Best Studio Monitors Under $300

Introduction

Take the hassle out of having to find the best studio monitors under $300 and take advantage of my years of experience in the music-production field! I’ve had an interest and passion for music production since I was a little kid which has since evolved into a complete obsession with music creation, equipment and studio monitors! Over the past few years alone, I’ve tested over 50 unique models of studio monitors to see which ones performed well and to see which models worked best for mixing (as I create music daily as a personal hobby).

Not all studio monitors are created equal and if you’re unsure about what to look for you could possibly end up purchasing monitors that weren’t quite built to be optimized for your audio playback needs. By this, I mean that some studio monitors are better for mixing music while some are better for gaming or watching movies.

To help clarify the differences between the best Studio Monitors under $300, I’ve composed this guide to help shed some light on the features of the monitors that I’ve chosen to review. This comprehensive list will help to demonstrate the features and stats offered by each model of studio monitor while also including my own personal review and feedback.

Reviews

KRK RP5G3-NA Rokit 5 Generation 3 Powered Studio Monitor

The KRK Rokit G3 studio monitors simply blew me away in in terms of both the sound quality and design. I was really excited to get my hands on these studio monitors and decided to personally review them as I've seen tons of incredible reviews posted about these studio monitors and for the price they seemed too good to be true!

So, let’s get down to the details of what these studio monitors have to offer!

By purchasing the KRK RP5G3 Rokit 5 Studio Monitors you’ll receive:

  • A set of KRK 5-inch Gen. 3 Powered Studio Monitors
  • A Bi-amplified, class A/B amp providing a very low amount of distortion
  • ​Advanced waveguide technology developed for high-quality imaging
  • ​A 1-inch dome providing incredible clarity increased extended response (up to 35kHz)
  • ​High-frequency adjustment options

The first thing I noticed after unboxing these monitors was the vibrant yellow speaker which really helps it to become the centerpiece of your setup. This model boasts a 5-inch subwoofer with an integrated dome tweeter and is pushed by 45-watts of power which is pretty great considering the size of the speaker.

I've been using KRK studio monitors for years and they've always performed really well in terms of the sound quality, bass and vocal clarity and I would recommend these to all users whether you're a music producer (such as myself) or a gamer. Probably being the most important aspect of any studio monitor to me, the sound quality is what matters most and is what I take into consideration when determining if it's worth recommending to others and these are at the top of my list for the best studio monitors under $300!

JBL LSR305 Professional Studio Monitor

JBL is a brand that has not only pioneered and led the consumer car-audio market but they're also a superior manufacturer of studio monitors and that has held true for the LSR305 model that JBL Audio has put out (another at the top of my list for the best studio monitors under $300). I picked these monitors up for around $280 which is a bargain for any shopper that's currently in the market for high-quality speakers and would recommend these looking for the best "bang for the buck"!

While the sound quality was impressive, one aspect of the LSR305 that's worth noting (and hopefully future models will be capable of this) is that it's incapable of pairing with any devices via Bluetooth. For me personally, this posed as a bit of an issue as I like to play music from my phone to my studio monitors wirelessly so for me this was one drawback.

Features of the JBL LSR305 Studio Monitors include:

  • Huge Increase in the HF Detail - You'll notice a much clearer and noticeable changes in recordings.
  • Great mixing zone - With this model you'll notice a clear sound not often times heard in studio monitors of this size even across large spaces.
  • Easy to work with dimensions - 12.5 x 22.5 x 17.3 in
  • 25.8 Pounds

However, for individuals that aren't reliant upon Bluetooth compatible studio monitors and are fine using wired connections for all audio playback requirements, don't take the JBL LSR305 off of your consideration list!

For under $300 and with tons of amazing reviews on Amazon (more than a lot of other studio monitor models), you can rest assured that you're receiving studio monitors that provide nothing short of amazing audio quality/clarity at an incredible price!

