Although regular speakers are a nice solution when it comes to gaming, if you are one of those gamers that want to improve the sound quality of your online or offline gaming, acquiring a decent pair of studio monitors is the ideal option.
Gamers do not need maximum sound quality from their studio monitors, as they do not intend them for editing, mixing or mastering, which are processes that require high levels of accuracy and sound detail. That being said, studio monitors used for gaming need to deliver decent quality sound, and also have the ability to be used as all-purpose monitors, without focusing on any particular tasks or frequencies.
That means, that spending large amounts of money into a great pair of studio monitors is not ideal for gamers, as they could invest the biggest parts of their budget into improving their graphics, or their computer systems in general.
Fortunately, there are more than enough affordable studio monitor options available for gamers. Our list, has some of the cheapest studio monitors in the market, which manage to deliver very nice sound results despite their price.
The majority of the monitors mentioned in our article, have warm low ends and subtly colored high ends that deliver a very pleasing sound experience. Avoiding weak and flat results, they help the games become more emphatic and enrich the action.
Our list covers five of the best pairs of studio monitors for gamers, within the range of $50 to $100. These are some of the lowest price points in the market, and we believe that they are available to every single gamer who wants to improve the overall sound experience of his gaming sessions, without big investments or purchases of complicated equipment.
That being said, it is advised that you also acquire an audio interface to boost the sound of your studio monitors. There are very cheap audio interfaces available, with USB connectivity to make the setup of your gear faster.
What to take into consideration regarding studio monitors for gaming
The quality of your studio monitors is the first thing you should focus on. Even in such low price points, there are many studio monitors with very solid structures, which can last over time and withstand any mishandles, minor drops or scratches.
Make sure that you read all the available reviews, and buy from trusted manufacturers with experience in the field of sound equipment engineering. Make a case of testing the monitors yourself, to make sure that they have the sound you are looking for.
The price is always a factor that determines whether a piece of equipment is the appropriate purchase for us. All the studio monitors reviewed in this article are within the lowest price ranges, while at the same time they deliver better sound results than regular speakers.
The functionality needs of gamers differ from those of the music producers or sound engineers. The studio monitors a gamers is about to purchase, need to have as simple connectivity as it gets, be compact in size so that they do not take much space and deliver the type of sound that will enhance the gaming experience.
Make a case of searching for bundled versions of the monitors you prefer. Additional items included in the package, can help you set up and plug in the monitors easily with your computer, laptop or the rest of your gear. Such additional items are, an audio interface, cables, power supplies, monitor stands and isolation pads.
Best studio monitors for gaming
1 – M-Audio AV32
The M-Audio AV32 is a nice pair of studio monitors, ideal for gaming. Considering their price, these monitors deliver great sound quality, which will take your gaming lesson to the next level. They tend to enhance the lower frequencies, subtly and clear, so that you get the maximum out of your gaming special effects.
The mid-high frequencies have a slight edginess, which makes the action part of every game richer, as they tend to make the dialogs and the background sounds less disturbing, and easier to listen to.
They provide a fascinating listening experience to the gamer, especially considering the music part of the games. This happens due to their decent loudness and nice frequency distribution, which tends to emphasize both the lows and the highs, although it does provide slightly higher levels of presence in the middle frequencies.
As a result, the sound of the game becomes more separated stereo wise, and the gamer can distinguish easily the music from the special effects and dialogs. This makes the listening experience pleasing, and helps to avoid confusion or distortion, especially when louder situations occur during the game.
Despite their very affordable price, the M-Audio AV32 monitors do not compromise the sound quality to lower their price point. They deliver awesome decent quality results, focusing on detail and trying to keep the sound as smooth as possible, by reducing the harsh edges.
Overall, the M-Audio AV32 are a great choice for every gamer that want to enhance the sound of his gaming activities, by purchasing a nice pair of studio monitors, which will treat the sound in a gentle way without any unneeded addition that may cause saturation or muddiness to the final result.
2 – Edifier R980T
The Edifier R980T are awesome studio monitors, which can be used to replace regular speaker for gaming. They deliver nice sound quality, especially if you consider their price, and they can also be used to capture or listen sound from your iPhone or iPad, with the use of a second input.
One of the amazing advantages of these monitors, is their ability to connect with multiple different devices, and provide great sound quality regarding the different settings the devices may use. Furthermore, they have a nice compact size, so that they do not acquire too much space.
Regarding their sound, the Edifier R980T deliver nice bass, as they have very smooth although a little weak low ends. Their mid and high frequencies are crystal clear, and you can easily focus on the details of the game, such as environment sound or special effects, that are an important part when it comes to gaming.
