The 7 Best Studio Monitors to Buy in 2018

Find the sound you're looking for with these high-quality speakers

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For professionals in the entertainment world or those who simply want more and better sound, standard speakers just won’t do the trick. And that’s why companies such as Edifier, KRK and Yamaha, among others, offer studio monitors.

Studio monitors are designed for professional use and are calibrated for recording artists, filmmakers and radio engineers who want to ensure they’re listening to the crispest and most accurate audio. Indeed, many of the music and studio-quality audio you hear is created with help from studio monitors.

Of course, all of that suggests studio monitors aren’t cheap. And they’re not. But it might surprise you to find that there are some studio monitors on the market that can offer both high-quality audio and affordable price tags. Even when you choose a pair of studio monitors, high-quality options shouldn’t break the bank.

Still, choosing studio monitors isn’t as easy as picking one from a lineup and expecting high-quality sound. And in some cases, having the flexibility to use studio monitors in both a professional and home setting could be preferable. So to help in your search, we’ve compiled the following list of outstanding studio monitors that address any need. From top-sounding options to the easiest on your wallet, here’s a look at the best studio monitors to buy today.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Edifier R1700BT

The Edifier R1700BT is the best set of studio monitors on the market, thanks to its perfect combination of design, overall value and sound quality. And with Bluetooth support to boot, they’re ideal for those seeking a wireless connection.

The Edifier studio monitors come with a walnut design that is perfectly suited for use in any part of the house or office. Both the bass and treble adjustments can be adjusted from -6db to +6db and a digital volume control ensures you can listen to music at a comfortable level. Pushing in on the volume control dial will give you the option of choosing your input source.

The studio monitors themselves are 66w and have two auxiliary inputs that allow them to connect to everything from 3.5mm headphones to dual RCA devices. On the Bluetooth side, you can connect the studio monitors to any device, including an iPhone, Android handset or computer.

If a remote control is easier, the Edifier R1700BT studio monitors come with a control that helps you adjust volume, access Bluetooth connections or access the tethered device. There’s also a mute button for turning off the sound.

The Edifier studio monitors are just over nine inches tall and have a “bookshelf” design that allows them to be used as computer speakers if you so choose. They’re a little one heavier side, however, at 14.6 pounds.

Best Budget: Dual Electronics LU43PB

If you’re in the market for affordable studio monitors, the Dual Electronics LU43PB speakers are your best option.

The Dual Electronics studio monitors are four-inch speakers that can be used both indoor and outdoor. They come with 100 watts of peak performance, 50 Watts RMS and 4 to 6 Ohms. They run over a frequency range between 100Hz to 20kHz.

According to Dual Electronics, the monitors have a four-inch woofer and 1 midrange polypropylene cone. There’s also a ¾-inch tweeter to deliver sound. If you want to install the speakers on the wall or ceiling, you’ll be happy to know they come with a 120-degree range of motion. And since they can be used both inside and out, they have a weather-resistant coating to reduce ultraviolet and rain effects.

The Dual Electronics LU43PB are offered in a pair and come in your choice of black or white. And with an outstanding price to boot, they’re a great option for those who want versatile studio monitors or are new to the studio monitor game and want to see what they have to offer.

Best for Flexible Use: PreSonus Eris E3.5

PreSonus pitches its pair of Eris E3.5 studio monitors as versatile options for just about any use. And the company could be right.

The studio monitors are designed specifically for use in just about any function. They’re ideal for studio use and creating new tracks, of course, but also work well as options in the living room when you want to watch a movie, play video games or simply listen to music. And since they come with 3.5-inch drivers, they create a more powerful bass response than many other options on the market.

The speakers, which deliver 25 watts of output per monitor, come with a 100dB maximum sound output and have one-inch, low-mass transducers. They’ve also been tuned to ensure they sound good at both the midrange and high frequencies and have a Low Cutoff feature when you want to coordinate the sound coming from the monitors and the audio being pumped into other speakers.

On the input side, you can connect devices via RCA, TRS and XLR. And since they’re on the smaller side at just eight inches tall, you can put them anywhere in a room.

Best Sound: Yamaha HS8 Studio Monitor

When it comes time to listen to the very best sound (and there's no concern about price), check out the Yamaha HS8 Studio Monitor.

The pricey speaker comes with an eight-inch cone woofer and a one-inch dome tweeter. The studio monitor has a bi-amp system that offers 120 watts of output per monitor and can deliver frequency responses between 38Hz and 30kHz. Room control and high trim response controls aim, ensuring the monitors offer outstanding sound anywhere, anytime.

Yamaha, which is synonymous with high-quality sound in the monitor business, has built new transducers for the HS series of monitors that use an “advanced” magnetic field design to ensure sound is flowing through the speakers properly.

Yamaha’s monitors come in a variety of sizes to fit in any room. And as long as you can swallow the price, you might really enjoy everything they have on offer.

Best Pair: KRK RP5G3

The KRK RP5G3 pair of studio monitors offer the best combination of sound quality and design in a dual speaker setup.

The monitors are bi-amped and have class A/B amplifier technology that delivers enough headroom and low-enough distortion to ensure sound is getting evenly pumped into a room. Each monitor’s soft-dome tweeter offers extended response up to 35kHz and has high-frequency adjustment features to let you modify their sound experience based on your tastes.

On the design side, KRK’s studio monitors are no slouches, with a refined black design and yellow accents.

The studio monitors are a little on the pricey side, but their combination of good looks and sound quality should make up for that.

Best Design: Edifier R1280DB

Although people often buy studio monitors for sound quality, design also matters greatly since the speakers will most likely be placed around the office or home. And that’s why the Edifier R1280DB is such a compelling choice.

The monitors have a sleek design that hides the guts of the speakers, suggesting they’re designed for use in areas where guests will see the monitors. A rough covering over the monitors has a simple line across the front that adds a touch of class and the knobs on the side give easy access to controls. If you’d like, you can also configure the speakers with wooden side panels to add even more of a luxurious feel.

The Edifier R1280DB can be connected wirelessly to other devices via Bluetooth but still come with outstanding sound quality, thanks to their four-inch bass and 13mm dome tweeters. If you prefer a wired connection, you can connect a variety of devices, including those that rely on RCA and AUX connections.

A remote is also included to add wireless control to the experience.

Most Compact: IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitors

If it’s studio monitors you desire, but space you need to conserve, IK Multimedia’s iLoud Micro Monitors are a great place to start.

First, be aware that IK Multimedia’s speakers are pricey. But at just three inches, or about the size of standard desktop speakers, they’re small enough to slip into a bag and carry along with you wherever you may be going. The speakers come with a frequency response between 55Hz and 20kHz. And since they’re small, it’s perhaps no surprise that you can connect to them via Bluetooth, creating a bit more flexibility in where they can be placed in a room.

To ensure your IK Multimedia studio monitors sound nice throughout the day, they come with EQ correction so you can tailor the sound to your ear. One other tidbit: The studio monitors feature class-D power amps with 50W RMS of power.