Price: $499.95 (each)
Overview: Over the past couple years, PreSonus has blown us away with their foray into studio monitors, and the R80 is their latest addition to the impressive lineup. Right away we knew these monitors were different straight out of the box, with the small golden rectangular tweeter and bold blue and black color scheme. However, we weren’t prepared for how good these monitors sounded and how different they would make us think about mixes.Features: Instead of the traditional 1″ dome tweeter employed by the vast majority of studio monitors, the R80s utilize a custom AMT tweeter that acts as a voice coil, allowing the tweeter to move at the same time as the electrical current. Basically, this allows the tweeter of the R80 to provide a much faster transient reproduction and a clearer top end. Another upside to the custom AMT tweeter is that it provides 8-13 times the projection area of a traditional 1″ dome tweeter, giving the monitors an incredibly wide area of stereo coverage and increasing the “sweet spot” of listening. R80s also have extremely limited vertical projection, reducing the amount of reflections from the ceiling, floor and desk. In addition to the AMT tweeter, R80s include an 8″ custom-coated Kevlar low-frequency driver. Like many of the new PreSonus monitors, the R80s utilize the “Acoustic Space” option of cutting lower frequencies depending on room placement and offer a Highpass filter and High frequency EQ. On the back of the speaker, R80 includes XLR, TRS and unbalanced RCA inputs.
Sound: The first thing we noticed about the PreSonus R80s was how clear we could hear the transients in the mix we pulled up. The biggest differences to our ears were vocal and drums. The drum top end was absolutely crystal clear. They sounded bigger and punchier than any of our other monitors, with the vocals coming through full and clear, especially the high frequencies. The monitors definitely have a wide stereo image, but possibly the biggest difference from our other monitors was the fact that the R80s have minimal vertical projection. If we stood up from our desk the sound changed drastically, letting us know that there are an extremely low amount of reflections coming from the ceiling or floor. We were also impressed with the amount of low end we got from the R80s. The low mids were focused and powerful, making it easy to dial in low end without a subwoofer. Overall, we love the sound and flexibility of the R80s and love that PreSonus is continuing to push the boundaries of what they can do with nearfield monitors.
Church use: Great for studio monitors, recording tracks, or for broadcast.