Are Studio Monitors Better Than Speakers?
Producing music with basic headphones, standard speakers, or laptop speakers is unlikely to yield pro results. It really is essential to be able to hear all the detail and nuance of what you're working on. Most producers would agree that a pair of monitors is the signifier of a 'proper' studio setup, and there are no excuses now that almost every budget can be looked after.
It is now possible to get a pair of monitors from the leading brands for under $200/£200, which will still deliver professional results. Whereas if you have closer to a grand to spend, you can expect the most pristine sound with a deft selection.
To give a real-life example, you may be familiar with the instances where you have spent hours working on a track on a pair of headphones or speakers and it all sounds great, until the track is played from a different source and suddenly, it sounds awful!
This is how the best studio monitors will save you. Unlike consumer speakers and headphones, professional studio monitors will provide a flatter frequency response. Whereas sometimes, certain headphones and laptop speakers will "colour" the sound, perhaps accentuating the bass or the crisp high-frequencies.
Creating a great mix is all about striking a balance that means your tracks will sound great on a wide variety of systems. The best studio monitors will help you achieve this by removing (as much as possible) the variant of frequency colouration.
How far apart should studio monitors be?
The two speakers should be as distant between each speaker as they are from your head (once in the listening position). For example, if the monitors are four feet apart (measured from the centre of the speaker cone), then the listening position needs to be four feet from each speaker. This is what's known as creating an equilateral triangle for your listening experience, where the length of each side of the triangle is the same.
Monitors, monitors, monitors. There are lots of them out there nowadays in 2023, but hopefully this guide to the best studio speakers has helped you zone in on the lucky few deserving of your attention. We're confident you'll make the best choice for your space and budget, and that your new monitors will have you creating greater music than ever before — godspeed!