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PreSonus Eris E5 Review – Best Value For Money Studio Monitors

Studio monitors are an essential piece of kit for music producers who are serious about their craft. They help to give a true, flat frequency response, so an engineer can make informed decisions in a mixing or mastering session.

Having a good set of studio monitors is one of the most important things in your setup, alongside acoustic treatment for your room. However, monitors can be expensive, and with a world of options it's difficult to discern which studio monitors are the best value for money.

In this PreSonus E5 review we'll be covering a budget studio monitor setup, that is fantastic for beginners – intermediate producers, and a great first pick.

We'll cover what they are, how they perform, and whether they're really worth getting for your home studio.

PreSonus E5 Review (Quick Verdict)

Whipped Cream Sounds

presonus Eris E5 single
Sound Quality
Build Quality
Frequency Response
Connection Options
Value for Money

Verdict

A stellar, budget studio monitor that provides a clean, consistent listening experience. Bass response isn't great, and we recommend getting a subwoofer with it, but the options for control are fantastic, and get the best out of untreated rooms. Inputs are vast with 3 available, including XLR, TRS & RCA. With a frequency range of 53Hz-22kHz, and an SPL of 103db – you can't go wrong with these on a budget. They sound great!

4.3

What Are The PreSonus Eris E5?

presonus Eris E5 studio monitors

The Eris E5, are PreSonus' budget range studio monitors. They are compact, stylish, 5 inch cone speakers, with support for a wide range of connections, and a great deal of tuning options such as: low pass filters, low, mid & high control, acoustic space tuning, & much more.

For the price, they are the best studio monitor available on a budget, and even include music production software in the package, to get you started.

The E5's are a phenomenal pick for an introduction to studio monitors, and we'd recommend them to anyone starting out with music production. Because they are cheaper, they do have some drawbacks, but the benefits largely outweighs them for the price.

First let's go over what you get with the Eris E5's.

What Do You Get in The Package?

What's In The Box

For $134.95, you will get one speaker that has a 5.25″ woven cone for low and mid frequencies, and a 1″ tweeter that's designated to the high frequency reproduction.

In the box you'll find:

  • 1 x Eris E5 Speaker with a 5.25″ woven cone, and 1″ high frequency tweeter
  • 1 x manual
  • 1 x cleaning cloth
  • 1 x 1.5m power cable

The system is powered by 80 watt, Class AB bi-amplification that produces a maximum SPL of 102 dB.

The cables for connecting to your audio interface/computer do not come with the Eris E5, and you will have to purchase those separately. However this is standard for all speakers (even Genelecs that you'll spend upwards of $1400 for).

We recommend getting balanced TRS cables.

These are grounded cables that will eliminate ground noise from being fed through your speakers. This is essential if you're using them for mixing or mastering, and will be a bonus if you're just using them for listening.

The E5's also don't come with audio isolation foam or stands, and we'd recommend getting both if you are thinking of using these in your studio.

A good set of stands and isolation pads make a huge difference, when using for music production.

One speaker will make a mono setup. So, in order to get a L, R stereo setup, you will have to purchase the PreSonus Eris E5 as a pair. This comes to a total of $269.90 for a pair, which is an absolute bargain! The E5's are honestly so cheap, and sound great.

If that's too expensive, you can grab the PreSonus Eris E3.5 which are even cheaper, but you'll be getting a lower quality speaker.

Software Included

With the PreSonus Eris E5, not only do you get a good studio monitor, but also get access to PreSonus music software and plugins that are worth over $1000.

PreSonus studio monitors include a special edition of Studio Magic.

This is a suite of music software that includes: Studio One Prime (PreSonus' free DAW) + plug-ins, loops, virtual instruments, effects, as well as some tutorials on how to use it all!

The Magic edition of Studio One Prime is compatible with all of the included plug-ins, of course, and because they're included in VST, AU, and AAX formats, you can also use them in any DAW you’d like.

Features

The PreSonus Eris E5 are affordable studio monitors that come with a lot of features. In this section, we'll cover every last detail, from what they sound like to the dimensions & more.

What is The Sound Quality Like On The PreSonus Eris E5?

To give our opinion quickly:

The PreSonus Eris E5 sound quality, is extremely nice. They're a good studio monitor that, provide a reliable, and consistent listening experience, without many pitfalls. They don't have a great bass response, but for the price it's good, and when compared to the competition at this price you're not gonna get any better.

They have a nice loudness to them, and also provide a lot of control, which is great for getting an optimal listening experience in any acoustic space.

