Stereo vs mono studio monitors? I am looking for a pair of powered studio monitors. I am looking at the JBL Two way powered monitors What does two way mean? Is it very important to have stereo monitors? Are there any good stereo monitor? I have a Soundcraft EPM 8.
The term "2-way" has nothing to do with mono or stereo. 2-way means that the monitor speaker reproduces the audio signal with two speaker cones, each responsible for a certain frequency range that are finely tuned to work together. The same is true for 3-way monitor speakers, or any monitor speaker with more than one cone for that matter.
A single monitor speaker will always be mono, i.e. it can reproduce one channel of an audio signal. "Stereo" is often mistaken to mean "left and right", the term however refers to any reproducing system that's capable of reproducing more than one channel. The amount of channels that can be reproduced by a system is expressed by an accompanying number, such as "2.0". That would be a reproducing system capable of reproducing two channels of a signal and is a typical home studio setup (with one speaker reproducing the left and one reproducing the right channel of a 2-channel signal). "2.1" would be a system consisting of two monitor speakers and a subwoofer. "7.1" would typically be a surround setup with subwoofer (left, center, right, left mid, right mid, left surround, right surround, LFE).
Is it very important to have stereo monitors?
If by "stereo" in this case you are (falsely) referring to a monitor speaker with multiple speaker cones, then no, the number of speaker cones is not indicative of sound quality per se. However, I strongly recommend two monitor speakers for music production purposes, that means a 2.0 speaker setup. A 2.1 stereo setup would also be a common option for music production.
"Two way" means different speaker chassis for two different frequency ranges.
Since directivity, response and efficiency of speakers is frequency dependent, using several different speakers yields better results than a single cone.