Price (pair): £258
Design: 2-way ported
Woofer: 5.25-inch Kevlar cone
Tweeter: 1-inch silk dome
Frequency response: 53 Hz – 22 kHz
We can’t recommend too many monitors below the £200 price point. Options around £150 are much better than they used to be, but it’s impossible to ignore the fact that you get a lot more value for money if you spend a little more.
The point where you start getting great value for money is around the £250 mark, which is still relatively affordable for most beginners but allows you to choose from a number of good options. (If there’s absolutely no way for your budget to stretch to this level, take a look at the second-hand market before plumping for a cheaper model. A well loved pair of pre-owned monitors will give years of service and there are always bargains to be had as producers upgrade and sell old gear.)
With that in mind, our first recommendations are PreSonus’s Eris E5. PreSonus is a Louisiana-based company probably best known for audio interfaces and preamps. The fact that the Eris E5s (and their bigger brothers, the equally impressive E8s) are their first offering in the world of studio monitors is seriously impressive.
The Eris E5s are remarkable value for money. What sets them apart from most other options at this price point is that they don’t attempt to offer a hyped, flattering sound. They won’t blow you away with deep bass response and searingly bright highs. They won’t blast your eardrums with obscene sound pressure levels. They won’t make everything sound amazing. Instead, they’ll do exactly what a true reference monitor should do: provide a clear, revealing and accurate impression of your music with a relatively flat frequency response.
At this price, we have no hesitation recommending them to anyone wanting to get into dance music production.