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Barefoot Footprint02 review: Detailed, focused, and natural

Barefoot, while not necessarily a household name in terms of audio, has a knack for delivering amazingly high-quality monitoring experiences. The Footprint02 are perhaps the company’s most affordable monitors to date. Let’s take a closer look to see what they have to offer.

Why you should trust me

I’m a producer and audio engineer with a decade’s worth of experience with a wide range of gear and recording techniques. I’ve worked with a huge variety of monitoring systems, including Genelec, Neumann, Adam Audio, Focal, JBL, and Yamaha, among others.

Barefoot Footprint02 studio monitors pair
Image: Higher Hz

Final verdict on the Footprint02 4.9

The Footprint02 monitors are stellar in terms of power, frequency response, and design. The only real flaw I see here is the MEME technology, which while I see the validity to, I simply don’t see myself getting much mileage out of. Despite this, I see no reason why I wouldn’t recommend these monitors to anybody.

What I like

  • Clear and detailed performance.
  • Solid build quality.
  • Great for small to mid-sized studios.

What I don’t like

  • Not sold on the MEME tech, although it is interesting.
Buy Barefoot Footprint02 at: SweetwaterGuitar Center

Power and frequency response 4.7

Each monitor yields a total power of 350 watts and the frequency response is about 42 Hz – 45 kHz (±3 dB) and 52 Hz – 40 kHz (±1 dB), ensuring a wide dynamic range.

An important component in the overall design of these monitors is Dual-Force technology, which involves two subwoofers strategically placed in opposition within the cabinet.

Footprint02 Dual-Force subwoofer
Image: Higher Hz

The objective of this placement is to eliminate unwanted vibrations directly at the source, and to that degree, it’s safe to say that Barefoot have succeeded.

The overall sound is detailed, precise, and remarkably clear. I also found the sweet spot to be rather generous. The low mids are exceptional as well.

A feature of the Footprint02 that I found rather fascinating was the MEME (short for Multi Emphasis Monitor Emulation) technology. As you might be able to infer from the name, it allows you to switch the settings of the Footprint02 to emulate models of fairly standard reference sources such as NS-10, Mix Cubes, or consumer playback systems.

While it’s a cool feature, I’m not fully sure I appreciate it for what it is. For one, there are several things that an emulation just simply isn’t capable of recreating whatsoever (dispersion is a big one).

Adding to that, I doubt it’s a feature I would personally get a lot of mileage out of. Especially since I already have a few sets of reference monitors.

I/O and controls 5.0

All ins and outs are located on the rear panel of the monitor. On the top running from left to right you will find: a USB-B port for Factory Calibration, a volume rotary dial, two 1/8-inch jacks for MEME (In and Thru), as well as an XLR input.

Barefoot Footprint02 inputs, outputs, controls
Image: Higher Hz

On the bottom of the rear panel is an IEC port and the On/Off switch. Simple, easy, and not much to explain or be upset about here.

Build quality 5.0

The Footprint02 monitors carry much of the same DNA as its counterpart, the Footprint01. Both share Dual-Force technology, an aluminum cone midrange drive, a 1-inch ring radiator tweeter, as well as the same minimal aesthetic makeup.

I have no complaints overall, as it seems apparent that the Footprint02 have been crafted with great attention to detail and care.

Compared to other studio monitors

While these Barefoot monitors are, without a doubt, a great monitoring solution for the right user, here are a few models to compare the Footprint02 against.

Footprint02 vs Footprint01

The two monitors share a lot of similarities other than their size and price. If you have a more limited budget or work in a smaller studio space, the Footprint02 will probably serve you better.

Footprint02 vs PMC Result6

These monitors are quite different from one another. The PMCs have a lot less bass than the Footprint02, which have a much punchier and deeper low-end. However, the PMCs are airier in comparison.

I could see these two monitors working well in tandem with one another to make up for each other’s strengths and weaknesses. I would leave the decision up to you and your personal preferences.

Read the full PMC Result6 review

Footprint02 vs Neumann KH 150

The KH 150 monitors have a bit more low-end in sacrifice for an ultimately narrower frequency response. Not that it matters too much in my opinion, I’m not sure how many people are actually benefiting from the 45 kHz that the Footprints can put out.

They’re also a bit less affordable than the Footprint02 at about $1,750 per monitor, however, the Neumanns are scarily accurate.

Footprint02 vs Genelec 8040B

This isn’t a super straight comparison, but overall the Footprint02 monitors have a lot more low-end than the Genelecs, as well as low-mids. I’d say that the Footprints are the better choice out of the two.

Who are the Barefoot Footprint02 studio monitors best suited for?

These are great monitors best suited for professional engineers looking to upgrade their setup. The sound is incredibly detailed, focused, and natural.

Buy Barefoot Footprint02 at: SweetwaterGuitar Center

Video demo

You can also check out this video by my colleague Fabio, where he puts the Barefoot Footprint02 studio monitors to the test.