Mackie CR5BT CR Series Channel Studio Monitor

I think that it's safe to say that I speak for us all when I say that we've become accustomed to taking advantage of wireless devices/technology as no one (especially myself) likes to deal with long cords, cabling and wires that always seem to get in the way. Next on my list are the Mackie CR5BT studio monitors, a new dual monitor set by Mackie that has shown and proved to be a tremendous upgrade across many areas, primarily through its Bluetooth technology!

The CR5BT by far are the best studio monitors by Mackie that I've used yet as they're finally Bluetooth compatible while still (in my opinion) providing around 90% of the sound quality of the previous generation.

I tested these for mixing a few songs and sound feedback was crystal-clear although I will mention that I think the bass could've been a little more pronounced. However, it wasn't very noticeable but for someone such as myself that's an artist, I always over-critique sound qualities so most wouldn't notice this.

Features of the CR5BT Studio Monitors include:

  • A superb, high-quality design with performance engineered strictly for music mixing and creation.
  • Bluetooth technology allowing you to stream music to the studio monitors wirelessly from your phone.
  • Front located controls/features.
  • Convenient features and accessories including monitor pads.
  • Dimensions measuring 11.1 x 18.6 x 12.9

The CR5BT boasts a 5-inch subwoofer with an impressive 50-watts of power which will definitely shake your picture off of the wall (if turned up loudly, and yes, it happened to me while reviewing these!). If you're in the market for studio monitors, definitely consider these as they won't disappoint!

IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitors

Over the years, studio speaker manufacturers have really worked hard to create smaller studio monitor models while still packing in incredible sound and IK Multimedia has done an incredible job at accomplishing this! If you're constantly on the go, traveling from one friend’s house to another or tend to play music at multiple small to mid-size parties, then these are the choice for you!

These by far are the best portable studio monitors that I've used with weighing under 4 pounds (combined) while still providing 50-watts of power each (3-inch woofer)! Controls for the bass, treble and desktop/free field are conveniently located along with a host of source options which include Bluetooth, RCA and 1/8" inputs (aux).

While I played a couple of movies and games to hear how loud these really are, I mostly reviewed these for music mixing as that's what a majority of those buying these will use them for and they far surpassed my expectations!

One cool feature that I really like about the IK iLoud Micro studio monitors is that the RCA and Bluetooth options can be taken advantage of simultaneously. What this means is that you can listen to audio playback from both the 1/8-inch cable and the Bluetooth without having to switch the inputs. So even if you have a 1/8-inch cable plugged in to your computer from the speaker, you can still listen to a song on the studio monitors from your phone via Bluetooth.

Features of the IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Studio Monitors include:

  • Portable convenience with dimensions only being 3.54 x 10.6 x 7.09
  • Only 3.8 Pounds
  • ​Both speakers included with all necessary wiring/cables
  • ​Two 3/4" Tweeters (bi-amplified) with two 3-inch woofers
  • ​Source options including Bluetooth, RCA and 1/8" inputs
  • Free Shipping and Manufacturer Warranty available

What's also very cool about these is that you can change the settings on the monitors to be adjusted for your environment (and for the system you're using them on) so they sound better for where you're listening to them at. If you're in a smaller room then they'll adjust for music playback for a smaller space. In a much larger area? Then it'll adjust the speakers for a broader listening range.

Presonus Eris E5 Studio Monitors

The Presonus Eris E5 Studio Monitors were definitely much improved upon over the previous generations of studio monitors by Presonus with boasting a two-way "front-ported" Kevlar coned speaker (5.25-inch) along with a 1-inch tweeter. Beautifully designed using a vinyl finish and frequency response rates of 53Hz to 22kHz, everything was considered when building these studio monitors and this you'll find out very quickly if you choose to purchase these for your home or studio setup.

These are definitely some of the best studio monitors under $300 and here's why... The Presonus Eris E5 model is all about options for the listeners/users with audio input selections offering balanced XLR, a quarter-inch TS jack or an unbalanced RCA SOCKET. While a lot of smaller sized studio monitors don't provide rear located control options, the options featured on this model will blow you away with what looks like a mini command center.

