Best Studio Monitors Under $500 (Buying Guide For Mid-Range Speakers)

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Studio monitors are the most essential devices that can be found in different recording studios, and many professionals are in search of the best ones. However, there are monitors that come at super high prices, and I cannot really say that everybody can afford them.

That’s why, in this article, I will be adding for you guys some of the best studio monitors under $500 that you can find on the nowaday’s market. What I would like to add here is that all of the monitors that I will mention throughout this article come from some of the well-known brands that are known to bring some of the greatest sound devices such as Yamaha, KRK, JBL, and others.

Without further ado, and without losing your time, let me get straight to the best studio monitors under $500!

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
The Inexpensive
Mackie CR3-X
Mackie CR3-X
10
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The Prestigious
YAMAHA HS8
YAMAHA HS8
9
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Most Adaptable
PreSonus Eris E3.5-3.5
PreSonus Eris E3.5-3.5
8.5
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The Challenger
KRK Classic 5
KRK Classic 5
8.8
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The All-Embracing
JBL 305P MKII
JBL 305P MKII
8.6
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The Top 5 Best Studio Monitors under $500

5. Mackie CR3-X – The Inexpensive

I am starting this article with one of the cheapest studio monitors that you can ever find. Mackie C3-X comes as a pair, and based on their price tag they are quite affordable and definitely deserve to have a place in this article. 

This pair of monitors will look super nice in any place that you may put them. Each of them measures 5.5 x 7.1 x 8.1 inches, and their weight is around 7.8 pounds. They come in whole black color, and if you have ever seen Mackie products, you probably know about the green line that is found on the angles of their devices. All in all, these monitors look quite good. They own a two-way compact form, and they have a 3-inch polypropylene woofer and a 0.75-inch ferrofluid-cooled silk dome tweeter.

Mackie CR3-X pair of monitors is known for the flexible connections that it owns. On the speakers, you can find balanced and unbalanced inputs, RCA cable, as well as Aux inputs. By the way, you can also find a headphones output, in case you want to use it. 

The audio quality of Mackie CR3-X is known as a professional sound, and that means only one thing: these active studio monitors are able to deliver to you a great audio quality while bringing every frequency of sound in a clear way. However, even though I mentioned all the frequencies, these studio monitors aren’t the best ones when it comes to the bass accuracy. Still, if you are not a bass head, they will do the job properly. Definitely a great pair of studio monitors under $500 that can be used in a home studio or even in professional studios.

Frequency Range: 80Hz to 20 kHz

SPL: 97 dB

Why Should You Buy It?
In case you are in need of monitors that can deliver you a decent quality overall with great bass response, but you don’t want to spend too much money, the Mackie XR3-X pair of monitors are here for you.

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4. YAMAHA HS8 – The Prestigious

From Mackie, I would like to move on to a very famous brand that deals with any device that you are in need of, and it is Yamaha. The Yamaha HS8 is one of the most famous studio monitors from the brand and it is here to provide us with different features.

This studio monitor from Yamaha comes at us with a very simple and minimalistic look, as many people say. There is a combination of black and white, and based on that we all know that the basic black and white combination looks good everywhere. The Yamaha HS8 is 13.1 x 9.8 x 15.4 inches big in size, while its weight I think is a bit heavy at 28.8 pounds. Here we deal with a two-way studio monitor as well, which owns a cone woofer of 8 inches and a dome tweeter of 1 inch.

There are two types of inputs that this studio monitor owns and they are the famous XLR and TRS balanced and unbalanced. With these inputs, you can use different sound devices because the XLR and TRS are the most used ones.

The woofer and the tweeter are in charge of bringing you guys a flat response with a great combination of lows and highs. This studio monitor is able to perform great in the sound quality part, as it also has a noise reduction feature, which will improve the quality in most ways. If you want accurate sound, then you can’t go wrong with buying studio monitors like these.

Frequency Range: 38 Hz to 30 kHz

SPL: not specified by Yamaha

Why Should You Buy It?
In case you don’t want to listen to any other noise besides the music or whatever sound that you want to buy these speakers for, the Yamaha is a decent purchase. However, listed as prestigious, you should know that it is pricier than the other studio monitors in this article, but still under $500. Will fit well any home studio setup for sure.

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3. PreSonus Eris E3.5-3.5 – Most Adaptable

Here we deal with another pair of monitors, at a budget price, and they come from PreSonus, which is a definite beast for all the professionals. Listed as the most adaptable, this pair of studio monitors can be used for whatever you want such as gaming, producing, mixing, and even watching movies. They will fit any home studio. Let us see what it offers to the table!

On just a first look, these monitors are quite cool, as they come fully covered in a black finish. As for the measurements, each of them is 6.4 x 5.6 x 8.3 inches and the weight is 6.39 pounds, again for each. The size and the weight gladly tell us that they can be moved around whenever you want. Another thing that should be mentioned is their form, and just like the other studio monitors that I mentioned, the PreSonus Eris E3.5 pair of budget studio monitors are two-way, the 3.5 showing the size of the woven woofer, and the tweeter is ultra-low mass silk dome at 1 inch.

You won’t encounter any problem while connecting these studio monitors because they own TRS and RCA inputs, as well as other unbalanced inputs for any use with different mobile devices. There can be also found a headphone amplifier.

