Newcomers sometimes think that studio monitors are a waste of money and will listen to music on cheap earphones, headphones or even laptop speakers. This article will prove why studio monitors are perfect for your home DJ setup.
Why use studio monitors?
The main difference between a studio monitor and casual speakers is the attention to precision in sound. Studio monitors are designed to deliver the most accurate, uncolored representation possible of your audio projects.
Studio monitors are the result of exhaustive engineering based on hi-end components and latest achievements in audio technologies. That’s what sets them apart from casual speakers and makes them a higher price category product.
What to look for in a studio monitor
Wattage. This will determinate the output power of a monitor. Typically the wattage will be much greater than a PA system. The choice would normally be based on the size of your studio environment and your personal preferences.
Frequency range. Standard range for a studio monitor is roughly 50 Hz - 20 kHz and can handle most audio projects. A studio monitor should be able to reproduce its specified hertz range without any distortions or variations.
Total harmonic distortion (THS). This tells you how accurately the monitor can reproduce the frequencies in a presented spectrum. When it comes to THS, less is more. A hi-end monitor will come with close to zero values like 0.001 or 0.005.
Should I get an active or passive type of monitor?
Active or powered monitors are designed to run independently from other devices as all the necessary components are already built in. This type of studio monitor is good for beginners as no extra knowledge is needed on setup.
Passive or unpowered monitors require an external power amp to run them properly. That’s why passive monitors are a better option for more experienced DJs who want lots of customization options.
Recommendations on different budgets
For beginner DJs/producers on a budget the KRK Rokit 5 G3 is an excellent choice. Coming in around $300, this monitor is a popular choice for amateur engineers and artists around the globe.
Intermediate users might want to consider the Yamaha HS8. With a $700 price tag, this product is famous for its incredible accuracy and sound reproduction technologies and makes sure your work meets highly recognised industry standards.
For experienced audio professionals and audiophiles there is the Mackie HR824 MK2. At around $1400, they are worth every penny. Back in the day this series revolutionized audio studio monitoring and continues to be a market leader in product development.
Tips to get the most from your studio monitor
Basically, the sound coming from your computer’s sound card will not provide hi-end quality. That’s why it’s important to use the proper audio interface when pairing your workstation with studio monitors.
For best results we recomend extra accessories like pads and wall isolation blocks. This way sonic isolation between the surface, as well as sound will be properly absorbed eliminating any reflections.