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best studio monitors over 1000

Best studio monitors over $1,000

Other than the room you’re working in and how well it’s treated, studio monitors are one of the best investments to make for your recording setup. And when it comes to the best studio monitors, more expensive means better. Better sound, better build quality, better features.

That’s not to say that monitors under $1,000 can’t and don’t sound great. But the monitors here offer some next-gen features like onboard DSP for room calibration, EQ, and three-way or two-way switch for making sure your mixes sound great on any playback system. 

Let’s run down some of the best studio monitors over $1,000 and why they’re worth a listen.

Best studio monitors over $1,000 overall: JBL 708P

JBL 708P
Best overall studio monitors over $1,000
JBL 708P
These versatile nearfield monitors offer 12 bands of EQ and analog and digital inputs for integrating with a variety of audio setups.
Pros
Great for music, film, and broadcast
Control Waveguide provides peerless sound
12 bands of onboard EQ
Analog and digital inputs
Cons
Nearfield only
Might be too feature-rich for certain needs

JBL makes some of the best speaker designs in the world, and these 8” nearfields are no different. They’re versatile and a great choice for music production, film, even broadcast.

They use a special JBL driver that uses their Control Waveguide to provide fantastic dynamic range, detail, accuracy, and sonic imaging. And if you’re working in a less than ideal acoustic environment there’s 12 bands of on-board room EQ and delay to help compensate. 

If you work in film/TV post production, the 8-band User EQ corrects issues that occur if you place them behind a screen.

Analog and digital inputs are available with included sample rate converters up to 192kHz. This means no matter what type of gear you’re working with or how you have it routed they will more than likely be able to integrate. 

Best three-way powered studio monitors over $1,000: ADAM Audio A77H 7”

ADAM Audio A77H 7”
Best three-way powered studio monitors over $1,000
ADAM Audio A77H 7”
This 3-way monitor features dual 7″ woofers, X-ART tweeter and DSP for room calibration. They can be used in vertical or horizontal positioning and offer an ethernet connection for future-proofing.
Pros
3-way monitor
Dual 7″ woofers, X-ART tweeter
DSP for room calibration
Can be used in vertical or horizontal positioning
Ethernet connection for future-proofing
Cons
Not everyone needs a 3-way monitor

Most monitors have two drivers – a woofer for the low end and a tweeter to handle the highs. A three-way monitor has an additional driver to cover the midrange. The A77H has two 7” woofers, midrange driver, and Adam Audio’s X-ART tweeter. This reproduces all frequencies.

This is another model that includes DSP so you can tune them to the room. A rotatable HPS waveguide lets you orient each speaker in vertical or horizontal positioning without losing any clarity.

They are designed with the future in mind, and through an ethernet connection you can add on additional filters and voicings. This makes them a great choice if you’re worried about having to upgrade as time goes on.

Best 10” studio monitors over $1,000: Dynaudio Acoustics BM15A

Dynaudio Acoustics BM15A
Best 10” studio monitors over $1,000
Dynaudio Acoustics BM15A
If you need something powerful with full-frequency response but don’t need any additional features like DSP or EQ, these are one of the best choices in the over $1,000 range.
Pros
Work in near or midfield positions
Full-range response with extended low end
ESOTEC tweeter offers a lot of headroom
Good transient response
Cons
No features like DSP or EQ

These are unique in that they are considered “mid-to-near-field” monitors. This means they work at either distance. Full-range response has extended low end through the 10” woofer, which makes those hard to tame bass frequencies more accurate.

It’s outfitted with Dynaudio’s ESOTEC soft dome tweeter that offers 1000 watts of headroom. The crossover is electronic phase-aligned and feeds signal into two discrete MOSEFT amps.

As far as how they sound, they’re punchy with a full frequency reproduction and great transient response. The circuit includes a protection element to prevent any damage to the drivers when if you crank them.

The BM15A doesn’t offer any fancy features like DSP or EQ, but if you need monitors that sound great across the entire spectrum, have plenty of punch, and a great low end these affordable models are for you.

Best 8” studio monitors over $1,000: Fluid Audio Image 2

Fluid Audio Image 2
Best 8” studio monitors over $1,000
Fluid Audio Image 2
Another model that can be used in near or midfield setup, the Image 2 features DSP, great sonic imaging, full frequency response, and are switchable between two-way and three-way.
Pros
Can be used in near or midfield positioning
Built-in DSP
Good sonic imaging with full frequency response
Switchable between two-way and three-way
Cons
Some might need a larger monitor than 8″

The Image 2 can be used in a nearfield or midfield setup. One of the coolest features is that these Class-D monitors come with built-in DSP. 

