Home studio monitors have become an essential part of music today because they greatly enhance the listening experience. We can even go to the extent of saying that these studio monitors present a true and honest picture of the music that is produced.
Home studio monitors illuminate the true meaning of music—trust us. They can take any performance or mix and reveal the most subtle details in your songs.
No sound system is complete without these vital components. Just listen to your recordings and you'll immediately understand why active studio monitors are the ultimate speakers.
Yamaha doesn’t specialize in making monitors. They specialize in making insane, insane sound systems! Yamaha is one of the most popular brands of studio monitors today, and the HS series is probably its flagship product.
Table of Contents
HS SERIES HISTORY
The HS series comes after its wildly popular NS10 series was discontinued in 2001.
What happened to the NS10 Series?
The company stated that it was difficult to obtain the parts necessary for making the woofers in the NS10. In reality, the discontinuance of NS10 was more about Yamaha's desire to try new products.
The HS series was released in 2006.
The HS50m and HS80M were the first models to be released.
Watch the release in Musikmesse Frankfurt 2013
They can be used in different genres and situations, which is why they are fierce competitors in their respective fields.
This article will discuss these similarities and differences, and help you make the best buying decisions.
Yamaha HS7 vs HS8
The Yamaha HS7/HS8 share a similar design. It seems that they borrowed it from the NS10, the iconic sealed box that is a symbol of a studio monitor. There are many differences between NS10 and HS7, but the most noticeable is the ported design.
The NS10's closed cabinet design made the bass weaker and it sounded much louder than it should. Yamaha made sure that all active monitors in its HS series were ported to avoid this design flaw. This ensured good bass output.
Which of the two is better in terms of design?
Besides the design, both products look exactly alike. Both have a simple and aesthetic design that is well-suited for the job.
2. Backpanel Controls
They both have the same controls. Both models include 1/4-inch TRS and XLR balanced jacks for input.
They are powered by an international generic cable. An on/off switch is mounted at the back to control them.
Volume control is a large knob that can be rotated clockwise to increase volume or anti-clockwise for reducing volume.
The volume goes from 0 to +4dB at noon and -10dB towards the far end.
- If you're wondering what these numbers mean?
(it's the voulme)
These numbers are used to match the sound levels around you with dB (decibles). This is a theoretical approach. Most users will adjust the volume to what is most comfortable.
Since HS7 and HS8 are ported at the back, sounds tend to bounce off the walls, especially if you place them close to a wall or at the corners. Yamaha recommends the speakers should be five feet from the nearest wall.
If you work in a small studio that does not have a lot of room you can control the bass level with this room control switch.
The three-position room control switch can be used to adjust the response to your room, location, and preferences. These settings can be set to zero, -2dB, or -4dB.
Essentially, this will reduce the 500Hz bass frequencies and can make the bass in particular, sound way better.
If this doesn't help, you would need some bass traps as that tends to even out the sound a bit.
High trim is another control that can help to balance the sound and to ensure that it matches your taste. As the name suggests, High Trim is used to controlling the treble over 2kHz.
In NS10, the treble was way too high and some users had to tape the tweeter to make it more pleasing to their ears. To avoid a similar scenario, Yamaha has come up with the option to alter the treble settings to suit your preferences.
In this control, 0 is in the middle position, and both the ends are +2dB and -2dB respectively. You can choose the one that suits you. Personally, we liked +2dB, as it felt like a toned-down treble of NS10.
3. Woofer Size
One major difference between the two products is the size of their woofer. In HS7, the woofer is 6.5 inches while in HS8, the woofer size is a solid 8 inches.
You might think that the difference is not so big enough, but in reality, what HS8 has is almost two-thirds larger in the area. This also explains the larger size of HS8 when compared to HS7.
Besides the size, there is nothing notably different among these two active studio monitor models.
4. Setup and Build Quality
Both products are solid in build quality. Your speakers will last a long time because the speaker magnets are very heavy.
Anyone who is familiar with active studio monitors will find it easy to set it up.
But there is one problem.
It is easy to create interference at radio and electromagnetic frequencies.
If you listen to these music studios a lot on your phone, this could be a problem. You'll notice the distortion or interference coming from your speakers every time you receive a text message.
Ever since the 1970's the iconic white woofer and signature sound of Yamaha's nearfield reference monitors have become a genuine industry standard for a reason – their accuracy
Both speakers are identical in terms of build quality and set up. Both speakers are solidly built and last a long time. Either one can be chosen and it will last you for many decades, or until you get bored and want to move on!
Both speakers have amazing sound quality. You will be blown away by the clarity, detail and honesty of these speakers.
The sound output of the HS series is sure to please those who like NS10, which was the grandfather of speakers. Although you won't get the same accuracy as NS10, you will still enjoy a good sound mix and accuracy.
The HS7 can cover a range from 43Hz and has a decent low-frequency response but is not as punchy as you might expect. This output level is good for most genres, as the bass is clear and not punchy.
This may not be enough for you if you are a bass-head or someone who works with heavy synth bass, or even dance music.
For small to medium rooms the HS7 is a great option. For large rooms, the HS7 will need a subwoofer to match the HS8.
The HS8 is famous for its exceptional bass output and go's as low as 30Hz. It has a larger woofer than HS7 and tends to push more sound waves towards your ears, giving you that extra punch to the bass.
