November 2022

Studio Monitors: Meta Ranking Report

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

Summary

As of 4 Nov 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 Neumann KH 120 A , with 5 and 5 expert endorsements respectively.

At a glance - November 2022 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price Studio Monitor
PianoDreamers
Old Time Music
Popular Science
Music Radar
Careers In Music
MusicAlley
Hyperbits
Gearank
Music Critic
E-Home Recording Studio
1
- $150
Yamaha HS5
4
9
1
5
-
1
4
-
-
-
2
- $299
Yamaha HS8
-
4
-
-
-
-
6
9
1
2
3
- $729
Neumann KH 120 A
-
1
-
-
4
-
-
12
2
6
4
- Check price
Adam Audio A7X
8
3
-
-
1
-
11
-
-
7
5
- Check price
JBL 305P MkII
5
-
4
-
-
-
1
5
-
-
6
- Check price
KRK Rokit RP7 G4
-
-
-
1
2
-
7
-
-
-
7
- Check price
KRK Rokit 5 G3
-
6
-
-
-
-
-
-
4
1
8
+3 $179
KRK Rokit 5 G4
6
-
-
16
-
-
2
3
-
-
9
-1 $512
Genelec 8010A
-
-
-
3
-
-
8
8
-
8
10
-1 $800
Mackie HR824 mkII
9
5
-
-
-
-
-
-
6
5
11
-1 $199
PreSonus Eris E.45
1
-
-
-
-
-
-
2
-
-
12
New * $98
PreSonus Eris E3.5
-
-
-
14
-
-
-
1
-
-
13
-1 $1149
Focal Solo6 Be
-
-
-
-
7
-
14
-
5
-
14
-1 Check price
Kali Audio LP-6
-
-
-
-
3
-
5
-
-
-
15
- Check price
Dynaudio BM5 mkIII
-
2
-
-
-
-
10
-
-
-
16
+1 $250
IK Multimedia iLoud MTM
-
-
-
4
5
-
-
-
-
-
17
-1 $849
Focal Shape 65
-
-
-
2
-
-
12
-
-
-
18
+1 $350
IK Multimedia iLoud Micro
-
-
5
11
-
-
-
-
-
-
19
-1 Check price
Genelec M040
-
8
-
-
-
-
-
-
8
-
20
+1 Check price
Genelec 8030C
10
-
-
-
-
-
-
11
-
-
21
New * Check price
Mackie CR3-XBT
-
-
6
17
-
-
-
-
-
-

We ranked Yamaha HS5 #1 in November 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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Popular Science

Best overall

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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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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MusicAlley

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Hyperbits

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

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We ranked Yamaha HS8 #2 in November 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:
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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Gearank

The Best Studio Monitor under $500

Pros
Neutral response for critical listening
Excellent build quality
Versatile controls for different rooms
Still relatively affordable

Cons
May be too large for small studios
Not for those that want the biggest bass

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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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E-Home Recording Studio

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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 November 2022 ranking

We ranked Neumann KH 120 A #3 in November 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:
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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Careers In Music

Pros
Designed by mathematical modeling
Comprehensive acoustic controls
Reasonably priced

Cons
Odd looking

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Gearank

The Best Studio Monitors under $1000

Pros
Extremely critical sounding
Natural and lifelike sound signature
Premium components and build quality
Top choice for Mastering

Cons
Sound isn't for impressing clients in the studio

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Music Critic

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

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E-Home Recording Studio

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We ranked Adam Audio A7X #4 in November 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:
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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Careers In Music

Pros
Versatile
Sonically clean and precise

Cons
Expensive
Probably too powerful for smaller rooms

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Hyperbits

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

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E-Home Recording Studio

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We ranked JBL 305P MkII #5 in November 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:
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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Popular Science

Best for home recording studios

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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Hyperbits

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

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Gearank

Author's Pick

Pros
Neutral frequency response
Fast transients on high and midrange
Wide sweet spot
Top tier sound at a good price

Cons
Bass not its strong suit
Sounds "boring" to unaccustomed ears

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We ranked KRK Rokit RP7 G4 #6 in November 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:
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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Hyperbits

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

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We ranked KRK Rokit 5 G3 #7 in November 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:
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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E-Home Recording Studio

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We ranked KRK Rokit 5 G4 #8 in November 2022 because:

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

Serious budget speakers for serious work

Pros
Active room tuning
Incredible sound

Cons
Not enough for bigger rooms

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Hyperbits

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

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Gearank

The Best Studio Monitors Under $300

Pros
Extended bass response
More neutral than its predecessors
Includes ISO-foam pads

Cons
Digital controls feel gimmicky

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We ranked Genelec 8010A #9 in November 2022 because:

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

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

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Gearank

The Best Studio Monitors under $500

Pros
Portable
Surprisingly robust sound
Great Imaging

Cons
Awkward XLR jack positioning

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E-Home Recording Studio

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We ranked Mackie HR824 mkII #10 in November 2022 because:

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

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We ranked PreSonus Eris E.45 #11 in November 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Studio Monitors” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked PreSonus Eris E.45 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
PianoDreamers

Best Studio Monitor Under $200 (for beginner studios)

Pros
Easy to tweak the sound
Acoustic switch
Multiple I/O

Cons
Bass may be a bit weak
Some might find the highs a little harsh

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Gearank

The Best Cheap Studio Monitors Under $100

Pros
Neutral sound and clear high end
Includes useful accessories
Many input options
Lightweight and portable

Cons
Limited headroom
Limited bass response, slightly congested mids
Pots get scratchy after a while

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We ranked PreSonus Eris E3.5 #12 in November 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Studio Monitors” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked PreSonus Eris E3.5 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Music Radar

Affordable nearfield monitors that are an ideal upgrade from laptop speakers

Pros
Great value
EQ tuning

Cons
Bass reproduction comes up short at volume

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Gearank

The Best Cheap Studio Monitor Under $100

Pros
Surprisingly good sound for critical listening
Great treble response
Portable
Tight bass

Cons
Cheap build
Low end lacking

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We ranked Focal Solo6 Be #13 in November 2022 because:

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

Pros
Sounds fantastic
Stylish

Cons
Expensive
Relatively small

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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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We ranked Kali Audio LP-6 #14 in November 2022 because:

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

Pros
Superb improvements
low noise
Look great
Well priced

Cons
Less controls than some

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Hyperbits

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

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We ranked Dynaudio BM5 mkIII #15 in November 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 IK Multimedia iLoud MTM #16 in November 2022 because:

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

The best home studio monitors if you're looking for an all-rounder

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 Focal Shape 65 #17 in November 2022 because:

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

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

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We ranked IK Multimedia iLoud Micro #18 in November 2022 because:

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

Best portable

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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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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We ranked Genelec M040 #19 in November 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 #20 in November 2022 because:

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

The Best Studio Monitors under $1000

Pros
Extremely clear transient response
Neutral sound signature helps mix translation
Topnotch build quality
Waveguide provides a wide sweet spot

Cons
None aside from price

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We ranked Mackie CR3-XBT #21 in November 2022 because:

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

Best budget

Pros
Loud for its size
Flexible inputs
Includes workstation software and plug-ins

Cons
Bass distorts at moderate volume levels
No DSP/tuning
Distinctive visual design (though may be a pro, depending on user)

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Music Radar

Affordable offering from the studio specialists

Pros
Wide range of connections
Look great

Cons
No attenuation controls

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