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Best 8 Inch Studio Monitors For The ££? Here’s 10… (2022 Guide)

Which 8 inch monitor is best for the studio? What monitors do professional producers use? We reveal all...

Tracking down the best 8 inch studio monitors in 2022 is quite a task.

In fact, with the sheer amount of options you have, deciding on one pair of studio monitors can be pretty daunting. Not to mention time consuming, especially if you’re a rookie producer who’s still getting their head around why studio monitors are such a necessity. Then again, for those more seasoned producers, this whole process should be a lot more straight forward.

Have some previous experience with studio monitors and chances are, you’ve already got at least a vague idea of what you’re after. Perhaps you know that 8 inch is the way to go, but are not sure in which direction to look? Choosing between budget & high end monitors can be tricky if you’ve not go much to spend. Or maybe you’ve already got strong ties to a brand and interested to see how it compares?

Heck, you may even know what studio monitors you’re after altogether, and are merely here to see how we think they perform. In other words, reaffirm your choice. But fact remains that whatever your knowledge of 8 inch studio monitors, you need to be confident in what you’re buying. So to give you that confidence, we’ve picked apart 11 of the best 8 inch studio monitors you can buy + revealed our top picks.

After something specific about what monitor is best for a studio? Or just curious what we think is the best 8 inch studio monitors? Use the menu below to find all your answers in just one click…

The best 8 inch studio monitors @ a glance…

10 of the best 8 inch monitors that you can buy

Buckle up!

You’ve just clicked on the most comprehensive guide to 8 inch studio monitors on the entire internet. Nope – we’re deadly serious. That’s because we’ve purposely designed this buyers guide, to give you everything you need to know about the best 8 inch studio monitors, all in one place. So without further ado, here’s our full-fat rundown… You can thank us later.

1: Kali Audio IN-8 3-way professional studio monitors

When it comes to studio monitors, Kali are the new kids on the block. And yet, you’d be an absolute fool to underestimate these speakers. Being 3-way monitors, opposed to 2-way, makes the Kali’s incredibly rare for this price-point. To get a clear sound like this from a pair of speakers, usually you have to foot a 4 figure price tag! And that’s what impressed us so much about the Kali Audio IN-8s. For what they are, they’re a downright bargain.

Being coaxial speakers, the phase relationship you get with these studio monitors is near perfect. The frequency response is superb! If you ask us, for any music producer or mix engineer, this is really all the speaker you’ll ever need. Call them the pinnacle for critical listening. That’s because being 3-way, unlike a lot of budget studio monitors, the mids & lows in the IN-8 don’t share a driver. With each IN-8 you get an 8 inch woofer, 4 inch mid range driver & a 1 inch tweeter!

So as you can imagine, the mids on these speakers are incredibly well defined. Everything’s also far more even in the low end too. We’re particularly fond of how these respond to vocals, as well as the fact that they have really low levels of self noise. Safe to say that you can really tell that the brains at Kali Audio have a wealth of experience in monitors.

As a unit, these IN-8 studio monitors are just sublime. In fact, we’d be tempted to say that they’re the best 8 inch studio monitors currently in production. Yes, the fronts are made of plastic, which can make them feel a bit ‘Fisher Price’ – but you know what, we couldn’t care less. Studio monitors are all about the sound, so while a metal front plate would’ve been nice, it’d have likely made the IN-8s a lot less budget friendly.

  • Frequency response: 37hz 25kh
  • Power per speaker: 140w

Why are these the best 8 inch studio monitors?

  • Being 3-way studio monitors, that sound is just sublime. We really can think of few better options for a mix engineer!
  • The low end on these speakers is SO level, just like their frequency response. Yet the mids and highs are equally detailed and sharp.
  • Even though the Kali IN-8s aren’t budget studio monitors, for what they are, they’re superb value!
  • We’d say the audio from these studio monitors is on par with those from Genelec & Neumann.

2: Yamaha HS8 2-way active monitors

If you’re after the flattest frequency response, you can’t really go wrong with the Yamaha HS8. Out of all the studio monitors we tested (including the IN-8), these monitors gave us what we feel was the most honest playback. There’s little colour to their sound whatsoever – it just feels authentic. Compare them to a lot of budget studio monitors and the bass is also a lot less prominent.

