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Best low cost 5” studio monitors?

jellyghost

Member
Messages
104
I have a small and basic home recording setup which is mainly just for getting ideas down (guitars, electrics, acoustics and vocals), listening to music and watching gear demos on YouTube. I am a causal user and do not claim to be good at recording.

Recently I finally sold the behemoth Yamaha HS80Ms I’ve had for many years. They were a foolish purchase but I couldn't admit it to myself that they were too big and awkward for my desk, and I could never get them up to a good volume.

I looked at slimming down to HS5s but they seem to have a big bass drop-off and a strident midrange compared to other options.

I do not know everything available but the JBL 305Ps has caught my eye as, although they are not the most handsome, they seem to perform very well for a 5” monitor and are quite inexpensive. Are they best in that approximate price range or are there better options? Can stretch a bit further budget wise but I don’t need anything too fancy.
 

jellyghost

Member
Messages
104
Thank you all. I think I'll measure my desk up and have a read about the 6" options too. Seems worth it if I can fit them.
 
Messages
469
I have a small and basic home recording setup which is mainly just for getting ideas down (guitars, electrics, acoustics and vocals), listening to music and watching gear demos on YouTube. I am a causal user and do not claim to be good at recording.

Recently I finally sold the behemoth Yamaha HS80Ms I’ve had for many years. They were a foolish purchase but I couldn't admit it to myself that they were too big and awkward for my desk, and I could never get them up to a good volume.

I looked at slimming down to HS5s but they seem to have a big bass drop-off and a strident midrange compared to other options.

I do not know everything available but the JBL 305Ps has caught my eye as, although they are not the most handsome, they seem to perform very well for a 5” monitor and are quite inexpensive. Are they best in that approximate price range or are there better options? Can stretch a bit further budget wise but I don’t need anything too fancy.
I just bought a pair of JBL 305Ps and I love them. Highly recommend. $199 used @ GC online.
 
Messages
1,857
I have Presonus E8's. But the E5's are great too, just smaller and not as much low end. They are front ported and very tunable for room size and positioning of the monitors, as well as low and hi controls.
You can find them on occasion for really good deals.
 

jellyghost

Member
Messages
104
I'm just reading about the Presonus Eris range. Some reviewers have mentioned hum from the transformer or mains. Is this something to be concerned about?

EDIT: However, hard to know if these people are using an audio interface with balanced ins and out etc. Seems it could be from using RCAs, which I wouldn't be using.
 
Last edited:

jellyghost

Member
Messages
104
Sorry for multiple posts

I think anything other than 5" will be too large for my desk to position them properly.

The JBLs are unfortunately out of stock everywhere in the UK until October so the Eris range is now tempting, and reviews do seem very good. BUT then there's the question over whether to get the regular E5s or the newer E5 XTs; the latter being only a little more expensive and slightly bigger too, though apparently a little too toppy and lacking the balance and punch of the original E5s.

Hmm....
 

sears_poncho

Member
Messages
167
I’m in the same boat, downgrading from 8” jbls with no desk space, and considering a pair of Tannoys

Also you might want to check out the iLoud pair for $300. They’re smaller at 3” but I’ve been hearing really good things about them
 

jellyghost

Member
Messages
104
Update: got a pair of E5s for £167 delivered same day from Amazon. I need to set them up properly but out the box they sound nice.

The E5 XTs would have been just a bit too big to be able to position them easily, and £60 more expensive for the pair, although I think I maybe slightly prefer them in this comparison video.


Honestly though, there probably isn’t enough of a difference for my ears and uses.
 

makerdp

Member
Messages
617
PreSonus Eris monitors rarely get talked about when "best studio monitors" comes up... just sayin. Sure, random people will pipe-up and say they are happy with theirs, but they do not get mentioned very often or will come up in comparisons to the major players like Yamaha, JBL, Adam and now Kali. Food for thought...
 

Nebakanezer

World’s Okayest Guitar Player
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,241
I’d say spend no less than around $100 each for the JBLs if you ain’t in a hurry? With sales coming up, I’d suspect someone somewhere will mark them down for a sale!?!?! As for the rest, idk?
 

edward

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,039
PreSonus Eris monitors rarely get talked about when "best studio monitors" comes up... just sayin. Sure, random people will pipe-up and say they are happy with theirs, but they do not get mentioned very often or will come up in comparisons to the major players like Yamaha, JBL, Adam and now Kali. Food for thought...
"Best" is a loaded term: "best" in what respect is a critical determinant, and the OP said "low cost."

Given this criterion, I'd say yes, the Eris monitors are very good. One can always spend more, and if one can, then why not! But given budget x or y, the Eris line are genuinely good options. As for "best" I'll leave that to folks who have a bigger budget than me ;)

Edward
 
Messages
1,857
My E8's and 3.5's live happily together.
They don't get talked about but they aren't lacking in any way shape or form.
AxeFX recommends them for monitoring purposes for their stuff.
They are underrated, underappreciated, and undermentioned.
My E8's are way too big for my desk, but I wouldn't step down to 5's to save the space.
For guitars and synths I will stick with 8" from now on. It just sounds so damn good and handles the lows with ease.

 




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