When listening to them we did find the bass to be over-emphasised when compared to other speakers, but with a little fine-tuning using the acoustic space settings, this was controlled. You won't be able to hear deep bass properly, which can be a problem for genres like EDM & Hip Hop.

However, they are great near-field monitors that will give you a transparent picture of your audio and allow you to make informed decisions when mixing.

We wouldn't recommend these as a stereo listening setup, but would recommend them in a music production setup.

Although they do sound great for listening, you might be better off with a proper stereo listening setup.

What Are The Specifications for The Eris E5?

The PreSonus E5 are one of few studio monitors that not only sound fantastic, and provide a relatively flat response, for an extremely affordable price – but also have a wide range of tuning controls that allow you to suit them to any environment.

This is especially useful for bedroom producers, and many cheaper studio monitors don't provide this level of control.

We'd always recommend getting acoustic treatment, but if you don't have it, with the E5's you can still get a really good sound, with some tweaking.

The frequency response ranges from 53Hz – 22kHz, which is extremely good for a budget studio monitor, and there's a crossover at 3kHz.

The bass response is a little on the heavy side, with a slight boost thanks to those port holes included at the bottom.

However, using the tuning knobs, you can control this pretty effectively. And, if you get a sub-woofer, you can actually roll off all the way up to 100Hz, completely eliminating the bass from the E5's.

(this is something we'd highly recommend if you have the spare cash)

The acoustic space can also come into play here, especially if your speakers are in the corners of rooms. When monitors are closer to walls, they have a higher bass boost, due to sound reflections.

To compensate for this bass boost, the Eris E5 provides an Acoustic Space control. This is a switch that controls another, low shelving filter that cuts all frequencies below 800 Hz by the amount you choose (-2 or -4 dB). With this feature, you can control the bass response relative to the wall proximity of your speakers.

-2db gives a much flatter sounding result than 0db, which gave a much bassier sound in our small room. -4db reduced it to completely flat, no bass response, so it sounded best at -2db.

presonus Eris E5 frequency response

With the PreSonus E5's you get control for:

  • Mid frequencies between -6db to +6db
  • High frequencies between -6db t0 +6db
  • Low cutoff 3 modes:
    • Flat
    • 80Hz
    • 100Hz
  • Acoustic space switch settings:
    • 0db
    • -2db
    • -4db

These controls are extremely useful to have on cheaper studio monitors, because they can help you tune your speakers to your room, and give you the best, most transparent listening experience, which is really useful for studio monitors.

The frequency response remains relatively flat, but doesn't get anywhere near the 102db SPL rating, and the highest response is a 93db SPL. This isn't much of a problem unless you're going to completely crank them, and you'll be absolutely fine with 93db SPL for mixing and mastering purposes.

You'll also notice there's a sharp drop off around the 53Hz area, meaning that sub will be extremely hard to monitor, and it's advised you get a subwoofer too.

If you know these speakers inside and out, you can get good mixes without a subwoofer, just be warned, they're very bass heavy due to the port holes, and these can cause resonances that blur transients, reverb decay times & more important things you need to hear when mixing.

This is common among studio monitors in this price range though, and you're not going to get much better than the Eris E5 studio monitors for the price.

What's The Build Quality Like on The Eris E5?

presonus Eris E5 back piece

The PreSonus Eris E5 studio monitors feel like they're very sturdy, and look fantastic with their sleek, black finish. They're some of the best-looking monitors we've seen and will fit any studio setting.

They are mainly built from medium-density fiberboard, with a metal plate for the back piece that houses the connections and dials. The dials and switches are plastic, but provide a nice amount of control, and don't feel like they're going to break anytime soon.

The entire speaker is covered in a black vinyl finish which is fairly slippery. They also have round corners, which makes them easy to drop, and they tend to slide around on desks, if you don't have acoustic foam panels for them.

This is a minor issue, but can be a bit of an annoyance when moving the speakers, so be really careful, or you might drop them.

We have dropped them on a few occasions, but they can take a beating and have been completely fine.

For the price, the build quality is fantastic, and you won't find much better than the E5 at this price range.

What's The Connectivity on The Eris E5?

Presonus Eris E5 connectivity

With the PreSonus Eris E5, you have 3 connection options:

  • An unbalanced RCA input (not recommended)
  • A balanced TRS input (recommended)
  • A balanced XLR input (recommended)

The PreSonus Eris E5 does not come with the cables needed to connect to the inputs, so you will have to purchase those separately. To pick up a good pair of cables, it should only set you back $15-$30.

Make sure they are balanced cables. This helps to improve the sound quality and removes any possibility of noise being fed through your studio monitors.

What Are The Dimensions for The PreSonus Eris E5?

