Function: Studio Monitors
Price: $349.99 (Each)
What’s New: When talking about Yamaha studio monitors, the classic NS10M is probably the first thing that comes to conversation. Since the late 70s, the NS10M has been the workhorse of countless studios and producers because of its pronounced midrange and for being brutally revealing. The HS8 is the latest studio monitor from Yamaha, and in the tradition of its forefather, offers outstanding sound quality for an extremely accurate mix: a worthy successor of the NS10M for today’s world.
Features: The HS8 is a two-way, bass-reflex, nearfield monitor featuring an 8” woofer and 1” dome tweeter. Controls include one XLR and one TRS input jack, level control, a high trim switch, and a room control switch that cuts frequencies under 500Hz by 2 or 4 dB when engaged. With a frequency response of 38Hz to 30kHz, the HS8 provides an extremely wide range of audio.
Sound: Set up in my small (but well treated) 11×10 room, the HS8s sounded great. The frequency response was flat and balanced, (even flatter than the older HS80M in my opinion) and stereo imaging was amazing! The highs were smooth and clear and the lows powerful and present. Onto the midrange: the mids of the HS8 make them some of the most revealing speakers I’ve ever heard. Not hyped or accentuated, the midrange reminded me instantly of the classic NS10M sound, laying the vocal bare and letting you hear the true nature of your mix. I’ve always struggled with ear fatigue using NS-10Ms all day, and the more balanced HS8s helps my ears tremendously. I found the low end to be tight and present and more than enough for most genres, although if you mix dance or hip-hop, you may want to look at the HS8S subwoofer, made to work perfectly with the HS8 line.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for monitors that will provide the truest, most accurate mix to help your mixes translate on any system, the HS8 is the perfect speaker for you. The HS8s offer tremendous quality for the price and sounds great in any environment. Its balanced sound and even bass distribution makes the HS8 a worthy successor of the NS10M, and in many regards a better speaker to mix music on in today’s world.
Fore more information about the HS8s visit yamaha.com.
Function: Studio Monitors
Price: $349.99 (Each)
What’s New: The M3-8s are the newest studio monitors from M-Audio. A three-way design, The M3-8 sports a low, mid, and high driver and enough power for any studio application.
Features: Housed in an attractive wood cabinet, the M3-8 features an 8” woofer, 5” mid driver and a 1” tweeter. The midrange and high drivers are set inline to aid with stereo imaging and provides a unique look to the monitors. Controls are all placed on the rear panel and include volume, low, mid, and high EQ controls, EQ on/bypass switch, and a low cut switch that filters out frequencies at either 80Hz or 100Hz. Inputs include balanced XLR and TRS and unbalanced RCA in.
Sound: Right away I could tell the M3-8s were going to be a lot of fun. At 220 Watts, the M3-8s provide plenty of volume and sound great at loud volumes. After playing with the EQ controls, I found a setting that sounded good and flat in my room, and started playing music to get a sense of how the monitors responded. The first thing I noticed was the bass. In my small (but well treated) room, I was hearing low end like I never did before! You don’t just hear low end with the M3-8s, you experience it. Dance, hip-hop, and rock and roll sounded phenomenal! In addition to deep, punchy bass, the midrange was smooth and worked nicely with the top end, which was clear and not harsh at all. Working all day, I had very little ear fatigue with the M3-8s, which came as a relief after years of working NS10s (which fatigue my ears on a daily basis!). A note of caution, be sure not to lay the monitors on their side, it messes with the stereo imaging quite a bit, and gives a false sense of the width of your mix.
Bottom Line: The M3-8s are a producer’s dream. Powerful and loud enough for any situation, huge frequency response, deep bass balanced with smooth midrange and top end M3-8s are a great pair of monitors and a ton of fun, especially when programming or working up tracks. The added midrange driver sets the M3-8 apart from most studio monitors in its price range and makes a huge difference in the sound and stereo imaging. Depending on your room, you’ll probably need to EQ the speakers to your taste, but once set, the M3-8 delivers a pure, smooth sound that will stand with any other monitor in its class.
For more information about the M3-8s and other products by Maudio, visit maudio.com
Tech Editor, WL mag
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