Already well established in the preamp and audio interface market, PreSonus has added loudspeakers to their line of products in the past several years. In this review, I’m taking a look at the PreSonus Eris E5 studio monitors.
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Final verdict on the Eris E5
While there are better studio monitors I could suggest, the PreSonus Eris E5 may arguably be good enough for most people. Especially considering how affordable they are.
What I like
- Quality design and build.
- Decent connectivity and tuning options.
- Affordable at $200 a pair.
What I don’t like
- Fatiguing high-end.
- Distortion in the low end.
Power and frequency response
The Eris E5 has a frequency response of 53 Hz – 22 kHz, and a max peak of 102 dB SPL. By themselves, the speakers sound better than expected. However, there is a large amount of distortion present in the low end especially at higher volumes. I’m not sure whether it’s coming from the woofer or the amplifier, but once you begin hearing distortion you won’t be able to unhear it.
After extended periods of listening, I found the brightness of the high end to be quite fatiguing. The crossover frequencies also didn’t seem to be aligned very well, and most vocals were quite lost in reproduction.
For the money, it is acceptable, although there are better speakers available. Check out my recently updated pick of the best budget studio monitors in the $200-400 range.
I/O and controls
Audio can be fed to the monitor through balanced XLR and TRS jacks, or through unbalanced RCA. The inputs are positioned under several adjustment rotary dials, one of which controls the input gain being sent in.
The other two are acoustic tuning knobs for high and mid frequencies, both allowing for +6 or -6 dB. There is a dedicated low cutoff switch as well, allowing you to configure for a flat response, or cuts at either 80 Hz or 100 Hz.
Above the IEC socket, power switch and AC select switch, are several images to help decipher what setting you should adjust the Acoustic Space switch to for the best results (0, -2 db, -4 db).
I found that the layout of the rear panel to be incredibly well-designed, and easy to follow.
On a purely physical level, the monitors look and feel quite nice. The blue woven Kevlar on the woofer is an understated, yet elegant touch to the overall aesthetic. They feel incredibly solid as well, weighing about 10 lbs each.
The case is vinyl and medium-density fiberboard, so they’re fairly well protected from collision of any sort. Overall, I find that the design of the monitor may be the best part about it.
Compared to other studio monitors
While the Eris E5s may truly be the best $200 studio monitors to accommodate your needs, there’s always more to consider. Here are some alternatives that are worth your attention.
PreSonus Eris E5 vs KRK Rokit 5 G4
While the KRKs have their divisive qualities, I found that they perform better than the Eris E5 monitors. Far less distortion, better-sounding mid frequencies, and what’s better, is less fatigue.
Be warned that the KRKs do inflict some coloration onto their reproduction, and that it may be well worth your time to look for a more neutral monitor. However, I still like it better than the PreSonus.
PreSonus Eris E5 vs JBL 305P Mk2
The JBLs are far more pleasant-sounding than the Eris E5. The bass is not as pronounced on the 305P Mk2, but is much, much cleaner. If you want to enjoy your listening experience, I suggest investing in the JBLs.
PreSonus Eris E5 vs Yamaha HS5
I’ll keep it simple here and say that my allegiance lies with Yamaha. While the HS5 monitors don’t necessarily sound “better” than the Eris E5, I find that my familiarity with the Yamaha sound lends to its strengths as a reliable monitor.
Who are the PreSonus Eris E5 monitors best suited for?
The Eris E5 monitors are best suited for beginner music producers looking for a simple yet reliable option in the $200 price range.Buy PreSonus Eris E5 at: SweetwaterAmazon