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Best Budget Studio Monitors 2024: Quality Picks Under $100, $200, $300

Whether you are an aspiring and established musician, a home studio owner, or simply an audio enthusiast, finding affordable studio monitors to suit your needs can be a challenge since it is such a crucial piece of equipment in music production! 

If you’re searching for quality studio monitors on a budget, then look no further.

This article is a complete guide to the best budget studio monitors along with their features, pros and cons, and value for money. It will provide an extensive rundown and share expert advice on the following: 

  • Top studio monitors under $100 in 2024 
  • Best studio monitors under $200 in 2024 
  • Quality studio monitors under $300 in 2024 
  • Tips on purchasing a studio monitor.

Let’s dive in!

Best Studio Monitors Under $100

There are plenty of entry-level studio monitors that can meet the demands of music producers on a budget as manufacturers recognize the rapidly increasing need for them. 

Let’s take a look at our reviews for the top 2 picks for studio monitors priced under $100:

Mackie CR3-X

Mackie CR3-X

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Price: $79.39 – $99.99 

Key Specs: 0.75-inch tweeter | 3-inch woofer | 25 W power output |  70 Hz – 20 kHz (-10 dB) frequency response | 97 dB maximum SPL

While the Mackie CR3-X does not necessarily qualify as an exceptional studio monitor, it performs far better than other models in their price range. It delivers a significantly flatter response than other speakers, despite the lack of EQ controls.

Keep in mind that the Mackie CR3-X is not really suited for professional-level audio production – at least not as a primary reference monitor. 

However, if you are starting out in music production, this studio monitor can provide a sufficient listening experience at an affordable price! 

The Mackie CR4-X is a great pair of inexpensive studio monitors that have become a staple in the audio community because it offers studio-style sound at a price point aimed towards novice musicians.


  • Excellent value for the price 
  • Great for mobile recording


  • Has a harsh treble
  • Does not have low end

Presonus Eris 3.5

Presonus Eris 3.5

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Price: $89.99 – $99.99 

Key Specs: 3.5 mm auxiliary input | two ¼-inch TRS inputs | dual RCA stereo inputs | 3.5-inch woofers | 1-inch tweeters | 80 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response 

For less than $100, the Presonus Eris 3.5 is a great gateway pair of studio monitors for introducing newcomers to the landscape of proper audio mixing. 

With a relatively neutral frequency response, you can get accurate sound quality that is ideal for a home mixing environment! 

As a nice bonus, the addition of acoustic tuning controls allows you to fine-tune the speakers according to your environment. 

While it does have its shortcomings, the Presonus Eris 3.5 is a well-constructed pair of cheap studio monitors that can deliver a sound signature ideal for those just starting in music production.


  • Perfect for multimedia
  • Affordable 
  • Portable


  • Colored frequency response
  • Bothersome lack of mid-range
  • Minimal to no low-end.

Top Studio Monitors Under $200

Did you know that some of the cheaper studio monitors come with unique selling points and have the capability to deliver exceptional sound quality at a low cost? 

Here are the 2 best studio monitors that we selected for the under $200 category:

Pioneer DJ DM-50D

Pioneer DJ DM-50D

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Price: $169 – $199 

Key Specs: 0.75-inch tweeter | 5-inch woofer | 25 W power output |  60 Hz – 20 kHz frequency response | 106 dB maximum SPL

The Pioneer DJ DM-50D is a reasonably priced option if you are looking for compact monitor speakers. 

They may not be capable of producing tons of crucial low-frequency information but we found that their overall frequency response is quite detailed. 

The dual audio modes provide users with some flexibility when it comes to mixing. The production setting provides more focus in the mid-range and the DJ mode presents a fuller response. 

While some might take issue with the lack of ability to adjust the DSP, the Pioneer DJ DM-50D speakers still produce clear and accurate audio at just under $200. They are a fantastic choice for beginners or music producers on a budget! 


  • Sleek design 
  • Compact size
  • Detailed for its price


  • Frequency response range is limited.

KRK RP5 Rokit G4

KRK RP5 Rokit G4

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Price: $159.99 – $196.72 

Key Specs: 1-inch Kevlar Aramid Fiber tweeter | 5-inch woofer | 55 W power output |  43 Hz – 40 kHz frequency response | 104 dB maximum SPL | two-way configuration

The KRK RP5 Rokit G4 is one of the best all-around affordable studio monitors for mixing any genre in any environment!

We appreciate its exceptional performance, multiple features, and durable build. If you don’t have the budget for a pair, a single speaker will suffice as long as you mix in mono. 

It is built with high-quality materials and comes in a solid body that contributes to its accurate sound as low-frequencies and vibrations are minimized. You will get incredibly clear audio with high precision from the Kevlar drivers. 


  • Highly durable build
  • Excellent frequency response
  • No added coloration
  • Ensure sound accuracy


  • Too small for a large studio
  • Heavy due to solid materials
  • On the pricier side.

Superior Studio Monitor Picks Under $300

Whether you are a beginner in audio engineering or just on a tight budget, we’ve gathered the best options for you!

Let’s explore the finest options available under $300 and their advanced features compared to lower-priced models:

JBL Professional 305P MkII

JBL Professional 305P MkII

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Price: $238 

Key Specs: 14 x 12.2 x 13.93 inches size | 14 lbs. weight |  49 Hz – 20 kHz frequency response | 108 dB maximum SPL | Balanced XLR input | ¼-inch TRS input

The 305P MkII is one of the latest gems in JBL’s extensive line of top-quality studio monitors. 

