Best 5 Inch Studio Monitors: Top 5 List
Recording music from the comfort of your home has never been easier. For a reasonable price, you’re able to build your professional or semi-professional studio. However, to have everything sound right, you’ll definitely need to invest in studio monitors. Sure, you can use regular speakers, but that won’t do the trick for making quality productions. That being said, we did some digging on the web and came up with a list of best 5 inch studio monitors.
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Last Updated: April 11th, 2020
In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top 3
5 of the Best 5 Inch Studio Monitors
Yamaha is one of the oldest brands in the music industry. In fact, the company is known for its quality products in many other fields. As for music, they make instruments, mixers, and all the different types of musical equipment, including quality studio monitors.
At the very top of this list, we have the good old HS5, which is in our eyes (and ears) one of the very best 5 inch studio monitors of all time. It features a five-inch woofer cone and a one-inch tweeter for high-mids and high-end sounds. The overall sound quality is unlike anything in this category, providing very even gain across the audible spectrum. The frequency range is pretty broad, offering everything between 54 Hz and 30 kHz. It also includes high trim and room controls for sorting out less-than-ideal acoustic spaces.
Features & Specs
♦ Great build quality
♦ Even reproduction across the audible spectrum
♦ Frequency range of 54 Hz to 30 kHz
♦ High trim control for cutting high-end
♦ Room control for cutting low-end
♦ Low-resonance enclosure
♦ Bi-amp setup
KRK Rokit 5 G4
The company behind these monitor speakers is KRK Systems. For many years now, they’ve been known among professional producers and mixers as a go-to brand for studio monitors. They also have built their reputation in the subwoofer and headphone markets with the countless quality products in their line.
The RP5 Rokit 5 G4 is a compact 5 inch monitor with two on board amps, one for each of the drivers. Both of these are Class D amplifiers of excellent quality. Aside from the 5 inch woofer, there’s also a 1 inch tweeter that features Kevlar in its construction. Exciting features come with its unique LCD display visualizer EQ on the back panel. It comes with 25 on board EQ settings to help you deal with your acoustic environment. These monitors can be connected to the specialized KRK app that allows you to tweak the tone according to your room’s properties remotely as you move around your room.
Features & Specs
♦ Bi-amp setup with Class D amps
♦ Kevlar in the tweeter
♦ LCD visualizer on the backside
♦ 25 EQ presets
♦ Connectivity with KRK app
♦ Frequency range of 43 Hz to 40 kHz
♦ Low-resonance enclosure
JBL Professional LSR305
Up next, we have a product by JBL, another well-respected company among music producers and performers. This American-based company is one of the biggest competitors on the market of studio monitors and has been present since the mid-1940s.
Talking about the best 5 inch monitor speakers, we just couldn’t resist choosing LSR305 for this list. It’s the original first generation of their Professional 3 series, known for their impressive performance. Developed from their M2 Master flagship model, it has detailed reproduction quality and is adaptable for pretty much any type or size of the room. The frequency response is extensive, and the sound quality is well distributed throughout the frequency range.
Features & Specs
♦ XLR and TRS inputs
♦ Input sensitivity switch for more control
♦ Comes with isolation rubber pads
♦ Great sound quality
♦ Made after M2 Master speakers
♦ Great dispersion of sound all over the room
♦ High value for the money
PreSonus Eris E5
PreSonus is a manufacturer of high-end audio interfaces and an array other audio gear. They’ve recently come up with the Eris line of budget studio monitors, and you can tell they did their homework when designing these.
Straight from the Eris line, we chose the E5s to be on the list of the best 5 inch studio monitors. These monitors are an excellent choice for those of us who have smaller spaces for our productions due to the array of acoustic tuning capabilities available on the back panel. Aside from this, they do a wonderful job of reproducing highs and mids. However, if it’s bass you’re after, you may be slightly disappointed. All in all, these are a fantastic choice for a set of 5 inch studio monitors. Check out the full review here.
Features & Specs
♦ Great build and robust enclosure for low-resonance
♦ Frequency range of 53 Hz to 22 kHz
♦ Additional mid and treble control +/- 6 dB
♦ Acoustic tuning
♦ Bus powered
♦ Variety of outputs
♦ Ideal for smaller spaces
Last, but not least, we have the CR5BT monitors by Mackie. They’re a well-known American producer of studio monitors, headphones, mixers, and other audio equipment, started by Greg Mackie back in the late 1980s.
The CR5BT are sold in pairs and are more than just regular studio monitors, as they can also be used as regular speakers. This kind of setup might affect tonal qualities desired for studio monitoring, but they still provide quality operation for intermediate to advanced users. In addition, they can also be connected to the source via Bluetooth. Maybe not as high-end as the products above, but they’re still well worth consideration.
