The Best DJ Speakers / Monitors On The Market in 2017
DJ Speakers are hardware devices, which are designed to deliver the originally outputted sound to its listeners. However, the term “DJ Speakers” doesn’t assume the basic speakers which you usually find in somebody’s home or car. The speakers which are familiar to all of us can be plugged either into a smartphone or computer, and they will process and amplify the audio signal transmitted from a soundcard or audio chip in your device. Despite that, the DJ Speakers to which we refer in this guide function a bit differently and are initially known as monitors.
Monitors are designed to amplify dynamically and exactly the audio signals from a mixer or a synthesizer. The monitor itself doesn’t have a sound, but it outputs the sound from a device in its true form. The sound is shaped in audio devices and transmitted to the monitor to reproduce it. Many people also refer to the trueness of a monitor, what presumes that it outputs the true sound of a device, in its original shape and dynamics. So, basically, a monitor outputs the original analog or digital sound. When your fans will listen to your tracks at home, they will hear nearly the same sound, but not the exact same one as from your speakers, because your monitor will output its initial shape from your audio devices, which will remain original only with the same devices and monitors, but not as a digital recording outputted somewhere else.
DJ speakers range in their features, quality, and price. The reviews below will present some of the top-rated models, that maintain the basic functionality, but have some differences, which in the end decide their price and features.
1. KRK Rockit 8 Powered Studio Monitors
KRK is known for their high-quality studio monitors and speakers at reasonable prices.
The Rockit 8 features a 1-inch tweeter and an 8-inch glass-aramid woofer. In the rear, you can adjust the volume and low and high frequencies. For an expanded integrity with more devices, it has an XLR and ¼-inch inputs.
This piece can be adjusted to a loud and clear sound due to its 100w sound output which will remain undistorted and up to 35 kHz response. The monitor can deliver a deep and clear sound around all frequencies and on different volume levels. The user would be satisfied by the adjustability of sound characteristics, dynamics, and quality.
Following this monitor, you can also check the smaller version with a 5-inch woofer. For their features and price, they are totally worth and probably the best option in their category. You can check its latest price here:
2. Pioneer S-DJ80X Active Reference Speaker
Pioneer is popular with their controllers on the market but is also building the way up with their speakers. Similarly, to the Rockit 8, the S-DJ80X has a 1-inch tweeter and 8-inch woofer. It has also ¼-inch, RCA and XLR inputs. Like on the most of the speakers, the volume and frequencies can be adjusted.
An interesting feature is that the speakers are programmed to go into sleep mode if they remain unused for longer than 25 minutes. They wake up when the signal reaches them again.
Similar to many other speakers, the sound tends to get distorted at higher volumes. The S-DJ80X outputs a pleasant treble, but as the volume increases they can start to rumble and the bass tends to lose its harmony. This can occur due to its large housing, which is larger than of the most speakers in this category. The sound is probably being trapped inside the housing, which produces the rumble.
The speakers are well built and feature a minimalistic aspect. If you are a Pioneer fan, this option may suit you best. However, regarding the price and sound, you could probably found better ones if you would invest more time in researching. You can check the actual offer here:
3. Mackie Mr8 mk2 Studio Reference Monitor
Mackie has been producing speakers for years, and they feature ones of the best products on the market. They are not so popular like KRK and Pioneer, but the potential of their devices is worth anybody’s attention.
The monitor is available in 5, 6 and 8-inch versions. However, if you want to get most of it the 8-inch option would be the best one.
Mackie Mr8 mk2 features a deep and clean sound. You can expect to hear dynamic waves and if you lack bass you can press the 4dB button to activate the low end and receive soothing vibrations. Unlike Pioneer’s speakers, you don’t have to worry about the rumble in this case. The back panel of the monitor has the standard inputs, outputs, and controls. The look of this unit will give an air of minimalism combined with futuristic characteristics in your studio or room.
Mackie has a reputation of building long-lasting and solid pieces. Probably they won’t be able to amplify more than the mentioned KRK model, but with its quality, it is surely worth. When choosing a monitor, you should also research about the quality of pieces inside, because that is what matters in the long run. Mackie provides long-lasting pieces such as transistors, chips, and wires, which won’t disintegrate even after years of use. You can check its latest price here:
4. M-Audio BX8 D2 8-Inch Active 2-Way Studio Monitor Speakers
M-Audio has a reputation for producing high-quality speakers in the consumer and prosumer worlds. The BX8 has on the rear standard inputs and outputs, frequency and volume control and a balanced XLR input. One noticeable left off feature is its RCA input. The producers insisted that the absence of the input was designed to keep its profile with best delivering sound quality. In this case, you will have to count on an adapter, ¼-inch or XLR output.
