Monitor equipment is one of the most complex pieces of audio tools out there. There are mixed opinions on whether or not room size affects sound quality and if a high-powered monitor is best for a small room or studio. If you’re interested in choosing a studio monitor based on your room size, you should consider a few options before selecting the correct size monitor for you.
Here’s how you can choose the best sized monitors for a small room:
- Measure the size of your room.
- Calculate room measurements.
- Position your monitor correctly.
- Decide your preferred wattage.
- Pick a monitor with an EQ built-in.
- Use a speaker stand.
- Pick a small monitor for a small room.
- Limit low-end extension.
Many different things affect sound; you may be able to adjust your settings or add bass traps in your room or studio to help you get the best sound with your studio monitor speakers. Also, understand that audio recording quality makes a difference in sound quality. This article will explore in detail how to choose a monitor for a small room, how to calculate your monitor size to your room size, and the best ways to create great sound in a small room or studio.
1. Measure the Size of Your Room
The best way to decide what size studio monitor is best for you is to measure your room first. For example, if your room is big, you need a prominent speaker to fill the space with sound.
It’s not always about having a large monitor. Power is also essential when considering the best monitor size for your room. You should consider the measurements of your room before deciding if you need a three-inch (7.62 cm), eight inches (20.32 cm), or larger studio monitor size.
If your room is too large for your monitor size, then the sound could warp, and you may experience reverb issues, among other sound problems.
Most studio monitors come in three to eight-inch (20.32 cm) sizes. The most commonly used studio monitor for an average size spare bedroom is a five-inch (12.7 cm) monitor.
Most studios with an average size room use this size of the speaker. These monitors range in wats, power, and budget. Some experts believe that the more muscle you have is more important than room size, and regardless you should have a robust system.
However, others argue that if you’re working in a small room or studio, you should choose a small to medium size studio monitor for your workspace.
2. Calculate Room Measurements
There’s a more complex way of deciding which dimension is perfect for your room size. You may use a system called FAR. Using this system would apply math to your measurements to find the ideal ratio of sound versus space.
If you’re a math enthusiast and want a more precise way of calculating your measurements, you’d first measure the length of your space. You’d then proceed to measure the width. Your FAR would then equal your length divided by your width.
You’d then calculate what’s known as a Cov Angle. You’d need a calculator with a degree setting before being able to get your answers.
This method may not be for a beginner mixer or someone with a basic home studio who’s just starting. However, if you enjoy a bit of complexity when choosing the best size studio monitor for you, this method is the best choice.
If you’re interested in applying this process to your already owned equipment to see if you have the correct studio monitor size, you may determine you don’t have the right size for your space. Don’t panic; there’s room for adjustment in your calculations.
3. Position Your Monitor Correctly
When considering your purchases, size isn’t the only thing that matters regarding studio monitors. You may also need to understand that a better sound occurs when the speakers are positioned correctly.
You may have the right size monitors for your room or studio size, but placement matters greatly.
The best way to place your monitors is to form the shape of a triangle, with you being the centerpiece. Another concept is to put your speakers evenly between you and each other. A perfectly measured triangle is the stablest way to place your monitors.
Doing so will result in the best sound accuracy with the sharpest sound. If you’re setting up a steroid sound, then using the triangle method may become a little more complex, and you may want to do a little research to create the best sound you can for your setup.
Also, remember that sound reflects, and when sound reflects, it affects the noise of the monitors. If your walls or surrounding areas are made out of certain materials, this will affect the quality of your studio monitors regardless of size and shape.
Warp sounds are also something to consider when placing your studio monitors on decks or wooden surfaces.
4. Decide Your Preferred Wattage
The wattage you need for your studio monitor depends on what you’re trying to create. If you’ll be working with many basses, choosing a higher wattage than the standard fifty watts may be the best choice.
High wattage on a studio monitor is associated with a more detailed sound with any distortion. Distortion can be considered an issue when using a monitor in a small room.
Choosing the right size monitor and understanding watts and what you’re planning to use your monitor for should all be considered before completing your purchase.
It’s also important to remember that studio speakers aren’t designed to improve sound quality; it’s more about the accuracy of sound. Your audio recording is what you’re hearing; if there’s a warp or distortion in your audio recording, then you’ll listen to it ideally through your studio monitors.
