Home Studio Monitor Comparisons JBL LSR 305 vs. Yamaha HS5 [In Depth Guide]

JBL LSR 305 vs. Yamaha HS5 [In Depth Guide]

by Stuart Charles Black
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Greetings mate and Welcome aboard. Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions leading to a beautiful audio experience that will make you fall in love with music (NOT gear) all over again, so…

Before we get into the specifics of the JBL LSR305 vs. Yamaha HS5, grab a snack, sit back, and relax because…

You’ve come to the right place!!

In this comparison, we’ll take a look at 2 very popular monitors and determine which of them is better for mixing.

Towards the end, I’ll show you the components necessary for the setup and go over some best practices in terms of your room/acoustics, etc.

So let’s get rolling!

Comparison Chart


Preview
Better For Fun
JBL Professional LSR305 First-Generation 5" 2-Way Powered Studio Monitor (LSR305)
Better For Reference
Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor
Title
JBL Professional LSR305 First-Generation 5" 2-Way Powered Studio Monitor (LSR305)
Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor
Color
Black
Black/White
Total Power
82W
70W
Weight
10.12 lbs.
11.7 lbs.
Primary Use
Casual, Mixing, Mastering, Reference
Mixing, Mastering, Reference
Good For?
Casual Listening, Hip-Hop, Rock/Metal, All Genres
Post Production, Guitar Performance, Acoustic/Chamber, Keyboards
DAC Needed?
Powered?
Prime
-
Amazon Prime
Price
Price not available
$199.99
Better For Fun
Preview
JBL Professional LSR305 First-Generation 5" 2-Way Powered Studio Monitor (LSR305)
Title
JBL Professional LSR305 First-Generation 5" 2-Way Powered Studio Monitor (LSR305)
Color
Black
Total Power
82W
Weight
10.12 lbs.
Primary Use
Casual, Mixing, Mastering, Reference
Good For?
Casual Listening, Hip-Hop, Rock/Metal, All Genres
DAC Needed?
Powered?
Prime
-
Price
Price not available
Details
Better For Reference
Preview
Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor
Title
Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor
Color
Black/White
Total Power
70W
Weight
11.7 lbs.
Primary Use
Mixing, Mastering, Reference
Good For?
Post Production, Guitar Performance, Acoustic/Chamber, Keyboards
DAC Needed?
Powered?
Prime
Amazon Prime
Price
$199.99
Details

Introduction

JBL LSR 305 Review

Lego men bask in the 305’s glory.

It took me a long time to bite the bullet and buy a pair of studio monitors. What are studio monitors?

I can tell you this right now: If you’re on the fence about it, you may as well just go ahead and take the plunge.

Having a pair is truly priceless, and something that can only be felt and realized when you have them sitting in your studio.

So stick around because we’re going to evaluate 3 models today: the JBLs, the Yamaha, and the KRK.

When I was looking for the best entry-level option, I came across the JBL LSR 305.

It just kept popping up in my searches, so I read as many reviews as I could about them.

Nearly every review I read was stellar, so I had to bite the bullet and get them.

One of the main reasons it took me so long to buy a pair was fear. That sounds crazy, doesn’t it?

I was so overwhelmed with all of the connections, cables, terms, and what have you, that I shied away from it for a long time.

As for the monitors, I don’t regret the purchase at all.

They’re worth every penny and more.

With that in mind, let’s dive right into why they’re so valuable!

JBL LSR 305 Studio Monitors

Entry level heaven.

JBL LSR 305

Price: Check Amazon! | Check B&H! | Check Sweetwater! | Official Review: Here!

Specifications

  • Powered: Yes
  • Power Configuration: Bi-amped
  • LF Driver Size: 5″
  • HF Driver Size: 1″
  • HF Driver Type: Soft Dome
  • LF Driver Power Amp: 41W
  • HF Driver Power Amp: 41W
  • Total Power: 82W
  • Frequency Range: 43Hz-24kHz
  • Crossover Frequency: 1725Hz
  • Maximum Peak SPL: 108 dB
  • Enclosure Type: Ported
  • Input Types: 1x XLR, 1x 1/4″ TRS
  • Height: 11.75″
  • Width: 7.28″
  • Depth: 9.88″
  • Weight: 10.12 lbs.

Summary

The LSR 305s are by all accounts entry-level studio monitors meant to satisfy the needs of the producer/engineer looking for exceptional, reference-level sound quality.

