Best Studio Monitors Under 1000 of 2021: Complete Reviews With Comparisons

best studio monitors under 1000

Looking to upgrade your audio mixing setup?

Chances are, you’re looking to get a pair of studio monitors with exceptional sound accuracy so that you can easily spot flaws.

With the best studio monitors under 1000, there’s no doubt you’ll get excellent sound fidelity.

Thanks to their impressive performance, these units will put you right up there with the pros.

Comparison Chart

JBL Professional 305P MkII Next-Generation 5-Inch 2-Way Powered Studio Monitor, Sold as Pair
KRK ROKIT103G4 KRK 10" POWERED MONITOR 300W
IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Compact Studio Monitor with Built-in Acoustic Calibration - Black
JBL Professional 308P MkII Next-Generation 8" 2-Way Powered Studio Monitor (308PMKII) (Pair) (2 Items)
Adam Audio 2 Pack Professional T-Series T7V 7" 70W 2-Way Active Nearfield Monitor, Single - With 2 Pack 15' 8mm XLR Microphone Cable
JBL Professional 305P MkII Next-Generation 5-Inch 2-Way Powered Studio Monitor, Sold as Pair
KRK ROKIT103G4 KRK 10" POWERED MONITOR 300W
IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Compact Studio Monitor with Built-in Acoustic Calibration - Black
JBL Professional 308P MkII Next-Generation 8" 2-Way Powered Studio Monitor (308PMKII) (Pair) (2 Items)
Adam Audio 2 Pack Professional T-Series T7V 7" 70W 2-Way Active Nearfield Monitor, Single - With 2 Pack 15' 8mm XLR Microphone Cable
JBL Professional 305P MkII Next-Generation 5-Inch 2-Way Powered Studio Monitor, Sold as Pair
JBL Professional 305P MkII Next-Generation 5-Inch 2-Way Powered Studio Monitor, Sold as Pair
KRK ROKIT103G4 KRK 10" POWERED MONITOR 300W
KRK ROKIT103G4 KRK 10" POWERED MONITOR 300W
IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Compact Studio Monitor with Built-in Acoustic Calibration - Black
IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Compact Studio Monitor with Built-in Acoustic Calibration - Black
JBL Professional 308P MkII Next-Generation 8" 2-Way Powered Studio Monitor (308PMKII) (Pair) (2 Items)
JBL Professional 308P MkII Next-Generation 8" 2-Way Powered Studio Monitor (308PMKII) (Pair) (2 Items)
Adam Audio 2 Pack Professional T-Series T7V 7" 70W 2-Way Active Nearfield Monitor, Single - With 2 Pack 15' 8mm XLR Microphone Cable
Adam Audio 2 Pack Professional T-Series T7V 7" 70W 2-Way Active Nearfield Monitor, Single - With 2 Pack 15' 8mm XLR Microphone Cable

Best Studio Monitors Under 1000 Reviews

1. JBL Professional 305P MkII

Best Studio Monitors Under 1000 of 2021: Complete Reviews With Comparisons 1

JBL is known for creating high-quality audio equipment. As such, you can expect the 305P MkII to be no different.

These studio monitors follow JBL’s Linear Spatial Reference Criteria, a series of 72 individual measurements taken in various angles around the monitors.

Because of these, these studio monitors will deliver an accurate reproduction of your mix, whenever and wherever.

Product Highlights

The JBL 305 MkII boasts a patented Image Control waveguide, ensuring the transition between the low- and high-frequency drivers remains seamless.

As a result, you’ll get an immersive soundstage with impressive detail and depth.

These studio monitors also deliver precise and accurate audio representation, thanks to their neutral frequency response.

The JBL 305 MkII’s drivers are also impressive, with a five-inch woofer and a one-inch Neodymium tweeter.

The woofer ensures the bass remains deep, accurate, and tightly controlled, while the tweeter provides detailed highs with no distortion nor shrill.

To ensure your room doesn’t affect the monitors’ sonic accuracy, the JBL 305P MkII adjusts its response to fit your studio.

It is made possible by the Boundary EQ, which attenuates the low-end boost that usually happens when the monitors are near a wall.

These monitors also have an HF Trim switch, offering flexibility in the high-frequency response so that you can tailor it to your taste.

Best Studio Monitors Under 1000 of 2021: Complete Reviews With Comparisons 2

The Good

The JBL 305P MkIIs provides spectacular sound imaging that remains accurate and faithful to the original design.

They also allow users to adjust frequency relative to where they are, which also retains sonic accuracy.

Lastly, listening to these studio monitors isn’t difficult either, thanks to the wide sweet spot they cover.

The Bad

At this price range, you would expect JBL to offer extra connection options for the 305P MkIIs.

Unfortunately, these do not connect via Bluetooth, and their cable connections also need improvements.