If you are looking for a high-quality bass output without subwoofers, then HS8 is the right choice.
Loudness is an important aspect to consider. The HS7 or HS8 may not be the right choice if you are looking for a really loud speaker.
The Yamaha HS8 runs on more power at 120W vs. the HS7's 100W.
Quick Sound Summery
Which product is the winner of the two?
The HS8's output is excellent and the bass has a punch that EDM fans will love. However the HS8's mid-range tones aren't as good as they should be, and this could be due to their emphasis on the low-end frequencies.
If you're planning to buy HS7 just because of the price, consider spending a little more to buy HS8 as these speakers output honest music with high levels of clarity and detail, not to mention the bass and volume that comes with it.
Again, this doesn't mean HS7 is bad. On the contrary, HS7 seems to be more popular on the Internet than HS8. But that said, does HS8 justify the price increase? Absolutely, yes.
7. Yamaha HS7 vs HS8 – Pros and Cons
Yamaha HS7 and HS8 Advantages
Both, HS7 AND HS8, are great models, and below we'll discuss the advantages of these speakers.
Works well for rooms of any size
Deep and tight sound output, good build quality
Even sounding and balanced across the entire spectrum
Neutral sound, exceptional clarity
A precise and tight output that makes for a great critical listening job
Construction is solid and lasts for a long time
Bass response goes all the way up to 38Hz, well-defined lows
The sound is accurate and honest, so little to no changes are required after the initial mix-down
Perfect for hip-hop, guitar performance, critical listening, acoustic and keyboards
Doesn't require an amp as the sounds are loud and clear
Yamaha HS7 and HS8 Disadvantages
The cons of Yamaha HS7 and HS8 are as follows:
Requires an amp for loud volumes
Not a good choice for bass-heavy genres like EDM, and generally, electronic music (techno, IDM, house)
Mid-range can get affected because of the heavy emphasis on bass
More suitable for big rooms, as it can be too much for small rooms
The Bottom Line
Now that we have come to the end of this review, which of the two is better overall?
Well, it is really hard to say and the choice totally depends on your expectations and preferences.
In general, while making a choice between these two active studio monitors, take two factors into consideration.
- First off, consider the size of the room in which you'll be placing the speakers.
If you plan to keep them in a small room, HS7 is a good choice as they will not bounce sound off the walls.
Never buy an HS8 for a small room, as it is sure to distort the sound. It will bounce too much sound which will echo back and all this can spoil the overall listening experience.
On the other hand, if you have a medium to a large-sized room, both HS8 and HS7 are good choices. HS8 will sound well in a big room because of its high sound output. This is sure to give you a pleasant feel to the music that is being played.
You can move an HS7 to a large room as well. However, be prepared to add a subwoofer to the active monitors if you think the sound is not as high as it should be. Thus, the size of the room has a big bearing on the kind of active studio monitors you should choose.
- Another aspect while choosing between HS7 and HS8 is the bass output.
If you like to listen to genres where the bass is a major aspect, something like EDM, your obvious choice is HS8.
But, if you don't need so much bass and you like to listen to
HS7 is a good choice. Not that HS8 is bad for classical and other genres, it is just that you don't need that level of bass output.
There is a small catch here too. Keep in mind that the bass output of HS8 will not be great in an untreated room.
One minor aspect that you should keep in mind is the mid-range tones. HS7 definitely scores better than HS8 in this regard.
So, as a rule, if you have a small room, your best bet is HS7. If you have a large room and don't care so much about bass, HS7 is a good choice. Otherwise, go for HS8.
In fact, if you like EDM and other bass-heavy genres, HS8 is your choice provided you're going to set it up in a room designed for good sound.
As far as the design goes, both are more or less the same with very few minor differences that have no impact whatsoever on your final decision. The same can be said about build quality and setup as well.
The two areas that could define your decision are cost and sound output. When it comes to cost, the difference is small but is it worth paying that difference. We think HS8 defines the higher price tag because its output is louder and the bass has a good punch.
That said, do you need a louder studio monitor or one that delivers a good bass punch? That is something you need to think about.
First off, HS8 will sound distorted when you keep it in a small room.
The loud output will cause the sounds to bounce off from the surrounding walls and this definitely impacts the clarity and detail of the music. So, if you have a small room, HS7 is a good choice.
When it comes to larger rooms, is HS8 better? Yes, it is definitely louder and the bass will really stand out. But then, the room should have been prepared for sound. Otherwise, the impact may not sound so incredible.
Also, if you're one of those people who are not particular about bass and prefer to listen to other bass-neutral genres, HS7 may still be a good choice. Of course, be ready to add a subwoofer to HS7 for some extra sound output, if required.
If you're a bass head and listen to EDM genre, for the most part, HS8 is the choice. Again, the room has to be big and treated for sound to make the most of what this active studio monitor offers.
Powered nearfield monitor speakers built on the success of its legendary predecessors that have become a genuine industry standard for their accuracy. The HS Series features newly developed transducers that achieve astonishingly smooth response over a wide range of bandwidth.
Overall, HS8 is slightly better than HS7 under certain conditions. Of course, it also depends on your listening preferences and the importance you give to bass.