The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Best budget reference monitors
View Poll Results: Choose best for reference (mixing)
IK multimedia iloud micro
1 Votes - 12.50%
JBL 305p micro
6 Votes - 75.00%
Mackie MR524
1 Votes - 12.50%
Mackie CR5BT
0 Votes - 0%
Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

Old 6th February 2019
  #1
Best budget reference monitors

Please help me in deciding which one to buy for producing and mixing, I have thought of following options:

1. JBL 305p mkii
2. Mackie MR524
3. IK multimedia iloud micro
4. Mackie CR5BT (maybe out of league but reviews are good and sounds similar to iloud)

They all have similar price tag, except CR5BT which is much cheaper option.
I have untreated room, and right now I mix in my headphones.

Please input your suggestions. thanks!
Old 6th February 2019
  #2
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Kali audio lp6
Old 6th February 2019 | Show parent
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by MixedByMrHD ➑️
Kali audio lp6
I have read up good about them.. but they are not available outside USA, So not a feasible option for outside people like me..
Thanks
Old 6th February 2019
  #4
I have the 308p mkii's and I think the are stellar. I imagine the 305's are just as nice.
Old 6th February 2019
  #5
Lives for gear
 
David C.'s Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I have the original JBL 305s and they are excellent!
Old 6th February 2019
  #6
I saw some reviews and people are claiming the new Mackie MR524 have better sound quality compared to the JBL 305's for reference

one of the comparisons I encountered:
Old 6th February 2019
  #7
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Fluid Audio FX8 is worth investigating and they have a new monitor or two coming out soon as well.
Old 6th February 2019 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shubhankit ➑️
I saw some reviews and people are claiming the new Mackie MR524 have better sound quality compared to the JBL 305's for reference

one of the comparisons I encountered:
I'm not disagreeing but I'd need to see that over and over before I'm anywhere near convinced. The acclaim for the 305s is widespread, so IMO that is the safe and likely best bet.
Old 7th February 2019
  #9
Gear Head
 
I sit down at my desk every day, and every day I thank myself for buying the JBLs. They’re really great.
Old 7th February 2019
  #10
Deleted 80fad10
Guest
+1 for JBL. I have the LSR 305 mk1 in my home studio and they sound quite balanced and revealing. I don't think JBL changed too much in the MK2 version.
Old 7th February 2019
  #11
Lives for gear
 
The Mackie MR524s are the only ones in the list I've heard - and I thought they hyped the highs too much. In the same price range I much preferred the M-Audio BX5s. But then this is so personal I think you're best off going to a shop with a stack of reference tracks and using your ears. Then there's the room! All of the said monitors will perform differently depending on you room, room treatment and where you put them.
Old 7th February 2019
  #12
Deleted 5edf3fa
Guest
None of those. Unless you do classic get something that goes down below 40Hz. If you buy one of these toy 5" monitors your low end most likely will ALWAYS suck.

My amateur conclusion after having a number of different pairs of monitors (HS50m, HS8, 305p, 306p, Rokit 5, Rokit 8). I felt I missed something with each and every single one of them. Yes they sound good in their range. None of them have deep enough bass extension, none of them sound "complete". I never learned how to mix bottom end because with all of these I NEVER HEARD IT.

So here's my decision: MO MORE little monitors. They look and sound cute, but you can't be serious about your mixing if you simply can't hear crucial frequencies of bass at all. With this 5" nonsene you will have ZERO information about your bass. You can buy a $2000 5" Genelec and you will still have zero information about bass to make mixing decisions and that bass will ruin your mix every single goddamn time. No "I'll add subwoofer later" nonsense, you won't set it up right most likely for even response, most likely you'll end up withsomething like +8/- dB in the sub range.

If you buy some crap cheap 8-10" monitor that does go to 35-40Hz and even if you have a crappy room you still have a chance of figuring it out where your bass is by using reference tracks, something like Sonarworks and just becoming familiar with their sound. Even the most poorly presented information is better than no information and blind guessing, and you'll be blind guessing 100% of the time with that 5" monitor nonsense.

5-6" monitors are waste of money and so are most 8", actually. Get a full spectrum monitors. "Buy cheap buy twice". You may be happy with 5" at first, but in a little bit you'll hate not having a full bass response. If you're short on budget look for used HR824 or VXT8 or ASP8, they can be had for like $500 pair at Guitar Center. Because if you're serious about you music you'll end up buying them anyway, just later after you realize how disappointed you are with those toy 5" monitors.
Old 7th February 2019 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 5edf3fa ➑️
My amateur conclusion
Clearly

Old 7th February 2019
  #14
I have been considering a pair of JBL 305p only, but recently I came across this Mackie MR524 and they got better reviews, also they are few bucks cheaper here at my place.

