Side by Side: Nearfield Monitors
Our main studios often have a large pair of speakers. The announcers can turn it up and get into what they are playing. In production, producers can get a feel for how something sounds at low and higher levels. But for voice-over booths, news workstations and production workstations, something smaller is often needed.
In these cases, a pair of nearfield monitors works well. Typically placed around the console meter bridge, these smaller monitors still provide an accurate listening environment, but at more modest levels. Their placement is important, and the center of the speaker axis should face the listener, either by raising the speaker if it's mounted flat, or by tilting the speaker if it's on the counter top. Each speaker should be placed at a 30 degree angle from the listener (60 degrees total for the pair) in an equilateral triangle.
For our comparison, we chose models that are self-powered. This saves mounting a power amp in a rack, which helps when rack space is at a premium in smaller studios. We also picked bi-amped models with 5" woofers that also had tweeters about 1" in size.
All but one model use medium-density fiberboard (MDF) for the enclosure. Two of the models have threaded inserts to aid in mounting. All the models are magnetically shielded, which is important when the speaker is placed near a video monitor to reduce interference to the video. All the models also offer some audio adjustment controls to adjust for placement near a wall and other variations in equalization.
As always, the suggested retail price is shown, but street prices are often substantially less.
|Input Level Control|
LF Tilt: -2/-4/-6dB
Bass Roll-off: -6dB
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