Choosing a high quality pair of monitors to mix your home recordings on will give you a much more detailed and accurate look at how your recordings sound. Active monitors are a good choice for home studios, because you don’t have to worry about a separate amplifier to power them, you just plug them into the mains power directly. Since they don’t need a separate amp, they are also easier to store, mount, move around etc. and you can leave the difficult process of choosing an amplifier to match the speaker to the manufacturer.
$2200 Adam A77X (pictured) – These speakers are Adam’s flagship studio monitors, providing superb mid and low frequency control even at high levels with a crystal clear high end response. The stereo imaging is second to none thanks to the ribbon tweeter, which provides an endless top end clarity and gives absolute precision in the mixing stage. Outstanding monitors for high quality home or professional studio, and make excellent mid or near field monitors.
$1600 JBL LSR 4328P – These come with an extremely clever, high resolution digital EQ system which automatically adjusts to optimise the response at your mixing position – and it really does work, very well! It will help compensate being in a non-ideal room for mixing, perfect for home recording and mixing. If you have already got a great sounding mix room, don’t be put off by this feature as they are very reliable and accurate monitors with the eq feature disabled. If you need a neutral and reliable pair of speakers to rely on, even in untreated rooms, these are the ones for you.
$1400 Adam A7X – Sharing much of the same technology as the A77X, these speakers are outstanding mid / near-field monitors and are nicely compact in size too. The low end response is among the best we have found for speakers this size, and again the ribbon tweeter makes the high frequency response and stereo imaging absolutely unbeatable for this price point.
$1000 Dynaudio DBM50 – Designed for desktop near-field monitoring, these speakers are angled just enough towards your ears to reduce high frequency reflections of your desk – to keep the stereo image and frequency response as clean as possible for desktop speakers. They are trustworthy speakers which give you a neutral sound to mix from.
$1000 KRK RP10G2 – Well established and much loved, the KRK series have earned their place in home and pro studios alike. Designed as a three-way monitor for pop mixing, they have a powerful and punchy low end from the large woofer, coupled with a transparent mid to high frequency response, making them perfect for mixing music which needs a chunky and well defined low end that doesn’t compromise the mid frequency tone.
$600 Yamaha HS80M – Very detailed mid-range monitors which produce excellent stereo imaging, especially for their compact size. These speakers sound completely solid, their low end is extensive and well balanced. The mid-high end is razor sharp and opens a lot of detail in the mix for you, which makes them a great choice for home-studio speakers, you can learn a lot about your mixes from them.
$500 KRK RP8G2 – The smaller version of the RP10’s these monitors don’t have quite so much clarity in the mid-range, but they do retain a lot of the punchy low end. You will find these speakers in the home recording studios of many engineers who need a clean top end and a chunky low end, all in a small and compact unit.
$400 Behringer Truth 2031A – A good low to mid range pair of monitors which sound decent and are very good value for money. For their size and price these speakers are surprisingly powerful, and while their bass response does tail off into the low-end, they are better than all the competition in this size. You definitely get more than you pay for with these speakers.
$300 Mackie MR5mk2 – Affordable and reliable, these budget speakers punch well above their weight. Despite being small, they sound clean and open, and create a precise stereo image. The low end isn’t tight enough to mix loud music on, but at low level they sound decent enough. A good choice to check you mixing balance with, if you mostly mix on headphones.
$200 Fostex PM0.4N – For something small and cheap, these Fostex speakers are ideal. They are a huge step up from regular computer speakers and hardly take up any space at all, which makes them perfect if you are just starting out and want to try your hand at mixing. If you are looking for a full-range studio quality monitor, something else on this list would suit better.