It has a wide array of impressive features that include the brand’s popular Image Control Waveguide that provides a wider sound stage compared to many other monitors. 

What makes the 305P MkII stand out from the rest is that it has some of the technology used in JBL’s high-end models. 

The double-flared port feature is responsible for the deep bass in the low end. Multiple tuning options also make these monitor speakers a highly versatile option! 


  • Exceptional low-frequency response
  • Satisfying bass when mixing on DJ gear
  • Solid build quality
  • Robust cabinet


  • Has an audible hiss when played at lower volumes.

Presonus 2-Way Near Field Studio Monitor

Presonus 2-Way Near Field Studio Monitor

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Price: -$189.99 – $199.99

Key Specs: 16.54 x 9.06 x 11.81 inches size | 2 lbs. weight |  70 Hz – 20 kHz frequency response | 100 dB maximum SPL | 25 W power output per speaker (not bi-amped) | one ⅛-inch stereo input | two balanced ¼-inch TRS input | two unbalanced RCA input

The Presonus 2-Way Near Field Studio Monitor is a top-tier choice for beginners. They provide a good sound and performance for their price. 

The two-way active speakers are loud and look absolutely stylish! You can crank them up for the party due to the 100dB SPL. 

With all of its components considered, the Presonus 2-Way Near Field Studio Monitor is an incredible entry-level option that is perfect for bedroom producers or a home studio setup. 


  • Gorgeous design
  • Accurate and flat sound
  • Flexible audio tuning controls
  • No popping


  • Cheap cabinet build
  • Mediocre cables
  • Insufficient bass response.

Tannoy GOLD 8 Powered Studio Monitor

Tannoy GOLD 8 Powered Studio Monitor

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Price: $289 

Key Specs: 16.8 x 10.7 x 13.2 inches size | 30.8 lbs. weight |  54 Hz – 20 kHz ±3 dB frequency response | 110 dB maximum SPL | Bi-amped power output | one ¼-inch  XLR input | one ⅛-inch auxiliary input | one ⅛-inch monitor link output

The Tannoy GOLD 8 Powered Studio Monitor is the most notable premium option on our list for good reasons. You just can’t go wrong with this powerhouse and its proprietary 8-inch dual-concentric point source technology! 

These studio speakers are designed to deliver nothing short of accurate sound quality with high definition. 

What distinguishes the Tannoy GOLD 8 Powered Studio Monitor from the rest is its ability to provide unmatched musical articulation and impeccable dynamics. 

Each of the speakers comes with class AB amplifiers for both high and low-frequency drivers. 

Any experienced musician or music producer will tell you that the performance and sound produced by these monitors are unreal for their price! 


  • Flat frequency response 
  • Controlled dispersion when recording, mixing, editing, and mastering
  • Exceptionally natural performance
  • Fantastic tonal characters and harmonic structure of its sound


  • There’s a limit to how far you can push the volume.

Buying Guide: Choosing the Right Studio Monitor for Your Needs

When it comes to selecting the right studio monitor, your best option will ultimately depend on your individual needs such as room size and usability. 

Let’s run through some of the essential features to consider when buying a studio monitor: 


Weight is mostly an important factor if you are going to be moving the speakers around. 

Since weight varies across different models and brands, musicians who are constantly on the go should ideally invest in the most portable studio monitors. 


Studio monitor size directly impacts the dynamic range and distortion, listening distance, and bass response aspects of its performance. 

Larger studio monitors are more suitable for big rooms compared to smaller models because they provide dynamic range and less distortion, a further listening distance, and a deeper bass response. 


Going with a studio monitor that is equipped with EQ will help you tune it based on the environment of your studio space. Some models even come with digital processing that can optimize their performance for your acoustic space. 


Some small and large studio monitors come with a ported cabinet that helps lower the monitor’s frequency response to produce more bass. Closed cabinets also offer more accurate monitoring if you can only place them in a corner or close to a wall.

Input and Output

You need to make sure that the studio monitor you choose has inputs that will work with your musician instruments or equipment. Some monitors provide both balanced and unbalanced inputs, while others only offer either.  

Frequency Response

In general, the wider the frequency range of your studio monitors, the better. Studio monitors with a wide frequency response range will no longer require you to acquire a subwoofer to boost its bass.

Power Configuration 

Power configuration is one of the most crucial factors to consider when choosing a studio monitor. It will affect the overall sound of the speaker in terms of dynamic range, volume, and the amount of headroom.

Maximum peak SPL 

Maximum peak SPL refers to the highest sound pressure level that a studio monitor can handle before distortion onsets. You should go for a studio monitor with a maximum peak SPL of 70 dB if you have a small stage or studio space. For large stages or studio spaces, the maximum peak SPL of your monitor should be at least 85 dB.

Final Thoughts

One of the most significant investments you need to make as an audio engineer or musician is a quality pair of studio monitors. 

If you are on a budget, you’ll be glad to know that some of the best studio monitors for home studios can deliver amazing sound quality at a low cost! 

To ensure that you make an informed decision on your investment, you can always refer to our handy guide to the top budget studio monitor picks.


What makes a studio monitor ‘budget-friendly’ yet high-quality?

The ideal studio monitors that are budget-friendly yet high-quality should be able to deliver every detail in your mix while providing an accurate balance across the entire frequency range.

Are there any specific brands that dominate the budget studio monitor market?

Some of the top brands that provide budget studio monitors include Yamaha, Presonus, Pioneer, JBL, KRK, Mackie, and many more.