In fact, we’d be tempted to say that the mids are equally as pronounced. The highs are also no slouch either – they’re super crisp on these speakers. So while these monitors are by no means the best for casual listening, they do function super well for production. Hence why these Yamahas are no stranger to a professional music studio, just like the NS-10M monitors on which they’re based. We might even be tempted to dub them as the best studio monitors for mixing and mastering you can buy!

The build isn’t half bad either. Get your hands on a pair of HS8 studio monitors and you’ll immediately notice just how sturdy these monitors feel. Guess you could say they take after a Yamaha Grand piano in that respect. The acoustically dampened MDF, that does a great job of numbing any unwanted vibrations within the speaker housing. Not to mention looking very sleek, especially in the white colour wave. So all-in-all we found it actually quite hard to pick fault with the HS8s.

Yes, they don’t have the level of tech you’ll find in monitors like the Rokit, but then again that’s because they don’t need it. You see, the HS8s aren’t trying to be 10 speakers in one. All they’re just focused on being the best 8 inch studio monitors that you can use for critical listening. And in that respect, they excel.

  • Frequency response: 38Hz – 30kHz
  • Power per speaker: 60w

Why are these the best 8 inch studio monitors?

  • Mix engineers: these are all you need. The sound is that flat, we’re confident you won’t need a separate subwoofer!
  • Out of all the studio mixing monitors out there, the frequency response on the HS8s is some of the broadest.
  • These speakers are all about accuracy – there’s no techy gimmicks. The sound speaks for itself.
  • The build on these feels solid. Aside from being a great homage to the iconic NS-10M monitors, they’re also a worth successor.

3: KRK Rokit RP8 G4 music studio speakers

When the KRK Rokit RP8 G4s were released, we though we had them all sussed out. Old KRKs were bass-heavy monsters that weren’t what you’d call ideal for the mixing environment. However after getting our hands on a pair of G4s, we were pleasantly surprised proven wrong. These ain’t just the G3s with a few extra gismos – they’re a proper re-design.

Therefore, these studio monitors are really do perform! Straight off the bat, you notice their sound is incredibly level (especially for a KRK) and has a real nice agility to it. No longer are the mids and highs drowned out by hordes of BOOMing bass. Instead, they have a real life to them; the mids are clear and the highs are nice and crisp. Those yellow kevlar cones do a really good job of making these monitors sound level and nuanced too. And for frequency response, this is where these speakers get interesting.

Peer around the back and you’ll come across an LCD screen, through which you can actually alter the characteristics of the EQ. Something you won’t find on any other studio monitor. A sign of the Rokit being one of the most modern studio monitors for sale today; KRK released the Rokit G4 in 2020. So while these monitors can be flat and work well for mixing, they can also function as a casual speaker too.

Play around with the settings & you’ll soon realise that all the bass you get with older KRKs hasn’t been lost. More just tamed by this electronic wizardry. A playful perk that we really dig! Quirks aside through, on flat mode the speakers are for us, some of the best 8 inch studio monitors when it comes to creating a honest sound. Perhaps not quite as honest as the more pricy IN-8s above, but they certainly function well for critical listening. Pickup these monitors to perfect a mix and you shouldn’t be disappointed.

Don’t believe us? Ask Charlie Puth & Skrillex.

  • Frequency response: 36Hz – 40KHz
  • Power per speaker: 203w

Why are these the best 8 inch studio monitors?

  • These KRKs have a bass port facing the front, so they’re not fussy about being shunted up close to a wall. Ideal if you want to unlock more desk space!
  • The front of the case is magnetic can be switched out for one with metal grills. Ideal if you’ve got small children or pets. Or if you want to just give the fronts a custom paint job.
  • That sound! Overall, then the G4s are a vast improvement on the G3s they replace, yet they have virtually the same RRP!!
  • These 8 inch studio monitors even come with an app (KRK Audio Tools), which includes features like a monitor aligner, spectrum analyser, level meter, delay, polarity + suggested eq presents!!

4: PreSonus R80 AMT active studio monitors

When it comes to monitors with an impressive high end, the Presonus R80 AMT is one to watch. Why? Because this studio monitor does high end slightly differently. Clue’s in the name, as AMT harks to the Air Motion Transformer used to create these high frequencies.

