Speakers have to be one of the most difficult decisions you need to make when setting up your home DJ studio. There is a lot to consider and when it comes to speakers. Picking a specific pair that was reasonably priced but still offered up solid performance was no easy task.
PreSonus Eris E5
Even though I was overwhelmed at first I dug my heels in and found a range of good options. One of these was the PreSonus Eris E5 which on the surface looked to be able to solve my hunt for a good pair of studio monitors, Let’s check it out in more detail.
Let’s check out some of the features of the Eris E5 and see if it’s up to the task for a home DJ studio.
Of course, the first thing and by far the most important is the sound quality. The Eris E5 offers solid sound quality.
They are 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. I did find that while the highs were crisp they were a little muddy and needed adjustment to get them closer to flat. Bass is where the PreSonus does stumble. These are studio monitors after all so I wasn’t expecting booming bass but the low end could be a bit more pronounced. Once again some adjustments were required for me to be satisfied.
This is where it’s worth pointing out that these are near-field monitors, not home stereo speakers. If you are expecting thumping bass you won’t get that from these. I would suggest you look at investing in a subwoofer for your studio if the bass is very important to you.
However, this near field experience is great for monitoring. They are rather loud when within close proximity and more than loud enough for good monitoring. 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.
Many studio monitors came in lumbering solid wood boxes back in the days. Most manufacturers have moved away from this sturdy yet heavy design philosophy. The PreSonus Eris E5 is noticeably lighter compared to some other speakers which may lead you to believe they are built cheaply. Luckily, that’s not the case. Solid materials have been used in the construction and the seals are tight.
Kevlar low-frequency inducers are a nice touch at this price point. This strong heat-resistant material has become all the rage in speakers and for good reason. Having that solid material goes a long way to making sure the speaker continues to perform for a good amount of time.
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.
The PreSonus E5 offers a frequency response of 53 Hz – 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.
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 ideal for monitoring. 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. You’ll likely need to make some adjustments to suit your space to get the most out of them. Some may find having to tune the speaker an annoyance. Personally, I love having the option to adjust the sound. Remember, not all studios are the same.
Speaking of tuning options let’s cover what you can alter. The Presonus Eris E5 allows you 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.
There is 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. 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.
Sporting a solid matte black finish these speakers look great. The only splash of color comes from the illuminated logo when plugged in.
The PreSonus Eris E5 is an attractive monitor but it may be a little boring for some.
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.
Three connection options are available. An unbalanced RCA input, ¼ inch balanced TRS, and a balanced XLR. Having a variety of connection options is good especially if you already own some high-quality cables. It does come packaged with an RCA cable but I would suggest investing in a TRS cable or XLR cable as soon as possible. Balanced signal audio is always a better choice for these speakers.
Plenty of connection options gives you flexibility.
This is where the PreSonus Eris E5 shines. They are very affordable, especially considering the feature set it offers. If you are very budget-conscious these will be a good option. Few studio monitors manage to get down to this type of price point and still deliver solid performance.
What Others Have To Say
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 is 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 the home studio.
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.
Your studio isn’t a nightclub! You don’t need a large and expensive sound system.
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 over 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 too 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.
The sound stage was quite narrow with a small sweet spot. This highlights that these are designed for close proximity listening. If you plan on using these to listen to music in a medium-sized room you may be disappointed.
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. You can also check out our guide to the best studio monitors for DJs where we cover them in a bit more detail.
JBL 305P MkII Review
The JBL 305P MkII offers a much richer lower end compared to the PreSonus Eris E5. If the bass is important to you these studio monitors may be a better option. These are built tough and JBL has an excellent reputation in the studio monitor market.
- Enjoyable and punchy bass.
- Broad sound stage for a larger sweet spot.
- More expensive than other entry-level studio monitors.
Read our full JBL 305P MkII review for more detailed information.
JBL 305P MkII
Edifier R1280DB Review
For those looking for a more all-rounder, the Edifier R1280DB is a good choice. Offering Bluetooth connectivity and a remote means they can be easily used with your other devices. While still loud it is a 4-inch woofer that tends to struggle at higher volumes.
- Offers overall solid sound across all frequencies.
- Stylish design with clever adjustment function placement.
- Can distort at higher volumes.
Read our full Edifier R1280DB review for more detailed information.
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.
- High build-quality backed by an industry veteran.
- The low end is underwhelming which will disappoint bass lovers.
Read our full Yamaha HS5 review for more detailed information.
Should You Buy?
If affordable studio monitors are what you are seeking the PreSonus Eris E5 is a fantastic option. With such a cluttered and overbearing range of options, it’s good to see a studio monitor packing this many features.
They prove that even though they are entry-level they can still provide solid sound at a reasonable price. They aren’t perfect and die-hard audiophiles will quickly spot where they fall flat compared to more expensive models. But, for the home DJ 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.
Presonus Eris E5