate for mixing, but aren’t portable. The KRK speakers also have controls for high and low frequency level, volume, and power, but all these controls are on the back of the speaker, which can be a small problem depending on the layout of your studio.

Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor

If you’re looking for a set of studio monitors that can be used in professional applications, the Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor is one to consider. These monitors are quite a bit more expensive, but they’re high quality monitors. They have a 5” speaker that is able to get down to 54 Hz, but subwoofers should be used with monitor speakers for low frequency mixing. At 70 watts, these speakers are more than powerful enough larger studios.

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