Getting started in the music production game can be an expensive ordeal, and whilst we don’t recommend skimping on your key equipment sometimes we simply have to do the best with what we have!
A good quality set of studio monitors are pretty much essential for recording and although you might baulk at the cost of even the cheapest models on this list, you have to remember that these speakers are what you’ll use to reference all the work that you produce.
The difference between a set of studio monitors and your average pair of computer multimedia speakers is that the former have been designed in order to give a ‘flat response’, allowing you to understand the truest sound of the music that you’re making.
Other kinds of speakers that are designed for video gaming or home cinema systems are designed for these jobs only and will not perform well in a production context. The world of studio monitors can be incredibly difficult to decipher. User reviews can be biased (or even fake) and even when you’re getting an honest review it’s important to remember that sound is a very subjective experience.
The best chance you have of getting the right product for your needs is by considering your price range, space limitations, making a short-list and then going to a store to listen to them yourself.
Although there are some budget offerings on this list, be realistic in your expectation of the kind of performance that you’re like to get out of products in this price range. The more you spend, the better equipment you’re likely to get and the longer it’s likely to last.
Take a look at these super-budget friendly option which are perfect for bedroom producer who are short on space and cash:
This is the lowest-price offering from Presonus, who also offer monitors in 4.5inch, 5inch and 8inch models. The performance of these monitors has been praised by bedroom producers and casual users alike, suggesting that they’re a great choice for beginners. Due to their small stature their bass response will not be as good as the larger models on this list, but for the price you can do a great deal worse.
These Studio Speakers from Alesis have been dubiously branded as suitable for everything from Video-Editing to Gaming, so it might be best not to expect the world from them. That being said, Alesis are a trustworthy brand in the budget production realm and can usually be relied on to produce decent gear. These 5inch speakers offer an 80W total ouptut and are ideal for those with a bit more space on their desk.
M-Audio have been in the music production game for a while now and whilst they might not be unanimously praised by all producers, they have their fans here and there. These speakers are unlikely to win any Beauty Contests, but that shouldn’t put you off making a purchase as they perform really well for their price range. They might take a bit of time to initially setup, but once they’re done you’ll be glad for spending that time.
Finally, Mackie get a hard time from reviewers and audiophiles, but the speakers that they produce are so affordable that they can’t be ignored for this list. Whilst the CR3s might not perform in the same way as some of their bigger priced competitors, their price of £99 is attractive for newcomers and they offer enough in the way of power to satisfy most bedroom producers.
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