Best Studio Monitors Under $200
Having a quality set of studio monitors is an essential part of recording, editing, or sound mixing, which means it can be a bit intimidating to know when you’re in the market for a new set. The good news is, you don’t have to pay a lot of money for a good set of studio monitors – there are some great options on the market for under $200. While the best set of speakers for you will primarily depend on the type of work you plan to do in the studio, there are some things you can keep in mind as you begin shopping.
If you plan on doing any work as a recording engineer, sound editing, mixing, or mastering audio, it’s important to have a good set of studio monitors to give you a solid idea of what your product will sound like. Even if you just want to record your own music at home, you’ll get a much better result if you invest a little money in setting up your home recording studio in a more professional way.
Studio monitors come in two main types – active monitors and passive monitors. Passive monitors will provide a more professional sound quality, but require you to also purchase an amplifier and crossover. Active speakers, on the other hand, have those things built in, making them a much simpler and more economical option.
Where to find them
You can find monitors anywhere you would normally find recording equipment – Best Buy, AVShop, Visions, or even online from Amazon. Some recommended brands to look for include Yamaha, Event, Equator, Adam, Genelec, and Behringer. Shop around – you should be able to find a decent set of quality monitors for $200 or less, especially if you look online.
Some additional tips to consider before you start looking:
- Make sure you have the right hookups for your monitors. If you don’t already have the hookups you will need, you might want to add those to your cart with the monitors.
- Choose the right wattage for your needs – higher wattage means you can make more precise adjustments but isn’t necessary for less delicate recording.
- Keep in mind the size of your studio, as a smaller space will need smaller speakers. You don’t need to get the biggest speaker you can afford – you’ll get a better sound quality if you choose a set of monitors that is appropriate for the studio you’ll be using them in.
- Stay within your budget. You don’t have to spend a fortune to set up your recording studio. Try not to spend too much time looking at options that are outside of your price range, and focus on finding the best product for what you can afford.
Since it can be difficult to know where to start shopping for your new monitors, here are some suggested products with good reviews to help you better understand what you need to look for. All of these studio monitors are listed for $200 or less, so they can easily fit into any budget.
Studio Monitors under $200
M-Audio AV42 Active Desktop Monitor Speakers
The M-Audio AV42 Active Desktop Monitor Speakers provide accurate sound in a compact size. These affordable reference monitors feature 4” woofers and 1” tweeters and offer 20 watts of output. With bass-reflux-ported MDF cabinets, these monitors deliver full sound, and for personal monitoring, a stereo headphone output is provided.
While these aren’t appropriate for precise work, they are a great option for beginners. They also work with a wide range of gear, so if you’ve already started getting your studio set up, these monitors would be able to fit in well with the rest of your equipment.
Mackie CR3 Multimedia Monitors
Featuring all wooden construction, the Mackie CR3 Multimedia Monitors offer a beautiful, rich sound while maintaining a sleek and modern look. This set of speakers puts out 50 watts of studio-quality tone through a 3” woofer and a 0.75” tweeter.
These compact speakers are perfect for a smaller studio space, but also include insulation pads for acoustic decoupling and for listening from different angles. According to some of the many five star reviews on this product, the added value makes this set of monitors an especially good investment.
Another compact option, but packs a lot of high-quality sound into a small package. With professional acoustic adjustment controls, 4.5” Kevlar low-frequency transducers and 1” low-mass tweeters, these speakers feature controls that provide a simulation of listening environments to help ensure solid mixing for any audio setup. The controls are also placed on the front of the monitors, making it easy to adjust as you listen.
Despite its small size, this set of monitors provides a very full, clear sound and offers a very detailed mid-range for most projects. These are great quality speakers at a very reasonable price and would be appropriate for anyone looking to set up a studio.
For great value for your dollar. This set combines high-frequency, creating a beautiful sound that will make accurate mixing a breeze. With a magnetic shield that limits interference from any other electronic devices, these speakers offer some fantastic features while still letting you stay within your budget.
The Behringer brand is known for great construction and durability, so an investment in these speakers will pay off as you’ll be able to use them for years to come.
Alesis Elevate 5 40-watt 5” Active Desktop Studio Monitor Speakers
The Alesis Elevate 5 40-watt 5” Active Desktop Studio Monitor Speakers with Elliptical Waveguide delivers warm, rich sound – thanks to the natural bass provided by the high-density wood cabinets, a 5” low-frequency driver, and a 1” silk-dome tweeter. This set offers 40 watts of output that helps showcase a clear, detailed tone to make sure your mixing and recording will be clean and accurate.
Finally, Active Studio Monitors are billed to handle any project. With two microphone inputs, these speakers let you plug in headphones to fine-tune and monitor even as you record. The magnetically-shielded tweeters and woofers reduce electronic interference, ensuring your sound will be crisp and clean.
Samson products are highly reliable and should give you a good quality product for a reasonable price.
These recommendations will get you started on your journey to find under $200 that will fit your needs. Keep these shopping tips in mind and do some hunting to find a great deal to help you setup your very own recording studio – no matter what type of studio monitors you’re looking for.
Also read: Best Projectors Under $500