Getting gigs and participating in live performances are all part of a musician’s ideal life. But with so much musical talent out there in the world, one would need so much more than just a stage and a spotlight to succeed.
For many years, music has been distributed to consumers in the form of recordings. Products like vinyl records, cassette tapes, and CDs have been a means of marketing one’s music. Thanks to the advancement of technology, anyone can now record and upload their music files onto the internet for the world to hear.
But first of all, you would need some reliable equipment that can help you create the best recordings of your music. A studio monitor can help you listen in to the real quality of your music. It should tell you how it sounds and what needs to be improved.
So where do you begin in looking for the best studio monitor? With a budget of $200, did you know that you can already get your hands on good quality equipment? We’ve made a list below to prove our point.
Check out our list of the best studio monitors under $200 and you might just find the perfect equipment that fit your needs.
The Best Studio Monitors Under $200 in 2021
- JBL Professional 305P MkII
- Mackie Studio Monitor CR4BT
- PreSonus Eris E4.5 Studio Monitors
- Mackie CR4 Creative Reference Multimedia Monitor
- Pioneer Pro DM40 DJ Studio Monitor
- Behringer MS40 Studio Monitor Speakers
- Rockville APM8W Studio Monitor Speakers
- Pioneer Pro DJ DM40-W
- Mackie MR624 Studio Monitor
- PreSonus Eris E5 2-Way Active Studio Monitor
The JBL Professional 3055 MkII is a crowd favorite, and it’s easy to understand why. JBL has been in business for 70 years and counting. The 305P MkII is one of their newest additions. A lot of its features were derived from the JBL 7 series – another one of their popular monitor studios, and the M2 Master Reference Monitors.
One of the most notable legacies passed on to the 305P MkII was the revolutionary JBL Image Control Waveguide and refined transducers. Thanks to this patented technology, these studio monitors offer stunning detail, precise imaging, and a wide sweet spot.
It also has an impressive dynamic range that enhances the mix capabilities of any workspace. I also personally love the overall look and design of these studio monitors. They are sleek and compact – perfect for anyone who wants a clean and modern workspace.
- Has the best low-end response compared to its competitors
- Produces accurate and crystal clear sound
- Provides big imaging
- A well-balanced mid-range
- A soft hissing sound can sometimes be heard when turned on Large and bulky
- Does not come in a pair
Love working on wireless? Mackie offers Bluetooth enabled studio monitors that might just be your thing. If you have a phone or a tablet that has a music library filled with music you love, the Bluetooth enabled Mackie CR3-X allows you to hook your devices up smoothly via Bluetooth – no need for more cords.
But even if you get the Standard CR4BT monitors, there’s still a lot to love about them. First, it has handy front panel features which include the headphone out and aux in jacks. And for its price range, these monitors are made with the best quality components.
It comes with high-output drivers, a true studio-monitor waveguide system and an all wood cabinet. No other studio monitor can provide you with the same high-level quality for a humble price.
- Has a Bluetooth-enabled option that makes music streaming easy and effortless
- Convenient and compact
- May not be the best option for users who are interested in mixing
- The durability of the product needs some improvement
A lot of people complain about how the PreSonus Eris E4.5 does not offer a lot of bass or sounds on the low ends. But please take note that these are near-field monitors; they are designed to be listened to while you are near the speaker at low to medium volume levels.
Near-field monitors reproduce sound that stays faithful to the original audio quality without other enhancements or effects most loudspeakers have.
If you are interested in getting the true sound of your audio work, these are the studio monitors for you. These are tools that are not made for best listening quality so it pays to know what you are aiming to get from a studio monitor.
- Comes in a compact sleek and compact design
- Saves space and not too bulky
- Perfect for audio mixes or film production
- Has acoustic tuning features that allow users to adjust to the environment
- The quality of its cables are not the best in terms of quality
- The durability and quality of materials needs more improvement
Are you new to audio production and looking to buy your first studio monitor for home use? The Mackie Creative Reference Multimedia Monitor is one user-friendly and affordable solution. It gives you most of the basics at pro-level but with a more pocket-friendly price.
These studio monitors have an ultra-wide frequency range perfect for full-range multimedia (80Hz – 20kHz), making it a great option for audio creation and for entertainment as well.
Like the other Mackie option on this list, this one sports a modern design. It has a volume knob with a lit power ring which indicates on or off, volume, and power. You can also choose which side of your desk gets the volume knob with its convenient speaker placement switch.
Plus, I love how you can just plug in your smartphone easily because the jack is right in front of you. Overall, I think that this is the best studio monitor you can get as a first.
- Sports a convenient design
- Provides easy access to important components
- Provides an ultra-wide frequency for full-range multimedia (80 Hz – 20kHz)
- Has durability issues
- Does not do well through wear and tear
In my opinion, the Pioneer Pro DM40 DJ Studio Monitor is the best solution for a home studio. When space is an issue in your home, a bulky pair of studio monitors may not be the most suitable option.
But with the compact design of the DM40, these studio monitors can sit comfortably in your home studio without being too much of a space hogger.
But just because it looks thinner and sleeker than other studio monitors, it doesn’t mean that it offers less quality. This pair of studio monitors is all about its wider reach and that sweet spot. Thanks to its front loaded bass reflex system and DECO* technology, users can enjoy great sound quality from their desktops.
- Sounds perfect at low volumes but can also deliver more volume as needed but without compromising on audio quality
- Capable of capturing more sounds more accurately
- Allows users to listen in on sounds that can be easily missed
- Sounds at low mid-range to bass frequency are missed
- Although they are light and easy to set up
- Durability has also been compromised
Looking to accomplish some serious audio work? The Behringer MS40 Studio Monitor Speakers are the real deal. They look just as solid and robust as most higher-end studio monitors, but they come at a much more affordable price.
