Every performer loves sound. However, most of the time that sound is going towards somebody else. That is great (and mostly the point), but it also makes it a bit difficult for the performers or people on stage to hear themselves. That is where stage monitors come in. The specially-designed speakers point back towards the stage to help the people on it listen to their noise. In this guide, we will break down a few different types of good stage monitors to help you choose the one that best stage monitor suits your needs or style.
Powered vs. Unpowered Stage Monitors
- Professional-grade passive 2-way stage monitor speaker with 200W RMS/ 400W Peak (8-Ohm) power handling capability
- 12” high-quality woofer with one high frequency piezo driver provides stellar and consistent sound quality
- 50Hz-20KHz frequency range; 100X45 degree wide sound coverage
There are many monitors on the market, and all of them come in a wide variety or brands, sizes, and abilities. However, no matter what you’re looking for, there are two overarching types: powered and unpowered. Though both are similar, they work in vastly different ways.
Unpowered stage monitors (also called passive monitors) are typically cheaper that powered ones. That is their biggest draw, and they are the best option for those looking for budget monitors. In that same vein, unpowered monitors are also cheaper to replace than other models.
Monitors can break for a number of reasons, but unpowered models are fine as long as the power amp is still working. If it is, there is no need to replace the unit when the monitor fails. This is a handy trick that you cannot do with powered monitors.
The other monitor type, powered monitors, do not rely or depend on external amplification. Rather, the amplifier is built directly into the box. That is a big advantage for certain venues, and can make setting them up much easier.
While powered monitors almost always come with a higher price tag than unpowered ones, the combined cost of the amplifier and speaker can be lower than buying those items separately. In addition, the internal components make them some of the best portable monitors around. Though you should note that they are also much heavier because of the extra parts inside of them.
The final bonus of this style is that they come with a high sound quality, strong volume capabilities, and a great dynamic range. All of those can be worth the more expensive cost, and they are the reason people lean towards power over unpowered.
The Best Budget Monitors on the Market
As touched on above, there are a ton of different monitors, and they all serve different purposes or functions. While plenty give you strong options, two of the best for people on a budget are the Yamaha DBR10 and the Behringer B205D.
The Yamaha monitor is equipped with a FIR-X tuning system to help protect frequency algorithms and deliver strong power without distorting the sound. It is easy to set up, and also comes with a seven-year warranty to make sure you’re covered if anything goes wrong. In addition, the DBR10 has a tough exterior (perfect for protection from the elements), m8 rigging threads, and an integrated dual channel mixer.
At a reasonable price, this system is one of the most popular, and most compact, on the market. Rarely does so much power come in such a tight package. However, the Yamaha’s mix of power and flexibility creates one of the most efficient, yet budget-friendly, monitors around.
The other good budget monitor in this section is the Behringer B205D, which runs just below $200. The powered monitor is perfect for a range of applications, including home recording studios, press conferences, and keyboard monitoring. Like the DBR10, it is lightweight, making it one of the best portable monitors around.
One of the best uses for the Behringer is mixing, which it excels at over most other budget-friendly models. The B205D also has ultra-low noise features, as well as three-band EQ with three-channel mixing features. It is multi-purpose, and packs both a Class-D amplifier technology and a 5.25″ premium-quality, full-range neodymium driver into its small, light-weight frame.
Picking a Good Monitor for your Needs
Both above options are examples of good monitors. Yamaha monitors are strong and powerful, but Behringer gives you plenty of solid options as well. Not to mention, there are hundreds of choices beyond those brands.
When it comes to stage monitors, you always want the one that is best going to suit your specific needs. Not only can you choose between powered and unpowered monitors, but you can also pick between thousands of features and abilities. If you want something large or powerful, you do not necessarily need a big shell with a lot of components. However, there are times where you may want to go with a larger or more expensive option. Do your research, know the different types, and you’ll always end up satisfied.