If you don’t have the right size or your monitor’s position correctly, you may miss out on a sound in your recording that you may otherwise hear if your setup was ideal. Having the perfect amount of power or wattage is also essential when considering the detail of sound you’re searching for.
5. Pick a Monitor With an EQ Built-In
If you’ve chosen the best size speaker to the best of your ability, placed your monitors in the correct position, and still have sound distortion, you may consider adjusting your EQ.
The EQ setting isn’t something to toy around with on your settings. That can usually cause more harm than good; however, if you’re still having problems with your sound quality due to the room or studio you’re in, adjusting your EQ may do the trick.
While deciding what size monitor to get for your room size, you may choose to go ahead and purchase a monitor with a built-in EQ. You may also need to consider buying bass traps to go along with your built-in EQ monitor. However, it’s a complex setup and may not be recommended for beginners.
If you don’t have the resources to hire a sound consultant, and you’re still having problems with having the correct monitor size and position, this option may be best for you and your situation.
Essentially what an EQ does is adjust the sound to match the room size. That isn’t always the first choice, but it can be worthwhile if you plan to upgrade your studio size but don’t want to spend any extra money on changing your studio monitor size.
6. Use a Speaker Stand
A small room can affect the sound of your studio monitor. If you have a small space, you should consider buying a small monitor. Another great way to enhance your sound accuracy would be to place your studio monitor on a speaker stand; this can make your monitor head level and give you the ability to hear sounds at total capacity.
You may have the best monitor size for your room; however, you may hear a vibrational imbalance in your sound. That’s caused by sound waves bouncing off of materials. If you elevate your monitor, you’re removing vibrational problems that can occur with smaller rooms.
It’s not always easy to get the best setup when you’re just starting your studio. You may have to adjust before you can get that high-end studio monitor you’ve been eyeing. In the meantime, buying a reasonably priced speaker stand can give you better sound for the mixer on a budget.
Be sure you get the correct size speaker stand for your monitor size. Also, consider the height you need your speaker stand to be at. You can research that before buying and remember the triangle tip for monitor placement.
7. Pick a Small Monitor for a Small Room
If you have a small to average room, you’d want to get a small speaker with a high wattage. There are many things to consider because studio monitors are such a complex concept, but basically, you want to adjust your monitor sizes to fit your room size.
Some believe that room size doesn’t matter; it’s simply essential to consider your wattage and power. However, some have experienced a problem with sound and volume quality from having too large a monitor in too small of a room.
These tips aren’t rules, and you’re more than welcome to experience this for yourself. However, monitors are expensive, and if you’re on a budget, you may want to consider your room size before jumping straight into a sizable high-end studio monitor.
Small monitors don’t always mean that you won’t have the best sound for your room. Even if your room is a bit small, you may still be able to adjust your sound to match your room size with the correct positioning.
The average size studio monitor is about five inches (12.7 cm) from one end of the speaker to the other. That’s a great size to start with if you’re beginning to set up your studio. If you work with a small room or closet space, you may opt for a smaller three-inch (7.62 cm) size.
It’s important to remember that there are other options if you don’t have the budget for your studio’s correct size and shape monitor.
There’s no perfect size unless you believe there’s an ideal size monitor for your room. It all depends on what level of sound detail you need for your workload.
8. Limit Low-End Extension
Using a low-end extension studio monitor may be the best choice for you if you’re in a small room and a beginner. If you’re experienced with mixing and studio monitor sizes with a vast understanding of audio, using low-end extension may not be the best choice, but it’s, however, available.
What low-end extension does is put less vibration into the room. The lower the frequency in the room, the fewer standing waves. So, it may be a great idea if you have a workspace such as a closet or small space.
High-end sound detail may be more critical for a professional standard of mixers; however, if you’re beginning to learn audio equipment, this may be best if you choose not to size your monitor based on room size.
That could be a great idea if you have a used monitor that’s a little off in size for your room and you’re just learning. You may not need to hear so many of those ups and downs of bass and other sounds.
Placing your monitors at low-end extension is an option, although it may not be the best for professionals or anyone who needs a large amount of good detail.
Studio monitor size matters when it comes to the size and space available. Because sound bounces, making sure that you have the correct position, height, and balance in the best size speaker for your room is essential to professional-level sound detail.
As the standard opinion of many professional sound consultants and mixers agree that using a small studio monitor is best for a small room, studio, or closet that you’re using as your workspace.
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