The term studio monitors sound professional. It gives off this music studio, production vibe that may make you wonder if these are worth buying? And if so, can you use them as regular speakers or not? This debate has been going on all over the internet, and no one has the correct answer to it yet.
To your convenience, this article entails all the merits, demerits, uses, and features of studio monitors that could co-relate with your speaker needs and hopefully help you reach a verdict. Now, every human being’s requirements regarding their speaker preferences may vary vastly depending upon their taste of music or the speakers’ use.
What you choose and how you use them depends on your likes. Studio monitors have been in the speaker business for the longest time. The first studio monitors in history did not serve their purpose as loudspeakers or in the music production industry; instead, they were used to check for interferences and technical issues primarily.
As years passed, studio monitors have paved their way into the world, producing raw sound or otherwise known as flat responses. This feature is ideal for music studios and radio stations where original unaltered audio is essential for audio engineers.
Sound brings people together, like the famous song “We will rock you” by Queen. It brings the best in people and joins them together in unison, rhyming to one beat. Loudspeakers are the way to make this dream a reality, and that is why having a good speaker is essential even if it for your homestead or desktop.
What are Studio Monitors?
Studio monitors have come through history, not as loudspeakers, but to analyze noise interference and technical issues. Later in the 1940s, the first-ever studio monitor was manufactured using the drivers developed by JBL. Ever since then, studio monitors have produced raw, unmixed audio useful for professionals and music industries.
Studio monitors come in different shapes and sizes, but they are not portable. However, with the advancement of technology, studio monitors have become wireless with the integration of Bluetooth and WiFi. These speakers give you the customizability of studio-quality speakers and also the compatibility for your daily audio needs.
Studio speakers are nearfield speakers, which usually are not suitable for complete coverage. You have them facing towards you for more versatility and better hearing. Although these are not the best for long-range home theatre setups, studio monitors come in versions such as the far-field speakers. These can commercially be used for home theatres if needed.
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What Would You Call a Regular Speaker?
The term regular speakers are abstract. It does not mean one specific thing but rather a task that determines speakers’ use and features. Now, every individual has a very different terminology as to how they would define regular speakers.
To a regular bystander, regular speakers would mean a device that transmits audio. There will be no deeper meaning to it, anything that emits sound with high volume. The reason being is that to most people, speakers fulfill the requirements earphones can’t. No matter how the quality is, a loud enough speaker is an excellent speaker to an average person.
Now, if you ask an audiophile or any audio engineer, their requirements of a regular speaker are way different from that of an average person. Their answer to a regular speaker would be something that gives clear, uninterrupted audio with no distortions on any level of volume. Moreover, their preferences will also include high quality, durability, and customizability, all of which are available in most studio monitors.
Last but not least, homeowners and dad, their definition of a regular speaker includes something that can deliver good bass and greater audio coverage, ideal for home theatre setups. They prefer to surround sound, where you can hear the music or movie from any point in the room. You can feel the audio coming from the left and right as if you are in the film.
These are some of the most common responses to what regular speakers mean to everyone. The underlying factor is that how many people are willing to pay the premium for quality or are they going to settle for something low and straightforward.
Types of Studio Monitors:
There are different types of studio monitors. Studio monitors come in two varieties, Far Field and Near Field, the former for a larger coverage area and the latter for close proximity. The studio monitors come in these variants for their different abilities and usage, which you will find as follows.
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Near-Field Studio Monitors:
As the name explains, near field monitors focus on a closer range of coverage. These are desktop speakers that sit directly on your table or beside your computer, aimed towards you.
You might notice if you go to the far corner of your room while you have music or videos blasting from the speakers that no matter the volume, it does not sound the same there, which is why these types of speakers work best when you are close to them.
Near field, monitors work best when they are set on ear level. They emit the sound in such a way and with full clarity without losing any part of it and with less interruption. But, as you move far away from them, you will understand the difference even if you are not an audiophile.
These studio monitors do not look anything special in terms of appearance, and most times, you will not be able to tell them apart from standard bookshelf speakers or other low-grade versions. Like the Yamaha HS8, it looks hefty and professionally builds, but so do several others. The main difference lies in the performance, and that is where studio monitors take the cake.
Most of these monitors come as 2-way or 3-way variants where the former can only emit the high and low frequencies while the latter has an additional driver for the mid-ranges. Studio monitors, no matter the number of drivers, will not compromise in quality; with the state of the art woofer, tweeters, and super tweeters, the audio quality is absolutely phenomenal.
Additionally, you can even produce music out of one of these bad boys. You have probably noticed in many music videos; studio monitors are set right in front of the producer while the artist sings in the back. Near-field monitors are compact and can be placed anywhere in the room as long as you use them nearby.
Far-Field Studio Monitors:
Yet again, these are precisely what the title suggests, far-field monitors which are ideal for a large room or area of coverage. Far-field studio monitors are placed at the corners of the room to experience a better surround sound and feel the audio’s booms and beats.
These speakers can replace your home theatres, but in most cases, they are often used in radio stations and music studios. Far-field monitors stand at the corners of the room and must also be placed at ear level for the optimal experience. Moreover, they come with speaker stands to mount them up for placement.
