7 Best Studio Monitors (All Budgets & Sizes)

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  • Looking for the best monitor speakers for music production?
  • Use this guide to find the best studio monitors for your needs and budget.
  • Our top picks include Genelec, Neumann, Focal Audio, Yamaha, and more.
  • Also, read about the 7 best studio monitors under $1000 for music production.

Every musician and producer knows the horror of working on a mix for hours only to realize it sounds appalling on other systems. It’s probably a sign you need to invest in better studio speakers (or mixing skills, and we have loads of articles to help you with that too.)

Studio monitors are a crucial part of any music production setup. Neutral and detailed monitors can improve mixes by an order of magnitude. So, finding the best studio monitor speaker is a sensible investment, although identifying it can be as elusive as nailing the ‘perfect’ mix.

As ever, the best studio monitors for music production are hooked to various factors – desk real estate, room size, budget, personal preferences, and treated or untreated listening environments.

Luckily, everyone agrees studio monitors (of value) should be reliable, versatile, and brutally honest, revealing all there is to hear. Bearing those attributes in mind, we put forth the seven best studio monitors for musicians and producers in the current market.

Best Studio Monitors – Our Top Picks

Anything from the Yamaha HS Series could qualify as the best multi-use studio monitor. The HS5s are our pick for the best home studio monitors because they are ideal for producing and mixing tracks in small and medium-sized setups. Consider the HS8s for larger and treated acoustic rooms.

The Kali Audio L-6s are feature-rich studio monitors that punch above their price tag. They deliver a neutral sound with excellent bass extension. Plus, this particular model is frequently recommended on forums and is backed by positive reviews from reliable sources.

Budget constraints notwithstanding, the Neumann KH120A are covetable studio monitors for music production. Although pricey, they boast a jaw-dropping response and a very wide sweet spot, but only if you can dig deep into your pockets.

The KRK Rokit 7 G4s are the best home studio monitors for electronic music production and DJ mixes. These long-standing bestsellers are backed by three generations of improvements, an easy-to-use KRK app, and DSP features unheard of at this price point.

Here are the seven best studio monitors for music production you can buy today.

  1. Best Home Studio Monitors: Yamaha HS5
  2. Best Budget Studio Monitors: Kali Audio LP-6 V2
  3. Best Professional Studio Monitors: Focal Shape 65
  4. Best Studio Monitors for Electronic Music Production: KRK Rokit 7 G4 
  5. Best Small Studio Monitors: IK Multimedia iLoud Micro 
  6. Best Studio Monitors for Mixing: Genelec 8030C Powered Studio Monitors
  7. Best Premium Studio Monitors: Neumann KH-120A 

1. Best Home Studio Monitors: Yamaha HS5

Best Home Studio Monitors
Yamaha HS5 5 inch Powered Studio Monitor Pair

The Yamaha HS5 active studio monitors will help you make better-sounding recordings.Yamaha has continuously developed and perfected their monitors, resulting in HS series monitors with newly designed bi-amplified drivers and scientifically ported enclosures. 

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Try finding a list of the best home studio monitors that doesn’t include the Yamaha HS5. ‘Nuff said.

Yamaha has a history of crafting pro studio monitors, and the HS series is nothing short of industry standard. The classic series has dominated the bestselling list for good reasons. We recommend the HS5 active monitors – the smallest of the series – for their sound quality, versatility, and value.


  • Design: Rear-ported, Bi-Amped
  • Dimensions:2” x 6.7” x 8.7” (H x W x D)
  • Frequency Range: 54 Hz – 30,000 Hz
  • Input: XLR and TRS
  • Max SPL: 90 dB
  • Weight:7 lbs.


There’s a lot to like about the Yamaha HS5, and we aren’t the only ones to think so. These active studio monitors are small but powerful, with clear and accurate sound. Of course, we won’t get into the weeds as we have analyzed this studio monitor speaker in an in-depth review.

In a nutshell, the Yamaha HS5s are flat and neutral-sounding. Expect crisp mids and highs with an equitable bass response for 5-inch studio monitors. This is not the best size for sub-bass, but you can move upstream to the HS8 and/or buy the subwoofer bundle.

