- Every studio needs a good pair of monitors.
- What is the best choice for you?
- We’ve rounded up the 7 best studio monitors under $1000.
What’s one thing your studio has in common with even the most expensive professional setups? You both need decent studio monitors that will allow you to produce, mix, and master your tracks to suit a variety of listening setups.
We’ve already looked at the best monitors for under $100, $200, and $300. Now the gloves are off as we dig deeper into our pockets to bring you the best studio monitors for under $1000!
What are the 7 Best Studio Monitors Under $1000?
For this article, we measured the price of just one speaker, but many pairs still come in comfortably under $1000 as well.
Our pick for the best studio monitor under $1000 is the Yamaha HS8.
It offers a fantastic cost-benefit relation and comes from the long NS10 speaker family. If you are a little short on cash, then the PreSonus Eris E8 is a great budget choice.
For those that need the best, the Neumann KH 120 A offers legendary quality. And don’t sleep on the Adam Audio A7X, another formidable choice on the market today.
In this article, we look at:
- Yamaha HS8
- PreSonus Eris E8
- Neumann KH 120 A
- Mackie HR624
- KRK Rokit 10-3 G4
- Adam Audio A7X
- Focal Alpha 65
The Yamaha HS8 powered studio monitor belongs to the prestigious HS series. This series is the direct successor of the legendary and now discontinued Yamaha NS-10 studio speakers.
The entire HS line of powered studio monitors aims to emphasize sonic purity without any coloring or alteration of the original sound. This makes the HS8 (and all the other models the HS Series) a reliable and trustworthy nearfield monitor for audio work and is our pick for the best speaker under $1000.
Yamaha has continuously developed and perfected the design, resulting in HS series monitors with newly designed bi-amplified drivers and scientifically ported enclosures that deliver amazing accuracy and vanishingly low coloration.
- Deliver precise and accurate playback
- High-performance drivers and mounting system
- Optimum response in any room
- Accurate and flat sound for sound reference
- Great option for near field or far-field
- Continuation of the Yamaha NS-10 monitor legacy
- 8-inch woofer and a 1-inch tweeter
- Tailor your sound to your space with attenuators
The HS8 studio monitors feature high-performance drivers that deliver great audio reproduction that is made even better by a sophisticated mounting system.
Through Yamaha’s scientific arrangement of screws and a custom-designed mounting ring, all unwanted vibration and resonance are eliminated. As a result, this set of speakers reach their full sonic potential without distortion.
Yamaha opted to use beefy magnets to optimize the low-end response of all the speakers in the HS Series. These magnets are extra-large to deliver a robust, uniform, and tightly controlled field that produces a very smooth response and dynamic efficiency. These monitors feature a frequency range of 38 Hz to 30 kHz.
The tweeter frames use an advanced smooth contour design that minimizes losses. This helps in optimizing the accuracy of mids and highs. This extra-thick tweeter frame also reduces any resonances that may interfere with the high-frequency clarity.
Another great feature of the Yamaha HS8 is the Room Control switch. This lets you choose between 0, -2 dB, and -4 dB of attenuation at 500 Hz, making it easier to tailor your sound to your space.
This function is especially useful for rooms that force you to place the speaker in close proximity to a wall. By attenuating at 500 Hz, you can further control the excessive midrange that can arise in these setups.
Additionally, these monitors also feature a High Trim response control with -2 dB and + 2 dB at 2 kHz, for better control of the high frequencies. Overall, the features of the HS8 are hard to beat at this price range.
PreSonus Eris E8 XT
The PreSonus Eris E8 XT is our budget choice for musicians, producers, and/or engineers that need a reliable set of speakers that are truly affordable.
These monitors offer smooth highs, deep lows, and great imaging. The Eris E8 XT features a full complement of balanced and unbalanced inputs to connect to whatever system you might be using.
The PreSonus Eris E8 XT offers deep lows, smooth highs, and impressive imaging thanks to first-rate drivers that work in tandem with an innovative EBM waveguide and state-of-the-art front-ported enclosure.
- Revolutionary EBM waveguide
- State-of-the-art front-ported enclosure
- Customizable sound reproduction for any room
- 8″ woven composite low-frequency transducer
- 1.25″ silk dome high-frequency driver
- Acoustic tuning controls
- 140 watts, Cass AB bi-amplification
- Solid protection against RF interference
These stereo monitors feature a 1.25″ silk dome high-frequency driver for accurate transient reproduction. They also feature an EBM waveguide for a wide sweet spot.
To top it off, the Eris E8 XT comes with an 8 inch woven composite low-frequency transducer that works together with a front-ported enclosure to produce ultralight lows. In addition, a constant dispersion pattern to minimize time smearing is also present.
You can tailor the Eris E8 XT to your room by using its acoustic tuning control knobs. There are also mid-frequency and high-frequency trim controls to help compensate for any deficiencies in your room.
Additionally, this monitor also comes with a low-cut, highpass filter for subwoofer integration and acoustic space control for attenuating issues that will arise should you place these monitors close to a wall or corner.
