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Yamaha HS50M Reviews

4.5 stars based on 60 customer reviews
  • from Nashville, TN March 16, 2013Music Background:
    Christian/Gospel:(Hip-Hop, Pop, Rock, R&B & Praise & Worship)- Indie Artist

    I Promise You, These Will Win You A Grammy!

    Ok, first let me say this, as an Indepedent Christian recording artist, who writes, records, mixes & masters my own music. I had to lear the hard way. My first CD was recorded, mixed & mastered using big Event Asp8's...Wrong! This was the biggest misatke of my music career. First of all, you mix and master with small "5-inch monitors..Period! Second, you mix and master with the volume low, this allows you to hear everything, I bought these monitors at the recommendation of my sweetwater rep. Brian Vandekeer. My God, this man knows his stuff! After listen to my CD througo the Yamaha HS50M's I wanted to cry, because I could hear how bad my CD had been mixed & mastered! Yes, I screwed up. Fisrt by not using a smaller nearfeld monitor to mix my songs with, second by not listening to Brian in the first place. He told me not mix with big boomy monitors, but I didn't listen. After seeing a friend go to the Grammys this year and almost getting nominated because his CD was really good, I made the decision to get it right on my new CD, I bought the HS50M's and my God, man you know these thing are pro monitors. I hear so many things unlike before. I can tell when the signal is just toloud and distored, unlike before. I can hear the stereo imaging so much better. I promise you, if your like me and your working on your CD and you want it to have that "Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Adele & Katy Perry" Sound in terms of the mix and the proper levels,You gotta get these moititors. The HS50M's tell you the absolute truht about your song, if you recorded the signal to loud or to low, if your bass is to loud and distorted. Most importantly, if the mix is not right. Having a baddly mixed song is like having a nice slice of chocolate cake, with a warm, spolied glass of milk....yUk! It's just nasty, it dosen't go well you know what I mean? So If your working on your own project and you want it to rival, the "Adele's & The Bruno Mar's & The Katy Perry's and so on, you better...better get these monitors! I Promise you, these will help you win a Grammy.

  • from New York, NY USA January 18, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Main reference monitor, could't mix without them

    Really like the advertising says, "If your mix sounds good on those, it will sound god anywhere".

    Really natural sound and for the money you could try thisas an alternative toNS-10 that by the way you will need an amplifier. Great deal for the money

  • from Los Angeles, CA November 25, 2012Music Background:
    Freelance film, tv, and video game composer.

    Amazing reference monitors at a great price

    When I began asking other composers and engineers I work with for advice on great but affordable reference monitors, the Yamaha HS50M was the one set that everyone mentioned. I trusted their opinion and man am I glad that I did. For starters, you are not going to find a pair of monitors that sound better than these in this price range. Beyond that, they sound great, they're built to last, and in combination with the HS10W sub, they pack a serious punch. If you're looking for a great set of reference monitors for use in a recording or composition studio, I would highly recommend these. You will not find a better deal for the incredible professional level sound that you will get out of these monitors.

  • from Athens, Greece April 14, 2012Music Background:
    Mastering Engineer, occasionally mix engineer

    Excellent speakers for mixing

    These little speakers are excellent for mixing job. Although, my main occupation is mastering, I need a set of speakers mostly to focus in the mid-range area while doing mixing. Although these speakers don't have a neutral character at all, they remind me a lot ns10's. I find them extremelly usefull to clear mids, to eq bass and kick and make them work together nicely and to give a nice vibe to the whole mix. They provide a good stereo image and their highs are good enough to avoid any harshness but to keep the air in your mix. Of course, you'll need another full range set of speakers or good headphones to check sub frequencies because these speakers lack in this area. I prefer them more when mixing pop, electronica and rock stuff because they don't give you a rich 3D presentation of the mix (yes I like that!) but again you need reference speakers or high quality headphones for further but minor adjustments.
    I use them 3 years now and they serve me exactly what i want!
    Most of the times, when I finish the mix and hear it to my mastering system, I don't have any surprises and rarely I go back to make corrections before mastering.

  • from March 17, 2012Music Background:
    mixing engineer

    The Ultimate Studio Monitor

    For accurate mixes that translate across every media. Get 'em' then, thank me later.

  • from Orlando, FL February 6, 2012Music Background:
    Music Producer/(Recording Academy) Engineer/Arranger & Full Sail RA-Student

    Great Flat reference monitors...the last step in my mixes..

    I've been owning the HS-50's for about roughly 3 years now and I trust these as the last step in my mixing/listening stage. These are "pure" flat reference monitors....place EVERY-SINGLE switch on the back panel on "0"/flat...then mix....if you get bases out of these, then you'll have true bases on any system...clear vocals (check), horns (check), strings (check) & so on.

