There are FarField, MidField & NearField monitors in the market today. Understanding their capabilities and uses will help you make informed decisions when choosing the best studio monitors for your music production needs.
Fairfield, MidField & NearField Monitors – Their Uses, Pros & Cons
Near-field monitors including two speakers:
- Woofer (Driver)
Common Uses of NearField Monitors
It is commonly used in the recording studio to position the microphones and the voice in the mix. They’re a favorite for home and small studios as they are cost-effective and versatile.
Pros and Cons of NearField Monitors
- Their placement enables the sound emitted by the speakers to reach the listener more quickly than the reflections from the walls, therefore providing a more realistic sound of what is being played.
- Great for the environment with poor room acoustics
- They’re perfect for balancing lower high and higher low frequencies which fall within the human audible range.
- They have a small driver size, but they don’t produce extremely low frequencies which are harmful to human health.
- They have inbuilt controls
- They have a louder playback as compared to other studio monitors
- Their multiple devices require separate on-off controls
- They have limited access to perfecting volume controls
Top 12 NearField Studio Monitors On Any Budget
Best Available Far-Field Studio Monitors (Biggest Monitors)
Is Playing Music Loud Bad For Studio Monitors?
Monitors Vs. Studio Headphones: Which Are Better For Mixing & Mastering?
Do You Need Music Amplifier For Studio Monitors or Studio Headphones?
How Do I know If My Studio Monitor Is Blown? (How To Fix & Avoid That)
Mid-field studio monitors are typically larger than Near-field studio monitors. They have larger woofers typically of between 8 to -10” and often have got three-way designs.
Common Uses of MidField Monitors
With Larger cabinets for more bass extension, better mid and high-frequency dispersion at greater distances, mid-field studio monitors are designed for bigger studio rooms.
Pros and Cons of MidField Monitors
Their larger drivers and more powerful drivers enable them to fill larger studio rooms with a higher quality of sounds than near-field monitors and be positioned further away from the listener without degradation of sound quality.
Due to their more extensive monitoring capabilities; it’s higher volume and better bass extension. They’re prone to exaggerate the room ‘modes’ which are the acoustical cancellations and reinforcements at various bass frequencies which are usually related to a room’s dimensions resulting in inaccurate readings.
Far-field studio monitors are usually directed towards the room. Think of a musical concert. You would refer to the stage speakers facing the crowd as Far-field studio monitors. They’re generally used for fun listening where high dB ratings, i.e., more volume, as opposed to fine acoustics, are required.
Far-field studio monitors usually have 2 to 3 speakers:
- Low Range Driver
- Mid-Range Driver
Common Uses of FarField Monitors
- Have you ever been to movie theatres and heard that low-frequency bass sound when an action scene was in play? Well, that sound was coming from a Far-field studio monitor.
- They’re also used by large studios with big space and heavy acoustic optimized room and are used for sound effects and background scoring. They’re usually not ideal for home studios.
Pros and Cons of FarField Monitors
Far fields are deployed in large studio rooms and usually take advantage of the room acoustics to impact the sound. They use the entire scope of the studio room, and this allows for the development of lower frequencies to be heard smoothly.
Far-field studio monitors are typically dependent on the acoustics of the studio room. To get the best of Far-field studio monitors, you’ll have to invest some money in equipping your studio to provide an excellent acoustic environment.
Technical Aspects of Studio Monitors
Technical aspects differ from each of the studio monitors available in the market. They include the following:
- Frequency Response
- Dynamic Range
The technical aspects of studio monitors are discussed below in detail:
Dynamic range is among the most critical aspects of a good mixing process. A Dynamic range is that difference between the largest and smallest point of an audio signal in a frequency graph produced by the audio monitor.
A must track has the following datasets;
- Lowest intensity sound = 20dB
- Highest intensity sound = -2db
- Dynamic range of this music = 20dB – 2dB = 18dB
The image below illustrates this example:
A studio monitor that is dynamically optimized is one that balances the low-intensity sounds with the high-intensity sounds within an audible range that everyone can hear. That process is referred to as perfect mixing.
Their dynamic range is usually low, which is quite ideal for large studios but not ideal for small studios where space is limited.