These 2-way active studio monitors are great for computer studios, audio, and multimedia workstations and keyboard monitoring. It comes as a pair of built-in 20-watt amplifiers with a lot of headroom.
It also includes powerful woofers and high-resolution tweeters so you know that you only get an ultra-linear frequency response. Worried about range? The MS40 has an ultra-high resolution at 14-bit and 192 kHz D/A converter providing an incredible dynamic range.
I am also impressed at the fact that it also has optical and coaxial inputs for a direct connection to digital audio sources via the S/PDIF interface. I still can’t believe that this is a studio monitor under $200 – what a steal!
- Convenient separate controls for dual input and dual volume control
- Produces a rich
- Room-filling sound consistently
- A slight buzz can be heard at higher volumes
On the hunt for a studio monitor that gives you the best quality highs and lows? The Rockville APM8W Studio Monitor Speakers might just be the thing you’re looking for. What sets this pair apart is the fact that they are bi-amped.
They are inseparable because you get one dedicated amp for highs and the other for lows. Each speaker has 250 watts peak output power and 125 watts RMS giving you a total of 500 watts peak and 250 watts RMS per pair.
But that’s not all – these monitors come with a very long list of premium components which may take a long time to dissect each one. But in short, if you are looking for a studio monitor under $200 that has the complete package for an audiophile, this is the best pick.
- Comes with a unique bi-amp system for a wider range
- Just crystal clear and accurate sound
- Has awesome build quality for an inexpensive price
- Huge and bulky compared to other options on the list
- Static noise can be heard when not playing anything
Are you a professional DJ who’s looking for the perfect studio monitor for your DJ kit? If you’re under a $200 budget, the Pioneer Pro DJ DM40-W is the most viable option for you. It has a front-loaded bass reflex system and comes with 4-inch fiberglass woofers that output a punchy bass from the front, and grooves on the ducts to reduce air friction.
The Class AB amplifiers on the DM40-W delivers a crisp sound with low distortion as well. But what I love most about this model is the fact that you can enjoy 3D stereo sound wherever you sit or stand – thanks to the soft dome tweeters with Deco convex diffuser fittings.
It has a smart interface as well with the RCA and stereo mini jack inputs on the back and headphone output and the volume knob on the front panel.
- Users enjoy 3D stereo sound no matter where they are
- Accommodates the needs of the DJ making it one of the best options for DJ-ing
- Sports a beautiful and sleek design
- The durability of the product and materials need work
On the hunt for a studio monitor that delivers accuracy and consistency? The Mackie MR624 was built for professional mix translation and audio accuracy, making it the best and most affordable option for audio experts out there.
It comes with ultra-wide dispersion for enhanced stereo imaging and listening sweet spot. The 1″ dome tweeter provides a fast transient response for detailed vocal clarity. Meanwhile, its woofer delivers a responsive and dynamic low-frequency response.
The MR624 is also bi-amped with 65-watts class A/B amplification. In short, I think that this is the best studio monitor for home use that is capable of getting professional results.
- Has a strong build and beautiful compact design
- Accurate and clear
- No buzzing or hissing
- Created for professional level audio quality
- Not a lot of bass
- Some clarity issues with the low-end
Looking for something straightforward and simple? The PreSonus Eris E5 has all the basics you could ever need and more from a studio monitor. These 2-way active studio monitors are all about that bass.
It comes with a 5.25-inch Kevlar low-frequency transducer and a 1-inch ultra low mass, silk-dome high-frequency transducer so you know that you are getting superior bass frequency reproduction.
It also has an optimized, resonance-suppressing internal bracing and RF interference. And if that does not win you over, this super affordable studio monitor also as an Acoustic Tuning control for precise mixing contour.
In my opinion, these components allow users to get the most accurate professional results all from the comfort of their own home studio.
- Super affordable but is capable of professional-level accuracy
- Not a space hogger
- Quality of materials can be improved
It’s not true when they say that you need to spend thousands of dollars to get good quality audio equipment. As you have learned above, even a $200 studio monitor can provide you with some professional quality results.
But the question is, how do you even begin to choose which one is best for you? With so many choices out there, how do you know which one to invest in?
Shopping for the best studio monitor for you shouldn’t have to be so difficult. The key is to discover what your needs are and what your personal preferences are. Keep in mind that there are tons of types and variations when it comes to studio monitors.
That said, you need to do your research and study what those differences are before everything else.
Know what the differences are between a passive or active monitor. Compare single-amps, bi-amps, and even tri-amps. Figure out what driver types you need because each of them has its own purposes.
And finally, consider whether or not you need to have additional features to accomplish what you are trying to achieve. Would you need a subwoofer, acoustic tuning or Room Correction functions? Because we all have different needs, it’s difficult to just give one solution that would fit everyone.
Although we’ve said that no studio monitor can be perfect for everyone, we try our best to give you some viable options – options that are close to being perfect in our opinion.
For this roundup, we had an interesting selection of studio monitors. But as always, only one can be chosen as the best studio monitor under $200. And for us, that title goes to the JBL Professional 305P MkII.
Not only does it come from a trusted brand with a long history, but this studio monitor also has professional-grade components that shouldn’t even be priced within a $200 price range. Although it does not have a lot of fancy features, it does have upgrades to a lot of the more important components of a studio monitor.
That said, we think that this studio monitor can be used by anyone – from the professional audiophile to someone who just wants to enjoy a really good movie with perfect quality sound.