    I own both Focals CSM 40's & Dynaudio, routed through a DM-ST...I use these for A/B mixing...and these are WONDERFUL & ACCURATE monitors in their own right...but the HS-50's have the final word.

  • from Kansas City, MO November 3, 2011Music Background:
    Film Sound Engineer, Film Score Composer, Live Sound Engineer, Recording Engineer, Musician

    Fantastic Studio Monitors

    I use these monitors in my recording studio daily as often as possible. When mixing audio for films, I check all of my levels on these monitors. When composing, I check everything on these monitors. When I listen to my music library for leisure, I listen with these monitors. The sound is the best I've ever heard from monitors. I'm able to work on the professional level because I have the equipment to hear the flaws and balance issues in my work and fix them thanks to the equipment like this.

  • from Puerto Rico- USA October 28, 2011Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, AV_IT Specialist

    THE BEST IN IT'S CLASS !!!

    Yamaha does it again !!!! Definitively the best powered speakers with TRULY ACCURATE FLAT PERFECTION for its size. Amazingly bass low end for its size. Great to mix and/or master your projects. After using my Genelecs1032's for quite some time, I notice these Yamaha's can do the job as well.

  • from August 31, 2011Music Background:
    New-in-the-line recording and mixing engineer

    It's legend, wait for it.. DARY!!

    I don't know what the hell a flat response monitor speaker means, but whatever it is you hear about the Yamaha HS50M not lying, telling it like it is, Simon Cowell of speakers, flat flat flat like a pancake etc.. BELIEVE IT!

    Seriously, put the price and the size aside. I listened to my mixes on GENELECs and ADAMs and thought wow I'm pretty good! These speakers told me I need a ton more effort to put in! And it's worth all the hard work. The bands I work with are happy with their mixes and I'm glad I could be of service. I'm nothing without these speakers honestly.

  • from israel July 18, 2011Music Background:
    Live Sound Engineer

    A-M-A-Z-I-N-G

    the prefect monitor! the sound is so real ; you can actually hear the singer or the band in front of you with any adujtments' ; so clear and warm.... the price is ridicules for such a wondefull product! its the first day im using them and i feel great with that choise

    run to buy it now!

  • from Indianapolis, IN April 28, 2011Music Background:
    Recording Engineer and Musician

    Hard to Believe

    After much research, and a recommendation from my Sweetwater Sales Engineer, I bought these monitors for surround mixing in my small project studio. I could not be happier. I've done audio engineering for 30 years now, and I'm picky about my gear. I record and mix mostly acoustic stuff, so transparency is of the utmost importance to me.

    When I first powered up two of my new monitors I didn't mess with placing them appropriately. I just wanted to hear them. I set two of them on a table to the right and left of me. They were pointing at my mix position, about arms length from me, and only 6 to 10 inches in front of me. I turned up the spoken word piece I was working on and immediately turned it back off. I was sure I had set up my signal incorrectly and was still listening to my main monitors. After checking the signal flow, and finally sticking my ear right in front of one the Yamahas I realized it was them I was hearing! The imaging and sound, coming from these little $200 monitors, positioned poorly as they were, sounded so similar to my regular monitors (that cost four times as much) I didn't notice the difference.

    They could have charged twice the price for these and I would still be writing a rave review. Buy five of them. Now.

  • from Los Angeles, California March 16, 2011Music Background:
    Recording/Mix Engineer

    Flat

    Flat & accurate...simply put.

  • from Jacksonville, FL August 27, 2010Music Background:
    Producer

    Not what they first appeared!

    Originally, I was going to write a review to hate on these monitors. I didn't know a whole lot about mixing and mastering and am used to hearing stuff on my Ultrasone headphones (which I still love!). So, when I first heard these monitors, I thought, "Where's the bass?"

    After learning what a flat response really meant, I mastered an entire track on these things. Gave the track all this amazing love. All by ear. Then, I checked it out on my spectrum and vectorscope. It was amazing. I put my ultrasones back on and it sounded full and rich. I brought it out to the club and realized just how good it sounded.

    You do need to actually learn what you're listening to with these monitors. These aren't for people who want their mix to sound good right out of the speakers. These are for people who want their mix to sound good no matter where it's played.

  • from MN, US February 10, 2010Music Background:
    A.A.S. Audio Engineering; Live Audio Specialist; Recording Engineer

    Best project studio monitors...Even better if you know their secrets!