Mid-field studio monitors aren’t optimized for mixing. Their drivers and tweeters can be regarded as average when it comes to mixing but not ideal if you’re looking out for professionally done work.
Near-field studio monitors perform exceptionally well in small-sized studios because they have dynamically rich drivers and tweeters.
The headroom is that reserve or extra decibels (dB) above the recommended or nominal signal handling level also called a safety zone that allows transient audio peaks to exceed that recommended single level without damaging the speakers.
All studio monitors types are equipped with enough headroom, therefore providing a decent allowance for music producers to push their systems a little bit further when necessary for short periods to achieve desired effects.
Frequency response is the range of audible frequencies a speaker can reproduce between 20 Hz (deep bass) and 20 kHz (piercingly high frequency) which is considered the range of human hearing. Usually, our hearing doesn’t extend up to 20 kHz, especially when we get older, and bass frequencies below 30Hz are mostly felt than heard.
Near-field studio monitors aren’t able to produce sounds below 45 dB, and that’s making them ideal for mixing of music production.
Their frequency range falls within the same range as Near-Field studio monitors, but they aren’t ideal for music mixing. For mixing purposes, I would recommend you stick with Near-field studio monitors.
Far-Field studio monitors can produce sounds as low as 15 HZ, an audible range lower than what the human ear can hear, making them ideal for film studios.
The Crossover frequency is the frequency range that a studio monitor produces the most intensity of sound. All types of studio monitors have got different crossover frequencies, and it’s these frequencies that decide the actual work that a particular type of studio monitor will perform.
Near-field studio monitors are optimized to operate at lower mid to higher mid-range of 600 Hz to 3500 Hz depending on the driver and make of the studio monitor.
Mid-field studio monitors such as the LYD 48 from the LYD series have a crossover frequency of 460Hz to 5500KHZ. They have received rave reviews from many music producers who state that the studio monitors provide unmatched accuracy at any volume level.
Far-field studio monitors are also active at the same frequency range as near-field studios but have a secondary crossover frequency at the low range of 100 Hz to 600 Hz. Far-field monitors have a certain amount of bass, which is usually not ideal for mixing but very important in film scoring.
Wattage refers to the amount of electrical power expressed in watts. It determines the volume, dynamic range, and sound of your studio monitor. The rule of the thumb is the higher the wattage, the better chances you have of hearing better sounds.
Far-field studio monitors have got bigger drivers than other studio monitors, therefore require more power to operate them. Their high wattage amps produce deafening sounds that Near-field or Mid-field studio monitors can’t handle.
Mid-field studio monitors are slightly larger monitors than Near-field studio monitors, and with their three-way designs, they generally require more power. Their wattage requirements are usually around 200W to 300W.
Near-field studio monitors have small drivers; therefore only require minimal power to operate. Their wattage requirements are between 15W and 100W.
The positioning of your studio monitors affects how you listen to them and therefore affects the quality of mixing. Different types of studio monitors require different layout designs and positioning for maximum effectiveness.
The ideal placement is between 3 and 5 feet away from the listener. The speakers and the listener’s head are placed on an equilateral triangle, which enables the reduction of poor room acoustics.
They generally have larger drivers and are usually placed along the perimeter of the studio room and a distance of around 10 feet away from the listener. They’re usually mounted on a stand or the wall behind the mixing desk. They take advantage of room acoustics to offer a more holistic listening experience.
They are typically placed within 2 and 4 meters away from the listener.
Factors to consider when buying a studio monitor
A home studio cannot be complete without a pair of studio monitors. Here are a few basic guidelines that will provide you with the necessary knowledge to assist you in narrowing down your selection.
- Nature of Work
The nature of work you intend to use your studio monitors for will determine the type of studio monitor you should purchase. If you’re searching for a studio monitor for mixing purposes, then a Near-field studio monitor that sits on your mixing desk as opposed to a far-field studio monitor is recommended.
Go for studio monitors that aim to sound as accurate and precise as possible. The ideal set of studio monitors should reveal every detail in your mix, both good and bad. While you must test the studio monitors at the music shop before purchasing them, it is utterly impossible to predict how they sound in your room since the acoustics in your room affect what you’ll hear while you’re mixing.
