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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
KRK Rokit 5 G4
JBL Professional LSR305
PreSonus Eris E5
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!