Compared to your normal tweeter, that has a flat diaphragm, an AMT’s is folded in a sort of concertina. Something that gives it a substantially larger surface area than the average tweeter. Not only that but it also means the tweeter moves at the same rate as the electrical current. A slight technicality that really does boost the clarity of these speakers. The dispersion they give you is super wide! Therefore, the highs on the R80 AMT when compared to other studio monitors, are noticeably buttery and smooth. In fact, we’re shocked that the R80 isn’t more popular.

Team that eccentric tweeter with its 8 inch kevlar woofer, and the sound you get from these studio monitors is sensational. Hats off to Presonus – these R80s are so well balanced! The highs are airy, the mids are well defined and the lows are super solid, all without being muddy. The R80 also gives you plenty of power too. The 150w power amp really packs a punch! Crank up the volume and you’ll soon realise that doing so doesn’t particularly scar the sound quality either. In fact, it virtually eliminates the need for an extra woofer.

The frequency response is our only real niggle with these speakers. While it is pretty much flat, it’s not quite as flat as that you get with the Yamaha HS8 or the Kali Audio IN-8. Saying that though, the sound doesn’t seem overly coloured either. What’s more, the adjustability they give you over the low end, as well as the highs, means that tuning these monitors to suit your acoustic space is a breeze. And yet, considering their performance, Presonus isn’t exactly asking top £££.

Potential bargain? We think so.

  • Frequency response: 40Hz-22kHz
  • Power per speaker: 150w

Why are these the best 8 inch studio monitors?

  • Aside from being built well, these speakers really do look the part! Let’s just say, we wouldn’t be ashamed to have one in our studio, especially in that wacky blue colour.
  • The frequency response on these monitors is reasonably flat. We didn’t detect much colour at all.
  • That tweeter means the R80s give you what’re arguably some of the best highs in this price range. They’re crystal clear!
  • For what you get, these studio monitors aren’t exactly expensive. They’re priced to sell!

5: Mackie MR824 production speakers

As far as music production speakers go, a pair of MR 824s boast pretty much all the bare basics. They’re flat, balanced and not swimming in huge pools of bass. More or less the the recipe for a mixing monitor down the T. And yet, it’s the way these monitors function, that makes them a ‘go-to’ for a lot of mix engineers, but also students and even those after a realistic home cinema setup.

Unlike a lot of monitors, the MR 824s cover all the basics, without being gimmicky or overly flash. There’s no computer screens or clever gadgets here. Just a simple acoustic space control and a whole heap of ports – RCA and XLR to name but a few. Although, the main attraction is their sound, which is well balanced and clean. The tweeter and woofer on these monitors is actually aligned at the same depth, so all the sound leaves the box at the same time. Very clever!

They also have a decent amount of umph too – crank them up and there’s more than enough loudness to fill a medium-sized space. However, in comparison to the Kali LP-8 (our beginner’s pick), we would say it’s quite a close call. It’s only when put next to the HS8, that you realise these Mackies are actually quite a safe option in terms of mixing. They’re flat, but not uber flat. In other words, a good middle-ground monitor in terms of mixing, just perhaps not a specialist mixing monitor.

Saying that though, if you’re after a large sweet-spot, then the M824s have got your back. Those logarithmic wave guides really help to open up that sweet-spot. Fun fact for you: these are the same guides you’ll find on Mackie’s higher-end HR & XR Series monitors. A useful addition if you’re a producer who works with a lot of bands, as it prevents you hot-desking with every member, just so they can hear your mix. And call us crazy, but we’re also fans of the design.

Much like Kali monitors, the Mackie MR824s are designed around function. So while they do look professional, they’re pretty understated. The last word we’d use to describe these monitors is garish. Exactly why we’d say they’re some of the best 8 inch studio monitors you can get. They’re honest in the way they sound & how they look.

  • Frequency response: 38Hz-20kHz
  • Power per speaker: 85w

Why are these the best 8 inch studio monitors?

  • These speakers are internally braced, so you get next to no vibrations from inside the box!
  • For 75% of mix engineers, these speakers do the job. It’s only if you’re a sound fanatic (like us) that you’ll feel the need to pay more for the Yamaha HS8.
  • They have a super wide sweet-spot – they use the samelogarithmic wave guides you find on Mackie’s more expensive HR & XR series.
  • They’re hands-down one of the best 8 inch studio monitors for beginners. Mackie really got the balance right between price and functionality.

