Studio monitors are perfect additions to a home studio. They help you get a more accurate sound when recording, mixing, or mastering.
The problem is, it’s not easy to find models that offer the best quality minus the high price tag.
To help you out, we tried and tested several units to find the best pair of studio monitors under 200 dollars.
Despite their low prices, these studio monitors are extraordinarily reliable, making them ideal for beginners.
Best Pair of Studio Monitors Under 200: Brief Reviews
1. Mackie CR-X Series
Mackie has been in business since 1988, providing professional audio products at affordable prices.
The brand is most known for its mixers, but it also offers quality power amps and active studio monitors.
This powerful duo of three-inch speakers offers a studio-quality sound ideal for home recording, content creation, and even gaming.
- Build Quality
The CR-X studio monitors are made from medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and brushed metal panels.
The classy, all-wood cosmetics are appealing and complement a stylish home studio.
We particularly like the green accents around the tweeter and the woofer, which add a pop of color to the units.
Overall, these studio monitors look fairly rugged and can stand up to daily use when treated with care.
Despite the solid construction, they are surprisingly lightweight, only weighing seven pounds.
- Sound Quality
The Mackie CR-X Series is among the most reliable entry-level studio monitors in terms of sound quality.
Despite the small size, the sound clarity is very noticeable even if you crank up the volume.
The mids and highs are great, but we notice that the bass depth is lacking.
If you turn up the volume, the low-frequency sounds get distorted. However, at low volumes, bass tracks play just fine.
That said, if you record a lot of bass music, the Mackie CR-X isn’t the right studio monitor for you.
Instead, it might be best to invest in a bigger subwoofer that ensures accurate sound even in low frequencies.
On the other note, the CR3-X produces a sound that’s good enough to create a decent balance for multi-tracked recordings.
With a frequency response of 80Hz to 20 kHz (-3 dB), these monitors are well-suited for near-field listening or small studio recording.
Furthermore, these monitors are reasonably loud for their size. One speaker contains a 50-watt power amplifier that drives both units.
Unfortunately, they don’t have available tuning options.
Any changes you want to make to the sound profile will need to be handled via the audio production software, which comes included in the package.
Lastly, the CR3-X has a useful switch to alter the stereo’s right/left aspect, which gives you more control over how you’d like to use your studio monitors.
Like most studio monitors, the CR-X comes with 1/4-inch balanced/unbalanced RCA and 1/8-inch aux inputs, along with a high-quality cable about 6.5 feet long.
They also have a built-in headphone output on the front panel.
The CR3-X doesn’t have an XLR connection.
However, it comes with a jack and phone connection, as well as a simple stereo mini-jack input.
It’s nice to have an option to connect your smartphone straight into the front of the speaker, which allows for more flexibility.
With Bluetooth, you will have more freedom to connect your devices to these studio monitors.
Moreover, the CR-X comes with Pro Tools First, a recording software designed for beginners.
It offers basic features like utility plugins, equalizers, sound effects, and editing tools.
Aside from Pro Tools First, you also get access to Mackie Exclusive Musician Collection Plugin Bundle, which contains 23 plugins for vocals, bass, drums, and other instruments.
- Includes Pro Tools First
- Good mid and high-frequency ranges
- Easy on the ear
- Bluetooth connection
- Lacking in bass sound
2. Pioneer DJ DM-40
Pioneer Corporation is a Japanese brand that specializes in digital entertainment products.
The company has been in the industry since 1938, so they are one of the trusted brands when it comes to studio monitors.
One of their popular entry-level products is the DJ DM-40.
This set of four-inch compact speakers is designed for DJing, producing, or simply enjoying music at home.
- Build Quality
The DJ DM-40 features a compact design, featuring a molded front panel that looks very professional.
It comes with a two-way front-loaded bass reflex system, active monitor tweeter, 3/4-inch soft dome woofer, and a four-inch fiberglass woofer.
The speaker cabinet has rounded edges for maximum rigidity and minimum resonance, and the front panel includes the bass ports and diffusers.
Although small, these monitors feel extremely solid.
Unlike most speakers, the Pioneer DJ DM-40 has two bass ports in front, so the sound quality is not affected when you place them close to the wall.
Additionally, these speakers don’t have speaker grills that can dent easily and ruin their look and performance.
