What We Like
- Great performance.
- Rock solid build quality.
- Lots of power at your disposal.
What We Don’t Like
- Somewhat crude acoustic space controls.
When Yamaha first released their HS series of monitors, it didn’t take long for us to fall in love with them. On that note, these are still some of the best monitors you can grab for less than $500.
One of the things that drew instant attention to the HS series was their design. While most brands raced to offer something visually appealing in the affordable range, Yamaha went with a truly minimalist setup that is based around pure simplicity. That same design was applied to the entire HS series, making them pretty clean looking.
Yamaha used decent MDF for the cabs all around, even on the baffle. It is worth noting that these come in both black and white versions, but are not single-color. On the black version, Yamaha installs a white driver, giving the speaker a nice but not overly aggressive touch. One more thing that makes the design of HS8, and all other speakers in the series, so efficient is the build quality.
These things are built like tanks. No amount of vibration will get out of the cab and thus endanger the integrity of the sound.
Yamaha HS8 comes with a single 8″ cone woofer and a one, 1″ tweeter on top. The beauty of Yamaha’s design is that each transducer is powered separately, meaning that you won’t have to deal with conflicting frequencies. The woofer packs some 75 Watts while the tweeter punches with 45 Watts of power. Considering that these are still near field in nature, that much power is more than what most of the user base will need on average.
In the back, you will find acoustic room controls as well as high trim response controls. Both of these come in form of switches rather than knobs, which isn’t too big of a deal seeing how well optimized the settings are. Yamaha has included both TRS and XLR inputs, which is pretty standard for this price range.
With all that said, it is obvious the simplicity of HS series transcends aesthetics and goes into functionality as well. Would more extensive room controls be better? Probably, but HS8 is still capable of adapting to just about any standard room.
When it comes to performance, things get pretty interesting. We already knew that Yamaha’s HS series are fairly transparent. However, one of the issues smaller and more affordable members of this family had was the size of the driver. With an 8“woofer now in place, you can get that same transparency even in the lowest segments of the frequency range.
The definition of sound is impressive, especially when you hit that sweet spot in the near field. Having so much range makes the HS8 a great candidate for producers who work in various genres of music. This monitor can handle just about anything. The only thing to keep in mind is that the port in the back needs to be away from the wall. That is a small price to pay for the type of performance this thing offers. Whether you are a professional or an enthusiast, a pair of HS8 monitors will introduce you to that flat output we all seek.
At the end of the day, we pretty much already knew what HS8 would sound like. Even so, it brought a few pleasant surprises. This is a great monitor, a great speaker in general and is worth every dime.