Today I have chosen three products that I feel are the best bargain for the sound they produce. Enjoy!
1) Behringer B2030A Truth $250-$300
In my own studio, with all the EQ switches set flat, my first impression was that the monitors sounded slightly brash, with less depth of bass than I expected. This situation improved noticeably when I dropped the tweeter level by 2dB, so it is important to adjust the EQ settings to match your room and monitor positions. Once optimised, the speakers delivered a very decent level of performance given their budget price, though their shortcomings were still evident when they were tested alongside my Mackie HR824s. I found that the subjective depth of bass was less than I expected based on the technical spec, while the tweeter sounded slightly 'forward', but they still delivered a fairly good overall balance and proved capable of discriminating between good mixes and not-so-good mixes.
If you are on a very tight budget, then the B2030As offer very good value and they can be made to perform perfectly adequately in smaller rooms, provided that you take due care with their placement and experiment with the EQ switch settings. I think the designers have used their available manufacturing budget extremely well in producing a useful and good-looking monitor at such a low UK price point, though there's no denying that spending more money will buy you better performance and greater accuracy. With monitors you generally get what you pay for, but in this case it's probably fair to say that you get slightly more than you pay for! Although clearly aimed at the budget-limited home-recording enthusiast, the B2030As could also serve a valuable part in the more professional studio by acting as a secondary monitor for checking how mixes might translate to a domestic playback system.
2) Mackie MR5 $135-$200
As with the MR8s, the two-way, active MR5s have a built-in tweeter waveguide to control dispersion, as well as the usual array of acoustic controls on the rear panel — so you can tailor the response to suit your room and the location of the speakers within it. High-frequency adjustment of +/-2dB is available by means of a slide switch, and the low end can be set to flat, +2dB or +4dB. All the baffle elements surrounding the drivers are smooth, in order to minimise diffraction, and the drivers themselves are powered by Class-A/B MOSFET amplifiers (rather than the more efficient but arguably less smooth-sounding Class-D circuits that are starting to become popular). These amplifiers include active protection circuits and deliver 55W into the woofer and 30W into the tweeter, with more than 50 percent extra power in hand for short peaks. A 24dB-per-octave crossover operates at 4kHz, and an overall frequency response of 60Hz to 20kHz (+/-3dB) is quoted. There's also more than enough level (113dB peak per pair at one metre) for sensible listening in a nearfield environment.
Taking into account both price and performance, I can really recommend these speakers for home studio use, though if you find the MR5s a bit too bass heavy, as I did, you may have to visit your sock drawer or make up a couple of foam bungs to tame them. The MR8 is a much more serious prospect if your budget and room size can stand it.
3) KRK RP6 G2 $175-$200
I hope I have provided my readers with some useful information! Thanks for reading, comments always welcome!