January 2022

Studio Monitors: Aggregated Ranking Report

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

At a glance - January 2022 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price Studio Monitor
E-Home Recording Studio
Hyperbits
Music Critic
PianoDreamers
MusicAlley
PianoNadu
Old Time Music
Gearank
Music Radar
Careers In Music
1
- $749
Adam Audio A7X
7
11
2
8
-
4
3
-
-
1
2
+1 $375
Yamaha HS8
2
6
1
-
-
1
4
10
-
-
3
-1 $200
Yamaha HS5
-
4
-
4
1
-
9
4
6
-
4
+5 $699
Neumann KH 120 A
6
-
6
-
-
9
1
-
-
4
5
+3 $800
Mackie HR824 mkII
5
-
7
9
-
5
5
-
-
-
6
-2 $179
KRK Rokit 5 G4
-
2
-
6
-
3
-
3
-
-
7
-2 $216
Kali Audio LP-6
-
5
-
-
-
8
-
2
-
3
8
-2 $510
Genelec 8010A
8
8
-
-
-
-
-
9
3
-
9
+1 $155
JBL 305P MkII
-
1
-
5
-
2
-
-
-
-
10
-3 $237
KRK Rokit RP7 G4
-
7
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
2
11
+1 Check price
KRK Rokit 5 G3
1
-
4
-
-
-
6
-
-
-
12
+8 Check price
Dynaudio BM5 mkIII
-
10
-
-
-
-
2
11
-
-
13
-2 $1499
Focal Solo6 Be
-
14
5
-
-
-
-
-
-
7
14
-1 $999
Focal Shape 65
-
12
-
-
-
-
-
-
2
-
15
-1 $220
Mackie CR4
-
-
-
3
-
7
-
-
-
-
16
-1 $459
JBL 308P MkII
-
-
-
-
2
-
-
7
-
-
17
-1 Check price
HEDD Audio Type 20
-
13
-
-
-
-
-
-
4
-
18
New * Check price
Genelec M040
-
-
9
-
-
-
8
-
-
-
19
+2 Check price
Genelec 8030C
-
-
-
10
-
10
-
-
-
-
20
-1 Check price
Adam Audio T5V
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
5
12
-
21
-4 Check price
IK Multimedia iLoud MTM
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
5
5

We ranked Adam Audio A7X #1 in January 2022 because:

  • 7 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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Hyperbits

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

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Music Critic

Pros
X-ART tweeter for improved extended frequency response.
The X-ART technology (Extended Accelerating Ribbon Technology) makes it easy to reproduce distortion-free sound.
It is also equipped with several controls both at the front and the rear.

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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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PianoNadu

Best Studio Monitor for Home Recording

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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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We ranked Yamaha HS8 #2 in January 2022 because:

  • 6 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Studio Monitors” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Yamaha HS8 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
E-Home Recording Studio

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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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PianoNadu

Best Studio Monitor for Home Recording

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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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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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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 January 2022 ranking

We ranked Yamaha HS5 #3 in January 2022 because:

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

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

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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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MusicAlley

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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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Gearank

Pros
The Yamaha HS5 continues to get favorable reviews, mostly from home studio owners impressed with the improvements it brought into their production process. Sound quality gets praise, along with reliability and value for money. The neutral response, which is a hallmark in classic Yamaha monitors, is liked by many users who have grown used to the sound of the original NS-10.

Cons
Lack of volume and low-frequency punch came up a few times, while some advise that you save up for the bigger HS7 or HS8, or get the matching Yamaha studio subwoofer.

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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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We ranked Neumann KH 120 A #4 in January 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:
E-Home Recording Studio

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Music Critic

Pros
Has a 1” and is also bi-amplified.
Flat frequency response of 52Hz to 21kHz.
Can be easily used in two applications, near-field and rear, which gives it loads of versatility.

