Today I'm thrilled to share my in-depth review of the incredible Yamaha HS8 speakers, which I think are the best studio monitors for serious home studios, and the ones I've been using for the past few years. Whether you're a seasoned musician or an aspiring producer, these speakers will take your music production experience to new heights. Join me as I walk you through the pros and cons, share my personal journey with these speakers, offer some useful tips, and let you in on the mind-blowing sound quality they deliver.
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Upgrade to the Powerhouse
When I made the leap from my trusty 5-inch speakers to the Yamaha HS 8s, I discovered a whole new world of sound. These eight-inch speakers pack a punch, delivering a loud and powerful audio experience. However, it's important to note that their size demands appropriate room treatment. In my 10 foot by 10 foot home studio, I had to invest in a lot of soundproofing measures to truly optimize the performance of these speakers. I would not recommend these active monitors for smaller spaces than that. Instead you may want to check out a smaller active studio monitor, like the Yamaha HS5s or KRK Rokit 5s.
You'll also need to get separate isolation stands for these speakers. Given the extra weight of the 2-way bi-amp system, you can't simply place these speakers on foam pads. Trust me, I tried. The just squished and then the speakers fell over. The built-in bi-amplification includes two separate power amplifiers in each speaker: a 75-watt low frequency amp and a 45-watt high frequency amp. meaning that this bi-amp design is loud enough to fill up a larger room too!
You also can't just place them directly on your mixing desk, or it will rumble and resonate in a way that will have a terrible overall result for your mixing. For maximum speaker placement versatility, you need something like the Iso-Acoustics stands to help you position these speakers at the perfect height for your desk, while decoupling the vibrations from your desk. For the best response, be sure to move them at least 6 inches from the wall.
Immersive Sound Experience
Now, let's dive into what really matters—the sound quality. The Yamaha HS8 speakers sound absolutely fantastic! They strike a perfect balance, making them enjoyable for regular music listening while also providing the transparency required for precise mixing. With the clarity provided by these speakers, my mixes improved by a remarkable 15 to 20 percent.
The depth, clarity, and smooth mid-range, along with controlled highs and impressive low-end response, allow you to craft and fine-tune your sound like never before. In my view, they have a very flat response for near field reference monitors, which makes them the perfect choice for the mixing process at this price range. If anything, the exhibit a subtle midrange boost that is very pleasant on the ears.
As the chart shows, the frequency response of the Yamaha HS 8s is fairly smooth, but if the overall sound isn't working in your room, you can make some tweaks. While these speakers don't include extra room-matching tools built in, they still offer you a few choices to adjust the sound two your room. First, each speaker includes a high trim switch which lets you cut or boost high frequencies (above 2kHz) by 2dB. They also include a room control switch which can reduce mud in small spaces by cutting below 500 Hz by 2 or 4 dB. Each speaker also includes its own level control in case you need to balance the stereo image.
Given that these speakers feature an 8-inch cone woofer, most of us won't need a separate subwoofer to accurately mix the low end.
Unveiling Hidden Nuances
One of the most remarkable aspects of the HS8s is their ability to reveal intricate details in your music. I was astonished by how much I had been missing in my mixes before getting these speakers. The added depth and clarity exposed weaknesses in my previous work, inspiring me to enhance the high-end presence and clean up the muddiness in my low-end frequencies. These nearfield reference monitors are the ideal sonic platform for most genres of music.
Looks & Features
I love the looks of the Yamaha HS Series Speakers, from the iconic white woofer to the sleek limes and extra thickness of the tweeter frame. They look solid and serious, with an overall design that looks like it would be right at home in a professional studio.
The back panel of the HS8s features XLR and TRS inputs, as well as the aforementioned trim, low cut switch and high trim response control switches. While some users might be bothered that it doesn't include a phase switch, I don't think it's a big deal. Assuming you've placed your speakers equidistant from your listening position, you should experience great sound without any phase issues.
The front of the speakers includes those cool white-cone speakers for the woofer, as well as a one-inch dome tweeter.
A Few Quirks
Let's address a couple of minor quirks. While the speakers impressively eliminate electrical noise, they can occasionally pick up interference from Bluetooth or Wi-Fi signals which leads to unwanted noise. So, keeping your phone away from the speakers is advised for a noise-free experience. However, these minimal inconveniences pale in comparison to the overall excellence of the HS8s.
Immersive Demo Experience
Now, let's take a listen to some demo tracks. Please note that the audio you'll hear is influenced by my room setup, microphone placement, and the limitations of a single microphone recording. Remember to consider these factors as you evaluate the speakers' performance. Nevertheless, let the demos showcase the versatility of the HS8s across different genres, including hip-hop and rock.
I hope you enjoyed this closer look at these speakers based on my experience using them over the past few years. In conclusion, the Yamaha HS8 speakers are a dream come true for any music producer or enthusiast seeking a superior listening experience. The power, clarity, and accuracy they offer are simply outstanding. With a few considerations and proper room treatment, you can unlock their full potential and elevate your music production to professional levels. So, go ahead and grab your own pair of HS8s; you won't regret it!
From a Frustrated Producer in a Ragtag Bedroom Studio to Major Placements on TV Earning $1,000s!
My name is Evan, and I've been making music since around 3rd grade. I'm from San Diego, California, but I've lived in Washington, DC for the last 20 years.
While I still have a full-time day job, I have created systems that have allowed me to produce dozens of songs a year in my spare time.
My songs have been on Netflix, TV shows like the 90 Day Fiance, an award-winning indie film, and NPR’s “All Thing Considered.” They've also been streamed millions of times.
In addition to being a music producer, I am passionate about teaching people how they can make professional-sounding music and earn money licensing it, all in their spare time.
Thousands of musicians, like yourself, have trusted me to guide their musical journey. My YouTube videos have been watched nearly a million times. And my story has been in Forbes, Side Hustle Nation, and the Side Hustle School.