Best Studio Monitor Speakers in India for Home Studios

Are you setting up your own home studio? Are your tracks not sounding professional enough because you only have a pair of headphones to mix them? Whichever it may be, it is always a good idea to get a pair of studio monitor speakers.

best-studio-monitors-in-india

Monitor speakers have been the traditional choice for mixing and mastering for decades. Up until a point in time, they were really expensive and only decorated the walls of high-budget, professional studios that were either hired or owned by big record labels.

Also Read: How to Build a Budget Home Studio in India!!

This is definitely not the case now! Studio monitors are becoming more affordable by the day. Coupled with high quality, inexpensive audio interfaces, there has not been a better time for setting up a home studio.

In this article, we have handpicked some of the best studio monitors in India for 2021. If you want to see our picks, click here right away. If you want to dig deeper, there is a Buying Guide and FAQ’s section.

Our 3 Best Recommendations for Studio Monitor Speakers in India:

Budget Winner: Presonus Eris E3.5

Overall Winner (Premium): Kali Audio LP6

Most Versatile: JBL 104

Comparing the Best Studio Monitor Speakers in India

PRODUCTSOUNDCLARITY/ DETAILCONNECTIVITYVOLUMEBUILDOVERALL
Mackie CR3-X7/105/109/107/106/107/10
JBL 1048/106/109/108/107/108/10
Alesis Elevate 5 MkII7/107/108/1010/109/108/10
PreSonus Eris E3.58/108/109/107/109/109/10
M-Audio AV32  7/106/106/105/109/106/10
Kali Audio LP-69/109/1010/109/108/109.5/10
JBL 305PMKII9/108/108/1010/108/109/10
Yamaha HS58/1010/108/109/1010/109/10

Best Budget Studio Monitors in India for Home Studio

MackieCR3-X

MackieCR3-X-studio-monitor
Active/PassiveActive
Output power50W
Woofer size3-inch
Tweeter size0.75-inch
Frequency Range80Hz-20KHz
Inputs¼ inch Standard(Balanced), RCA(Unbalanced), 1/8 inch Aux-in
Outputs1/8 inch Headphone-out
Size(L x W x H)18 cmx 14 cm x 20.6 cm
Weight3.5Kg
ValueMedium

With a power output of 50W, the Mackie CR3 is a great addition to any home studio. It has a frequency response range of 60Hz-20Khz. The CR3 comes with a woofer size of 3-inch. It also comes in a Bluetooth variant, which can be really convenient if you want to get rid of tangling wires.

The CR3-X is a back-firing speaker. Therefore, a distance of at least 4 inches has to be maintained between the wall and the rear of the speaker so that the sound does not get muffled. The overall frequency response is not as flat as you would prefer for music production purposes.

The build quality is quite good considering that it is plastic. At the back, it is equipped with standard ¼” balance/unbalanced input, a stereo RCA input and a 1/8” aux input.

What We Like
  • Super affordable
  • Great for listening to music
  • Can be used for gaming as well
  • Left/Right switchable speakers
What We Don’t Like
  • Not the best for audio mixing and production
  • Paper-like speaker cones

JBL Professional 1 Series, 104

JBL Professional 1 Series-104-studio-monitor
Active/PassiveActive
Output Power60W
Woofer size4.5-inch
Tweeter size0.75-inch
Frequency Range80Hz-20KHz
Inputs¼ inch Standard(Balanced), RCA(Unbalanced), 1/8 inch Aux-in
Outputs1/8 inch Headphone-out with speaker-mute
Room CorrectionNo
Size (L x W x H)12.4 cm x 15.3 cm x 24.7 cm
Weight3.8kg
ValueHigh

The first thing that will strike you about the JBL 104 is its unusual good looks. Most studio monitors in every budget category are usually very plain-looking. Hope other manufacturers take a cue from JBL regarding this. The 104 is a 60 Watt studio monitor with a 4.5inch woofer.

This is a back-firing speaker and, therefore, the rear needs some clearance from the nearest wall in order to perform at its best. The sound quality, clarity, and detail is exceptional if you consider the price range. The low-end is where the 104 falls short. However, a good sub-woofer upgrade can more than compensate for this.

These monitors are made of plastic but the front grill is metal. The build does not feel cheap at all. The front houses a headphone output with a mute feature and the rear has stereo RCA and TRS inputs.