Who should get this studio monitor speaker?

The Yamaha HS5s are the best home studio monitors, which means they are ideal for producing or mixing music in small or medium-sized rooms. But these active monitors We recommend as an excellent all-around studio monitor for both beginners and pros. You may want to look elsewhere for DJ mixes or bass-heavy music.

Related: Yamaha HS5 Review (Best 5” Monitor or Overhyped?)


Consider the Yamaha HS5 for its balance sounds, understated (classic) design, and price-performance ratio. It’s well-built, incredibly versatile, and will be a great companion in mixing and mastering. We refrain from calling them the best home studio monitors, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better workhorse at this price point.

What are the best alternatives at this price point? The Yamaha HS5 trounced the JBL 305P MKII and KRK Rokit 5 G4, the two most popular choices we considered in this price bracket.

P.S. – The Yamaha HS5 is our top pick among the best small studio monitors.

2. Best Budget Studio Monitors: KALI AUDIO LP-6 V2 

Best Budget Studio Monitors
Kali Audio LP-6 V2

Featuring a refined amplifier design, the Kali Audio LP-6 V2 is among the most accurate studio monitors you’ll find in its price range - in fact, it stands up to speakers that far exceed the modest price tag. The LP-6 V2 unveils every detail in your mix.

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High-value studio monitors with top-notch sound delivery and tuning options. 

The LP-6 is a front-ported powered studio monitor with a 6.5” paper cone LD driver and 1” soft-dome tweeter. It’s compact, lightweight, and boasts a scratch-resistant cabinet. The monitor comes with TRS, XLR, unbalanced RCA inputs, an onboard volume knob, an on/off switch, and dip switches to EQ the speaker. It is available in an all-white or all-black design.


  • Design: Front-ported, Bi-Amped
  • Dimensions:2” x 8.75” x 10.25” (H x W x D)
  • Frequency Range: 47 Hz – 21,000 Hz (±3 dB)
  • Input: XLR, TRS, RCA
  • Max SPL: 115 dB
  • Weight:54 lbs.


The Kali Audio LP-6 is designed for near-field use with a neutral sound, wide sweet spot, and 3D listening experience. The front-ported design allows you to place the monitor speakers closer to walls, and the 6.5″ speaker and low-noise port tube team up to deliver clean, punchy bass.

The volume knob ranges from mute to +6 dB, and there are dip switches on the back panel to EQ the speaker. The dip switches compensate for inefficiencies in the room, ensuring the studio monitor speaker delivers accurate sounds in all environments.

The sound quality of the LP-6 is smooth, with a clean/deep low-end, detailed mids, and clear highs. There is a ton of flexibility in tuning it for your exact setup. At $400 a pair, most musicians and producers will enjoy the price-performance ratio of this professional studio monitor.

Who should get this studio monitor speaker?

The LP6 pair is an excellent choice if you want accurate near-field monitors with a massive soundstage. The ruler-flat frequency response and 20 dB headroom allow you to mix confidently. You can also audition these for critical listening or an unusual acoustic room.


The Kali Audio LP-6 studio monitors deliver the best performance in this price range. They have a smooth sound, full low-end, and flat response. The tuning flexibility (dip switches) makes them ideal for various music production setups.

What are the best alternatives at this price point? We considered the PreSonus E7 XT, Adam Audio TV5, and KRK Classic 7 in this price bracket. The KRK comes with a bass boost switch, but the bass extension of the LP-6 is great as it is.

Related: 7 Best Studio Monitors Under $300 (Top Value Picks)

3. Best Professional Studio Monitors: Focal Shape 65

Best Professional Studio Monitors
Focal Shape 65

This Shape 65 is the 6.5" model in the Shape series, which brings top-quality Focal reference monitoring to your studio, editing suite, songwriting workstation, or any other application where your space may be limited but your need for accurate monitoring isn't.

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 We’ll say it aloud- these are the best-sounding studio monitors in this price range. 

