June 2022

Studio Monitors: Meta Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of Studio Monitor rankings posted by key online experts, as of June 2022.

Summary

As of 9 Jun 2022, Yamaha HS5 takes the cake as the most critically-acclaimed studio monitor with 6 expert endorsements. 2 experts out of 6 recommended it as the '#1 studio monitor' this month. It is followed by Yamaha HS8 and Adam Audio A7X , with 5 and 5 expert endorsements respectively.

At a glance - June 2022 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price Studio Monitor
Gearank
E-Home Recording Studio
PianoDreamers
Old Time Music
MusicAlley
Hyperbits
Music Radar
Music Critic
Careers In Music
Popular Science
1
- $200
Yamaha HS5
-
-
4
9
1
4
7
-
-
1
2
- $399
Yamaha HS8
9
2
-
4
-
6
-
1
-
-
3
+1 $1252
Adam Audio A7X
-
7
8
3
-
11
-
-
1
-
4
-1 $729
Neumann KH 120 A
12
6
-
1
-
-
-
2
4
-
5
- Check price
JBL 305P MkII
5
-
5
-
-
1
-
-
-
3
6
- Check price
Genelec 8010A
8
8
-
-
-
8
3
-
-
-
7
+1 Check price
KRK Rokit RP7 G4
-
-
-
-
-
7
1
-
2
-
8
-1 $800
Mackie HR824 mkII
-
5
9
5
-
-
-
6
-
-
9
- Check price
KRK Rokit 5 G3
-
1
-
6
-
-
-
4
-
-
10
- $340
KRK Rokit 5 G4
3
-
6
-
-
2
-
-
-
-
11
- $1149
Focal Solo6 Be
-
-
-
-
-
14
-
5
7
-
12
- Check price
Kali Audio LP-6
-
-
-
-
-
5
-
-
3
-
13
- Check price
Dynaudio BM5 mkIII
-
-
-
2
-
10
-
-
-
-
14
- $999
Focal Shape 65
-
-
-
-
-
12
2
-
-
-
15
+4 $350
IK Multimedia iLoud Micro
-
-
-
-
-
-
14
-
-
4
16
+2 Check price
HEDD Audio Type 20
-
-
-
-
-
13
5
-
-
-
17
-1 $400
IK Multimedia iLoud MTM
-
-
-
-
-
-
6
-
5
-
18
-1 Check price
Genelec M040
-
-
-
8
-
-
-
8
-
-
19
-4 Check price
Genelec 8030C
11
-
10
-
-
-
-
-
-
-

We ranked Yamaha HS5 #1 in June 2022 because:

  • 6 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Studio Monitors” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Yamaha HS5 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
PianoDreamers

Best Studio Monitor Under $500 (for intermediate studios)

Pros
Really affordable price point for the quality you receive
Ideal flat frequency response
Legendary heritage; an aspiring mixing engineer’s perfect companion

Cons
Not quite stellar low-frequency response on the HS5 model
Volume and trim controls on the rear

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Old Time Music

Pros
Compact for small spaces.
Room control and High TRIM controls available.
Lots of connectivity.
Decent sound.
Affordable.

Cons
Small with a 5-inch woofer.
Not great bass pitches.

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MusicAlley

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Hyperbits

Best Entry Level Monitors (less than $400/pair)

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Music Radar

Familiar white cone delivers the harsh truth on your recordings

Pros
A budding mix engineer's dream
Iconic design
Amazing value

Cons
Controls located at rear

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Popular Science

Best studio monitors for old-school truth seekers

Pros
Precise stereo imaging
Accurate, pro-proven mix translation
Built-in filters and level control

Cons
Built-in filters and level control
No cables included
Narrow listening sweet spot

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We ranked Yamaha HS8 #2 in June 2022 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Studio Monitors” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Yamaha HS8 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Gearank

The Best Studio Monitor under $500

Pros
Accurate and reliable are two prominent descriptions that people use to describe the Yamaha HS8. Compared to their previous affordable monitors, many found the improvement to be dramatic. While those who have more expensive monitors are perplexed as to how close the HS8 is, in terms of quality. Other commendations point to its value for money and longevity.