They are active, meaning they don’t need a separate amp to power, but they do need AC (alternating current) power.

AC means the power frequently reverses direction many times per second, and the standard is 60Hz, with hertz being your typical unit of measure.

These monitors come with two cables, as each needs its own power source.

They are also MONO speakers and need 2 separate cables running from the back into whatever you are using to receive and transmit the signal.

Sound

The sound of the LSR 305, to me, is a cross between neutral and colored.

It’s not entirely flat, nor is it overly flamboyant.

All of the frequencies come through and are represented extremely well, but the mid-bass is slightly boosted and sounds energetic and lively without the bloat that most consumer-oriented products suffer from.

The mid-range is one of the 305’s standout features, as it’s forward and lively in the presence regions which is great for reference work.

This is because the mids are arguably the most important part of the mix to get right, and the LSR305 understands this well.

I’d classify the treble as fairly neutral, with no strange peaks up to 10kHz though there is plenty of air here. This is another aspect of the 305 that I enjoyed. I never felt like the monitors were sibilant or harsh, and JBL deserves a lot of credit for getting it mostly right.

Resolution

Another standout feature of the 305, the resolution here is staggering for the price. If you’re coming from cheap speakers, prepare to have your mind blown.

There’s excellent detail across the frequency response, as you’re able to hear almost 100% of what’s going on in your mix, a song, podcast, basketball game, etc.

They also do a fantastic job of breathing life into music you thought you knew like the back of your hand.

Pros

  • Rock Solid Build.
  • Good for mixing and general listening.
  • Nice stereo imaging. Positioning these at the right spot makes them almost disappear if you will.
  • Good bass response that reaches down to 43Hz.
  • They breathe life into old songs, allowing you to hear those subtle nuances that were previously absent.
  • Startling clarity.
  • Great at capturing highs; can be pushed to max volume and remain crystal clear.
  • Image control waveguide technology proves to be beneficial in producing pristine, crystal clear sound, and a wider stereo image. This same technology was used in JBL’s higher-end model monitors (upwards of $20k).
  • Very accurate. They give stereo sound rather than surround sound. Don’t expect them to be your go-to home audio speakers.

Cons

  • Tweeter material seems fragile. I did gently touch my finger on it and can confirm this. Just be extra careful I suppose. I haven’t had an issue with them, however.
  • Some say they are too bulky and look ugly. While I can see the bulky complaints, they aren’t ugly in my opinion. They are kind of big, however, so be aware if you are strapped for space.

 

What these monitors are good for

  • Mixing/Reference
  • General listening

They do well with pretty much any genre you throw at them and excel at jamming out with your music.

Bass heads and hip-hop artists will appreciate the tight, punchy low end, and crystal clear treble range.

Consensus/Conclusion

The LSR305s are some of the best bang-for-buck monitors available on the market.

They sound excellent, hit hard, and can be used for mixing although I will caution you they aren’t entirely neutral.

More on that later!

Onto…

Yamaha HS5

Price: Check Amazon! | Check B&H! | Check Sweetwater!

Specifications

  • Powered: Yes
  • Power configuration: Bi-amped
  • LF Driver Size: 5″
  • LF Driver type: Cone
  • HF Driver size: 1″
  • HF Driver type: Dome
  • LF Driver power amp: 45W
  • HF Driver power amp: 25W
  • Total Power: 70W
  • Frequency Range: 54Hz-30kHz
  • Crossover frequency: 2kHz
  • Enclosure type: Ported
  • Input types: 1x XLR, 1x 1/4″ (TS). TRS vs. TS. Find out about your cables!
  • Height: 11.2″
  • Width: 6.7″
  • Depth: 8.7″
  • Weight: 11.7 lbs.

Summary

The Yamaha HS5 is the perfect reference monitor for your small to medium-sized room. 

If the LSR305s were better for general listening, the HS5 excels best as a true reference monitor.

You will be able to tell a bad mix from a good one almost instantaneously.

With such a revealing set of monitors, if your mix sounds good on these, it will sound good on anything!

They also have a rock-solid build and will sound bigger than their footprint.

A ton of reviewers reported being able to pick out even the smallest of details, which comes in handy when you really need to dissect a mix and find flaws quickly.

Sound

The sound of the HS5 is a bit different than the LSR 305.

