Q Are there any studio monitors available to fit my budget?

Published in SOS September 2010
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I want to get a pair of active monitors to do a bit of home recording and try my hand at producing. I'm not after professional quality, just entry‑level monitors, as my maximum budget is around £180. Do you have any recommendations or advice?

Via SOS web site

SOS Editor In Chief Paul White replies: The answer depends on your room size and, to be honest, your budget is a tight one, but there are a few viable options. If your room is small, 

The M‑Audio AV40 Studiophiles offer decent value if you're on a tight budget, going for as little as £100 a pair in the UK. They're also convenient for a bedroom studio, as they are only six inches wide and have a front-panel volume control.

aim for a speaker with a bass driver no larger than five or six inches, but no smaller than four. Unless you already have a suitable amp, you're better off going for active speakers where the amplifiers are built in. As a very general rule, larger home-studio rooms can take monitors with up to eight‑inch drivers, but these tend to be more expensive. The current Behringer B2030A Truth active speakers offer a good performance/value ratio (though they are slightly over your budget, at around £200 per pair in the UK), as do the Fostex PM04s and the lower‑cost M‑Audio models, such as the Studiophile AV40s and Studiophile BX5A Deluxes (these can all be found in the UK for well below your budget, at as little as £100 for a pair of the Studiophile AV40s).These are all fairly small speakers, so don't expect very deep bass. However, they should all be loud enough for close‑up monitoring. You also need to be aware that the room acoustics and the way you mount your speakers will affect the sound, so you might like to take a look at some of our 'Studio SOS' articles at www.soundonsound.com to help fill the gaps in your knowledge. Bear in mind also that speakers with volume controls on the front may be more convenient if you don't have a monitor level controller.  .


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