Pioneer RM-05 Professional Active Monitors review

Pioneer's latest mid-sized nearfields

  • £798
  • €599

MusicRadar Verdict

With robust construction, a punchy, upfront sound and useful correction EQ, the RM-05 is a solid monitor.


  • +

    Broad sweet spot.


  • -

    Difficult to match L/R levels. Very heavy!

MusicRadar's got your back Our team of expert musicians and producers spends hours testing products to help you choose the best music-making gear for you. Find out more about how we test.

PioneerDJ is the new name for Pioneer's DJ-focused audio business and, following a multi-million pound majority share (85%) buyout by investment firm KKR, is effectively its own operation.

How this will pan out moving forward with regard to product development is unclear. Nevertheless, after some years developing monitors designed to complement its DJ products (namely CDJ decks, DJM mixers, DDJ controllers and so on), the RM series (RM-05 and RM-07) marks a bit of a change in direction, broadening the remit to pro audio mixers and producers.

The RM-05 is a two-way bi-amped front ported monitor, with a 5-inch aramid fibre woofer and 1.5-inch hard dome tweeter. Said tweeter is mounted in the centre of the woofer in a coaxial configuration designed to ensure sound emanates from the same point source.

The monitor enclosure is a very stiff (and heavy) die cast aluminium construction with integrated heat sink at the rear. Meanwhile, the cabinet shape and front baffle are contoured to reduce diffraction. The RM-05 is similar in scale to Genelec's 8030 series.

Each RM-05 includes class AB bi-amps with a toroidal power supply, and the rear mounted power inlet and power switch, and front panel on/off LED indicator are accompanied by an optional Standby selector for enabling the power saving mode (the monitors power down after 25 minutes of inactivity).

Audio connection is via XLR (balanced) or phono (unbalanced), and above these are the input Level (-40dB to +6dB), and three EQ adjustments- Low, Mid and High. Low and High are shelving filters which each deliver -4dB, -2dB, 0dB and +2dB at 50Hz and 10kHz respectively. Meanwhile, Mid EQ provides a notch dip (-4dB, -2dB, -1dB) at 140Hz. This gets narrower at the maximum setting, and is intended to compensate for buildup caused by mixing desk or table top reflections.

The RM-05 comes with four rubber feet for table top or stand positioning. However, if you remove these and stick on the six smaller pads, you can also tilt them back ever so slightly on the angled speaker bottom. Wall mounting is also an option, in which case aim for the two M6 bolt holes at the top of the heat sink.

The monitor incorporates a number of technologies inherited from Pioneer's home AV speakers, namely the Harmonised Synthetic Diaphragm Optimised Method (HSDOM) tweeter profile, and AFAST (Acoustical Filter Assisted System Tuning), which uses an internal resonator to help eliminate internal standing waves. The front bass reflex port also incorporates grooves to help improve airflow.

Loud and punchy

Sonically, the RM-05 is a pretty loud monitor. I found that an input level near the lowest point sufficed and, with minimal knob scaling, it can be tricky to match L/R levels evenly. As ever, notched controls would be handy.

Next up, the EQ. We found the RM-05 a little too bright, so opted for the -2dB High EQ setting. Furthermore, the -1dB Mid EQ setting scooped out a little of the boominess although, at around 150Hz, we hink the term 'Mid EQ' is somewhat misleading.

With the monitors positioned in free air at least a metre from the back wall, we left the Low EQ flat, although they sounded quite big in the low-end. Any nearer the wall and we'd have definitely gone for the -2dB setting.

The RM-05 has a nice broad sweet spot, and imaging is very good. Frequency regions are easy to interpret, and there's plenty of mid range clarity. There's a certain brashness to the sound, and they're not what you'd call polite or particularly refined monitors.

Even so, they have a lively, punchy delivery and are very engaging to work on. At first we did find them a little bit too much, and in part this is because they beg to be used at a good level, rather than at lower levels.

Nevertheless, we did grow to like them and, for the right material (namely upfront contemporary mixes), they're very good. Even so, at £800 a pair they're up against some tough and established competition.