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PianoNadu

Best Studio Monitor for Home Recording

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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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Careers In Music

Pros
Designed by mathematical modeling
Comprehensive acoustic controls
Reasonably priced

Cons
Odd looking

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We ranked Mackie HR824 mkII #5 in January 2022 because:

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

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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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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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PianoNadu

Best Studio Monitor for Home Recording

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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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We ranked KRK Rokit 5 G4 #6 in January 2022 because:

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

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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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PianoNadu

Best Studio Monitor for Home Recording

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Gearank

At publication time this was the Highest Rated Studio Monitor Under $200.

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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We ranked Kali Audio LP-6 #7 in January 2022 because:

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

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PianoNadu

Best Studio Monitor for Home Recording

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Gearank

The Best Cheap Studio Monitor Under $200

Pros
Many users and expert reviews give critical acclaim to the LP-6, saying that it's one of the best value studio monitors in the market today.
The tweakability from the dip switches behind each speaker is something usually seen on more expensive studio monitors.

Cons
Some users reported some hiss on their units.
Comments on these reviews speculate that the hiss may be from the power source/lack of power conditioning in the room.

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Careers In Music

Pros
Superb improvements
low noise
Look great
Well priced
Less controls than some

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We ranked Genelec 8010A #8 in January 2022 because:

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

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Hyperbits

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Gearank

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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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 JBL 305P MkII #9 in January 2022 because:

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

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

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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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PianoNadu

Best Studio Monitor for Home Recording

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We ranked KRK Rokit RP7 G4 #10 in January 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

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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 KRK Rokit 5 G3 #11 in January 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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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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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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We ranked Dynaudio BM5 mkIII #12 in January 2022 because:

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

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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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Gearank

The Best Studio Monitor under $500

Pros
Several users note that the monitors deliver very transparent sound. Some users mentioned they didn't need to get adjusted to the monitors to start working on music. Other reviews mention them striking a balance between great-sounding reproduction and critical accuracy. They sounded great for some users that didn't have optimal room treatment. The sound signature was also said to be non-fatiguing.

Cons
The low-frequency extension is present but can be hit-or-miss depending on your room and how well standing waves are treated. Some users report needing a sub for better low-frequency reproduction.

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

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

Best Top-of-the-Line 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 Focal Shape 65 #14 in January 2022 because:

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

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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 Mackie CR4 #15 in January 2022 because:

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

Best Studio Monitor Under $200 (for beginner studios)

Pros
Great looking design and excellent build
Front power and volume controls
Aux input
Excellent price point

Cons
Not exactly the most accurate of monitors
A tad on the smaller side

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PianoNadu

Best Studio Monitor for Home Recording

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We ranked JBL 308P MkII #16 in January 2022 because:

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

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Gearank

The Best Studio Monitor Under $300

Pros
One consistently reported positive is the wide "sweet spot" the monitor has thanks to it's specially designed waveguide. They are also described to be "crystal clear" with regards to frequency response. They strike a great balance between enjoyable hi-fi listening and critical flat response that translates mixes.

Cons
Some users report noise and hiss from their units. Some wanted a bit more bass response.

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We ranked HEDD Audio Type 20 #17 in January 2022 because:

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

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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 Genelec M040 #18 in January 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Studio Monitors” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
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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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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We ranked Genelec 8030C #19 in January 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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PianoNadu

Best Studio Monitor for Home Recording

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We ranked Adam Audio T5V #20 in January 2022 because:

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

Pros
Excellent stereo imaging and separation are what users are saying in their positive reviews of the T5V. For such a small monitor, the placement of layers is precise and clear. High frequencies are always what ADAM monitors excel at and according to various user and expert reviews, it is one of its strongest points.

Cons
Some users found the small size to be lacking in low-frequency response. This is a common tradeoff. ADAM Audio recommends having a subwoofer to go with the T5V.

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Music Radar

Affordable nearfield monitors that are great for small rooms

Pros
Clear precise top end with EQ adjustment if required
Sensible choice of inputs for either balanced or unbalanced connection
Compact footprint for 5” monitor

Cons
Rear mounted power LED a bit pointless

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We ranked IK Multimedia iLoud MTM #21 in January 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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