    These monitors are one of the best alternatives to the legendary NS-10's. I say alternative because in reality, they do not sound a thing like NS-10's--active/passive, ported/non-ported, cone size, and enclosure material/size.

    NS-10's are old, but good news. As music evolves, so do requirements of reproducing its sound. If you know the real reason behind all of the HS50's switches, these are perfect. However, if you do not understand frequency response, mastering these can be tricky.

    I recommend using the MID boost to help compensate for over-mixing the crucial mid-range; but make sure you really understand what you are compromising, especially with the other switches. Good luck, and happy mixing.

  • from Emeryville February 3, 2010Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Student majoring in audio engineering.

    Well Done, Yamaha

    I just recently (as in yesterday) bought a pair of Yamaha HS50M monitors. First off, they are monitors, just like every other monitor in this price range. If you know how your monitors sound compared to everything else, (and if you truely are an engineer...) then you can mix on any of these. Why I chose these monitors was because of all the fun switches and knobs on the back. Doing a reference test, I found that these monitors are pretty freakin' good at giving you a flat response if you use all those cuts and boost switches in the back just right. (They were a couple dB higher with the 10KHz tone, even with the 2dB high cut engaged.)

    The main reason I love these monitors is for the 80Hz and 100Hz HPFs. These are supposed to be used as a crossover point in conjunction with the subwoofer, but you can definitely use them to hear how your bass frequencies will translate on an inferior system. That is money in the bank.

  • from Same Town As James Brown, Georgia June 4, 2009Music Background:
    D.J. / Producer / Recording Engineer / Label & Studio Owner

    Excellent Buy!

    I Purchased These Monitor's Because Of The Ole Tales Of "If Your Mix Sound's Good Coming Outta NS-10's Then It Will Sound Good Anywhere"....Maybe My Qoute Is Off, But I Could Never Purchase A Real Pair.
    So When These Came Out, I Went And Bought Them Just Cause. And It Was Worth The Money!
    I Do All My Mixing On HS50's And I Haven't Recieved Any Feedback From Clients Hardly.....Never!!!!!
    Besides How Great They Sound, Their Powered And Compact For Travel.
    Flat Response With Control Features On Rear Of Speaker.....Makes It Lovely For The EARS!!!!
    JUST KEEP ON MIXING ON!!!!!

  • from New York City, NY December 28, 2008Music Background:
    Recording and Mixing Engineer

    The best monitors for mixing. Period!

    I did my long research, and the conclusion was to buy these monitors. Why? No phase problems, like similar monitors with 6 or 8 inches, and a flat, flat, flat response. This saves me a lot of time and I don't have to go out and hear my mix in the car, at home, etc. They just translate well. The funny thing is that you can hear immediately how bad recorded and mixed are some commercial CDs and why good mixing engineers have a positive reputation. Maybe they used the HS50Ms. Get a pair, I should have done that loooong time ago!

  • from New York, NY USA October 17, 2008Music Background:
    Recording Engineer/Producer

    Stellar Monitors!

    I bought a pair after hearing them in a store and have since been pleased with their performance. Don't let the size fool you...these things can crank out some sound. And the mixes are clear at all levels. Their a great replacement for the NS-10's. The mixes I've done on he HS50M's translate well on other systems (ranging from home and car stereo systems to large auditoriums). Definitely pick up a pair!

  • from Trinidad, westindies April 18, 2008Music Background:
    Recording Engineer,Pro Musician

    simply amazing

    i own genelec 1030a`s tannoy ams12 and krk v8`s and yamaha ns-10`s and thease new Yamaha HS50M monitos blow away all of them you can mix for longer periods and not get tired and they are as true and flat as they get in the industry i also hear things in my mixes now that i never did before plus they do not compress or color your sound just buy them a.s.a.p if you want to improve your mixes 5 stars for sure

  • from Hyattsville, Maryland February 13, 2008Music Background:
    Producer/Bassist

    All Dat & Then Some!

    was in the market for a new set of near-fields and chose these over the Mackie HR624s. I heard some good reviews about them and wondered if they'd measure up to the NS10's ........................Boy! DO THEY! I mean the clarity
    and imaging radiating from these monitors is nothing short of amazing.
    I re-mixed some tracks previously done on some Event ASP6's and the difference was like night and day. The top end was crystal clear and the mids were right in your face. the bass was very cool coming from these little things.
    Even more cool when I turned on the sub. I do a lot of smooth and funk jazz
    where the bass isn't bottom heavy but has to be clean and articulate and these
    give me that!.....................big ups to Yamaha for keepin up the tadition!

