Studio monitors are an essential part of any professional or project studio. There are plenty of superb studio monitors in circulation and quite a few excellent brands to choose from.
There are so many amazing studio monitor manufacturers that I couldn't pick just 10 to share with you. Even a top 11 was challenging, and there are awesome brands that have been left out.
The top 11 best speaker monitor brands you should know and use are:
In this article, we'll discuss each of these brands and explain why you should know of and use their monitors in your studio. While doing so, I'll be sure to add a notable model from each brand.
Note that these companies are not listed in any particular order.
If you're looking for a full list of speaker and studio monitor manufacturers, click here!
Without further ado, let's get into our top 11 studio monitor brands you should know about and use.
Genelec is a Finnish company that specializes in manufacturing audio equipment for professional studio recording, mixing and mastering applications, broadcast, and movie production.
Their active studio monitors are well-respected and cherished in music, television and mastering studios worldwide for their clarity, power and precision.
The 8361A (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video) is the flagship model (largest model) from Genelec's ‘The Ones' range of coaxial point source monitors. The monitor features dual acoustically-concealed woofers and Smart Active Monitor (SAM) for remarkably accurate monitoring. With a short-term max SPL of 118 and a frequency response from 30 Hz – 43,000 Hz (-6 dB), the 6351A is incredibly accurate.
These monitors can be used in conjunction with Genelec's powerful GLM calibration software to adapt the speakers to your acoustic space by compensating for any detrimental room influences. Together, these technologies help to produce mixes that translate perfectly, from stereo through to highly complex immersive formats.
Genelec Oy was founded in 1978 by Ilpo Martikainen and Topi Partanen in Helsinki, Finland. Shortly after founding, the company moved to Iisalmi, Finland, where it holds its headquarters today.
Dynaudio is a Danish audio equipment manufacturer best known for its Hi-Fi and other high-quality home audio speakers.
The company also excels at producing reference monitors designed to reproduce audio with exactness and certainty. These monitors are beloved in professional and project studios everywhere.
The Core 59 (link to check the price at Sweetwater) is the flagship of Dynaudio's high-end professional reference monitor series. It's a 3-way speaker with uncompromising class-D amplification, cutting-edge digital signal processing, a super-inert 32mm-thick baffle, and a flat bass response down to 36Hz at -6dB. This monitor is designed for professionals with an Esotar Pro tweeter to greatly reduce listening fatigue.
Dynaudio was founded in 1977 by Ejvind Skaaning and Gerhard Richter. The company has since introduced a professional subsidiary (Dynaudio Professional). In 2014, Dynaudio was acquired by the Chinese acoustic components company Goertek. Dynaudio is headquartered in Skanderborg, Denmark.
Click here to visit the official website of Dynaudio.
Parent company: Goertek (China)
Dynaudio is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
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Adam Audio is a German company committed to producing the best audio monitors on the market.
The company offers near, mid and far-field monitors for all studio sizes. Each model is designed for a specified range of applications and perfected for its intended use.
The S5V (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video) is one of the superb models from Adam Audio's flagship S series of reference monitors. The S5V main monitor is a 3-way speaker with a frequency range between 25 Hz and 50,000 Hz. It is designed to offer all the raw power studio professionals would expect from a reference speaker of its class but also to reproduce full-bandwidth and high-resolution audio with complete accuracy and clarity.
Advanced Dynamic Audio Monitors Audio was founded in 1999 by Klaus Heinz (who also founded HEDD Audio) and Roland Stenz in Berlin, Germany. The company remains headquartered in Berlin, Germany.
Kali Audio is my top “budget-friendly” brand of studio monitors.
The American manufacturer has really cracked the code on the cost-to-performance ratio, offering several studio monitor models that sound way out of their class.
Kali Audio is a great choice for project studios looking to get professional-sounding results from their monitors at a fraction of the cost.
The Kali Audio IN-8 (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video) is an intuitive and “budget-friendly” studio monitor. It's a 3-way design with improved imaging of a coaxial mid-range and tweeter. This superb monitor offers transparency, low distortion, and a soundstage that swings way above its price point.
Kali Audio was founded in 2018 by Nathan Baglyos in California and is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, USA.
PSI is a Swiss company focused primarily on top-of-the-line studio monitor solutions.
Their range of studio monitors includes plenty of options for the professional studio, and each monitor serves its own unique purpose. No matter what you're after and what projects you're working on, PSI Audio has a studio monitor (or studio monitors) for you!
The PSI A23-M (link to check the price at KMR Audio) is a standout reference monitor from a standout monitor brand. Each unit is individually calibrated to ensure the more revealing and accurate sound possible. The 3-way monitor is 100% Analog with class G/H amplifiers.
PSI (Swiss Precision Audio) was originally founded in 1977 by Alain Roux in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland. In 1988, Roux founded Relec SA and had this Société Anonyme (corporation) acquire PSI Audio. The speaker manufacturer, to this day, is still headquartered in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland.
The Germany-based Neumann GmbH is best known for its legendary microphones, but it also has a selection of high-end studio monitors as well.
Neumann holds the highest standard for its microphones, and the same is true for its studio monitors. The relatively small selection of Neumann monitors is not a reflection of their quality.
Neumann monitors are enjoyed around the globe for their incredible accuracy and ability to show where the issues are in a mix.
