PreSonus has launched a second-generation version of their popular R65 studio monitor. And it is a fairly substantial change. In this review, we take a close look at the changes and see if this monitor is worth considering.
PreSonus R65 V2
PreSonus has taken existing technology from their Eris line and combined it with customer feedback. The result is an impressive monitor with a lot going for it.
I’ve yet to come across a perfect studio monitor. But the PreSonus R65 V2 is a big step in that direction. Let’s unpack what this updated model has to offer.
Sound quality is at the core of every one of our studio monitor reviews so let’s start there. The PreSonus R65 V2 is an impressive contender in this category but not without some imperfections.
The low end offers plenty of punch thanks to the 6.5-inch woofer. Lots of power and richness. Sloppy delivery is not present. The bass is clean, precise, and full of life. No complaints in this area.
The AMT tweeter delivers a broad sweet spot.
The mids are equally consistent with the precise delivery of instrumental tones. But vocals do come across as a little boosted and not as crisp. Especially as you approach the top end.
And that is where the PreSonus R65 V2 moves into contentious territory. The high-end is spacious and airy. But it does lean a little bright and magnified. Clarity is fantastic but depending on your listening preference you may find these a little too sharp.
Frequency consistency is fairly good. Bumps and dips are minimal but there is a drop-off in the upper mids at the crossover point. To most ears, it will likely not be noticeable. But to a seasoned veteran, it is apparent.
The sweet spot is a true star of the show. The Air Motion Transformer (AMT) does an excellent job of delivering even sound over a broad area. If you tend to move around your studio a lot you’ll appreciate how forgiving these are.
In summary, it’s an impressive outing from PreSonus. And a notable step up from the previous model. Plenty of life and a pleasant listening experience. Not as accurate as others out there but a solid option for studio work.
One thing I like about the PreSonus R65 V2 is the high level of build quality. As with most monitors in this range the R65 V2 sports an MDF cabinet with vinyl coating.
But this coating isn’t cheap and not prone to easy damage. The cabinet itself offers some heft which lends itself well to stability.
The R65 V2 features high-quality components.
Component quality is also high. Within the cabinet, you’re greeted with excellent and precise execution. No sloppiness here.
Interestingly you’ll also find components from the Eris line of monitors. The Eris range has been around for a while and the approach is effective so I’m glad to see the technology and experience utilized here.
Connection points are high-quality and the knobs and switches don’t feel flimsy or low-quality. It is a solid studio monitor that will go the distance. And at this price point, I wouldn’t expect anything less.
Diving into the details the PreSonus R65 V2 features a 6.5-inch Woven Composite woofer. It delivers substantial bass response. The front-facing bass port is also large and generous resulting in the smooth delivery of low-end frequencies.
Complimenting this is the 6.8-inch AMT Ribbon Tweeter. One of the more unique features of this monitor compared to competitors. The less than 0.01 mm folded Kapton membrane is hyper-accurate. It delivers in the clarity department.
The PreSonus R65 V2 features a 6.8-square-inch Air Motion Transformer.
This tweeter design also allows for a wider sweet spot compared to conventional tweeters. Don’t get me wrong these are still near-field monitors. But they are very forgiving if you happen to be a little outside the optimum position.
Frequency response resides at 45Hz – 22kHz with a max SPL of 104dB. These studio monitors are quite loud. And they perform admirably at higher volumes. Distortion is not present. Of course, if you like to mix at higher volumes you may be inclined to add a subwoofer or opt for the larger R80 V2.
There are also changes in the power department. Gone is the Class D amp and in its place a Bi-amped Class A/B amp. 75W for the low-frequency driver and 65W for the high-frequency driver. The total 140W of power is more than the previous generation offered.
Changes to the tuning options are also a notable improvement over the previous generation. while the previous model did offer good tuning options PreSonus has taken it to the next level.
On the back panel, you’ll have access to mid and high-frequency controls. These knobs are robust and offer a -6dB to +6dB range.
The R65 V2 offers better tuning controls compared to the original.
The high-frequency adjustment is particularly useful if you are finding the top end a little over-emphasized as I did. A simple dial-down helps smooth things out especially if you work in a highly reflective space.
Further control is available with an Acoustic Space switch. This allows for -4dB, -2dB, and 0dB options. This is a quick and easy way to adjust output based on monitor placement.
It is effective and especially great for smaller studio spaces where placement next to walls or in corners are the only options.
Master gain is available along with a Low cutoff for use when employing a subwoofer in your setup. simple to use and effective.
The PreSonus R65 V2 has stepped up immensely in this area. A big leap forward over the last generation. And a welcome improvement to help you get the most out of these monitors.
When it comes to appearance the most notable change is the lack of interchangeable faceplates. The R65 sported a striking blue faceplate. I wasn’t a huge fan of this. I’m not against some color in my monitors but this blue tone was a little too striking for my eyes.
