Being a hip hop producer or a beatmakers is not an easy job. You need to dedicate endless hours into practicing and creating beats, in order to be able to find your own style and establish your name in the extremely competitive music industry, among other talented music producers.
This is why hip hop producers are demanding and want to work with the best sound equipment possible. Studio monitors, are the absolutely necessary tools when it comes to creating beats, as they are the gear responsible for delivering nice detailed sound quality to the beatmaker, so that he can create, edit, mix and master his productions.
There are several excellent options considering studio monitors available in the market, although there are some fundamental criteria that need to be met, so that a pair of monitors can be considered appropriate for a hip hop producer.
Such criteria are: proper functionality levels, broad frequency range, high levels of accuracy an detail and great low ends so that the beatmaker can edit his basslines and drum loops, which are the basis of a hip hop beat. In our reviews below, we have gathered five of the best studio monitors that meet all those criteria, and we recommend them to every music producer who creates hip hop beats.
Best studio monitors for hip hop
1 – Focal Alpha 80
The Focal Alpha 80 are some of the most accurate studio monitors in the market. They provide such detail to the user, that he is able to distinguish every individual sound in the mix without any effort at all. They focus equally on main and secondary sounds, both on the ones that are used as main melodies and loops and on the ones at the background too.
This fact, will make every music producer and beatmaker question the quality of his own mixes, and will make them revisit old projects to make the necessary adjustments and corrections that will improve the overall sound quality of their tracks.
These monitors are capable of making great mixes sound great and bad mixes sound bad. This happens due to their extreme detail, especially in the mid and high frequencies, which tend to make all sounds stand out, providing special focus on the brighter instruments.
The Focal Alpha 80 are the ideal studio monitors for perfectionist sound engineers and music producers, as they help you examine your mix in great detail, and distinguish every single noise or imperfection hidden at the back end of any track. Although this sounds too good to be true, there is a catch. The monitors may persuade you into making infinite editing and mixing sessions, as the adjustments will never be enough improve the sound.
The particular studio monitors provide outstanding separation. You can easily notice this by isolating the frequency band of your preference and start experimenting with it. You will soon find out that you can hear everything as accurately as it gets.
The Focal Alpha 80 work amazingly well when it comes to creating or mixing your low ends. They provide great bass depth, even in the lowest frequencies, and you are not going to need a subwoofer, as their bass levels are more than loud to satisfy even the most demanding bass addict.
The high ends of these studio monitors are clear and bright. There is no harshness detected, no matter how much you push the gain, and there are no issues of distortion or popping, even when it comes to badly mixed tracks. In addition to this, they do not cause dullness to the low ends, as they have a very balanced presence in the mix. Taking their extreme accuracy into account, these studio monitors are one of the best options for hip hop producers.
2 – PreSonus R65
The PreSonus R65 are among the finest studio monitors, and they are an excellent choice for rap producers and electronic music producers in general. The fact that they have AMT Tweeters makes them capable of providing high levels of accuracy and detail to the user, making the mixing experience more than pleasing and convenient.
The particular studio monitors provide amazing clarity for most instruments, from pianos to drums, making their sound crispy and bright. The stereo imaging along with the fascinating separation create an outstanding soundstage, which can be noticed both in small and larger places, due to their great power.
Although they have very bright, clean and crispy mid high and high frequencies, there are no harshness or distortion issues noticed, even when the volumes goes up. Their sound remains sharp and smooth, making the listening experience pleasant, and the mixing sessions more comfortable than ever before.
The PreSonus R65 have front firing slotted ports and rear panel adjustments, which help the user take his time and experiment with the sound result he finds appropriate for his needs. These adjustments, make the monitors capable of working great when integrated with additional sub-woofers for extra low end power and deeper bass.
Like it happens with the majority of the high quality studio monitors, the well-mixed and mastered tracks sound great with these monitors, and the poorly mix and mastered one tend to become very difficult to listen to, as all the badly mixed detail come to the surface and become irritating for the user’s ears.
The PreSonus R65 feel very sturdy and have a very heavy and stable structure. They certainly are well manufactured and they are designed to tolerate misuses and rough situations, such as parties or lives performances.
There are no hiss or self-noise issues even when the volumes goes up to the maximum. The vibrations and resonance are kept to the minimum, although it is suggested that you apply isolation pads under the units so that you can eliminate them completely. Their weight along with the resistance caused by the isolation pads, will help the sound become smoother and cleaner.
All in all, the PreSonus R65 are high quality studio monitors, recommended for every hip hop producers that want to improve significantly the sound of his home or professional studio. Their amazing accuracy along with their excellent structure, and the nice deep low ends, are only some of the capabilities these great studio monitors have to offer to the user.
3 – Fostex 6301NE
If you are looking for a compact pair of studio monitors, with a heavy and stable structure, then the Fostex 6301NE are the ideal studio monitors for you. They are one of the most well-built and nicely designed monitors, and they can easily stand out from the rest of the competition due to their uniqueness.
