As a professional audio engineer, I have had the privilege of working with various studio monitors throughout my career.
Recently, I have had the opportunity to thoroughly test and compare the top 5 studio monitors with subwoofers.
In this review, I will share my first-hand experience and provide a critical analysis of each model, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses.
At the end of the review, you will find a comparison table and pros and cons for each monitor.
Top 5 Studio Monitors with Subwoofers: AT A GLANCE
YAMAHA HS8 8-Inch Powered Studio Monitor (White, 2-Pack) Bundle (2 Items)
- Bundle Includes: 2 x YAMAHA HS8 8-Inch Powered Studio Monitor (White)
- Newly Developed Transducers: It features newly developed transducers that achieve astonishingly smooth responses over a wide range of bandwidth
- Controls and Connectivity: It features two response controls with detailed settings that allow them to adapt to the surface acoustics of rooms of varying shapes and sizes
- Cutting Edge Noise Reduction Technology: Speaker port design can greatly influence the clarity of overall sound. Often a vortex at either end of the port can generate air vibrations inside of the port, causing unwanted noise. By adopting an advanced noise reduction technology that incorporates a thorough analysis of a visual representation of the sound, Yamaha's engineers can control and reduce the vortex
- Low Resonance Enclosure Design: The cabinet is designed to eliminate unwanted resonance and increase the accuracy of sound reproduction to its extreme limit
ADAM Audio T10S Powered Studio Subwoofer
- Extend your low end — The T10S is a powerful yet compact active subwoofer, designed to extend the bass response and give a clearer picture into the low frequencies you might miss.
- Make the most of your T-Series Monitors — The T10S subwoofer is engineered specifically to complement ADAM Audio’s T5V and T7V speakers.
- Adjustable to fit your room and your setup – The downward facing woofer allows for more flexibility when placing the subwoofer in your studio setup.
- The subwoofer bypass connection on the back panel allows you to quickly toggle the subwoofer on and off with a footswitch to easily check your mix with or without the bass extension.
- Easily calibrate the T10S subwoofer to your studio monitors for maximum accuracy with the adjustable crossover settings, phase rotation switch and dedicated volume control to best fit your workflow.
KRK RP8 Rokit 8 G4 Professional Bi-Amp 8" Powered Studio Monitor Pair, Black
- Professional grade 8“ (bi-amp) studio monitor designed and engineered in the USA
- 8” matching woofer and 1” tweeter made with Kevlar
- Built-in efficient Class D power amp
- Proprietary speaker drivers built in-house from the ground up
- Onboard LCD visual ds-driven EQ
PreSonus Temblor T10 Powered Studio Subwoofer, Multicolor
- 10-Inch glass-composite low-frequency transducer
- 250 Watt, class AB amplification; power: 100-120V 50/60 Hz or 220-240V 50/60 Hz
- Input gain control (-30 dB to +6 dB, continuously variable) and continuously variable low Pass filter (50 Hz to 140 Hz)
- Switchable high pass filter removes frequency content below 80 Hz from the full-range signal sent to the main monitors
- Momentary footswitch (included) Bypasses the subwoofer, high pass filter, and sub out
- Left and right, balanced XLR and ¼” TRS and unbalanced RCA main inputs
Focal Professional Sub6 Subwoofer - Black/Red
- The Sub6 is an active subwoofer (1 x 350W RMS built-in amplifier - BASH technology) for professional monitoring systems.
- Designed to permit optimum acoustic coupling and includes stereo high pass filter (75 or 100Hz) for the left and right satellites, low pass filter (adjustable) with mono summation, phase inverter, phase fine tuning, mute. switch. with professional monitoring speakers
- Sub6 subwoofer features exclusive Focal technology including the W cone.
- A custom designed amplification stage.
|Yamaha HS8S + HS8||Tight and accurate low-end response||Large size, may require fine-tuning|
|Adam Audio T10S + T7V||Clear high-end, excellent stereo imaging||Challenging volume matching|
|KRK Rokit S10.4 + 10-3 G4||Powerful sound, three-way design||Overpowering low-end, large size|
|Presonus T10 + Eris E8 XT||Versatile, balanced sound||Overly boomy, lacking high-end detail|
|Focal Sub6 + Shape 65||Impressive low-end extension, exceptional clarity||Expensive|
Yamaha HS8S + HS8
YAMAHA HS8 8-Inch Powered Studio Monitor Pair
What We Like
- 38Hz - 30kHz frequency response
- 75W LF plus 45W HF bi-amp system for high-performance 120W power amplification
- 8-inch cone woofer, 1-inch dome tweeter
- Large magnets in an Advanced Magnetic Circuit design
- Bundles includes a pair of two monitors
What We Don't Like
- Tight and accurate low-end response: The HS8S subwoofer delivers a precise and well-controlled bass, which is essential for accurate mixing and mastering.
