For most of those who know what they need in terms of performance and features, a set of monitors in the $500 range offers the best value for the money. Some of the absolute best monitors on the market currently can be found here as well. With that said, those extra features mean another layer of things to research when making a choice. In order to help you get through this with the least amount of frustration, we've found the best monitor speakers under $500 you can get right now. Let's take a closer look and see what we have.
7 Best Studio Monitor Speakers Under $500
Studio monitors can be quite a variable beast, and you never know quite what you’re going to get. With this model, Edifier has really delivered the best of all possible worlds: a beautiful design, build quality that outshines all the competition, and an overall listening experience that performs about as well as you could possibly hope for. A fantastic choice.
If you’re in the market for a pair of mid-tier studio monitors that can deliver an exceptional audio performance whilst also providing a decent amount of customization and a pleasant aesthetic, then the Rokit 6 G3s are the obvious choice. A lack of presence in the low-end is made up for by a fantastic overall listening experience.
With the LSR308s, JBL has renewed its commitment to prioritising audio above all. This is very much a no-frills design: a sparse cabinet, little visual flair. But that’s because the emphasis is on the listening experience which, to its credit, is fantastic. If you’re in the market for studio monitors that solely deliver quality audio, this is a great choice.
Yamaha’s HS8 is the largest member of the HS series. As such, it brings that trademark performance we are used to seeing from these monitors, but also a lot of power. If you are looking for a proven setup for home or studio use, this is one model that should be near the top of your list.
Mackie XR824 is a member of their more niche series of studio monitors. This thing comes packing 160 Watts of power being pushed through an 8" woofer and a 1" dome tweeter. Combined, these two transducers offer a very flat tone that is just perfect for music production, regardless of genre.
PreSonus Eris E8 offer the complete package. These monitors are impressively transparent considering their price, while they also offer a lot of tone shaping capabilities. When it comes to bang for the buck, getting a set of these is among the top few choices you can make at the moment.
ADAM Audio has done a good job with the F7s. While they may lack something in the way of visual appeal, and while the cabinets feel a little less robust and premium than similar models, the quality is all in the listening. Ribbon tweeters make a big difference, and the sound overall is powerful, agile, and enjoyable to listen to.
What Can A $500 Set Of Monitors Do For You?
Compared to more affordable speakers belonging to the $300 range, the stuff you can get for only $200 more is significantly better all around. We can divide these improvements into three distinct categories. First one is going to be raw performance, then we have the built-in features, and finally the design. You are guaranteed to see improvements in all three of these categories. We are going to start with raw performance to kick things off.
With a budget of $500, manufacturers are often going to include a decent set of transducers. You are going to see a lot of Kevlar woofers, which are soft but rigid enough to give you good response even in lower ends of the range. Similar goes for tweeters. Both transducers are going to be fast movers which translate to high definition and high sensitivity. On top of that, you will see a lot more professionally engineered waveguides, which also has a positive impact on the overall performance.
Monitors in this price range will give you the taste of what the high end, $1000 monitor speakers have to offer. It is also important to mention that power outputs are going to usually be above 100 Watts per speaker. The large majority of models we are looking at here will feature a bi-amped Class A/B setup that powers each speaker individually, reducing chances of conflict between them.
One of the more important aspects of getting the transparency necessary for music production is to set up the speakers in relation to the room you are using. Every speaker in the $500 price range will have some sort of acoustic control on the back panel. Without these, all that improved performance would go to waste. The range of these controls varies from model to model.
Lastly, we have the design of the cabinets. If you've been looking into cheaper speakers, chances are you will notice the lack of flashy designs and colors. Speakers found in the $500 segment of the market are often going to be pretty simple in appearance. However, their design is focused almost entirely on performance.
Investing in a $500 monitor speaker is a sound decision that will definitely benefit you down the line. The models we have shown you today are by far some of the best you can get at the moment. Interestingly enough, all of these have been around for a while, living to see several updates along the way. What is more important is that we have access to a very satisfactory level of performance at a price that is acceptable a large percentage of the user base. With that said, we definitely hope you have found something that works for you.