Review: PreSonus Monitor Station V2

Desktop studio control center
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PreSonus created the original Monitor Station to provide a lot of tools a personal studio needs— assignable input sources and cue, headphone outputs, speaker switcher, talkback mic—in a reasonably priced, desktop-friendly package. With the update to V2, the company didn’t simply refresh the product; it added useful features while improving the device ergonomically.

Built into a smaller, lighter-weight chassis with a reduced footprint, the enhanced functionality in the Monitor Station V2 provides S/PDIF digital input, while the Aux input now includes a 3.5mm stereo input along with RCA jacks, making it more convenient to use with consumer-grade and portable playback devices. Together with two stereo channels of line input on TRS jacks, you now have four stereo inputs to work with.

Top among the ergonomic improvements, everything relating to the Cue mix is located in the upper portion of the unit, while the lower portion handles the Main output. Additionally, buttons such as Dim and their associated controls are placed next to each other.

The majority of the I/O remains the same in the new model: 1/4" TRS jacks for line-level main and cue outputs, three pairs of TRS monitor outputs (which can be configured as two pairs with a subwoofer), and the aforementioned line inputs. In addition, the trim controls for the speaker outputs were moved from the top to the rear panel, while an input for an external talkback mic was sacrificed (which I suspect no one will miss).

The calibration sequence is well-explained and straightforward, making it quick and easy to get your playback system set up with a great deal of accuracy. With reasonably transparent sound quality and all the other features you expect— mono and mute buttons, input summing mode, the ability to combine speaker pairs—the Monitor Station V2 provides major improvements to your studio that are both useful and affordable.

$299.95 street