- High-quality construction: Yamaha is known for its durable and reliable audio equipment, and the HS8S is no exception. Its solid build ensures longevity and consistent performance.
- Easy integration with HS series monitors: The HS8S subwoofer is designed to work seamlessly with Yamaha's HS series studio monitors, such as the HS8, HS7, and HS5.
- Adjustable crossover and phase switch: The subwoofer features adjustable low-pass filter settings and a phase switch, allowing for easy fine-tuning to match your studio monitors and room acoustics.
- Balanced XLR and TRS inputs: The HS8S offers balanced XLR and TRS inputs, providing versatile connectivity options for various audio setups.
- Size and weight: The HS8S subwoofer is relatively large and heavy, which might be an issue for those with limited space or who need to move their equipment frequently.
- May require fine-tuning: To achieve the best integration with your studio monitors, the HS8S may need some adjustments to the crossover settings and phase switch, which can be time-consuming.
- Lacks automatic standby mode: Unlike some other subwoofers, the HS8S does not have an automatic standby mode, meaning it won't power down automatically when not in use.
- Not suitable for extremely low frequencies: Although the HS8S has a solid low-end response, it might not be ideal for those seeking ultra-deep bass frequencies in their mixes.
Yamaha HS8 Studio Subwoofer
What We Like
- 8inch bass-reflex powered subwoofer
- 22Hz - 150Hz frequency response
- High-power 150W amplifier
- LOW CUT switch, LOW CUT control (80-120Hz) HIGH CUT control (80-120 Hz)
- PHASE switch
What We Don't Like
- Accurate and flat frequency response: The HS8 studio monitors are designed to provide an honest and transparent representation of your mix, making them ideal for critical listening and mixing tasks.
- Durable and well-built: Yamaha is known for producing high-quality and reliable audio gear, and the HS8 monitors are no exception. They feature solid construction, ensuring long-lasting performance.
- Room control and high-trim switches: The HS8 monitors include room control and high-trim switches, allowing you to tailor the sound to your specific studio environment and acoustic conditions.
- Bi-amplified design: The HS8 monitors feature a bi-amplified design, with separate amplifiers for the woofer and tweeter, ensuring optimal power distribution and reducing the risk of distortion.
- Wide frequency range: With a frequency response of 38Hz to 30kHz, the HS8 monitors cover a broad spectrum of frequencies, making them suitable for a wide variety of music genres and production styles.
- Size and weight: The HS8 monitors are relatively large and heavy, which might be an issue for those with limited studio space or who need to move their equipment frequently.
- Limited aesthetic options: The HS8 monitors are primarily available in black and white finishes, which might not cater to all users' preferences or studio designs.
- May require fine-tuning: To achieve the best sound in your specific studio environment, the HS8 monitors may need some adjustments to the room control and high-trim settings, which can be time-consuming.
- Not suitable for casual listening: Due to their flat frequency response, the HS8 monitors might not be the best choice for casual or recreational listening, as they prioritize accuracy over a "pleasing" or "enhanced" sound.
The Yamaha HS8S subwoofer, paired with the HS8 studio monitors, offers a tight and accurate low-end response.
The HS8S features an 8-inch cone woofer and provides 150W of power. The HS8 monitors deliver a well-balanced sound, with a frequency range of 38Hz to 30kHz.
In my experience, the HS8S subwoofer blends seamlessly with the HS8 monitors. The low-end extension is tight and precise, without being overpowering.
The HS8 monitors have a smooth and flat frequency response, which is essential for accurate mixing and mastering.
One downside of the HS8S + HS8 combo is that it can be quite large for smaller studio spaces. Also, the subwoofer may require some fine-tuning to match the monitors perfectly.
Adam Audio T10S + T7V
The Adam Audio T10S subwoofer, paired with the T7V studio monitors, is a fantastic combination for producing accurate mixes.
