Tools for the Task: Studio Monitors Under $500
Is it time to ditch those earbuds or computer speakers and upgrade?
You might have a decent-sounding set of computer speakers, but that doesn’t mean you have studio monitors. And while a nice pair of headphones certainly has a place in your recording setup, a good pair of monitors is a must for referencing tracks. You can spend a lot in this category, but here are 10 solid sets that’ll set you back less than $500.
These monitors feature Equator’s Zero-Point Reference custom-designed coaxial transducers along with internal DSP to provide a matched output curve for every unit, allowing for accurate no-shift imaging.
These bi-amped monitors are outfitted with proprietary 8" low-frequency driver cones and use dual-axis WaveGuidanceVH technology for optimal wider-and-higher frequency dispersion.
The LSR308s feature JBL’s Slip Stream low-frequency port design for deep bass response, and the Image Control Waveguide originally developed for the company’s high-end reference monitors.
The HS5s feature dedicated power amps perfectly matched to the 5" woofer and 1" tweeter, a port design that reduces noise up to 6 dB, and an enclosure built to kill unwanted resonances.
Equipped with an 8" woven-Kevlar low-frequency driver and 1.25" natural-silk dome tweeter, these monitors deliver a flat frequency response and increased clarity for accurate mixing.
The 85-watt MR8mk3s feature a waveguide designed for excellent clarity and openness, as well as matched amps and drivers and an all-wood cabinet design.
These monitors feature a proprietary waveguide that’s optimized for superior imaging, controls for high- and lo-frequency adjustments, and a lightweight, composite woofer for clear midrange and tight bass.
These budget-friendly monitors have built-in limiter circuitry, a wide sweet spot, and boast 150 watts powering the 8" Kevlar woofer and 1" silk-dome tweeter.
Housing an 8" Kevlar woofer and an ultra-low-mass, high-frequency 1.25" tweeter, these 140-watt monitors feature a front-firing acoustic port and resonance-suppressing internal bracing.