What We Like
  • Very affordable
  • Good clarity and detail for the price
  • Great looking monitors
  • Headphone out with mute feature
What We Don’t
  • Lacks low-end
  • No Bluetooth

AlesisElevate 5 MkII

AlesisElevate 5 MkII-studio-monitor
Active/PassiveActive
Output Power80W
Woofer size5-inch
Tweeter size1-inch
Frequency Range56Hz-20KHz
Inputs¼ inch Standard(Balanced), RCA(Unbalanced)
Outputs1/8 inch Headphone-out
Room CorrectionNo
Size (L x W x H)22.1 cm x 18.4 cm x 26.9 cm
Weight5.6Kg
ValueMedium

The Elevate 5 MkII is a budget 80W studio monitor with a 5-inch woofer. Its tweeter is elliptically shaped for better sound dispersion and a widened sweet-spot.

This is a back firing monitor with decent bass and overall sound considering the price range of these speakers. It is great as a multimedia speaker but may not be the best choice for professional mixing purposes. Lack of low-end can be compensated by using the bass-boost switch at the back.

The best thing about the Elevate 5 Mkii is that it’s cabinet is made out of high-density wood. This ensures that unwanted rattling and resonance, which can be very bothersome in any studio setup, gets dampened. Stereo 1/4inch and RCA inputs can be found at the back. The front has a 1/8” headphone out and a volume control knob.

What We Like
  • Wooden cabinet
  • Decent clarity
  • Bass boost switch makes casual listening more pleasurable
What We Don’t
  • High sound levels could cause some distortion
  • Headphone output level is low

PreSonus Eris E3.5

PreSonus-Eris E3.5-studio-monitor
Active/PassiveActive
Output Power50W
Woofer size3.5-inch
Tweeter size0.75-inch
Frequency Range80Hz-20KHz
Inputs¼ inch Standard(Balanced), RCA(Unbalanced), 1/8 inch Aux-in
Outputs1/8 inch Headphone-out with speaker-mute
Room CorrectionYes
Size (L x W x H) 16.2 cm x 14.1 cm x 21 cm
Weight2.9Kg
ValueVery High

Presonus has truly hit one out-of-the-stadium with the Eris E3.5. These monitors hold exception value for the price. The 3.5” woofer might not be the biggest in the price range but is made out of Kevlar and not just some flimsy paper material. With an output of 50W, these monitors should be sufficient for any home studio.

These back-firing speakers have excellent clarity and detail. The frequency response is flatter than most monitors in this range. The bass is pretty tight and punchy as compared to other budget monitors that have a “boomy” bass.

Construction-wise the Eris E3.5 feels very solid but lightweight at the same time. The rear houses stereo RCA and balanced TRS 1/4inch inputs. The front panel has two 1/8th ports for aux-in and headphone out, respectively.

This is the only monitor in the price range to have acoustic tuning controls for highs and lows. Therefore, if you have an untreated room, then these monitors will be able to compensate to some extent.

What We Like
  • Kevlar woofer
  • Solid construction
  • Flat frequency response and punchy bass
  • Room-correction controls
What We Don’t
  • Left/right speakers not switchable

M-Audio AV32

M-Audio AV32
Active/PassiveActive
Output Power20W
Woofer size3-inch
Tweeter size1-inch
Frequency Range80Hz-20KHz
InputsRCA(Unbalanced), 1/8 inch Aux-in
Outputs1/8 inch Headphone-out
Room CorrectionNo
Size (L x W x H)16.0cm x 13.5cm x 20.1 cm
Weight2.5Kg
ValueMedium

The AV32 is a 10W budget studio monitor with a 3-inch woofer. The woofer and tweeter are polypropylene coated and, hence, are sturdier than other flimsy materials. The shape of the tweeter wave-guide stands out among other monitors. Some, however, do not prefer the aesthetic side of it.

The AV32 has nice clarity in both highs and mids.It is back-firing. The low-end might feel a little “boomy” if accuracy is what you are after. Other than this, this is a really good monitor for a budget home studio.

The medium-density fibreboard (MDF) construction feels good. It also means that both the monitors (left and right) are perfectly matched as MDF is extremely homogenous unlike wood or plastic. Connectivity, on the AV32, is limited to a single stereo RCA input. The front panel has two 1/8inch ports for aux-in and headphone-out, respectively, and a volume control knob.

