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I've got some freelance game audio contracts beginning soon and need to get started with a basic bedroom setup. Here's some quick specs:

  • 11.8 x 12.8 sized bedroom. Carpeted, drywall, a queen sized bed in there, bookshelves, etc. Pretty much a typical apartment bedroom.

  • I plan on setting these monitors up in the middle of the 12.8 sized wall. Not going to be putting them in corners or anything like that.

  • My workstation (and, more specifically, my ears) will probably be anywhere from 3' to 5' feet away from the monitors.

  • I'm on a budget of approximately 500 - 1000 dollars. That would be for a PAIR, not a single monitor.

  • I'm not composing or mixing music. I don't know how relevant that is, but I'm mentioning it nonetheless just in case. I WILL probably be listening to the music that other people compose, however. But 95% of what I'm doing will be SFX asset creation, dialog management, playing through the game with implemented assets, etc.

  • I used KRK monitors years ago and really liked them but I'm sure there are newer models available now. Same with Events (I used the Event TR5's at my first studio gig). Searching on here, I've seen the KRK VXT8 are often suggested but they're a bit out of my price range. The Adam A7's are also recommended a lot. What I really need are a solid pair of inexpensive but relatively good quality nearfield monitors for an apartment bedroom setup to do game audio work. Just looking for some suggestions from others.

  • Have a look at Sound On Sound Magazines reviews from the last couple of years on near field monitors... ADAM/Genelec older models are still available from sites new, at lower prices.. just my input. – Digital Endurance Jan 3 '13 at 17:40
  • You are crazy for buying a studio monitor for gaming. Here, I said it. – Placeholder Oct 15 '14 at 8:36
  • @anonymous - he isn't buying them for gaming. He is buying them for designing audio for games. And it wouldn't be crazy even if he was, studio monitors are good accurate speakers, generally at a much better price than "high end" consumer speakers. – AJ Henderson Oct 15 '14 at 14:04
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Check out the Equator D5s. They just increased the price to 399, but that's still a screaming deal. http://www.equatoraudio.com/D5_Studio_Monitors_with_DSP_p/d5.htm

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I would strongly suggest upping your budget at the top end by $99 and consider a set of JBL LSR4326p's. If you wanted second hand, you could get them for far less than that. I'm in the UK, so I'm not sure what the best places are for buying audio gear, but I found them online for that price ($1099).

I have the 4328's and they sound absolutely stunning. My old monitors were the Yamaha HS50m's and the difference in clarity is astonishing.

Whatever you decide to go for, try to hear them first.

There's a few companies over this side of the pond that will let you borrow a couple of sets (whichever ones you're looking at purchasing) on loan so you can set them all up in your room and see which ones you prefer - send the ones back that you don't like, and then purchase the pair that you do. This might be worth looking in to, although again - I'm not sure of the US market so can't recommend anywhere myself.

You can't beat testing them out and hearing them for yourself, in your own space.

Cheers

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on a budget I would recommend Alesis M1Active MKII, krk's rocket 6's or 8's, yamaha ns10's, adams a7's or a5's. depends on your final output really - we make a ton of iOS games so having small speakers is the way to go. unless you're doing AAA games that need surround sound I wouldn't bother with a sub, fact is most users still don't have surround set up, and if they do it's not properly set up. my 2 cents.

  • I have the M1aMK2. A lot of bottom end, no highs to speak of. Good for some styles of music but I don't think they translate well. Switched to Genelecs, there's no going back. – georgi Apr 6 '13 at 9:09
  • I second the Yamahas and Adams! – Asimov Apr 6 '13 at 13:35
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8 Inch is nice though at 3-5ft you'll never realize the bass extension of such woofers. Not until you get about 6-8 feet away do you begin to hear the sub 80hz range. For a room that size you might look at 6 inch drivers with a .1 (sub) -- however, how will you be running these, off soundcard, monitor controller?

I actually like the mackie big knob very much, offers multiple inputs and putputs and also room for a sub. In this scenario you connect the speakers to the main output, the sub to the other and also if you have some, add some computer speakers so you can A-B the sound. Cheap vs. professional. Also, you can connect many sources, like a computer line out and also TV out. And the large volume knob is also great.

on a side note. KRK makes a controller too. a small 2 channel one with input for sub too. I think it even does some room correction too.

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Yamaha hs50m. They're solid monitors. I have the 50s and they're 5", and i plan on buying a woofer at some point, but i've been switching between those and cans, and the best part is how well they translate.

Point is, even though these may not be your forever monitors, they will certainly be of use to you when you upgrade in the future or decide to do a 5.1 or larger setup.

I scored mine on ebay, practically unused for really cheap.

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I used to have a pair of KRK VXT6 and i've noticed that everything sounds too good on them.. so I replaced them with a pair of Dynaudio BM15A, which are massive in both sound and size :D

They are very far from your budget, so I can suggest you Adam A7X (which I use on my synthesis classroom). Perfect response, even on low end.

Bests, Luca

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Hello,

In each video game studio where I worked, I used Adam, Genelec, and Mackie speakers.. Ok, they are out from your budget too.

But for my home studio, I've bought a Focal CMS 40 pair, you should have to try them (or the CMS50) you won't be disappointed!

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I would definitely recommend you to save some more money and go for KRK VXT8 at your position. They are way clearer than anything else for this price range (so best buy). I write this based on nearly 2 months of forum and opinion gathering + finally buying them and using.

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