The 7 Best Budget Studio Monitors Under $200 (2023 Buyer’s Guide)

Are you looking for a pair of budget studio monitors for your home studio that perform great without breaking the budget? Would you believe us if we told you you could get some great studio monitors for under $200?

Monitors are an essential part of any home studio. They are the speakers that help you accurately hear what is being recorded and mixed.

And before you ask, yes, monitors are different from regular speakers. Studio monitors produce natural, flat, and accurate sound reproduction. While regular speakers are designed to enhance certain frequencies and make music sound better, monitors have a flat frequency response that allows producers to get the most accurate representation of their mixes.

While we’ve already put together a comprehensive guide to the best home studio monitors, many of our picks were quite expensive. Some of the best studio monitors can set you back several hundred dollars or more.

But we also realize that not everyone has that kind of money to shell out on their studio.

For those on a budget, it may seem challenging to find studio monitors that deliver excellent performance without breaking the bank. The good news is there are some quality budget studio monitors out there that do a solid job with their performance without costing an arm and a leg, providing impressive sound reproduction for aspiring musicians, content creators, and home studio owners.

We’ve been testing and reviewing dozens of studio monitors for the last 3 years, and during that time, we’ve come across some excellent cheap studio monitors that offer great sound, satisfactory build quality, and a good value for their price.

For our purposes, we defined “cheap studio monitors” as anything under $200 for a pair as that’s the price point we feel is most reasonable for beginners and hobbyists.

So which monitors should you look for if you’re on a budget? Read on for our top picks for the best studio monitors under $200.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost for you, we might get a commission if you click the link and purchase.


How We Chose the Best Budget Studio Monitors

Before we dive into our picks, let’s quickly go over some of the criteria we considered when selecting which affordable studio monitors to include in this list.

First, sound quality and performance were paramount. No matter how cheap a monitor was, if it didn’t perform well or accurately represent what we heard from our mix sources, it didn’t make the cut.

Second, build quality was important to us. We wanted monitors that were well-built, looked nice, and seemed durable enough to last a while in the studio.

Third, we also looked at the extra features and controls each monitor offered, as well as its overall design.

And of course, there’s the actual price. We did a lot of debating over what exactly qualified as “cheap studio monitors” and settled on $200 as the maximum price point to be considered for this list. We considered the value for money — we wanted to make sure you weren’t sacrificing too much quality for your budget.

Now that you know what criteria we used to pick these monitors, let’s take a look at our top picks.


The Best Studio Monitors Under $200

Here are our picks for the best budget studio monitors you can get in 2023…

1. PreSonus Eris E3.5

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10/02/2023 02:19 pm GMT

As we noted in our PreSonus Eris E3.5 review, their overall quality makes them some of the best studio monitors out there at any price point.

These near-field studio monitors reproduce sound with a neutral, flat, and unenhanced frequency response to give you the most accurate representation of your recorded audio without any artificial boosts.

For the best results, we recommend listening to these monitors at a low-to-medium volume level while being physically close to them.

One of the cool features of the PreSonus Eris E3.5 is that they include a high-end and low-end tuning knob on the back of the left-side unit that lets you adjust and fine-tune the monitors based on your studio environment so you can get accurate, balanced sound.

These monitors also have multiple connections for different audio sources, including 1/4″ TRS and RCA inputs on the back and 1/8″ one-eighth inch stereo, unbalanced line inputs on the front to use for mobile devices.

Click here to shop these monitors on Amazon.


2. Mackie CR3-X

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10/02/2023 08:54 pm GMT

The CR3-X monitors deliver studio-quality sound on a budget, and they look great too.

A few of the things we really liked about these monitors include:

  • Sleek, stylish design with brushed metal panel and clean outline
  • Convenient headphone output and volume control on the front panel
  • Flexible rear panel inputs that include a balanced 1/4″ TRS, 1/8” Stereo, and RCA
  • Comes with several cables included for easy setup — 1/8″ to stereo RCA cable, 1/8″ to 1/8″ cable, and speaker wire
  • Waveform OEM DAW Essentials Collection also included

Click here to shop these monitors on Amazon.