Distinguishing these from standard speakers or near-field monitors is easy. While the monitors’ functionalities and performance are familiar to those near-field monitors, they are bigger and louder. You can feel more of the beat and the clear audio clarity from the far-field speakers from any part in the room.
Uses of Studio Monitors:
When it comes to the use of studio monitors, it is boundless. The flexibility of these speakers has made them accessible to a variety of services all around. Besides, you can say if a speaker is good enough for professional use, it is good enough for casual usage every day at home. You can explore some of the primary benefits of studio monitors ranging from high-end professional service to regular desktop monitors as follows below.
Music and Recording Studios:
You can look it up on the internet or in any music videos; studio monitors are all over the recording studios. For their capability of producing clean, unmixed, and unfiltered sound, studio monitors are the best devices most compatible with audio production. Most studios use both types of monitors, the near-field monitors when sitting behind the console to hear the dialogues and vocals and the far-field units all around the room. And last but not least, you have to say, these studio monitors really bring out the premium aesthetics when working professionally with it.
TV and Radio Stations:
Radio stations are old school, but they are still the best entertainment form that does not require the internet. Recording these radio shows in a well isolated and soundproof environment is essential for quality audio. Taking the Mackie SRM450V3 portable studio monitor, this unit is used in broadcasting stations for its pristine audio quality and greater dialogue clarity, which is the only essential component of the radio broadcasting business.
Studio monitors have different variants, which can either make your existing system better or replace it entirely. The far-field monitors can fulfill the surround sound experience and make it better. On the other hand, you can also add some depth to your audio by adding a studio monitor to your setup.
For example, the Adam Audio A7X is an excellent device that can bring clarity to your movie-watching experience. It can add the perfect bass and the thumps while also giving you a near 3D-audio experience. Moreover, you can also keep this monitor as an additional component to enhance your existing home theatre setup. Plus, with the latest technology, getting speakers to work in synch is easy with the press of a button. Some applications let you calibrate these monitors to your liking and much more, ideal for any audiophile or non-audiophile alike.
Home Studio Setups:
Not all artists produce music professionally by visiting studios and producers. Many of them are self-made talents who brought themselves up to fame through their own home studio. The rapper Kanye West or the singer Charlie Puth all have their home studio setups to cut the hassle of traveling.
Additionally, with the growing popularity of podcasts, having a home studio is essential for the hosts. Like Josh Peck, Joe Rogan, celebrities have set up their own version of home studios where studio monitors are prominent. For example, the Yamaha HS series have become the staple for home studio setups for their ergonomic look and versatile functionalities.
Gaming Stations and Desktop Setups:
The use of speakers in gaming might seem unnecessary because most games are competitive and require you to listen closely to footsteps or enemies nearby in Battle Royales. Here the use of headphones is the logical answer; however, studio monitors have become more advanced and perform exceptionally well in gaming.
Moreover, many story-driven games are always best experienced with speakers, and studio monitors are the perfect fit to fulfill that requirement. Monitors like the Yamaha HS5 are ideal for games like The Last of Us or Ghost Of Tsushima, where the games are aesthetically pleasing, and the audio is equally exquisite.
Conference Calls and Meeting Rooms:
Maintaining conference calls where a large number of people are present is difficult. There will be distortions and interruptions all around, and the tiny speakerphone on the device is of no help regarding the issue. This is why many companies, especially in this pandemic, has opted to go for studio monitors. The sound quality is excellent, and the studio monitors handle sound at different frequencies individually, which makes them perfect for conference calls where many people attend.
Studio Monitors and Regular Speakers: Are They The Same?
By now, you may have probably understood what studio monitors are and how they relate to regular speakers. So, to answer your question, yes, studio monitors can be used for regular speakers. The uses co-inside with each other, while regular speakers cannot perform as better, studio monitors make up for that and leave room for further improvements.
Studio monitors now fulfill the functionalities of portable speakers as well. You can put them anywhere in your house, use them for movies, music, or games. Most regular speakers are used for desktop setups, home theatre systems, or conference calls.
Now, the traditional speakers may fulfill your day to day requirements, but they will lack performance. Regular active speakers consist of one amplifier that powers the whole speaker unit, which means one amplifier for the tweeters, woofers, and super tweeters (in 3-way speakers).
On the contrary, studio monitors are better for regular usage because they provide good performance for the price. What makes studio monitors even better is their amplification. Each driver in the speaker unit comprises their own amplification, which helps bring out the sound’s true clarity.
Whatever you want to listen to, studio monitors can make it sound better. Now, many manufacturers are even developing budget-friendly studio monitors for the consumers who want a good experience but also do not want it falling heavy on their bank account. It is always an investment when it comes to studio monitors, but it is an investment you can have faith in.
In the end, what you want to listen to is the main deciding factor here. But, as the above argument concludes, no matter what you want to hear, you can always get a pair of studio monitors and use them for your regular events. If you have the money to spend on a studio monitor, go for it, you don’t have to be a professional to use one for your daily endeavors. Regular speakers or studio monitors, both do the same job, bring your music to life.