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Best Studio Monitors Under $200: Big Sounds for Small Prices

Searching for the best studio monitors you can afford can be exhausting!

I’m sure you’ll agree that we all want our music to sound PERFECT, no matter how anyone is listening to it. Headphones, car stereo or laptop speakers…

We want it sound as amazing as it can!

This is why buying the best studio monitors you can afford is SUPER important when producing music.

In this post I cover:

  • Some of the recommendations – compared
  • What to look for when buying studio monitors
  • Reviews of the recommended monitors

Below you’ll find an exhaustive list of important features to consider when purchasing a high quality studio monitor and our top picks for Best Studio Monitors under $200.

Best Studio Monitors Under $200: Options Compared

  AT A GLANCE  
Edifier R1280DB
  • 4 inch bass
  • Digital inputs
  • 13mm tweeter
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
JBL LSR308
  • 2-way
  • Compact size
  • Class D amplifiers
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
PreSonus Eris E5
  • Acoustic tuning toggles
  • ±6 decibel range
  • Powerful and high quality
VIEW LATEST PRICE →

What to look for in studio monitors?

Regardless of the type of music you’re putting out, if the sound is low quality or distorted, you’re simply not going to get a result you don’t want.

Good speakers enable you to hear the small intricacies of the music you’re creating and editing.

studio monitor

Though many people begin making music using their regular home speakers, these speakers are designed for the ears of the everyday consumer. Their sound is tweaked to make the music sound more pleasant.

However:

When you’re creating and mixing music, you want to start with a flat frequency.

For producers and sound engineers though, it’s important that they’re able to hear every single sound – the good and the bad.

This will allow you to hear your music accurately so that you can mold it into a masterpiece.

See also  Best Audio Interface under $200

While professional quality monitors can cost you thousands, there are several great options for those on a tighter budget.

We’re here to help you by taking your thousands of options and reducing them down to only a few!

Frequency

As you know, sounds are emitted across a range of frequencies. In music, we refer to these collectively as either high, medium, or low frequencies.

The frequency range of your speaker determines which sound your speaker is able to emit which essentially determines how accurate the sound will be across different types and frequencies.

50Hz-20kHz is a pretty average range and when shopping for speakers, you should keep your choice around here or higher.

Another measure of accuracy, is the decibel range. The decibel range measures how consistently the monitor delivers sound at a given range and is, of course, measured in decibels. ± 3 dB is average.

Broken down, this means that at some frequencies may be louder or softer by as much as 3 decibels.

Active vs. Passive: Which one should you choose?

Passive monitors were common 20 years ago, but these days Active monitors are the standard.

Active monitors house their own amplifiers, unlike passive monitors which require an external amp. Active and Passive monitors are also known as powered and unpowered monitors.

Size: Does it matter?

Don’t assume that bigger speakers are automatically higher quality.

This is not the case!

Instead, pay attention to other important aspects of the speaker, several of which are included on this list.

Price

Finding the perfect harmony of price and quality will continue to stump consumers for centuries to come. It can be difficult, but there are low cost, high quality options out there! Some of your best options are contained in the table further on in the article.

Watts

Here again, more watts does not necessarily signify higher quality. A sound doesn’t become more clear by simply getting louder. For a simple home setup, 10-60 watts is good.

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Single-amp, Bi-amp, Tri-amp

Also referred to as one-way, two-way, and three-way speakers, this term refers to the number of internal amps the speaker has.

In multi-amp speakers, high frequencies are emitted through one amp and low frequencies through another.

Because high and low frequencies are emitted separately on multi-amp speakers, they are considered to have a more accurate sound.

The Best Studio Monitors Under $200: The Contenders!


Edifier R1280DB Powered Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers

1. Edifier R1280DBEdifier R1280DB Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers

Compact, lightweight, and the with the added option to choose between a wired or bluetooth wireless connection, the Edifier R1280DB monitors have earned their place on our list.

Amazon reviewers rave about the crisp sound delivered through a bluetooth connection, the deep and full base, and their beautiful appearance.

With the wood grained appearance, your fellow sound engineers are sure to be jealous!

PROS

  • option to choose between wired and wireless connection
  • toggles for additional control

CONS

  • wood housing looks good, but not as durable as other materials

JBL Professional Studio Monitor

2. JBL LSR308 8″ 2-Way Powered Studio Monitor

For those of our readers whose budget is firmly on the lower end, JBL LSR308’s price tag of $149 per speaker might seem a bit steep.

However:

These speakers are worth every penny.

With two internal amplifiers and a sensitivity range of -10 dB/+4 dB (meaning that the speaker is accurate to a degree of minus 10 to plus 4) you can expect to every single note, at every single frequency!

This speaker epitomizes studio quality sound at a home-studio price.

PROS

  • -10 dB/+4 dB sensitivity
  • 2 trim switches to reach both higher and lower frequencies

CONS

  • Doesn’t come in a pair

PreSonus Eris E5

3. PreSonus Eris E5 2-Way Active Studio Monitor – Single

The PreSonus Eris E5 monitor is a 2-way powerhouse. This monitor features a frequency response of 53 Hz – 22 kHz, which helps to deliver a more accurate sound, and 2 silk-dome tweeters, which help to deliver a higher quality of sound.

See also  4 Best Floor Standing Speakers on a Budget (Under $500)

The price tag for this speaker will fit beginning producers and sound engineers well, but at this quality, you’ll have the technology in your corner to produce a truly beautiful piece of art worthy of any professional studio.

PROS

  • Powerful and high quality

CONS

  • Single, not in a pair
  • No included accessories

Which monitors are right for you?

There are so many options out there in terms of a good quality studio monitor. With a maximum budget of $200, finding the perfect monitor for your studio becomes a bit more difficult, but not impossible!

Even if you choose to purchase a monitor not included on our list, the information in this article is more than enough to help guide you towards a well informed purchase decision.

In truth, there is no wrong decision for a monitor. And, lucky for you, all of the research has been done for you!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this article and found it useful.

Please check our blog for more helpful articles, tips, and product suggestions.

Writer

Shree is a drummer from Leeds, UK, who has played all over the region and even in a few places in Europe. When it comes to drum gear, music marketing, or touring he has seen it all or knows someone who has.