In the studio monitor test, we compare the currently best studio monitors for small and large rooms, producers, DJs, and other professionals. There are some surprises waiting for you in our near field monitor test!
Information about the studio monitors test/comparison
In our studio monitor test, we tested active speakers throughout. These are models that are equipped with at least one built-in amplifier. In contrast to models from the hi-fi sector, you do not need any external power amplifiers. Active studio boxes can therefore be connected directly to an audio interface or another sound source and can amplify the sound independently.
The models presented here are primarily designed as active near-field monitors. These are usually set up about 1-2 meters away from the listening position. The larger speakers with 8 ″ woofers and more are more intended for the midfield. They need more space to develop their sound properly.
At the same time, these best budget studio monitor models can also flood larger rooms with their sound, while the smaller ones are usually too weak here.
Loudspeaker comparison tests everything at a glance
In the tables, you will find all the important features and specifications that you need for your purchase decision. Of course, we also consider sound to be the most important factor when buying a studio monitor. However, some features have to match what you need for your individual situation.
Some help with your decision
- The diameter of the woofer (together with the case size) provides information about how deep the near-field monitor can play.
- The amplifier outputs for woofers and tweeters give you information about how loud the model can be without loss of sound.
- The transmission range provides information about the reproduced frequencies the connections tell you how easily you can integrate the device in your home studio.
- Tone control can be useful to adapt the active studio monitors optimally to your room.
Make sure to also take a look in the line for the special features - many models offer certain extras that could make the difference for you. These are the focus of the brief descriptions for each individual model, each right below the tables.
How we compare studio monitors
In order to make our studio monitor tests as objective and good as possible, we compare the models described here with one another. When switching back and forth between the different models, their differences become clear in the first place.
In a direct comparison, we pay particular attention to the sound, which we subdivide into different aspects: the linearity of the frequency response, the mapping of the spatiality with depth graduation, the localization in the stereo width, and phantom center as well as the separation of individual instruments. In addition, there are other aspects such as the richness of detail and how excited a studio monitor actually sounds.
All of this is included in the overall rating of the sound of an active speaker. Other aspects such as processing and features are part of the studio box test, but play a subordinate role - after all, the main application of a monitor box is to play music.
Fair conditions for the studio monitor test
In order to rule out all undesirable side effects as far as possible, fair conditions must be created for the active boxes. To do this, we positioned the active speakers next to each other as shown in the picture above, and connected them to the same converter (Crane Song Avocet IIA test) with the same cable type. Incidentally, the other two speakers are positioned in the same way (left / right) to allow both the same distance from each other and not to draw false conclusions about the reproduced stereo width.