Suggestions for Secondary Monitors


I wanted to get some inexpensive speakers to check to see how my mixes will translate. I was looking at the behringer c5a and c50a, but they are no longer made. I was also thinking about the ik media iloud set, but they are a bit more than I want to spend. Any suggestions is much appreciate! Thanks!

I use the Logitech Z623 because to help me get a better feel of the bass, and what it will sound like in the car. (They’re in another room for now, but it’s still easier than going out to the car!)

If you have the bass covered, what about some regular crappy computer speakers? $20. I don’t really understand spending a lot of money on speakers that are made to sound bad when there are plenty of speakers that just sound kind of bad, haha.

The other thing I use is Sonarworks. I just use the headphone edition, but they also have one for speakers. You can pick an EQ curve that emulates various speaker models which could give you extra ones to test on. I’d wait for a sale, and it’s fairly expensive, but just FYI.


In my experience so far, there isn’t really any substitute for simply checking your translation on a laptop, phone, or car. There’s no one reference monitor that is the ultimate go-to junker for translation. I ripped a pair of speakers out of a macbook and wired them to my monitor controller. The thing is that every pair of junkers is going to show you something different anyway… you have to put just as much time into learning to use them as you do a high end pair.

Besides the gutted macbook junkers, go back and forth between Focal Sm9’s and JBL LSR’s.

What is your primary pair? And what is your console/center/monitor controller? And really, its probably fitting to ask if you do this professionally. Recommendations for the secondary pair do vary a little based on the user.

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That’s when I first set it up to try it. It doesn’t live in the middle of the room anymore. I keep it on a shelf next to the machine rack now.

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I have the c5As. I bought them used for $100 for the pair. They serve a couple advantages for me, but it took me a while to figure it out.

  1. When in mono, certain frequencies just sound annoying that I don’t catch of full range monitors. It focuses the sound on the most sensitive portion of our hearing, so certain things become unmasked. I’m pretty sure you can get this exact same effect with a high and low pass filter though.

  2. After listening on the crappy monitors for a bit, I get more used to the sound. From there, switching to full range monitors, suddenly all I can hear is the really annoying stuff in the high and low end. If it’s boomy, it’s really obvious. If there are strange resonances in the high end, it’s really obvious. This is because I’ve just spent time listening on band limited monitors, and the quick switch makes my brain focus on the new stuff.

I don’t think there’s any real reason you can’t just do this same thing with an EQ and a mono switch. In fact, I started making a plugin for personal use that just does this effect with a single push button. If I ever get to actually finishing it, I’ll be happy to send out a copy.


Do you mean junk up a speaker? So the idea is to use a plugin to make a good pair of speakers sound like shit on purpose so you don’t have to buy a shitty pair? Hmmmmm! Interesting thought!!!

It seems like you’d have to be very intentional about screwing with the sound in a way that benefits the translation part. Otherwise you’re just eq-ing your 2 bus. You can’t just junk up a speaker in any random way and expect it to accomplish the same thing as pair of NS10’s. Haha!! Maybe Slate should make some speakers and then sell a modeling software with them lol.

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well, obviously you don’t just apply random eq. And each monitor sounds different in the midrange, so I wouldn’t claim it to be emulating any other monitor. But I think emulations are stupid to begin with. The only thing I’d be “emulating” is the effect of taking out the high and low end so you can focus on the midrange and in mono.

He tried that a while ago. Didn’t work out, for one reason or another.

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Did he ever release it? If so, do you remember what it was called? I can’t find anything online.

Do you mean just for speakers? Or for anything?

for anything. I think it’s good to look at hardware and figure out what makes them sound good. You can learn a lot by looking at the way different pieces of hardware react to a sound source, but to make a piece of software to replicate a piece of hardware exactly is lame. Use the good, discard the bad or the pointless.

I don’t think he did. I just remember him saying he spend a lot of time and money on R&D, but ended up not being a good business venture.

I use Dynaudio bm5a’s. I am just a hobbiest.

Gotchya. That’s good to know.

I tried using one of these…

I won it in a Christmas raffle at a church last year. It got the job done, but I ended up going back to my macbook speakers and my Zaxbys cup eventually.

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@cky751, welcome to the site! I hope you’re enjoying it so far. Feel free to ask tons of questions around here. There are lots of hobbyists here and a great gang to hang out with. Great to have you here! :beerbanger:

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Thanks! I use to lurk around a little in the recording review/Brandon Drury days. Seems like the same helpful folks are still around, which is great!

Anyways, I found some old piece of crap Sony Vaio speakers in storage. I used these a lot when I was kid and know them very well. Hopefully these will fit the bill!

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Thanks Boz for the review and help. On a side note I really enjoy your plugins, and use them on every mix!


Here’s a FREE plugin that does some EQ stuff…

And here’s an article with a few EQ settings you can set up. I made presets for them in my DAW EQ.

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Very useful! Thanks!

Depends on your position in the supply chain.