For audiophiles all over the world, there’s nothing quite like searching for, reading about, and devising a setup for new speakers!
When you’re in the studio recording and mixing your own music, a quality monitor is crucial to ensuring you can create the sounds you mean to and have the greatest control over your musical output.
In this article, we’re diving into two of the most well-known entry-level studio monitors produced by the world-renowned Yamaha to explore their benefits to a burgeoning producer or musician.
We’ll cover a whole range of details and specifications, including:
- Value for money
- Key features
- Build and audio quality
- Integration capability.
All to give you a clear idea of which monitor is best for you and what you can gain from each one as you search to level up your studio audio experience. Let’s get into it!
The Yamaha HS7 is a bi-amp monitor designed for high-fidelity sound reproduction. It has a total 95W output, with 60 watts from the subwoofer and the tweeter making up the remaining 35 watts.
It’s a stylish monitor with good clarity and dynamic range and is a great entry-level monitor for the burgeoning producer.
It has good connectivity and can be wired into just about any other sound system – and while it is best suited to a smaller space, it can perform admirably in a larger space with the addition of a subwoofer.
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The Yamaha HS 8 active studio monitor is a mid-range speaker in terms of price, but in all other senses, it is a premium product and is celebrated for its clarity of reproduction.
It sports an 8-inch cone woofer and a 1-inch dome tweeter and has a frequency response of 38-30hz.
Because of this, the Yamaha HS 8 has an exceptionally accurate sound profile, and its bi-amplified design gives it dedicated amplifiers for each driver and grants great control over different ranges of frequency.
The HS8 has a lot of features that allow customizability of sound. With high trim response and XLR and TRS inputs, the HS8 is a flexible and variable monitor with a reliable track record.
Design and Build Quality
Yamaha has a well-earned reputation for quality design and manufacture. Of course, the HS7 and HS8 are no exception to this tendency for quality.
Both the HS8 and HS7 have similar design cues. They both sport classic white-coned woofers and black tweeters in a minimalist black MDF case.
This minimalism makes both speakers reasonable additions to any interior design setup and they don’t stand out in a garish or distracting manner.
Construction for both is durable and robust, and the baffle is smooth and satin so the minimalist design is thoughtful and stylish.
Part of this design and build quality is owed to general Yamaha construction standards, with sturdiness and durability being key to a premium-level product.
However, other considerations are taken into account with the construction that positively impacts the sound quality of both speakers.
The cabinet design’s sturdiness means that there is no interference with the speaker sound quality, and the ported design on both HS series monitors keeps the low-end frequencies accurate and true.
The HS8 is slightly larger than the HS7, but this is usually only noticed in the lower-frequency sound output.
Sound Quality and Performance
In terms of performance, both monitors deliver very little in the way of distortion, which is key to the overall listening experience.
In both cases, the HS models have amplifiers that are tailored to the specific drivers in each of the monitors so you get real precision over the frequency range.
The HS8, being larger, has a better command over the lower frequency simply by virtue of having more mass on offer.
This is key if you’re working in a genre with heavy bass or low-end frequencies, whereas for other genres the HS7 will work perfectly well!
Due to its output wattage, the HS7 is better suited for smaller studios where it won’t struggle to fill the space without a subwoofer (though the addition of one can easily alleviate that drawback).
Both monitors feature room control and high-trim response controls, allowing users to tailor the monitors to the acoustics of their studio environment. This flexibility enhances the overall performance by accommodating various room conditions.
Features and Specifications
The Yamaha HS7 and HS8 studio monitors share many features and specifications, but there are some key differences, primarily in size and power. Here’s an overview of their features and specifications:
Both the HS7 and HS8 feature a 1-inch dome tweeter for high frequencies.
Both models use a bass reflex-type enclosure to enhance low-frequency response.
Room Control and High Trim response controls: These features allow users to adjust the monitor’s performance based on the acoustics of their studio space.
Both monitors provide balanced XLR and TRS phone jack inputs, offering flexibility in connectivity to audio interfaces, mixers, or other audio sources.
Woofer Size: 6.5 inches.
Amplifier Power: 60W (LF: 45W, HF: 15W).
Frequency Response: 43Hz – 30kHz.
Crossover Frequency: 2kHz.
Dimensions: 8.3″ x 13.1″ x 11.2″ (W x H x D).
Weight: 18.1 lbs.
Woofer Size: 8 inches.
Amplifier Power: 75W (LF: 60W, HF: 15W).
