PreSonus Eris E5 & BT Review

Speakers have to be one of the most difficult decisions you need to make when setting up your home studio. There is a lot to consider when it comes to speakers, and picking a specific pair that features a reasonable price but still offers up solid performance is no easy task. In this review, we check out the Eris E5 and 5BT. Both of which fit the bill perfectly.

PreSonus Eris E5

Front view of the PreSonus Eris E5 studio monitor

Overall Rating

7/10

Pros

Cons

RATING SCORECARD

RATING METRIC

OUR RATING

Lows

7

Mids

7

Highs

7

Neutrality

7

Build

7

Design

8

Inputs

8

Tuning

8

Value

8

AVERAGE

7.4

Table of Contents

I’ll admit it can be overwhelming when assessing affordable studio monitors. Some are much better than others. Thankfully PreSonus has a fantastic reputation for delivering accessible options while maintaining fantastic sound quality. A shining example of this is the E5, an impressive pair of front ported studio monitors, Let’s check it out in more detail.

Features

Below, we dive into the features of the Eris E5 and the 5BT to see if these entry-level studio monitors are right for your needs.

Sound Quality

Of course, the first thing, and by far the most important, is the sound quality. The Eris E5 offers solid sound quality with a sound signature that is appropriate for studio tasks but also enjoyable for casual listening.

This studio monitor is relatively flat in response, which is critical for a good studio monitor. The mids are well refined, delivering on the promise of giving you unaltered sound.

Man sitting at a mixing desk looking at a screen with PreSonus Eris 5 studio monitors on either side of the screen.

The Eris E5 is an excellent beginner studio monitor.

I did find that while the highs were better than I expected at this price point, they were a little muddy and needed adjustment to get them closer to flat, but it wasn’t too much hassle to tweak the output, thanks to onboard tuning options.

But depending on which direction you are coming from, the bass might be underwhelming. These are studio monitors, after all, so I wasn’t expecting booming bass, but the low end could be a bit more pronounced. It is very workable for studio tasks but a little lackluster for casual listening. Once again, you can make some tweaks using the tuning options to massage the bass to your liking.

“Engaging sound signature for both light studio work and casual listening.”

This is where it’s also worth pointing out that these are near-field monitors, not home stereo speakers. If you are expecting room-filling sound, you won’t get that from these. I would suggest you look at investing in a subwoofer for your studio if you want more body on the low end.

However, the near-field experience is excellent for monitoring. They are rather loud when within close proximity and more than loud enough for most listening and studio applications.

Details that you would normally not hear with home stereo monitors are well-pronounced. While not as refined as more expensive models, you’ll definitely be able to mix and master your music to a higher level than generic speakers.

Build Quality

Many studio monitors came in lumbering solid wood boxes back in the day. Most manufacturers have moved away from this sturdy yet heavy design philosophy. The PreSonus Eris E5 is noticeably lighter compared to some other studio monitors, which may lead you to believe they are built cheaply. Luckily, that’s not the case. Solid materials have been used in the construction.

PreSonus Eris E5 Details.

The PreSonus Eris E5 is lightweight but still offers decent build quality.

Extra shielding is included to minimize external interference. While effective, you may still encounter a hiss, especially at low volumes. Try to keep the cables from crossing with other cables in your studio. Also, move other electronic devices like phones away from the speakers. Taking these extra steps should help minimize interference.

Specifications

The PreSonus E5 offers a frequency response of 53Hz–22 kHz, which is comparable to other studio monitors at this size and price point. You’ll be able to hear all the details you’d expect from good studio monitors.

PreSonus Eris E5 Specifications.

Relatively compact and lightweight the Eris E5 has an impressive list of features.

When it comes to loudness, they peak at 102dB at a 1-meter distance, which is enough to provide you with adequate headroom. You don’t need speakers that are overly loud within a small to medium studio space. If you like your music loud but not overbearing, you should be satisfied with the results. If you often find yourself turning your music up more and more, you may need to look at a bigger model.

