Best Budget Studio Monitors 2020

Due to the fact that this is the last piece of equipment in the chain before your ears hear the sound….

Your choice in a studio monitor is a critical one

Mind you, this is an area where you can spend excessive amounts of money

So, it’s important to set some sort of limits for yourself in terms of how much to spend

Honestly, the difference between a $1,500 set of monitors and a $15,000 set of monitors in a home studio environment is not going to be that dramatic for a number of reasons

The primary reason will be your studio acoustics

Granted, if you were in an ideal acoustic environment the difference would be more dramatic

So the general rule of thumb is to spend more on your room treatment than on your monitors

I will get off my soapbox now and introduce your choices

1) KRK Rokit 5

These are the monitors I started out with and they suited me just fine when I was getting started

I think I got sucked in by the pretty yellow cones on the speakers

You have to admit it dresses up as Studio pretty nicely

These are arguably the most popular studio monitors for the home environment on the market today

Most studio monitors in this price range get a lot of criticism

These particular monitors probably get the least criticism of all in this price range

Check out the prices here


Here are a couple of other decent options to add to your list 

2) Yamaha HS8

The Yamaha ns10 was the industry standard for many years

The new Yamaha hs-8 was designed to replicate the original ns10 sound

Just like the rocket KRK the Yamaha is distinguishable by its White driver cone

Well the Yamaha hs-8 does not sound exactly like the old ns10s, they are similar in the sense that they have a heavy mid-range Focus

This is ideal since mid-range frequencies are the most competitive in a mix

Therefore, it’s necessary to have a speaker that expresses mid-range well if you’re going to sort out those frequencies in a mix

There are a number of speakers Yamaha makes in this category

Here is the list and some comparison pricing

3) Event 20/20

Event opal is the flagship product from this company

Many of the features and technology in the event opal have been used in the event 20/20

Improvements in design from the original include lower harmonic distortion and a significant increase in power

Some of the features include

A bass part on the front 4 Truer Bass response

250 watts of power which is a lot speaker the size

According to the company website

The very first incarnation of this particular speaker was used by Francis Buckley to mix Quincy Jones 1996 Grammy award-winning album Q’s Jook Joint

Look here to compare prices 

4) Dynaudio BM5 mkIII

You have probably heard of dynaudio in the past

They were established in 1977 and are currently one of the top brands in studio monitors

They have a sophisticated look and a sophisticated sound to match

They are priced in the upper range of the entry-level but certainly have a quality of sound to match the price

Some of their top features include

A proprietary high frequency technology

Frequency filters for low mid and high

A bass reflex cabinet design

Check them out here

5) Mackie HR 824 MK II

Better known for their mix consoles, MacKay is another contender in the studio monitor field as well

The Mackie 824 is a very popular model in the space

One of the standard features on this monitor is the separate settings to control Bass Performance depending on the dimension of your room

Check out the prices here 

6) Neumann KH 120

Norman is best known for their high-end microphones

They entered the studio monitor space back in 2010

Their initial offering was the Neumann KH line which features their best-known speaker than women KH 120

Packed with features including

MMD mathematically modeled dispersion technology

Titanium drivers

Composite Fabric in the cone design

Check them out here

Also, check out the KH 120 D which has a number of additional digital monitoring features

7) Adam A7x

The Germans are known for their technology and Adam is a German company that lives up to this expectation

The Adam a7x is my personal choice in a studio monitor

Unique features in the speaker include the X-Art Tweeter and the Dual ported front bass reflex

The specs are extremely impressive in this speaker

Capable of producing high frequencies well beyond the human hearing range

Extremely robust bass response for a small speaker

I have to admit the first time I heard them I was absolutely Blown Away

One criticism I do have is that the Adam a7x 10 to sound a little too nice

Like any speaker, it simply takes a bit of getting used to measure your translation from studio room to other environments

Check out some prices here

8) Genelec M040

Genelec has always had a premiere reputation

While the prices tend to be in the upper range for a home studio

There’s sound and frequency response will certainly not disappoint

There is a reason that Genelec has been considered a premier monitor for as many years as it has

For me, it was a toss-up between the Genelec and the Adam a7x

If you’re looking add speakers in the Upper price range for home studio these will definitely make your list

Key features include

A downward-facing port for the bass

Class D power amplifiers for low energy consumption

Intelligent signal sensing auto power off

Check out some pricing here

9) Focal Twin6 Be

The only 3-way monitor on our list

Sporting two Bass drivers and a single tweeter

While most monitors would have a larger single base diaphragm the Dual cone configuration creates a very tight bass response

This is desirable particularly in small rooms

You may be thinking…..

Wow, these are pretty pricey how did they make the list?

After all, they’re pretty pricey monitors for a home studio

You with I think this would affect their popularity but you would be wrong

If you listen in various recording forums you will see the focal twins being suggested by more other users than just about any monitor out there

At least this has been my experience

Check out some prices below

Last on the list

10) Avantone Mix Cubes

Well I’ll probably not a stand-alone choice for a studio

The Avant owns fill a particular need in the studio environment

Modeled on the Auratone 5c Super Sound Cube

The Avant owns were designed to be a secondary monitor to replicate the sound of radio speakers or ceiling speakers in department stores

There is a need for secondary monitoring to reflect the frequency response of these types of common speakers so often found in public environments

Back in the day, just about every recording studio had a pair of Auratones mixed in with Yamaha ns10 as the standard configuration

Avantone has recreated that in their new mix cubes

Check them out here