3. Alesis Elevate 5 MKII

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10/02/2023 05:39 pm GMT

The Alesis Elevate 5 MKII is a great budget studio monitor set that produces clear sounds, competently handling low end, mid-range, and high-end frequencies.

It has a powered 5-inch dome and 1-inch tweeter to produce studio-quality sound.

The build quality on these monitors is also worth pointing out. It’s made from high-density wood so that the cabinet reduces vibrations and interference.

The Elevate 5 MKII also has flexible inputs and outputs for easy connectivity.

Click here to shop these monitors on Amazon.


4. Hercules DJSpeaker 32 SMART

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10/02/2023 08:34 pm GMT

Compact and robust, the DJ Speaker 32 Smart Speakers offer a quality audio experience at a great price.

Delivering 30 watts of RMS output power each with optimized acoustic waveguide, these speakers take your mixing sessions to a new level.

With Bluetooth multi-pairing tech (including simultaneous connection to two devices) as well as cable hookup options available in the box, you can work wherever you like without sacrificing sound quality or performance.

Click here to shop these monitors on Amazon.


5. M-Audio BX3

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10/02/2023 04:34 pm GMT

The M-Audio BX3 is a pair of compact desktop studio monitors that are great for everything from gaming to podcasting to home recording.

While these monitors are very affordably priced, they use high-end, premium components that produce a deep, clear, and full sound.

In the BX3, the speaker cones are placed behind a grill, meaning the monitors don’t get hot to the touch like some of the other models out there.

They’re not super loud, but they’re still a perfect fit for a small home studio.

Click here to shop these monitors on Amazon.


6. KRK Studio Monitor

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10/02/2023 08:59 pm GMT

With over three decades of expertise from one of the world’s foremost studio monitor makers, KRK Classic 5 Powered Studio Monitors provide an unbeatable blend between classic sound and modern-day innovation.

Featuring a flat frequency solution for more precise mixing as well as an optional +2dB Bass Boost to maintain renowned sonic fidelity, these budget-friendly monitors deliver everything you need to ensure each mix is up your exacting standards.

Packed with features such as Class A/B amplifiers complete with built-in automatic limiter technology and quality components like 1” soft dome tweeters plus 5″ glass aramid composite woofers in addition to waveguides designed for imaging accuracy, these monitors deliver performance that helps push music production boundaries further than ever before.

Click here to shop these monitors on Amazon.


7. Edifier M4

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10/02/2023 08:59 pm GMT

Based on the acclaimed Edifier bookshelf speakers, these studio monitors offer a clean, flat responsive curve for optimum sound quality for any recording application.

The 1″ silk dome tweeters combined with 4″ composite woofers provide a clear, smooth audio – all enclosed in a MDF wood frame that reduces resonance for true clarity of sound.

These budget monitors offer flexible connections, including a 1/4″ balanced TRS input, an unbalanced RCA input, an unbalanced AUX input, and a front headphone output, so you’re guaranteed total device compatibility whatever is needed.

Plus there are dual modes available: monitor mode outputting ‘true’ audio perfect for creation and production, as well as music mode for casual, everyday listening.

Click here to shop these monitors on Amazon.


A Final Word on the Best Budget Studio Monitors

When you’re setting up a home studio, it’s important to stretch your dollar as far as possible without sacrificing quality.

Hopefully, this guide has showed you that it’s possible to get some excellent cheap studio monitors under $200 that can still provide you with great sound quality and performance.

Do your research, read reviews, and test out products yourself to see what works best for your particular situation.

And remember, even the most expensive monitors won’t make up for poor recording and mixing techniques — it’s always important to practice and hone your skills first.

Have any questions about our guide to the best budget studio monitors? Let us know by commenting below.

Scott Winstead

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