The Focal Shape series has 40, 50, and 65 models. We picked the latter as it sits in a sweet spot between the pricey Solo6 and budget-friendly Alpha. The Shape 65 active studio monitors feature a black MDF cabinet finished with walnut veneer. Each speaker houses a 6.5″ cone woofer with a 1″ inverted dome tweeter. The LF and HF drivers are pushed by a 105W Class Ab amp.


  • Design: Bi-Amped with double passive radiators
  • Dimensions: 14” x 8.6” x 11.2” (H x W x D)
  • Frequency Range: 40 Hz – 35,000 Hz
  • Input: XLR and RCA
  • Max SPL: 109 dB
  • Weight:2 lbs.


The Focal S65 active monitors are famed for their exceptional frequency balance and slightly mid-forward sound. At roughly $1000 for a single unit, this is a serious upgrade for musicians or producers, but you will be rewarded with clear stereo, superb detail, and top-notch imaging.

Its non-ported design results in a tight bass response and positional flexibility as long as the monitor speakers are placed vertically. The rear panel sports controls for low, low-mid, and high-shelf boost/cut plus subwoofer integration – Abundant controls to adjust to a room.

Sound-wise, these active monitors deliver detailed highs, faithful mids, and tight lows. The transient detail makes it easy to tweak EQ and dynamics, and it’s a breeze to place stereo elements thanks to the top-notch stereo imaging. In a word, it’s a nearfield studio monitor for music production.

Who should get this studio monitor speaker?

From low-frequency harmonics to substandard compression, these high-end studio monitors are designed to reveal all that exists in the spectrum. Consider them for producing, mixing, and mastering in a spacious room, studio, or professional setting. They are the best professional studio monitors in this price bracket, but audiophiles can consider them for a home cinema setup.

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The Focal Shape Series has to live up to the expectations set by its predecessor – the CMS Series – and those are big shoes to fill. But Shape 65 follows through with attitude and confidence. Only committed music producers will test drive this nearfield studio monitor. But those who do will invariably report a 5-star performance for the size and price.

What are the best alternatives at this price point? The Neumann KH 150 and Barefoot Frontier are the two best rivals if you care for more expensive mastering-grade alternatives.

Related: 7 Best Speakers in the World (Ranked)

4. Best Studio Monitors for Electronic Music Production: KRK Rokit 7 G4

Best Studio Monitors for Electronic Music Production
KRK Rokit 7 G4

The ROKIT 7 G4 features a pro-grade design, with low-distortion Kevlar drivers pushed by an efficient Class D power amp with a built-in brickwall limiter.

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One of the bestselling studio monitors that cost less than a grand for the subwoofer bundle.

Now in the fourth generation, KRK Rokit studio monitors are a household name in the music production community. We’ve featured the G4 near-field monitor with a 7” woofer and 1” dome tweeter. The low-distortion Kevlar drivers feature a rubber surround and are pushed by a 145W Class D amplifier.


  • Design: Front-Ported, Bi-Amped
  • Dimensions:35” x 8.86” x 11.19 in (H x W x D)
  • Frequency Range: 42 Hz – 40,000 Hz
  • Input: 1 x XLR-1/4” combo
  • Max SPL: 110 dB
  • Weight:76 lbs.


There is a lot to love about this iconic black-and-yellow studio monitor speaker. It boasts state-of-the-art features like an optimized high-frequency waveguide, a built-in brick-wall limiter, Graphic EQ (25 settings), and a KRK app for iOS and Android devices.

The DSP and KRK App are standout features, incredibly useful for room correction and speaker placement. The LCD displays the EQ, and the app provides a real-time room analysis. The app also aids with level matching, calibration, and x-over settings, among other things.

The Rokit 7 boasts a wide sweet spot with a spacious soundstage. It’s famed for its exceptional low-end responsesupported by the front-firing port and low-resonance enclosure. So, expect beefy lows (not overhyped), a slightly forward mid-range, and clear highs.

Who should get this studio monitor speaker?

KRK monitors are instantly recognizable, but these near-field studio monitors also have some great features you won’t find elsewhere. We recommend them for music production in a small room or studio for these reasons – a) moderately priced, b) super customizable, and c) great tech and room correction. They are top-notch studio monitors for DJ mixes, too.