  • from East Stroudsburg, PA. February 8, 2008Music Background:
    Hip Hop Producer

    The Truth For Hip Hop

    When I was read to graduate from bookshelf speakers to studio monitors, I spent 2 hours at a store comparing EVERY monitor they had. Of course the high end $1000 plus monitors sounded great, but when it came to the ones in my modest budget, the HS50M's were hands down the best sounding. Alot of the other brands tend to sound muddy and sometimes boomy but these speakers are crystal clear. Even if I could afford more expensive models today, I would still have these monitors right by there side.

  • from Sao Paulo, SP, Brasil November 12, 2007Music Background:
    Dj & Producer

    PERFECT!

    Perfect!
    I just have to say this about HS50M...
    Clear and awesome sound for a incredible
    price!

  • from Whitby, Ontario, Canada August 14, 2007Music Background:
    Just a 17 year old home studio owner

    Wider Than Rosie O'Donnell's Mid Section

    These things have amazing stereo imaging. I A/B tested these to Event ALP5s, the KRK series, some Adams and some M-Audio and the Yamahas blew the competion away. It might not have the low end support your looking for but the mid range is fuller and the top end is much briter; a very good flat response for those looking for a "true" speaker.

  • from Newark, NJ. August 6, 2007Music Background:
    Recording Engineer/Producer, Drummer.

    Amazing clarity

    I just received my new pair of Yamaha HS50M's and have to say they sound amazing. The clarity is breathtaking and the mids are perfectly balanced. There is way more bottom end than I would have thought for a five inch woofer. If you have limited space or a tight budget, you will find these monitors a perfect solution.

  • from New York, NY USA March 14, 2007Music Background:
    Producer

    Very transparent monitors

    This year’s Technical GRAMMY Award was presented to Yamaha Corporation in recognition of the company’s long tradition of highly-successful recording products, including the legendary NS-10M studio reference monitors and recently launched HS monitors.

    I am mixing rap and hiphop on my HS50Ms. They can handle all the bass you can throw at them and still sound tunefull. In my opinion current CD or Vinyl standards are not good enough for HS50Ms, I think Yamaha designed them to withstand future devolepments in audio reproduction in the next 30 years.

  • from Los Angeles, CA March 12, 2007Music Background:
    Multi-Instrumentalist/Songwriter/Producer/Engineer

    Fantastic Monitors

    I was in the market for monitors, and was trying to decide between the M-Audio BX5as and the KRK Rokit 5s. After listening to both sets in the store, and reading online reviews, I decided to go with the KRKs.

    I took them home, and was initially pleased, but after a few hours I noticed just how bass heavy (muddy) they were.

    I talked to a friend, and he recommended the HS50s. They were a bit more expensive, but definitely worth the extra cash, he said. So, I returned the KRKs and got the Yamahas.

    Good lord, am I pleased with my decision. I tell you, these things sound SO clear and flat... I've never heard my mixes in such detail before. I went back and listened to some old mixes I'd done, and laughed at how foolish I'd been. I remixed them, and sure enough, these songs sound SO much better - on every system I listen to them on.

    These speakers have actually become my main listening speakers, just because I LOVE the detail and clarity. And, unless you're mixing dance music or hip hop, they have PLENTY of bass.

    Just fantastic.

  • from Los Angeles CA February 26, 2007Music Background:
    Producer, Musician

    Need better quality control?

    Someone here said that "my right one has a rattle in it that makes playing piano sounds annoying". Funny because Yamaha sells them as single speakers so there is no right or left one. I would suggest him to try switching his left speaker with his right one to see if it also rattles. If it does it means there is something wrong elsewhere in the signal chain. But if the right(!) speaker continues to rattle when connected to the left channel, it means that speaker needs to be checked carefully. He should contact Yamaha to get it serviced under waranty.

    He also says that "you have to break them in for a while to notice". My pair didn't need any break in, they sounded right out of the box.

    "Maybe you other folk don't use the spectrum of frequencies that a piano can give in recordings to really test these out, or I just got a dud."

    OK this sentence doesn't make any sense at all. I am playing rock or dance music on them where there is heavy drum beats and bass guitar. Frequency spectrum doesn't get any wider than this. I play the piano as well but I have no complaints regarding the quality of these affordable giant killers. Very dynamic, transparent sound; I am completely satisfied with them.

  • from guildford uk December 31, 2006Music Background:
    engineer

    wicked

    there monitors rock ... i've been after a decent pair of fair priced actives for a while ,i a-b'd them against the tannoys / mackie and gelelec and these are the kiddies for thye price ...chrysal tops and subtle bass gave them the edge ...well done yamaha !!

  • from USA November 5, 2006Music Background:
    Musician,Recording Engineer

    Nice!

