Best Small Studio Monitors in 2023 (Top 5 Picks)

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The audio sector is now flooded with audio equipment.

Because of all the offerings that brands make to the market, even a low-budget artist can now set up his own home studio without going overboard and completely ruin his bank.

Studio monitors used to be painfully expensive, and you needed a lot of space and other things to get excellent music out of them.

Thanks to modern technology, there are small studio monitors that can do pretty much the same job. I guess the saying “bigger is always better” is not always so true. A small studio monitor can sometimes do wonders.

In today’s article, I will take you through what I think are the best small studio monitors.

Most Versatile
M-Audio BX4

M-Audio BX4

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Best Mid-Range
Audioengine A1

Audioengine A1

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Best Value
JBL Professional 1 Series 104-BT

JBL Professional 1 Series 104-BT

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Best Runner-Up
Mackie CR3-X

Mackie CR3-X

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Best Overall
PreSonus Eris E3.5

PreSonus Eris E3.5

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Top 5 Best Small Studio Monitors

5. M-Audio BX4 – Most Versatile

Starting with a pair of speakers from M-Audio, they are so versatile that you won’t know what to use them for.

The M-Audio BX4 speakers are available in two sizes: 4.5 inches and 3.5 inches, with the 3.5-inch version being the less expensive of the two.

For this list, though, I went with the 4.5-inch option. I have a feeling they are better than their counterparts.

During the day, you may be a gamer or just a regular Joe who uses them as desktop speakers, and at night, you can be a DJ and broadcast some great music from those speakers, demonstrating how versatile those M-Audio speakers are, they can be used for almost anything. They are able to reproduce accurate sound, no matter what you throw at them.

Nevertheless, it still remains a compact studio monitor.

They aren’t really flashy in terms of design, which I like. The speakers are basically black rectangular with an unobtrusive design. They have 4.5-inch woofers and 1-inch tweeters and are rather light.

They sound great when it comes to sound quality. The mids are pleasant to listen to and produce a pleasing tone from vocals and instruments. They also offer a beautiful, clear treble end that isn’t harsh, and the bass is surprisingly good for such a small speaker without being anything offensive.

Why Should You Buy It?
They are really versatile and not only that they come at a relatively affordable price that won’t hurt your bank that much. Moreover, they sound great almost across all ranges and come in a really compact form factor.

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4. Audioengine A1 – Best Mid-Range

Audioengine is a well-known brand when it comes to audio gear. Since 2005, it has provided cost-effective speakers to the audio industry.

Right here we have a pair of small studio monitors from them, the Audioengine A1.

It’s designed in a unique style. The A1 speakers are gray and black in color and t There are no grille coverings, which I think makes it more appealing to look at the speaker drivers.

A 2.75-inch aramid fiber woofer and a 0.75-inch silk dome tweeter are housed in each speaker cabinet.

The speakers can be connected via standard hardwiring (3.5mm stereo mini-jack) or built-in wireless Bluetooth.

Overall it is really well built. They are quite robust and will last you for a few years, moreover, they are really compact making portability a breeze.

In terms of sound, I’d say they do what they set out to do, and they sound terrific for a pair of monitors in the mid-range pricing range.

They’re not groundbreaking, but they’re also not terrible; they sound just right.

Despite the fact that bass is not their strong suit due to its size, it still manages to come through without distortion but lacks the reverberations we all like.

Why Should You Buy It?
A pair of studio monitors that ticks many boxes an average professional would look for. Not only that but they can also be used for many other things such as desktop speakers. The A1 is definitely a great studio monitor.

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3. JBL Professional 1 Series 104-BT – Best Value

JBL, a well-known audio manufacturer, has made the impossible possible with the One Series 104.

You’re probably wondering how.

JBL strikes the right balance between sound quality and affordability, as we would expect from JBL.

The JBL One Series 104 is a set of monitors that is both small and cheap.

A pair of studio monitors that are capable of dealing with a wide range of situations for all kinds of users. You can pretty much use them for everything – from a pair of desktop speakers to a studio monitor for professional use.

Because of their unique ovoid shape, the 104-BTs aren’t totally convincing. However, we purchase a studio monitor for its sound quality rather than its appearance, correct?

This sturdy studio monitor contains a 12cm low-frequency driver and a 20mm soft-dome tweeter and are available in black or white.

They are lively and forward from the moment you plug them in; they may be accompanying your study or work time, but you should not expect so much, or you will be disappointed, after all, they are just a pair of small speakers.

The sound quality is nothing to brag about, but nothing to whine about either; it’s JBL, and they know what they’re doing when it comes to audio gadgets. Definitely a great pair of studio monitor speakers.

Why Should You Buy It?
If you want highly valuable speakers at an affordable price that are also quite versatile, those studio monitors are for you. The value they have to offer is simply unbeatable.

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2. Mackie CR3-X – Best Runner-Up

With the CR3-X, Mackie established a reputation for providing high-quality sound in a small size that is both inexpensive and stylish.

They’re perfect for a small studio or for those of you who don’t prefer a lot of volumes. It aims to please both entry-level musicians and professionals with some welcoming and nice features.

The CR3-X’s elegant design complements any workstation, with a brushed metal panel and a vivid green outline that shines out for good.

For obvious reasons, I chose the 3-inch option for this, as we are looking for small studio monitors. It does, however, available in a wide range of sizes, ranging from 3″ to 8″. Aside from the size, they all look the same.

Another characteristic of those monitors that I appreciate is that they may be used for a variety of purposes other than studio work.