- Acoustic Treatment
If you intend to perform professional sound mixing in your studio room, then I highly recommend that your room should have some basic absorbent acoustic treatment. It allows you to hear more of your studio monitors and less of your room’s reflections.
- Power: How Many Watts Do I Need?
The power handling capacity of a studio monitor not only determines its volume range but also influences its dynamic range, amount of headroom available. One of the benefits that higher wattage provides is the ability to hear more transient details, which then allows you to make more precise adjustments to your compressors and limiters.
Choose studio monitors that offer connections that are compatible with your mixers and other audio devices in your studio. Many of the powered studio monitors have a balanced audio input via XLR and ¼” (Tip/Ring/Shield) phone jacks. These jacks are mostly found at the back of studio monitors although in some cases you may find a single jack that accepts both types of plugs. Other studio monitors offer unbalanced input via an RCA jack or 1/4” TS (Tip/Sleeve) phone jack. These connections come quite handy when hooking up your studio monitors to your audio devices.
- Type of Music You Are Recoding
Small-scale acoustic recordings don’t have too many demands on monitors and a pair of Near-field studio monitors with 4” or 6” woofers would do the job correctly, but if you’ll be doing some heavy lifting that would involve hip-hop tracks or rock music, then more extensive and more powerful studio monitors would be required. Adding a sub-woofer usually, does the trick for it allows you to hear your low frequencies better, during your mixing.
- Size of Studio Room
Studio monitors come in different sizes and features. You may be tempted to go for the biggest speaker your budget can accommodate, but I would tell you to forget it. Choose a studio monitor size that matches the size of your studio. A 5” Near-field studio monitor would do just well in a typical standard bedroom.
You shouldn’t spend more than what you can afford on any music production gear, and that includes studio monitors. Once you have settled on the speaker size based on your room size, shop around for the most affordable brand you can access.
Having a good understanding of your music requirements and the technical capabilities of the different studio monitors available will equip you with the prerequisite knowledge of knowing the best studio monitor for your home studio. By no means, this is our list of the types of studio monitors available, and it’s up to you which ones you will choose.
Featured Image – Metalworks Institute – Campus Studios – Studio 6 – Music College Diploma
Readings that you may like:
Best DAWs For Musicians Available (With FREE DAWs)
What’s The Most CPU Efficient DAW? – 5 DAWs Compared
How To Make Music Without Using A DAW?
Pro Tools Guide: How To Use AutoTune & Pitch Correction?
Ableton Review: Is It Worth The Money? (Cons & Pros)
Logic Pro X Review: Is It Worth It? (Cons & Pros)
How To Use Auto-tune & Pitch Correction In Cubase?
How To Fix Ableton Crackling, Crashing & Freezing? Step By Step
What Are Audio Plugins? Different Types of Plugins Explained
What Are The Best Tools To Develop VST Plugins & How Are They Made?
Cost of Developing Audio VST Plugin: Several Factors (With Table)
VST, VST, AU and AAX – What’s The Difference? Plugin Formats Explained
Complete Guide To Noise Gate – What It Is, What It Does & How To Use It?
How To Clip My Drums? Here Is How & Audio Teasers (Before/After)
Complete Guide To Limiter: How To Use It (+ Best Plugins & Analog Limiters)
Mixing With Reverb: How To Add Life To Your Mixes
Linear Phase vs Minimum Phase EQ – Full Guide
Difference Between LUFS, RMS & True Peak Loudness Meters
How And When To Use Algorithmic And Convolution Reverb In Your Mix?
Difference Between Active EQ, Passive EQ and Dynamic EQ
Headphones & Studio Monitors:
Do headphones get worse with age?
Monitors vs Studio Headphones For Mixing & Mastering
Top 10 Room Calibration & Headphones/Speakers Correction Plugins
Are Noise-Canceling Headphones Good For Music Production?
Can Headphones Break in Cold Weather?
Why do headphones & cables get sticky?
Can Wearing Headphones Cause Hair Loss?
How Do I know If My Studio Monitor Is Blown?
