Let’s face it: Most home recording is done in less-than-honest acoustic environments. So when you’re shopping for studio monitors, accuracy is crucial. But your evaluation doesn’t end there.
Choosing the right monitor means understanding how its design characteristics affect its frequency response (and your listening fatigue). Get familiar with specs: Learn how power and sensitivity influence a monitor’s performance. (And know which ratings to take with a grain of salt.) Understand the pros and cons of powered vs. active monitors. (Need to brush up? This month’s “Ask” on the next page breaks it down for you.)
These factors are further influenced by the ways you use your monitors. Do you work with clients who have specific needs (mixing at high SPLs, for example)? Will you be mixing on a portable rig, or in hotels and other inconsistent environments? Do you need to be able to make speaker response adjustments to compensate for room placement?
Your speakers, more than any other piece of gear, impact every mix you make—and you’ll spend more time with them than with anything else in your studio. So choose wisely. Start with our “Monitors for Musicians”. And for some honest perspective, check out Gino Robair’s Rough Mix Column, “Monitors in Moderation,” on our back page. Ultimately, your monitor choice boils down to how it sounds. Just make sure you understand the factors influencing that sound.