What are the best budget studio monitors of 2022? Let’s take a look at the best models with a 5-inch woofer. These products are suited for small home studios. Owners of large home studios can take a look at the 8-inch model by the same manufacturer.
- 1 How to choose the best budget studio monitors?
- 2 KRK Rokit RP5 G4
- 3 JBL 305P MKII
- 4 Yamaha HS5
- 5 Adam T5V
- 6 Larger home studio? Go for the 8-inch models
How to choose the best budget studio monitors?
Studio monitors with 5 or 6-inch woofers are the best choice for small home studios. This way, you get fewer problems in the lower frequency ranges. Please find all the details in my article How to choose the best studio monitors.
The studio monitors discussed here are suited for home studios smaller than 4 x 4 x 2.5 meters (l x w x h). Are you the proud owner of a larger home studio? Then you can go for the same models, but with an 8-inch woofer. This way, you also don’t need an extra subwoofer for music with a lot of bass.
KRK Rokit RP5 G4
The KRK Rokit RP5 G4 has been on the list of the best budget studio monitors for years. The Rokit RP5 G4 is a fine studio monitor with detailed sound reproduction. The yellow cone design is very nice.
Detailed sound reproduction
The tweeter and woofer are respectively 1-inch and 5-inch. The rigid Kevlar design of the woofer translates into a tight and detailed sound reproduction. The excellent frequency response of 43Hz-40KHz gets you tight lows, mids, and highs.
The 55 Watt amplifier is sufficient for small rooms. In larger home studios it is better to go for the larger models of the Rokit G4 series. This way, you get the necessary power to fill the room with sound.
Bass reflex with front opening
The Rokit RP5 G4 allows you to make music for hours without ear fatigue. The bass port emphasizes the low frequencies even more. It is at the front of the cabinet, so you can place the monitors closer to the wall. That’s great to have in small spaces.
Digital EQ with LCD Display
At the back of the monitor, you find a digital equalizer with an LCD screen. It’s a unique feature in this price range. The graphic equalizer has 25 settings. This way, you can adjust the monitor more accurately for every space. You can adjust the equalizer with the knob on the back or with the free KRK Audio Tools app on your smartphone.
If you’re just starting out with music production, the KRK Rokit RP5 G4 is definitely worth considering. The price/quality ratio is excellent.
JBL 305P MKII
The JBL 305P MKII is a budget-friendly studio monitor with detailed, tight sound reproduction. The 305P MKII is well built and has a wide frequency range. It’s a great option for music creation with a lot of bass.
Beautiful front panel
The JBL 305P MKII is the smallest model from the JBL 3 series. Thanks to the 5-inch woofer, the 305P MKII is suitable for smaller home studios. It has a beautiful glossy plastic front panel.
Bass port at the back
The frequency range (43 Hz – 24 kHz) offers enough for the reproduction of your music projects. The bass port opening is placed at the rear of the monitor for improved bass reproduction. But you should not place the studio monitors tightly against the wall to avoid bad sound reflections.
The 82 Watt power provides enough to fill a small home studio with sound. The Boundary EQ switch allows you to adjust the bass response to the acoustics of your room. For example, you can set a 50 Hz low-frequency shelf of –1.5 dB and –3 dB. In addition, you can also adjust the high frequencies with the HF Trim switch.
Excellent stereo reproduction
The JBL 305P MKII delivers excellent stereo reproduction while mixing. The studio monitors are equipped with Image Control Waveguide technology. This ensures a wider sound in horizontal and vertical directions. Overall, the stereo reproduction is nice and spacious. The monitors also respond well to strong dynamic peaks in your music.
The JBL 305P MKII studio monitors offer excellent stereo reproduction at medium to high volumes. Thanks to the good bass reproduction, adjustment options, and solid housing, this is certainly a monitor to keep an eye on. It is a good nearfield monitor for the beginning music producer.
The Yamaha HS5 stands out immediately because of the white woofer design. You can make great-sounding music on these small studio monitors. Thanks to the 5-inch woofer, the HS5 is suitable for a small home studio. Due to the housing of 5.5 kilos, it is certainly not lightweight. And that certainly also applies to the sound.
Derived from the classic NS10
The HS5 is derived from the classic Yamaha NS10 from the 1970s. They don’t sound great, even a little sharp for some people. But if your music sounds good on these speakers, it will sound good on every device. This is very cool and is partly due to the flat frequency range from 54 Hz to 30 kHz.
Fine bass response
The studio monitors have a nice bass response, enhanced by the bass port on the back. Due to the bass port, you have to place the speakers from the wall for the best sound reproduction. That’s something to consider in tiny rooms.
Excellent dynamic range
Despite its compact size, the HS5 is particularly powerful thanks to the total power of 70 Watts. Even at lower volume levels the dynamics are well reproduced. You can make and mix music for hours without your ears getting tired.
Balanced TRS and XLR Inputs
The HS5 works best with an audio interface with balanced outputs. The studio monitors are easily connected via the TRS and XLR inputs on the back.
At the back of the monitor, you find the volume knob and the Room Control switch to adjust the frequencies below 500 Hz. Do you think the monitors sound too sharp? Then you can make adjustments with the High Trim switch (+ 2dB or –2 dB from 2 kHz).
The Yamaha HS5 is one of the best studio monitors in this price range. It reproduces your music clearly with a lot of detail and dynamics. You really get your money’s worth with these excellent studio monitors.
The beautiful Adam T5V is a popular active studio monitor with a 5-inch woofer and the special U-ART ribbon tweeter. This studio monitor is ideal for the beginning music producer with a small home studio.
Quieter sound image
The T5V has an excellent frequency response from 45 Hz to 25 kHz. The 5-inch woofer has a tight reproduction of low and middle sound frequencies. The special 1.9-inch U-ART ribbon tweeter reproduces the high tones somewhat darker (warmer) than other monitors. These monitors are great to work with for hours. Thanks to the quieter sound image, your ears don’t get tired quickly during long listening sessions.
Bass port at the back
Bass reproduction is enhanced by the bass port on the back. So you cannot place the T5V tightly against the wall. The ideal position is about 40 centimeters from the wall, something to be aware of in small spaces. Are they closer to the wall? Then you can attenuate the bass using the LF switch (-2 dB).
Balanced XLR Input
On the back of the monitor, you can also find the HF switch for high frequencies adjustments, the balanced XLR input, and the unbalanced RCA input. A balanced XLR connection is recommended. Preferably, your audio interface needs balanced XLR outputs.
Small but powerful
The T5V is small but powerful thanks to its 75 Watt power. It reproduces music with a high dynamic range, even if you turn down the volume. You can turn the studio monitors quite loud without any sound distortion problems. The stereo reproduction of the monitors is also very stable.
Adam has set the bar particularly high for the budget studio monitor market. The manufacturer has clearly used its experience for many years. The T5V sounds like a much more expensive model. Therefore, it is an excellent studio monitor for beginners.
These are the best budget studio monitors for the small home studio. Please note: the prices are (almost) always per piece. So if you want to buy a set, you have to double the prices. For 300 to 400 euros you can buy a great pair of studio monitors which will last you for years.
Larger home studio? Go for the 8-inch models
Is your home studio larger than 4 x 4 x 2.5 meters (l x w x h)? Then you can go for the same models as mentioned above, but with 8-inch woofers. This way, you don’t need an extra subwoofer. You can quickly recognize them by the number 8 in the name: