What Studio Monitors Should You Buy?

Whether you are starting out or you've been recording for decades. The most important part of a recording studio are studio monitors.

What are studio monitors, and why do you need them?
What you hear through your monitors is what you want to hear in your car, headphones, phone speaker, wireless speaker, etc. Studio monitors are designed for recording studios, musicians, the bedroom producer or someone who wants to listen to their television/vinyls on a good speaker system. They are the key guide to get what you want everyone else to hear. When it comes to engineering, recording, mixing, and mastering music you want to trust what you're hearing. With the proper acoustics in studios the more you'll get out of your studio monitors. Not every studio monitor is the same, they are all different. The key goal that every studio monitor needs is a flat frequency response.

Why do you need a flat frequency response?
What you hear is what you get, and a flat frequency helps with transparency. There's a lot of new technology out now to where you can put a microphone in your room, and a program will help identify the key problem areas in your studio/room. This will help with the frequencies you need to tackle to get that flat frequency response in your studio/room. Sonarworks, and IK Multimedia make these products to help with room correction.

Sonarworks Reference 4 Calibration Software
Source: (Amazon.com)

IK Multimedia ARC System 2.5 Digital Room Correction
Source: (Amazon.com)

How do you find studio monitors with a flat frequency response?
Finding a set of studio monitors can be quite the hunt. There are many options to find graphs on the internet that showcase the frequency graphs of studio monitors. A good website to dive into is gearslutz.com if you are wanting to look into gear reviews, and seeing tests/graphs. Some manufactures even display their frequency graphs for their studio monitors. One of those companies are Kali Audio, and here is one graph of their two flagship studio monitors.

Source: (KaliAudio.com)

How much room correction do you need?
Room correction all depends on your studio, and your room. Just because you get studio monitors with a close flat frequency response doesn't mean your room/studio will maintain it that way. Since every studio/room is different you would need proper acoustics/room correction programs to tackle that spectrum. You don't want to overkill your room with nothing but soundproofing material. There are complete acoustic room kits that you can purchase for which ever one fits your needs, and space. Just like a mix needs space for every instrument, your room/studio needs space for sound waves to breathe. Depending on your needs some material that will help with room acoustics include: Absorption, Diffusion, and Bass Traps.

Source: (Amazon.com)
Primacoustic London 12 Kit

What other tools do you need for studio monitors?
When it comes to studio monitors there are many factors in place to get the best out of them. Whether that is your room, acoustics, AD/DA conversion from your interface, and proper placement/settings. There is proper placement when it comes to monitors. You would want to set your studio monitors in a triangular fashion towards your ears. If your monitors aren't facing towards your ears, and aren't at the proper height you aren't going to be able to hear everything you need to hear. This could be a biased point, but most engineers/mixers/producers prefer this method over most. Another tool you could use are Iso-Pucks. Iso-Pucks help with reducing vibrations that studio monitors produce while producing sound. They also help with resonance, and produce a greater stereo image for your studio monitors. IsoAcoustics offer the Iso-Puck Mini's, and the Iso-Pucks. The Mini's are lighter weight while the Iso-Pucks are a bit more sturdier. They are scientifically proven to help with your studio monitors better than most absorption stands. Another Iso-Puck alternative are the RAB Audio ProJax 40 Studio Isolation Kit.

Source: (Amazon.com)

Source: (Amazon.com)
IsoAcoustics Iso-Pucks

What studio monitors should you buy?
The entry level for beginner/intermediate studio monitors I would tell you to buy, that have near flat frequency responses, are the Kali Audio LP-6's, Kali Audio LP-8's, Yamaha HS-8's, Neumann KH120's, and PreSonus Sceptre S6's.

Source: (Amazon.com)
Kali Audio LP-6 Studio Monitor

Source: (Amazon.com)
Yamaha HS-8 Studio Monitor


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