THE GOOD: The Yamaha HS8 Studio Monitors display impressive detailed sound across all spectrums. The flat response of the HS8’s make them great for studio mixing. Just be careful, they’re so good you’ll quickly hear any and all flaws in your mix.


THE BAD: Must be kept a few feet from walls otherwise you may hear some low-frequency distortion.


THE VERDICT: The HS8’s are excellent studio monitors. Their flat response and detailed sound mean you can have an impressive studio setup for under $1000.


Yamaha’a HS Monitors are known for providing crystal clear audio. The older speakers in the HS line were impressive in their own right, however Yamaha thought their was room for improvement. A few design tweaks later and we have the Yamaha HS8 Studio Monitors.

Yamaha HS8 Review

The HS8’s have an 8″ woofer coupled with a 1″ dome tweeter. To power the 8″ woofer the HS8’s use a 75 watt amp while the tweeter gets its juice from a 45 watt amplifier. The body of the speakers are made of solid MDF (medium-density fiber board). If you guide your hand around the sides of the HS8’s, you’ll immediately notice their rounded corners. Besides giving the monitors a unique look, they also serve an important purpose. If you could peer inside the HS8’s, you would see that Yamaha employs a three-way mitered-joint technique which locks the corners in place and is designed to reduced resonance within the cabinet.


The tweeters utilize a shallow wave guide designed to limit upper-frequency distortion. To help manage bass frequencies the monitors include a rear bass port. Ideally you’d want to place these a couple feet away from your walls to help limit bass distortion. However, depending on your rooms configuration this may not be possible. For these situations, the Yamaha HS8’s include a 3 position room control switch with setting options at 0, -2, and -4dB. The Monitors’ high-frequencies can be dialed-in with the high-trim control with settings at -2, 0 and +2dB. The HS8’s are versatile enough to connect to a variety of balanced and unbalanced sources thanks to their XLR and TRS phone jacks



Sound Quality

The Yamaha HS8’s are frequently found in recording studios and after spending some time with these monitors it’s easy to see why. Designed for studio mixing, the HS8’s have an uncolored sound. You won’t find a lot of warmth in their sound reproduction, but that’s exactly what you want in a studio monitor. The HS8’s display great detail and clarity across all spectrums of sound. High frequencies are crisp and clear without being fatiguing. The clarity of the H8’s allow you to grab on to details in sound tracks that you may have missed before. I threw a variety of music at the monitors including Jazz and Classical and the sonic signature of each instrument was distinct and unique. Lesser speakers have the tendency to create a melange of sound which results in instruments losing distinction and separation.


Vocals had a level of realism that’s rarely heard coming from a sub $1,000 set of speakers. The same detail and clarity that I heard in the upper frequencies also carried over to the mid-range. For low frequencies, the 8″ woofer did an admirable job providing deep and tight bass. If you’re studio mixing a subwoofer probably won’t be needed. However, if you’re using the HS8’s for casual music listening you may want to add a sub to really fill-out the bottom end. One thing I did note when listening to these is that you really need to pull these away from the wall a few feet. Placing these against any hard flat surface definitely results in bass distortion.


The Verdict

The Yamaha HS8 Studio’s are superb monitors. Their non-colored sound make them a perfect fit for studio mixes. Their sonic purity means you’ll hear audio the way it was originally intended. For the price, you probably won’t find a better set of studio monitors.

Where to Buy:

See Price on Amazon


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