Speakers to upgrade your music-making experience
Whether you’ve booked a week in the studio or have got your own home setup, you’ll need more than just an ear for the right sound output.
For all the knob-twiddling you can muster in an effort to bolster the quality of the mix, without the right speakers you could be heading for a musical mess. That’s because there are many key differences between your average hi-fi speaker and a studio-ready monitor speaker.
Here are our top picks.
JBL Control 1
If your home studio doesn’t reach beyond the walls of your broom cupboard, you’d need mini monitors that still pack a punch – and that’s where JBL comes in with their Control 1. You certainly shouldn’t expect to make anything big on bass with these but they’re an excellent starter for low budgets. Regardless, these little devices pack a big punch. Good studio monitor speakers can give you some of the greatest sound quality. Choosing carefully is key, and keeping an eye out for new equipment is important.
Logitech Z506 Surround Sound Speakers
And when you want a fuller sound throughout the room – handy if you’re creating a striking soundscape or even playing video games to add some atmosphere – the Logitech z506 Surround Sound speakers can bathe you in their warm ambience.
Fluid Audio F5
Ideal for a smaller room in which to play back, the Fluid Audio F5 is another smart choice for the budget beginner. While they may not appear capable of packing a punch at first glance, the F5s come with 5” low frequency drivers to give you a fairly solid rumble at the low end.
M-Audio BX5 D2
Not as bassy as their big brothers, but provided you’re not planning on making anything too thwomp-heavy, the BX5 D2s are a sound choice for a first or second-time buyer. Having improved on design inside and out, the BX5 isn’t just restricted to making music, as Musicradar, filmmakers and video game designers can testify.
Mackie HR824 Mk2
And if you’ve got the cash to invest in high-end speaker tech, the HR824 Mk2 from Mackie will provide for your every musical whim. Capable of getting down and dirty at 35Hz, they’ll also provide a clean, crisp sound in any room size. These Mackies come highly recommended.
A monitor speaker is designed for a rawer sound than the polished feel that your home stereo speakers provide – after all, that kick up the sonic backside is what you’re paying for when you’re rocking out in the living room. But the output you hear from a monitor speaker is less refined, and it’s up to you as the superstar producer to tweak it into submission.
Even for your bedroom-based beats, monitor speakers are worth the already affordable investment.