The tweeter’s hissing sound is quite audible at times, which may be distracting for some users.

Pros:

  • Incredible sound clarity
  • Durable and long-lasting construction
  • Lightweight build
  • Topnotch sonic accuracy
  • Impressive woofer for better bass response

Cons:

  • Limited connection options
  • Distracting hissing sound

2. KRK ROKIT RP103 G4

Best Studio Monitors Under 1000 of 2021: Complete Reviews With Comparisons 3

The KRK ROKIT RP103 G4 features a tri-amp design perfect for pros who want to dissect their production in every frequency range.

Also, its premium components ensure sonic integrity and fidelity across all frequencies for a balanced listening experience.

Product Highlights

The RP103 G4s boasts premium Kevlar drivers that make it possible to reproduce sound with incredible accuracy.

At the same time, they also help minimize listening fatigue.

These transducers are 10, 4.5, and one inch in size, respectively, which speaks volumes about their capacity to handle low-, mid-, and high frequencies.

Then, there’s the DSP-driven Active Room Tuning.

This feature makes it possible for the RP103 G4 to adapt to your acoustic environment.

Combined with 25 visual graphic EQ settings, it minimizes interference and other sound issues.

Even better, you can adjust these settings using the KRK App so that you can monitor your mixes.

The app lets you calibrate EQ settings with its equipped Room Acoustic Analyzer.

It provides information on the best settings you can use to ensure the audio you hear is at its best.

The RP103 G4 studio monitors come with a Class D power amplifier, too.

It doesn’t only improve audio integrity but also optimizes these speakers to operate at minimum temperatures.

For minimal distortion and colorization, these speakers have a low resonance enclosure.

They also have high-density foam pads that minimize vibration transmission, allowing the sound to shine through.

Best Studio Monitors Under 1000 of 2021: Complete Reviews With Comparisons 4

The Good

There is no denying the impressive sound quality of the RP103 G4s.

More than anything, this is thanks to the careful engineering behind these monitors.

The tri-amp design is one of its kind in this price range, allowing you to monitor the sound you create more closely than ever.

To reproduce sound with little to no interference, these are easily adjustable, too.

Lastly, Rokit really did go the extra mile by integrating these adjustments into a user-friendly app.

The Bad

These studio monitors do not offer a wide range of options for connecting.

For one, they do not support Bluetooth connectivity.

You will also find that they are pretty big, measuring in at 10 inches.

Also, keep in mind that the enormous woofer may produce bass sounds that are too intense for some.

Pros:

  • Remarkable soundstage and audio quality
  • Capable of deep lows
  • Can monitor low, mid, and high ranges
  • Wide array of frequency adjustment options
  • Comes with an app for calibrating EQ settings
  • Minimal resonance and vibrations

Con:

  • Might be too big for some rooms or studios

3. IK Multimedia iLoud MTM

Best Studio Monitors Under 1000 of 2021: Complete Reviews With Comparisons 5

Whereas the ROKIT RP103 G4s are extremely big, the IK Multimedia iLoud MTMs are the opposite.

IK has revolutionized the studio monitor arena by creating exceptionally compact speakers.

These units are capable of producing incredible bass and treble that can rival bigger monitors.

Product Highlights

The iLoud MTM delivers sound with fantastic detail and accuracy and can fit in any space or studio.

What makes it stand out is how it leverages two decades of DSP experience to create realistic, accurate, and natural sounds with a flat response across the spectrum.

These studio monitors ensure sound quality remains faithful to the original audio.

They keep the highs neutral and defined, the mids clear and balanced, and the lows balanced rather than emphasized.

The result is hours of mixing without any ear fatigue, allowing you to spot flaws and subtle nuances in sound that you may not have noticed before.

All that said, it’s no surprise that the iLoud MTMs pack a punch.

These run at 100W total power and have a maximum sound pressure of 103dB SPL.

Hence, you’ll be able to ramp up the volume, if necessary, without fear of distortion or interference.

Despite their small size (and, therefore, smaller woofer), the iLoud MTMs produce a bass response as low as 40Hz.

You’ll get a solid, firm, and deep bass, which is a first of its kind when it comes to compact, portable studio monitors.

These studio monitors feature built-in acoustic self-calibration in their reference microphone.

In turn, this allows them to adjust the frequency response relative to where you position them.

It ensures you get your sweet spot while listening, regardless of where you place your monitors.

Last but not least, the iLoud MTMs also come with a tilting mount.

It has an adjustable angle from 0 to 20 degrees so that you can place it at the best angle for your close-listening setup.

Best Studio Monitors Under 1000 of 2021: Complete Reviews With Comparisons 6

The Good

It’s incredible how the iLoud MTMs are so compact but deliver the power and performance of much bigger speakers.

As such, you’d be able to enjoy low notes without any problem while ensuring the mids and highs aren’t overshadowed.