6: JBL 308p MKII monitor speakers

Let’s get something out of the way – these 308p studio monitors look the part. That gloss black finish, especially around that bevelled wave guide, really makes these JBLs one of a kind. Although these speakers aren’t just about the looks. They sound equally as impressive too. In fact, they’re flatter than a fair few monitors on this list. We’d say that out of any, they’re comparable to the Mackie MR824 (above).

Therefore in terms of mixing, we’d say these’d be very much a safe bet. Thanks to that insanely deep frequency response, the bass has a decent thump to it, but manages not to sound muddy. Equally, the highs are pretty sharp and the mids remain nice and level. Although those on the HS8 are more prominent. But with that being said, the overall detail of the sound is there. Vocals especially, sound clear and honest.

The sweet-spot on these JBLs is wide too. When moving around in-front of these, we didn’t notice much fluctuation in sound. Team this with the fact that their sound remains comfortable to the ear, and a pair of 308p monitors really do function well for mixing. Put it this way, we could listen to these 8 inch monitors all day without any sort of ear fatigue. And that’s even with the bass port being located on the rear.

Although on that, we didn’t notice much in the way of reflection with these monitors, even when shunted reasonably close to a wall. In fact, the only real niggles we have with these JBLs is that the cones aren’t made of kevlar. To be honest, the feel like plastic, but with that being said, they don’t have a negative affect on the sound, so really that’s just us being picky.

All-in-all then, these JBLs are a decent set of versatile speakers. One that for the price, you should at very least consider.

  • Frequency response: 45 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Power per speaker: 112w

Why are these the best 8 inch studio monitors?

  • We LOVE the design of these speakers, especially the front baffle. That piano black finish gives them a slight retro vibe that we really dig!
  • Considering the price, the build quality is solid. We’d actually say they feel more premium than the M-Audio BX8s (below).
  • The bass on these JBLs is powerful. These speakers have a lot of low end grunt.
  • Aside from mixing, they’d also work great as part of a home cinema or gaming rig. Tweak the settings and these speakers are a bit of both.

7: M-Audio BX8 D3 active studio monitors

So let’s be honest, not all studio monitors are designed for mixing – the M-Audio BX8 D3 being proof in point. If you’ve somehow been tricked into thinking these are HS8 or IN-8 killers, think again. Even on their flattest setting, they remain quite coloured. However, if you’re just after an affordable pair of monitors for streaming music, films, gaming or to use for playback, then (unless you’re fanatical about audio) the BX8 D3s are really all you need.

While these monitors do have some colour, their sound is nice and rounded. They also give you a LOT of low end, which is where if you’re a mix engineer, these speakers could prove troublesome. However if you’re just after comfy listening, then chances are this is a plus. The bass on these monitors really does pack a punch, to the point at which sometimes have to dial it down a tad. But with that being said, it’s not like these speakers are ‘all about the bass’. Despite the low end, the mids do remain detailed, and the highs are smooth too.

Compare the BX8s to other monitors in their price range, and they do outperform the majority. We especially prefer them to the Behringer B2031A Truth, which we found to lack clarity. Perhaps that’s because unlike the Behringer, the cones on the BX8s are made of kevlar. A nice touch that you don’t see on many budget studio monitors.

Speaking of which, M-Audio have also priced these well too. At around £100 a speaker, they’re a great budget 8 inch monitor. So really, it’s no wonder wherever you go on the internet, they’re highly rated. They’re also substantially cheaper than the equivalent Presonus Eris too. All despite the build and sound quality being very much on-par. So while these may make mix engineers crease, as an everyday speaker, they really are ‘on the money’.

  • Frequency response: 37 Hz to 22 kHz
  • Power per speaker: 150w

Why are these the best 8 inch studio monitors?

  • M-Audio have priced these well! Very few speakers offer you so much for around £100 per speaker!
  • If you’re a lover of low end, look no further. The bass on these speakers is killer! Ask us & they’d be ace for gaming or listening to beat-based music!
  • Despite all the bass, the mids and highs do feel defined. It’s not like the bass offsets the balance of these studio monitors.
  • Wherever you go online, these studio monitors receive glowing reviews. They’re popular!

Best 8 inch studio monitors for beginners

8: Kali LP-8 2-way monitor

If you’ve been eyeing up the IN-8, but don’t feel comfortable about footing the price tag, you could always opt for a pair of Kali’s LP-8 monitors. Its budget-friendly younger brothers that sit in a slightly lower bracket, amongst more budget studio monitors. So you’d imagine then, that these speakers sound budget. But do they?

