Yamaha HS5 Review (Best affordable studio monitors?)

Yamaha HS5 Review Studio Monitors

Whether you’re looking for studio monitors, a jet ski, or a grand piano, Yamaha has your back. All jokes aside, Yamaha is one of the premier pro-audio brands, and the Yamaha HS5 Studio Monitors are their entry level studio monitor offering!

You may be familiar with Yamaha’s NS-10 speakers, which have become a studio mainstay. Released in the 1970’s, the discontinued NS-10 have become a bit of a cult classic among mix engineers. The HS5 studio monitors are Yamaha’s modern take on the recording studio speaker, and unlike the NS-10, you’re able to purchase them new from Yamaha!

  • Affordable price and professional sound
  • 2-way speaker configuration (woofer and tweeter)
  • 54Hz-30kHz frequency response

Now let’s take a look at the Yamaha HS5 monitors and see what they have to offer!

Who are the Yamaha HS5 monitors for?

Yamaha HS5 review

The Yamaha HS5 monitors are what I’d consider an upper-end entry level studio monitor. They are a great first pair of studio monitors for musicians, producers, and home studio owners looking to move up from using headphones. They’re also a step up from the uber-affordable Mackie CR series of speakers, so if you’re looking to upgrade form those, the HS5 are a solid pick.

They also are a fantastic option for video editors or podcasters who want to upgrade to more professional sounding speakers. Anyone working in multi-media who has been using computer speakers would find the Yamaha HS5 to be a serious audio upgrade!

Yamaha HS5 Features and Controls

The HS5 speakers have inputs for XLR and TRS connectors, making them compatible with almost every audio interface (if you need an interface to use your HS5s, check out our suggestion for the best cheap interface)! Each speaker has a volume knob, a room control switch, and a high frequency trim switch to allow you to get a great sound in your room.

You’ll want to set both speakers to the same settings to ensure consistent sound from each side. I find the changes each switch allows to be pretty subtle, so play around with the settings and see what sounds good in your room. When in doubt, feel free to just leave the room control and high trim set to zero.

How do the Yamaha HS5 speakers sound?

I personally enjoy the sound profile of the HS5 speakers. I have found that they are loud enough for pretty much any studio application (which should be around 85dB), and they offer a clear sound at all listening volumes.

The 2-way speaker configuration allows the bass and high frequencies to stand out on their own, and the bass response is pretty good for a speaker this affordable. The sound of the Yamaha HS5 is a definite upgrade for anyone who is working on cheaper computer speakers.

If you’re someone who is planning on mixing and mastering music, I would suggest looking into the Yamaha HS5 subwoofer to add to your speaker setup! Adding a subwoofer to the HS5 speakers moves them from a “solid upgrade” choice into a “great sounding setup” in my opinion. Letting the bigger subwoofer handle the low end allows the smaller HS5s to focus on the mids and highs, and improves the overall sound of your setup.

As with any studio speaker, your room’s acoustics will play a big factor in how well your speakers sound translates to good mixes. Check out our home studio acoustics guide to see if you can improve the sound of your room!

Other studio monitors to consider

If you’re looking to save some cash, the KRK Rokit 5 are a slightly more affordable option compared to the Yamaha HS5 speakers.

  • Kevlar woofer and tweeter
  • Compatible with KRK app to adjust EQ to fit your room
  • 25 band equalization for amazing tweakability

If you’re looking to spend a bit more for better sound, the Focal Alpha 50 are a great option for a few hundred dollars more.

  • 50 watt, 2-way design is great for studio listening
  • High quality sound thanks to Slatefiber drivers
  • A great choice for mixing and mastering engineers

Final Thoughts on the Yamaha HS5 Studio Monitors

The Yamaha HS5 studio monitors are a great choice for musicians, engineers, and producers looking to build their first studio. They’re also a solid choice for multimedia pros like videographers, editors, and podcasters that want to upgrade from computer speakers to something more robust!

Overall, I highly recommend the Yamaha HS5 studio monitors for anyone looking to make the leap to proper studio monitors without totally breaking the bank.

  • Affordable price and professional sound
  • 2-way speaker configuration (woofer and tweeter)
  • 54Hz-30kHz frequency response

If you’re getting new studio monitors, don’t forget to grab a pair of speaker stands too. This article breaks down the best choices for speaker stands! If speakers are too loud for your situation, check out our picks for the best mixing headphones here!

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About the Author: Adam Sliger

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I'm the founder of makethatlouder.com, and a producer, musician, and songwriter based out of Orlando, FL. I have 10 years experience producing and owning a commercial recording studio. I write and produce music for artists, TV, and for my solo project, Night Winds. When I'm not writing and recording, I'm into food, coffee, and riding rollercoasters!

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