Side Effects Of Sleeping With Your Headphones On
Do You Need Music Amplifier For Studio Monitors or Studio Headphones?
Do Headphones or Earphones Damage Your Brain?
Can Headphones or Earphones cause Deafness or Toothache?
FarField, MidField & NearField Monitors – Their Uses, Pros & Cons
MIDI & Synths:
Should I Buy A MIDI Keyboard Or Synth? (Are Synths Worth It Anymore?)
Why Is Audio Gear So Expensive? (Especially Synths)
Top 12 Synth Brands – Analog, Digital & Modular Synth Manufacturers
11 Tips How To Choose MIDI Keyboard
Should I Buy MIDI Controller Or Keyboard? Cons, Pros & Tips
Can I Put Nylon Strings on a Steel-string Guitar?
Do Electric Guitars Sound Good Unplugged?
Buying Your First Guitar: 2 Things To Know
Are Tube Amps Worth It? (Tube vs Solid-State Amps)
How Often Does A Guitar Need a Setup?
Can I Play Classical Guitar On A Steel-String Guitar?
How often guitar necks need reset?
Can You Play Two Guitars Through One Amp?
Can a 6 String Bass Be Tuned Like A Guitar?
Can I leave My Guitar Tuned Down a Step? Yes, But Is It Safe?
Should I Learn 4, 5 Or 6 String Bass Guitar & Why?
How To Know If your Guitar Amp Is Broken?
How To Fix Distorted Bass Guitar Sound?
Do Fender Guitars Appreciate In Value?
Should You Put Stickers On A Bass Guitar?
How Acoustic And Electric Guitars Are Made?
Is Electric Guitar Too Loud for an Apartment?
Does a Preamp Improve Sound Quality?
If I Learn Acoustic Guitar Can I Play Electric Guitar?
How Many Hours A Day Should You Practice Bass Guitar?
Do I need an AMP/DAC To Run Bookshelf Speakers?
How to Record Electric Guitar Into Logic Pro X?
Do headphones get worse with age?
Top 12 NearField Studio Monitors On Any Budget
Top 10 Midfield Studio Monitors For Home Recording
Best Biggest Studio Monitors (FarField Monitors)
Top 10 Guitar Pickups for Low Tunings
Top 10 Analog Compressors For Mixing & Mastering (On Any Budget)
Top 12 USB Audio Interfaces Under 150$, 200$, 300$ 400$ (Any Budget)
Top 12 Hardware Equalizers (Analog EQs For Mixing & Mastering)
Top 6 Analog Hardware Limiters
Top 6 Solid State Bass Amps (On Any Budget)
Top 6 Ribbon Mics On Any Budget (For Vocals, Drums & Guitars)
Top 6 Cheap Dynamic Mics For Vocals Under 50$, 100$, 200$ & 300$
Top 6 Chorus Guitar Pedals (On Any Budget)
6 Best 61-Key MIDI Keyboards (On Any Budget)
9 Best 49-Key MIDI Keyboards Under 100$ & 200$
Top 5 Best 25 Key MIDI Keyboards (On Any Budget)
Top 12 Acoustic Drums (Best Kits/Sets On Any Budget)
Top 10 EDM Plugins (And 10 Best FREE Plugins For EDM)
Top 10 Plugins For TRAP Beats (And 5 Best FREE Trap Plugins)
20 Best Plugins For Rock Musicians (+ 6 FREE Plugins)
Top 14 Trance Plugins (Uplifting, Tech, Progressive, Vocal, Dream, Hard)
Top 10 GOA & PsyTrance Plugins (Best Psychedelic Trance Tools)
Top 7 Plugins For Dubstep (With 10 Best FREE Effects & Synths)
Top 20 Synthwave Plugins (+ 11 Best FREE Plugins)
Top 15 Plugins For Techno, House, Electro, Tech House, UK Garage
Top 6 Plugins For Latin Music (And 4 FREE Tools)
Top 12 Plugins For Hip-Hop (+ Best Kontakt Libraries)
Top 7 Plugins For Game & Film Scoring (+ 6 Best Kontakt Libraries)
