Studio monitors are a vital part of the recording process for any artist. They produce sound at a low frequency to help you hear all the details in the recording. This can help ease the recording process as you aren’t limited to hearing what the music sounds like in your headphones.
The size of your studio monitor should depend on the size of your room. If you have a larger room, then go with an eight-inch monitor. Alternatively, you should use the five-inch studio monitor for a smaller room. This helps create a more accurate sound.
Let’s get into more detail about finding the right studio monitor for your recording setup.
Table of Contents
- Which Size Fits Better With Your Studio Setup?
- What Other Factors To Consider When Looking for a Studio Monitor
Which Size Fits Better With Your Studio Setup?
Saying one speaker fits in a small space compared to a larger space may not be helpful for everyone. So, let’s get into more detail about which size speaker will work best for you.
5 Inch Studio Monitor
This studio monitor choice is a favorite for those with at-home studios. This is for a few different reasons, but the main one is that anything larger would be too loud for a residence. If you don’t want your neighbors to complain about the noise level, then the five-inch option is the safest for your home.
Of course, this may not always be the case. If you have an at-home studio that is similar to the size of an actual studio, then you may need something a little bigger. But for the most part, at-home studios should stick with the 5-inch studio monitor.
As you may know, there are more things to consider than neighbor noise complaints coming your way. If your studio monitor is too large for the space you are working with, you can face issues with audio accuracy as well.
When using a studio monitor, you are focusing on sounds at a low frequency to ensure that all sounds and instruments in your track are clear. This can become very difficult when dealing with a monitor that is too large as you may not be able to clearly hear your track at the volume you need as close as you may be.
Typically, studio monitors have a sweet spot or a distance from the monitor that allows you to hear more accurately.
The smaller the monitor, the more likely you will reach the sweet spot closer to the monitor. However, the larger the monitor, the more likely you are to need to back away from the monitor to find the sweet spot.
This may mean that you would need to either change your setup completely or step away to truly hear it, which can interrupt the editing process.
8 Inch Studio Monitor
This monitor is best for those in an actual studio or even an at-home studio that is the same size as a typical studio. This size monitor allows you to be a few feet away from it while still getting the best possible quality.
However, eight-inch monitors aren’t only necessary for large studios. Sometimes, you may need this size studio monitor if you have properly soundproofed the room you are working in.
Having plenty of acoustic panels and other items that help control sound and mask echoes can also mean that you may need a bigger studio monitor.
Without noise bouncing off of surfaces, the sound may not come across as loud or dynamic with a smaller monitor.
Instead, the sound will travel around the room, being absorbed by the panels, stopping echoes. Because of this, you may need a larger monitor to help compensate for the lack of remaining noise.
So, the more proper your studio setup, the more likely you are to need an eight-inch studio monitor compared to the smaller option. However, the main focus of finding the right size should first be the size of the room you are using. Then, you can focus on how much sound dampening you use.
Now that you know the differences between these two types of monitors, it’s time to compare studio monitors with speakers in general. I’ve covered their differences in a complete guide that helps you decide which one you need. 5 Inch Vs 8 Inch Studio Monitors: Which Should You Buy?
What Other Factors To Consider When Looking for a Studio Monitor
Size isn’t the only thing that matters when choosing your studio monitor, and there are plenty of other factors to consider before you decide on the size.
Active or Passive
You need to consider whether you want an active or passive studio monitor. You do not need to connect an active studio monitor to an external amplifier for it to work as passive ones need. So you can get the sound directly from the source.
This may not seem like a big deal when it comes to choosing the right monitor, but it is vital to know how much space you have available for your monitor and an amplifier.
If you are working in a smaller space and want to better control the sound you get from a studio monitor, then we recommend using an active monitor.
Another factor to consider before choosing a studio monitor is soundproofing. A studio monitor can help you hear your recording more clearly to help you perfect the track, but you need to ensure that you optimize the studio you are working in for this.
Before choosing a studio monitor for your setup, make sure you use acoustic panels to soundproof your room. This helps prevent sound from bouncing around the room, causing echoes and distortion.
Studio monitors provide you with clear, low-frequency sound to hear the undertones of your track, but without acoustic panels, it may be less accurate.
While it may not seem as important, power can certainly make or break your studio monitor setup. Just because you play your music at a low frequency with studio monitors, that doesn’t mean they don’t need power. Remember, power doesn’t just equal volume level.
A powerful studio monitor lets you hear the music in more detail. The more power, the more accurately the monitor can replay the sound. This allows you to hear the sound more accurately and makes the editing process a lot easier. So, power should be a major focus no matter which size you choose.
In conclusion, a five-inch studio monitor will be plenty for most people who are recording in a home studio. There are exceptions to this if your studio is too large or if you have a lot of soundproofing. In that case, you may need to consider the eight-inch monitor.
Remember to consider the other factors we listed above as well before making your final decision on the monitor that you want.
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