What We Like
  • Perfectly matched left and right monitors due to MDF construction
  • Good clarity in highs and mids
  • Polypropylene coated woofer for better durability
What We Don’t
  • Boomy bass
  • No balanced input available

Best Premium Studio Monitors for a Home Studio

Kali Audio LP-6(Single-unit)

best-studio-monitor-in-india
Active/PassiveActive
Output Power80W
Woofer size6.5-inch
Tweeter size1-inch
Frequency Range39Hz-25KHz
InputsRCA(Unbalanced), TRS(balanced),XLR(balanced)
Room CorrectionYes(DIP switches)
Size(L x W x H)26.2cm x 22.4cm x 35.8 cm
Weight7Kg
ValueVery High

With 80 Watts of power and a 6.5inch woofer, the Kali Audio LP6 is a powerhouse of a studio monitor. It is loud enough to rattle the walls of your bedroom and clear enough to let you hear every little detail in your mix. The best thing about the LP6, though, is its best-in-class stereo imaging and 3-D soundstage.

Another good thing about the LP6 is that it has front firing ports. This means that you can place these monitors close to a wall without greatly affecting the frequency response. It also has dedicated DIP switches for room correction.

Build quality of the Kali LP6 feels quite premium. However, the front of the cabinet does not line up with body and looks aesthetically displeasing to some extent. Connectivity wise it has plenty of options: balanced XLR, 1/4inch TRS and unbalanced RCA inputs. The volume control knob is at the back which can be a bit annoying.

What We Like
  • Best-in-class stereo imaging
  • Great clarity
  • Flat frequency response
  • DIP switches for room correction
  • Good low-end
  • No volume fluctuation at cross-over frequencies
What We Don’t
  • Slight hiss when idle at high volume setting
  • Plain looks

JBL Professional 305PMKII-EU(Single-unit)

JBL Professional 305PMKII-EU
Active/PassiveActive
Output Power82W
Woofer size5-inch
Tweeter size1-inch
Frequency Range43Hz-24KHz
InputsTRS(balanced),XLR(balanced)
Room CorrectionYes(Boundary EQ, HF Trim)
Size (L x W x H)23.1cm x 18.5 cm x 29.8 cm
Weight4.6Kg
ValueHigh

The 305P MKII from JBL boasts of 82Watts of power which is more than enough for any home studio. It has a 5-inch woofer that is capable of generating a deep low-end. This makes the 305P MkII very pleasant to hear. Thus, it can also double as speakers for casual music listening.

The 305P MKII has rear firing ports. This means that it needs sufficient clearance from the nearest wall to have a flat frequency response. At the rear, it has a boundary EQ for bass adjustment and a HF trim for adjusting the high frequencies according to the acoustics of the room.

The build is pretty solid for this monitor but the glossy front panel just does not work for some. For connectivity, it has balanced XLR and TRS inputs. RCA inputs are not present (a converter cable is required for this!)

What We Like
  • Extremely flat frequency response
  • Tight and punchy bass
  • Boundary EQ and HF Trim controls for room correction
  • Input Sensitivity control
What We Don’t
  • Volume dip at crossover frequencies
  • Slight distortion/clipping at high volumes

Yamaha HS5 Studio Monitor (Single-unit)

Yamaha HS5 Studio Monitor
Active/PassiveActive
Output Power70W
Woofer size5-inch
Tweeter size1-inch
Frequency Range54Hz-30KHz
InputsTRS(balanced),XLR(balanced)
Room CorrectionYes(Room control, High Trim)
Size (L x W x H)22.2cm x 17 cm x 28.5 cm
Weight14.7Kg(Two-monitors)
ValueHigh

If you have an acoustically untreated room, then the HS5 could be the best option for you. This is because it has a very natural and neutral sounding low-end from its 5” woofer, even in untreated rooms. The 1inch tweeter, on the other hand, produces pleasant highs and has a widened sweet spot.

The HS5 is a rear-firing monitor and, therefore, needs to be placed away from the walls. The room-correction switch is basically a pad-switch that rolls off decibels from the low-end. A similar switch is present for the high frequencies as well.

The build of the HS5 feels very solid and the monitor looks great in any setup. For input, TRS and XLR connectivity is available. It does not have any RCA input.

What We Like
  • Very flat sounding monitors even in untreated rooms
  • Premium build
  • Great clarity
What We Don’t
  • Not meant for casual listening
  • Slightly mid-boosted

How to Set-up Studio Monitors in a Home Studio?

Setting up your monitors properly in your home studio is crucial for optimum results. Every little detail matters. It is also important to know what you are doing at every step. Here are a few vital pointers to guide you through the process:

Positioning the Monitors

The importance of this step cannot be stressed enough. No matter how good or “expensive” your monitors are, if you position them incorrectly with respect to your room, they won’t work as intended.