Cons
There are a few users who complain of interference from other devices. Some also find that it lacks low end, especially for bass-heavy musical styles. It may also be too large for smaller studios and may affect accuracy due to reflections and resonance. For smaller and untreated rooms, the HS5 may be a better pick.

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E-Home Recording Studio

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Old Time Music

Pros
Amp is high performance.
Lots of available controls for mixers, keyboards, and audio interfaces.
Noise reduction technology.
Easy to install.

Cons
Very similar to Yamaha’s other products.
Not very crisp.

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Hyperbits

Best Advanced Monitors ($400-$1000/pair)

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Music Critic

Pros
Has an 8” cone woofer and a 1” dome tweeter to provide you with the best quality sound.
Has a frequency response of 38Hz to 30kHz, so you get the ideal flat frequency response.
Equipped with a built-in amp and a bi-amp so you get the best sound resolution every time.

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Methodology: combine opinions of key experts

Identify Experts

We identify key publishers and experts that consistently review and recommend Studio Monitors.

Capture Rankings

For each publisher we find a currently recommended "top 10" list of Studio Monitors, it must be updated in the last 9 months.

Aggregate Rankings

We put all those lists together and aggregate them. The more frequently a product is recommended, the higher it is in our ranking

Experts chosen for June 2022 ranking

We ranked Adam Audio A7X #3 in June 2022 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Studio Monitors” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Adam Audio A7X as #1.
Critic endorsements:
E-Home Recording Studio

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PianoDreamers

Best Studio Monitor Under $1000 (for the serious home studios)

Pros
Great transient response
High-end sounds crisp and clean
Front bass ports and front panel controls

Cons
A little more expensive than other monitors on this list
May take a while to get used to if you have listened to other monitors

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Old Time Music

Pros
Huge frequency range.
Award winner.
Great depth of sound.
Expressive and sensitive sound reproduction.

Cons
Expensive.
Best in a small studio.

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Hyperbits

Best Professional Monitors ($1,000-$5,000/pair)

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Careers In Music

Pros
Versatile
Sonically clean and precise

Cons
Expensive
Probably too powerful for smaller rooms

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We ranked Neumann KH 120 A #4 in June 2022 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Studio Monitors” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Neumann KH 120 A as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Gearank

The Best Studio Monitors under $1000

Pros
Users that own the KH 120 have them in high end mixing and mastering studios. They note that the KH 120 is the most neutral and natural sounding speaker they've used short of custom studio speakers.

Cons
While not a true con, many found them very unforgiving and require more deliberate and mindful mixing decisions.

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E-Home Recording Studio

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Old Time Music

Pros
Compact.
Completely customizable sound.
Tracks, mixes, and masters music.
.5 dB tone accuracy.

Cons
Expensive.
Sounds best in a multi-channel system.

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Music Critic

Pros
Class-AB analog amplifiers.
52 Hertz -21 kiloHertz.
Easy interface.

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Careers In Music

Pros
Designed by mathematical modeling
Comprehensive acoustic controls
Reasonably priced

Cons
Odd looking

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We ranked JBL 305P MkII #5 in June 2022 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Studio Monitors” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked JBL 305P MkII as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Gearank

Author's Pick

Pros
sound quality which many owners feel is right up there with more expensive offerings.
The highs and midrange are praised for being neutral with the wide sweet spot giving these speakers "dimension".
build quality.
The midrange and highs are neutral enough for critical decisions while having enough of a lift for a more realistic presentation.

Cons
5" doesn't push enough air for many low-end heavy songs.

