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Recommendations for Large Studio Monitor Speakers

2021-07-26

Theme:PA

Studio monitor speakers are important pieces of equipment in music production. This time, we will focus on the size of the speaker unit.
If you look at the top 10 best selling speakers ranking on the Sound House website, the most popular models are the “5-inch or smaller” speakers like the super standard JBL 305P MKII (5-inch), the YAMAHA HS5 (5-inch), and the MSP3 (3-inch).

Best Selling Powered Studio Monitors Ranking

Considering the general housing conditions in Japan, I think the volume is sufficient with 5-inch models or less.

But I will dare say it here!!
“I also recommend large speakers!!”

I’m going to list the advantages of larger speakers. (*This is just my personal opinion.)

1. Louder Volume

  • It simply has an amp with larger output than the smaller speakers.
  • When comparing a large speaker and a small speaker at the close volume of sound, the larger the wattage is, the more spacious over the entire range.

2. The powerfulness is different in low frequency (wide playback range)/span>

  • Like PA speakers, the larger the size, the more the low frequency range can be reproduced. It feels like the low frequency range will get thicker.
  • The thick low frequency range creates the thicker overall sound image, and you will feel the sound is more realistic.

I’ve tried to explain in words, but I thought it wouldn’t be clear enough, so I made this before. Seeing is believing! Please just listen to it.

SOUNDCLOUD
Comparison of Standard Studio Monitors

These were recorded from different speakers with the ZOOM/H60 recorder, with the same sound source and at the same distance. Unlike PA speakers, there is no clip (limit) indicator, so I used a noise checker to check the volume around the output sound pressure level in the specs, and recorded the sound at that volume to make sure it sounded clean and free from distortion.

JBL 305P MKII → 308P MKII

  • Image Control Waveguide provides detailed imaging and a wide sweet spot
  • Next-generation JBL transducer for improved response and linearity
  • Slip Stream low-frequency port for superior bass performance at all playback levels
  • 112 W dual integrated custom Class-D amplifier for high output and dynamic range
  • New Boundary EQ to compensate for low-frequency variants according to the environment
  • HF Trim switch to adjust high-frequency output to match room acoustics or personal preferences

YAMAHA HS5 → HS7

  • “Accuracy” - design philosophy of HS series studio monitors
  • Thoroughly pursued accuracy in reproduction of the sound required for nearfield monitoring, and solid sound image localization, high resolution, and flat sound characteristics
  • Uses newly developed transducers, as well as the re-selected and optimized acoustic components to dramatically improve reproduction ability
  • Adopts bi-amp system to amplify the high and low frequencies with separate power amplifiers and provides stable and high quality of sound
  • The enclosure designed to thoroughly eliminate unwanted resonance and enhance the accuracy of sound to the utmost
  • Uses new port design with the cutting edge noise reduction technology to reduce the noise around the port
  • ROOM CONTROL corrects the low frequencies that tend to be exaggerated when the speakers are placed near the walls to allow accurate monitoring
  • HIGH TRIM allows detailed balance settings that suit the room and purpose

TANNOY Reveal402 → Reveal802

  • Bi-amp module and active crossover filter realize power and clarity
  • Wide sweet spot allows you to move around in your workspace without losing the stereo imaging of the mix
  • EQ controls to adjust the tweeter volume (NEUTRAL, HI CUT, HI BOOST)
  • Equipped with custom high-efficiency LF driver and high accuracy tweeter
  • Front port designed to optimize bass response and enables speaker setup close to walls
  • Has AUX IN to directly connect music players, smartphones, and tablets
  • MONITOR LINK allows stereo input to one speaker and connect to the other speaker with the included 3.5 mm cable to link for a stereo pair

How is it? Here are my personal opinions...

・JBL/308PMKII

I may have a prejudice that JBL is my favorite, but I thought that the 308P MKII would be the most widely preferred. Its sound is not as flat as YAMAHA’s, it’s a little soft or the seams between the low and high frequencies are natural rather than sharp, and the low frequencies are moderately suppressed compared to TANNOY. The 308P MKII may be just right for listening and music production.

・YAMAHA/HS7

If your main purpose is music production with computers and DAW, this is the one!! I felt that the sound is flat in a good sense and the sound of each instrument is crisp and it was very easy to monitor. It is indeed up to YAMAHA’s standards. I understand why it has been a top pick for a long time.

・TANNOY/Reveal802

Out of the three speakers I compared this time, the Reveal 802 was the only one that is front bass reflex port type, so I listened to the bass in maximum comfort♪ If the HS7 sound is described as being flat, the Reveal 802 feels three-dimensional because the bass really stands out.

Flat       Three-Dimensional
HS7 308PMKII Reveal802
Suppressed Low       Strong Low

If you listen to the demo sound, I think you will notice the overall sound image is quite different between the different sizes of speakers. Don’t you think the large-scaled sound is more dramatic? Lol.
Of course, in order to feel that way, you’ll need to “play it at a certain volume”, but if you have an environment that allows it, I would definitely recommend introducing one size larger speakers.

営業部 / 河西 政佳

愛車サンバークラシックを溺愛するベーシスト。座右の銘は「人生アドリブ」。高校の軽音部に入り、最初の楽器決めジャンケンで負け、ギターヒーローを諦めることに。しかし、ビリーシーンやフリーを見てバンドで一番カッコイイのはやはりベースだと再認識。「上手い」よりカッコイイベースプレーヤーを目指し、日々精進中。

JBL / 308P MKII

JBL

308P MKII

¥43,600(incl. tax)

Powered studio monitor, 8", LF56W / HF56W, pair

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TANNOY / Reveal 802 スタジオモニター ペア

TANNOY

Reveal 802 スタジオモニター ペア

¥47,600(incl. tax)

スタジオモニター、パワード、2ウェイ、8"、LF75W/HF25W、ペア

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YAMAHA / HS7 Pair

YAMAHA

HS7 Pair

¥47,600(incl. tax)

Studio monitor, powered, 2-way, 6.5", LF60W / HF35W, 8.2kg, pair

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