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Can studio monitors be used as "bookshelf" speakers in a medium sized room?

raptorious

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After some quick research on the internet, one of the common sentiments that seems to come across is "studio monitors are optimized for listening from short distance (i.e. in front of a computer, perhaps no more than single digit numbers of feet from the speakers)". I can imagine that this is true to some extent or other, but does this actually mean that, for example, I wouldn't want to use a 3-way studio monitor (in particular I'm eyeing the Kali Audio IN-8 v2) as a "bookshelf speaker" in a medium sized (20 ft x 20 ft) room?

Thanks,
Dan Hansen
 

BDWoody

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After some quick research on the internet, one of the common sentiments that seems to come across is "studio monitors are optimized for listening from short distance (i.e. in front of a computer, perhaps no more than single digit numbers of feet from the speakers)"...

There is a monitor for most any sized room.

Here is a chart from Genelec that gives an idea of what the capabilities are as you go up the line.


correct-monitors-spl-chart.jpg


 

TimW

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Erin reviewed the Kali IN-8. This is what he had to say about longer listening distances:

"As for SPL levels, these are marketed as a near/mid-field speaker. My data shows the limiter kicking in somewhere above 96dB @ 1m. I had the output up to about 100dB at 1 meter to stress test with some Linkin Park and there were no mechanical issues that I could hear. I’d say that you could probably use these in the midfield in the lower 90’s pretty well but above that would be pushing it. Realistically, you shouldn’t be mixing music (or listening) above the 85dB range for long periods anyway. I do not know that I would recommend these for high volume listening more than 3 meters but for most volume levels and/or closer distances, a pair of these should be more than enough to satisfy your needs."
 

jonfitch

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Id say the only thing usually holding you back is the length of the power cables, plus if you need to daisy chain xlr cables you may have to worry about input sensitivity limiting length of cable runs.
 

TimW

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Id say the only thing usually holding you back is the length of the power cables, plus if you need to daisy chain xlr cables you may have to worry about input sensitivity limiting length of cable runs.
What does input sensitivity have to do with balanced cable length?
 

jonfitch

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What does input sensitivity have to do with balanced cable length?

Well any time you run a copper cable there's resistive losses that increase over distance, whether you are running speaker cable to passive speakers or a low level signal to a processor. For example if you run a long display cable and the gauge is not sufficient, you won't get a video signal. Similarly if you run a long audio signal in a copper cable to a powered speaker and the gauge is not sufficient, you might not get an audio signal.

I ran into no signal issues powering Genelec 8341s and 8331s for my video reviews when I tried daisy chaining them with long XLR cables and had to settle with shorter XLR lengths in the end. Just something to watch out for whenever you are dealing with copper cables.
 

dfuller

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Well any time you run a copper cable there's resistive losses that increase over distance, whether you are running speaker cable to passive speakers or a low level signal to a processor. For example if you run a long display cable and the gauge is not sufficient, you won't get a video signal. Similarly if you run a long audio signal in a copper cable to a powered speaker and the gauge is not sufficient, you might not get an audio signal.

I ran into no signal issues powering Genelec 8341s and 8331s for my video reviews when I tried daisy chaining them with long XLR cables and had to settle with shorter XLR lengths in the end. Just something to watch out for whenever you are dealing with copper cables.
Any reasonable length (i.e. less than like 500 feet) it literally doesn't matter. Studios run dozens of feet of XLR between the live and control rooms at mic level(!) and it's fine.
 

LTig

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After some quick research on the internet, one of the common sentiments that seems to come across is "studio monitors are optimized for listening from short distance (i.e. in front of a computer, perhaps no more than single digit numbers of feet from the speakers)". I can imagine that this is true to some extent or other, but does this actually mean that, for example, I wouldn't want to use a 3-way studio monitor (in particular I'm eyeing the Kali Audio IN-8 v2) as a "bookshelf speaker" in a medium sized (20 ft x 20 ft) room?

Thanks,
Dan Hansen
It mostly depends on how loud you want to play, but this is true for all small speakers, whether they are active or passive or called studio monitors or hifi bookshelfs.
  • I use the K&H O300D in a 50 sqm room at 3.8 m distance and they play loud enough for me (even without sub).
  • On my desktop I have small Genelec 8020a which at this distance can play louder than my ears can handle.
  • My wife use the same 8020a in a 20 sqm room at 3 m distance and even there they can play surprisingly loud (for their tiny size).
 

ferrellms

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After some quick research on the internet, one of the common sentiments that seems to come across is "studio monitors are optimized for listening from short distance (i.e. in front of a computer, perhaps no more than single digit numbers of feet from the speakers)". I can imagine that this is true to some extent or other, but does this actually mean that, for example, I wouldn't want to use a 3-way studio monitor (in particular I'm eyeing the Kali Audio IN-8 v2) as a "bookshelf speaker" in a medium sized (20 ft x 20 ft) room?

Thanks,
Dan Hansen
Studio monitors will nearly always sound better than bookshelf speakers, and won't require amps. Don't worry about "near field/mid field". It is true that monitors will sound best from the recommended distance (of importance to perfectionists and pros), but they will still sound better throughout the entire room than bookshelves. Powered monitors are the only way to go. Take it from someone who has tried both in several configs, home studios, and living rooms and had them on stands, in bookshelves, etc.
 

darakon

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"Can studio monitors be used as "bookshelf" speakers in a medium sized room?"​


NO, don't do it! If you use a monitor in a bookshelf, the integrated active crossover and amp will explode !

booom
 

darakon

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Studio monitors will nearly always sound better than bookshelf speakers, and won't require amps. Don't worry about "near field/mid field". It is true that monitors will sound best from the recommended distance (of importance to perfectionists and pros), but they will still sound better throughout the entire room than bookshelves. Powered monitors are the only way to go. Take it from someone who has tried both in several configs, home studios, and living rooms and had them on stands, in bookshelves, etc.

the 'near field' term is mainly a marketing term.
In general there is nothing special about them what differs them from a mid-field or bookshelf speaker. except maybe, that the max volume is not that high.
But otherwise I agree: Most Monitor speaker sound better (are better constructed) than hifi speakers in the same price range and there is no need of an extra amp.
 
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After some quick research on the internet, one of the common sentiments that seems to come across is "studio monitors are optimized for listening from short distance (i.e. in front of a computer, perhaps no more than single digit numbers of feet from the speakers)". I can imagine that this is true to some extent or other, but does this actually mean that, for example, I wouldn't want to use a 3-way studio monitor (in particular I'm eyeing the Kali Audio IN-8 v2) as a "bookshelf speaker" in a medium sized (20 ft x 20 ft) room?

I don't see why not ... but unless you get the chance to hear them in advance make sure you have a return window, to play it safe.
 
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