It’s also worth mentioning that these speakers are light enough to be placed on shelves.
- Sound Quality
For a small speaker, the DJ DM-40 delivers a pretty impressive sound quality.
The convex diffusers help spread high frequencies, resulting in wide and even-coverage sound.
This means you don’t have to sit directly in front of the DJ DM-40 to fully enjoy its sound clarity.
Another interesting feature of the DJ DM-40 is its satisfying bass range.
Since it’s for DJs, these studio monitors create a deep and punchy bass perfect for listening to electronic music.
What’s more, the frequency response of 70Hz – 30kHz allows you to feel the rumble of bass tracks.
Such a low-frequency range is complemented by the soft-dome, high-frequency tweeter to create a balanced sound when recording or mixing multiple tracks.
Do note, however, that it’s still a relatively small speaker that runs at 21 watts of power.
That said, it wouldn’t be as powerful as the higher-end or bigger sub-woofers.
Good thing, the convex diffuser helps a lot in handling mids and peaks, and the “B” class amplifier guarantees balance at all frequencies.
Given the 3/4-inch soft dome tweeters fitted with convex diffusers, the DJ DM-40 delivers a 3D stereo sound suitable for an array of music production tasks.
The tweeter and the woofer are perfectly aligned, eliminating crossover and ensuring a balanced response across all frequencies.
Furthermore, you can connect the DJ DM-40 to various devices, such as computers, tablets, phones, and decks via an RCA-to-Aux cable.
You will find a headphone output and the volume knob on the front for easy access and control.
It also comes with RCA and stereo mini jack inputs for connecting with your DJ or production kit.
As expected from studio monitors at the same price point, it doesn’t have balanced connections.
Another drawback is that it doesn’t support Bluetooth connections.
If you want one, they have an upgraded version of the same model, the DJ DM-40BT, that comes with a higher price tag.
- Satisfying bass sound
- Impressive sound clarity
- Rugged construction
- No tuning options
- No Bluetooth
3. M-Audio BX4
These 120-watt desktop speakers are loud enough for gaming, podcasting, streaming, DJ performances, and studio recording.
They also feature a computer-optimized tweeter waveguide for an immersive listening experience.
Released in 2020, the BX Series are some of the most powerful speakers at the 200-dollar price point.
- Build Quality
These speakers are rectangular with slightly rounded corners for a stylish finish.
They feature an MDF construction, with plastic front and back panels.
The rear panel contains the 1/4-inch, 1/8-inch, and RCA inputs for connecting to various devices.
In addition, there is a 1/8-inch aux input on the front of the speaker for headphones and mobile devices, along with the master volume control.
The BX-4 comes with a stereo 1/8-inch cable jack for plugging a music source to the aux socket and a 1/8-inch to RCA cable.
- Sound Quality
The BX4 comprises two 4.5-inch woofers, which are pretty loud for a moderate-sized home studio.
It delivers a clear treble end, slightly muted mids, and a satisfying bass range.
For these reasons, the BX4 is excellent for varying multimedia applications, from podcasting to streaming or simply listening to your favorite music.
This audio device features a two-way design wherein low-frequency and high-frequency sounds have separate drivers.
Thus, they create a sound that’s much fuller, clearer, and more precise.
Furthermore, the enhanced rear ports create an extended low-frequency response boost for an immersive listening experience.
These 120-watt lightweight speakers come with computer-optimized natural silk dome tweeters for better sound quality.
They also come with the Pro Tools First package for sound customizations.
- Comes with a music production software
- The ported design promotes useful bass extension
- Compact and stylish design
- Doesn’t support Bluetooth connectivity
- The sound quality is not very accurate
4. Rockville APM5B
For those looking for affordable yet good-quality studio monitors, you won’t go wrong with Rockville.
The brand aims to deliver affordable products that don’t compromise quality, and the Rockville APM5B is no exemption.
The Rockville APM5B is a pretty powerful set of desktop speakers that operate at 250 watts.
Here’s what these studio monitors have to offer:
- Build Quality
The APM5B is made of high-quality MDF and has no plastic components.
There’s enough air space within the enclosure to maximize the sound quality.
Plus, the curved front bezel design eliminates standing wave distortion, and the specially wound voice coils produce accurate responses along the entire frequency spectrum.