Nope. In fact, if you were to scour other manufactures for the equivalent-sounding monitors, you’d likely end up paying around 50% more. Why? Well, that’s because of how these speakers have been developed. Aside from the boffins at Kali being rather clever audio fanatics, you also get a sense that very little of the budget was spend ‘spicing these up’. By that we mean, we’d bet our pocket money that the majority (if not all) of the development budget for this MK2 version, was spent on refining one thing: the audio.

Look closely and you see that every element of the design comes with a hidden purpose. For instance, the shape of the front baffle is what Kali are calling a “Wave Guide”, and is designed to give your mix a sense of space. Much the same as the polymer-coated paper that’s used to create the 8 inch cone, which is designed purposefully to reduce distortion. All small touches that really do make a big difference. Despite their price, these studio monitors sound excellent.

Their whole sound is very even, especially when you use the 8 dip-switches on the back, to tune this speaker to its flattest setting. It’s actually quite astonishing how flat you can get the LP-8. We noticed no peaks or troughs through the frequency range. The mids in particular felt nice and open, as well as detailed too. And as for the highs, they were crisp, but not overly crisp to the point at which they become irritating. Team thi sound with the with the generous sweet-spot and we’d say these are easily some of the best 8 inch studio monitors for beginners – period.

  • Frequency response: 37Hz-25kHz
  • Power per speaker: 100w

Why are these the best 8 inch studio monitors?

  • The bass is so controlled on these monitors, they could actually be a viable upgrade from a 5 inch. The low end is anything but overwhelming.
  • These are some flat monitors & while the frequency response isn’t the widest, for 99% of rookie producers it’ll be more than satisfactory.
  • These studio monitors even come with an unbalanced RCA jack. Great if you want to hook these up to older gear.
  • That HUGE front-facing bass port means these LP-8 studio monitors aren’t picky about where they sit in your setup.

8 inch too big & 5 inch too small? Try these pro 7 inch monitors

9: Adam Audio T7V production speakers

Adam audio have a bit of a reputation when it comes the studio monitors. Well, we say ‘bit’ – the company made a name for themselves by making high-end monitors that clock in at over £25k!! So when we came across the T7V, we were intrigued… very intrigued. And rightfully so.

Don’t be fooled by the smaller dimensions. These studio monitors put shivers up the back of a lot of their larger 8 inch rivals; the T7V monitors have been specifically designed to compete against the likes of the KRK Rokit & the `Yamaha HS Series. A job we think they succeed in doing. Why we’d say is largely down to their U-Art accelerated ribbon tweeter, which on first impressions is remarkably similar to that you find on the Presonus R80. However…

What makes this ribbon tweeter special, is the wave guide that sits around it. It’s from the Adam’s S-Series of monitors – the ones that’s retail for £1000s. So as you can imagine, out of all the ribbon tweeters you find in budget studio monitors, the U-Art tweeters on the T7Vs really do sing. The transient response is fast and there’s some real detail in the high end – no distortion even at high volumes! Yet, these monitors manage not to be too fatiguing on the ear. But that ribbon tweeter is only the start of it.

Adam have put a lot of work into the woofer on this monitor too. It’s made of polypropylene and as result has a really agile response, even when being pushed hard. The bass on these is super tight! Then consider that the Adams are an inch down on the speakers above & only packing 70w each (less than half the KRK Rokit 8), and why they’re often dubbed as the best studio monitors for sale, is no surprise. As far as size-weight ratios go, you’ll be hard pushed to find better.

  • Frequency response: 39Hz-25kHz
  • Power per speaker: 70w

Why are these the best 8 inch studio monitors?

  • These are arguably the best studio monitors out there for vocals. The clarity you get with the T7Vs is just phenomenal.
  • Thanks to those ‘hand-me-down’ wave guides from the S-Series, the sweet-spot is super wide with these monitors. All ideal for mixing.
  • Function great for production (you can get these nice & flat). Yet with the push of a button, they can be ideal for DJs too (a bit more colourful)!
  • We really dig the modern design – these studio monitors really do look like they’ve fallen off the set of Star Trek!!

DJs – forget everything above! This is the monitor you need…

10: Pioneer DJ VM-80 studio speakers

As far as multipurpose monitors go, you’ll be hard pushed to beat the VM-80s from Pioneer. Believe us when we say this, the level of range you get with these speakers is nothing short of phenomenal! So much so that it wouldn’t be overkill to say that a pair of these essentially gives you two monitors in one. With the flick of a switch, these monitors which are ideal for mixing can turn into proper bass-heavy monsters. Anyone who’s a fan of Club music will not be disappointed.

