5 Best Studio Monitors for Guitars in 2020
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You’ve spent hours perfecting your track and you’re ready to record.
You carefully tune your guitar, set up the studio mixer and adjust the microphones.
You record the track, proud of your work.
But when you play it back on a friend’s device the sound is not quite right.
It turns out the monitors were not reproducing the guitar’s sound accurately.
Monitors are professional-quality speakers used in audio recording studios, where the accuracy of the sound they put out at different frequencies is vital.
A pair of monitors is a key part of a studio setup and it can be hard to pick the right kit.
Whether you’re recording in a small home studio or a large production facility, you want the best equipment you can find to fit your needs and your budget.
Our Winner After Careful Research
Best Studio Monitors for Guitars - Comparison Table
Yamaha HS8 Monitors
JBL Professional 305P Monitors
KRK Rokit G4 Monitors
Adam Audio A7X Monitors
5 Best Studio Monitors for Guitars
Here’s our roundup of the five best studio monitors for guitar recordings, to ensure your music sounds as good as it can be.
1. Yamaha HS8 Studio Monitors
Yahama has been a trusted brand for music equipment for decades for good reason – the Japanese company makes some of the best gear in the industry.
The second-generation HS8 monitor is one of the most popular choices on the market.
The monitor features a 120W bi-amplifier to deliver clean, precise sound.
The monitor performs best in the mid-range and high end frequencies; musicians favouring a lot of bass should be aware that you’ll need to add a subwoofer to the setup.
Room controls allow you to adjust the settings to the acoustics of the recording space.
You’ll find the HS8 is physically well-engineered too, as the casing is designed to reduce resonance while noise reduction technology reduces air vibrations at the port.
What we like: The accuracy of sound you would expect from Yamaha.
What we don’t like: The need to buy a subwoofer to handle bass.
2. JBL Professional 305P Studio Monitors
JBL was founded by an American audio engineer, so it stands to reason that the company produces a high-quality studio monitor.
The second-generation 305P MkII is an update of the much-loved LR305 model.
The sleek 305P MKII is the same size and weight as its predecessor and has many of the same features, including frequency range and 82W bi-amplifiers, but it adds new equalizer settings to enhance performance at low frequencies.
With these settings it excels at the low end of the range, which offers an advantage over the Yamaha if you like to produce bass-heavy tunes.
The clarity of the sound the 305P MKII produces is such that you can hear details of the music that are not picked up by other monitors.
What we like: Superior sound clarity across the frequency range.
What we don’t like: The amplifiers struggle to produce enough volume in large rooms.
3. KRK Rokit G4 Studio Monitors
American audio equipment brand KRK Systems is often the choice of professional recording engineers.
The fourth-generation RP Rokit G Series (known as G4) studio monitors produce clear sound in a natural tone.
The price point makes them a solid entry-level option.
You might be more familiar with Kevlar being used in bulletproof vests, but here the rigid fibre is designed to produce consistent sound across the frequency spectrum.
The G4 features 25 pre-programmed equalizer settings to correct problems you might find in different acoustic environments and an LCD display so you can visualize the settings.
What we like: High-quality performance at an affordable price.
What we don’t like: Less accurate sound at lower frequencies than other monitors.
4. Adam Audio A7X Studio Monitors
Adam Audio is well known among sound engineers for making high-end monitors that produce smooth and detailed sound, so that recordings play as they should outside the studio.
That accuracy can be credited to German engineering – the speakers are handmade in Germany.
The A7X features a glossy combination of carbon and glass fibre on the exterior, with front-firing ports so that bass sounds clear and controlled.
But as with the Yamaha, it performs best at the high and mid-range frequencies, so you’ll likely need to add a subwoofer to adjust the bass output.
The A7X offers especially nuanced sound in the mid-range frequencies from its powerful 150W bi-amplifier unit.
The high wattage comes with a higher price tag so you’ll need to weigh up the cost, especially if you also need to buy a subwoofer.
What we like: Superior quality at mid-range frequencies.
What we don’t like: The A7X carries a high price tag and is usually sold individually, not as a pair.
5. PreSonus Eris E4.5 Studio Monitors
PreSonus is staffed by musicians and their goal is to provide equipment for real working creatives.
That shows in products like the E4.5 monitor, which is more compact than its competitors and ideal for smaller studios.
The 50W amplifier is less powerful than our other picks, but that comes with a price tag to suit a lower budget.
You won’t be sacrificing much more than the wattage – the E4.5 still delivers high-quality sound.
This monitor packs more punch at low-end frequencies than you would expect for a smaller unit.
Unlike other monitors in a similar price range, the E4.5 features the kind of room-tuning controls you find on the higher-priced products to adjust for different room acoustics.
What we like: The compact size and smaller price point make the E4.5 suitable for home studios.
What we don’t like: The monitors can emit an electrical humming noise and amplifier hiss when they’re not playing music.
The Yamaha HS8 and the JBL Professional 3305P MkII vie for the top spot for professional-quality studio monitors to hook up to your guitar.
They produce accurate sound across a wide frequency range and feature controls that allow you to adjust the output to your environment.
For the guitar player on a lower budget, you’d do well to opt for the PreSonus Eris 4.5 or the KRK Rokit G4, which offer high performance at entry-level prices.
If you have the cash to splash on a high-end piece of kit, the Adam Audio A7X is worth the cost.
Once you have the right studio monitors in place for your guitar, you’ll be producing high-quality tracks in no time.