Side by Side: Nearfield Monitors


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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.

Model
Genelec 8030A
JBL LSR2325P
KRK Rokit 5 G2
Mackie MR5mk2
Yamaha HS50M
Inputs
1x XLR
1x XLR, 1x 1/4" TRS, 1x RCA
1x XLR, 1x 1/4" TRS, 1x RCA
1x XLR, 1x 1/4" TRS, 1x RCA
1x XLR, 1x 1/4" TRS
Outputs
1x XLR
-
-
-
-
Woofer
5"
5"
5"
5.25"
5"
Tweeter
0.75"
1"
1"
1"
0.75"
Enclosure
Reflex port
Waveguide
Waveguide
Bass reflex
Bass reflex
Material
aluminum
MDF
MDF
MDF
MDF
Frequency Response
58Hz - 20kHz
43Hz - 20kHz
53Hz - 20kHz
50Hz - 20kHz
55Hz - 20kHz
SPL
108dB
101dB
106dB
104dB
N/A
Amplifers
2
2
2
2
2
Amp Power
40W LF 40W HF 80W total
55W LF 35W HF 90W total
30W LF 15W HF 45W total
55W LF 30W HF 85W total
45W LF 25W HF 70W total
Input Level Control
-
yes
yes
yes
yes
EQ
HF Tilt: -2dB
LF Tilt: -2/-4/-6dB
Bass Roll-off: -6dB
HF: -2.5/0/+2.5dB
LF: -3/0/+2dB
HF: -2/-1/0/+1dB
HF: -2/0/+2dB
LF: 0/+2/+4dB
Mid: ±2dB @2kHz; High: ±2dB; Room Control: 0/-2/-4dB <500Hz; Low Cut: Flat/80Hz/100Hz
Power
120Vac
115 or 230Vac
110-120 or 220-240Vac
115Vac
120Vac
Shielded
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
Mounting
back and base threads
4-point threads
-
-
-
Size (HxWxD)
11.25" x 7.44" x 7.06"
11.9" x 7.4" x 10"
11.1" x 7.28" x 9.06"
11.5" x 7.8" x 10.6"
10.5" x 8.74" x 6.5"
Weight (lb.)
12.3
16
14
14.3
12.8
MSRP
$895
$250
$250
$200
$250
URL
genelecusa.com
jblpro.com
krksys.com
mackie.com
yamaha.com



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