are studio monitors essential?

Do You Really Need Studio Monitors?

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Are studio monitors essential to your mix?

I posed this question on the forum recently and received a lot of very interesting replies. The most surprising thing to emerge from the discussion was that many of our forum members do not use dedicated studio monitors to mix their music. They use hi-fi speakers and often with a domestic hi-fi/stereo system acting as the amp.

Given that these people have produced some truly amazing music over the years, that does beg the question, do we really need to spend money on dedicated studio monitors?

Behringer Studio 50USB

I have used a wide range of studio monitors over the past 20 years or so and whilst some have been really impressive (Yamaha’s HS range for one), it did occur to me that there are some quite elaborate claims made for many of these monitors which never quite seemed to materialise in the real world.

Perhaps under “studio” conditions, these claims might be closer to the truth but, as many of us are using spare rooms in domestic dwellings or even our living rooms, perhaps the true potential of these monitors is lost on us?

My own use of active monitors is more for playing keyboards and guitars than recording. I do use them when making YouTube videos but I am not sure they are “essential” for that purpose. I am currently testing a pair of Behringer 50USB active monitors, which, given their low price point are surprisingly good…and loud! I will be posting a more detailed review of those very soon.

So the question is, do you need studio monitors or is it all hype and could you just as effectively use hi-fi speakers? Let us know in the comments section below or pop over to the forum and join the discussion there.


Read our review of the Yamaha HS7



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