Often times, choosing a good monitor for your home studio comes down to your expectations. Some producers will be content with a $500 set of monitors, while others might require something better. Today we're going to take a look at some of the most capable monitors you can get in the $1000 price range. This is where the real professional gear starts appearing, but also some pleasant surprises. In all honesty, right around a grand is where you will see the best return on your investment. It definitely takes a solid budget to get this mark, but it's worth it.
5 Best Studio Monitors Under $1000
Neumann KH 120 A monitors are the absolute best thing you can get for under $1000. These are clinically accurate, offer an impressive amount of transparency and just work great. This the type of equipment you can easily use in a professional recording studio and hear everything you need to hear.
Sceptre S6 belongs to a family of coaxial monitors. PreSonus took a gamble with this design, but it has definitely paid off. Sceptre S6 brings a refreshing type of performance that you won't find in too many other speakers. For the price, it is fair to say these are a bargain.
In branching out to explore a more affordable sector of the market with their Alpha range, Focal has proved that an essential commitment to quality, detail, and control over every step of the design process can deliver phenomenal results. A gorgeously simple design, the Alpha 65s deliver an almost unparallelled listening experience. An extremely good choice for any use.
Adam Audio A7X bring the benefits of ribbon transducers in its full glory. With a great response across the range, as well as a very transparent output, you are looking at a perfect formula for proper monitoring. The price is pretty good for what you're getting, while these monitors offer a slightly different approach to experiencing your projects.
Genelec have done a great job with the 8010As. Creating a comparatively tiny speaker that delivers a listening experience which begins to approach that of a larger model is no mean feat, but they have managed it with aplomb. Although light on features, the portability and durability of the design alongside its excellent audio performance make it a fantastic choice.
What Makes The $1000 Monitors So Much Better?
Designing and building a decent monitor speaker takes a lot of effort. This is partially due to the fact that their application is much different compared to standard consumer speakers. On the other hand, pushing the speaker to achieve 80% of transparency is fairly easy, but covering the remaining 10% or 15% is where most of the time and effort is invested. That’s why you will hear a very significant difference between a $300 monitor speaker and a $1000 one, even if they look pretty much the same.
This performance boost can be attributed to several factors. The first thing that comes to mind is the quality of transducers as well as the quality of amplifiers. A vast majority of $1000 monitors will be bi-amped. That is something you don’t often see in cheaper segments of the market. Even though monitors that will cost you a grand aren’t as far as monitoring can go, they are by far some of the best speakers you can get for commercial music production. You will often see some of the more popular professional recording studios use some of the models listed above.
Better hardware is almost always going to mean better performance. Especially if the planning and designing phase was executed properly. You would be astonished how much a good waveguide can change the performance of a monitor speaker. It is stuff like this that increases the price of these models. The real question is whether or not you need a $1000 monitor. Every producer will tell you that you should get the best monitors your money can buy. This is absolutely true for a number of reasons. The only situation where you should go for a cheaper option even though you can get an expensive set is if you’re not sure music production is something you want to do long term.
Other than that, monitors are the only piece of gear that will give you a true insight into your mix. Without them, a lot of problematic sections of your project could reach the final product completely unseen. That is something no producer wants to deal with, especially if it is significant enough to be heard on the mastered track.
Investing into a $1000 set of monitors is a big step for many. However, if you’re serious about doing music production in the long run - this is one decision that can boost your performance to a whole new level. Not only will you be able to hear every single subtle detail in your mix, but you will slowly gain a sense of what a proper mix should sound like. The models listed above are some of the most proven monitors you can get in this price range. As such, we definitely recommend them to anyone interested in professional music production.