    What more can I say? I would echo the rest here.They are truly awesome monitors.I am blown away by how sweet and transparent these babies are,and will be ordering three more and the sub for surround mixing.Man!I think I will be getting a pair of the HS80's as well...outstanding job,Yamaha!!!

  • from Los Angeles September 11, 2006Music Background:
    Composer and keyboardist

    Yamaha HS50M rocks

    I just bought a pair of these little babies. In its price range there was not a big competion, so they were the obvious choice. After hooking them and firing them up first thing I noticed was the tunefulness of its bass instruments reproduction. The tweeters are also very sweet sounding and never tiring. I will use them to mix my music, but recognising its quality I have decided to use them as my main music listening monitors. They are that good! But they are also very revealing so only the best recorded meterials will sound great on them. It's no problem for me because they also sound decent with less then perfect program materials, especially with the volume turned down. But with quality program they just rock, with any kind of music of course. Bravo Yamaha for producing such a great product for a reasonable price. These babies will be classic!

  • from Marina, ca March 12, 2013Music Background:
    Recording engineer

    Just what doctor needed

    All I gotta say is that I used krk rp5s for 3 years and these are far more accurate. Whatever I mix sounds immediately decent in my car stereo. Best bang for the buck don't hesitate!

  • from White Lake, Michigan February 11, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Recording Engineer

    If you want great mixes..

    If your serious about getting good mixes, get these reference monitors. They are great for getting professional sounding mixes at a reasonable price. As soon as I added these to my studio I was able to get sound results like never before. Thanks sweetwater for suggestion I get these! I am very satisfied with my purchase.

  • from Nashville, TN January 5, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer and Musician

    They really do sound like NS-10Ms

    I mixed on NS-10Ms for years. These are the closest thing I've found that you can buy new! Nice that they are powered. Highly recommend.

  • from United States September 25, 2011Music Background:
    Keyboard player, composer

    Speakers that let you hear everything

    I love these speakers for the purpose I bought them, which is recording soundtrack music and programming synthesizers. As everyone always says, the Yamahas allow you to hear everything well in a mix, due to a mostly flat response. They will not give you an enhanced bass "thump" that covers up the mids. Since I do orchestral mock-ups and desire a natural sound, these suit me fine. I could see someone going for the HS80M, or adding the sub-woofer if they need to feel the boom.
    The important thing about choosing these is to know what you want to hear. I don't think they fit everyone's needs.

  • from Dhaka, Bangladesh August 5, 2011Music Background:
    Singer, Record Engineer

    It's true to me!

    Since I was new in this field - I went for reviews from experts and finally bought this HS50M.

    Initially it took me a little time to get used to the sound it delivers as I was already mesmerized with other crispy monitor sounds! So I started using it as my main audio unit in order to listen to music and watch movies - so that I can adjust to its characteristics.

    After that - I started using it for mixing. The bass may not be suitable for hiphop producers but a rock / ambient producer will easily find it honest in terms of frequency response - specially critical mids when I listen my mix on big studios!

    With a little room treatment - you will get a sound a mixing engineer deserves... not to mention its LM3886 chip (national semiconductor) inside - the main reason for its natural, airy sound.

    Listen to it first - if you like it - it is for you. But if you initially dont - go buy something else that suits your ear!

  • from Wayland, MA January 10, 2010Music Background:
    Recording Student/ Producer

    Never mixed better

    I was mixing on terrible desktop speakers that came with my old PC. I knew that, while I knew what they sounded like and could compensate, I needed something more reliable. After checking mixes as my uncle's place on a pair of NS-10's, I knew I needed the same. These are 100%, they are flat, clear and all around sound good. They can be a bit harsh but its not too bad.

    Lastly, people say not to use them for listening speakers. I have to disagree. Once you are using these for your mixes, the clarity will surpass anything u have at home. I use mine for everything audio, just look out for headaches from the high end.

  • from Philadelphia, PA USA September 11, 2008Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Guitarist, Pro Musician

    Get the Sub too!

    I find these to be true. I would however recommend also getting the sub if you plan on getting a pair of these as they don't have all the low-end you may need. Very good monitors and you can tune 'em to your room a bit! Nice feature! Best in its Price range.

  • from Los Angeles November 19, 2007Music Background:
    Composer, Producer, Multi-instrumentalist, Singer, Radio Announcer

    The new NS10m!

    Sorry to whoever says they are the opposite of NS10s, I totally disagree. I think they sound even more similar to NS10s than the previous MSP5. Specially if you switch the Mid EQ (2K switch) to +2! ;) In -2 you get a more hi-fi sound, flatter in response.