Frequency Response: 38Hz – 30kHz.
Crossover Frequency: 2kHz.
Dimensions: 9.8″ x 15.4″ x 13.1″ (W x H x D).
Weight: 22.5 lbs.
Both models offer settings for controlling low-frequency response to adapt to different room environments.
High Trim Control:
This feature allows for adjustment of high-frequency response.
User Experience and Usability
Both the HS7 and HS8 offer user-friendly designs that make tweaking and adjusting their output and integrating them into running setups easy.
The flexibility provided by room control and high trim response controls enhances the overall user experience by allowing adjustments to adapt to different acoustic environments, and the flat frequency response allows you to make informed decisions during the audio mixing process.
All of these features are intuitive and easy to use, and the inclusion of XLR and TRS jacks means you can integrate both the HS7 and the HS8 into existing setups with ease.
Price Comparison and Value for Money
The HS7 is generally cheaper than the HS8 and this comes down to the difference in build and capability.
The HS7 is a smaller, less powerful speaker, and while it does an admirable job of audio clarity and quality, it is best suited to smaller spaces and less bass-heavy audio mixing.
This means that if you meet those requirements, the HS7 will be the appropriate monitor for you and there’s no need to upgrade to the HS8.
If you are working with a lot of low-end frequencies instead, have a larger studio setup, or simply want to pay more for more range, then the HS8 will be a reliable and exceptional monitor.
The important thing to be aware of is that both of these monitors hold their own against a variety of more expensive monitors from other manufacturers.
That means you really can’t go wrong with either of them, and they will both be a huge upgrade from any entry-level monitors.
Pros and Cons
Compact Size: The smaller footprint of the HS7 makes it suitable for smaller studio spaces or desktop setups.
Affordability: Generally priced lower than the HS8, making it a more budget-friendly option.
Balanced Sound: Offers a well-balanced sound with a 6.5-inch woofer and 1-inch dome tweeter, suitable for accurate mixing.
Limited Low-End Extension: Due to its smaller woofer size, the HS7 may not provide as extended low-frequency response as larger models.
Extended Low-Frequency Response: The larger 8-inch woofer provides a potentially more pronounced and extended low-frequency response.
Increased Power: With a higher power rating, the HS8 can deliver more output, making it suitable for larger studios or applications requiring higher volume levels.
Versatility: Suitable for a wide range of genres, especially those with demanding low-frequency content.
Larger Size: The HS8 is physically larger, which may be a drawback for those with limited space in their studios.
Higher Price: Generally, the HS8 comes with a higher price tag compared to the HS7, making it less budget-friendly.
Considerations for Both:
Accuracy: Both the HS7 and HS8 are known for their accurate and transparent sound reproduction, providing a reliable reference for critical listening and mixing.
Build Quality: Yamaha’s HS series monitors are praised for their sturdy construction and durable build, ensuring long-term reliability.
Flexible Placement: Both models offer flexibility in placement, allowing users to adapt them to different studio configurations.
No Built-in EQ Presets: Some users may find the absence of built-in EQ presets limiting, as other monitors in a similar price range might offer more customization options.
Limited Connectivity: While they provide both XLR and TRS inputs, some users might miss additional connectivity options like RCA inputs.
Ultimately, the choice between the HS8 and the HS7 will come down to what you can afford and what it is you need for your setup.
The HS7 will work in smaller spaces and for audio mixing that demands less low-end frequency.
The HS8 is an improvement on everything the HS7 offers, so it works better for larger studios and more demanding audio.
However, there will be people for whom this is more than they actually need – and so again, the choice between the two will be essentially a personal one dependent entirely on your needs.
Which is better for a small home studio, Yamaha HS7 or HS8?
Because of its size and wattage, the Yamaha HS7 works better for small spaces.
The HS8 will be effective too, but in too small a space it may outperform the acoustics of the room leading to lower audio quality.
Is it worth upgrading from the HS7 to the HS8?
Only if your circumstances are changing too. If you have an HS7 and it is meeting your needs, there’s really no need to upgrade to the HS8 – especially if you aren’t moving to a larger space.
Philip had the founding vision for Audio Assemble, previously known as Pro Tools Tutorial. In 2008 Philip began recording and producing songs and had a hard time finding free and accurate information on Pro Tools software. From there the website was born. Philip currently works as a Software Engineer for Amazon and handles the editorial strategy as well as much of the technical aspects of Audio Assemble’s website.