The Yamaha HS5 powered Studio Monitors and the Yamaha HS8S powered sub-woofer are a serious combination. They offer a level of truth in listening that is invaluable in music creation, mixing and an out right pleasurable listening experience. Having moved into a space where I’d like control over the amount of bass and the amount clarity I was happy to try out the Yamaha HS5 powered Studio Monitors and the Yamaha HS8S powered sub-woofer.
So here is where the HS5’s shine in my opinion… The HS5’s are clean and allow you to be able to make solid decisions in the mix. For those that do not really mix, which in the case of most beatmakers those choices happen in the course of making the music, the HS5’s allow you the clarity needed to make more critical decisions during that part of the process.
The critical info on the HS5’s are;
- 2-Way bass-reflex bi-amplified nearfield studio monitor with 5″ cone woofer and 1″ dome tweeter
- 54Hz-30kHz frequency response
- 45W LF plus 25W HF bi-amp system for high-performance 70W power amplification
- Room Control and High TRIM response controls
- XLR and TRS phone jack inputs accept balanced or unbalanced signals
As you can tell the HS5’s don’t really hit the low end of the hearing spectrum which is 20hz on the low end and 20khz on the high end. The HS5’s have a frequency response of 54Hz-30kHz. When you get to a point where you consider good mixing, you may start to roll off frequencies below 80hz so as to remove the mud and low rumble that sometimes don’t translate musically. So these joints gets you almost there in terms of the low frequency response but I doubt that you would even notice that bit of technical mumbo jumbo. I could say something like “I don’t know that many folks would like that because it basically means that there may not be enough low end for some tastes”, but realistically these monitors bump enough for the most discerning beatmaker and hiphop head. Most importantly there is a great level of detail in the HS5 monitors that is not present in any and every monitor.
From my perspective, what I noticed was clarity with good presence in the lows. To my ears that was fine and it just meant their was no mud clouding the mix. Now, when I dropped in the HS8S sub it was suddenly like having the club in the crib with me. SO MUCH BASS!!! Thank god for the ability to adjust with sub volume. Once I got the sub adjust properly, I then realized that it was nice to have that added touch so as to make even better decisions on my mix from a low end perspective. I noticed right away that the decisions I made in the lab on the low end with the sub translated much better in my car’s sub woofer. Who’dathunkit!? But therein lies the jewel. The sub completed the HS5’s in ways that I hadn’t considered before. I hadn’t even though I needed a sub-woofer until I had one to test.
- 8inch bass-reflex powered subwoofer
- 22Hz – 150Hz frequency response
- High-power 150W amplifier
- LOW CUT switch, LOW CUT control (80-120Hz) HIGH CUT control (80-120 Hz)
- PHASE switch
Interestingly, the HS5’s came across much differently to my ears after having and removing the HS8S sub-woofer. I instantly missed the sub because it covers the low end spectrum of human hearing with a ferocious bit of power. The sub completed the HS5’s clarity from the low end perspective. I’d say that if you used the HS5 set of monitors and you adjusted the trims on the back you could be very satisfied with the full spectrum of tonal delivery. But be warned once you have the sub you will need the sub.
As for connectivity, which is worth noting, the Left and Right main output of your mixer or sound card goes to the L/R inputs on HS8S sub. Then the output of the HS8S goes to the HS5 powered monitors. This completes your connection and set up. From there, each monitor and the sub has it’s own power switch.
If you are in a smaller room or your monitors will be placed near the wall, be mindful that the HS5’s port is on the back. This could increase the occurrence of low frequencies bouncing around giving you inaccurate monitoring. So, be sure to adjust the HS5’s room trim. Read the manual for details on how to tune the monitors to your room.
Also, buyer beware, if you live in an apartment with neighbors who share walls, floors, ceilings etc., the HS8S sub-woofer is going to get you evicted! Point blank period! It’s wonderful!
Overall, I think the HS5 powered studio monitors are a good buy at $199 each. You can get the HS6 or HS8’s for a bit more but I think the HS5 monitors are perfect for my basement, bedroom, attic dwelling home studio beatmakers. They bang and they are very detailed. Add the sub if you want to feel it.
Head over to Yamaha’s site for more information on the HS5’s http://usa.yamaha.com/products/music-production/speakers/hs_series/hs5/