In flat mode, these speakers are really quite impressive. Now while they’re not the flattest of flat sounds out there – the HS8 keeps that crown – they do function well for balancing a mix. In flat mode there’s not much colour to the sound at all. The low end remains tight, the trebles sing and there’s no sign of any distortion. Overall, the sound feels true to the original recording. And yet when you play about with the 16 frequency presets and get the bass pumping, you realise this speaker’s party piece.

That clarity is remains intact. The mids don’t loose their warmth and those trebles continue to sing, all despite the heavy thumps of the club-style bass. A characteristic that really does make these the 8 inch monitors some of the best all-rounders. Speaking of which, the VM-80 is fully-loaded with all the inputs you need too. Aside from TRS and XLR, you also get an unbalanced RCA – a rare find on studio monitors these days.

As for the woofer, that’s made of Kevlar, and the tweeters are surrounded by an exuberantly-shaped cone, recessed into the face of the monitor. Something Pioneer dub as the “constant directivity horn” around the tweeter. In other words, it’s some pretty clever ergonomics. But all things considered, this really is a versatile 8 inch studio monitor. One that if you’re a DJ could well be the best 8 inch studio monitor you can buy.

  • Frequency response: 34 Hz – 36 kHz
  • Power per speaker: 120w

Why are these the best 8 inch studio monitors?

  • The sheer variation sound you can get out of these speakers is insane! Talk about multipurpose.
  • Pioneer didn’t scrimp on the build. Unlike the majority of monitors, the front of the VM-80 is clad in a 4mm aluminium plate. Very classy!
  • To say these monitors can make such a punchy sound, even wit the bass cranked up, the amps in these studio monitors run very quiet!!
  • These speakers save you SO much money, if they eradicate the need to buy a second pair.

Which 8 inch studio is best for the studio? Our editor’s choice….

As you’d imagine, to put our fingers on the best 8 inch studio monitor of 2022 wasn’t easy. Let’s just say that (as we’ve proven above), it’s not like there’s a shortage of monitors for you to choose from. No matter what type of audiophile you may be, there’s a studio monitor out there for you. You have options!

In which case, we’ve decided to break our verdict down into two parts: the best 8 inch studio monitor for music production & the best studio monitor overall. That way you can be sure you get your hands on the monitor that’s right for you.

So to kick things off, if you’re a pro audio engineer in pursuit of those flat frequencies, we’d say your best bet is still going to be the…

(pretty sure you saw this coming)

Latest Price!

Why? Well let’s just say there’s a lot of flat monitors out there, but none that’s quite mastered the art like the HS8. So while speakers from the likes of JBL, Kali Audio & KRK do present good options for mixing and mastering, we found the Yamahas to be that little more astute. They allow you to spot imperfections in your mix where the other speakers don’t.

And because of that (and that alone), they’ve earned the right to be dubbed as the ‘best 8 inch studio monitors for mixing’. Yes, they’re not the most exciting of monitors. Safe to say that for streaming they would be a bit vanilla. But that’s where this next set of monitors comes in…

Because you see if we had to predict who’s going to be the first to knock the Yamahas off a producer’s Christmas list, we’d put our money it being Kali Audio. A manufacturer of 5-star monitors that seems to have sprung up out of nowhere. So as you can imagine, when it came to the best 8 inch studio monitor overall, we couldn’t help but award it to stunning…

Latest Price!

A set of studio monitors that really have us excited! Aside from being up there in terms of the best budget 8 inch monitors for mixing, they’re also a versatile speaker too. So while the Yamahas have the flattest sound, out of all the speakers on this list, we’d buy the IN-8.

That’s because for 80% of mix engineers who don’t have the budget that extends to two sets of studio monitors, the Kali ticks all the boxes. While iit’s not uber flat, it’s up there as one of the flattest budget monitors you can buy. Also, being a 3-way monitor, opposed to a 2-way, means that the mids don’t get lost in the low end. They have a real clarity to them that you struggle to get with a 2-way. Yet, that bass is super punchy!

