Pro Hifi speakers vs. monitors.


marathon solo-sessionahoy
I know I've asked this before in another thread but I never really got a satisfactory answer so I thought I'd posit it again.

If you were to get a really quality audio set-up in your lounge, could you use monitors such as the Mackie HR-824s or would you be better going with 'what hi-fi' mag style gear such as B&W or ProAc floorstanding speakers?

I'm guessing the 'pro audio' stuff would have colouration to them, but you could always add an EQ unit to your monitors?

Jules, Steve, Norty???


yeah i think any hi fi speakers add there own slant on the music however good. usually to make it sound a little better than the actual original. good ones tend to make it sound "warmer"...apparently.

monitors usually make your music sound worse so you can hear the all places you fucked up in, until its mastered...natch

using only crap kenwoods to make my tunes on i have a mission to make anything sound flat.

having said that. im using a really nice REL Q100 subwoofer which has a very nice flat responce down to 20hz which is considered the bottom end of pro hifi stuff. i think thats fine for mastering gear.
A Reference Monitor design is just that - a flat response to use as a reference.

Hi-fi isn't necessarilly about flat response.


happy juice
surely its a matter of personal preference. but hifi speakers are supposed to be 'flattering' to the music


silky said:
using only crap kenwoods to make my tunes on i have a mission to make anything sound flat.

think yourself lucky, ive only got one aiwa speaker! :ilol:
we do however have the same mission!:irofl:


1/2 of Psymmetrix
bear in mind most monitor speakers (well near-field ones anyways) are designed to be listened to from one specific position (in a nice equal triangle between the speakers, the so called "sweet-spot") and then generally the bass and phase response as you move around the room is hugely noticable compared to "hi-fi" speakers...

so monitors would sound great in that one seat that you place in the right position, but not so great everywhere else in the room... and you also have to stay fairly still to really appreciate the quality since the sweet-spot is generally not that big...

you'd probably be better off with some of those nice tall floor standing jobbies, as they'd sound better from more positions in your lounge.

Double_Helix said:
but hifi speakers are supposed to be 'flattering' to the music

Exactly - you may want colouration when listening to a source for pleasure but you dont really want any colouration when you are mixing otherwise you can't be sure the mix is balanced.


Forum Member
When creating (producing) music from scratch you need to be "monitoring" the sound at its most natural, original state. The only way to do this is by using flat frequency response monitors which add no colouration to the sound.

Colouration is basically what happens in most hi-fi speakers, this is an increase in either the high, mid or low frequency ranges to make the listeners experience more enjoyable.

Monitors will show all inconsistencies in frequencies used, peaks, troughs, aliasing, muddiness etc and allow you to remove such imperfections before the mastering stage.

If you want to learn all th eins and outs of monitoring check here

and for more general music production tips

probably the best site on the web for multiple tutorials on a whole manner of things.



marathon solo-sessionahoy
Thanks very much all :Smile3:

The first link you sent soundmagus had two articles on exactly this question, ta!


mr_faster said:
think yourself lucky, ive only got one aiwa speaker! :ilol:
we do however have the same mission!:irofl:

lmao, one Aiwa? is it one of those old jobbies that has something like "mega bass reflex" that came with those ones that used to have all the lights that flash when you open and close the 3 disc multichanger. used to look like a flying saucer landing

The Phonographist
SOS article says it all really,

"hi-fi" + "pro" doesnt really mean much even when you qualify specs. Hi spec end audio "home" speakers aspire to similar qualities as studio monitors. ie minimal coloration. What defines the pro and hifi bit is purely the marketing from the manfacturer. You can compare models against models but not really categories designed on a marketing rather than performance or technical spec.


Member (Todger)
Look at coaxial type speakers (Tannoy did some old classic ones) where the high frequency driver fires thru the centre of the woofer. Everything is exactly aligned and apparently reduces phasing issues which you don't notice until you hear it.

I've only heard a 15" pa version recently but a friend who's opinion i respect greatly swears by it and is working on a whole mid/top PA system based on this config. Only downside is cost of components. A good quality crossover at the right frequencies will make all the difference too