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KRKs have been top-selling studio monitors since the get-go, but they continually improve and launch impressive products at great prices. They perform consistently at all volumes, and you can mix on these studio monitors for hours before fatigue sets in.

What are the best alternatives at this price point? We looked at the Adam Audio T7V and Pioneer DJ VM-80 studio monitors. The latter is bigger and more expensive but worth auditioning for electronic music production.

Related: The 6 Best DJ Speakers for Home Use

5. Best Small Studio Monitors: IK Multimedia iLoud Micro

Best Small Studio Monitors
IK Multimedia iLoud Micro

The iLoud Micro Monitors are legitimate reference speakers with power enough to fill a small room. Low-resonance molded enclosures provide a neutral starting point for the powerful two-way speaker systems.

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These small studio monitors offer clear sounds and accurate referencing. 

These tiny speakers take inspiration from the flagship iLoud speakers and pack a ton of bass and power in a smaller enclosure. There are other small studio monitors in the market, but the iLoud Micros nail the size-price-performance trifecta better than the competition.


  • Design: Front-ported, Bluetooth Compatible Monitors
  • Dimensions:09” x 5.31” x 3.54” in (H x W x D)
  • Frequency Range: 45 Hz – 22,000 Hz
  • Input: 2 x RCA, 1/8”, 4-pin speaker connector
  • Max SPL: 107 dB
  • Weight: 3.79 lbs. (combined)


The iLoud Micro packs 25W of power per speaker for true professional playback. Each speaker has a two-way system with a 3” neodymium driver and ¾” silk dome tweeter. The bass-ported design uses a low-resonance molded enclosure to deliver sounds down to 45Hz.

The Micro uses 4-pin, RCA, and 1/8” connectors but no XLR. The back panel sports an on/off switch and three dips switches (high-cut, low-cut, and desktop) to adjust the speaker to your listening environment. You also have Bluetooth connectivity for added convenience.

The iLoud Micros are clean, powerful, and transparent, and the sound quality is incredibly clear for speakers this size. The specially designed base has a built-in kickstand. It lets you decouple the base to angle the speaker towards your ears to enhance the monitoring experience.

Who should get this studio monitor speaker?

The iLoud Monitors are ideal for restricted studio spaces. The size and weight (3.79 lbs for the pair) make them a great choice for touring musicians or on-the-go producers. But the superb stereo imaging and bass extension make them the best small studio monitors on the market.


iLoud has convincingly created the best and smallest active studio monitors worldwide. These “micro” monitors pack much value, given their portability and audio production abilities. They won’t work in every scenario, but they are an excellent pick for limited spaces, small home-based studios, or to take on tour.

Related: 7 Best Monitor Speaker Isolation Pads (All Budgets)

6. Best Studio Monitors for Mixing: Genelec 8030CP Studio Monitors

Best Studio Monitors for Mixing
Genelec 8030C

Grab a set of Genelec 8030C active studio monitors and say goodbye to muddled, inaccurate sound and mixes that never seem to translate.

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 The accurate playback of these top-rated studio monitors is worth the asking price.

The 8000 series has a solid reputation in the music production community, and the 8030C is our pick of the litter. These monitor speakers feature a 5” woofer with a 0.75” metal dome tweeter with active crossover and protection circuits. Other notable features include XLR inputs, protection circuits, mains on/off, and manual frequency correction switches.


  • Design: Rear-ported, Bi-Amped
  • Dimensions:8” x 7.4” x 7.06 in (H x W x D)
  • Frequency Range: 54 Hz – 20,000 Hz
  • Max SPL: 104 dB
  • Inputs: 1 x XLR
  • Weight: 11 lb


Genelec is a name you hear repeatedly when searching for the best studio monitors, and for good reason. They have exceptional dispersion, directivity, and the ability to reveal fine details. That said, the 8000 series has five studio monitors – 8010, 8020, 8030, 8040, and 8050.

We picked the 8030C as it has the best price/performance ratio, or so we think. Here’s why –

The 8030C has slightly less bass extension than the 8040A, but it has a noticeably better mid-range response than everything below in the series. The bass response is excellent for the size, the mids are relaxed, and the treble response is pleasantly bright.

