Top 5 Studio Monitors With Flat Frequency Response 2018
As an audio engineer, I am always looking out for ways to make my job easier.
And one of those ways is making sure I get studio monitors with flat frequency response.
Now unless you enjoy all the stress that comes with cleaning your audio files and EQing them properly, you definitely want to get a studio monitor that produces the right frequency response in your recording studio.
This is by no means an easy feat.
The simple reason being that there are thousands of different models of audio monitors and each one comes in different frequency ranges.
Also most people have different perspective on what a flat frequency range is and what they are used to.
In this article, I will be bringing you the top 5 studio monitors with flat frequency response, I will also be telling you how I came up with that list and giving you some brief introduction on frequency response and how it affects your audio recording process.
What is Frequency Response and How does it affect my recording?
Before we look at studio monitors that have best frequency response, I think it is ideal we understand what frequency response is and how it affects audio quality.
Simply put, frequency response is a measurement of a device’s magnitude and phase output in response to an input stimulus.
What this means is that frequency response has to do with the actual and specific way audio sounds without any interference.
For humans, it is usually measured within the range of 20Hz to 20Khz.
This means that any studio monitor that can produce sound within this range will have a very flat response.
What comes out is actually what goes in without any interference.
For most people this is actually a good thing. As an audio engineer it is very good and makes my mixing job so much easier and fun.
But the major problem is that a flat response is very subjective
What may sound good to me might sound horrible to others. This is why in coming up with this list, I made sure to include as many studio monitors as possible after talking with a lot of audio engineers and leading experts in the industry
Differences between Consumer and Pro Speakers
Consumer speakers are built to please the listeners. This means that the sound coming out is already modified and enhanced to make the sound pleasing to the listeners. Whereas a Pro speaker (flat frequency response) has not been modified. What you hear is the audio sound in it’s “purest” form.
A lot of research and tweaking usually goes into production of pro speakers while consumer speakers are often an assembly of ready made components.
Criteria for making this selection
When making this list of the best studio monitors with flat frequency response, here are the criterial that I used.
It must have a frequency response range between the required 20Hz to 20KHz.
It must have a natural EQ sound.
It must have an accurate phase response. This means that the audio waveforms need to be time aligned and not have sharp edges in the wrong places.
It must have clean and controlled dynamics
Our Top 5 Studio Monitors That Translate Well
1. Yamaha HS8 Studio Monitor
Yamaha is an audio company that makes some of the flattest studio monitors in the industry and the HS8 is no exception.
It has a frequency response range of 38Hz to 30KHz making it ideal for getting that flat and natural sound.
It has an 8 inch cone and 1 inch dome tweeter that further helps to make your audio sound great.
It has room control and high trim response controls which helps you control the output when your speaker is placed close to the wall.
It has XLR and TRS inputs and outputs which helps you control the number of external devices you can plug.
They are designed in a low resonance enclosure space which helps to reduce unwanted resonance and also increase the accuracy of your sound production.
It has a unique onboard high performance amplifier that delivers high performance sound with flat response always.
1. It translates very well without any unnecessary resonance
2. It has an excellent build and clean sounds
3. They are perfect for mixing and mastering
1. They are a little smaller in size than expected
2. Genelec M040 Active 2-Way Monitor
The M040 studio monitors are some of the best sounding professional studio monitors today.
It is a general near field two way monitor with awesome frequency response.
It has a frequency response range of 48Hz to 20KHz which is an ideal range for flat frequency response.
It comes packaged with excellent active crossovers, room response compensation, an amazing optimized amplifiers and well composite enclosure.
It has a unique protection circuitry system which helps in protecting your monitors from getting burnt by excess voltage.
It has XLR and TRS input connectors for connecting as many external devices as possible.
1. It has a flat frequency response range
2. It has well optimized amplifiers and a metal dome tweeter for optimum sound
3. It has Room Response Compensation for getting that natural sound
1. It might be a bit pricey for most people but then you need to pay for quality sound
3. Equator Audio D5 DSP Coaxial Studio Monitors
If you are looking for a compact and accurate sounding studio monitor that translates very well, then this is your best choice.
