Entry level studio monitor group test — what do you want to see?

DJ studio monitor group test krk rokit 8

As the DJWORX studio continues to develop and  take shape, 2 things have become clear:

  1. These KRK Rokit 8s, though utterly wonderful, are overkill for pumping MP3s out to keep me company, and better used in the evolving performance space.
  2. We’re long overdue for another industry leading group test.

Now, having been bitten by the sound bug recently, and realising just how important it really is for DJs and producers, we’re planning a heap of articles and group tests. And the realisation that these KRKs are better used elsewhere in the studio, I figure that the best place to start is with an entry level active monitor group test.

I’m thinking small and cost-effective — space efficient and wallet-friendly is the name of this game. I’m also going with active because it’s easier to test and install, both for buyers and for us too.  I’ve got an interesting format planned for it, and the whole thing will also be filmed. But I need to know what models you want to see in the test. This won’t be one of those 5 random model type of reviews — I fully expect to be neck-deep in boxes, with the plan (like our headphone group test) to put together the most comprehensive entry level studio monitor group test in the whole wide DJ world.

DJ studio monitor group test krk rokit 8

So… what models do you want to see? The sooner you answer, the sooner we can get it together. Help make this the group test that you really want to read. And any distributors/manufacturers reading — drop me a line and I’ll send you an address to send your doubtlessly wonderful wares too.


  • Spk

    yama hs50/80

    • Saieash Mohanadas

      yep this is exactly what I want to see compared. both of them to everything else.

  • Arek

    Reloop Wave 5 🙂

    • IanRaWdriguez

      Then their competition, the Pioneer SDJ05/08’s, should be included too

    • Already confirmed.

  • Si Brown

    Monkey Banana Turbos

  • Dj Honest

    Nocs NS2, they have Airplay and I’m curious. I’d love to see the Behringer NEKKST series but I don’t think they’re available yet.

  • IanRaWdriguez

    JBL LSR2325’s are also in this price range

    • Matt

      +1 for the JBLs, people are sleeping on these

  • Wilhaus

    Tannoy Reveal

  • Ron Maran

    Tannoy Reveal 501A/601A, JBL LSR2325/28, Mackie MR5mk2/MR8mk2, Pioneer S-DJ05/08, Yamaha HS50/80 spring to mind.

  • StereoSphere

    Prodipe Pro 5 V2

  • John Rangel

    Fostex PM series

  • Andrew

    M-Audio BX8a D2

  • RogueDJ

    I’d like to see a comparison of their eq response graphs.

  • Allan Humphreys

    Not sure whether the Australian made Event 20/20’s are quite entry level, but I would love to hear your views nonetheless.

  • illa 45

    pioneer s-dj05 or 08 not sure i would class the price as entry level though

  • djadamking

    Equator D5

  • K1

    Presonus Eris E8 and E5. They just hit the market and no one else has done more than regurgitate manufacturer promo materials. You would be the first. They are priced in line with the KRK rokit series. I love my E8s.

    • I’ve always felt that the Eris monitors “use quality components, are well constructed, and deliver professional audio quality. They’re lightweight and compact and look as professional as they sound. But what really sets them apart from comparably priced systems are user controls that allow you to tailor the speakers’ response to your needs.”

      Like that you mean? 😉

  • Run Tha Trap

    Adam f5 and f7…apparently they sound amazing.

  • DJ Erik Thoresen

    I’d like to see an entry level AND a mid price level review. I’m interested in the KRK VXT series and possibly Dynaudio.

    • Got to start somewhere. Entry level first.

  • Sergio Pantaleo

    Ok but what do you mean for entry level? KRK Rockit serie, for example, are not really entry level.

    So rather I would be interested in a comparison that would include the Adam A5X and the RCF Ayra 5

    • Why don’t you think KRKs should be included?

