Whether you are mixing a big project or simply recording your voice in your home studio, a quality studio monitor is necessary. Top quality studio monitors let you enjoy what you record with accurate details. When mixing your recordings in the studio, the sound your speakers deliver helps you determine the frequencies that you should roll off and those that you should booster and hence, it is necessary to ensure that your speakers are producing the exact recorded sound without distortion.
Top quality studio monitors are built to deliver audio signals that are as flat as possible across various frequency spectrum to let you listen critically to how different elements sound at different volumes. They are also designed to capture fleeting musical transients that add nuance and subtlety to the sounds. However, that does not mean that you cannot enjoy quality mixes if you have a limited budget. There are quality moderately-priced monitors that you can use for your home mixes. Some of the top studio monitors under 300 include:
10. Pioneer DJ DM-40
If you are looking for strong, quality bass from the front, this front-loaded bass reflex system is a lovely piece to have in your home. To ensure the highest possible audio quality, the DM-40 comes with grooves on the ducks to help reduce air friction. The 3/4 –inch soft dome tweeters are designed with DECO convex diffusers that ensure high frequencies are channeled to every direction to enable you to enjoy amazing 3D sound irrespective of where you sit or stand. The DM-40 by Pioneer DJ delivers well-balanced, crisp response across the frequencies thanks to its class AB amplifiers and perfectly aligned tweeter and woofer.
9. Audioengine A2+
With a built-in digital to analog converter (DAC), the Audioengine A2+ is the new standard for computer audio. The small but high-performance speakers let you send high-quality digital audio directly from your computer’s USB port to enjoy an amazing audio quality. The hand-finished system does not come with fake bass boost circuits or digital signal processing but features analog power amplifiers, hand-finished wood cabinets, dual analog audio inputs, power saving idle mode, and USB audio input.
8. Edifier R1280DB
If you are looking for a monitor speaker with the legendary classic look but without the hassle of wires, the Edifier R1280DB powered Bluetooth bookshelf speakers is a symbol of quality and class. Equipped with all the latest features you would want in a modern speaker, the Edifier R1280DB classic look easily blends with your computer and television enabling you to maintain a lovely classic home theme. The speaker also comes with a remote control that lets you easily adjust the volume to your liking.
7. PreSonus Eris E4.5
If you are tired of creating out of balance mixes, the PreSonus Eris E4.5 is designed with all the controls you need for accurate playback irrespective of your studio environment. The speaker comes with acoustic space tailors to help address the challenges of the three most common studio monitor placements. The high and midrange frequency controls help to address the challenge of mixing in spaces with high reflective surfaces while the low cutoff allows you to coordinate the bass when the system is used with subwoofers.
6. Mackie MR524-5
Designed for a professional performance, the Mackie MR524 is your best companion if you are looking to create superior mixes that will sound great anywhere. Built for professionals, the MR524 comes with acoustic space controls that let you adjust the frequency response of the monitor to match your studio while the proven logarithmic waveguide offers you endless possibilities.
5. Klipsch R-14PM
With a wide range of analog, digital and wireless inputs, the R-14PM lets you enjoy music files up to 96 kHz or 24-bit sample rates. It also comes with a host of acoustics that includes low distortion, high efficiency, flat frequency response, wide dynamic range and controlled directivity. The speaker’s internal amplifier also eliminates the need to purchase an expensive receiver.
4. JBL 305P MKII
The JBL 305P MKII is designed for individuals looking for control in addition to quality mixes. With the MKII broad sweet spot, you can easily fine-tune your mixes even while listening to off-axis thanks to its neutral frequency response. The speaker also comes with updated LF and HF transducers that offer superior transient response and amazing deep bass.
3. Plugable BT-BOX4S
You will love the convenience and flexibility of the Plugable BT-BOX4S if you love listening mixes from a wide range of devices. Supporting NFC pairing, you can enjoy quality mixes from NFC-enabled phones. The speaker also comes with Bluetooth feature and optical and analog RCA inputs to expand your choice of devices. The speaker’s standard A2DP profile is capable of delivering CD-like quality audio of up to 512 kbps.
2. Rockville APM5B
Available in three wood enclosure finishes of white, black and vinyl, the Rockville APM5B adds beauty to the ultimate best sound quality. To enable enjoy your high mixes at the best quality, the speaker comes with Ferrofluid enhanced neodymium dome tweeters and a 5.25-inch woofer that offers superior bass sounds without unwanted distortions. The speaker has high-grade crossover filters that maximize sound quality without creating distortions.
1. KRK RP5G3-NA Rokit 5 Generation 3
If all you want is quality audio, the clean designed KRK RP5G3 comes with a proprietary waveguide that is well optimized for superior imaging. It also comes with a soft-dome tweeter that offers pristine clarity and extended bitrates response of up to 35 kHz. The high-frequency adjustment and the class A/B amplifier enables to tailor your mixes to your individual taste at the best audio quality.
Choosing the best studio monitor is a personalized process that varies from person to person depending on what one is looking for. Nevertheless, the best studio monitor should let you listen to your mixes for extended periods of time without fatigue. The speakers and circuitry should also be solid enough to handle your frequency and volume requirements along with pops and peaks as recorded.
The goal when buying a studio monitor should be to find a unit that reproduces accurate sounds irrespective of the environment. Some of the things you should focus on include frequency range, total harmonic distortion, wattage, and near, far or mid-field design. You may also focus on the components of the monitor like drivers, cabinets and circuitry.