The T10S features a 10-inch woofer, delivering 130W of power. The T7V monitors boast the proprietary ART (Accelerating Ribbon Technology) tweeter, providing a clear and detailed high-end response.
The T10S subwoofer integrates well with the T7V monitors, offering a tight and controlled low-end. The T7V monitors provide excellent stereo imaging and transient response, making them ideal for critical listening.
However, I did notice that the T10S subwoofer's volume level can be challenging to match with the T7V monitors, requiring extra attention during setup. Additionally, the T7V monitors may lack some low-end presence without the subwoofer.
Adam Audio T10S 10-Inch Powered Studio Subwoofer with 2 x 1/4-Inch TRS to XLR Male to Male Balanced Cable (10-Feet) and 2X 25-Feet XLR Cables (5 Items)
What We Like
- Bundle Includes: Adam Audio T10S 10-Inch Powered Studio Subwoofer, 2 x 25-Feet XLR Male to XLR Female Microphone Cable and 2 x 1/4-Inch TRS to XLR Male to Male Balanced Cable (10-Feet)
- Mechanism: Acoustic performance was optimized by four high-grade flexible rubber feet that prevent the sound from exciting the floor and a spacious rear-facing bass reflex port for optimized airflow
- Function: Equipped with a down-firing 10-inch woofer and a 130W Class-D amplifier, the T10S’ frequency response ranges from 28 Hz to 120 Hz and offers an impressive SPL of 104 dB
- Optimal Performance: Internal adjustable two-channel crossover allows calibration of the bass signal and provides optimal performance of the total system
- Application: Ideal addition to smaller nearfield monitors, specifically the T Series
What We Don't Like
- Linear bass response: The T10S subwoofer is designed to offer a linear bass response, providing an accurate and transparent representation of the low-end frequencies in your mix.
- Compact design: The T10S features a relatively small footprint, making it an ideal choice for smaller studio spaces or home studios with limited room.
- Easy integration: The T10S subwoofer is designed to work seamlessly with Adam Audio's T-series studio monitors, as well as other monitor brands, ensuring a cohesive and immersive listening experience.
- Efficient Class D amplification: The T10S utilizes a Class D amplifier, which is known for its efficiency, low heat generation, and lightweight design.
- Crossover frequency control: The T10S features a variable crossover frequency control, allowing you to fine-tune the subwoofer's performance to match your studio monitors and room acoustics.
- Lacks extremely deep bass extension: While the T10S subwoofer offers a solid low-end response, it may not be suitable for those seeking ultra-deep bass frequencies in their mixes.
- Limited input options: The T10S only offers balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA input connectors, which might be limiting for users with different connectivity preferences or requirements.
- No automatic standby mode: The T10S subwoofer does not have an automatic standby mode, meaning it won't power down automatically when not in use, potentially consuming more energy.
- May require fine-tuning: To achieve the best integration with your studio monitors, the T10S may need some adjustments to the crossover settings, which can be time-consuming.
- Price: While the T10S offers excellent performance, it may be priced higher than some other subwoofers in its class, potentially making it less accessible for budget-conscious users.
KRK Rokit S10.4 + 10-3 G4
When I first set up the KRK Rokit 10-3 G4 monitors and Rokit S10.4 subwoofer in my studio, I was immediately struck by their bold and powerful listening experience.
The S10.4 subwoofer, with its 10-inch glass-Aramid composite woofer, pumps out an impressive 160W of power.
Meanwhile, the Rokit 10-3 G4's three-way design, boasting a frequency response of 26Hz to 40kHz, ensures excellent clarity and separation across the entire frequency spectrum.
As I began to use the Rokit S10.4 subwoofer alongside the Rokit 10-3 G4 monitors, I noticed how well they integrated with each other. The punchy and extended low-end provided by the subwoofer complemented the monitors' performance, resulting in a cohesive and immersive soundstage.
However, after spending some time with this setup, I started to notice a few challenges. The low-end, while powerful, could sometimes become overpowering, particularly in smaller rooms. I had to carefully adjust the subwoofer's placement and settings to strike the right balance in my studio space.
Another consideration was the size of the Rokit 10-3 G4 monitors. They are relatively large and might not be the best fit for compact studios or those with limited space.
