Catz Audio Editors' Rating
We totally understand dj/producers such as marshmello, odesza, showtek, logic, robin schulz, metro boomin, connor manyard who chose the HS8’s as their weapon of choice.
The HS8’s incredibly honest sound and 8 Inch woofer makes them an all in 1 solution for many producers who want to build an impressive studio for under a 1000$
Yamaha HS8 Studio Monitor Full Review
Yamaha’s dominance in the studio monitor market ranges back to 1978. In 1978 Yamaha released their iconic white coned NS10, we among many others believe that the NS10 Held the crown for the best studio monitor in the world for decades after its release.
In our eyes, The Yamaha HS8 is the long-awaited successor of the legendary NS10 and we believe that it’s currently one of the best studio monitors in the world in this price category (see lowest price).
When we first got our pair of HS8’s we were immediately struck by how big and impressive they were.
If you look at the HS8 from the front, you can visibly see 14 bolts which are beautifully incorporated into the overall design. You can also see Yamaha’s beautiful logo glowing in white.
From behind the HS8 is pretty standard and it features your standard XLR and TRS phone jack inputs. It also features a room control and high trim options.
We personally never used the room control or high trim options because we felt we were getting an honest sound from the HS8’s and from our studio (room).
The rather simplistic design is not for everyone and we personally know people who prefer Adam’s futuristic looks or rokkit’s iconic yellow cones over the HS8’s.
In our opinion, the HS8 design is the perfect middle between the simplistic designs of companies such as Behringer and the more futuristic ones of companies such as Adam.
After years of using the NS10’s we got used to a rather colored sound.
We have become accustomed to the fact that the majority of our mixes will sound a lot different when we play them on other sound systems such as our car or a club system.
And to be honest with you we didn’t really care, as the NS10’s and some of our other monitors were very easy on your ears and very easy to work with in general.
So, when we first got our HS8’s we expected a rather colored sound, to this day we all remember the first track we have played on the HS’8, it was Intense by Armin van Buuren and it was sensational!
The track starts with a beautiful violin solo by Miri Ben Ari and is then preceded by one of Armin’s most powerful drops. Subtle elements such as the hi hat’s and the violin’s bow on the strings suddenly came to life and we were absolutely amazed how powerful the HS8’s were.
We all immediately agreed that the HS’8 might not be as impressive as some of our more expensive monitors, but they definitely are some of the “purest” and most natural sounding monitors we have ever heard.
Then we proceeded to do our first mix using the HS8’s and all of our hype immediately sunk to the floor! The bad sound wasn’t the HS’8 fault, it was our bad mix’s fault and after dozens of hours using the HS8’s we finally finished the mix after what was at the time our most intense mixing session.
We were satisfied with how the mix sounded on the HS8’s and then proceeded with our normal testing routine which starts with the car test.
As many of you probably know, most mixes sound very bad on your car after the first attempt. With the HS8’s however, it was a different story. The mix translated almost perfectly, It was an EDM remix of an iconic song and almost all elements from our Kicks to our Sylenth 1 leads translated very well to our car, other studio monitors and even club systems.
The HS8s are in our opinion the best studio monitors for their respective price category. In our eyes, they even beat some of the more high-end studio monitors we own.
By now you are probably thinking we are overexaggerating but we are really not! We believe HS’8 incredible performance to price ratio has to do with the HS8’s very flat frequency response and overall natural sound.
In other words, the HS8’s are very unforgiving and will sound bad if your mix sounds bad. They will, however, sound very good when all of your mix’s elements sit just right in the mix.
Many studio monitor companies want to achieve a more impressive sound so they sell more monitors rather than focusing on achieving a natural pure sound.
In our opinion, that approach defeats the purpose of owning a studio monitor which is hearing your mixes in the purest form so they can translate well to your customer’s systems.
You got to ask yourself the following question, am I looking for an impressive sound or am I looking for a pure and honest sound to help my mixes translate better to my customer’s sound systems?
If you choose the first option that’s completely fine, we have been there as well, all we wanted is an impressive sound to impress our friends and to enjoy music listening with.
When we got serious we recognized the need for the purest sound we could get and for us, the solution was the amazing HS8.
Of course, the HS8’s have some flaws as well, the stated frequency response from Yamaha is 38hz to 30Khz however according to other 3rd party sources the HS8’s frequency response is 46hz to 46Khz which is still great for monitors at this price range.
You will also need a good sized room and avoid placing the monitors near walls, from our experience, it can cause some bass build up and distortion.
Choose the HS8’s if
1. You are an EDM music producer or a singer/songwriter who is looking for a pure sound and wants a pair of monitors that will help you identify problems with your mixes much quicker than with some of the other monitors in the same price category.
Don’t choose the HS8’s if
1. You are looking for the most impressive sound and don’t really care if your monitors are colored and will affect your judgment for the worst.
2. If you have a higher budget and are willing to spend a lot of money on a new pair of studio monitors.
3. your room is small and you don’t need such a “deep” bass, we recommend the Yamaha HS5 instead.
We hope you enjoyed our Yamaha HS8 review and we hope we have helped you reach a decision!
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