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Cheap Studio Monitors for the Budget Conscious Engineer

Update: Some of my Twitter followers threw out some great suggestions for additional studio monitors so I’ve included them at the end. If you have had a great experience with your monitors please let us know in the comment!

Disclaimer: This was originally posted on the old Audio Issues site. The buyer’s guides on that page were pretty popular so I’m bringing them over for additional exposure.

Buying your first pair of studio monitors can be an exciting but tiring experience. There are just so many options out there! Especially if you haven’t really had any good monitors before you probably have no idea what you are looking for. Which brand? How much money should I spend? Are there any special things I should worry about?

If you are in the market for your first studio monitors or are just looking for a cheap second pair, there are a fair amount of great budget options out there for you.

Here below you can see a few popular and recommended options for budget monitors in the price range of under $500. I would say a budget of $500 is a maximum starting budget and you can probably get a pretty decent pair for under $300.

These links here below are affiliate links and if you are seriously looking for monitors please make a purchase through any of these links. Just by doing that you would be helping out this website a great deal.

Fostex PM0.5 MKII

I’ve seen the Fostex PM0.4 advertised in many buyer’s guides but I’d recommend a bigger driver for that additional bass response.

Alesis Monitor 1 Active MKII

A friend of mine can’t get enough of these. He thinks they sound awesome and him being an audio engineer and music recording teacher I’m keen to believe him.

Behringer TRUTH B2031A

Say what you will about Behringer. They haven’t exactly got the best reputation for quality, but I’ve used these monitors and they deliver what they’re selling. A great budget solution.

KRK Rokit 5 G2 Monitors with Stands

One of KRK staple budget monitors. Great quality and great price. Everyone I know who has these loves them. And with some included microphones will get you started even sooner.

M-Audio BX8a Deluxe

I used the Bx5A Deluxe for a while and I loved them. They were a bit high in the brilliance department but the BX8a, with a better low end reach would sound wonderful.

Ikey Audio M-808v2

@createmusictips says:

“Not very well known but really good monitors for the price”

Mackie Mr5

Tannoy reveal 501A

I got a shout out for these two pairs from loyal Twitter follower @ProfKarp. Both really good monitors for a great price.

Mind your acoustics

Whether you are looking for your first pair of studio monitors or are shopping around for a replacement, be sure that there are some great deals you can get for under $500 and many of these deals are much cheaper than that.

Lastly, keep in mind that great studio monitors are never going to sound great in an untreated room. You might have fun listening to your favorite music through them but if you are going to do any serious recording you need your monitors to accurately reflect what’s coming out of them without the acoustics of the room interfering with your music mixing and productions.

Do you have suggestions for cheap budget monitors? Share your thoughts here below.

Image by: CJ Sorg


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About Audio Issues and Björgvin Benediktsson

At Audio Issues you’ll learn simple and practical audio production tips you can use right away to improve your music from your home recording studio.  Björgvin is the best-selling author of Step By Step Mixing and the founder of Audio Issues. He helps musicians and producers turn amateur demos into professionally produced records they can be proud to release.

We help home studio musicians and project studio producers make a greater musical impact in their lives by teaching them the skills needed to grow their hobbies and careers. We do this by offering simple and practical music production and success skills they can use right away to level themselves up – while rejecting negativity and gear-shaming from the industry. A rising tide floats all boats and the ocean is big enough for all of us to surf the sound waves.

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