Features of the Presonus Eris E5 Studio Monitors include:

  • A 5.25-inch (Up to an 8-inch) Kevlar constructed low-frequency transducer
  • A 1-inch silk dome
  • A Midrange at a continual 6dB with Acoustic Space setting for extremely accurate mixing
  • Dimensions measuring 20 x 20 x 20 with a weight of 27 pounds
  • Free Shipping and up to a 3-year warranty from the manufacturer available

One very useful feature of these that you don't often times see is what's called the "acoustic space" control which will allow you to optimize the bass feedback in your music which is available in case you choose to place the speakers close to the wall. This option offers response rates of -2dB or -4dB at below 800Hz!

I took some time to review and take advantage of this feature and it really performed exactly the way it was supposed to. I placed the monitors about an inch away from the way and when using the “acoustic space” feature it helped to eliminate rattling on the wall so this is a good choice of monitors for you if you live in let’s say an apartment where you noise levels need to be taken into consideration.

Monoprice Stage Right 8-inch Powered Studio Monitors

Last up on my list are the Monoprice Stage Right 8-inch Studio Monitors as I wanted to save my personal favorite studio monitor model for last! From the sound and build quality, to the black finish, to the power of the bass and the vocal clarity, these really stood out from the other studio monitors I reviewed and are what I'd consider to truly be the best studio monitors under $300! Let's get down to the details!

If you've been searching for a good set of studio monitors that have a great frequency response rate and crystal clear vocals then this just may be the choice for your set up.

Monoprice has outdone themselves on these separately powered, bi-amped studio monitors which are powered by not one but "two" amplifiers! It's not an exaggeration when I say these are loud because it was rattling items in my room at about 70% of the peak volume which is due to the enormous 8-inch DuPont Kevlar woofer (which to my pleasant surprise includes magnetic shielding and a high-temp voice coil). If you're planning on using these mainly for music mixing then these will certainly do the job as the high-temp voice coil will provide you with hours and hours of use.

Features of the Monoprice Stage Right 8-inch Studio Monitors include:

  • Incredibly consistent flat frequency response rates which help you to every little sound and detail during playback that you add in to your track(s) when mixing.
  • Bi-amplified power delivery system with 80 watts going to the woofer and 40 watts to the tweeter.
  • Hard-hitting woofer which is due to the Kevlar bass drivers which effectively handle more power so lower bass sounds don't become distorted.
  • A 1.25" silk dome tweeter.
  • Free shipping with a warranty available and a 30-day money back guarantee from Monoprice so you can buy in confidence.

However, game and movie playback truly sounded incredible, really! These are a really well-rounded option for current studio monitor shoppers as they’ll enhance your audio experience regardless of whether you’re watching a movie, playing your favorite game or mixing hours of music all night and day.

With having two 120-watt amplifiers, everything sounds and feels powerful and this is because of the great power displacement that's powering the studio monitors. Monoprice has designed the amplifiers to use 40-watts on the Tweeter while 80-watts powers the woofer which is more than enough (trust me).

Overall, these are some of the best available in my opinion and I couldn't ever see these disappointing anyone who decides to snatch up a set!

Conclusion

Now that I’ve covered my list on the best Studio Monitors under $300, which one do I think is best?

As you probably would’ve guessed, my favorite on the list by far are the Monoprice Stage Right 8-inch Powered Studio Monitors!

Between the 120-watt amplifiers, 80-watt woofer and Kevlar bass drivers these are #1 on my list and I’d recommend to anyone reading this guide that you at least take these into consideration when choosing which studio monitors to purchase. I've created over 15 tracks using these studio monitors and watched 3 movies with the family and these rock!

They're loud, provide crystal-clear sound playback and are a breeze to setup so my choice of choosing the best Studio Monitor under $300 was an easy decision to make! If you're shopping on a budget and want the most value for your money, don't hesitate to pick up a pair of the Monoprice Stage Right 8-inch studio monitors today!

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