Gear of the Year: Monitors & Price/Performance Breakthroughs

Increasingly, the price/performance ratio has been more and more important for those in the pro audio industry. Not only are producers and engineers under more pressure than ever to turn projects around quickly and under budget, but the ‘cottage-isation’ of the recording industry means home recordists are looking for higher quality at lower prices.

Combine this with the all-important monitors category and you’ve got some serious winners below.

As in the past few days, have a look and tell us what you think on Twitter using #AMGearoftheYear

Loud and Clear:

Genelec M Series

Owning a pair of Genelec monitors is on most home studio owners list and the new M series is designed to fulfill that dream. The speakers, available in both five-inch and 6.5-inch versions, are bi-amplified with cooler running class D amplifiers and provide a level of neutral, truthful detail that Genelec is known for. Add to this the M series’ environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing design and you’ve got a monitor that sounds good while making you feel good about owning it. (Read the review in Audio Media August, 2013)

The bottom line:

“Whether recording and mixing, or editing, composing, and writing, these small boxes offer all the creative appeal needed for music creation.” – Strother Bullins, Pro Audio Review

PMC twotwo.8

The final piece in the twotwo trilogy, the twotwo.8s build on the innovative features that made its smaller siblings 2012 Gear of the Year winners. The new flagship model is designed and built in Britain and employs a substantial ATL (advanced transmission line) cabinet housing an eight-inch bass driver, advanced DSP technology, and PMC’s unique amplification. The monitors are ideal for nearfield monitoring and can be operated either vertically or horizontally.

The bottom line:

“An incredibly beautiful design that supplies even more bass and power than the smaller models – it’s no wonder you see PMCs in so many professional studios.” – Jory MacKay, Audio Media

Bang for your Buck:

KRK Rokit 8 G3

A longstanding competitor in the budget and home studio market, the latest and largest version of KRK’s Rokit series brings a level of performance not usually found in this price range. The monitors’ one-inch soft dome tweeter and eight-inch glass-Aramid composite woofer provide more than substantial bass response while maintaining vocal clarity and accuracy. (Read the review in Audio Media September 2013)

The bottom line:

“The Rokit 8 G3s shatter the price/performance barrier with a surprisingly mature presentation that will suit many day-to-day audio tasks.” – Nigel Palmer, owner, Lowland Masters

Calrec Callisto:

As budgets get tighter there is an increased demand for affordable products that still provide the level of functionality required for major events. The Calrec Callisto answers those needs for live broadcasters, combining an intuitive and simple control surface with much of the same power and performance of the larger Artemis and Apollo consoles.

The bottom line:

“With everyone feeling the crunch financially, Callisto is bound to be a serious contender for both new builds and upgrades.” – Jory MacKay, Audio Media