In any event manufacturers have certainly not forgotten about near-field monitors, because their numbers keep increasing. And increasing . . . which is what led to this article.
You see, at the EQ offices Editor Matt Harper was literally buried behind a wall of near-field monitor boxes, where he had been trapped or days without food or water (fortunately, an alert night-time janitorial service worker heard the faint sound of someone saying over and over again, “too . . . many . . . speakers”).
After he recovered, I got a call from him and we talked about doing an EQ-style roundup of the best of the batch, based on the most recent speakers to arrive so we’d keep things timely. Ideally, he wanted to group monitors by design or price point, but that simply didn’t happen: More and more candidates appeared at his office, and he was running out of room to walk. Nor did we want him to get buried alive again.
Bottom line: The bad news is the article didn’t turn out quite the way he wanted, but the good news is we’re able to present a collection that suits your budget or design preference. So whether you grew up on NS-10s, Genelecs, Tannoy Red Devils, or are brand new to the market, we probably have something for you. (Note: We had also completed a review of the AAD SM6, only to find out just before going to press that we had been shipped defective speakers. As there was no time for a re-do, we had to pull it.)MORE OPTIONS THAN EVER
Gone are the days of drilling two holes in a box and dropping in some drivers: Designers have multiple options when it comes to building loudspeaker systems. Historically, most of the attention has been on driver and enclosure design. Great strides have been achieved in the areas of enclosure shape, as well as options featuring ported cases. In recent years, some companies have turned to onboard digital signal processing to alter the response of the unit, with the most advanced systems incorporating microphones for individual room adjustments. Consequently our roundup contains speakers designed for the smallest project studios, world-class facilities, and just about everywhere in between.
All prices are list price, per speaker; “street” prices are typically less. Double the prices for a pair.
Bag End is a household name in live sound reinforcement. EQ-reading bass and keyboard players have probably come across the company’s instrument amps, as well. But they also make near-field monitors for audio and video suites.
The PM6 is about the same size as the ...