BX8’s bass is low-end. The bass is too low and can be a barrier for some users. Compared to Rockit8 and MR8 the bass sound is a little less exciting. Despite that the BX8 can deliver a dynamic sound with a punchy bass, that sounds excellent. BX8 doesn’t distort on higher volumes and keeps the sound consistent and stable, unlike the mentioned Pioneer S-DJ80X.
This is piece can provide qualitative and consistent sound that will enrich your music environment. If you aren’t too picky about small details and you want to enjoy more bass while listening home, the BX8 is surely a good option. You can check further on it here:
5. JBL LSR2325P Two-Way 5” Bi-Amplified Studio Monitor
JBL is popular with their line of speakers on the market, especially among the prosumers. They offer some quite high-class monitors, which are of great value and quality. Their LSR2325P monitor has standard inputs, outputs, and controls on the rear panel. The external aspect of the monitor is minimalistic. JBL decided to withhold to place their trademark on the monitor.
This piece features an 8-inch woofer that has a low-frequency response up to 37 Hz. It has a bi-amplified system capable of 70-watt high frequency and 95-watt low frequency, which is very powerful for its class. It has a well-controlled low-end that outputs strongly even in the sub-bass range.
The monitor weighs about 30 pounds and has rubber padding at the bottom. Its quality is overall good and you don’t have to worry about parts, as this monitor won’t lose majorly its sound even after some years of active listening.
The LSR2325L delivers a various range of dynamics and fulfills the requirements for an engaging monitor. You can check its price and further capabilities following this link:
When looking for a monitor, there are some characteristics which you would like to consider before buying.
• Do you need a sub or not?
This is an important question, as in different environments, you would need a different sound. The sub adds more bass than in the actual mix and would fit greatly in a club or a big studio, to fill the room with a more consistent sound. However, if you are going to mix at home, especially as a DJ, you may want to back off from this option. The reviewed monitors don’t include any speaker systems with subs and there is a reason for that. You will surely find it enough at home to have an efficient set of monitors that will provide you with all the bass you need.
• Sound Quality
You will need some studio monitors that will give you the required sound. You will want that the sound will remain controlled, dynamic and varied. Let’s check more in depth what would they offer:
• Controlled Sound
This means that there will be no loss. High frequencies like from cymbals or hi-hats won’t distort. The bass will also not get too muddy and distorted and maintain its deepness. The monitors which give engaging sound will make sure that you will hear frequencies and instruments, which you might not be able to hear on some lower grade systems, like some headphones. With some good monitors, you will also be able to hear more clearly such effects as echo and reverb. This will allow you to discover sounds in tracks, which you didn’t hear before, which makes it a powerful characteristic.
• Dynamic Sound
A dynamic sound will offer you the whole range of sounds. You will hear frequencies ranging from deep bass till the highest resonances. A good monitor will allow you to spot where the kick, hi-hat or bass line is without any struggle. Such sounds will remain clear and will allow you to easily identify them. For DJ’s this is a decisive function to receive the best sound experience and ease the whole mixing work.
• Power Source
The monitors reviewed above rely on an external power source. This has become an industry standard. Some may think that it would be more effective to introduce USB or another type of bus-powered source. However, there is a good reason for monitors being powered externally. With external power, they have a higher signal output. This ensures also that your laptop or PC won’t be stressed by different voltages that it will have to output.
If you are considering on practicing more home and in smaller studios than you probably would be fine without any massive sets of speakers. You don’t need too much, but you also don’t need equipment which will sound creaky.
• Speaker Size
Monitors feature diverse speaker sizes, but the best ones out there according to the preferences of most people have 8-inch woofers. You will also have to choose from different tweeters as they vary in configuration and size, depending on the manufacturer. If your purpose lies in mixing in a room, which won’t have more than 50 square meters than you would be perfectly fine with an 8-inch monitor that will deliver the needed sound and volume without consuming extra power. You don’t have to worry about the volume as you will be able to push a good amount of volume through it, which should be enough for your needs.
The studio monitors in this guide vary in size, functionality, and quality. Despite that they are all in the same class they all have some differences, which will influence upon anybody’s decision. There are also other types of studio monitors which weren’t mentioned in this guide that are highly ranked on the market and may come at a more expensive cost. It really depends on your taste, needs, and budget which one would be the best one for your home studio.
With all the required monitor features and functionality, their true goal is to deliver the “true” sound, which some aren’t capable of. The monitors in this guide focus on the most decisive combining reasonable proportions between price and quality. Of course, if you will research more you may find thousands that will fall into your taste category, but you could also decide upon from those presented here as these are some of the top-rated products, which feature the whole functionality set for an enjoyable DJ experience at home. With a list of requirements and a little bit of information presented here, you may find without much struggle the perfect DJ speaker for you.