I have been considering iloud micro for their portability, but if they have actually comparable quality to JBL and Mackie for track reference, then I would love to go with them.

PS: I have untreated room
PPS: I will use headphones for bass range mixing, so smaller driver size shouldn't be an issue
Old 7th February 2019 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shubhankit ➑️
I have been considering a pair of JBL 305p only, but recently I came across this Mackie MR524 and they got better reviews, also they are few bucks cheaper here at my place.

I have been considering iloud micro for their portability, but if they have actually comparable quality to JBL and Mackie for track reference, then I would love to go with them.

PS: I have untreated room
PPS: I will use headphones for bass range mixing, so smaller driver size shouldn't be an issue

Bass is kind of the weakest area with regards to mixing in headphones. My bass end is much improved since using ATH-R70's though, but be aware that can's generally can mislead in the low end. The average car stereo is a good judge of bass imho.

Have a look at the Fluid and Kali monitors. Most people who have moved from the JBL's to either of those have said they are an improvement and I know someone who says the FX8's beat their Focal Alpha 50's, which surprised me.
Old 7th February 2019
  #16
Here for the gear
 
i tried the 99 dollar mackies a few years ago. they were literally painful to listen to. lots of crap gear does that to me tho. it was all low mids and nothing else.
Old 7th February 2019 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shubhankit ➑️
I have been considering a pair of JBL 305p only, but recently I came across this Mackie MR524 and they got better reviews,
If that is consistently true across many reviews, that's worth noting. I'd otherwise take reviews with a big grain of salt.
Old 7th February 2019
  #18
Okay i'll be going with 305p then...
but came across this as well

Old 7th February 2019 | Show parent
  #19
Deleted 5edf3fa
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shubhankit ➑️
I have been considering a pair of JBL 305p only, but recently I came across this Mackie MR524 and they got better reviews, also they are few bucks cheaper here at my place.

I have been considering iloud micro for their portability, but if they have actually comparable quality to JBL and Mackie for track reference, then I would love to go with them.

PS: I have untreated room
PPS: I will use headphones for bass range mixing, so smaller driver size shouldn't be an issue
I have Sennheiser HD600... didnt help. Some tracks are alright but I mostly missed. Experienced engineers can probably work with headphones ut its a minefield. Get real big bass monitors, you'll never regret it.
Old 8th February 2019
  #20
Also came across this at many places that older LSR305 were much flat and better than the current 305p mkii, And all the praises we hear is because of LSR305 and those are no more available anywhere as they are discontinued
New ones seem to be little hyped in upper mids

Back to search and comparison phase.. Maybe Mackie boys are better than those new JBL
Old 8th February 2019
  #21
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Yeah I think JBL came out with "new" ones just so they could say they have new ones with little to no change/improvement. Old marketing trick. And quite stupid.
Old 9th February 2019
  #22
Any more expert reviews over the new jbl 305p? Worth it over mackies?
Old 10th February 2019
  #23
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
What little I've heard actually is that the new 305s sound the same as the old ones. So if that's your worry, I think you'd be fine. I still plan to get the 305s myself.
Old 10th February 2019
  #24
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
What about getting the Massdrop LSR30X? As far as I know these are the 305 mk1's.

I'd personally still check out both the Kali and Fluids though. There are threads on GS about both and most people consider them an upgrade from the JBL's.
Old 10th February 2019
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Bstapper's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Consider a used pair of Event TR8's. Awesome bang for the buck.
Old 1st March 2019
  #26
Finally I went to order 305p mkii on jbl website and encountered their new product... JBL 1 Series 104 compact monitors... They are claiming it to be their best in line .. Anybody got a chance to give them a listen?
Old 1st March 2019 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Lumbergh's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MixedByMrHD ➑️
Kali audio lp6
Ive seen only great reviews for these, are they really that good?
Old 8th March 2019
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
I bought a pair of the Kali LP6s. I don't have much to compare them to, but they sound great to me.
Old 8th March 2019
  #29
Lives for gear
 
Matti's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
ADAM T series
Old 14th March 2019
  #30
Gear Head
 
puerko's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Brought home some Kali LP-6s today. Im coming off of a pair of RP-8s. Gotta say the LP-6s sound pretty great comparatively. From what Ive understood, the driver size isn't necessarily a indicator of bass output. My 6" Kali have way more bass then my 8" Krks. The guy who designed those LP-6 also designed those JBL Lsrs.
πŸ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 507 views: 266218
Avatar for Bluzzi
Bluzzi 23rd May 2018
replies: 58 views: 18699
Avatar for tkaitkai
tkaitkai 12th February 2019
replies: 48 views: 27960
Avatar for AndreiPiatra
AndreiPiatra 25th October 2018
replies: 6 views: 5969
Avatar for ILoveSampling
ILoveSampling 15th June 2019
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump