New studio monitors are released all the time, but only occasionally does a particular model jump up and grab your attention. That happened for us this year with the PreSonus R80, an active 8-inch model. It’s the larger of two models in the R-series (the other is the 6.5-inch R65), and is remarkably compact considering the size of its driver. However, the R80’s smaller-than-expected footprint doesn’t hinder its ability to impressively reproduce bottom end.
Probably the most unusual aspect of the R80 is its AMT (Air Motion Transformer) tweeter, which is similar to a ribbon tweeter in the way it responds. Thanks to this tweeter, the R80 reproduces highs with accuracy but not harshness, allowing for long mix sessions without ear fatigue. The back panel offers a useful array of controls for tailoring the R80 to the acoustics of your room, plus XLR, 1/4-inch TRS, and RCA inputs.