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PianoDreamers

Best Studio Monitor Under $500 (for intermediate studios)

Pros
Nice low-end response
Hi-tech image control
Durable

Cons
Potentially difficult to balance

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Hyperbits

Best Entry Level Monitors (less than $400/pair)

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Popular Science

Best for picky purists

Pros
Wide soundscape
Broad listening sweet spot
Room-tuning features

Cons
Glossy finish isn’t for everyone
Audio cables not included

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We ranked Genelec 8010A #6 in June 2022 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Studio Monitors” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Gearank

The Best Studio Monitors under $500

Pros
As a carrier of the 8000 model number, the Genelec 8010A is made with the same engineering standards.
Many reviewers note that they didn't feel like they were buying a "budget version" of a Genelec but a well engineered, portable studio monitor with great low frequency extension and imaging for the size.
Other users note that the speakers sound larger than they look.

Cons
None that were significant although one user noted that the positioning of the XLR out does not allow some longer XLR plugs to fit.

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E-Home Recording Studio

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Hyperbits

Best Advanced Monitors ($400-$1000/pair)

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Music Radar

Best compact mid-range 2-way design monitors

Pros
Accurate frequency response
A large sound for a tiny monitor
Rugged aluminium enclosure

Cons
Pricey, but a solid investment

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We ranked KRK Rokit RP7 G4 #7 in June 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Studio Monitors” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked KRK Rokit RP7 G4 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Hyperbits

Best Advanced Monitors ($400-$1000/pair)

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Music Radar

Affordable nearfield monitors that are perfect for electronic music

Pros
Graphic EQ at this price-point is fantastic
Bass sounds are quite phenomenal

Cons
There are monitors better suited to non-electronic music production

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Careers In Music

Pros
DSP driven room tuning
Thumpingly good bass
Iso-foam pad for great isolation
Great value

Cons
Not as distinctive looking as they were

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We ranked Mackie HR824 mkII #8 in June 2022 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Studio Monitors” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
E-Home Recording Studio

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PianoDreamers

Best Studio Monitor Under $1000 (for the serious home studios)

Pros
Highly accurate
Passive radiator for accurate low-end frequencies
Wide-dispersal of high-end frequencies

Cons
A little more expensive
Some people experience longevity issues 4-5 years down the line

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Old Time Music

Pros
Large 8 3/4 -inch LF driver.
Curves make great sound.
Passive radiator design.
Active amplifiers and precision woofer and tweeter.

Cons
Maintenance an issue.
Not great for mixing or mastering.

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Music Critic

Pros
Class A/B amplifiers so that you can hear the highs and the lows simultaneously.
The 8.75" woofer that you get with this studio monitor enables you to get a sound that is high-precision and low-distortion at the same time.

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We ranked KRK Rokit 5 G3 #9 in June 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Studio Monitors” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked KRK Rokit 5 G3 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
E-Home Recording Studio

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Old Time Music

Pros
Comes in set of two.
Waveguide has great imaging.
Clear and crisp sound.
Affordable.

Cons
Auto standby feature annoying.
No sub out option.

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Music Critic

Pros
It comes in a complete bundle with two of these amazing speakers.
Low distortion and large headroom thanks to the bi-amped, class A/B amplifier.
Also comes with a high-frequency adjustment so that you can mold it according to your personal taste and requirements.

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We ranked KRK Rokit 5 G4 #10 in June 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Studio Monitors” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Gearank

The Best Studio Monitors Under $300

Pros
While earlier ROKIT generations were criticized for having a bloated low-frequency range, the ROKIT 5 G4 has refined their sound signature and tightens it up with a front-firing port.
Many users love the flat but extended response despite being on the smaller scale of studio monitors.
EDM producers were happy to still have the low-frequency extension with a more balanced midrange, leading to better mix translation.

Cons
Digital controls turned off some users for being "gimmicky".

