The last twenty years of music production technology trickling down to the masses has shown that incredible creativity is possible with modest means. A corresponding movement on the part of manufacturers has put increasingly more powerful tools in the hands of the home producer. Studio monitors from Presonus are an astounding affirmation of affordable, professional technology that can transform your studio.
Before we look closely, here are a few specs: the E5 looks like many other monitors, front-ported two way cabinet with a Kevlar woofer and a one-inch tweeter. The speakers are driven by two amplifiers, 45W for lows and 35W for highs, and cross over at 3kHz.
Presonus reports frequency response between 53 Hz and 22 kHz, which should be most for the mixing you do at home. A maximum SPL of 102 dB (one meter away), will definitely be more than your ears need. So far, sounds like a lot of monitors out there.
But the Eris series has a striking versatility that will find a lot of fans in home studio owners. Since most of us are monitoring in imperfect spaces, our monitoring often suffers. Presonus addresses this with several features, including a switch to tame bass response, if those monitors are a little too close to the walls. You can cut 2 or 4 dB below 800 hz, which can really help remove room interference.
An adjustable high pass filter lets you remove junk below 80 or 100 Hz at 12 dB/octave. Mid-range and high end aren’t left out of the picture either. 12 dB of range accompany knobs for both. It is worth mentioning that just busting the monitors out of the box and playing with all these tone controls can easily tune them to your room, but you must remain aware of the effect they are having on your mixes. You can easily overcompensate with EQ to fight the impact of the tone variation.
There is another, less obvious benefit to tone control: you can simulate tests of different speakers, just by twisting some knobs. Tune the tone to match computer speakers, a car stereo, or even a high fidelity stereo system and watch your mix change. In that sense, the Eris series can shed a lot of light on what you’re mixing.
But how do they sound?
Simply far better than their price point implies. Compact, tight bass and clear highs, with plenty of definition in the mid range give you the kind of x-ray ears you need to hear your mixes accurately. Perhaps the one thing that these monitors lack is the kind of bottomless bass that you would get from much larger monitors. Hardly a criticism, since these speakers are well suited to the task of monitoring in your smaller home studio.
Presonus has really made an impressive entry into the monitor market with the Eris series, and producers looking for a beginning monitor may have just found the perfect choice, one that will last for years.