PreSonus completed the Eris line refresh with the E7 XT. The E5 XT and E8 XT have proven to be popular for both new and experienced punters, so I was eager to see how this mid-sized option fared. In this review, we look closer at the 6.5-inch monitor to see how it stacks up.
PreSonus Eris E7 XT
The PreSonus Eris E7 XT slots perfectly into the Eris lineup. It features a better bass response than the E5 XT while offering a smaller size than the larger E8 XT. Below are the quick hits before we dive into the detailed review.
Affordable monitors often lack the refinement that more expensive options provide. But the Eris E7 XT offers a surprisingly comprehensive list of features that gives more costly options a solid run for their money.
The Eris E5 XT was an impressive monitor, albeit with a sound profile that I found not as refined and neutral as I would have liked. But the E7 XT offers a much more balanced output than I initially expected, with some notable differences from the smaller model.
The bass response is tighter and more controlled than the E5 XT. It still delivers a substantial thump, but it’s cleaner and more accurate with excellent definition. No muddiness or hype means these offer an outstanding level of accuracy for serious studio work.
The mids also offered an improved level of performance over the smaller E5 XT. With the smaller model, the mids felt a little recessed and, while accurate, didn’t gel with the rest of the frequency range as nicely as I would have liked. With the Eris E7 XT, the mids are front and center and offer incredible detail and accuracy. If anything, you might need to trim the mids slightly, depending on your mixing preferences.
Moving into the top end, the Eris E7 XT retains a high level of accuracy. Crisp and clear without harshness. They seem a little bright to my ears, and I was far happier with the output once I fiddled with the onboard controls to drop the highs a smidge.
I put a lot of that down to several years of DJing with headphones that I often had at too high of a volume level, making me a little sensitive to piercing highs. Your mileage may vary depending on your taste.
Taking a step back and leaving my bias aside, the E7 XT is a remarkable monitor at this price point. I only needed a few minor tweaks to achieve a level of performance that I could trust and rely on. These are an excellent choice if you need a neutral monitor that doesn’t hit you with an epic price tag.
Another common concern with cheaper monitors is the quality of the materials. But there is no need to be worried about that with the E7 XT. It’s a robust and well-built monitor that is substantially better than many other options available today.
High-quality materials and impactful design.
The cabinet features a vinyl coating over the top of medium-density fiberboard, which is a welcome change to the large amount of molded plastic cabinets found on other entry-level monitors. The wrapping, in particular, is perfectly executed, and I can’t see it warping or peeling unless placed under extreme temperatures.
The high quality extends to the rear of the monitor. Connection points are both secure and fit the relevant cables well. The knobs and control switches are equally great. For a low-priced monitor, the Eris E7 XT is a class above.
The PreSonus Eris E7 XT offers a wide frequency response, and it can go as low as 42Hz, 6Hz lower than the smaller E5 XT, and 7Hz higher than the larger E8 XT. Notably, the E7 XT tops out at 22kHz, a fraction higher than the other two models in the line-up.
While the name might imply a 7-inch woofer, the E7 XT employs a 6.5-inch woven composite low-frequency driver. Supporting the woofer is a 1.25-inch silk dome tweeter nestled comfortably into the large EBM waveguide.
The Eris E7 XT features a broad and accurate frequency response.
PreSonus has gone for a bi-amped class AB configuration on the power front with 130 watts available. Seventy watts for the low-frequency driver and sixty watts for the high-frequency driver.
Another notable improvement from the smaller E5 XT is the performance of the E7 XT at various volume levels. With a max SPL of 104dB, there is a decent amount of headroom available. But while the E5 started to struggle beyond 85dB, the E7 took the increased strain in its stride. It also sounded great at more moderate levels without a noticeable drop in life and fidelity across the sound profile. Something that many cheaper monitors struggle with.
The PreSonus E7 Xt features the same tuning controls as the rest of the line-up. It’s a refined and practical set of controls that provide you with enough flexibility to handle various potential issues.
The rear panel offers a primary gain control with a satisfying indent at the unity level. Supporting this is two tuning knobs. One for mid-frequencies and one for high-frequencies. Both allow for a -6db to +6dB range. Once again, there is an indent for the 0dB level.
Easy to use and effective tuning controls.
If I were to nitpick, I would have liked to see more indents beyond the one at 0dB. Tuning two monitors side by side can be a little tricky. Having more notches would make it easier to match a pair of monitors to each other. But in practice, I didn’t find it too difficult to get them in line with each other.
Below these acoustic control knobs are a pair of switches that provide further control over the output. The Acoustic Space switch offers 0dB, -2dB, and -4dB. The -2dB setting does an admirable job of controlling low-frequency build-up if you place the monitor closer to a wall. While the -4dB offers greater control if you have no choice but to place your monitor in a corner. The second switch provides a low cut-off for integration with a subwoofer.
While some monitors offer extra bells and whistles via an onboard LCD screen, I appreciate the simplicity that the Eris E7 XT provides. Everything makes sense, and the changes are noticeable and effective. You should not have trouble tailoring the output to your space and your personal listening preference.
I’ve always liked the design mentality of the Eris line of monitors from PreSonus. Thankfully with this updated line, the same clean aesthetics are still in place.
