The Best Compact Studio Monitors In 2022
Big sound comes in small packages. Get the most bang for your buck with the top compact studio monitors on the market today.
Last year I moved to a new apartment and, for some reason, decided to get myself a corner desk. It’s not that my new apartment didn’t have the space for a typical desk. But, the corner desk helped free space for the rest of the room and allowed me to build out my editing suite. However, I then ran into the issue where my overly large KRK Rokit 5 monitors and equally large monitor stands had no place to go. So, I decided to part ways with Rokit 5s (bless those beauties) and opted for a more compact studio monitor setup.
I spent a lot of time searching for monitors that were smaller in size but packed a similar punch. From that, here are the best compact monitors you can buy in 2022.
Yamaha HS5 – $199.99 Single
The Yamaha HS5 is an excellent set of studio monitors in affordability and performance. Offering a superb soundscape on all levels. Aesthetically it has a subtle black-and-white design that will fit within any setup. An all-white version is also available.
The speakers offer a clean, crisp sound with excellent clarity and balance frequencies perfectly, offering a nice and flat sound, making these ideal for sound design and editing.
- 70W Total Output
- Weight: 11.7 lbs (5.3 kg)
- 2-way bass-reflex bi-amplified nearfield studio monitor with 5″ cone woofer and 1″ dome tweeter
- 54Hz – 30kHz (-10dB), 74Hz – 24kHz (-3dB) frequency response
- 45W LF plus 25W HF bi-amp system for high-performance 70W power amplification
- ROOM CONTROL and HIGH TRIM response controls
- XLR and TRS phone jack inputs accept balanced or unbalanced signals
- Low-Resonance Enclosure
ADAM Audio T5V – $219 Single / $439.98 Pair
ADAM Audio T5V is their attempt at an affordable but powerful monitor that can rival the bigger giants of the monitor world. Sticking to the 5″ bookshelf size, the T5V hits some fantastic home runs regarding its sound signatures. The T5Vs’ sound staging is incredible, and for the price point, you are seriously going to enjoy these monitors.
A beveled cabinet with a rear-firing bass reflex port and a small footprint allows placement anywhere in your room, no matter how small, and contains built-in DSP-controlled driver crossovers and equalization as well as multi-way analog connections. Powered with a 50 W Class D amplifier for the woofer and a 20 W Class D amplifier for the U-ART tweeter, the T5V produces SPLs of up to 106 dB per pair.
Excellent acoustic characteristics, small dimensions, and an outstanding cost/performance ratio make this studio monitor perfectly suited for use in small control rooms in music, video, and broadcast production.
- 5″ Polypropylene Woofer
- U-ART 1.9″ Accelerated Ribbon Tweeter
- HPS Waveguide from the S-Series
- Bi-Amped Class-D Amplifier
- Total Output: 70W
- High & Low Shelf Filters
- Frequency Response: 45 Hz to 25 kHz
- Maximum SPL: 106 dB
Kali Audio IN-5 – $349.99 Single / 697.95 Pair
Image Via Kali Audio.
The smaller sibling of the IN-8, the IN-5, offers the same three-way monitor setup made up of a five-inch woofer and a coaxial four-inch midrange driver, and one-inch soft dome tweeter. With balanced TRS and XLR inputs, unbalanced RCA input, built-in DSP, boundary EQs, and HF/LF trim are all built into this small-sized package weighing in at 8.4kg per speaker.
At this price point, these are some outstandingly accurate neutral monitors. Giving a consistent response across the entire frequency range, Kali has done an amazing job of keeping to the high standards of their products.
- 3-Way Tri-Amped Design
- 5″ Woofer, 4″ MF Driver, and 1″ Tweeter
- Coaxial Midrange Driver and Tweeter
- 85 dB SPL at 7.2′ with 20 dB Headroom
- Lifelike Stereo Imaging
- Low Self-Noise
- 47 Hz to 21 dB Frequency Response
- -10 dBV or +4 dBu Input Sensitivity
- RCA, TRS, and XLR Connections
Focal ALPHA 50 Evo – $359.00 Single / $718.00 Pair
Design-wise the Alpha 50 Evo is slightly larger than similar 5-inch monitors on the market, but that doesn’t stop it from being an attractive and sleek-looking cabinet. I’m a big fan of the blue-toned cone that gives an overall look a much-needed pop that stands out (only if you remove the grill!)
Though a bit expensive, the Alpha 50 Evo studio monitors by Focal are an excellent option for audiophiles who need clarity and accurate response levels with just the right amount of depth in the low end.
- Accurate Monitor for Working Engineers
- Multiple Types of Analog Inputs
- 45 Hz to 22 kHz Frequency Response
- Identical Balance at Low & High Loudness
- Wide Dispersion for Wide Sweet-Spot
- Adjustable EQ for Room Positioning
- 50W Class-D Power
- Monitor on Mount or Wall
- IEC Cable and Protective Grill Included
Yamaha MSP3A – $219.99 Individual / $439.98 Pair
Ok, so these are the monitors that I decided to go with. They’re currently playing A Friend Like You by Headlund while I write this roundup.
Though they are targeted as an entry-level studio monitor, Yamaha’s MSP3 is perfect for smaller studio or desk setups. This is the smallest unit in Yamaha’s MSP studio monitor line but still retains the quality and sound precision standards we’d expect from Yamaha. Made from a hard plastic, the MSP3 offers a lightweight and portable unit and is ideal for traveling setups.
Only offering 20 Watts of power each, the output is enough for its stated frequency response of 65Hz to 22kHz. The MSP3A provides outstanding clarity and resolution for its tiny size and price, just don’t expect the same quality as its bigger siblings in the family.
The versatile MSP3 reference monitor has been renewed as the MSP3A, featuring a new Twisted Flare Port that delivers clearer bass from a simpler, more beautiful design.
With a 22-watt built-in amplifier, the MSP3A offers faithful sound reproduction and, like its predecessor, has a variety of inputs and controls and is compatible with numerous optional support brackets.
The MSP3A is an ideal choice for small studios and post-production setups, as well as for monitoring electronic instruments and surround reproduction.
- For Stereo and Surround Setups
- Clean Lows, Accurate Sound
- RCA and Combo 1/4″-XLR Inputs
- 4″ Cone Woofer, 0.8″ Dome Tweeter
- Low and High Controls on the Front
- Bass Reflex, Twisted Flare Port
- Portable and Mountable in Multiple Ways
Cover by PeachShutterStock.
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