This pair of studio monitors offer 105 dB of maximum continuous output via 140 watts and class AB bi-amplification. They sound great and are a fantastic choice at this price point.
Neumann KH 120 A
Neumann is perhaps the most respected name in microphones.
Given that mic and speaker technology share a lot in common, it’s only natural that the prestigious German company would produce high-quality speakers as well.
The KH 120 nearfield studio monitor doesn’t compromise an inch when it comes to sound quality. They are also impeccably built, which is to be expected with any product from Neumann. This really is the choice for those who seek out the absolute best.
Neumann's KH 120 nearfield studio monitor demonstrates the no-compromise sound quality and impeccable build standards you can expect from Neumann.
- Ideal for tracking, mixing, and mastering
- Worthy of the Neumann badge
- Powerful titanium fabric dome tweeter
- Contact bi-amplified nearfield studio monitor
- Titanium fabric dome tweeter design
- 2 kHz crossover frequency
- 5.25″ low-frequency driver, 1″ high-frequency driver
- Low and high limiter protection circuitry
The KH 120 A monitors feature a magnetically shielded aluminum cabinet that is loaded with a long-throw, composite sandwich 5.25″ woofer and a 1″ dome tweeter.
Each one is driven by an onboard 50-watt high headroom Class AB amp. The front baffle features Neumann’s MMD waveguide (Mathematically Modeled Dispersion) that helps produce a wide sweet spot and smooth off-axis response. These studio monitors deliver a stable image and will likely please even the most discerning mixing engineer.
These speakers feature a smooth and natural frequency response and can deliver bass remarkably well for monitors this size. Additionally, the KH 120 comes loaded with control settings for integrating it into a variety of acoustical environments.
As an audio engineer, you can use them in commercial facilities or even at your home studio as near field monitors that you can trust.
These studio monitors feature crossover slope of 24 dB/octave, 4th order, bass equalization options of 0dB, -2.5dB, -5dB, -7.5dB. Additionally, they come with mid equalization options of 0dB, -1.5dB, -3dB, -4.5dB, and high equalization options of+1dB, 0dB, -1dB, -2dB.
All of these help you tailor these monitors for your current working space. Their frequency response goes from 52 Hz to 21 kHz with an input gain control of -15 dBu to 0 dBu. This is a fantastic set of monitors by one of the most respected names in the biz.
Mackie’s HR824 active monitor was their first venture into studio monitoring, but it soon became a very respected piece of gear, in part because of its good price/performance relation.
The HR624 is its smaller brother, also with a two-way active design aimed at users wanting a smaller and slightly less powerful speaker, but with the same quality sound. Overall, this is a great set of speakers under the $1000 dollar mark.
Designed with high-definition audio in mind, this monitor provides exceptional clarity for surround 5.1 and 7.1 applications, and an Acoustic Space Control function allows it to be adapted to any room and still provide maximum accuracy.
- Acoustic Space Control
- New baffle design
- Incredibly accurate
- 6.7″ low-distortion LF driver
- 1″ titanium dome ferrofluid-cooled tweeter
- Twin FR Series amps: 100W LF, 40W HF
- Cast aluminum Zero Edge baffle
- Acoustic Space Control, LF roll-off, HF shelf controls
The HR624 employs a magnetically shielded 6.7-inch driver, powered by a 1.25-inch voice coil. This is matched by a one-inch aluminum dome tweeter mounted in a shallow waveguide to control high-frequency dispersion — also magnetically shielded.
The modified Linkwitz-Riley 24 dB/octave crossover filter operates at 3 kHz. This set of studio monitors feature a frequency response of 49 Hz to 22 kHz. To help adjust to your room, they also come with acoustic space controls on the rear panel.
The MDF cabinet is veneered in black oak and its measurements are 330 x 210 x 264 mm with a weight of 25.13 lbs. An open-cell foam material fills the cabinet to attenuate internal reflections, and all the electronics are mounted in a well-ventilated metal case attached to the rear of the cabinet.
The low-end response of the HR624 is impressive for a speaker of this size and is aided by a passive radiator, similar to that used in the HR824. This radiator is mounted on the rear panel beneath the power amplifier pack.
The amp delivers 100 Watts to the bass/mid-range unit and 40 Watts to the tweeter. Overall, the maximum SPL is 106dB per pair.
The front panel features the power switches and status LEDs, and around the back, there’s a gain trim and four slide switches. There’s also a choice of balanced jack and XLR inputs, as well as an unbalanced RCA phono, and power comes in via an IEC mains cable. These are, by all means, a quality choice for the price.
KRK Rokit 10-3 G4
KRK (a division of Gibson) has been making its way into many studios with its popular Rokit studio monitors.
The Rokit 103 G4 is the fourth generation of these speakers and comes with enhancements that will further ensure the series’ lasting popularity. These studio monitors offer fantastic sound quality, great extra features, low price, and also have a great cost-benefit ratio.
The Rokit 10-3 G4's optimized high-frequency waveguide ensures a wide, deep, dynamic sweet spot and incredible imaging, while a low-resonance enclosure and front-firing port yield excellent low-end response and straightforward speaker placement.