Features & Specs
♦ Frequency response of 70 Hz to 20 kHz
♦ All-wood enclosure for more natural sound
♦ Sold in pairs
♦ TRS and RCA connection
♦ Bluetooth connectivity
♦ 50 W of output power per monitor
♦ Headphone output and aux input on the front panel
How to Pick the Best 5 Inch Studio Monitors
Of course, we’ll also need to get into some of the technical details and see what actually goes into making the best 5 inch studio monitors, and how we did this particular rundown. After all, these are supposed to reproduce your music with as much detail as possible, and there are many things to think of. You could also use this guide for any other type of studio monitors that you’re looking to get your hands on.
Their frequency response and range are essential factor in differentiating between good and bad studio monitors. You’ll need to think about how well they cover all the frequencies in the audible range. You don’t want them to be quieter at certain frequencies over others.
You’ll also need to think of the type of drivers, as well as the build quality of the cabinet, since the whole speaker vibrates and resonates with the sound waves it produces. Let’s look into these and other features in more detail.
Frequency Range & Response
The range is a critical issue here. It is essentially the range of frequencies that these speakers are able to reproduce. Generally speaking, it’s better to have a higher range, but never at the expense of an uneven frequency response. Some of the different types of monitor speakers might have a narrower range in order to achieve a flatter response.
Also important is the fact how well these monitors are covering frequencies over the audible spectrum from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. A flat response may be even more important than the range the monitor will cover. “Flat” simply means the monitors remain consistent in the way they reproduce frequencies. You want them to reproduce all the frequency levels across the spectrum equally, and there’s no point in having a wide range with poor performance.
Also keep in mind that larger woofer cones are generally better at handling lower frequencies. If you’re going to be producing bass-heavy music, you might want to take a look at some solid 8 inch monitors, since the larger cone diameter will give you a more accurate bass response.
The whole speaker is basically a box that resonates as the drivers vibrate. The material and build quality are of high importance in making the best 5 inch studio monitors. The cabinet is always designed around the drivers, as they are the core components of the monitors.
It would be ideal for the cabinet not to resonate at all. But since this is theoretically impossible, they’re designed to have resonance toned down to a minimum. This is why studio monitors of any size are built of sturdy and hard materials. All the construction components should be held together with quality internal bracing and strong joints. The cabinets can also feature passive radiators, which are responsible for handling lower-end frequencies.
Drivers are essential components of great studio monitors. These are the actual loudspeakers that are designed to cover specific frequency ranges. There are usually two or three drivers in studio monitors of varying sizes. All of these on the list feature two drivers.
The larger of two is called the woofer, which reproduces low and mid-range frequencies. The measurement commonly used to describe studio monitors is the diameter of the woofer cone in inches. The smaller drivers are called tweeters, and they reproduce sound in the higher end of the spectrum. On three-driver monitors, you’ll also find dedicated mid-range drivers for a more detailed audio image.
It’s also important to know the about the materials that the drivers are made of. Manufacturers often use silk, carbon, glass, Mylar, and different metals and metal alloys. All of these materials in given combinations and ratios help speakers reproduce sounds of varying frequency ranges and add to the durability and life of the driver. Monitors can take a beating!
Circuitry and connectivity
Next up, we have another crucial factor for studio monitors – the overall connectivity features. Each speaker has its own circuitry with different kinds of I/O. There are different types of connections, and you should always look at whether these connections support the outputs on your audio interface or other related equipment that you’re using.
You’ll usually find classic ¼-inch connections, but there are also different types of jacks, like 3-pin XLR, RCA, and even S/PDIF. Some of the more modern solutions might even include Bluetooth wireless connection, although this is not that common.
Some monitors, such as the PreSonus Eris series, have additional acoustic tuning knobs and switches on the back panel. These can vary in function from shelf filters, to crossover knobs, to overall gain. In the Eris’ case, they’re used to adjust the monitor for optimal use in small spaces.
We should also not forget about the built-in amps on monitor speakers. All of the products we’ve included on the list are active monitors. This means that they are powered speakers with individual power amplifiers inside them. Of course, it’s only evident that they’re going to require power sources in order to work. Passive monitors or any other passive speakers require other components in your setup, like external power amplifiers.
Anyway, the types and quality of the on board amps are crucial in our search for the best 5 inch studio monitors. A lot of them are bi-amplified, which means that each of the drivers has its own amp. This increases the performance and provides for better operation of each individual driver.
Whatever your plans may be – whether you’re making music as an amateur or you’re striving to be a professional – you should always strive for the best possible studio monitors. This means that you’ll need to look into features like sturdy cabinets, quality-built tweeters and woofers, connection possibilities, and the overall frequency ranges and responses over the audible spectrum.
The prices over the years have generally dropped and, fortunately enough for us, it’s possible to get great five-inch monitors for a reasonable price these days. Just make sure to look at what fits your own needs and your own equipment.
Thank you for reading, and we hope this provided some value and insight on your search for the best 5 inch studio monitors!