With a sonic image that’s amazingly accurate, you also get a flat frequency response and great low end extension. Room calibration is one of their built-in features, so you can dial them in to the exact needs of your room acoustics.

They’re also a two-in-one, meaning you can switch to cubemix mode. This lets you alter the low and mid ranges to simulate how they sound on devices with smaller speakers, like phones and laptops. They’re just as good for mastering as they are for mixing, adding even more value.

Best 7” studio monitors over $1,000: FOCAL Trio11 Be

FOCAL Trio11 Be
Best 7” studio monitors over $1,000
FOCAL Trio11 Be
These 7″ monitors pack in a lot of features. Precise imaging, up to 118dB SPL, switchable between two-way and three-way, and EQ controls.
Pros
Precise and articulate imaging
Can go up to 118dB SPL
Switchable between two-way and three-way
EQ setting on rear
Cons
Only 7″
Some might not want neutral frequency response

If you need 7” monitors that work in either nearfield or midfield configuration you can’t go wrong with the Trio11 Be from FOCAL. They’re one of the newer companies making this type of gear, but they quickly made a reputation of creating great-sounding gear. 

They provide a neutral frequency response and precise imaging that articulate detail so you can make the best mix decisions. Using Class-G amplification on the mid-range woofer and sub, at 118dB SPL they can get loud

The FOCUS switchover lets you select between three-way or two-way operation. Through a separately sold footswitch you can even do it in real-time. This helps you make sure your mixes translate to any type of playback device. The mid-treble plate can be set to vertical or horizontal orientation. On the rear you get bass, mid-bass, and treble settings to help tune them to your acoustic environment.

If you need a switchable three to two-way monitor with a high output and useful included EQ options from a company known for making stellar-sounding monitors these deserve a listen.

Best 5″ powered studio monitors over $1,000: FOCAL Shape Twin Dual

FOCAL Shape Twin Dual 5 inch Powered Studio Monitor
Best 5″ powered studio monitors over $1,000
FOCAL Shape Twin Dual
These expertly designed, small powered studio monitors have fantastic frequency response across the entire spectrum.
Pros
Compact
Flexible tweeter
No port, can be placed near walls
Flax sandwich cone offers solid bass response
Powered
Cons
Less low end response than monitors with larger drivers

One of the best selling points of the Shape Twin Dual is its design. Featuring dual (hence the name) passive radiators, woofers with balanced bass response thanks to Flax cone technology, and an M-shaped inverted dome tweeter with a flexible sweet spot crafted from an aluminum/magnesium alloy it covers the entire frequency spectrum with detail and clarity.

There are no sound ports, so you don’t have to worry about placing it directly by the walls of your studio space. In fact, it comes with fastening mechanisms so you can mount them directly on a ceiling or wall. Fastening accessories aren’t included though.

It’s small, but mighty and is incredibly tonally balanced, so don’t let the smaller drivers turn you off. If you’re looking to add a monitor with smaller drivers to your monitoring setup, this model from FOCAL is one of the best you can get.

FAQ

What are the best studio monitors for mixing?

Your room plays a big part in this, especially if it’s treated. Professional and larger studios use different types and sizes for referencing. Smaller studios usually use something in the 6”-8” range. 

Field range and where you place them matters too. If you can only get one type, nearfields are probably the best for you. But having access to midfields is useful. 

Are bigger studio monitors better?

Better is subjective. Bigger studio monitors offer some advantages. A larger speaker produces more low end, notoriously the hardest part of the frequency spectrum to get right.

Ever had trouble getting your mixes to translate across different playback systems? A lot of times it’s an issue with the low end. Often times it’s the acoustics of the room you mixed it in.

Larger monitors can also be placed further from your listening position. They’re louder, and have a wider “sweet spot” in the sound than smaller models.

How much should you spend on studio monitors?

How much budget you have available is the biggest deciding factor. But you also have to consider what type of monitors you need. Different field depths each have their own pros and cons.

Obviously price is a huge factor. But models within your budget should be secondary compared to the features and benefits they provide.

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