Top 10 R&B And Pop Music Plugins & KONTAKT Libraries
30 Best Free Plugins For DnB, EDM, IDM & Experimental Music
Top 12 Free EQ Plugins For Precise Mixing & Mastering
Top 9 Mid/Side EQ Plugins For Mixing & Mastering (+ 2 Free Tools)
Top 7 Graphic EQ Plugins (With 3 Best Free EQs)
Top 7 EQ Plugins For Mastering In | And Best FREE Mastering EQs
Top 6 Passive EQ Plugins (Klevgrand, SPL, UAD, Waves, IK Multimedia)
Top 11 Plugins For Making Metal (Best Guitars, Drums & Effects)
Top 5 Audio Metering Plugins (LUFS, RMS, LRA, True Peak)
Top 6 Spectrum Analyzer Plugins – Spectral Analysis Tools
Top 6 Oscilloscope Plugins To See The Waveforms
Top 5 Key Detection Plugins & Software (+ Best FREE App)
20 Best Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals)
Top 7 Drum Libraries For KONTAKT (And 4 Freebies)
Top 7 Trap Music Kontakt Libraries (And Best Lo-Fi Kontakt Library)
Top 7 Metal & Rock Kontakt Libraries (Best Guitars & Drums)
Top 10 Guitar Libraries For Kontakt (Acoustic, Electric, Bass & Freebies)
Top 7 Trailer Scoring Plugins & Kontakt Libraries
20 Best Free KONTAKT Libraries For Various Instruments
Top 9 Piano Kontakt Sample Libraries (And 5 Best Free Pianos)
Top 10 Percussion KONTAKT Libraries (And 3 Freebies)
Top 7 Kontakt Libraries For Horror & Thriller Scoring (No VSTs)
Audio Restoration, Calibration & Utility:
Top 6 Noise Reduction Plugins (And 3 Best Free Tools)
6 Best Audio Restoration Plugins & Software
Top 7 Phase Alignment Plugins To Fix Your Bass & Drums
Top 10 Room Calibration & Headphones/Speakers Correction Plugins
Top 6 Vocoder Plugins (Effects & Synths + FREE Vocoder)
11 Best Rhodes VST Plugins (AND 5 Free Rhodes Plugins)
Top 12 Randomizer Plugins Including FREE Plugins
Top 6 Kick Drum Plugins (Best Kick Designer Tools)
Top 12 Woodwind Plugins (And KONTAKT Libraries)
Top 10 Double Bass Plugins (Best Upright Basses)
Top 5 Strings VST Plugins (AND 4 Best Free Instruments)
Top 6 Sampler Plugins (And 3 Best FREE Plugins)
Top 6 Classical Guitar Plugins & Kontakt Libraries (And FREE Guitars)
Top 12 Sub Plugins (Best 808 & Bass Tools For Massive Low End)
Top 10 Plugins On PluginBoutique (And 7 Best Free Plugins)
Top 11 Plugins On Plugin Alliance
Top 7 Acoustic Guitar Plugins (And 4 Best Kontakt Libraries)
9 Best Bass Guitar Plugins (And 2 Best Freebies)
Top 6 Electric Guitar Plugins (Best PAID & FREE Picks)
Top 10 Arpeggiator VST Plugins (Best Synths, MIDI Effects & Tools)
Top 10 Modular Synth Plugins (And 3 Best FREE Plugins)
Top 6 Choir Plugins & Sample Libraries (And 3 Best Free Plugins)
11 Best Percussion & Drum VST Plugins (And FREE Plugins)
Top 8 Piano Plugins (Best Sounding Pianos & 5 FREE Piano Plugins)
Top 6 Organ Plugins Ever Made (And 3 Best Free Organs)
Top 14 VST Plugins For Beginners (And 9 FREE Plugins)
Top 9 Drum Machine Plugins (And Groovebox Plugins)
4 Best Banjo Plugins (Best Banjo Instruments)
The 5 Best Ukulele Plugins & Kontakt Libraries
Top 13 Synth Plugins (And 5 Best FREE Synths Plugins)
Top 13 Sequencer Plugins (Synth, MIDI & Step Sequencers)