The 5.25-inch woofer puts out a solid kick for its size, and the 1-inch silk dome tweeter delivers impressive mids and highs for a monitor within this price range.

Tuning Options

The Presonus Eris E5 gives you access to a solid range of tuning options. You’ll be able to adjust the mid and high frequencies via knobs on the back of the speaker. This is important if your studio has reflective surfaces or sound treatment. You can adjust the individual frequencies to get the best possible sound. Many cheaper studio monitors don’t have this feature.

PreSonus Eris E5 Tuning Options.

The PreSonus Eris E5 offers flexibility to adjust to your studio space.

There is also the option to change the acoustic space of the speaker between three settings depending on your speaker placement. This can help smooth out the sound experience. You’ll also have access to a Low Cutoff. Having some dedicated control over the lows would have been a nice addition. But, I found the acoustic space settings to be a reasonable compromise.

Connection Options

Three connection options are available on the Eris E5. An unbalanced RCA input, ¼ inch balanced TRS, and a balanced XLR. Having a variety of connection options is excellent, especially if you already own some high-quality cables.

PreSonus Eris E5 Connection Options.

Plenty of connection options gives you flexibility.

As always, I would suggest investing in a high-quality TRS cable or XLR cable. Balanced signal audio is always a better choice for these speakers.

Design

Sporting a solid matte black finish, these speakers look great. The only splash of color comes from the illuminated logo when plugged in and the subtle blue hue on the woofer.

Three quarter view of a pair of PreSonus Eris E5 studio monitors.

The PreSonus Eris E5 is an attractive and professional looking monitor.

While I personally like subtle, understated design, some may find it a little bland. Design is highly subjective based on your own personal preference, but I think they’ve done a great job with these. I also like that these feature a front-facing port. This makes placement closer to walls less problematic, which is fantastic if you are short on space.

Dimensions

The PreSonus Eris E5 is small enough to integrate cleanly into most studio spaces. The front bass port allows for closer placement to walls, as mentioned above. But I would still suggest you explore some room treatment options if you will be placing them against a wall.

PreSonus Eris E5 Dimensions.

The PreSonus Eris E5 is relatively compact for a 5-inch studio monitor.

At just 10.2 lbs. (4.63kg), the PreSonus Eris E5 is lightweight and nimble. A good choice if you dislike heavy monitors, and you should have no issues setting these up on stands.

Bluetooth

PreSonus also offers a 5.25-inch Bluetooth version of the E5 in the form of the PreSonus Eris 5BT, but there are some notable differences you’ll need to be aware of. The 5BT takes inspiration from the standard Eris line as opposed to the more studio-focused design of the E5.

The 5BT comes as a pair of speakers, with one serving as the master and the secondary speaker as a slave. It also features a rear-facing bass port and forward-facing AUX-in and Headphone jack. These are more consumer-focused features. Bluetooth is another consumer-focused feature rarely found on professional monitors.

If you want added flexibility while retaining relatively neutral sound, the 5BT is an excellent choice and a superb replacement for standard computer speakers. But if you prefer a more studio-focused design and sound, the E5 is the better choice.

Three-quarter view of the PreSonus Eris 5BT studio monitors.

PreSonus Eris 5BT

Value

This is where the PreSonus Eris E5 shines. They are very affordable, especially considering the feature set these monitors offer. If you are very budget-conscious, these will be a good option and an excellent starting point for a small project home studio.

Few studio monitors manage to get down to this type of price point and still deliver solid performance. But PreSonus has consistently delivered in this area, making them one of the most popular options for beginners. I’ll admit you might want an upgrade eventually, but on a pure price-to-performance ratio, the Eris E5 knocks it out of the park.

Customer Reviews

While checking out what others thought about the PreSonus E5, I did come across a couple of overly harsh reviews. Keep in mind these are near-field monitors, which it seems are not what some people were expecting.

The general agreement seems to be that these are excellent value for money. They will never be able to compete with more high-end monitors. But, at such an affordable price, they excel beyond most people’s expectations.

Why Choose Studio Monitors Over DJ Speakers?