Considering the fact that these studio monitors can be used in different things, you should know that they sound good in any of them. Owning a frequency response that covers the greatest ranges, there is a great sound quality overall.

Frequency Response: 80 Hz – 20 kHz

SPL: 100 dB

Why Should You Buy It?
If any of you guys are into super versatile sound devices, then you can clearly notice on the review above that these studio monitors from PreSonus are the greatest ones at that part. Besides that, they come as a pair and have great sound quality.

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2. KRK Classic 5 – The Challenger

Here comes another professional name in the sound industry and it is KRK, which is known for some of its greatest products, such as the KRK Classic 5. This monitor will do a great job on your studios, especially if you are a beginner in this field. 

The original design of KRK cannot be missed on this studio monitor, as it comes in a black and yellow combination of colors. There is an amazing look and an amazing size as well. It measures 15 x 12 x 10 inches while it weighs 6.6 pounds, and it is a super compact studio monitor. Again, we have the KRK Classic 5 as a two-way speaker and it owns a 5-inch glass aramid composite woofer and a 1-inch soft-dome tweeter. 

The KRK Classic 5 monitor is featured with three types of inputs, and they are one TRS balanced input, one XLR balanced input, and one RCA which is unbalanced. Still, I would have loved to see a headphone jack, but unfortunately, KRK doesn’t own it. 

Bass lovers should definitely gather around the KRK Classic 5 because it offers an amazing feature. In this studio monitor, you can find the famous bass boost effect, which is able to fully adjust the bass accuracy for you and bring it in the best way possible. As for the mid and high frequencies of sound, I am more than glad to say that KRK Classic 5 is able to deliver them in an amazing way. 

Frequency Response: 43 Hz to 40 kHz

SPL: 104 dB

Why Should You Buy It?
If you are a professional and love bass in every way, I think that you should definitely take a look at the KRK Classic 5 because it is able to provide you with the best of it, without forgetting the other frequencies of sound. Really high quality studio monitors.

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1. JBL 305P MKII – The All-Embracing

Nothing compares to JBL when you are in need of good sound quality, and that is a fact that is known worldwide. The JBL 305P MKII is one of the most professional sound monitors that you guys can find right now.

Differing from all the studio monitors that I mentioned above, this JBL studio monitor has a very modern design, and it comes with a super shiny black color on the front part while on its sides, and the back is covered in matte black. The JBL 305P MKII measures 14 x 12.2 x 13.93 inches and weighs 10.12 pounds, which again, I think that it should have been smaller. Anyways, this JBL studio monitor is a two-way one, and it owns a 5 inches woofer, and a 1-inch neodymium woven-composite tweeter.

The inputs that JBL added to its monitor include balanced XLR and TRS. They make this studio monitor usable with any kind of device that owns them, and the connectivity with them is one of the best things that this monitor provides you with.

The sound is JBL! What do I mean by that? Well, as mentioned at the beginning, JBL is one of the greatest brands in the studio monitor market that brings to the market some of the best-sounding devices, and the JBL 305P MKII is definitely one of them. The high quality sound that comes out of this studio monitor is of its highest quality, and it’s the clearest way possible. Every frequency is perfectly brought!

Frequency Response: 43 Hz to 24 kHz

SPL: 108 dB

Why Should You Buy It?
Being JBL, I think that it is the main reason and the main word that explains everything! Plus, being the number one choice in this article, you will find out alone what this studio monitor has to offer.

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What To Look For When Buying A Studio Monitor Under $500?

In different devices there are specific things that should be considered before purchasing them, and here goes the buying guide for studio monitors under $500! I’ve concluded in four main factors:

Design

If you want to purchase a studio monitor, but are a person that wants to use good-looking devices, then the design is the best thing to look for. You might want to consider it.

Connectivity

Connectivity is one of the most important things that should be known before purchasing any type of device, and in studio monitors, it is quite essential. Check the inputs and the outputs wisely.

Sound Quality

A sound device is purchased for sound mostly, and that makes the way that a studio monitor sounds one of the crucial things that should be taken care of. Check out the frequency response that the studio monitor works at, and find out how it works in them.

Price

The title of this article owns a specific budget which is under $500, and that’s how the price has taken a place on this buying guide. I always mention that it is better if you have a specific price tag in mind and search for a device, and it is great in studio monitors as well.


Final Words

 

Coming at the end, and having in mind what I wrote above, I would gladly say that these studio monitors are not only the best ones under $500, but they are the best overall monitors that you guys can find all over the market and I would like to assure you guys here that they will do the job in a perfect way.

Still, I really hope that this article will be your biggest helper when trying to find or purchase the best studio monitor for under $500!


Further Reading

Here we came at the last part in which I love to advise you guys in choosing anything that is related to sound! Well, basically that’s my job.

However, I would like to change the topic, and move on to some specific budget articles about headphones! In case any of you guys are into open-back headphones, I would like to introduce you to some of the best open-back headphones under $200 and those under $100.

Now if you don’t really care about open-back ones, there are some great closed-back headphones under $500 that you can check out and listen to your favorite music. By the way, since I mentioned music in a general form, have you ever wondered what are the types of house music? Well, check them out and have fun!

 

Melissa Peterkin
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