Best Studio Monitors under $1000 (December 2019)

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In this article, we will check out the best budget studio monitors that rival the sound quality of high-end professional monitors. Since studio monitors are expensive, making the right choice is crucial as you don’t want to make an expensive purchase again. Moreover, a good quality monitor will translate your mix far better than a monitor with an inaccurate response regardless of how expensive it is.

There are lots of considerations to make before buying a monitor such as sound accuracy, frequency response, dynamic range, energy efficiency, build quality, and much more.

Sounds like a lot? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We went through all of these checks and handpicked the best affordable studio monitors for you.

Top 5 Best Budget Studio Monitors


JBL Professional 308P MkII Next-Generation 8″ 2-Way Powered Studio Monitor (308PMKII)

Taking the top spot, JBL 308P MKII is a 2-way 8″ active studio monitor that offers unmatched sound quality and accuracy at just $179. Yes, there are many monitors that offer even better sound but there’s no match for 308P at this price. Unlike other monitors at the same price, this monitor does not produce a muddy low end, it is both tight as well as neutral.

Reasons to choose this monitor:

  • Offers the best sound in its price range
  • Class D energy efficient amplification
  • 8″ woofer
  • Brilliant stereo imaging
  • Rear Ported
  • 112dB Max SPL
  • Belongs to JBL MKII 3 series that Won 2019 TEC Award in Studio Monitors category.
  • Selling for as low as $179 (each) on Amazon.

Yamaha HS8

Yamaha HS8 Powered Studio Monitor Pair Bundle with Two Monitors, Stands, TRS Cables, and Austin Bazaar Polishing Cloth

Based on iconic Yamaha NS10, the HS8 2-way 8″ monitor comes with new drivers as well as improved ported enclosure. As a result, you will barely hear any unwanted resonances. HS8 offers a wide frequency range from 38Hz to 30kHz.

Some people call these speakers “harsh” but the better term would be “revealing” as they clearly reveal unbalanced elements of a mix. If your mix sounds good on these monitors, it will sound great everywhere.

Reasons to choose this monitor:

  • Wide frequency support: 38Hz-30kHz
  • Uncolored sound
  • Low distortion
  • Avoids resonances
  • 8″ Woofer

Yamaha HS8 is now selling at a low price of $349. But you can get an amazing deal for a pair (including stands and polishing cloth as well) at $699 on Amazon.

Kali Audio IN-8

Kali Audio in-8 Studio Monitor – 8 Inch 3-Way Design

Moving into the $400 ballpark, Kali Audio IN-8 is the best and the most affordable 8-inch “3-way” studio monitor costing $399. It features a coaxial design and offers excellent stereo imaging. Since it is a 3-way monitor, there is a dedicated midrange driver that takes the load off the low-end driver eliminating distortions.

To know more about this monitor, you can read our article here.

Reasons to choose this monitor:

  • Best affordable 3-way monitor
  • Coaxial design with 4″ optimized midrange driver
  • 8″ Woofer
  • 114dB max SPL
  • Negligible Distortion
  • Low noise port tubes
  • Class D amplification

Buy this monitor for $399 on Amazon.

Focal Alpha 80

Focal Alpha 80 – 8″ Active Monitor

Just because this monitor is not on the top of the list, it would be absolutely wrong to underestimate its sound quality. In fact, this monitor outshines every other monitor in this list. However, it does not fall in the price range of the monitors we mentioned above. Costing $499, Focal Alpha 80 is a little expensive monitor as the pair will almost touch $1,000 zone. But just like every other Focal monitor, there is no question on the sound accuracy.

Reasons to choose this monitor:

  • Extremely accurate monitors under $1000
  • Smooth Dynamics
  • Even sound across the spectrum
  • Automatic standby mode 
  • 8″ Polyglass cone woofer
  • 1″ Aluminium inverted dome tweeter

Buy this monitor for $499 on Amazon.


KRK RP10-3 Rokit 10-3 G4 Tri-Amp 10″ Three-Way Powered Studio Monitor, Black

Another 3-way studio monitor on the list is the KRK Rokit 10-3 G4. Supporting a big 10″ woofer, this monitor can deliver an amazing open sound. The mid-range is not muddy and the low end is both tight and punchy. This is the best “10-inch 3-way” studio monitor you can buy under $1,000.

Reasons to choose this monitor:

  • 10″ woofer
  • 3-way design
  • Open sound
  • Punchy low end
  • Built-in room correction features
  • Includes LCD display for EQ adjustments and more
  • Integrates with KRK App
  • Built-in Brickwall Limiter to prevent damage

Buy this monitor for $499 on Amazon.

So these are the best affordable studio monitors in the market that will easily fall under your budget. Always remember, the best sounding studio monitor is never the one that portrays a bad sounding mix into a good one. Surprisingly, there are a large number of people look for monitors with a huge low end. That is a totally wrong approach as not only they will color the sound but also they will ruin your mix.

People always complain that their mix sounds amazing in their studio but when it is played out, it sounds totally different in a bad way. This happens because of the unfaithful frequency response of the monitor. Another potential reason is the untreated acoustics in the room which will always lead to a false mix.

Upcoming Release Notes

We will soon release a comprehensive guide on choosing the best monitors for a music studio. Additionally, we will also cover topics on studio design, construction, soundproofing, and much more. So be sure to check those topics as well.

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Ishaan Sarna
Ishaan Sarna

Founder of AUDEMPIRE (Pro Audio Equipment Store), SOUNDELICIT (Music Industry & Pro Audio Blog), TECHNOISER (Tech blog), and ISOLAPSE (Motion Industry & Photography Gear Blog). Music Producer by profession and also a Tech Enthusiast.