Do monitors size matter if adding a sub?

El Chiguete

So I've been doing much research on what monitors to get and I was wondering, if you plan to add a sub anyway does the monitor size matter? I meen 5 inch monitors will have less bass response than an 8 inch monitor (some more than others) and a good idea is to add a sub to fill in the bass space BUT since 8 inch monitors don't actually replace a sub (just give more bass than an 5 inch speaker) then is buying a 5 inch monitor is the smartest choice for a home bedroom studio setup no?


Here's my take on it. If one is using their monitor system to play back pre-recorded music by other artists for general listening, then adding a sub is fine. But adding a sub for mixing maybe problematic. At issue is if the sub adds volume to the bass, and you mix the bass frequencies according to what you're hearing, you tracks maybe mixed too light weight in the bass when played on consumer systems. On the other hand, I've heard tracks mixed on just 5" near field monitors where the person tried to make up for the speakers less than optimum bass response, and the tracks were overly bassy when played on consumer systems.

In my case, I opted for 8" monitors that I felt were fairly accurate, and learned to mix on them. I also have smaller computer speakers that use a sub, to compare between the two systems. I also play my mixes on other consumer systems to compare. But if you must have a sub with your monitors, then I'd choose smaller 5" monitors, and learn to mix on them both with and without the sub.


Im open to being corrected here but...

A sub is for extending bass, not increasing it. It's for going LOWER, not MORE. Ideally you wouldn't want a sub handling the same bass frequencies as a pair of 8" monitors (that is, you wouldn't want your sub handling frequencies that HIGH), let alone would you want it to have to bridge the gap between what an 8" and a 5" are capable of.

And that's without discussing whether your room is fit for a sub (hint: it's not).


The only thing that really matters in a commercial sense is accuracy of translation. If what you hear in your room conveys well to the outside world, then whatever you're doing (no matter how accurate in a technical sense) is working. Generally speaking, the room and driver size should be directly (as opposed to inversely) proportional. A large driver (8 or 10 inches) in a small room is more likely to create issues that then need to be resolved than a smaller driver (4 or 5 inches). The larger the room, the more margin you have to go up in size and power handling without breaking things that then need to be fixed, spectrum-wise.

Which brings us back to the beginning. Some guys can mix on NS10s and it translates fully and commercially. If what you have works, don't change it. If not, then experiment. But there is no mathematical or definitive answer to the question. Or to put it another way, the space you're occupying matters far more than the sub/no sub question.

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