For one, the HS5’s bass drops off considerably more in the sub-regions and only covers down to around 54Hz. In addition, the mid-bass is flatter and arguably better for reference.

Everything from about 60Hz – 400 is almost ruler flat, but the mid-range is boosted considerably at 1kHz which results in a bit too much energy and body. This may result in a somewhat honky/nasally/pulpy character.

That said, the treble, like the 305, is not overly bright and you won’t have to worry about sibilance.

Overall, the HS5 is a pretty decent option for mixing but could be a better.

Pros

  • Mostly neutral sound, with a tight, flat, and clean character.
  • Clear highs.
  • The clarity and separation of highs, mids, and bass are phenomenal.
  •  Very revealing. If your mix sounds good on these, it will translate extremely well to other sources.
  • Minimal changes are required after the initial mix-down. Very accurate and true. 
  • Solid construction/heavy enough.

Cons

  • They may not provide the punch that people are looking for. You may have to upgrade to the HS8s or add a subwoofer.
  • Mid-range may become problematic being that it’s a bit too forward at 1k. 

Video Review!

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What these monitors are good for

  • Hip-hop production. Some were saying that while they are good for hip-hop, don’t buy them solely for this purpose, as the bass may be a bit difficult to mix. There’s simply not much there, and it’s been said that if you can hear the bass on these, you have too much.
  • Audio/video post-production.
  • Guitar performance (Critical listening).
  • Acoustic/Chamber music.
  • Keyboards.

I would say the HS5 is more neutral than the 305 but suffers from a lack of reach in the bass and has a strange peak at 1kHz.

If you’re looking for something to sit down and casually listen to music with, I don’t think the HS5 is the way to go.

Consensus/Conclusion

Yamaha’s HS5 is an excellent reference monitor with a rock-solid build. It may not have quite the bass impact that some are looking for, but overall, provides a fairly flat, neutral response that’s ideal for most mixing scenarios.

Similarities & Differences

Similarities

  • They are both entry-level options with 5″ drivers.
  • They both have a pretty flat frequency response.
  • Both are very revealing.

Differences

Power

The HS5s have 70 watts of power, while the LSR305s have 82 watts.

The 305s are overall a bit more powerful with a deeper bass response than the HS5s.

It is said that to get more of a punch, you may have to purchase the HS8s and bypass the 5s altogether.

You can also pair a subwoofer with either and get a pretty rad impact.

Intended Use

The HS5s are more suited for mixing overall, but the lack of bass is a bit problematic for some. That said, you may be able to pick out flaws in a mix better with the HS5s.

You can see from the frequency response of each.

The 305s have a 43Hz – 24kHz response, while the HS5s go from 54Hz – 30kHz.  

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for fantastic entry-level monitors, both of these options are pretty good.

That said, the HS5’s 1kHz spike is problematic, and the bass roll-off won’t sit well with a lot of people.

By contrast, the LSR305 may be a little too colored for serious mixing duties, but it can certainly work.

I think the 305 is something you may purchase if you’re looking for a reference monitor that also doubles as something you can simply kick back and listen to music with.

That said, I truly believe that those looking to mix harder genres like Hip-Hop, House, Electronic, etc. should opt for the HS7 instead.

It’s flat like the HS5 but doesn’t lack in the bass department and also doesn’t spike at 1kHz.

I recently invested in a pair and couldn’t be happier. They’re everything I’ve always wanted in monitor and then some.

They also happen to be very highly rated on Amazon and the glowing reviews are certainly warranted in my opinion.

Learn More:

 

As a final note,

The 305s sat in my studio for many years until I had to sell them in 2019 for some quick cash.

They’ll knock your socks off, especially when pushed. 

So if you’re just getting started and don’t want to spend the money on the HS7s right away, the 305s are my top pick.

Learn More:

 

Not quite ready to take the plunge on the 305?

Try the Presonus Eris e3.5; a fantastic stopgap that I used before taking the plunge on the HS7.

Learn More:

 

What You’ll Need For Your Monitors

Some common sources and DACs (Digital to Analog interfaces/mixers) that are used with the JBLs, HS5s, HS7s, etc:

 

An audio interface

An audio interface acts as the intermediary between your monitors and computer.

