Catz Audio Editors' Rating
The HS5 low price (see lowest price), incredible sound quality and 5-inch woofer makes it one of the best studio monitors for small studio owners.
Yamaha HS5 Studio Monitor Full Review
It was a snowy winter day in our hometown of Toronto when we finally decided to drive to the closest pro audio shop and get our first pair of Yamaha speakers.
In the car, we argued about which model we should pick and we all agreed on the biggest, most expensive HS8. We then proceeded to the store and one of the employees asked us if we need any help.
We said yes and told him that we were looking for a pair of HS8 studio monitors.
He then asked us a question we will never forget, his question was “what size is your studio?” and we answered that it’s pretty small.
He smiled and said, “You don’t need to spend your hard earned cash on the HS8s as they will sound bad in a small room”.
We thanked him and purchased a pair of the Yamaha HS5 which were at the time our first pair of Yamaha studio monitors.
Most review sites and store employees will try to sell you the most expensive products to make a bigger commission.
We are super thankful for that honest employee that not only saved us a couple hundred bucks but also recommended us the best studio monitors for our room.
We want to be that honest employee for you and we can definitely tell you that the HS5 are some of the best studio monitors in the world for small studio owners!
For that reason, we would love to tell you more about our time with the HS5, Read below!
We now own the entire HS line and can definitely tell you that the more expensive HS7 and HS8 sound more impressive and have a richer bass if placed correctly in the right room.
If however, you place the HS7 or the HS8 in a small room and place them close to a wall or a window they will sound horrible.
Their bass will overwhelm you and their mids will become cloudy. The hs5 are a completely different story as they really shine in smaller rooms.
The HS5 relative small woofer (5″) obviously can’t produce as much bass as the HS7 or HS8. We found that the HS5 relative lack of bass works really well in smaller rooms.
From our tests, we have also found that the HS5 bass is much more natural than the HS7 or HS8 when testing in smaller studios.
The mids on the HS5 are very similar to the HS7 and HS8. They are very honest and natural and will reveal any imperfections in a bad mix and shine when a mix is good.
Elements such as vocals and cymbals get a new dimension of realism that we have never heard in any other monitor in the same price category.
In our eyes, the Mids are definitely the strong point of the HS5 and we feel like they really showcase genres such as EDM and hip-hop in the best light possible.
Same story here, the highs on the HS5 are also quite similar to the highs of the HS8 and HS7 and sound very natural to our ears.
The highs are definitely not overhyped and will sound just as intended by the mixing engineer.
From our experience, the highs on the entire HS line can get a little harsh and unpleasant if a mix has too much high-frequency content in it. We also noticed when listening to good mixes that the highs get an almost silky texture which we absolutely love.
The HS5 are not as impressive as your other high-end consumer speakers, and we do not recommend them or any other studio monitors for
those of you who are looking for the most impressive sound.
As you may already know, the purpose of a studio monitor is to showcase your music in the most natural, honest way possible. So your mixes sound better after they are being colored by the consumer’s system.
We sincerely believe that if you care about your mixes translating well to consumers systems and have a smaller studio you should definitely get a pair of HS5s.
The stereo image on the HS5 is unheard of for monitors in that price category and we feel like stereo mixing is particularly easy with the HS5.
planning elements such as synths or drums which are normally quite difficult to target become a lot easier as well.
From our tests, the stereo image on the HS5 is a lot better than our other monitors in that same price category and we feel like the HS5 currently have the best stereo image for that price category.
Most 5″ monitors can’t produce a lot of bass and the HS5 are no exception. Their bass is very natural and honest, as we have said before the relative lack of bass is great if you have a small room and bad if you have a big room.
Overall the bass of the HS5 is one of the best we have heard in terms of how clear and natural it is for that price category.
When we first opened the box we were astonished by how well made the HS5 were.
From their iconic white woofer to the beautiful Yamaha logo glowing in white. The HS5 are gorgeous! The rather simplistic design is not for everyone and you may personally prefer a more extravagant design.
From the front you can visibly see the 5″ inch woofer and the 1″ tweeter, you can also see Yamaha’s logo and 12 bolts which are beautifully incorporated into the overall design.
From the back, you have your standard XLR and TRS inputs, you also have a room control and high trim options which we personally don’t use that often.
The overall build quality is great and our pair still remains in almost perfect condition after a few drops on the ground.
The black/white finish feels premium to touch. The cabinet is made out of wood and will take a few drops before showing any signs of damage.
The Yamaha HS5 is probably the best studio monitor in the world for its respective price category. We can’t find any imperfections except for the relative lack of bass.
Pick the HS5 if
You own a smaller studio and are looking for the most natural and honest sound you can get for this price.
Don’t Pick the HS5 if
1. Your room is larger and you have a much higher budget if that’s the case we highly recommend the HS8 which we reviewed here.
2. You care more about how impressive the monitors sound rather than how well your mixes translate to your consumer sound systems.
Thank you for reading our Yamaha HS5 review! We hope we have helped you reach a decision and encourage you to check out more customer reviews on Amazon before you buy!
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