It has a unique coaxially designed transducer with 5.25 inch subwoofer and a 1 inch silk tweeter that ensure that you get optimum sound quality.
It has a frequency response of 53Hz to 20KHz which is just the right range for that natural sound.
It has a state of the art digital amplifier and an internal DSP which allows you to adjust the factory settings easily.
It has a tuned front port which helps in ensuring that your low end extension is accurate. This also helps in reducing chuffing and low frequency distortion.
1. It has a crisp and clear audio sound quality
2. It is well built and designed to give optimum sound
3. It is a good all round monitor and very versatile
1. They do not fill out the down-end as much as possible
4. JBL LSR305 Professional Studio Monitor
With a frequency response that is within the acceptable range, this is the best bang for your buck studio monitors.
It has increased HF detail which means that you get to experience greater depth and ambience in your recordings while hearing even the most subtle detail.
It is very room friendly and get awesome sound quality even when used in a dense mix.
With it’s unique Broad Sweet Spot, it delivers natural and neutral sound regardless of the room acoustics.
This is such an important feature when using this monitor in untreated room.
It has a pair of efficient class D amplifiers that provide maximum power to deliver your sound output without distortion
It has an image control waveguide that lets you hear your audio in the most natural form without any modifications.
Its woofer and tweeters are designed to reproduce the powerful transients and dynamics of your mix making your job so much easier.
1. It produces cleans sounds and the bass reproduction is great
2. It has awesome stereo image
3. It is the best bang for your buck
1. The low end might not be up to par for some people
5. M-Audio AV42 Studio Monitors
This is an entry level studio monitor with one of the flattest frequency response in the industry.
It has flexible, uncovered speaker cones which helps to improve the sound quality and deliver crisp clear sounds.
It has a frequency response of 12Hz to 24 KHz which is perfect for producing natural sounding audio.
It has a 4 inch sub woofer and a 20 watt per channel amplifier which ensures that it has enough power to deliver the right output that you need
It comes with RCA inputs which allows you to connect external devices such as gaming systems and media devices.
It has a front headphone output which allows you to connect and work privately while the ⅛ inch stereo auxiliary let’s you easily switch audio sources as needed.
1. It is a two way reference speaker with awesome crisp clear sounds
2. It is very light and very portable
3. It has flexible tweeters and woofers that enhance the quality of your sounds
1. There might be a little white noise and static
Frequently Asked Questions
- What does it mean when a sound is flat? When we say a sound is flat, this means that it is at it’s most natural sound. Nothing has been done to enhance or modify it in anyway. To achieve this using a graphic equalizer, you leave all the settings at 0dB. This means that you don't boost any thing or cut anything out. The sound is just pure and natural.
- What is a good frequency response for speakers? After talking to a lot of audio engineers and musicians in the industry, an acceptable frequency response for audio monitors is between 20 Hz (which is the lowest bass tones) and 20 KHz (the highest treble notes)
- What is the frequency response curve? A frequency response curve is simply a curve that shows the gain or attenuation of a device such as an amp or studio monitor as a function of frequency. This helps to give a visual representation of whether your device is within a required range. A flat curve represents a uniform gain or attenuation over the range of frequencies for which the curve is flat.
- How many watts is a good speaker? The power of a speaker measured in Watts is a good indication of the quality of the speakers. Basically you want something that is loud enough for all your events and at the same time does not distort when used. The truth is there is no specific answer here. What you can do is get a good set of amplifiers that will also help in increasing the output of your speakers.
Getting audio monitors with a flat frequency response is one of the best thing you can do for yourself.
Especially as a beginner or someone learning how to mix audio properly.
You want something that delivers pure natural sound quality without any enhancements or modifications.
This will help in making you mix so much clearer and crisp when play across multiple listening devices.
Are there any other ones you can think off? Leave them in the comment box below