And what’s more, unlike with the Yamaha, it’s also pretty easy to add in a touch of colour to these speakers. Not that you can’t adjust the Yamahas – you can. But in terms of a cinema-style, slight more casual sound, we’d say the Kalis take the lead. In fact, hook one of those up to a gaming rig and we’re confident you’d go from playing the game to being part of it. You really can create an atmosphere with these speakers.

Not to mention do so on a budget, because for what they are, the Kali’s are cheap. Look through the Kali range and you’ll soon see that this is habit of the entire brand – providing superior audio quality for the price. Something that not only makes the IN-8s for us a worthy buy, but also makes Kali Audio one to watch.

If this is what they can do now, what will studio monitors be like in 10/20 years??!

Enjoy what you’ve read and eager for more? Be sure to check out our latest gossip around Music Studio Kit, as well as Music Production in general. Equally, if 8 inch monitors are slightly large, consider checking out our guides to the Best 5 Inch Studio Monitors + the Best 3 Inch Studio Monitors.

Or, if you’ve still got a burning question about these mini trumpets, keep reading to learn even more about how to spot the best pocket trumpet…

The lowdown on the best 8 inch monitors for the studio, production & more…

Pro producers most likely rely on studio monitors made by the likes of KRK or Yamaha. And that’s not just because they’ve read this blog. Out of all the studio monitors you can buy, these two tend to give the best response. The KRKs in particular have a really good mid range!

As for size, that really depends on the environment in which producers make music. If you’re a pro, you’ll most likely go for the full 8 inches. Especially if you’re a beat-maker or mix Hip Hop, as big monitors give you bass for days! The only real scenario when you wouldn’t would use 8s is if you’re in a confined space. Somewhere like a small bedroom where a big 8 inch monitor wouldn’t be in proportion to the room.

Sticking with the confined theme, producers may also downsize their monitors if they’re in a space where a loud BOOMING bass is going to cause trouble. A block of flats or small terraced house perhaps. Go to a professional studio and you’ll also likely find 8 inch monitors like the KRK Rokit G4s, Yamaha HS8s or even more pricy monitors by Genelec. And yes of course, if you’re a seasoned producer you should be able to mix tracks using virtually any monitors, especially if you have 10+ years of experience in the biz.

But with that being said, better monitors do make getting your mix right first time a whole lot easier. A timesaving that if you’re a pro makes them more than worth it.

You can indeed use studio monitors to DJ, however we would recommend doing so.

That’s because studio monitors aren’t made with DJs in mind – they’re made for music producers. Even the best 8 inch studio monitors wouldn’t work the best for a DJ setup. Why?

Because studio monitors will give you raw playback. Something a producer needs when mixing as to do so, they need to hear the true sound. Monitors that emit a colourful sound just make their life harder, hence why producers always hunt for monitors that deliver a flat frequency response. Whereas, DJs are virtually the opposite.

Because their job is to entertain, not perform critical listening, this colourful sound that’s pleasing to the ear is what they’re after. Exactly why if you’re a DJ, you’d benefit from buying specific DJ studio monitors. Something like the Pioneer DJ VM-80 mentioned above, which still give you that flat frequency response, yet with the flick of a switch, will transform into what’s virtually the ideal DJ monitor. These have a super punchy bass and will add a whole bunch of colour to your sound if you permit them.

You have two ears, so yes – you do need two studio monitors.

While one could suffice as a speaker if you plan on using these for easy listening, if you plan on using them for any sort of music production, there’s simply no maybe about it. Without two speakers creating an even and balanced mix will be virtually impossible. Why? Because without two studio monitors, there is no sweet-spot. Instead just one stream of direct audio. So yep – investing in a pair of studio monitors is essential.

Don’t have enough money for a pair of 8 inch studio monitors? Click this neon link to check out our rundown of the Best 5 Inch Studio Monitors – a slightly more affordable way to get your hands on two monitors.

Studio monitors run rings around your average speakers for a number of reasons. Here’s 2…

Studio monitors offer more accurate sound – Why do your average speakers sound so great? Because in most cases they boost the audio’s low end as well as the top end too. All of which ups how powerful and crisp the track seems. Key word there – ‘seems’. That’s because the audio you hear out of conventional speakers isn’t actually the plain truth. It’s audio that’s been modified by the speaker.

Whereas with a studio monitor, all this enhancement takes a backseat. That’s because studio monitors are all about being true to the original recording. They’ll also likely be more detailed too, opposed to overly bassy. Perhaps not what a conventional listener wants to hear, but exactly what a music producer needs to perfect their mix.

