What is the Best Near Field Monitor under $300?

topic posted Mon, May 30, 2005 - 8:27 PM by  Thunder
I'm trying to get some accurate speakers for my home setup here.
Wondering what everyone thinks is the best for under $300..
Powered or Passive?
Thanks in advance.
posted by:
  • Active speakers are, in my opinion, always preferable, since the built-in amplifier is (supposedly) designed to be most efficient for the speakers it will always be driving.

    Additionally, running signal over balanced line-level wire is easier and typically sounds better than running speaker level signals over speaker wire.

    I'm sure there are others who will disagree, but that's my experience.
    • I agree, unless you have a super great amplifier that for some reason you prefer to the amp that will be in the powered speakers. If you have a $2000 amp it will clearly be better than the amp in a pair of $300 speakers, since the $300 covers the cost of the speakers and the amp. But, all things being equal, I'd follow Jory's advice and get powered speakers.
  • to go ontopic again: What brands do you guys suggest? i'm also looking for a pair of moni's, but my financial situation doesn't really allow me to get the high-end-stuff everyone seems to be using.
    • I would recommend looking at the Mackie HR-824's at the least. They are damn good monitors for the price.

      It's tough for me to come up with a recommendation for a sub-$300 monitor, as I feel that monitoring is the single most important first-step in the chain. Without quality monitors, you have no idea what you're listening to.

      Then again, I'm definitely the wrong person to ask low-end questions of. I tend to avoid doing something if I can't get what I feel is the highest possible quality.
  • As far as something good and flat for that price, I think the Samson 65a's are a (and maybe the only)candidate. They aren't going to sound all that pleasing (compared to the Makcie 824's) but they aren't terribly reflexive in any frequency range. Not so fun to track with, but probably a good product for mixdown. I may be a bad judge of low-end nearfield monitors though, because a lot of the sub$500US speakers remind me of my NS10m's (which sound like a train wreck but get good mixes evey time).
    For about $100US more, there is the Fostex PM2. Again, not so sexy as Mackie or Tannoy or KRK, but they sound flat to me.
    • Unsu...
      I would look @ the Event TR8XL's. You can get a pair for $600. Their not in the same league as the Mackie's etc., but for that price that's the flattest response you're gonna get. And they're active.

      Check it:


      • I just bought a Hafler power amp and a pair of JBL 4206's on ebay for a grand total of $210, and they sound great.
        • I have a friend who works as an engineer installing speaker systems at a different venue every night. He told me that the Behringer B2031A is an even better bet than the Mackie's. And they're a lot cheaper!
          I'm thinking I'll take his word for it. He says the Mackie's only have a little bit more low end, but he claims that despite the specs, the mackies do waver a little on sound.
          • I've never heard a Behringer speaker that sounded even remotely good or accurate, but they have some new ones out I haven't heard yet. It would certainly be a first, though!

            The Event Studio Precision series are great - and they seem to sell used for half of the new price. A bit more than $300, but I've seen a pair of active 6's for $475 on ebay. Those are really quality monitors!
          • I have to wonder about this. First off, you're talking about someone who does sound reinforcement, which is very different than studio work. Second, the Mackie HR824 speakers are THX-certified, while the Behringers are not.

            May I recommend that you find a retailer who has both and try a listening test with them? Bring your own material that you know well and A/B the monitors.

            Select the ones that sound best to you.

            BTW, a _good_ retailer will let you buy both, use them in your space, and allow you to return the ones you don't like (within a couple weeks).

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