Budget studio monitors are a great way to establish your studio space without spending too much. Spending a little more on studio monitors will get you better quality. But, there are some solid options available at cheaper price points. In this review, we check out an appealing option from Behringer.
Behringer Studio 50USB
The Behringer Studio 50USB is a compact set of 5-inch monitors at a great price. Let’s see what these budget speakers have to offer.
The Behringer Studio 50USB powered studio monitors have some impressive features. Once you factor in its aggressive price point there is a lot to like. Let’s dive into the details to see what it has to offer.
For a budget-price studio monitor, the Behringer Studio 50USB offers great sound quality.
The mid-tones are the highlight here. Well defined and clear. Vocals are precise without any muddiness. Instrumental sections are rich and well-rounded.
The high-end is also very good for a monitor this cheap. Crisp and refreshing without any ear fatigue from longer listening sessions. At higher volumes, it does start to sound a little scratchy. But, the high-frequency tuning option can assist with this.
The low-end is the weakest element of the Behringer Studio 50USB. It retains a decent amount of fullness but lacks any distinct warmth and punch. Once again this becomes more evident at higher volumes. If you are a lover of bass I’d suggest a subwoofer to help deal with the low end.
Imaging is decent with a broad sweet spot. While these do throw sound across a room they are still best as near-field monitors. Longer connecting cables would have been ideal here for more flexibility in placement.
At this price, it is hard to expect premium-level sound quality. But Behringer has managed to achieve a fairly well-balanced output in a budget package.
The low price point is deceiving when it comes to the Behringer Studio 50USB. The build is more than I expected. The cabinet is a solid plastic composite and the connection points are clean. There is a bit of heft to the speakers but they are still lightweight.
The Behringer Studio 50USB offers decent quality for its price point.
The added shielding is another excellent feature. These are great for close placement at your workstation without fear of interference.
The included cable is a bit hit and miss. While decent in quality it is short. Once you factor in the unique connection point you’ll be unable to replace them easily. I would have preferred a speaker wire or a TRS connection so that I could use some of the better cables I have available.
The speaker cable is short and can restrict your placement options.
Despite this element, the Behringer Studio 50USB is a rugged and well-constructed set of studio monitors. Especially at this price point.
The Behringer Studio 50USB offers a 5-inch Kevlar-cone woofer and a 1-inch silk-dome tweeter. This is a common configuration for studio monitors. But it is good to see Kevlar components in a budget-priced pair of monitors.
Power-wise the unit offers 150W. It has Class D amps in a bi-amp design. This allows for each driver to have their own amp. The amps are all within the primary unit making the second unit purely a slave speaker.
The 5-inch woofer is ideal for small to medium sized studios.
The frequency response sits at 55Hz-20kHz. A reasonable range that is capable of decent sound representation.
At 100dB max SPL, these do get loud. Unfortunately quality at louder volumes is not very refined. These monitors are suitable for a small to medium-sized studio space.
Fair warning that these default to an exceptionally loud setting. When connecting to you PC I suggest starting at 0 volume and working your way up from there. You’ll likely find you can only run these in the lowest possible volume settings on your PC. While great for lovers of loud music it does limit volume increments. Something that could be an issue if you prefer working at lower volumes.
The Behringer Studio 50USB does offer some basic tuning options. As opposed to offering low-end adjustment the 50USB focuses on the high-frequencies.
You’ll be able to adjust the level to +2, -2, and -4. This can help clean up some of the sharpness of the top-end. Something that does become more prominent at higher volumes.
Tuning options are rare on budget-priced monitors so I’m always happy to see some level of control at this price point.
On the appearance front, they are reasonably attractive. The plastic composite material of the cabinet offers a textured finish to prevent fingerprints. But the front casing and high gloss finish does attract fingerprints. The all-black design could use some color. But plain black speakers have been the norm for a long time.
The plain black color is very common for studio monitors.
There is one noticeable design quirk that can be frustrating. The Trim Control on the back is awkward to reach. I always prefer access to the volume control on the front. You can control volume via your PC. But, with the range of connection possibilities, it would have been preferable to have easier access to the trim knob on the monitor.