These monitor speakers live up to their promise of neutral playback and non-hyped sounds. You can fault them for sounding clinical, but that’s desirable to create mixes that translate well. Moreover, their superb directivity and stereo imaging can benefit every monitoring setup.

Who should get these studio monitor speakers?

These are high-end compact studio monitors for music production, particularly if you want to up-level your mixing experience. Their uncolored sound reveals fine details to analyze and dissect music at all volume levels. Audiophiles can also consider them as high-end desktop speakers.

Skip them if you are on a budget because even the smallest size (3-inch) costs top dollar.

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The 8000 series speakers may not look appealing, but they are outstanding studio monitors for the money. They reveal everything to create a mix that translates well and causes little-to-no fatigue after laboring for hours.

What are the best alternatives at this price point? Check out the Neumann KH120A and Dynaudio BM5 MK3 if you need an equitable nearfield studio monitor in this price range.

7. Best High-End Studio Monitors: Neumann KH-120A 

Best High-End Studio Monitors
Neumann KH 120A

Neumann's KH 120 nearfield studio monitor demonstrates the no-compromise sound quality and impeccable build standards you can expect from Neumann. 

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 A heavyweight by Neumann and K+H that you can lift with one hand. 

The Neumann KH120As are compact active monitors with a front-ported design and cast-aluminum cabinet. Under the hood, you find a composite-sandwich 5.25” cone with a titanium-fabric 1″ tweeter, feeding a duo of 80W Class A/B amps. Other notable features include an on/off switch, XLR line input, and threaded holes to mount these speakers on a wall.


  • Design: Front-ported, Bi-amped
  • Dimensions:87” x 7.12” x 8.62” (H x W x D)
  • Frequency Range: 52 Hz – 21,000 Hz
  • Inputs: 1 x XLR
  • Max SPL:1 dB
  • Weight:30 lbs.


The KH120A has a wide sweet spot, stable stereo imaging, and smooth frequency response without any coloration to bring the mid-range forward. It is respectably quiet and distortion-free down to 100Hz, but there’s a slight hiss below, as is the norm with speakers this size.

The rear panel also sports a rotary sensitivity control and three switches to tailor the frequency response to the listening environment. The gently backlit Neumann badge looks elegant, and the illumination levels can be turned off or set to normal or dim.

These studio monitors can be paired with the optional KH810 subwoofer for an impressive (and near-perfect) integration. But even without the subs, the bass comes through without hype, the mid-range is transparent, and the highs sound clean, without any colored grit or harshness.

Who should get these studio monitors?

The KH-120s are supremely accurate studio monitors for those who need top-notch resolution and detailed sound. They are designed for near-field applications. They can also be used as a rear channel in a larger system. The size and weight make them ultra-portable, so they are worth considering if you work in two setups.

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The Neumann KH120A is an excellent choice if you need compact monitors for mixes that translate well. Although pricey, you’ll be amazed by what they can handle and portray. Better yet, pair them with the KH810 subs to hear everything, no matter the octave.

What are the best alternatives at this price point? Genelec 8030C and Dynaudio BM6A are the chief competitors. You can move upstream to the KH310A with a noticeable uptick in price.


Does Size Matter in Studio Monitors?

The size of studio monitors plays a crucial role in accurate results. A 5, 6.5, or 8-inch woofer size can provide enough power and low-end for small to mid-sized studio spaces. The best side is hooked to your listening distance, need for low-end, and listening environment (treated or untreated rooms). Most small studios only need 5” or 6.5” studio monitors.

Does Yamaha HS5 Have Good Bass?

The Yamaha HS5s do not have very good bass. They have a 5-inch woofer and a 54-30kHz frequency response, implying the bass is not punchy, and the sub-bass is not great. Most 5-inch monitor speakers struggle with the low-end due to their size, which is why they aren’t ideal for bass-heavy music.

Do I Need to Add a Subwoofer to Studio Monitors?

Adding a subwoofer to your studio monitors increases the bass extension (20-200Hz). Whether you need this or not depends on your studio setup. Most 6.5 and 8” studio monitors have ample low-end. But you can add a subwoofer if you want club-like low-end thump in your tracks.