      • Seems a bit odd to say the KRKs are not entry level, but the Adams and RCFs are. :-/

      • Sergio Pantaleo

        Sorry, I did not say that KRK should not be included. I’m just saying that they are not entry level, and it would be nice to have a comparison within that range of products among RCF and Adam. Reading all the comments so far, most of the monitors suggested for a comparison are not entry level. This is a nice example of what I mean: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XfD7RnC7P6Q


  • DJ STU-C

    can you let me know what the Numark NPM100 is like please Mark, thinking of getting one to take to gigs, id class one of that price range more entry level than the KRK’s. i use alesis M1 actives at home and i like em, maybe give your educated opinion on those too.

  • Dave Coakley

    I’m really looking forward to this. Always used shite speakers and looking to educate myself.

  • meklih

    New ADAM F5 F7 series, maybe subwoofer too

  • Sam

    The gemini SR monitors are in this price range and are definitely entry level

  • mitch

    mackie mr8mk2, yamaha hs80m, m audio bx8, presonus eris 8

  • Nolej

    On top of everything that’s been mentioned, maybe the Behringer Truths?
    Yes, I am aware of Behringer’s reputation, but they seemed interesting nonetheless.

  • Ian M Firth

    I think you should get lots of people in for the test – The review of the Reloop Wave 8s had me squealing at the idea of messing with the EQ to get a good sound, but that’s only because I prefer to know I am getting a linear response. If you had a collection of people with different music tastes and attitudes to sound quality you should be able to give a better indication of how each set of monitors performs under different criteria.

    For instance a set of monitors that might be slammed by an audiophillic producer who knows how to room tune might still be good for DJs who wants it to sound like they are in a club when they practise.

  • Last Resort

    Second the Adam F5 and F7 requests. Would also be curious what you think of ’em in comparison to the A5X and A7X (those latter two aren’t entry-level, I know).

  • perfect timing, looking to upgrade so very poor TDL speakers soon in my wee studio….

  • Viciouss Hoffmann

    Behringer (mine is B2031a)

    KRK Rockit’s

    KRK VXT’s








  • Andrew Cizek




    • BelgianJungleSound

      Aren’t those pointless because they change a lot depending on the acoustic space?

      • I feel that they’re a good guide to overall characteristics, but as you say are subject to variables. I’m wondering if it’s the kind of thing we can measure ourselves or whether we should use manufacturers supplied data.

        • You need to have a very properly acoustically controlled room to do any freq. response tests that are even remotely relevant.

          A 6db peak/null in the room implodes a test. Most peoples rooms have nulls from 12-40db, especially the small rooms most people use.

        • Sergio Pantaleo

          Manufacturer data doesn’t always follow the same parameters. To make an example, for Yamaha the frequency response is measured at -10dB, not -3dB.

  • BelgianJungleSound

    Yamaha HS50m

  • Colin

    I think a group speaker test is an excellent, long overdue idea. Within the dj industry speakers are probably the most overlooked element in a dj’s arsenal. I come from an audiophile background and was astounded by the lack of attention paid to monitoring within the dj sector (producers less so). Whilst budget monitors are a good place to start my observation would be if you have readers paying upwards of £1000-1500 for source equipment why would you ruin the sound by using a pair of £150-200 monitors? I think a meaningful test would need to show a range of monitors from budget to high end to educate people of the benefits of allocating more budget to this vital part o their set up. No matter how much you spend on your components (allen and heath are the only decent sounding mixers in my opinion) you will only ruin it with an inferior pair of monitors.

    • Colin

      Additionally it would be interesting to compare some hi-fi speakers in the mix: perhaps not robust enough for djing but a useful sound comparison so people can appreciate the difference speakers make and just how good they can sound. Additonally commentary on speaker cables and isolation (stands/shelf isolation) as well as placement is needed to get the best sound

  • St3pupDj

    Alesis M1’s?

  • Credence

    Pioneer’s DJ monitors DJ05 & DJ08 vs KRK would be interesting

  • About Pioneer S-DJ08 – at £609 a pair, are these really entry level? I’d rather put them in the mid-range.

    • Credence

      I don’t think 8″ models are entry but a look at 5″ versions would be very popular. Definitely on par with rokits etc

    • Sergio Pantaleo

      Mark, this is what I’m saying since the beginning. Most of them are NOT entry level.
      It would be better to talk about Price Range, because there are really good Nearfield Monitors that have a really good Quality/Price ratio.