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PianoDreamers

Best Studio Monitor Under $500 (for intermediate studios)

Pros
Great flat frequency response
Great value for money
Comes in two different designs (black and white)

Cons
Rear mounted volume and trim controls

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Hyperbits

Best Entry Level Monitors (less than $400/pair)

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We ranked Focal Solo6 Be #11 in June 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Studio Monitors” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Hyperbits

Best Professional Monitors ($1,000-$5,000/pair)

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Music Critic

Pros
W composite sandwich cone gives you unparalleled frequency response.
Has an inverted-dome tweeter to provide you with the utmost of precision and high efficiency.
It also comes equipped with a potentiometer so that you can easily adjust the tweeter and woofer levels according to your liking.

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Careers In Music

Pros
Sounds fantastic
Stylish

Cons
Expensive
Relatively small

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We ranked Kali Audio LP-6 #12 in June 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Studio Monitors” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Hyperbits

Best Entry Level Monitors (less than $400/pair)

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Careers In Music

Pros
Superb improvements
low noise
Look great
Well priced

Cons
Less controls than some

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We ranked Dynaudio BM5 mkIII #13 in June 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Studio Monitors” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Old Time Music

Pros
Broad frequency.
Great SPL and dynamic range.
Drivers are hand-made.
Relatively light.

Cons
Sound can be too bright or harsh.
Long travel time from Denmark.

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Hyperbits

Best Advanced Monitors ($400-$1000/pair)

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We ranked Focal Shape 65 #14 in June 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Studio Monitors” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Hyperbits

Best Professional Monitors ($1,000-$5,000/pair)

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Music Radar

Best mid-priced nearfields

Pros
Passive radiators give you flexibility
Rear EQ controls
Easily tweaked to your room

Cons
Automatic bypass function

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We ranked IK Multimedia iLoud Micro #15 in June 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Studio Monitors” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Music Radar

Best studio monitors with a portable 2-way design

Pros
On-board 56-bit DSP
Bluetooth
Portable

Cons
No battery-powering option

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Popular Science

Best studio monitors for mobile mixers

Pros
Built-in DSP
Bluetooth
Weighs less than 4 pounds

Cons
Controls are all on rear panel
No battery power option
Limited bass by design

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We ranked HEDD Audio Type 20 #16 in June 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Studio Monitors” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Hyperbits

Best Professional Monitors ($1,000-$5,000/pair)

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Music Radar

Best high-end all-rounder studio monitors

Pros
Sharp stereo image
Enormous bottom-end
Great all-rounder

Cons
Expensive but competitive

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We ranked IK Multimedia iLoud MTM #17 in June 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Studio Monitors” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Music Radar

The best all-rounder monitors for home studios

Pros
Affordable and compact
In-built calibration system
Perfect for home studios

Cons
Possibly lost in a large control room

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Careers In Music

Pros
Great for small rooms
Versatile
Self-tuning
Good value

Cons
Not enough power for larger rooms
Could be lacking in bass

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We ranked Genelec M040 #18 in June 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Studio Monitors” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Old Time Music

Pros
Amplifiers optimized and high functioning.
Compensates for each new room environment.
Laminar Integrated Port Technology.
Compact, 6.5-inch woofer.

Cons
Not as large a frequency response range as the Yamahas.
Hard to find.

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Music Critic

Pros
It is a near-field studio monitor that is good for rear uses as well.
Has an extended frequency response.
Phenomenal value for money.

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We ranked Genelec 8030C #19 in June 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Studio Monitors” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Gearank

The Best Studio Monitors under $1000

Pros
Transparency was the number 1 trait that users often repeat about the 8030C. It helped many users mix better by giving a better picture of the mix. Build quality and long term durability thanks to the power saving system were praised by users as well.

Cons
None aside from the cost per unit.

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PianoDreamers

Best Studio Monitor Under $1000 (for the serious home studios)

Pros
Clean sounding and incredibly accurate
Durable and reliable
Solid

Cons
Only XLR inputs

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