You’d think that monitor design would be pretty much set in stone by now, but manufacturers are still pushing the envelope and coming up with groundbreaking designs. More importantly, they’re making our speakers sound better than ever before.
Our shortlist of new monitors covered products at multiple price points, with some of the biggest names in the industry being represented. We asked you to browse it and vote for the best of 2017: it was a tough job, but you did it.
The MusicRadar Best in music tech awards 2017 are brought to you in association with Softube - Tools for the Audio Professional
Hedd Audio Type 20
They say: The Hedd Type 20 is a fully-fledged 3-way-system stuffed into a sleek and small footprint cabinet. It gives you the best of both monitoring worlds: convenient dimensions to easily fit the speakers into compact recording, mastering, or sophisticated home studios and the complete skill set of a full-range midfield monitoring system."
We said: "The XRs successfully fill a gap in the Mackie monitor range, combining solid construction with an affordable price tag."
M-Audio BX5 D3
We said: "The D3s are the best-looking and best-sounding BX5s ever. These diminutive monitors remain one of the best budget designs you can buy."
Barefoot Sound Footprint 01
They say: "Footprint01 features dual opposing 8-inch paper cone subwoofers, a 4-inch aluminum cone midrange driver and a 1-inch dual ring radiating tweeter, components that all share a lineage with Barefoot’s other products."
They say: "The S2V is a classic two-way nearfield monitor designed for use in small-to-medium-sized control rooms.
"The 7-inch bass driver, newly created from the ground up for the S Series, covers frequencies ranging from 35 Hz to 3 kHz and delivers a powerful, distortion-free low-end with a wide dynamic range. The carefully refined S-ART tweeter, handbuilt as ever at the ADAM Audio factory in Berlin, works seamlessly in tandem with the newly developed HPS waveguide, creating absolutely precise imaging within a generously proportioned sweet spot."
Focal Shape 65
They say: "Shape 65 is the reference of the Shape line. Although it’s dedicated to nearfield monitoring, this monitor enables extraordinary monitoring quality, in the lowest to the highest frequencies. Simply a must, this monitor will express its full potential from a listening distance of three feet away (1 metre)."
Winner: KRK V6 S4
They say: "KRK Systems' V Series 6 nearfield studio monitors are specifically designed for audio production applications where accurate reproduction is critical. KRK worked with hundreds of pro engineers/producers/mixers to develop these groundbreaking monitors. Recording and broadcast studios as well as sound design and audio production houses will benefit from adding the V Series 4 as the go to monitor of choice."