Monitors can be placed in different ways depending upon the size, shape and acoustics of your room.

If your room is spacious, the intensity of sound reflections from the walls will be less. In this case, the acoustics of the room will have less impact on what you hear.

If the room is small, it is absolutely necessary to have it acoustically treated. Acoustic foam and bass traps can help dampen the reflections to a great extent.

The shape of the room also determines where the speakers should be placed. If your room has a rectangular shape, it is advised to place the monitors along the longer walls. This allows the projected sound to have more room.

Your own position in relation to the monitors is also important. An ideal place to start would be by forming an equilateral triangle between you and the two speakers. Also, the speakers should be angled to point at your head directly.

Lastly, the focal point of the speaker, i.e., the point between the tweeter and the woofer cone, should be at the same level as your ears.

While placing the monitors, it is important to keep in mind that these guidelines only serve as a starting point. As there are a lot of variables involved, it is up to you to experiment and find out the “sweet spot” in your room.

Connecting to an Audio-Interface

Monitors and audio interfaces usually have two types of inputs/outputs: Balanced and Unbalanced. Balanced inputs have better noise rejection. They are less prone to electrical hum caused by other unbalanced loads in the room like Fluorescent lamps etc. 

XLR and 1/4th inch TRS (Tip-Ring-Sleeve) cables are examples of balanced inputs.

Standard, stereo RCA connector, that we find on equipment like old TV sets, is an example of an unbalanced input.

Depending on what kind of output your audio interface has and the kind of input that your monitors accept, you will have to choose a type of cable to connect them.

If your monitor and audio interface have different kinds of inputs and outputs, then you will need a converter.

Do Studio Monitors require an amplifier to operate?

In the early days, studio monitors had to be operated with a separate amplifier. The amplifier had to be matched with the speaker for optimum performance. These monitors were called passive studio monitors.

Nowadays, amplifier technology has advanced to a level where the circuits are small enough to fit inside the body of the studio monitor itself. A monitor that has a built-in amplifier is called an active monitor. Most monitors that you find these days are active.

What to Look For…

Power or Wattage

Power or Wattage of a studio monitor is not just about the amount of volume that it can produce. Of course, higher the wattage, the louder are the monitors. However, having monitors with a higher wattage has an added advantage – greater dynamic range.

Having more dynamic range equates to better transient response. Consequently, the difference between loud and soft is more perceivable. Therefore, the sound output is more detailed and subtle adjustments in equalisers and compressors etc. will be more apparent and easier to apply.

Single, Bi, Tri-Amp

Monitors can also be classified into three categories based on the number of amplifiers that they use. Single-amp monitors have only one amp for all frequencies. Bi-amp monitors have two separate amplifiers, one each for low and high frequencies bands.

Tri-amps, on the other hand, have separate amps for low, mid, and high frequencies. Having separate amps for each frequency band produces a flatter frequency response. It also provides more clarity and definition to the overall output.

Frequency Range and Response

The frequency range determines how high and how low the monitors can drive their output. The frequency response, however, is a measure of how even the output remains over the entire frequency range. A flatter frequency response means that the sound will be less coloured and more accurate.

It is more important for studio monitors to have a flat frequency response than having a larger frequency range. Although, range comes into play in case of bass heavy music.

Near, Mid and Far Field

Basically, there are three categories of monitors in terms of how far they are designed to project their sound. Near-Field monitors are designed for working at a close range. Mid-field and far-field monitors are better suited for larger rooms.

A lot of sound from mid-field and far-field monitors can get reflected from walls and hence the room has to be acoustically treated in order to eliminate the ambience of the room.

For home studio purposes, near field monitors are best suited. This is because, in case of a home studio, the rooms are generally smaller in size. Also, while mixing, the listener sits much closer to the monitors. Moreover, near field monitors have greater definition and clarity.

Drivers (Two-way/Three-way etc.)

Drivers are flexible and moveable cones that vibrate back and forth to produce the sound wave. This makes drivers one of the most important components of a studio monitor. Drivers could be made of anything ranging from paper to plastic and even metal plates.

Drivers inside a studio monitor are classified into three types: Tweeter (High-frequency Driver), Mid-range and Woofers (low frequency drivers for bass response).

These drivers have different diameters corresponding to the frequency range that they are supposed to handle. Consequently, tweeters are the smallest and Woofers are the largest in terms of size.