    Because of that, I just love them! You need to have your ears used to NS10 (if you're spoiled by Genelecs and you hate NS10, forget it, you're a different breed of engineer). And you need to know how to really use them.
    These are different speakers in 1 when you learn to use the EQ controls in the back. The mid EQ is genius - Yamaha engineers definitely gave you the control to have a full NS10 sound, a more home hi-fi sound, or something in between.

    It's amazing how they show all the harshness in my mix, and the mid/high section with such detail. It's easier to mix with these, no wonder NS10 became a standard. For low frequencies, you need to A/B commercial records a lot, or use headphones (I usually double check the lows on headphones to make sure).

    Warning: these are speakers for mixing, and a great NS10 active replacement. They're not Hi-Fi speakers to listen to Jazz with your girlfriend in the living room. Unless it's a REALLY good jazz mix... ;)

  • from Santa Monica Ca USA November 25, 2006Music Background:
    Arranger, composer

    Amazing!

    I've been using a pair since August 2006. In my experince HS50Ms are very interesting speakers. I can say they have the most realistic sounding bass I've ever heard, period! The timber of the bass instruments are so real there is nothing to touch them in Hi-Fi or pro-audio market in this respect. Bass intruments also sound very tunefull. I had a chance to hear HS80Ms as well. Their bass reproduction even go deeper and they have a bigger sound. But they are also more expensive. I can imagine HS50Ms sounding great on speaker stands such as Atacama with signals fed through a warm sounding pre-amp( maybe a valve pre-amp). My only critism would be that acustic piano (and sometimes vocal)recordings sound bright and thin on HS50s. But for the price one can easily forgive these flaws.

  • from Boston, MA November 4, 2006Music Background:
    Filmmaker, Producer, and Editor

    Best performance and value in their price range

    I've been shopping for active monitors for my editing system for quite some time, always listening to other people's setups and asking their opinions, with the plan of eventually upgrading my small passive monitors to something with more life, and wow, these puppies sound really good and do not betray their low price even after extended listening. It was very hard to decide between these and competitive offerings from KRK and Event which I've also used in video postproduction settings, but the HS50M speakers slightly edged out the competition in the categories of price, performance, and aesthetics. One minor flaw is that they are not 100% quiet, they do have baseline noise even with nothing connected to them that you can hear in a quiet room. But in the $400/pair price range, something has to give as designers make their trade off decisions.

  • from June 25, 2006

    Flat As A Pancake

    Ok, so we all now the NS10m's infamous reputation. When a company claims to have it's replacement, especially Yamaha, you listen. I bought these blind and this is my opinion. They sound almost nothing like NS10s. The high/mids are impressive and definately crystal clear (sometimes harsh, much like NS10s), the bass is improved and not a flabby nonexistent region (like NS10s), and the stereo imaging is comparable. I would venture to say that these might be an improvement over the NS10s, as the dynamic range "seems" much wider.

    The proof is always in the pudding, and for our work, the mix. Mixes done on the HS50s translate well but I must say that for whatever "odd" reason, not as well as NS10s. This could be due to the mixer not being as familiar with the HS50s. I found mixes to be a little "shy" on the high-end, perhaps due to the slight "bump" these monitors seem to give those frequencies. A quick adjustment on the back of the unit fixed this problem.

    Here's my final take. 4 stars out of 5. These speakers sound PHENOMENAL for the price. You almost forget you're listening to $400 monitors when mixing with these. These things look like toys but sound like $1000 near-fields. I actually prefer them to anything I've heard under $500 and for my taste, like them better than the new-standard HR824s which always sound boomy to me. If you want flat, these speaks are flatter than a pancake. Almost too flat at times, if that makes any sense. It could get fatiguing but cutting the high frequencies with the switches in the back seems to correct that problem.

    If you're looking for serious quality, crystal clear flat audio, great imaging on a budget, I would highly recommend the HS50s. When I was researching these speakers, I couldn't find much but I did notice they were selling. I would expect to see these units to become more popular in the next couple years.

  • from Cincinnati, OH January 4, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Recording Artist

    Great clarity, lacking bass

    These speakers sound great in the mid and treble ranges. After hooking them up to my rig I noticed this most in the sound of my reverbs and in the sparkly high range of my OH mics. However, there are a few caveats.

    1. these speakers do not faithfully reproduce the low end. I found myself overcompensating for the lack of low end, resulting in a bottom heavy mix. No surprise here, as they're only 5'' cones.

    2. The noise factor. Make sure you use the balanced outputs and are running clean power. Without these two important details in place, you will hear the hum of your hard drive and other stray electronic noises. This may not be a problem particular to the Yamahas, but it's worth pointing out.