The KH 420 (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video) is Neumann's flagship studio monitor. This 3-way tri-amplified (class AB) midfield studio monitor is ideal for listening distances of 1.5 to 3 metres, offering extraordinary bass depth (26 Hz) with high sound pressure (122.4 dB).
Neumann was founded in 1928 by Georg Neumann in Berlin, Germany. The company is owned by Sennheiser electronic GmbH and is headquartered in Berlin, Germany.
Georg Neumann GmbH (Germany) official website.
Parent company: Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG (Germany).
Neumann is also featured in the following My New Microphone article:
• Top 11 Best Microphone Brands You Should Know And Use
PMC is a British loudspeaker manufacturer with products designed for home, professional studio and other Hi-Fi applications.
The company offers extended ranges of reference monitors for the smallest to the largest studios. The cleanliness and transparent nature of their monitors make PMS a great choice for any professional studio type.
The twotwo.8 (link to check the price at Sweetwater) is PMC's flagship studio monitor from its active ‘twotwo' series. With sophisticated digital signal processing and active amplification, PMC has produced an incredibly clean and accurate 2-way monitor in its twotwo.8
Professional Monitor Company Limited (PMC) was founded in 1991 by Peter Thomas and Adrian Loader and is headquartered in Biggleswade, United Kingdom.
Focal is a French company that specializes in manufacturing Hi-Fi audio systems, headphones and professional reference monitors.
Focal reference monitors are jam-packed with state-of-the-art technology (both proprietary and not). The company controls each aspect of the manufacturing process to ensure the user gets the best monitor they could ask for from an already superb speaker design.
The Trio11 Be (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video) is Focal's flagship studio speaker dedicated to near-field and mid-field monitoring. This monitor features Focal's TMD (Tuned Mass Damper) and NIC (Neutral Inductance Circuitry) technologies for amazing tuning.
Its optimized vents promote dynamic control and perfect bass definition with high excursion, enabling even more linearity of the subwoofer. The speaker offers up to 118 dB SPL and an extended bandwidth from 30 Hz-40 kHz.
Focal-JMLab was founded in 1979 by Jacques Mahul in Saint-Etienne, France. Though the brand is still independent, it is owned by Vervent Audio Group following a merger with UK-based high-end audio electronics brand Naim Audio Limited. Focal-JMLab is, to this day, still headquartered in Saint-Etienne, France.
Focal is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
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HEDD Audio is another amazing German manufacturer of studio monitors.
This family-run business was founded by a veteran speaker designer and a mastering engineer/musicologist. Needless to say, HEDD Audio's products are well designed and tested to ensure the greatest quality possible.
HEDD studio monitors are also 100% analog and made with the best components yet incorporate some of the key advantages of digital signal optimization without DSP.
The result is an excellent sounding line of monitors that is sure to show you exactly when the mix sounds like.
The HEDD Type20 Mk 2 (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video) is HEDD's near/midfield speaker in its line of studio monitors. This versatile model is a 3-way speaker that includes HEDD's very own 5″ and 7″ woofers, air motion transformer tweeter, and ICEpower amplification. The result is a flexible but steady-sounding monitor for small and medium-sized studios alike.
Heinz Electrodynamic Designs was founded in 2015 by Klaus Heinz (who also founded ADAM Audio) and his son, Dr. Frederik Knop. The company is headquartered in Berlin, Germany.
Eve Audio is another specialty brand in studio monitor manufacturing.
Whatever you need in reference monitoring, Eve Audio has it: desktop, near-field, mid-field, main, subwoofers, you name it!
The team at Eve Audio works diligently through the concept, design, manufacturing, testing, and re-testing until the final quality of each monitor is achieved. This ensures the best monitors from Eve Audio and the best results for those who use these precise and well-defined monitors.
Eve Audio's flagship model is its SC3012 (link to check the price at B&H Photo/Video). Unlike the aforementioned near and midfield monitors, this speaker is designed for large recording and mastering studios, film and television post-production facilities, cinema applications and in-wall installations (though Eve certainly has some awesome near and midfield speakers, too).
The SC3012 is a 3-way monitor designed with Eve's proprietary AMT RS6 tweeter and two superb woofers in order to provide smooth directivity, highly defined mids, pristine high frequencies and a powerful and tight low end.
Eve Audio was founded in 2011 by Roland Stenz (co-founder of Adam Audio) in Berlin, Germany, where the company is still headquartered today.
Yamaha is by far the oldest company on the list, having been founded in 1887. Today, Yamaha is a global conglomerate involved in sectors such as motorcycles, musical instruments, consumer electronics and, as the article would suggest, speakers and monitors.
Yamaha offers a wonderful variety of studio monitors and is well known for its iconic HS series of affordable near-field reference monitors.
Yamaha's HS series of affordable near-field reference monitors have been iconic since the 1970s. The HS8 (link to check the price on Amazon) is the flagship model from this series. This 2-way speaker features a bi-amplified 8″ cone woofer and 1″ dome tweeter, and a bass-reflex enclosure for a clean and present sound in a small package.
Yamaha Corporation was founded in 1887 as Nippon Gakki Co by Torakusu Yamaha. Today, Yamaha's headquarters is located in Nakazawacho, Naka-ku, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan.
Yamaha is also featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
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Determining the perfect pair of studio monitors for your studio can make for a difficult choice. For this reason, I've created My New Microphone's Comprehensive Studio Monitor Buyer's Guide. Check it out for help choosing the best studio monitors for your setup.