When comparing Yamaha HS5 vs M-Audio AV32, the Slant community recommends Yamaha HS5 for most people. In the question“What are the best studio monitors under $500?” Yamaha HS5 is ranked 1st while M-Audio AV32 is ranked 5th. The most important reason people chose Yamaha HS5 is:
These speakers are able to deliver sound that is pure, flat, and balanced. On its out of the box, flat setting, the HS5 reproduces music without any coloration whatsoever. While this may not be ideal for music enjoyment, this is crucial when you are trying to get your audio mix right. The HS5 features updated transducers and slightly bigger tweeters compared to the old HS50m studio monitors. This results in improved frequency response and increased sound resolution. With these monitors, you will be able to hear every detail of the song that you are mixing. Also contributing to these speakers’ amazing clarity is the bi-amp setup, where there is an amplifier dedicated for the woofer and another one for the tweeter. This eliminates sound distortion, even at high volume levels.
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Pro Clear and accurate sound with a balanced output across the bass, mids and treble
These speakers are able to deliver sound that is pure, flat, and balanced. On its out of the box, flat setting, the HS5 reproduces music without any coloration whatsoever. While this may not be ideal for music enjoyment, this is crucial when you are trying to get your audio mix right. The HS5 features updated transducers and slightly bigger tweeters compared to the old HS50m studio monitors. This results in improved frequency response and increased sound resolution. With these monitors, you will be able to hear every detail of the song that you are mixing.
Also contributing to these speakers’ amazing clarity is the bi-amp setup, where there is an amplifier dedicated for the woofer and another one for the tweeter. This eliminates sound distortion, even at high volume levels.
Pro Can easily be incorporated into a multitude of audio setups
The HS5 is versatile in terms of the input signals that it can accept. This is because the speaker gives users the option to choose from 2 different input types: XLR and TRS. Both these connections accept balanced and unbalanced signals. You can use these speakers with DACs, audio interfaces, receivers, mixers, and computers.
Pro You can adjust the speakers’ volume level in accordance to your room setup with the Room Control switch
You can reduce the HS5’s output using the Room Control switch on the back of each speaker. You can choose to cut -2dB or -4dB from the overall volume. This is very useful when the speaker is placed near a wall as this will help to minimize sound reflections and help to maintain a flat and even sound.
Pro You can increase or reduce high frequency output with High Trim switch
You can choose to adjust the tweeter output of the HS5 using the High Trim switch on the back of each speaker. You can boost the output up +2dB for louder and more piercing highs or you can reduce the highs -2dB for a more mid and bass focused sound signature.
Pro Can easily fit on medium to large sized desks and setups
The HS5 comes in what is considered a sweet spot in terms of size as they are not that bulky. This makes them ideal for medium sized rooms, but these are compact enough that they can be used in tighter setups. However, these speakers are able to produce sound that is noticeably better than smaller studio monitors. If you have a small to medium sized room, these speakers can adequately fill the space with high fidelity sound. If you have a really large room, then full sized studio monitors may be the better fit.
Pro Clean and smooth sound with airy highs from such small speakers
These speakers are able to produce a nice and smooth sound despite being quite small in size. There is an emphasis on the higher frequencies and the bass can sound full. Imaging is forward with a lot of detail. This sound is achieved by the use of three-inch polypropylene-coated, high-temperature voice coil woofers for the low and mid frequencies and a 1-inch silk cone tweeter for the highs. Overall, the sound is clearly a cut above the multimedia speakers that are within the AV32’s price range.
Pro Clear and forward presentation of detail thanks to proprietary OptImage IV waveguide design
These speakers deliver optimal high frequency detail and clarity to the listener. This is due to M-Audio’s use of their proprietary waveguide design which allows for efficient travel of the high frequencies to the listener’s ears. This tech is further supported by the use of highly flexible silk cones on the tweeters which further reduce the restriction of the sound being produced.
Pro Can fit in most studio/desk setups due to the compact size
The AV32 can fit in virtually all studio setups thanks to its truly compact size. It's true even if you have a rather small and cramped desk. This feat is achieved via a simple and small cabinet that houses the 3-inch speaker and 1-inch tweeter combo.
Pro Can give improved convenience due to headphone output jack on the front side of the speaker
You may find this speaker very convenient to use if you also tend to listen to music on your headphones. There is a 1/8” headphone out jack which will channel the sound output to the connected headphones instead of the speakers. For added sound control, you can also adjust the volume of your headphones using the volume knob on the speakers.
Pro Offers some degree of flexibility in terms of integrating into a user’s audio chain setup
You can easily integrate these speakers into your current audio chain. These speakers offer RCA inputs at the back as well as 1/8” input in front. This makes the AV32 compatible with DACs, audio receivers, and even smartphones and mobile music players.
Pro Very affordable price for studio monitors
These speakers are very attainable price-wise. These are positioned as entry-level studio monitors with prices that are not too far off from most multi-media speakers available on the market. This makes high quality, pro-level audio monitoring speakers within relatively easy reach, and should fit many budding audio enthusiast’s budgets.
Con Bass may be lacking for some
Due to the smaller 5 inch woofer of the HS5, some may find the bass to be quite lacking when using this studio monitor for general listening. However, this can be offset by adding Yamaha's HS8S Sub-woofer. This can be an expensive upgrade though.
Con Usually sold as a single piece
Do check if you are paying for a single speaker or a 2-speaker bundle. If this is your first time buying studio monitors, then you might think that the price is for 2 speakers. However, this HS5, as many other studio monitors, is usually sold per piece. This effectively doubles the list price for a 2 channel system.
Con Can produce a different sound character depending on your room setup
It is recommended to have a room that is optimally set up for music listening/monitoring if you want to get the most out of these speakers. For example, if you have a listening space that is quite small with a lot of flat and hard surfaces for the sound to reflect off of, then you can have problems like unnatural and lean sounding bass. Thick curtains, bass traps, and other sound absorption solutions can help you get the flat and accurate sound reproduction that these monitors are known for.
Con Sound may distort at higher volumes
You can definitely crank these speakers up to max in order to get extra volume. However, do expect some audible distortion at high volume levels. If you prefer loud volumes for listening or mixing, then bigger studio monitors will suit your needs better.
Con Volume output may be limited
The volume output of these speakers is not that high, which can also be attributed to these speakers’ small size. While these are perfectly usable for close audio monitoring, this may not be a good option if you want your studio monitors to fill the room with great sound.
Con May not have enough bass output due to small woofers
Some may find the bass output of these speakers to be a bit lacking. The small 3 inch woofers can only deliver so much bass and while the output may be enough in small rooms, the bass can leave a lot to be desired in larger rooms.