    All told, these would be perfect IF you have a subwoofer and IF you are running clean power and balanced signals. Without a subwoofer, if you're looking for a pair of mains, I'd spring for the HS80M's.

  • from Detroit area December 13, 2012Music Background:
    Producer

    These Monitors Rock!

    I can see why so many people use these to master their home projects. Great sound all the way across the spectrum. I will probably pick up the sub to go along with these speakers to enhance the bottom end, but for the money these speakers really rock!

  • from South Africa April 24, 2012Music Background:
    Producer /engineer

    I like 'em. A lot

    I've been using NS10 ,Genelec 1030, Genelec 8050 in studio for years with KRK rp5 at home for programming and listening. My wife wanted music in the living room so I moved the KRKs there. So I picked up the HS50 to demo them , but made the mistake of putting them in the living room first. My wife heard the HS50 and said they were way better. So now I have to get another pair because these are the first set of speakers that I ever heard that I liked immediately . The clarity and stereo imaging is incredible. I think they sound like I always wished the NS10s would sound. KRK have been sold to put money into another pair. It will speed up my mixing process having a similar headspace of the NS10 at home

  • from Boca Raton, FL April 6, 2012Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Yamaha HS50M flat response

    These monitors are perfect for a small room studio. The response is flat...and I mean flat. I A - B'd them against a few other monitors in this price range and they absolutely did not sound as good as the others because they are designed to give a flat response. If you mix well on these you will have a good mix on almost any stereo or car. Jason Koons at Sweetwater was right on with these!! Thanks Jason!

  • from Colorado Springs, CO USA February 3, 2012Music Background:
    X-pro turned Hobbyist

    HS50M

    These monitors sound great. I have them in a smaller room, but I think I may have been able to go up a size on the woofer. But over all, I hear exactly what I expect on my reference tracks. Haven't done any final mix's to take out in the wild yet, but I think these will really help to give me the sound I expect.

  • from DMV November 1, 2011Music Background:
    Producer

    A must have in any studio

    After several attempts at mixing a song w/ headphones, I decided on getting some monitors. Well, I reviewed the Adams A7x, KRK Rockit 5, and Mackie HR824. The HS50M was best suitable for me due to room size and budget. As far as sound, no hype! The mix jumps out at you. Now I wonder why did I ever think I could mix with a pair of headphones?? The Yamahas are Great for use as a studio monitor.

  • from South East US March 2, 2011Music Background:
    Long time Hobbyist

    Great little monitor for the money

    These are the first real monitors I've used. So I can't compare them much to anything but the ones I heard at the shop and another brand my friend bought in the same price range.
    First of all I felt the HS 50s gave me a more clear/real interpretation of what was on the CDs I took to the shop to reference with. The others sounded as if I was hearing something with a "bass boost " effect. I just felt comfortable with these. A sub would help a lot though.
    My friend decided on a different brand. To me they seem to have an over emphasized low end that drove me crazy. I'm sure once you get used to it that could be helpful to check low end detail but I wasn't down with it. Also his over heat if used too long, he blew a tweeter somehow within the first year. I've hit the HS 50m with some very quick loud bursts due to some driver lag with my sound card, had an old EQ "blow up" on me and destroy my mixer while blasting the heck out of the HS50s. These monitors just keep going! I've tested them and can't find a thing wrong with them.
    These are great for the beginner or as secondary ref monitors.

  • from Chicago October 27, 2010Music Background:
    Live and Recording Engineer, Musician

    Great Monitor For Home Studios

    I've had these monitors for about 3 years or so now, so I've had quite a bit of time with these. For starters, I've worked on NS-10s and, as many have said, these do not sound a whole lot like NS-10s. Nevertheless, I have not found anything in this price range that I think is any better than the HS50m. I find a subwoofer to be an essential addition to these, but that is usually the case with 5-inch drivers. Overall a great monitor for home studios and it will certainly get you by until you can afford something that is top-of-the-line.

  • from Sint Maarten, Netherland Antilles September 17, 2009Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Good Reference Monitors

    You will always need to do your home work if you want to adjust your reference monitors to your room.
    This is a good choice for your studio specially if you can get also the Yamaha HS10W.

  • from Irvine, CA October 21, 2008Music Background:
    Engineer

    Great as alternative monitors

    These monitors like any others, can make your mix a little bass-heavy, depending on your setup. They are great to use as a secondary set of monitors, given their response, and their compact size. Just do your normal mixing on your primary pair, then plug these in to see how it sounds from another "system" through different media. If you find a good middle, then you are set. Get a pair!

