Studio Monitors

For a beginner starting up a home recording studio, a pair of studio monitors is probably not something that pops up immediately on his buy list. He would probably be thinking microphones and headphones, and an interface. Afterall, one would think the headphones will be sufficient to give him an idea of how his recording sounds like.

And that is the case, especially if you are starting on a very tight budget. Simply plug the interface into your computer or Mac and listen from there. No need to buy at all!

What are they for then?

Studio monitors are designed to pick everything little sound up and give you the best possible feedback. Some monitors will pick up the low-end sounds better, while others have their strength in picking the mid range sounds. Hence it depends on your mixing project. If you are in for the “right balance”, you need all the clarity from good studio monitors.

What to look out for when buying?

What should you consider when buying a pair of home studio monitors? Well, good studio monitors should pick up all little details for your mixing project.


Active vs Passive Studio Monitors

Next up, if we are talking about home studio monitors, we likely need to focus on active studio monitors. Active monitors are monitors that already have amplification built in, and they don’t require anything other than an audio feed and electricity. Active monitors are by far the most popular choice for small studios and home recording.  They are also very economical in terms of energy efficiency and value.



How big or powerful studio monitors should you go for?

How big is your room?

Most home studios are relatively small as they were converted from bedrooms or storerooms. Hence a typical set of bookshelf-sized studio monitors can fill a medium room with no difficulty. If you’re setting up a studio  room that can hold over 5 people, you may consider larger studio monitors, with over 75 watts in power.  In smaller studios, studio monitors from 10 to 60 watts are generally more than sufficient.


Studio Monitors require a 1/4″ instrument or XLR jack input which requires a mixing console or audio interface on your end.


Magnetic Shield

M Audio Stereophile AV30 Sutdio Monitors

Most speakers emit stray magnetic flux that can create havoc to your computer’s video monitor or even a nearby TV. Some studio monitors are magnetically shielded, so they can coexist with other equipment without interference. The M-Audio Studiophile AV30 is one that comes with this feature.



Optimized for Convenience

MAckie CR3 Studio MonitorsSome studio monitors are designed with convenience in mind as well. For example, the Mackie CR3 has back-lit rotary volume control and left/right switch to the rear of the unit to allow you to set up the monitors to your desired positions and then select which side the powered volume control speaker will be the “master”,  thus making it simpler for you to reaching the controls.

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