- State-of-the-art DSP
- Balanced sounds
- Spot on low-end
- Rigid Kevlar drivers for low-distortion sound reproduction
- Class D power amp
- Built-in brick wall limiter
- DSP includes room correction, an LCD visual EQ, and more
- Onboard signal generator for calibrating your system
The Rokit 10-3 G4 monitors feature a pro-grade 3-way design, with low-distortion Kevlar drivers that are pushed by a Class D power amp with a built-in brick wall limiter. This set of speakers also feature a low resonance enclosure and bass reflex ports in the front for a good low-end response.
These monitors come with a powerful DSP feature so you can adapt it to your acoustic environment with KRK’s room correction. Its visual graphic EQ also makes minimizing and correcting room problems simple.
You get visual confirmation of your EQ settings with the Rokit 10-3 G4’s built-in LCD graph, all while getting real-time spectral analysis from the KRK app on your iOS or Android smart device. You can use the KRK app to select your crossover settings, polarity settings and to help with level matching as well.
These monitors are very well built and offer durability and rigidity. The Kevlar drivers help keep distortion to a minimum across the frequency range.
The Rokit 10-3 G4 has a frequency response of 26 Hz to 40 kHz with a maximum peak SPL of 112 dB. This KRK monitor has a total power of 300 Watts Class D and features a 1 x XLR-1/4″ combo input.
With all these features, you can see why the Rokit series continues to be a popular choice for the home studio or even professional facilities. They can be used as near field or far-field speakers and are at a fantastic price point for what they offer.
Adam Audio A7X
As the most popular near field studio monitor in Adam Audio’s lineup, the AX7 has been a staple of music production for many years.
This is a versatile set of monitors with a balanced sound, 2-way design, transparent high-frequency reproduction, clean midrange, and great transient response.
It’s one of the most expensive monitors on this list, but the price is quite justifiable as the A7X is an absolute workhorse that you’ll be using for years to come.
The A7X is ADAM’s most popular nearfield studio monitor, and with an active vertical 2-way design, the versatile A7X provides a balanced sound with transparent high-frequency reproduction, clear midrange, and superior transient response.
- X-ART folded-ribbon tweeter
- Vertical 2-way system
- 1 x 7″ carbon/Rohacell/glass fiber woofer and X-ART tweeter
- Large bass reflex ports
- 150W PWM bi-amplification
- Linear frequency response of 42 Hz–50 kHz
The A7X is a popular monitor that offers high-end quality at a great price range.
It features a front baffle bass reflex port that is precisely matched with the bass midrange driver. This gives the speaker a powerful and controlled low-end punch. The A7X also features a 100 Q PWM amplifier and a 50 Watts AB tweeter amp.
This all adds up to 11a dB of SPL at one meter. This monitor was designed to offer accurate sound and was engineered in Berlin to the highest standards. Additionally, the A7X features an X-ART accelerated ribbon tweeter for ultimate performance.
The carbon/Rohacell/glass fiber woofer in the A7X is engineered to produce optimized low-frequency reproduction with extended dynamic range all while remaining neutral and free of coloration.
It incorporates a rigid yet low-mass honeycomb driver cone; an efficient magnet assembly and precisely aligned voice coil; and an optimized driver chassis/basket construction.
These speakers have an impressive frequency spectrum of 42 Hz – 50 kHz, making them a great choice for nearfield monitoring in small-to-midsized control rooms, with or without a subwoofer. The AX7 will be a strong choice for professional or home studios anywhere.
Focal Alpha 65
Focal has become one of the most sought-after brands for great-sounding monitors. However, most of their models are priced out of reach for a typical home recording studio.
With the Alpha 65, Focal aims to bring their high-end studio monitors to lower budget studios, just coming in below the $1000 mark for a pair.
This bi-amped powered studio monitor boasts many of Focal’s acclaimed innovations, such as a Polyglass cone woofer and inverted-dome tweeter. The result is the super-linear frequency response, laser-precise midrange definition, and deep, luxurious soundstage.
- Distortion-free sound
- Easy to setup
- Reasonably priced
- 70W/35W bi-amped powered studio monitors
- Polyglass cone woofer
- Focal’s inverted-dome tweeter
- 40Hz to 22kHz frequency response
- Auto-standby mode for energy saving
The Focal Alpha studio monitors offer a linear frequency response (40 Hz to 22 kHz), great midrange definition, and a deep soundstage.
They feature low and high shelving controls so you can customize them to your need, as well as XLR and RCA inputs to accommodate whatever gear you may have.
The Focal Alpha features a poly grass cone woofer that is exclusive to this company. This ultra-rigid design helps to deliver a more linear frequency response and provides better midrange definition than your average monitors.
These studio monitors also feature Focal’s inverted dome tweeter, which offers rapid impulse response with a short settlement time, along with great damping.
And if you happen to want high-end sound but have a small room, Focal also included low and high shelving controls so you can really tune these speakers to your space.
If you always wanted to check out what Focal’s reputation is all about but never had the funds to do it, this is your chance!
(What’s the difference between active and passive studio monitors? Make sure you read Active vs Passive Monitor Speakers (Differences Explained) next…)