  • It’s also fair to assume that I could do with a passive switcher for this and future tests too. The problem is finding one that can handle maybe 3 inputs for sources, and as many as 15-20 pairs of monitors at once. Actually, when I say switch, a push-button approach would be better for rapid A-B comparisons.

    Does such a thing exist? Or should I break out a soldering iron and scour component catalogues?

  • Jed 104


  • Pingback: Entry level studio monitor group testUniqueSquared Pro Audio Blog()

  • howitzer

    Another +1 for the Equator Audio D5’s

    I’d be good to see how they stack up against the entry level 5″ monitors from behringer, yamaha, krk, etc.

  • White Wulfe

    I wouldn’t mind reading more about the Adam F7s, as well as the KRK Rokit series. Those are probably priced closer towards mid-ranged though.

  • So that’s over 20 pairs listed without doing any research. I can see that this going to be quite a task.

  • Deft

    Good luck with this one – you’re going to need it! The market is really crowded for entry/mid level active monitors and having the right environment for testing is really important (the same is true for anyone using them too – often overlooked). I always check out Sound On Sound for reviews / forum advice for items like this.
    I recently picked up some Mackie MR5mk2 active monitors, really for listening to rather than rigorous production – really like their sound – perfect for hip-hop or dance music (a bit boomy!).

    • I’m coming to realise that we’ll never make everyone happy with this group test. All we can do is devise a format that makes the most people happy.

      • Deft

        I think in some ways most monitor speakers in a price bracket are much of a muchness. Not to trivialise making good speakers, but the competitive nature of the mid/low market and the fact that there aren’t really any ‘features’ to trade off in the same way for other equipment means you can probably assume you won’t get anything horrific once you have spent a few hundred quid.

  • Geert Rombouts

    just bought yamaha hs7’s on a whim, dont find any reviews tho, so try these please 🙂 at 200 euros a piece i’d consider them entry level

  • mushiro

    You have to test the Monkey Bananas!! Best entry to mid monitors I’ve heard..!

  • Wojciech Hejnik

    Kurzweil KS40….

  • Mr. Hagan

    Recently bought a pair of Adam F5’s. Amazing sound and clarity. It;s like rediscovering your music collection.

  • Kid Proff

    Monoprice powered studio monitors.

  • that guy.

    Logitech 2.1. everytime.

    • Crankcase08

      I have a Logitech Z4, which is a 2.1 computer speaker system, and it’s surprisingly good. Funnily enough, I recently bought a pair of JBL305 monitors, but they were total poor fidelity crap compared to the Z4. I returned the JBL for a refund.

      • syncswim

        Unless you had a faulty pair, it’s more likely the Jbl’s revealed the poor fidelity of your source which the z4s flatter..

        • Crankcase08

          The retailer considered that possibily, so sent me another pair with the same results: harsh upper mids and a painfully thudding bass, even with the LF fully attenuated at the back. Even running a high quality audio stream from the BBC website was just as bad, with speech producing painful thudding lows. I have a decent sound card, an M-Audio Audiophile 2496. Suspecting that to be faulty, I bought another one, but not even that made any difference.

          I should add that on both pairs of monitors there was a difference in level on the upper mids when they were supplied with a mono signal. The same flaw was carried over when I switched the monitors over.

  • thatonedude1010

    What is your price point for “entry level”? I see a lot of people seem to have varying ideas of what that means…

    • I set a limit at £400 a pair, if only to include some really good but affordable 8″ options.

      • thatonedude1010

        Got it, thanks!

  • Isaiah

    I would love to see a comparison between the KRK 6 and the similar Pioneer monitor… that is a decision I will be making soon…. the wife/boss likes the “not yellow” speakers better, so wondering if they will be up to the task at hand… please e-mail me and let me know when/if you do this…. thanks …. Isaiah santacreekfurrows at gmail dot com…

  • vs the equator d5