There are many manufacturers out there, offering entry-level studio monitors in the industry. And if you are just starting to look around for an affordable one for your new home studio, it could prove to be a little daunting. However, in today’s “Yamaha HS5 Review”, I will go through the various aspects of this studio monitor, and tell you why I think it is a great choice!
An affordable entry-level studio reference monitor, the Yamaha HS5 is designed and optimized for mixing and music production. It is a part of the “HS Series” line up, which takes pride in emphasizing on sound reproduction accuracy, with minimal colouration or deviation from the original sound.
While most other manufacturers put focus on enhancing their speaker designs in order to make them sound more appealing, the HS5 line of monitors from Yamaha are aimed towards helping you to achieve that ideal mix by ensuring that it remains transparent to your original recordings.
Let us now take a look at the major features of this near-field reference monitor!
- 2-Way bass-reflex, bi-amplified near-field studio monitor with 5″ cone woofer 1″ dome tweeter.
- 54Hz – 30kHz frequency response
- 45W-Low frequency and 25W-High frequency bi-amplifier system, for high performance 70W power amplification
- “Room Control” and “High Trim” response control
- XLR and TRS phone jack inputs accept balanced and unbalanced audio signals
Now, let’s go a little deeper into the various aspects of this monitor to see if it will benefit you.
What captures my attention the most about the Yamaha HS5, is its enhanced transducer and speaker enclosure designs. Since the success of the previous line of HS5 studio monitors that launched in 2006, Yamaha engineers have completely redesigned its transducers in order to achieve a more balanced and smooth frequency response across a wider bandwidth.
Hence, ensuring the best possible sound reproduction accuracy for your mixes or music. With the upgrade to a 1″ tweeter (from older 3/4″ ones), the HS5 monitors are now able to achieve an extended frequency range and also deliver high resolution sounds faithfully.
Another great improvement to the HS5, is in its speaker enclosure design. In order to eliminate unwanted resonance and achieve much better accuracy in terms of sound reproduction, the enclosure is built using a highly dense and durable material known as “MDF” (Medium Density Fibreboard).
This material damps the acoustic response within the speaker enclosure, which is ideal for monitoring. Also, the technique (three-way miltered-joint concept) used in anchoring the corners of the enclosure, also helps to greatly improve durability and further reduces unnecessary resonance that will colour the overall sound.
A feature of the Yamaha HS5 that you’ll definitely find very useful, is “Room Control”. This allows you to attenuate the exaggerated, almost unnatural low-frequency resonance that is often caused by close proximity of the speakers to walls. On the other hand, “High Trim” will give you the flexibility of fine-tuning the high-end frequencies.
You will also find that the HS5 is not lacking in versatile connectivity. With XLR and TRS phone jacks provided at the rear, you can connect any unbalanced and balanced signals from audio interfaces, keyboards and even mixing consoles. This is important in my opinion, as it allows you to use the HS5 for other audio applications other than mixing and monitoring.
The Yamaha HS5 studio monitors are powered by a Bi-amplifier unit, which provides the benefit of having two channels of amplification to power both the low-frequency driver (woofer) and high-frequency driver (tweeter) respectively. This allows each amplifier to be fine-tuned, and made more compatible with each driver in the speaker, which results in a better delivery of high definition sound with a flat frequency response across the audio spectrum.
Here’s a great video on the Yamaha HS Studio monitors!
Pros and Cons
- Great, transparent sound for an affordable price
- Versatile connectivity (XLR and TRS phone jacks)
- Useful “Room Control” and “High Trim”
- Durable speaker enclosure design
- Compact size that is perfect for travelling
- High performance Bi-amp design
- Not the best low-frequency response from the woofer
- May distort if used at very high levels
- Might not have enough power for larger rooms
The HS5 studio monitors from Yamaha is definitely a great choice, especially for serious budding music producers and musicians who are on a budget. Sure, there will always be cheaper options for entry-level studio monitors out there, but in my opinion, the HS5 is arguably the best affordable option out there.
In my personal experience as an engineer for some time, I know that after some years of mixing and producing music, your ears will be better “tuned” and before you know it, you will want to look for a better set of monitors.
However, with the Yamaha HS5, it is very difficult to turn to other monitors in the market (within the same price range), after you have heard the quality sound that they produce. You can be sure that these monitors will stick with you for the long term, or at least until you have made enough money to look for a higher end model. With the awesome enhanced features that come with the Yamaha HS5, there is almost no reason to not get your very own pair today!
Do take note that studio monitors are often not sold in pairs, therefore you will need to buy two units of the same model in order to have a proper, complete stereo set-up.
Thanks for reading this review, and do leave comments or questions below!