Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 55 (Review & Buying Guide)

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The increasing consumer demands for better and professional sound production calls for advanced audio equipment and that includes a studio monitor. If you are looking for a compact but effective monitoring system to complete your studio gear, then we might have just the right solution for you.

Being an audiophile or a home audio enthusiast, you must be aware of the fact that a normal pair of desktop speakers might not be enough to deliver the professional results you desire. For this purpose Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 55 Bookshelf Speakers might just be what you’re looking for. Don’t let its compact size fool you though. This bookshelf speaker adds richness and depth to your stereo music and movie soundtracks, and belts out big bass.

 While studio monitors are available in various brands and models, they don’t come cheap and hence we recommend gathering all the relevant information before settling for one. If you’re still doubtful, here is a mini-guide to buying the best studio monitor available in the market that fits your needs to help you make an informed decision:

Things to Consider When Buying a Studio Monitor

There are plenty of options available when it comes to buying the right studio monitor and the process can definitely be overwhelming for some. But no need to rush your decision. Here are some important factors you need to consider before you finally select a monitoring system for yourself:

Speaker Wattage

The power of a studio monitor directly affects its performance. The higher the power, the better the performance will be. Although, this factor doesn’t affect the volume of the sound produced by the monitor but it helps in delivering a greater dynamic range in the audio being mixed. In simple words, the higher the wattage is, the greater the dynamic range will be. This provides you with extra room to mix your music in a better manner.

However, one important thing to consider is that when we talk about a powerful monitoring system, louder isn’t always better. Driving your speakers to maximum capacity might lead you to experience clipped and distorted elements in your music and you may also lose some delicate elements from the track.

Frequency Range

Your studio monitor should be able to handle the full frequency range. Most monitoring system’s specifications list the lowest frequency in hertz (Hz) and the highest frequency in kilohertz (kHz). For most audio mixes, a frequency response of 20 Hz – 20 kHz is adequate as the same range is also the accepted standard range of human audible frequencies.

Along with the frequency, should also focus on the amount of variation, indicated in decibels that your frequency range may be subject to. For instance if a studio monitor’s frequency range specification is listed as 20 Hz – 20 kHz ± 3db, this indicates that some frequencies may be softer or louder by as much as 3 decibels at different points across the full frequency range. For most devices, a rating of ±3 decibels or less provides well-balanced sound.

Sound and Size

You should select the size of your monitoring system in accordance with the size of your studio space. If you are mixing music in a small, confined space, smaller studio monitors will allow you to get you much better and accurate results.

Remember, providing you with ‘good’ sound isn’t the main purpose of a studio monitor instead it is to provide as much precision and accuracy as possible. The ideal monitoring systems should be able to reveal every little detail in your mix, whether it is bad or good. It should also portray an accurate balance across the complete range of frequency. In the end, the acoustics in your room plays a huge role in the sound you’ll hear from your studio monitor, therefore carrying out some basic absorbent acoustic treatment is highly recommended for the best results.

Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 55 Review:

Let’s take a thorough look at Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 55.

Key Features of Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 55

Second-Generation Pure Aluminum Dome Tweeter

The Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 55 is equipped with 1” pure second-generation aluminum dome tweeter which yields extended, smooth treble. First, this advanced driver goes through heat-treatment in order to relax the crystal structure of the metal and then it is coated with a ceramic that helps in the production of sparkling, clear highs without any trace of edginess. It allows you to hear the subtle high-frequency details in your mix such as the bell-like ring of a brass cymbal or the sound that wire brushes make when they gently sweep the snare head.

Definitive Second-Generation Patented BDSS Driver

The 6-1/2″ mid/bass driver of the Definitive Technology SM55 uses their latest Balanced Dual Surround System (BDSS) driver design. The high-tech driver design places a surround on both the inner and outer edge of the speaker cone and also makes the monitor one of the top-notch speaker models. This allows the cone to achieve increased stability during its movement, which results in more accurate and cleared sound – even when the volume levels are high.

This mid/bass driver also gets Definitive’s second-generation Linear Response Waveguide™. The cone comes with a mushroom-shaped post located right in its center which helps to smooth the off-axis frequency response in order to achieve a more realistic sonic image, and even and broad sound dispersion. In result, every listener present in the room hears open and balanced sound with lifelike instrumentals and vocals.

Detailed Design

Don’t let the compact design of the Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 55 Bookshelf Speakers fool you. Definitive paid close attention to its visible and hidden design elements. The top-mounted bass radiator provides excellent low-frequency response, and a sophisticated crossover network manufactured with audiophile-grade high-quality components include Mylar film capacitors and over-sized inductor coils also work to give you faster transients for sound with immediacy and real presence, more powerful dynamics, and a flatter and smoother frequency response.

The vault-like, sturdy cabinet construction of the speakers also plays an important role in their performance. Its cross-braced, well-damped enclosure features a front baffle which is specially contoured with tapered sides to decrease vibrations and diffraction as much as possible that can have a negative impact on the accuracy of your sound.

Specifications of Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 55

  • Brand Name: Definitive Technology
  • Color: Black
  • Item Dimensions: 15.1 x 10.6 x 16.1 inches
  • Item Weight: 14.31 lbs
  • Mounting Type: Bookshelf
  • Frequency Response: 32 Hz – 30 kHz
  • Recommended Amplifier Power: 20 – 225 watts
  • Impedance: 8 Ohms
  • Sensitivity: 90 dB

Pros of Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 55

  • E extended, smooth highs
  • Accurate, clear sound at loud volume levels
  • Smooth off-axis frequency response
  • More realistic imaging
  • Broad, even sound dispersion
  • Resists twisting and vibrations to reduce distortion
  • Excellent low frequency response
  • Clean, uncolored sound
  • High-gloss, anti-diffraction baffle
  • Detachable cloth grille

Cons of Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 55

  • Bass radiator on top causes placement issues

The Package Includes:

  • Detachable black cloth grille
  • Black bookshelf loudspeaker
  • 4 self-adhesive rubber feet
  • 2 jumpers (attached to speaker terminals)
  • Online Product Registration card
  • Owner’s manual

Customer Impressions

Here is what some of the happy customers of Definitive Technology SM55 Bookshelf Speakers have to say about it:

Best Value for Money

They’re truly audiophile quality and sound, and that too at a reasonable price. They’re able to handle high power with virtually no distortion and are built to perfection.

Ideal for Surround Sound

These speakers are ideal for surround sound. They definitely don’t sound like bookshelf speakers that cost thousands but for an above-average AVR setup, these speakers do the trick.

Good Customer Service Support

Although these speakers are not manufactured in the USA, their domestic customer service support is excellent in case needed. Studio monitors can sometimes be tricky to set up, so it’s good to have some extra help.

End Note

If your goal is to buy studio monitors that can provide a perfect balance of utility, performance, and style, then these Definitive Technology SM55 Bookshelf Speakers might just be the product you need to complete your audio equipment collection.

Frequently Asked Questions about Definitive Technology StudioMonitor 55

Are Definitely Technology SM55 Bookshelf Speakers ported or sealed?

They are sealed.

Do these speakers work well with stereo systems?

Yes, they work very well with stereo systems.

Which kind of speaker wire is needed for these speakers?

14 or 16 gauge speaker wire works well with these speakers.

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