The PreSonus Eris E5 are good studio monitors for a small studio space. They are compact, and will sit well on the desk of your setup, but will perform better on speaker stands and isolation pads.

If you are going to be using these on your desk, make use of the acoustic space control and, if you can, get some acoustic treatment.

Here are the dimensions for the PreSonus Eris E5:

  • Width – 7” (178 mm)
  • Depth – 7.68” (195 mm)
  • Height – 10.24” (260 mm)
  • Weight – 10.2 lbs (4.63 kg)

The Bass Port

Bass ports can cause issues on all studio monitors, but the Eris E5 deal with these issues perfectly, by providing control over low filters, and the acoustic space switches we explained above.

It's always advisable to get a subwoofer alongside studio monitors, but it's not necessary.

Every studio monitor at this size and price range will have ports, and you'd be hard pressed to find monitors that don't have ports as you get more expensive, especially on the smaller sizes.

Even Genelecs, Adams, and other high quality monitors use these ports on smaller sized speakers, and you don't really get a quality monitor without them. So this is not a drawback, it's so you have a better understanding of it all before buying any monitor.

“The less money you have to spend, the more you should beware ported monitors”

Mixing Secrets for The Small Studio – Mike Senior

Ports on speakers are beneficial to your monitoring, especially when the bass cones are smaller on your speakers. The ports allow for a louder bass response, giving your a more accurate picture of how your low end sounds, without the need for huge speaker cones.

However, the ports have drawbacks as well, and they're not widely advertised all the time. And, we think you should be aware of them.

Due to ports, lower end frequencies can bounce around inside the port, causing them to ring out longer. This is why you'll hear the bass frequencies more, and why they're louder.

But this causes resonance.

The resonance can cause issues, that taint your decision making. It's not a deal-breaker, and is unavoidable at this price and size, but it's something you need to be aware of.

PreSonus have done an incredible job at creating, a clear, transparent monitor that will aid you well for mixing and mastering.

Who Are The PreSonus Eris E5 For?

The PreSonus Eris E5 are best suited to novice sound engineers, to intermediate sound engineers. If you're looking for your first set of studio monitors, and are on a budget, these are a fantastic pick for you. They will provide a clean sound, and enough tuning control to suit your room.

Also, because they're cheaper than other studio monitors, you can use any remaining budget on acoustic treatment, and stands etc.

We'd throughly recommend getting treatment for your room, and a subwoofer if you're serious about audio engineering or music production. The PreSonus Eris E8 subwoofer, alongside a pair of these, with the bass rolled to 100Hz, will be perfect for anyone starting out.

Are The Eris E5 Good For Mixing & Mastering?

The Eris E5 studio monitors are fantastic budget studio monitor for mixing and mastering, for the price range. They provide a flat response, and a consistent listening experience, without many pitfalls. They can't deal with deep bass well, but are better at reproducing it than other studio monitors around this price range.

They aren't the most ideal speakers for EDM or Hip Hop as they won't accurately reproduce the deep bass. However, anything in this price range won't without a good subwoofer.

If you're starting out with music production, we'd recommend these as your first set of speakers.

How Do They Compare To Other Budget Monitors?

When comparing the PreSonus Eris E5 to something like the MAudio BXD-3, or the Rokit GPG-4's, the Eris E5 stand up nicely. The bass response is better than both the BX-3 and GPG-4, and there's far more option for control.

The control is where they really outshine the competition, because you're able to get a great listening experience, without a fully treated room using the acoustic space control and other dials.

Verdict

PreSonus E5 Review (Quick Verdict)

Whipped Cream Sounds

Sound Quality
Build Quality
Frequency Response
Connection Options
Value for Money
Design

Verdict

A stellar, budget studio monitor that provides a clean, consistent listening experience. Bass response isn't great, and we recommend getting a subwoofer with it, but the options for control are fantastic, and get the best out of untreated rooms. Inputs are vast with 3 available, including XLR, TRS & RCA. With a frequency range of 53Hz-22kHz, and an SPL of 103db – you can't go wrong with these on a budget. They sound great!

4.1

For any new music producer/audio engineer looking to get a pair of studio monitors, the Eris E5's are a solid pick. They provide a consistent, flat listening experience, and have a range of controls that will help bedroom producers get the most out of their room. The bass isn't great, but bass on budget speakers in this range are never good. We recommend getting it with the E8 subwoofer, and rolling off the bass to 100Hz for the best experience.

For the price, they are fantastic, sturdy monitors that won't fail you. You may need to upgrade in the future, but you can't complain with the software included.

We'd highly recommend these to beginners.