From a practical point of view, studio monitors are the only true way to know how your music is going to sound. You can tweak all the parameters you want in your DAW, but until you can actually hear the end result, you won’t know what you’re dealing with.
Being that essential to the work flow, many people think that they need to spend a lot of money on their monitors.
That is not necessarily true. There are numerous decent options on the market that won’t break your bank account. We have selected three such models which we consider to be the best studio monitors under 300 dollars at this moment.
Let’s see what we got – Our List
– Presonus Eris E5 –
If there’s one brand which is known for their balance of quality and price, it is PreSonus. The Eris E5 model we chose for this list is one of their best selling products, and for a good reason.
Many amateur and professional producers opted to have these as their main, or backup rig, and you will definitely find the Eris E5 in a lot of professional recording studios.
PreSonu Eris E5 sport a very capable 5.25-inch Kevlar woofer and a 1-inch silk dome tweeter on top. The woofer is accompanied by an acoustic port that enhances the low frequency range to an extent. The amp is an 80 Watt class AB unit which makes the Eris E5 a pretty powerful monitor.
On the back side you will find the RCA, TLR and XLR ports along with adjustment knobs which allow you to form the sound according to the acoustic properties of your room or studio.
Right out of the box Eris E5 will sound very bright. They are not overly flat, but you will get more than enough sonic accuracy and definition. Bass frequencies are somewhat limited compared to a larger set, but keep in mind that these monitors were meant to be used in a smaller room where adding extra bass would only bring trouble.
In essence, PreSonus Eris E5 offer a clear and revealing reproduction of your music, which is exactly what yo want good set of monitors to do.
Behringer has dedicated a lot of their R’n’D time in order to find a perfect solution for studio monitors. Whether they reached that point is yet to be seen, but somewhere along the way they’ve developed the Truth B1030a studio monitors.
The name they chose for this model is somewhat indicative of what you can expect from these speakers. Behringer Truth B1030a is a true reference studio monitor developed with an ability to adapt to just about any kind of room shape and acoustic property.
For an affordable studio monitor, Behringer Truth B1030a offers great features. It sports a 5.25-inch wear-resistant Kevlar woofer, with a 1-inch silk dome tweeter. Pretty standard stuff, however the wave guides found on this speaker give it a broad sonic field. Compared to most other monitors who have a very defined focal point, this is a refreshing feature.
The precision class AB amps deliver a combined 75 Watts of power, and are sporting active protection circuits. On the back of Behringer Truth B1030a you’ll find an XLR, 1/4-inch, and unbalanced RCA inputs, along with the three controls which allow you to adjust the performance of these monitors according to the acoustic properties of your room.
Sonic accuracy is something that you can count on with Behringer Truth B1030a monitors. The sound is flat enough to reveal subtle details throughout the frequency range, while you still get rich bass and sharp trebles. The way they are set up, these monitors can be used for prolonged periods of time without inducing that horrible fatigue.
If you’re on a tight budget, M-Audio has a set of studio monitors that will get you the sound you need at a reduced price. These are perfect for beginner producers, and anyone who just wants to hear their music in an analytical way.
M-Audio Studiophile AV 40s come with a set of AB class amps, each capable of delivering 20 Watts to their respective channels. The woofer is a 4-inch unit coated with polypropylene, and above it you’ll find a single ferofluid cooled silk dome tweeter.
On the back you will find a very simple layout consisting of TRS and unbalanced RCA inputs. There are no acoustics adjustment controls or XLR on M-Audio Studiophile AV 40s. There are two 1/8-inch inputs on the front of the speaker, a headphone out and stereo aux in.
The sound is impressive considering the price of this unit. Audio snobs will tell you that they are just not flat enough, but for their intended purpose, they offer more than enough sonic accuracy and clarity.
Even at low volume, you will still be able to easily pick up different details of the music you are listening. On a similar note, once you crank up the heat, you won’t experience sound distortion at high volume. These monitors are a living proof that low price doesn’t mean low performance.
To sum up
Contrary to what some people say, you can easily find great studio monitors under $300. There’s even enough maneuvering space for you to choose which features you want for your setup.
These three monitors we’ve listed above are all more than capable of delivering a solid experience, and are some of the best, if not the best studio monitors under 300 dollars.
PreSonus and Behringer give you more flexibility of use, while M-Audio caters to the budget crowd. As you can see, there’s something for everyone and hopefully you found this article helpful in your quest to find a perfect set of monitors for you.