The best 5 inch studio monitors are honest. They don’t tell lies.
A characteristics that set them apart from 99% of studio speakers. That’s because a lot of speakers these days actually mess with your sound. Send an audio track through a HQ speaker and it’ll likely receive a bass boost, as well as a some slight tweaks to the highs and mids. Great if you’re a casual listener who’s after top quality playback, but an absolute nightmare for a music producer who’s chasing the perfect mix. Why?
Because unlike casual listeners, producers are in search of one thing: authenticity. That being raw playback, which is true to the original recording. Hence why studio monitors are so popular! As unlike your average speakers, they don’t look to enhance sound, but more amplify it in the most accurate way possible. A slight difference that really does make all the difference.
So much so that it’s pretty easy to tell a mix that’s been done with speakers, over one that’s done with monitors. And yet the great thing is, it’s no like you need the biggest monitors to feel the benefit; for most producers, 5 inch monitors are usually more than enough. Saying that though, it’s choosing the right monitor that’s the real humdinger – there’s that many! Exactly why we’ve taken the time to pick apart and critique 9 of the best 5 inch studio monitors you can buy in 2023.
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The best 5 inch studio monitors @ a glance…
10 of the best 5 inch monitors 2023…
Don’t underestimate studio monitors – there’s a LOT more to these quirky audioboxes than you think. Some are designed around flatness, while others are tuned towards detail & depth. Then of course there’s cheap studio monitors, as well as those that are priced a bit higher, but in return gives you a couple of extras.
Not that you have to worry about any of that – we’ve done all the legwork for you. Read on & we’ll reveal what we deem to be the best 5 inch studio monitors you can buy today…
1: M-Audio BX5 D3
2: Genelec 8010
3: KRK Rokit RP5 G4
4: Yamaha HS5
5: JBL Professional 305p MKII
6: Mackie CR-X Series, 5-Inch
7: Adam Audio T5V
8: PreSonus Eris E5 XT 5.25″
The best 5 inch studio monitors for mixing & mastering (it’s NOT what you think)…
Okay – so if you’re after the best 5 inch studio monitors for mixing & mastering, the first monitors to come to mind will no doubt be the HS5s.
And while they are up there with the best – arguably the kings of flat frequency response – when it comes to mixing & mastering, we think there’s a pair of monitors that have the slight edge. You see, despite not being as well known, we’ve found some monitors that sound remarkably similar. Plus, when it comes to £$€, you’ll be pleased to hear that they’re that bit kinder on your back pocket. Good to know if you’re a rookie.
So while they may not be the monitors that everyone’s talking about, we’d say the best 5 inch studio monitors for mixing & mastering are…
9: Mackie MR524
Want to size down ever so slightly? Try these 4.5 inch monitors…
Production spaces vary, so it’s understandable that 5 inch monitors may be (in some cases) slightly too large.
Be that because of acoustics or the fact that you’re also looking for monitors that’re slightly more portable, downsizing to a 4.5 inch monitor is never a bad idea. However, with doing this, there are drawbacks. The main one being rarity – in comparison to 5 inch monitors 4.5s are pretty hard to come by. But saying that, that hasn’t stopped us from tracking some down.
So, if 5 inch studio monitors are that bit too big, we’d suggest opting for the…
10: M-Audio BX4 4.5″ Studio Monitors
Which 5 inch studio is best for the studio? Our editor’s choice….
We actually found it pretty easy to pin down the best 5 inch studio monitor you can buy in 2022. And that’s because there’s really only one monitor that goes the extra mile in terms of both design and sound. Not to say any of the monitors above are bad – they’re not – but for us, the attention to detail you get with this woofer, really does make it stand out. That monitor being the…
Genelec 8010 = Best 5 Inch Studio Monitor
A piece of studio gear that we think takes the concept of ‘pure transparent sound’ to a whole new level. As far as 5 inch monitors go, the Genelec is arguably the most premium you can get. Gey your hands on a pair and you’ll soon see what we mean. The build is exceptional! Safe to say you could probably hit this thing with a hammer and it’d live to tell the tale.
Even the grill over the sub and tweeter has no flex in it. Something that when teamed with its small profile, really does make it the ideal 5 inch studio monitor for the road. And while we’re on the design, we can’t get enough of it! If you’re after a lightly artsy vibe in your studio, then look no further. Next to your KRKs and Yamahas the Genelecs look like some sort of exquisite art-piece, especially if you spec them with the bare aluminium finish.
However what really blew us away is that all this design is actually functional too. All the curves acting to reduce the diffraction within the monitor – a common problem with the traditional box designs. And on the topic of sound, that’s really why you buy these monitors. Yes the design is darn sexy and they’re professional made in Finland, but the frequency response is why these monitors really take the trophy.
Out of all the monitors you can buy, the frequency response on the Genelecs is some of the flattest you’ll find, which makes them ideal for any pro beat-maker or mix engineer. What’s more, unlike some monitors on this list, the Genelecs come with a super wide sweet-spot. Another perk of using these to fine tune your mix. Try moving back and forth with the monitors playing and sound remains nice and consistent. An issue we found with some of the lower end 5 inch monitors that didn’t make it onto this list.
Team this with its room correction controls and the fact that those rubber feet allow the monitor to also tilt back and forth, and you really do struggle to find fault. We did. Even the price is reasonable. Yes, it’s by no means what you’d call ‘budget’, but for what you’re getting, it’s not extortionate.
Heck, consider the amount of engineering that’s gone into them and it’s actually quite cheap. Not to mention the fact that the Genelecs should only be a one time purchase. A good point, especially when you consider that you’ll end up spending pretty much the same if you were to buy cheaper monitors, and then upgrade late down the line.
Hence why we’d say the Genelecs are good quality, but also good value. So much so that we’d say that today, when product lifecycles are shorter than ever, these 5 inch Genelecs are an incredibly rare find. Exactly why we’d encourage you you to invest in a pair while you can.
Enjoy this review of the best 5 inch studio monitors & eager for more? Don’t miss out on all our latest Audio Advice, as well as our extensive Knowledge Of Music Production. Recently, we also did a guide to the Best Studio Monitor Controllers + another on the Best Studio Monitor Speakers, which may also be a god read.
Or if you’ve still trying to decide what studio speakers are best for you, keep reading & we’ll answer more of your burning questions…