These studio monitors also feature sturdy components and circuit designs.
They include 3/4-inch neodymium silk dome tweeters with metal grill protection and a heat-resistant neo magnet.
You also get 5.25-inch rubber woofers and high-grade crossover filters, among others.
On the outside, each speaker features a beautiful matte finish with a slight shine. You can select from a black, white, and vinyl wood finish.
Unfortunately, these studio monitors are on the heavy side, weighing 15.4 pounds.
As such, you will need a stable shelf or desktop to place them on.
- Sound Quality
Featuring 5.25-inch woofers, the Rockville APM5B delivers a pretty powerful sound loud enough to be used for various applications.
Aside from the awesome volume, these monitors feature a quad-amp design.
Each frequency has its own designated driver and has a frequency-specific independent amplifier.
Like the BX4, these monitors from Rockville have a two-way design.
While a three-way speaker is touted for its sophisticated sound quality, a two-way design features a passive crossover.
This way, the speaker is able to operate at maximum efficiency.
Furthermore, the APM5B has a frequency response range of 50Hz – 20 kHz, which is good enough for mids and highs but can lack most of the sub-bass frequency subset.
Overall, the APM5 Active Studio Monitor has a clear and punchy sound quality.
Each speaker has a peak power output of 125 watts and an RMS of 62.5 watts that produce a nice and loud sound.
They come with a rear-firing port that helps reduce turbulence and distortion.
There’s also a thick wadding that protects the interior components inside the speaker cabinet.
Other features of the APM5B are the LED power indicator, injection-molded polypropylene cone woofer, and volume control.
You will also find a 3.5 mm headphone output and a high-speed USB jack.
- Large woofers
- Two-way speaker
- Beautiful matte finish
- Sturdy build
- Can sound a bit too digital
5. Behringer Studio 50USB
To help embrace your creative side, Behringer offers good-quality audio equipment and musical instruments.
The best part is that these products are affordable, making them ideal for beginners.
The Behringer Studio 50USB is a compact set of five-inch speakers that combine USB and analog connectivity.
It boasts a bi-amped, two-way speaker configuration to deliver a recording studio-grade sound.
- Build Quality
The 50USB is an all-black set of studio monitors made from solid MDF wrapped in vinyl.
Compared to typical five-inch speakers, they have a smaller enclosure, so they are compact and easy to set up.
The added shielding is also a big plus because it helps prevent interference when the speakers are in close placement in your workstation.
Overall, there’s no denying that the Studio 50USB is a well-constructed set of monitors.
- Sound Quality
For its price point, the Behringer Studio 50USB delivers a remarkable sound quality.
In particular, it produces rich and well-rounded instrumental sections, mid-tones, and highs.
At moderate volumes, the sound is crisp and refreshing.
However, when you crank them up further, the speakers will start to sound a little scratchy or distorted.
Another weak element of the Behringer Studio 50USB is its low-end tones.
While it isn’t bad, the bass range lacks the warmth and punch most recording hobbyists or DJs want.
That said, if you record a lot of bass music, this isn’t the best option for you.
This model sits at a 55Hz-20kHz frequency response rate, which offers a decent sound representation.
It’s interesting to see Kevlar components in a budget-friendly pair of studio monitors, so this is a big advantage.
Power-wise, they operate at 150W, enough for home studio applications.
The speakers use Class D amps in a bi-amp design, so each driver has their own amp.
Another helpful feature is the LED light between the woofer and the tweeter that informs you if the power is on.
The Behringer Studio 50USB offers some basic tuning options, which are pretty rare for speakers at this price point.
- Balanced and clear sound quality
- USB connection available
- Durable build
- Comes with tuning options
- Weak low-end tones
- Quite heavy
Which Studio Monitors Top the List?
If you’re looking for a pair of studio monitors that perform well in low, mid, and high ranges, we recommend the Pioneer DJ DM-40.
We choose it as the best pair of studio monitors under 200 because of its impressive sound quality.
The DJ DM-40 also has a compact design and solid construction, perfect for various multimedia applications.
However, if you’re specifically looking for monitors with Bluetooth connectivity, the Mackie CR-X Series makes an excellent choice.
Since it comes with free plugins and editing tools, producing tracks or recording music can be a breeze.