The Behringer Studio 50USB is a compact set of monitors. They are noticeably shorter than other popular 5-inch professional monitors. But, when compared to similar budget-priced sets they fall within familiar dimensions.
The Behringer Studio 50USB is lightweight and compact.
At 14.3 lbs. (6.49kg) for the pair, they are light without feeling flimsy. But with a rear bass port and rear trim control, I wouldn’t recommend these for bookshelves.
The flagship feature is the USB connection point. This makes connecting very easy and reserves your regular audio connections for other purposes.
The Behringer Studio 50USB features balanced connection options and USB.
With the Studio 50USB, you’ll also have access to both TRS and XLR connections. You can use all three connections at once. This can be useful if you have multiple pieces of gear that you switch between.
The Behringer Studio 50USB is an aggressively priced set of speakers. But, while cheap it does offer excellent value.
The range of balanced connection options and decent sound quality are great. Much better than you would expect from speakers this cheap. While not the most refined soundscape they are a good budget option. Ideally suited for multimedia editing and light mixing work.
What Others Have To Say
The Behringer Studio 50USB is a popular budget pair of studio monitors. Average review scores across a variety of vendor sites place them at around 4 stars. Quite an achievement considering how cheap they are. While Behringer didn’t have the best reputation in the past they have evolved into a brand that more and more people trust.
Achieving a Perfect Sweet Spot
One of the challenges that beginners face when setting up their studio is finding the sweet spot for your monitors.
The sweet spot is the ideal position for your monitors based on your seated position. There are some basic principles you can use to get the most out of your studio space.
First, it is important to have the monitors at the correct height. The speaker drivers should be at head height when seated. You’ll also want to achieve an equal distance on both sides and have the drivers facing you. Near field monitors often have a narrow sweet spot so this first step is critical. Where possible also avoid placing the speakers against a wall. This can lead to audio build-up and refraction.
Acoustic Panels can help to reduce reflection in your studio.
Sound travels in the same way as light waves. As a result, it will bounce around. Even once you set up your speakers you may want to find ways to minimize reflective surfaces. The most common options include acoustic panels to capture and dampen sound. You can also look into special panels that help disperse sound waves.
But not all beginner producers can afford the extra investment into these items. If that is the case you can still employ other techniques. Thick fabric blinds and curtains are a cheap and easy start. Having a bookshelf with various sizes of books also helps to diffuse sound. Essentially you want to encourage the capture of sound waves so they don’t reflect at you. These reflections can make it more difficult to properly assess your productions.
By combining correct placement and acoustic treatments you’ll give yourself the best chance of finding that sweet spot.
If you are looking for 5-inch studio monitors there are some great options available. Here is a small selection of alternatives to the Behringer Studio 50USB.
Alesis Elevate 5 MKII Review
The Alesis Elevate 5 MKII is another affordable pair of studio monitors. With a well-rounded sound profile, it’s also suitable for entry-level production work.
- Neutral response with excellent balance.
- Bass boost option for more oomph in the low-end.
- Much like the Behringer, it isn’t the best at louder volumes.
Alesis Elevate 5 MKII
Edifier R2000DB Review
If you want a more versatile set of speakers the Edifier R2000DB is a great alternative. Its multi-purpose design makes it a great candidate beyond your studio space.
- Offers extra connection options like Bluetooth and Optical.
- Distinct and stylish design looks great in a variety of decors.
- Has a more colored sound that’s not ideal for mixing.
JBL 305P MKII Review
JBL has an excellent reputation for studio monitors. The 305P MkII is a common recommendation for beginners wanting a dependable monitor.
- Rich and full low-end that will please bass lovers.
- Excellent build quality from a respected brand.
- More expensive than the Behringer Studio 50USB.
JBL 305P MkII
Should You Buy?
The Behringer Studio 50USB is a solid set of studio monitors for people on a tight budget. Behringer has improved a lot over the years yet still manages to maintain an attractive price point. There are better monitors out there. But at this price, it’s hard to fault the 50USB studio monitors. If you want cheap yet powerful speakers these are worth considering.
Behringer STUDIO 50USB