They have a substantial loudness, which helps the sound become punchier. This fact, help keep the accuracy of these monitors in more than decent levels, and they definitely deliver what they are expected for such a low price.
Their set up and plugging in is very easy. They have a power switch on the back and auxiliary inputs. In the package, there is also a seven feet cable included, so that you can easily connect the Edifier R980T. If you want more room to enhance the stereo imaging of the monitors, it is advised that you acquire a longer cable, and position the studio monitors in a bigger distance from each other, and you as well.
3 – BEHRINGER MS16
The Behringer MS16 is a very effective set of studio monitors when it comes to gaming. Their size is not very large, which makes them suitable for any placement, no matter how little space the user has in his availability.
These studio monitors deliver excellent sound, considering their size and price. They have great balanced volume levels, along with a very pleasing loudness that does not cause any saturation, clipping or distortion issues.
In case you want to use the Behringer MS16 monitors for occasions with many people, such are parties, it is suggested that you acquire a subwoofer to accompany these studio monitors. Although they do have nice loudness, they work better when placed in small rooms and quieter environments.
The monitors, have volume, bass and tremble controls placed in their front part. This helps the user make any adjustments in a matter of seconds, without complicated equalizing methods. These controls, work fine with any set of headphones that you decide to plug into your monitors as well.
The overall sound the Behringer MS16 studio monitors provide is clean, and very pleasing for the listener and the gamer. They have just the right amount of loudness to deliver smooth sound, which is perfect for movies and games, because it does not make the result harsh.
They have an awesome performance and very convenient functionality, that does not confuse the user, allowing him to make fast and effective adjustment. Due to their capability to deliver everything promised, the Behringer MS16 are worth the purchase, as they are one of the most affordable options when it comes to gaming.
4 – CR3 Limited Edition
Although the CR3 Limited Edition studio monitors are considered to be entry level monitors from many users, they are excellent at getting the job done when it comes to gaming. The sound quality they deliver is fascinating, especially when you consider their price.
The studio monitors deliver great detail, which is very helpful for gamers, as it can make them focus on the important aspects and sounds of the game, such as the special effects and the environment noises. They have great levels of accuracy, which makes them capable of providing amazing separation of sounds.
The primal focus is on the middle and higher frequencies, having weaker low ends. This fact, makes the overall sound result of the particular sound monitors punchier, which is perfect especially for action or adventure games, as it enriches the tension and makes the game more aggressive and intriguing.
They CR3 Limited Edition have a nice solid structure and they are very well-designed, which makes them very appealing aesthetically. The combination of black and gold colors on the design, help them stand out from the rest of the competition, which is important for those that focus on the beauty of their equipment, besides the sound.
Overall, these monitors are one of the options highly recommended to gamers. The clarity and cleanness, along with the nice maintained balance of their sound, will satisfy even the most demanding game addicts. The professional, although very minimal back-gold design and their affordable price is going to be some additional reasons to seriously consider purchasing this great set of studio monitors.
5 – Micca MB42
The Micca MB42 studio monitors, come in a fairly large size compared to their competition. They have black laminated cabinets, which provides a very smooth feeling when touching the monitors. They have a very simplistic, however professional looking appearance, which makes them appealing to the eye.
The sound of the studio monitors is gorgeous, especially when you consider their low price. They have a very solid structure, which gives the impression that it can tolerate some minor abuse and last over time. Their workflow is great, and they have decent loudness levels, ideal for gaming.
The Micca MB42 deliver nice sound throughout the entire frequency spectrum, although they emphasize the mid, mid-high and high frequencies subtly, so that they can provide punchier sound and add color and character. The low ends are smooth, without much boost.
In case you want to enhance the lower ends, in order to make your sound warmer, it is suggested that you look for a decent subwoofer, and connect it with the studio monitors. This way, you can broaden their frequency range, and acquire a more balanced sound, both in the low and in the high ends.
The Micca MB42 come in a very nice package. The monitors are wrapped in plastic bags and there is foam included in the box for additional security, especially considering the corners of the studio monitors. The cardboard box is made of thick protective material, to eliminate potential detriment issues.
There is a manual included in the package, which is very basic, although their set up and plugging is extremely easy. If you are using multi-stranded cables, make sure that you twist the ends to avoid any insertion issues and make the connection tighter.
Overall, the Micca MB42 is a fascinating and very effective pair of studio monitors, ideal for gamers or for those that want to improve their movie or TV sound. They deliver great, clean and bright sound, which emphasizes the details, and they are worth the purchase due to their extremely low price, which makes them accessible by every gamer, even those on tight budgets.