Many beginner DJs tend to start the hunt for speakers by looking at DJ speakers. These big loudspeakers are the first type of speaker you may consider.

Don’t get me wrong, having a good pair of DJ speakers will deliver you epic amounts of sound and thump. But they aren’t designed for a home studio setup.

Photo of a lavish nightclub.

Your studio isn’t a nightclub! You don’t need a large and expensive sound system.

DJ speakers are designed to be performance equipment. Aimed at filling large spaces with a good amount of sound.

Usually, DJs will use these for DJ gigs at parties, weddings, and other similar-sized events. The problem is these speakers are too big and loud for the average home studio.

For your studio, you want a good level of volume, but you also want crystal clear quality. This is where studio monitors shine. They have a nice balanced flat output.

They don’t color the sound and allow you to get to know your music and fine-tune your mixing. Whether that is on the decks transitioning between tracks or mastering your latest musical creation.

How Much Should You Spend?

There is no denying that budget plays a massive role in our purchasing decisions. This is where it can be difficult to choose studio monitors as they can go from relatively cheap all the way to absurdly expensive.

Keep in mind that studio monitors are used by sound engineers and music professionals. This naturally leads to some very expensive high-end models.

Luckily, manufacturers have realized there is a large scope in the market for studio monitors. You can find a lot of options at a variety of price points.

That doesn’t mean you should go out and buy the cheapest pair you can find. As with many things in life, you do get what you pay for.

There are cheap studio monitors out there, and they are cheap for a reason. Likewise, there are studio monitors that are overpriced for what they offer.

Ideally, you want to get bang for your buck no matter what your budget level is. Striking that balance between performance and affordability is a tricky line to manage but not impossible.

Other Options

It can be difficult to compare the PreSonus Eris 5 to other studio monitors. Many other monitors are a lot more expensive, but that doesn’t mean the PreSonus is safe from some top-level comparisons.

Focal Alpha 50 Evo Review

If you have more to spend, the Focal Alpha 50 Evo is worth adding to your shortlist. This exceptional monitor features a neutral sound profile that is ideal for mixing and mastering. A highly capable monitor with an attractive design.

  • Fantastic sound quality that is balanced and neutral.
  • Durable cabinet and top-notch components. Built to last.
  • More expensive than other entry-level studio monitors.
Front view of the Focal Alpha Evo 50 studio monitor.

Focal Audio ALPHA 50 Evo

Pioneer DM-40D Review

For those looking for even cheaper monitors, the Pioneer DM-40D is a good choice. This set of 4-inch studio monitors offers excellent bass and clarity even at higher volume levels.

  • Punchy bass that is great for DJ sessions at home.
  • Two sound modes. One for DJing and one for producing music.
  • Only offers unbalanced connection options.
Front view of the Pioneer DM-40D

Pioneer DM-40D

Yamaha HS5 Review

Yamaha has an extensive reputation for quality gear. The HS5 is another great 5-inch studio monitor that is aimed at professionals. With a flat response, it makes identifying mistakes in your mixes easier.

  • Excellent for mixing and mastering music, thanks to a flat response.
  • Superb build quality backed by one of the most trusted brands in the industry.
  • The low end is underwhelming, which will disappoint bass lovers.

Should You Buy?

If affordable studio monitors are what you are seeking, the PreSonus Eris E5 is a fantastic option. They prove that even though they are entry-level, they can still provide solid sound at a reasonable price.

I’ll admit this monitor is not perfect, and die-hard audiophiles will quickly spot where they fall flat compared to more expensive models. But, for a small home studio, these do a very good job. The clear and flat sound is enough for accurate mixing while allowing you to save some money along the way.

Three quarter view of the PreSonus Eris E5 studio monitor.

Presonus Eris E5

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Article by Patryk Biernacki
Article by Patryk Biernacki

Patryk has been immersed in the world of music since the early 90s. This coupled with his creative talents, drove his passion to become an expert writer in the music industry. He constantly researches and tests new products, and enjoys playing with all types of gear in his spare time. Electronic music runs through his veins and he absolutely loves DJing in his home studio.

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