Studio monitors are mostly active – Most HiFi speakers are what’s known as passive. This means that the sub and tweeter are all powered by one set of power amps, which are housed within in one of the two speakers. You can quite easily tell a passive set of monitors by picking them up. If one speaker is significantly lighter than the other, then 9 times out of 10, they’re passive.

Whereas with active studio monitors, things are a little different. Lift a pair of these up and both will likely be of similar weight. That’s because active speakers both have their own set of power amps – some even feature two, maybe even three! And there’s a very good reason for that.

In a set of passive speakers, loud sounds can often sap the power amp of a lot of its energy. So if you have a big kick of bass for instance, you may find it robs power from the mids or the highs. All of which makes the overall sound, less level. A issue you tend to get far less with studio monitors, as they have more available power. Very clever.

Yes – 100%.

And that’s because you don’t even have to invest in the best 8 inch studio monitors to put your average stereo speakers to shame. Studio monitors on the whole have more clarity and deliver a more precise sound. One that’s especially important to any music producer when mixing their tracks.

Now while studio monitors also function well in terms of speakers for comfy listening, they will take some tweaking to get right. If this is important to you it may even impact what studio monitors you buy. Let’s just say that listening to a film through the Yamaha HS8s with their uber flat frequency response, isn’t going to be the most exciting. Nevertheless, get your hands on a monitor like the Pioneer VM-80 and that could all change.

The level of EQ customisability on these is insane. If you haven’t already, check out our review of these flexible studio monitors (above).

Erm, when it comes to Donner studio monitors we’re not so sure.

Yes, we’re yet to come across any studio monitors from Donner that’s we’d label bad. The majority of their speakers come with in-built Bluetooth, which is great. But from what we can tell, they only really seem to cater for smaller 3 or 4 inch monitors. From memory, the largest Donner studio monitor we’ve seen has been just 5 inch.

Safe to say, we’re yet to see Donner release anything that’s had us thinking “this is the best 8 inch monitor out there”. All of which tells us they don’t yet have the confidence (or budget) to justify making a larger model.

Don’t get us wrong, the small Donner studio monitors may be great We haven’t come across that many, so we can’t really comment. But as of now, we’d say you could put your money in far better places.

As annoying as it may sound – no. You have two ears so you will need two KRK Rokit speakers, especially if you plan on using them for mixing and mastering music.

Without two speakers you don’t feel the full panning affect, nor create that sweet-spot which you really need in order to get the balance right. But if you’re just after a monitor for casual use, perhaps watching films or blasting your favourite tunes one could work.

2 would be better though.

Nope.

In most cases studio monitors don’t require an amplifier as they’re usually built in to the monitor itself. An amp that may we add is specifically designed for use in the studio. Hence why studio monitors are not only known for being high quality, but they also cost that bit more than your average HiFi speakers.

Studio monitors which have amps built in are what’s known as active speakers – by the way, all the speakers we listed above are active speakers, don’t worry! The only time you may need to buy an amplifier would be if your invest in a set of passive studio monitors. Thankfully though, these are a rare breed.

In the case you do come across a passive set though, here’s why you’ll have to do. First connect your speakers to a Audio Interface or Studio Monitor Volume Controller, using the correct cable. Usually either TRS or RCA, but depending on the monitors this could differ.

You measure a studio monitor by the size of the subwoofer.

So when we say “here’s the best 8 inch studio monitors”, what we’re actually saying is “here’s the best monitors you can buy with an 8 inch sub”. 8 inch monitors can come in at different sizes, shapes weights – the lot.

Here’s a rough guide to the different sizes of studio monitors…

  • Small monitors = 3-5 inch woofers
  • Medium monitors = 6-7 inch woofers
  • Large monitors = 8-10 inch woofers

If you’re a mix engineer or production newbie, and you’re unsure about which monitors to buy and why, check out this book first.

Mixing Secrets For The Small Studio is a fantastic book by Mike Senior, that runs you through exactly what you need to consider, especially if you need solid acoustics in a hurry. And yes, it’s not the cheapest book on earth, but if it means you invest in the best 8 inch studio monitors (and not the wrong pair), it’s more than paid for itself.

Take it from us, this book really does open your eyes. We particularly like how Mike talks about making intelligent decisions & how in order to make them, you rely on the right audio hitting your ears.