If you’re a content creator, you may expect your work to sound as well as it does in the video. Furthermore, they can be “employed” for gaming too, when you need to take a break from your headset, the CR-X is ideal for desktop gaming. With crisp highs and balanced lows and mids, you’ll be able to hear every stride.

The sound is crisp and punchy, thanks to its excellent woofers and tweeters, which are powered by high-headroom amplifiers. It has good clarity at all volume levels and, to be honest, it’s rather loud for its size.

Why Should You Buy It?
If you want a pair of monitors that are quite compact, sound good, don’t hurt the bank and on top of all, they look freaking awesome, look no further. Even though its a small studio monitor, it has big boy output.

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1. PreSonus Eris E3.5 – Best Overall

If you asked an audio professional for a pair of monitors at a reasonable budget, they would probably recommend the PreSonus 3.5.

If you ask the same audio professional for a set of compact or small studio monitors, they will recommend the PreSonus 3.5 once again.

It is It’s debatable that those are the best studio monitors if you have a small home studio.

The PreSonus Eris E4.5 are excellent home studio monitors that will astound you with their brilliance for such a low price.

The Eris lightness is the first thing you’ll notice about them.

In terms of build quality, they are quite robust. The lightweight was designed to make their transportation as painless as possible.

The matte surface will blend perfectly with almost any studio environment and will not attract fingerprints.

It features some light blue colors to assist in softening the black surface and giving the speakers a more vibrant appearance.

Those speakers will satisfy many studio workers who are interested in mid-frequency sound quality.

The highs are well-defined, and the mids are as clear and crisp as they come. For example, the separation of vocals and instruments was on par with competitors who come at a much higher price.

Why Should You Buy It?
All I can say is that PreSonus absolutely hit it out of the park with those studio monitors, and they’re definitely worth checking out.

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Purchasing Small Studio Monitors: A Buyer’s Guide

When it comes to purchasing small studio monitors, there are a few factors to keep in mind. Before you choose your speakers, keep the following considerations in mind.

Form Factor and Dimensions

First thing first, the measurement of the monitor is the first thing you need to put into consideration, after all, you are buying a pair of small monitor speakers.

Your studio space, on the other hand, will be a different story. Again, this won’t be a big deal because monitors are small and don’t take up a lot of room.

Nevertheless, you must take into account the presence of additional audio equipment.

Apart from that, compact studio monitors are capable of managing and reproducing mid-frequency sound, because of their woofers reduced size.

They won’t be able to handle bass as well as a larger studio monitor, I won’t lie.

Although the bass frequencies are poorly handled, you can still get a sense of the beat, it isn’t that groundbreaking.

But yeah, it mostly depends on what you planning to use them at the end of the day.

Frequency Response

This is something you should think about for pretty much any audio gadget you buy.

The frequency range is determined by the woofer and subwoofer sizes. The more frequencies the studio monitor has, the more sorts of music and sound it can handle.

You will struggle with a little monitor if you enjoy genres like EDM, RnB, or Metal, larger drivers will be required to handle those frequencies effectively.

However, you should be perfectly fine if you use them for vocal and acoustic instrument purposes.

Materials used in Construction

When it comes to the materials used to construct the monitors, they are more important than you may assume.

Due to the large market offering, studio monitors now exist in a range of styles, sizes, and materials.

Studio monitors, for example, are composed of Kevlar, paper, aluminum alloys, wood, and other materials.

However, you should keep in mind that, regardless of what people say about a particular building material, you should conduct your research before deciding on the best option.

What’s the big deal about the material?

The material that makes up the monitors has a significant impact on the sound quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to studio monitors, what should I look for?

A studio monitor is designed for professional use, hence it should have a few characteristics, from a wide frequency range to built-in amps and good design/materials.

Are Small Studio Monitors a Good Investment?

They are, without a doubt. However, there are certain trade-offs for its small size. The bass and frequency response will be compromised due to the woofer’s small size. On the other hand, they provide portability, a small form factor, and a variety of other benefits in terms of size. Moreover, they handle the mid-ranges extremely well.

What is the best way to add bass to my studio monitors?

Studio monitors are flat and lack bass, as we all know. You may, however, add bass to them by purchasing an external subwoofer, that will greatly contribute to the bass spectrum.

Final Words

I’ve gone over the best small studio monitors on the market right now, and there are a lot of great options.

However, I believe it ultimately comes down to personal preferences, the brand you’re looking for, and your budget.

No matter the reason, make sure you do your research before buying a pair of studio monitors.

Studio Monitors are an investment that will last for years, and you don’t want to make the wrong purchase.

This brings us to the end of today’s article. Hopefully, I was helpful you were able to make a decision.

Further Reading

If you enjoy what you’ve read so far, keep reading because I have a few more articles I’d like to recommend.

For example, if you want to know how long headphones should last, there is a list of the comfiest headphones.

You’re a DJ on the lookout for some DJ lighting? Let me introduce you to the greatest DJ Lights for you in 2022.

Or maybe you’re a JLab earbuds fan? I’ve compiled a list of the top JLab Earbuds.

There’s also one where I rank the best pink headphones, which is quite amusing.

Have you ever had the feeling that your headphones were muffled? Then go to Why do my headphones sound muffled? to find out why you’ll find the solution there.

Having trouble with your LG Sound Bar? You may learn how to reset your LG Sound Bar,  I go into great length about it there.

There is also a difference between Mono and Stereo, as well as between 80 ohms and 250 ohms.

You can learn how to identify if a speaker is blown if you’re not sure whether it’s blown or simply sounds poor.

This sums up everything. Enjoy!

Whether you’re looking for information on audio equipment, looking to learn more about how things work in the music field, or looking for reviews of products, we got you covered!



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