Studio Monitors and Speakers - What to watch out for?
Studio monitors are speakers that are used for mixing during recording and refining work, making them a must in any recording studio. They are designed to reproduce the sound as unaltered, accurate and detailed as possible.
This is also referred to as "linearity". Studio monitors should have a well-balanced and "unartificial" sound image as much as possible and reproduce all frequency ranges as detailed (and loud) as possible.
Equalizer, boosting of frequency ranges and compression are exactly what studio monitors should NOT have on board. Artists and producers rely on monitors to correct possible errors or imperfections.
Active vs. passive monitors
What is the difference between these two forms of studio monitors?
There are several variants of studio monitors, but usually you hear about active or passive monitors.
Active monitors have an amplifier that is already integrated in the monitor. This is of course practical, because the cabling effort is less and you don't have to worry about which power amplifier you buy.
However, the disadvantage is obvious:
You are fixed to what is built into the speaker. If the quality or power of the integrated amplifier is not as desired, you cannot simply replace it with another amplifier. One is tied to the internal amplifier, so to speak.
Of course, the system also offers advantages:
The built-in amplifier generally harmonizes very well with the sound image of the monitor, as both have been tuned and tested by the manufacturer. Active loudspeakers usually sound very good, but are not as flexible as passive speakers. The Yamaha HS series, for example, is very popular and has established itself as a standard in the low-price and medium-priced segment.
The counterpart, as suspected, are passive monitors, which, in contrast to the active monitors, have not yet integrated the amplifier. This gives you several possibilities to shape and influence the sound exactly according to your wishes. However, further costs in the form of a power amplifier are incurred by one, which must be purchased separately.
Amateurs and professionals alike complain that the quality of passive speakers is better. You can't answer them clearly with a "YES". The sound can of course be enhanced by a high quality power amplifier. The system in complete but always only as good as the weakest link in the audio chain. And if you save money on the power amplifier, you don't get a decent sound from the best monitor speakers.
Hifi speakers follow a completely different direction. These should sound good and are only suitable for listening to a limited extent. Rather, they offer the music lover a reasonably priced alternative to expensive studio monitors and offer a "relatively" linear frequency response. Ideal for lovers of classical music or music that is not heavy on bass.