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If you’re a music enthusiast, you probably heard the term ‘Monitor Speaker’ before. In fact, experts regard them as the most important tool for producing quality sound.
So what is a monitor speaker?
This is your all-inclusive guide to everything you need to know about them!
Table of Contents
- 1 Monitor Speakers in a Nutshell
- 2 Where Can You Install a Monitor Speaker?
- 3 Can I Use Them for my Computer?
- 4 How do I connect Monitor Speakers?
- 5 Do I need Two Monitor Speakers?
- 6 Difference Between a Hi-Fi and a Monitor Speaker
- 7 The Right Monitor Speaker for You
- 8 To Sum Up
Monitor Speakers in a Nutshell
Monitor speakers are for producing flat frequencies and accurate sounds so that you avoid speaker resonances and audio impurities. They’re mainly for producers who want to mix accurate sounds without the speaker’s artificial audios.
A monitor speaker usually has two sub-speakers; the higher one is called a tweeter, it produces high frequencies. Accordingly, the other one is placed right below it, it’s called a woofer and produces lower frequencies.
Most speakers come with these two parts only, there are a few ones that come with a third part that produces mid-range frequencies.
Where Can You Install a Monitor Speaker?
There are a bunch of places where you can make use of a monitor speaker. Check them out below!
Duh! Monitor speakers’ primary aim is in recording studios.
These studios are specially built to support different sound frequencies. A fully equipped studio often has several monitors placed around the room.
In case you like to work from home, monitors will be pretty useful for your mixing. You just need to choose the right one and you’re free to produce whatever you like!
If you’re one of the few lucky guys who has a built-in theatre in their house, a monitor speaker would be of great use. Actually, it can be the perfect addition to your high-quality screen. You’ll have to install several ones throughout the room, though, because they don’t work well at long distances.
Studio monitors work well with video games. They’ll make your experience more enjoyable with the enhanced sound they produce.
They work at their optimum if they’re 2-3 feet away from you while playing. In fact, they may not work well if they’re placed further away.
Can I Use Them for my Computer?
It’s technically not the best option, but yes, you can use monitor speakers as computer speakers. The reason we advise against it is because of the sound produced. Your listening will not be enjoyable because you’ll hear all the imbalances in the music.
You’ll also find it tricky to connect the speaker to your computer if you don’t have an audio interface.
Computers need regular speakers that you can use for listening to music. Monitor speakers produce flat sounds that don’t suit computer use; they aren’t for the average consumer.
Next, I’ll explain in full detail why they’re different from each other.
How do I connect Monitor Speakers?
Connecting studio monitors to your PC or laptop is pretty easy, you only need two 3.5mm jack to 2x XLR cables; one for each speaker. If your cable is shorter than needed, you can extend it using a microphone cable.
If you’re using an audio interface, you can connect the monitor speaker either through the 6.35mm jack or the RCA outputs.
Do I need Two Monitor Speakers?
Monitor Speakers are mostly sold as individuals. If you’re buying them for producing or mixing music, it’s better if you get two speakers for better sound.
Some monitor speakers come in sets, so you don’t need to get two separate ones. If you do, you should get two identical ones.
Difference Between a Hi-Fi and a Monitor Speaker
You can’t buy either one of them before you know the difference. Even shop salespeople might not be very helpful in this area. Besides, they usually offer the fancy gear, not the speakers you need.
Don’t worry though, I got you covered!
There are a lot of factors to keep in mind regarding that matter:
The sound may be the most obvious difference between them. Hi-Fi or computer speakers are meant to enhance sound quality. This means that they’ll add artificial sounds and frequencies.
Studio monitors are the complete opposite; they have a flat, accurate sound that doesn’t travel long distances.
The purpose of monitor speakers is to produce and mix high-quality sound, their primary use is for professional users.
Hi-Fi speakers, on the other hand, provide an enjoyable listening experience to the average user.
Being active, monitor speakers mostly come with built-in amplifiers that are useful for the quality demands of a speaker. Regular speakers are passive, and so they receive power from an external amplifier.
Hi-Fi speakers produce sound evenly all over the room. Monitor speakers only produce sound over short distances.
The reason for this is to avoid making errors due to the frequencies in the room.
Either way, you’ll need to install your speaker in the right place to get the highest quality.
On the other hand, regular Hi-Fi speakers are average-sized because they don’t come with extra equipment. It’s pretty easy to know the difference just by looking.
The Right Monitor Speaker for You
Now you’ve come to the most difficult part of buying a monitor speaker. Deciding which one is right for you can be tricky. Even if you’re pretty knowledgeable!
I’ve made you a list of different monitor speaker properties that’ll help you decide.
If you’re working from home, active speakers will be more convenient with space and budget. Mainly because you won’t need to worry about getting an external amplifier.
Getting a passive speaker will mean you’ll need to get an external amplifier. If it suits your budget and room space, there is no reason why you can’t buy it.
If you adjust the right setting and install the right amplifier, it’ll work well for you.
Far-field speakers are usually placed around 5-10 feet away from the listener; their main aim is to make use of the room frequencies.
They offer thorough listening experiences, but you may need to get a diffuser to avoid room resonances tampering with your mixing.
They’re convenient for theatres and recording studios. Mainly because they produce real-life sounds that are almost impossible to make using any other speaker.
Near-field speakers are usually placed 2-3 feet away from the user. They give proximity to the direct sound over the reflected sound from the room’s surfaces, allowing for more accurate listening.
Some users prefer it because it produces a sound close to the consumer’s speakers, which gives them a trial of what the music will sound like.
They’re the safer option if you’re working from home because they don’t require any changes to the room they’re placed in.
To Sum Up
While choosing the suitable monitor speaker, make sure you get the full picture, don’t depend solely on the shop recommendations. Now that you have all the info you need, you can focus on getting the right monitor.
Here is the thing, if your music sounds good on your monitor, it’ll sound good on any playing system!
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