The multiple adjustment options are also a great addition and will undoubtedly improve your studio experience.

The Bad

A minor problem with the iLoud MTMs is the volume.

These monitors aren’t as loud as other speakers on the list, likely because of their compact nature.

Hence, those who like playing sounds loudly might not appreciate these speakers as much, especially if they’re working in a large studio room.

Pros:

  • Compact design with impressive bass performance
  • Accurate, detailed sound
  • Adjustable and has a built-in self-calibration system
  • Angles up to 20 degrees
  • Comes with a built-in mic

Cons:

  • Narrower area for sweet spot listening
  • Lower maximum volume
  • Won’t work as well in bigger rooms

4. JBL 308P MkII

Best Studio Monitors Under 1000 of 2021: Complete Reviews With Comparisons 7

An upgrade from the already outstanding 305P MkII, the JBL 308P MKIIs is perfect for those looking for a wider frequency response.

The 308P MkII studio monitors retain the 305P MkIIs’ best qualities but have some great additions of their own.

For instance, they feature a bigger woofer, a more pronounced bass, and an even higher maximum volume.

Product Highlights

The 308 MkIIs utilize JBL’s patented Image Control waveguide for a seamless transition between low- and high-frequency transducers.

As a result, these monitors provide impressive detail and depth in the sound they reproduce.

These are more apparent in lower notes, as the 308P MkIIs can reach as low as 39Hz (from the previous 43Hz).

Basically, a lower number translates to more incredible bass quality.

Lows are not susceptible to distortion at all and are more easily heard compared to before.

The 308 MkIIs also have an impressive tweeter, which provides detailed highs with no shrill.

Plus, they come with a built-in calibrator that allows them to adjust their frequency depending on where they are in the studio.

Thanks to this feature, you will be able to retain these monitors’ sonic accuracy at all times.

You’d be able to do this using the Boundary EQ for the low-end and the HF Trim switch for high-end frequency.

In terms of frequency response, these studio monitors deliver neutral and flat across all volumes.

Best Studio Monitors Under 1000 of 2021: Complete Reviews With Comparisons 8

The Good

These studio monitors provide spectacular sound imaging, which remains accurate and faithful to the original design.

The improved woofer and bass detail are also welcome additions to this unit.

Lastly, they offer a wide sweet spot, so you won’t have to stay rooted in one area as you listen to your mixes.

The Bad

Just like the JBL 305 MkII, these also offer limited connectivity options.

What’s more, they are noticeably bigger and may not be a good bet for smaller rooms or studios.

Pros:

  • Excellent sound imaging quality and accuracy
  • Wide frequency range
  • Rich, deep bass
  • Wide sweet spot
  • Adjustable frequencies

Cons:

  • Limited connectivity options
  • Might be too big for some rooms

5. Adam Audio T7V

Best Studio Monitors Under 1000 of 2021: Complete Reviews With Comparisons 9

The Adam Audio T7V provides a high dynamic range, excellent transient response, and a wide frequency range.

These ensure that the audio you hear is sonically faithful to the original.

Product Highlights

One of the best features of the T7Vs is the seven-inch woofer that provides rich, deep bass up to 39Hz.

Meanwhile, the monitors’ tweeter offers an excellent high-frequency response of up to 25kHz, much higher than most monitors in this price range.

It utilizes a High-Frequency Propagation (HPS) waveguide, used even by the brand’s more heavy-duty monitors.

It ensures wave dispersion is uniform across all directions for a wider sweet spot as you listen to your mixes.

This waveguide minimizes reflections from horizontal surfaces across the studio, ensuring imaging is constant, reliable, and not distorted.

What’s more, these studio monitors boast an impressive maximum volume of 110 dB SPL per pair.

This is perfect for pros who like hearing recordings at higher volumes to spot possible errors.

The Good

The T7Vs offer an impressive frequency response that is much wider than the average range for their price.

As such, you can clearly hear lower frequencies, and higher frequencies won’t sound harsh or grating to the ears.

The Bad

Unfortunately, the Adam Audio T7V studio monitors don’t have the same adjustability as other speakers in this list.

They don’t offer active noise isolation pads, as well as self-calibrating systems across different studio spaces.

Pros:

  • Wide frequency range
  • Amazing sound fidelity and accuracy
  • High maximum volume
  • Wide sweet spot while listening

Cons:

  • No built-in self-calibrating system
  • No added isolation pads to minimize vibration and resonance
  • Little adjustability in frequency

How Do I Choose a Studio Monitor?

Here are some important features to consider when looking for the best studio monitor:

1. Frequency Response

Frequency response refers to the range of frequency that your studio monitor can handle.

Often, your monitors’ specs will tell you their lowest and highest frequency.

It’s important to choose a studio monitor that can handle the full frequency range of your mixes or recordings; often, a range of 50Hz to 20kHz is enough.