  • from Tulsa, OK October 16, 2008Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Good Monitors

    I will say that these monitors are PHENOMENAL. They are only $200 each and they sound just beautiful. However, what I have noticed mainly is that they are very bright and a little thin on the lows, so when you make a mix, many times it will sound incredible on the monitors, but be too bass heavy on consumer speakers of various sizes. However, there are many factors that accentuate their "apparent" frequency response (position in the room, height, etc.) So it is very subjective. But I give them a 4 out of 5 because I've tried many other monitors (Event, Genelec, NS10...) and they are VERY comparable. I love my pair.

  • from Portland, OR October 10, 2008Music Background:
    Sound Designer

    Reliable, Proven Speakers

    I've owned the HS50M's for a couple years now and couldn't be happier with them. They are solid all-around monitors for any type of post-production work. They image beautifully, and can really crank considering the small footprint.

    Perfect for a home studio.

  • from Prague May 30, 2007Music Background:
    Home studio musician

    Fantastic monitors

    I have just bought the HS50s and I have to say the sound is impressive.
    Smooth, crystal and cutting edge design. I highly reccommend them to any home studio owner. My rating is 4 out of 5.
    Great power monitors for an affordable price.

  • from Holly Springs February 16, 2007Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Nice, Need Better Quality Control

    Very Flat Indeed. But my right one has a rattle in it that makes playing piano sounds annoying. I have to set the volume low in order to do that. Thing is, you have to break them in for a while to notice. And by then, yeah, try returning them for replacement, good luck.

    I want to like them more, but for 300 a piece, I expect better quality control and steady componants. Maybe you other folk don't use the spectrum of frequencies that a piano can give in recordings to really test these out, or I just got a dud.

  • from October 27, 2008Music Background:
    Student, Musicians

    Pretty good monitors

    The monitors are all around great. Sound fresh, and really do deliver a different sound than regular speakers. At low volumes both pairs still sounds good.

    The low volume sensitivity helps because you want to hear your song when its finished, at low volume to see if everything is in the mix. It's not always loud.

    I do recommend getting the next size up on these Yamaha Monitors because I sometimes can tell that I'm over using the monitors. And you also always want to have a little "head room" in whatever speaker you buy to be able to hear the full potential of the speaker.So whatever Watts you need, go up to the next size up and buy that one.

    Back buttons work well and are handy.

  • from Uniontown, Pa August 28, 2008Music Background:
    Home Recorder, Musician

    Flat / True Sound

    I picked up a pair of these the other day and am quite pleased with what I've heard. These monitors have a very flat/true sound. It was very easy to eq my instruments/vocals and get the sound I wanted. Sure these aren't Genelacs but they get the job done for your small time Project Studio. They also aren't just your beginners monitor. They can get the job done also. The only complaint I have is when not listening to a Mix you can get a nasty little hissy/feedback sound. That isn't too amusing but other than that these puppies are great.

  • from Nebraska June 19, 2009Music Background:
    Recording / Mixing Engineer

    REFERENCE MONITORS

    Read the description carefully, folks. These are Reference monitors---not what some of you might call "mains." They aren't that great for mixing because they have a weak low end and a bright top end, as well as a bright midrange.

    Even after rolling off the top EQ, they're still too bright. Their purpose is for reference---sort of a "bookshelf speaker" reference. Spend a couple more bucks and get the MSP5's if you're looking for something to mix on.

    These will LIE to you---your mix will sound amazing on them and then it will be so boomy everywhere else, it's not even funny. It's because of their weak low end and shrill top end. My room is treated and I've even got MoPads and they still are bright. I don't mix on them anymore, I bought some nicer speakers that would actually translate.

  • April 17, 2006

    These Monitor Speakers Are Very Nice...

    These monitor speakers are very nice for small home studio setups, and the documentation is complete for setup. Used in conjunction with a good, quiet board (mackie, here) these provide a nice clean, flat sound that allows production of a very high quality. For a small monitor, the bass surprisingly packs a nice punch. I will enjoy these for a long time.

  • from vt. February 25, 2006

    great flat response monitors

    great flat response monitors! i bought these about two weeks ago; awesome quality! the manual included tells you everything you need to know about these monitors including how to get the best sound out of the area you're working with. great monitors! if you're using flat response monitors for the first time, you will need to listen to them extensivly to actually "tune" your ear to the different freq. response, etc. obviously, these are powered monitors, and they pump out 70w of power. great monitors with very low fatigue while mixing/mastering. highly recommended for small home studio setups; great bass response, great looks, VERY tough! great buy.

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