The R65 V2 does away with the blue and goes back to familiar and traditional black. It is clean and refined and offers a distinct sense of professionalism. These easily blend into most studio spaces.
Plus the AMT tweeter instantly catches the eye. A nice way to set it apart from other monitors available today.
The PreSonus R65 V2 is a sleek and attractive studio monitor.
Beyond appearance, the PreSonus R65 V2 follows the same path as most professional studio monitors.
Volume control is at the rear which may be an issue for some people. Especially if you have these in a corner or against a wall. Likewise, there is no headphone port.
Most professional studio monitors take this approach. But for the more casual listener, the lack of these more consumer-friendly features may be a turn-off.
But for their intended purpose, the PreSonus R65 V2 is a refined and attractive studio monitor with all the features you need.
The 6.5-inch woofer does demand some space. But I still find that it is a good compromise. 5-inch studio monitors can often feel underwhelming, especially in the low end. While 8-inch monitors are easily overbearing in smaller spaces.
A 6.5-inch monitor offers a good balance compared to smaller or larger monitors.
The middle ground of a 6.5-inch option is well suited to strike a balance between these two extremes. But it still commands a presence and appropriate space is required.
At 14.7 lbs. (6.67kg) these offer plenty of heft. Good stability but not reaching out into the realms of bulky. As always I still recommend you invest in quality stands or isolation pads.
There are no changes on the input front with this new generation model. And I’m glad there isn’t. One of the appealing elements of the R series is how flexible they are.
Full flexibility when it comes to input options.
You’ll have access to an unbalanced RCA point along with two balanced options, XLR and TRS. This combination will have you covered for the vast majority of devices. The RCA in particular is handy for beginner DJs that picked up a controller that only offers that type of connection.
As already mentioned there is no headphone jack. And there is no Bluetooth connectivity. In light of what these are I am both not surprised and nor is it an issue. For studio work, you’ll want wired connectivity.
The PreSonus R65 V2 hovers at a similar price point to its predecessor. As long as you can find it below MSRP, which isn’t too difficult. But this is where I do have a slight issue with the R65 V2.
This is still an entry-level pushing into a mid-level studio monitor. When lined up to other options in this space these are noticeably more expensive. Yes, they do offer a high level of build quality. And they do offer good sound quality. But that can be said for many options in this space.
If you are a bargain hunter these might not be the best choice. Despite this, I still feel there is a decent value proposition here. This monitor offers an excellent level of control. And the attention to detail is high.
The reviews for the PreSonus R65 V2 are very positive, with multiple 4 and 5 stars reviews highlighting the excellent sound quality and impressive volume levels. Industry experts have also thrown praise at this latest iteration of the R65 V2.
To say that speaker technology has come a long way is an understatement. Years upon years of dedicated research and development have led to increasing improvements.
But not all companies embrace change. Or have the consumer in mind.
Speaker technology continues to evolve.
I’m always happy to see a company evolve its product offerings in the right direction. Too many times new models offer incremental changes or in some cases go in the opposite direction.
Survival in a competitive space demands excellence and innovation. It also requires you to listen to your customers. Don’t listen to them and eventually another company will take your place.
That is why I’m so impressed with PreSonus and their second generation of monitors. The care and attention to detail are evident. And the more companies embrace this method the better for everyone.
There are several alternatives to the PreSonus R65 V2 that are worth contemplating. Below are three options that should be on your shortlist.
Yamaha HS7 Review
Yamaha is among the most consistent and reliable manufacturers of studio monitors today. The HS7 is a classic and uncompromising option for neutrality.
- Excellent balance and neutral response. Good for analytical listening.
- High level of build quality and available in white.
- The neutral response may come across as a little boring to some listeners.
Kali Audio LP-6 V2 Review
One of the newer kids on the block Kali-Audio has rocketed into contention. Backed by an experienced team their V2 range of monitors is a good choice.
- A generous and spacious soundstage that offers excellent dimensionality.
- Low noise bass port delivers smooth bass response.
- While a lot cheaper than the R65 V2 it is still more expensive than the previous LP-6 model.
Kali Audio LP-6 V2
ADAM Audio T7V Review
If you prefer to stick to a ribbon tweeter focused monitor the T7V from ADAM Audio is worth considering.
- Super accurate top end that isn’t as bright as the R65 V2.
- Good build quality and utilizes technology from ADAM Audio’s more expensive monitors.
- The rear-facing bass port may be an issue depending on your studio layout.
ADAM Audio T7V
Should You Buy?
The PreSonus R65 V2 is an intelligent and thoughtful step forward. Retaining the best qualities of the previous generation and improving on nearly every aspect. Excellent clarity, broad sweet spot, and dependability are the stand-out features. While not perfect the R65 V2 is a worthy option if you want a 6.5-inch studio monitor.
PreSonus R65 V2