Some monitors also indicate how much variation is in their reproduction of specific frequencies, mentioned as a + in decibels (dB) after the frequency range.

In this case, a variation of up to 3 dB is considered okay.

Other important considerations when it comes to frequency response involve the nature of the work you’re going to do.

Those working with electronic music tend to require monitors that can handle lower frequencies.

Meanwhile, those with extra focus on vocals and instruments may do better with monitors with a flatter response.

2. Speaker Size

Often, the size of your studio monitors is directly proportional to the size of the drivers inside them.

High-frequency drivers are called tweeters, while low-frequency ones are known as woofers.

Tweeters are around an inch in size, but the size of woofers ranges across different inches.

The bigger your woofers are, the more equipped it is to handle bass notes or lower-frequency sounds.

Therefore, it’s a good idea for those planning to mix or record bass-heavy music to pick a monitor with bigger woofers.

On the other hand, if your focus will be on the midrange or treble, you can get studio monitors with smaller woofers.

3. Total Harmonic Distortion

Studio monitors should reproduce sound as precisely as possible, and checking out the total harmonic distortion (THD) is one way to check their accuracy.

The THD indicates how cleanly a monitor can reproduce audio.

It is important because all audio circuits add some sort of noise and distortion to the audio.

This is why manufacturers dedicate resources to know how to minimize this distortion or eliminate it entirely.

With THD, you’ll be able to know how much the audio distorts due to your audio circuit.

Your goal is to get as close to zero as possible.

For reference, THDs in the 0.3 to one percent range are considered quite poor already.

Studio Monitors Under 1000 FAQs

1. Are studio monitors worth it?

Studio monitors are pretty pricey, but they’re a worthwhile investment for anyone looking to mix or record music.

They are carefully engineered to ensure they reproduce sound precisely as it has been recorded or mixed.

This means no sound distortion, no sound coloring, and no emphasis on a specific frequency.

Studio monitors allow individuals to spot flaws, errors, or areas of improvement in the audio they create.

However, because of the careful research and construction that ensures they don’t distort sound, they come at a much heftier price tag.

Still, they’re worth it if you plan to mix or record audio professionally for a long time.

2. Are studio monitors better than speakers?

The answer to this question depends on what activity you’ll be using speakers and studio monitors for.

If you’re going to listen to music for fun, you might find regular speakers more exciting.

This is thanks to their emphasis on some notes and frequencies more than others.

However, when it comes to mixing and recording sound in the studio, there is no doubt that studio monitors are far superior.

The reason is simple: Studio monitors require higher standards when it comes to sound delivery.

More precisely, they produce a flat frequency response and a neutral sound signature, where all frequency produced is in the same volume as others.

The result? A purer, cleaner sound that allows for more accurate mixing.

Through this, you can identify flaws or errors in the littlest sound details—something you can’t do with regular speakers.

3. What studio monitors do the pros use?

Pros use different studio monitors, which largely depends on their preference.

Some professionals use models that cost much more than $1,000; others prefer some of the studio monitors included on this list.

In general, pros look for a studio monitor that fits their taste and style and uses that to mix or record their music.

They don’t necessarily have to stick with incredibly expensive ones if they find that the ones less than $1,000 work just as well for them.

4. Why are studio monitors so expensive?

There is a lot of research that goes into the creation of studio monitors.

Manufacturers constantly try to find a way to make them produce audio of the highest quality, using only the best components.

The goal of studio monitors, especially extremely expensive ones, is to reproduce sound that is clear, responsive, flat, and accurate.

Companies invest a lot of time and materials to ensure that the output is similar, or at least incredibly close, to the sound recorded or mixed.

5. Do you really need two studio monitors?

Using a single studio monitor might work for casual listening. However, it won’t be enough for professional recording or sound mixing.

This is because listening to music in stereo (using two studio monitors) brings the sound to life.

In studio mixing or recording, you use two monitors (or more) to “pan” things across the stereo field.

Essentially, this means giving the sound’s separate elements their own space within the mix.

It often designates certain parts to the left speaker and the other parts to the right speaker.

Since the individual elements don’t have to compete to get the “space” they need in the overall mix, this results in clear audio that isn’t muddled.

In contrast, simply using one speaker will inevitably cause sounds to overlap, resulting in an overall mix that sounds all over the place and poorly made.

What Are the Best Studio Monitors to Buy?

The options listed here are impressive in their own right, but only one model can come out as the best studio monitors under 1000.

We give that title to none other than the KRK ROKIT RP 103 G4 studio monitors.

The tri-amp setup gives these monitors an outstanding edge over the other two-way monitors in this list.

Being able to monitor the lows, mids, and highs and provide excellent sound fidelity will surely allow you to improve your mixes and recordings with no problem.

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