Building a home or commercial studio doesn’t come as easily as simply forking over money if you have it. Choosing the best equipment comes first and when it comes to studio monitors, it’s the right balance of quality and affordability that should suffice. And while not many have the moolah to spend on extravagant pieces, we’ve come up with a list of the best studio monitors worth under $1000USD.
So what can you get within that specific price range? Believe us when we tell you that you can get a pretty decent studio monitor at $500 but understandably so, other professionals will be on the lookout for something with more edge. That being said, you can still find ones with exceptional clarity that will fit your needs somewhere within a $1000-budget – and you don’t need to look any further! Find them here and decide for yourself.
A Buying Guide for Studio Monitors
Selecting the kind of studio monitor that you need will also depend on what you’re going to use it for and for how long. If you’re a beginner, good quality studio monitors that are low-priced should be a good starting point. If you’re already an adept to your craft but strictly wants to stick to a certain cost, we have some on our list that you might find acceptable since they came recommended by those who have experience with a particular brand model. But before you hit the electronic store, there are a few factors to consider when buying a studio monitor.
What to look for in studio monitors
Studio monitors were designed to give you a clear picture of how you want your music to be so you can create and transform it in any way you want. Because of modern day technology developed by the latest engineering techniques, manufacturers can imbue high-quality components on studio monitors without sacrificing the clarity of sound as well as its durability. At a $1000 below price, studio monitors at this range are already on a professional level of usage.
Equipment worth $500 to less than a $1000 will give you this much:
- An 8” and above size of woofer that gives off bass that’s richer in depth
- Treble speakers that are well-made for better audio frequencies
- A better construction of the exterior for imaging, bass reflex, sound clarity and reproduction.
- Power expansion to produce greater sound volume
- Good general response to signal parameters
Review based on criteria
The following studio monitors were handpicked based on the recommendation of those within the music industry who had experience of using these equipment.
The Top 5 Best Studio Monitors
Focal Alpha 65
It’s clearly not just about affordability anymore even when Focal Alpha 65 is using outsourced production. The brand name is frequently talked and written about and one can see why once a master gets his hands on one. The side panels were hardened on each side improved its appearance. It features a dome-molded tweeter made of 1” aluminum, an AB-type amplifier and a woofer made of 6.5” polyglass. The volume produced at its maximum is 106dB with an overall wattage of 105. Regardless of the manufacturer’s decision to cut the production cost of its speakers, the sound quality has not been affected at the least. In fact, Focal Alpha 65 proves to be the leading studio monitor for its design, construction, hardware, and performance within the $1000 price tag.
- Aesthetically designed to match your home studio
- Compact in design
- Provides a studio-image that is clear and accurate
- Hard panels made the monitor heavier
- One of the woofers create a low scratchy noise on mid-range tones
Adam Audio A5X
Adam Audio is another creator of the best studio monitors around with an impressive line that made a name in the world or project gadgetry. Physically, the Adam Audio A5X has a similar build compared to its predecessors, save for the volume buttons that were relocated to the front to make usage easier. With a driver at 5.5”, it could easily be considered tiny but still produces sound with an unmistakable articulation in sound production. With an X-art treble speaker that can reach up to 50 kHz, it’s an ideal monitor for both smaller and larger spaces since it has enough power to suit your needs.
- The overall sound of the bass is good
- Superb mid-range and high-frequency sound clarity
- High-quality despite the low price
- There’s not much difference to aesthetics compared to past Adam monitors
Neumann KH 120 A : Active Studio Monitor
The Neumann brand is easily one of the sought after names when it comes to equipment because of their reputation for producing studio speakers. When it comes to the design, one has to look a bit closer at the Neumann KH 120 A for it’s slight details. It’s two AB dual amplifiers produce a maximum of 111dB. Despite its size, it packs a wallop and sports adjustable controls for acoustic sounds varying in three types. Whether you want to go low on bass, perhaps pick a low-mid range or add trebles, Neumann KH 120A is a studio monitor to watch out for when it comes to detail.
- The power is ample enough
- The surface is as smooth and flat like a glass
- Has exemplary precision
- The treble speaker produces a hissing sound at close proximity
PreSonus Sceptre S6
Very few would take the chance to create a unique design and turn out unexpectedly good and that’s what PreSonus did with the Sceptre S6. Here is a studio monitor where both the treble speaker and the woofer have been placed in the same axis instead of the first sitting on top the latter. It’s construction could spark controversy because of the unconventional makeup but apart from the coaxial design, it is still a speaker worth mentioning because of its performance. It features a high-frequency treble speaker that’s an inch high atop a middle range driver at 6.5”. Two Class D amps that can produce a root mean square of 180 watts and can go up to 100Hz. There’s no guarantee with how much the sound is going to match your space but a little adjustment of the HF controls could do wonders.
- The ease of use is superb
- The response is accurate and tight
- Sound definition is excellent
- It has a risky coaxial design
They say that good things come in small packages and Genelec 8010A is the proof of that. Each speaker only weighs about 1.5kg that answered the question of portability. Don’t be fooled, though, because each tiny speaker packs a wallop at 96dB which came in as a surprise considering of its size. But because of the desire to adhere to the ease of the user when it comes to relocation, there is only one XLR analog connector. When it came to the performance, the speakers give off a high-quality sound with an impressive response and clarity that could rival larger studio monitors.
- It stands as a great addition while composing music
- Nice imaging and sound-stage
- The weight and size is impressive
- The mid-range is not as smooth
The right studio monitor for you is the result of a careful research and consideration for your own needs. The soundcard, recording software and hardware, and everything else will be for naught if you cannot tell what you want from what you can actually use depending on the size of your work space, the type of project you’re going to do, and from basing on your own level of experience as well.
A perfect studio monitor doesn’t exist. All types of equipment will work to your advantage when you plan ahead and don’t skip on the vitals no matter how much you think it will inconvenience you. As long as you are passion-driven and have personal standards to get the job done right, the outcome of using whatever type of studio monitor will be just as sweet as a good deal.