Setting up a home studio is a daunting prospect. There is a lot of gear that you may want to buy. But, first on your list should be a good set of studio monitors. Monitors vary in price by a lot but there are some affordable entry-level options available if you are on a budget.
PreSonus Eris E4.5
The PreSonus Eris E4.5 is a beginner-friendly set of studio monitors that come at a great price. Let’s see if these monitors are worth looking into.
The PreSonus Eris E4.5 offers some excellent features, especially at this price point. Let’s dive into the details to see what these affordable speakers can do.
The sound quality on the PreSonus Eris E4.5 is surprisingly well balanced. A neutral response is ideal for audio mixing and mastering and these do an excellent job.
The highs are well defined and clear. Subtle details are present and delivered cleanly. Likewise, the mids are also well-rounded with a full and precise profile. Vocal and instrument playback is on par with speakers that cost a lot more than these.
Unfortunately the low-end doesn’t quite live up to the quality of the mids and highs. While capable they lack warmth and fullness. Still good enough to use in your production work but you’ll need to pay extra attention to your lows. This is the only balance issue in an otherwise excellent soundscape. If you do like a rich and well-defined low-end these will likely disappoint.
The soundstage is quite solid as well with a generous sweet spot. While still nearfield they project audio cleanly and can fill a small to medium-sized room.
Tuning options are also present which goes a long way in refining the sound to your space. Placement and compensation for your acoustic environment are important. But, this applies to all studio monitors.
For the price, it’s hard to find other monitors that deliver sound this good. They are not as good as more professional monitors. But, they also don’t carry pro-level price tags. An impressive achievement from the team at PreSonus.
The PreSonus Eris E4.5 is remarkably light. At first glance, this gave me reservations that the build quality would be poor. Luckily that is not the case. Despite the lightweight feel, they feel robust and capable.
The PreSonus Eris E4.5 has good build quality for its price point.
The vinyl laminated fibreboard is attractive and doesn’t scream low-quality. These should stand the test of time. Extra attention to detail like RF interference protection is a welcome addition. As is the “soft start” feature of the amplifier. This prevents the all too common popping on power-up that plagues some monitors.
For a budget-priced monitor, these have a lot to offer. The price is deceiving and hides how well built these monitors are.
The PreSonus Eris E4.5 offers the familiar woven composite low-frequency transducer you’ll find in other PreSonus models. At 4.5-inches it’s a fraction smaller than the popular E5 model. The 1-inch ultra-low-mass, silk-dome, high-frequency transducer is also familiar. It helps deliver that precise and sharp audio quality in the high end.
The PreSonus Eris E4.5 is a lightweight pair of studio monitors.
Frequency response is also good at 70Hz-20kHz. On paper, the low-end does offer decent depth but in practice, it doesn’t quite live up to it. I would recommend adding a subwoofer to handle the low-end if this is critical to your productions.
The total package comes in at 50watts (25 per speaker) via the AB class amp. Peak SPL hits 100dB which is more than enough for most small and medium-sized studio spaces. The wide sweet spot is great for general listening as well.
Budget monitors often lack any acoustic controls. This is where the PreSonus Eris E4.5 once again shows its value proposition. You’ll have access to adjust both the High and Low end. These controls are accurate and deliver great results.
Often smaller budget monitors are for home use so having these controls gives you greater flexibility. There can be a big difference in sound quality once you adjust the output to your space.
For example, the Low adjustment is great if you want that extra gain in the low-end. Not ideal for professional work but excellent for listening to bass-heavy music. Likewise, you can adjust the top end if you find certain high-frequencies a little grating at higher volumes.
The PreSonus Eris E4.5 is an attractive set of speakers. The matte finish blends effortlessly with most studio environments. More importantly, it doesn’t attract fingerprints. The clean rounded edges make for a distinct and pleasing profile.
The PreSonus Eris E4.5 studio monitor are attractive and a great fit for any studio space.
A light splash of color is also welcome. This gentle blue helps soften the dark exterior and gives these speakers a bit of life. The illuminated PreSonus logo is also well-executed. Subtle yet distinct.
These are an excellent alternative to computer speakers and look great on the table.
