A pair of quality small studio monitors would be an essential set of audio equipment if you planned to set up a tiny recording studio in your home or even out of your tiny bedroom. It is beneficial to get a pair of small studio monitors if you only have limited space on your desktop. You were slightly left behind if you are still using the built-in computer speakers. At the very least, you will need an affordable and simple pair studio monitor setup to power up your system that suitable for recording studio at bare minimum standard.
Table of Contents
- Things To Consider When Buying Small Studio Monitors
- Most Recommended Small Studio Monitors For Home / Bedroom Studio Setups
Things To Consider When Buying Small Studio Monitors
There are many types of desktop-size studio monitors that are varying in price, size, specifications, sound quality, response frequencies and features. Thus, you will need to do your research and identify the one that most suitable one.
Most small-size studio monitors are suitable for handling and portraying the mid frequencies sound. Due to its smaller LF drivers (Woofers), its sound projected are more emphasis on the clarity of the mid frequencies. And it’s the sound frequencies that vocals and music instruments (guitar, piano, violin) generated. If you tend to use it for heavy sounds such as the drum or DJ applications, you will need the studio monitor that have the bigger woofer to handle those lower frequencies and heavy mix bass sounds.
Monitor Positioning & Placement
Every studio monitor may have their sweet spot placement and position where you will be able to listen to its fullest detail in a certain position. The larger the studio monitor, the wider the sweet spot range. In the matter of fact, the small studio monitor will have limited range of its sweet spot. Thus, you have to find the optimum position carefully to take the most advantages of that particular pair of the studio monitor. You can refer to its manual to adjust its position correctly.
A pair of high-quality monitor speakers should sound and portray the sound as precise and accurate in the balanced mix across all the frequency range. The sound projected must be detailed enough so that you can hear nearly every detail of the sound. And you can listen to your mix clearer while engineering your music.
The frequency response defines the frequencies range that the monitor can portray. As we have just discussed previously in the “Speaker Size” section, the frequencies range well depends on the size of the LF and HF drivers (Woofer and sub-woofer). The wider the frequencies, the more types of music and sound the studio monitor can handle. If you are into the DJ, R&B, heavy metal and electronic kind of music, you will need the studio monitors that utilize the bigger LF & HF drivers. But, in some cases, most studio monitors with wider frequency response might hinder you from mixing the mid-range frequencies accurately. Because this kind of monitors normally portrays more heavy and deep bass sound that will cover up most of the detail mid-range frequency sound.
If you are going to use this small studio monitor for vocal and acoustic instruments purposes, I think that the smaller studio monitor with flat-response will suit for vocal, acoustic instrument applications.
The material that made up the monitors does play a major role affecting its sound quality. There are studio monitors that are made of Kevlar, paper, aluminum alloys, wooden and others. You should be wise to choose the right one regardless of the fancy marketing proclamations.
The power rating of the speaker size and the amplifier determine the volume limit of the monitor system. For smaller studio monitor, you will want the monitors that have modest volume loudness for better mixing and monitoring experience. The sound will be distorted and murky if you play the volume too loud.
Most Recommended Small Studio Monitors For Home / Bedroom Studio Setups
1) IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitor
This iLoud Micro Monitor is a high-end set of studio monitors that is small enough to carry around and the best part; it does come with Bluetooth connection functionality. Thus, it’s a set of quality portable studio monitors that you can ever find on the market currently.
Regarding its size, it’s only with the height of 7.09 inches and width of 3.54 inches. You can easily fit it into your bag and carry it around wherever you go.
All the controlling interfaces and buttons ( EQ switches, rear-mounted volume knob, and Bluetooth pairing button) are housed at the left-hand speaker. And both speakers are TRS 1/8″ and with RCA inputs.
The iLoud Micro Monitors utilize drivers of 3″ woofer, 3/4″ tweeter and a bass reflex port for each speaker. And it does feature 50W RMS with bass response down to 55Hz. Thus, you will be able to enjoy a wider range of frequencies response despite it’s mini in size.
It’s loud enough for a small room studio setup. It is very good at projecting flat frequency response sound with detailed mid-range frequency and moderate bass sounds.
By far, the iLoud Micro Monitors are the most sought-after small and portable studio monitors for those who want to have a high-end quality sound monitoring out of the miniature set of studio monitors. To bear the sound quality consideration in mind, if your desktop or workstation space has being a big issue to you, you can use the iLound Micro monitors set to replace those bulky ones.
2) Genelec 8010A PM
Just like the iLoud Micro Monitor that we have reviewed above, the Genelec 8010A Studio Monitor is another professional and high-end portable studio monitor with Bluetooth connection capability and other great features sitting side-by-side with the iLoud Micro Monitor.
It only weights at 3.3 lbs and considered as one of the best lightweight, and portable studio monitors set that you can carry around wherever you go. It’s slightly bigger than the iLoud Micro Monitor with the dimension of 7.67 inches x 4.76 inches x 4.5 inches. It utilizes drivers of 3” Woofer and 0.75” Dome Tweeter.
With the amplifier of 25W LF and 25W HF. It is capable of handling the Frequency Response of 67Hz-25kHz (-6dB) and also with the crossover frequency of 3kHz. I find that its mid frequencies are quite accurate and well-balanced in a mix.
Distortion is relatively low and capable of portrays mid and high frequencies sound in clarity. But the major issue of this monitor is that its capability of handling the low-end frequencies sound isn’t good enough. And you will need an additional subwoofer to rectify this weakness if needed.
3) Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor
Being weights at 12 lbs with the dimension of 7″ x 9″ x 12″. It’s not quite a portable kind of monitor you can comfortably carry around. But could be a set of good studio monitors that fit into any corner of your home/bedroom studio.
This is a 2-way bass-reflex bi-amplified nearfield studio monitor that utilizes the 5″ cone woofer and a 1″ dome tweeter. This built-up enable it to handle the frequency response range of 54 Hz – 30k Hz.
Furthermore, being packed with several advanced features such as low resonance enclosure design, room control & high TRIM response controls, advanced noise reduction technology, latest transducers, the high-performance 70W Amp unit and the capability of XLR & TRS phone jack inputs to accept balanced and unbalanced signal.
To sum up, the Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor is a quite a good monitor speaker that suitable for the small room studio for professional users.
4) JBL Control 1 Pro High-Performance 150-Watt Miniature Studio Monitor Speaker
With the size of 6.3″ x 5.6″ x 9.3″ and the weights of 8 lbs, The JBL Control 1 Pro is suitable for shelf or wall mount. It also does come with the adjustable angle wall brackets. It also packed with the useful features such as SonicGuard HF overload protection, magnetically shielded transducers for near monitor or ear TV applications and pro drivers; and crossover for better transparent sonic performance.
The JBL Control 1 Pro is one of the affordable studio monitors that suitable for small studio workstation.
5) Behringer MS16 Powered Studio Desktop Monitors
The Behringer MS16 Powered Studio Desktop Monitors set is another affordable desktop monitor set that which is very suitable for multimedia in conjunction with vocal and music monitoring applications.
It is weighted at 7.7 lbs with the size of 5.9″ x 5.5″ x 9.4″ in dimension. It utilizes the 4″ Woofer and high-resolution tweeter which is powered by two 8-watts amplifiers. To sum up, it’s not the high-end studio monitors for professional users. But, indeed, it’s more suitable for the amateur multimedia, vocal, and music monitoring users.