That said, if you can accommodate their size, the Rokit 10-3 G4 monitors and Rokit S10.4 subwoofer combination deliver a powerful and engaging listening experience that's perfect for audio professionals seeking top-notch performance.
KRK RP103G4 Rokit 10" Generation 4 3-Way Powered Studio Monitors - PAIR
- THIS BUNDLE INCLUDES:
- (2)KRK RP103G4 Rokit 10" Generation 4 3-Way Powered Studio Monitor
- Its visual graphic EQ makes minimizing and correcting room problems a breeze. You get at-a-glance confirmation of your EQ settings with the Rokit 10-3 G4’s built-in LCD graph, all while getting real-time spectral analysis from the KRK app on your iOS or Android smart device. The KRK app is incredibly useful. Besides EQ settings, the app also aids with speaker placement and level matching, along with adjusting subwoofer levels, crossover settings, and polarity. It even has a signal generator — a
- Custom-designed power amp retains better audio integrity The Rokit 10-3 G4’s custom-designed Class D power amplifier is remarkably efficient, evenly pumping high-quality sound out of its drivers, and at reduced operating temperatures. The amp’s efficiency not only results in a cool-running system, it also maintains the integrity of your audio. Beyond that, a built-in brickwall limiter automatically engages when you max out the amp to ensure a balanced sound, safeguard the system against damage,
KRK S10.4 S10 Generation 4 10" 160 Watt Powered Studio Subwoofer
- 10" glass aramid composite woofer
- Bass extension to 28Hz with a max SPL of 117 dB
- Footswitch control enables/disables sub and crossover filter (footswitch not included)
- Curved design with front-firing bass port for placement flexibility
- Powerful, lightweight Class D amplification
Presonus Temblor T10 + Eris E8 XT
I tried out the Presonus Temblor T10 subwoofer and Eris E8 XT studio monitors in my home setup, I was excited to explore their potential as a versatile combination for both mixing and monitoring.
The T10 subwoofer, with its 10-inch woofer and 250W of power, promised a robust low-end, while the Eris E8 XT monitors, featuring a frequency response of 35Hz to 20kHz, aimed to deliver a balanced and detailed sound.
As I started working with the Temblor T10 subwoofer and Eris E8 XT monitors, I noticed the tight and controlled low-end that the subwoofer brought to the table.
This harmonized well with the E8 XT monitors, which produced a sound suitable for a variety of genres, from electronic music to acoustic recordings.
However, during my time with this pairing, I encountered a few challenges. I noticed that the Temblor T10 subwoofer could sometimes sound overly boomy, which required careful placement and calibration to address. Positioning the subwoofer correctly in my studio and adjusting the settings ultimately allowed me to achieve a more balanced sound.
I also found that the Eris E8 XT monitors were lacking some high-end detail when compared to other monitors I've tested. This was most apparent when working on projects that demanded a more precise and transparent high-frequency response.
Despite these drawbacks, the Presonus Temblor T10 subwoofer and Eris E8 XT studio monitors still offer a versatile and adaptable combination for those seeking a solution for both mixing and monitoring.
If you just take the time to do some fine-tuning and careful placement, this pairing can deliver a satisfying listening experience across a wide range of musical genres.
Focal Sub6 + Shape 65
Now, let me tell you about my experience with the Focal Sub6 subwoofer and Shape 65 studio monitors.
The Sub6, with its 11-inch woofer and 350W of power, seemed like a force to be reckoned with. And the Shape 65 monitors, featuring Focal's innovative Flax cone technology and a frequency response of 40Hz to 35kHz, promised exceptional clarity.
As I began working with these audio gems, I was genuinely impressed by the immersive and accurate listening experience they delivered. The Sub6 subwoofer just melded perfectly with the Shape 65 monitors, providing a low-end extension that was truly captivating.
I couldn't help but appreciate the exceptional clarity and stereo imaging the Shape 65 monitors brought to the table, making them ideal for critical listening sessions.
However, there's always a catch, isn't there? In this case, it's the price tag. While the Focal Sub6 and Shape 65 monitors undoubtedly offer premium performance, they also come at a premium cost. These beauties are relatively expensive compared to the other models I've had the chance to test.
So, if you're willing to invest a little extra in your audio setup, I'd say the Focal Sub6 and Shape 65 monitors are well worth it. Their performance is top-notch, and the listening experience they provide is nothing short of remarkable. Just keep in mind that their price may be a barrier for some.