The matte finish to the vinyl wrapping is superb and helps give the monitor a professional appearance in line with more expensive options. The slight splash of color due to the woofer material also gives it personality and sets it apart. The PreSonus logo also lights up when the monitors are active.
The most notable change in design is the new EBM waveguide, it dominates the front of the cabinet. But more importantly, it is a huge step forward over the previous series.
The Eris E7 XT features a clean and professional design.
First, it delivers a broad and generous sweet spot with 100 degrees of horizontal dispersion. It is an appealing choice for a duo working in the studio but equally excellent for a solo artist who doesn’t want to fiddle about finding the right spot in their chair.
Secondly, the vertical dispersion is more narrow. This helps reduce the amount of reflection from your desk. The two combine to deliver smooth and even coverage over a satisfying range.
For beginners, PreSonus includes a handy guide to setup and calibration within the manual. For veterans, this should already be common knowledge but still great as a refresher on the basics. It’s a small inclusion highlighting PreSonus’s commitment to making studio monitors an approachable experience for everyone.
I was pleased to see PreSonus add the E7 XT to the refreshed Eris line-up. The extra one-inch larger woofer goes a long way to deliver a richer and more fulfilling low-end response over the smaller model. But equally, it is not as overbearing as the E8 XT, which is a little much for smaller spaces.
The PreSonus Eris E7 XT is best suited for medium-sized studios.
At 18.5 lbs. (8.4kg), there is enough heft not to make the monitor feel cheap. But it is also not too heavy, making finding appropriate stands challenging. In all regards, from size to weight, the E7 XT hits the goldilocks zone and is an ideal choice for medium-sized studios.
There is also a decent amount of connection flexibility with the Eris E7 XT. Three input options ensure you can plug in whatever your heart desires. An XLR connection point and a ¼-inch TRS point give you access to balanced choices. But an unbalanced RCA point is also available.
The inclusion of an RCA input is a welcome addition.
RCA connectivity is not always available on monitors, so I appreciate PreSonus offering it here to maximize flexibility.
But this monitor lacks some extra bells and whistles you’d find on other consumer-orientated monitors. There is no headphone jack, no AUX, and no Bluetooth connectivity. Not surprising for a monitor designed for a studio setting but potentially a dealbreaker for people that have become accustomed to those features.
The PreSonus Eris E7 XT offers excellent value for money. This is a capable monitor with a very approachable price point. The performance stands above several competing options, and the build quality is greater than expected from a monitor in this price bracket.
Whether you are setting up your first project studio or a veteran who needs a reliable and cheap set of secondary monitors, the E7 XT is a worthwhile option.
The new Eris XT line is gathering positive reviews like the original Eris line. The E7 XT has proven popular, with multiple four and 5-star reviews highlighting the excellent sound quality and affordable price.
How Loud Is Too Loud?
Manufacturers like to tout the max SPL level of their monitors. But in many cases having a monitor with loud output is not something you need.
For example, the Eris E7 XT tops out at 104db. This level is too loud for continuous listening. Most producers work within a range of 75-85dB, which helps ensure you do not suffer any damage to your hearing. Consistently listening to any audio at high levels will lead to damage and potentially tinnitus for which there is no cure.
Tinnitus affects 15-20% of people, but it can be prevented.
But having a high max SPL does indicate that you’ll have ample headroom up your sleeve. This means you won’t need to push your monitor to its limits preventing premature wear and tear on the drivers and internal components.
And for those odd occasions where you want to impress a client, you can crank it up for a short period and knock their socks off. Just don’t listen to high-volume audio for extended periods, and you’ll be fine.
While the Presonus Eris E7 XT is a fantastic monitor, there are other options available that might suit your needs better. Below we take a quick look at some alternatives.
Kali Audio LP-8 V2 Review
Californian-based Kali Audio has shaken up the studio monitor market since its debut line-up in 2018. This latest version of their popular LP series is worth exploring.
- Highly accurate and neutral, makes it an excellent choice for studio work.
- Approachable price point while maintaining a good level of build quality.
- Some might find the all-black appearance a little bland.
Kali Audio LP-8 V2
JBL 308P MKII Review
The JBL 308P MKII is another popular 8-inch studio monitor. It presents excellent value for money and features a satisfying sound profile.
- Good clarity, even at higher volume levels.
- Broad sweet spot thanks to an intelligently designed waveguide.
- Slightly unbalanced and not as refined as other options.
JBL 308P MkII
PreSonus Eris E8 XT Review
If you want to maximize bass output or have a larger studio, the next model up in the Eris XT line is a fantastic choice. Big and powerful with the same great features as the E7 XT.
- Neutral response with impressive balance across the whole frequency range.
- Includes the same range of tuning and connection options.
- This large monitor demands enough space. Too large for smaller desks.
PreSonus Eris E8 XT
Should You Buy?
PreSonus continues cementing itself as an entry-level studio monitor market leader. Refreshing an already popular line can be risky, but they have nailed this update. The improved waveguide is superb, and the sound quality remains among the best at this price point. An excellent monitor that is worth adding to your studio space.
PreSonus Eris E7 XT