The PreSonus Eris E4.5 manages to keep the dimensions within a reasonable level. Despite the large woofer, the cabinet doesn’t protrude too deeply. This allows for easy placement on your desk or stands.
The PreSonus Eris E4.5 monitors are slim enough to fit on most desks.
At just 13 lbs (5.9kg) they are lighter than a lot of monitors out there. As expected the primary monitor is heavier since it houses the amplifier. The secondary passive monitor is exceptionally light. While I like light speakers I do also enjoy a little bit of heft. Often some extra weight can help prevent vibration. Luckily, these do sit comfortably and are stable despite how lightweight they are.
PreSonus delivers once again on this front with a good selection of input choices. At the back of the primary monitor, you’ll have access to an unbalanced RCA along with a balanced ¼-inch TRS input. This gives you plenty of flexibility to connect these to your gear.
Both balanced and unbalanced connections are available.
Cables are also included with a ⅛-inch TRS to RCA cable along with dedicated ⅛-inch TRS cables. Note there are no ¼-inch cables included. Not overly surprising considering the price point of these monitors.
Around the front, there is a ⅛-inch headphone port along with a ⅛-inch AUX port. A great option for connecting smartphones. This further adds to the flexible nature of the E4.5.
PreSonus has hit it out of the park with the Eris E4.5. The value proposition is great here. Excellent sound quality backed up by decent build quality. For the price, you’ll be hard-pressed to find speakers that can match the neutral delivery these provide.
An excellent option for budget-minded home producers. Setting up a home studio can become expensive very quickly. I’m happy to see that PreSonus is offering high-quality and affordable gear for beginners.
What Others Have To Say
The consensus is that the PreSonus beginner range offers excellent value for new producers. While there are many better monitors out there they are hard to beat at this price level.
Tips For Speaker Placement
To get the most out of your new monitors it is important to understand some basic setup principles. Here are some quick tips for beginners.
- If possible try not to have your monitors too close to the walls to reduce audio reflection.
- Keep your monitors upright unless specified by the manufacturer to keep sonic authenticity.
- Have monitors on either side to create a triangle facing your sitting position to form a good sweet spot.
- The tweeters should align with your ears as high frequencies are more directional.
- Try to centralize your workspace. This helps keep low-frequency response equal.
- If you have tuning options don’t be afraid to adjust output to suit your space.
- Investing in speaker stands or isolation pads is worth it to achieve better placement.
How you set up your studio has a big impact on sound quality.
While there is a lot more detail I could get into these quick tips should get you on the right path. Even professional monitors can sound poor if not positioned correctly. But, it is also important to train your ear. This takes time and experience. Learning the quirks of your set of monitors will help you make more informed decisions when mixing and mastering your music.
If you are looking at setting up a studio there are plenty of beginner options available. Here is a selection of alternatives worth considering.
Yamaha HS7 Review
Yamaha has a strong and well-earnt reputation in the monitor space. The HS line is an outstanding line of speakers but they do not fall into the budget category.
- Exceptional sound balance that’s ideal for music production.
- Premium build quality that comes with a respected brand.
- Substantially more expensive than the PreSonus range.
Read our full Yamaha HS7 review for more detailed information.
Mackie CR4-X Review
Mackie is another brand that offers a good entry point for studio monitors. While more targeted to general multimedia work they are a reasonable option for a new studio.
- An aggressive price point that is on par with the PreSonus range.
- Distinct styling that offers a focal point for your studio space.
- Doesn’t offer tuning options like the Eris E4.5.
Read our full Mackie CR4-X review for more detailed information.
Edifier R1850DB Review
If you don’t have any intention of focusing on music production the R1850DB is a good option. While not as balanced it provides flexible options and added features over the E4.5.
- Good sound quality with impressive clarity.
- A versatile option that is good for both your workspace or living room.
- Leans towards a more colored sound profile making them not ideal for music production.
Read our full Edifier R1850DB review for more detailed information.
Should You Buy?
There is a lot to love about the PreSonus Eris E4.5. Great sound at a great price. The smooth styling and functional tuning options are hard to look past. While the low-end is underwhelming they perform well above expectations at this price point.
If you are setting up a studio and want capable and affordable monitors these should be on your list.
Presonus Eris E4.5