The 10 Best Multi-Effect Plugins (And 3 Best Free Plugins)
Top 12 Plugin Bundles For Musicians (Synths, Mixing & Mastering)
Processing & Sound Design:
8 Best Lo-Fi Plugins (PAID & FREE)
Top 11 Plugins For Mixing Vocals (For Home Studio)
Top 12 Saturation Plugins (Best Mixing & Mastering Tools)
Top 6 Pitch Shifter Plugins (And 3 Best FREE Pitch Shifters)
Top 6 Chorus VST Plugins For Musicians (And 3 FREE Plugins)
Top 6 Limiter Plugins For Precise Mastering & Mixing
The 8 Best Filter Plugins For Precise Cuts & Boosts (+ 5 Free Filters)
6 Best Autotune Plugins To Improve & Enhance Your Vocals
Top 10 Transient Shaper Plugins (VST, AU, AAX)
Top 7 Enhancer Plugins (For Bass, Drums, Vocals & Harmonics)
Top 6 Flanger Plugins (And 5 Best FREE Flanger Emulators)
Top 7 Phaser Plugins (And 3 Best FREE Phasers)
Top 10 Plugins For Mixing Drums (And 3 Best Free Plugins)
Top 7 Bitcrusher Plugins (And 4 Best FREE Bitcrushers + 3 Bonuses)
Top 6 Plugins For Voice-Over & Dialogue Cleaning (Post Production)
Top 10 Stereo Imaging Plugins (Best Old & Modern Picks)
Top 5 Multiband Limiter Plugins
Top 7 De-Esser Plugins For Better Vocals (And 4 FREE Plugins)
Top 7 Clipper Plugins (Best Limiter Alternatives)
Top 6 Chord Generator Plugins That Inspire Melodies (+ FREE Tools)
7 Best Exciter Plugins For Mixing & Mastering
Top 7 Channel Strip Plugins (And 2 Best Free Plugins)
Top 11 Distortion Plugins (And 4 Top Free Plugins)
Top 5 Comb Filter & Resonator Plugins | Melda, Kilohearts, Tritik
The 7 Best Vibrato VST Plugins | Audec, Audiority, Melda
The 7 Best Tremolo Plugins | Eventide, Melda, SoundToys, Kuassa…
The 7 Best Harmonizer Plugins | Eventide, Melda, Aegean Music
7 Best Sidechain Plugins (VST, AU, AAX) | Xfer, Cableguys..
Top 10 Noise Gate Plugins (And 6 FREE Free Gate Tools)
The 6 Best Ring Modulator VST Plugins | KiloHearts, Melda
7 Best Autopan VST Plugins | CableGuys, Melda, Waves, Soundtoys
The 6 Best Frequency Shifter VST Plugins
Top 11 Granulizer Plugins For Future Sound Design
29 Best Sound Design VST Plugins
Top 11 Free Compressor Plugins (VCA, Vari-Mu, FET, Digital)
Top 7 Multiband Compressor Plugins (And 4 FREE Plugins)
Top 5 Diode-Bridge Compressor Plugins
Top 6 Mastering Chain Plugins: Complete VST Solutions
The 7 Best VCA Compressor Plugins (VST, AU, AAX)
Top 11 Mastering Compressor Plugins (And 2 FREE Plugins)
Top 10 Opto Compressor Plugins For Transparent Sound
The 7 Best Vari-Mu Compressor Plugins (And 2 Best FREE Tools)
Reverb & Delay Plugins:
Top 12 Reverb Plugins (And 5 FREE Reverb Plugins)
The 6 Best Spring Reverb VST Plugins | AudioThing, GSi, u-he, Eventide
Top 12 Delay Plugins For Music Production In (VST, AU, AAX)
Top 10 FREE Delay Plugins (VST, AU, AAX)
The 10 Best Convolution Reverb Plugins
Amps & Preamps:
Top 10 Guitar Amp Plugins (And 5 Best FREE Simulators)
Top 10 Bass Amp Plugins (And 5 Best Free Simulators)
Top 9 Preamp Plugins (For Vocals, Guitars & More!) + Free Preamps
Started as a rapper and songwriter back in 2015 then quickly and gradually developed his skills to become a beatmaker, music producer, sound designer and an audio engineer.