They certainly provide a sense of security and stability to the buyer, as they feel very solid and heavy, no matter how small they may seem. They can easily handle rough occasions and external use, as they are manufactured to tolerate with misuses, and their sturdiness proves them right.
The monitors have rear inputs, which are for line-level signals. To operate them, you have to connect them to the control room monitor on an audio mixer or a mixing console, so that they can function properly.
Their compact size, makes them capable of being placed anywhere, and this comes very handy especially for small home studios with limited space. They can be used in short distances from each other, and from the user too, as they function as nearfield monitors.
The sound that the Fostex 6301NE deliver is very clear and bright, with special focus on the mid high and high frequencies, which have amazing levels of accuracy and detail. You can notice a mid bass boost, which adds nice color and enhances heavy vocals, while it adds punchiness to the heavier sounds with lots of low ends, such as basslines and kick drums.
These studio monitors keep the neutrality of the sound untouched, and as a result most of the instruments sound the way they should, although this depends solely on the way the signal was received by the microphone or the line input during the recording.
There is plenty of brightness in the high ends, which makes hi hats and cymbals stand out with becoming harsh. The low ends of the monitors are warm, without making the bass sound too deep or excessive, which is good as they do not influence the judgment of the sound engineer during the mixing process.
Overall, the Fostex 6301NE is an amazing pair of studio monitors, with more than enough essential capabilities for the user. Their strong construction, convenient connectivity and crystal clear sound quality, make these studio monitors an outstanding studio monitor solution worth purchasing.
4 – EVE Audio SC205
The EVE Audio SC205 is one of the top products of the EVE Audio Company. They provide great sound imaging to the user, and they have a wide frequency response, starting from 55Hz up to 21kHz. They deliver extremely neutral sound, which makes them perfect for mixing and mastering sessions, because they provide the appropriate environment to the audio engineer for adjustments and corrections.
Hip hop producers and beatmakers should take into serious consideration purchasing the particular studio monitors, as they have a fascinating bass response. Their low ends sound deep and smooth although they have a small woofer, making the overall sound very balanced, and the listening experience pleasing for the listener and the music producer.
The mid frequencies of the EVE Audio SC205 are sounding very natural, without unnecessary boosts to certain frequency bands, which enhances the overall balanced sound that the manufacturers of these monitors try to achieve. There is a very subtle crispiness to the high frequencies, maintain the high ends smooth without any edginess.
There is awesome protection levels provided to the monitor by the DSP management. They have the appropriate security considering overloads or overuse, and there is a grid included, which covers the ribbon tweeter to protect it, even though it make cause minor noises, especially when working in high volume levels and the monitors produce vibrations.
The woofer of the EVE Audio SC205 is made of high quality material, and the structure of the monitors feels very stable and strong. The unit is well-designed and built. It has air motion tweeter, the DSP that controls everything properly, such as the level of the incoming signals and the power of the output.
These studio monitors have extremely functional and effective power amps, which can tolerate long work hours and still function as expected. The monitors deliver excellent high quality sound, with great levels of accuracy, especially when it comes to mid-high and high frequencies, without causing any popping or distortion issues.
Overall, the EVE Audio SC205 is a carefully manufactured pair of studio monitors, which will satisfy even the most demanding audiophiles, sound engineers and music producers. The monitors are great for beatmakers, because they provide outstanding balanced neutral sound, with very smooth low ends and clear highs, which make every single sound stand out in the mix.
5 – Genelec 8020C
The Genelec 8020C are studio monitors with built-in amplifiers. The particular monitors provide an even sound distribution throughout the entire frequency spectrum. They keep their sound fairly neutral, without making the signal flat or weak, and they come with dip switch attenuators, which allow additional customization regarding the available work space.
They work better in smaller spaces, such as home studios, as they function as nearfield monitors. They are ideal for hip hop producers who work in limited spaces, as the lack of room enhances the power of their overall sound.
The correct positioning plays an important role for the proper function of the particular studio monitors. It is advised that you place them at a distance of 6 to 8 feet from each other, and at the same distance from the music producer, so that the sound is distributed equally. To enhance the balance of the sound even more, the monitors have to be position at ear-height level, so that you balance the low and high ends.
The Genelec 8020C provide a very stable imaging, and their balance between the low and the high ends is amazing, especially when positioned correctly like stated above. The monitors have roll-off switches, which make the set up process very fast, and they help them deliver nice sound results when used in poorly soundproofed rooms.
The structure of the units feels very solid and stable, and the design looks very professional. They give the impression of a well-manufactured product that is going to last over time. It is advised that you apply isolation pads under each unit, as they produce vibrations when you turn the volume up, which may cause noise issues.
To sum up, the Genelec 8020C is a great pair of high quality studio monitors. They delivers excellent sound quality, they produce very low self-noise, and the nice design along with the sturdy structure provide a sense security for the user. One of the best studio monitor solutions when it comes to producing music.