For a basic home studio, a monitor with two drivers (two-way monitors) – a tweeter and a woofer, should be sufficient. In some cases, however, the woofer may experience some distortion while producing sound in the mid-range and upper-midrange frequencies. This shortcoming can be avoided with a dedicated driver for mid-range.

Cabinet (Sealed/Ported)

Studio monitors can have two types of cabinets – sealed or ported. In a sealed cabinet setup, the air inside is compressed and expanded in order to vibrate the drivers and, in turn, produce sound. On the other hand, there is the ported cabinet in which there is hole either in the front, rear or bottom of the cabinet to enable movement of air in and out of the cabinet.

For a sealed cabinet, the bass response is tighter and smoother. However, due to relatively higher internal air pressure, the woofer has a limited bass frequency range.

For ported cabinets, the woofer can vibrate more freely. Thus, the bass frequency range is much more extended. Ported cabinets can be designed to specifically boost the bass response by tuning the length and diameter of the port. However, this can colour the sound output too much and defeat the very purpose of a studio monitor.

EQ and Room Correction

Some studio monitors come with built-in equalisers and room correction functionalities. These features are required in order to compensate for the acoustics of the room. Equalisers can be simple three-band (bass, mid, treble) controls or full-fledged graphic equalisers with dedicated LCD displays. Graphic equalisers allow greater fine-tuning. Unfortunately, the can be pricey for a home studio setup.

A simple three-band equaliser should suffice if a little bit of extra money and planning goes into the acoustic treatment of the room. This will prove to be a much more effective and cheaper option.

Verdict

Budget: Presonus Eris E3.5 is the clear winner here! The build quality and room-correction features that it provides at the price-point is just incredible.

Premium: In our opinion, if you are looking for a long-term investment for your home studio then look no further than the Kali Audio LP6. It has true professional clarity and detail in its output.

FAQs

What are Studio Monitor Speakers?

Studio Monitors are used to playback the audio that is being mixed and mastered. In other words, they are used to “monitor” the mix. They are specially designed to reproduce a sound accurately and without any colouration.

This means that studio monitors do not emphasize certain frequencies more than others. In that sense, they can be thought of as speakers that have a lot of clarity and detail in their output but are well-balanced at the same time.

How are Studio Monitors different from Regular Speakers?

So, why not use regular speakers as monitors? The answer is short – Because they do not have a flat frequency response.

Studio monitors, on the other hand, have a near-flat frequency response. This means that their output has the same amount of gain for all frequencies. They do not tend to colour the sound or try to make it sound sweeter by highlighting certain frequencies.

It is easier to mix a track on studio monitors as you get a neutral perspective. This is important to ensure that the final mix sounds good when played through any speaker.

Do I need Studio Monitors?

The problem of mixing through regular bookshelf speakers is that your mix might not sound the same when played through a different sound system. This is because while mixing, you are essentially, trying to make the audio sound good on the speakers that you are using. If the speakers are not neutral sounding, they end up emphasizing certain “qualities” that might not actually be present in the original mix.

So, what about monitor headphones that have a flat frequency response? They are a portable and cheaper option, aren’t they?

Well, the answer is both yes and no. While headphones have their own importance in a studio environment, they cannot replace studio monitor speakers for a number of reasons.

Mixing on a headphone does not give you a proper stereo image of the mix. Techniques like panning and stereo widening, sound different and are difficult to perceive through headphones. Also, it is difficult to judge the depth of effects like reverb etc. through headphones.

Having said that, there are many professional music producers who mix using headphones and get good results. This is primarily because they have been using their headphones for a significant amount of time and have gotten used to them. Most, however, prefer to finish a mix on speakers.

Can a Single Monitor be Used for Mixing Instead of a Pair?

Many good studio monitors usually come as a single piece. Therefore, you have to buy two monitors for a stereo (left/right) setup. But would just a single monitor be enough for mixing?

The answer is no. You can definitely mix a mono track with a single monitor. The monitor will still give you some advantages over regular speakers in terms of sound separation, flat frequency response and clarity.

However, anything related to stereo like, stereo-imaging, stereo-widening, panning etc., will require two-monitors.

Just think about the world of difference it makes when you put on both earphones at once instead of just one ear.

Can Studio Monitors be Used for Gaming?

Of course! The primary requirement of gaming is sound clarity. Since studio monitors excel in clarity, you will be able to hear every movement, footstep, and all else that you are meant to hear.

On regular speakers, the background music may muffle these little details that are so important to all gamers!

We recommend either Mackie CR3-X or JBL 104 monitors if you want to have a truly immersive gaming experience!

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