It doesn’t power the speakers (active speakers have amps built-in) rather, it simply converts the signal and functions as a DAC (Digital-to-analog converter), converting the 1s and 0s that your computer understands into analog (what you understand) or ADC (Analog-to-digital converter), i.e. converting your voice to language a computer can understand.

An interface typically comes with a number of mic/instrument inputs on the front as well.

Universal Audio Volt 2 ReviewRight now I’m using a Universal Audio Volt 2 (2 in/2 out) and highly recommend its clean preamps, 55dB gain, and ease of use.

It will connect just fine to any monitors that have balanced TRS/XLR.

Universal Audio Volt 2 Review

So, you’ll need something like TRS to TRS or TRS to XLR. Also, make sure you buy 2 for each monitor. 

A mixer

You could also opt for a mixer if desiring a more hands-on approach, i.e. you prefer to physically touch faders and knobs when adjusting levels and mixing down tracks.

An entry-level option would be the Mackie Mix8-8-Channel Compact Mixer.

A headphone amp

Gold Planar GL2000 Review

FiiO K9 Pro ReviewYep, you read that right.

A great example of a headphone Amp/DAC that doubles as a converter for your monitors is FiiO’s K9 Pro (pictured above).

Note the balanced outputs on the right.

The K9 also happens to be just about the most versatile overall amp I have tried and gets my highest endorsement for those looking at a long-term solution who aren’t planning on recording with microphones.

In other words, the K9 doesn’t have mic inputs so keep that in mind before purchase.

The reason the K9 Pro works with monitors like the LSR305s is that it has balanced XLR out jacks that can connect to any powered speaker. 

This means you could theoretically use the K9 as a sort of central hub as it can also connect to a myriad of other devices.

That said,

in the majority of cases, an audio interface is what you’ll want, and the Volt 2 is excellent.

What Is 48v Phantom Power?

Cables

All studio monitors worth their salt come with TRS/XLR or a combination of both types of inputs.

Some KRK models even come with RCA, but if you’re using an audio interface, running them balanced is the preferred method.

Placement

The 2 options discussed today (and most on the market) are near-field monitors, meaning that they sound best when you’re near them!

Sounds obvious, but the farther you are away, the less impact the sound has.

This is especially true for the higher frequencies that lose a bit of energy at a greater distance. 

I suppose it’s also not that obvious since I still see people configuring active speakers wrong.

That said, you want them both facing diagonally towards you, creating a 3-point, equilateral triangle.

Also of importance, they will sound much better at ear level.

This means you should invest in some stands (if space allows), or do whatever you can to get them at the correct height.

Acoustics

Being that the bass is ported on the rear, you may want to consider some room treatment in the form of acoustic panels and bass traps for the corners of your room.

If possible, make sure the monitors are not right up against the wall as this will cause some abnormalities in the sound.

If you’re like me and don’t have much of a choice, the first 2 panels you place should be directly behind each of the bass enclosures.

This will help to mitigate reflections and result in a more consistent sound output.

That said,

It’s impossible to get a perfect sound in an apartment, but taking this extra step will help the sound coming out of the JBLs (and any rear-ported speakers) immensely.

In addition,

having these sitting on your desk with the proper placement (equilateral triangle/ear level) will also go a long way in improving the overall sound coming out of them.


Well, that’s about it for today my friend. I hope I’ve explained the differences between the JBL LSR305 vs. Yamaha HS5, and given you some newfound insight into the world of recording!

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please leave me a comment below or Contact me!

Which of these monitors tickles YOUR fancy? Let me know as well, I would love to hear from you. Until next time…

All the best and God bless,

 

 

-Stu

[Xtr@Ba$eHitZ]

Be sure to check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!

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48 comments

Julius May 28, 2016 - 4:58 pm

Hello,

I just recently discovered your blog, and I really like it. You seem like a knowledgeable person, and it’s obvious that you know what you’re talking about. It seems that you really want to help people, and I appreciate it! Your blog has everything that a good blog should have.

Keep up the good work man!

Reply
Stu May 29, 2016 - 11:34 am

Thanks Julius! I try to help people and lay out the facts first and foremost. I appreciate you stopping by!

Blessings,

-Stu

Reply
Philip D'Souza September 28, 2016 - 4:43 pm

Since the HS 5 do not have much of the low end and yet are clean on sound and better for mixing, how about getting one HS 5 and one LSR 305 and using both together simultaneously?

Reply
Stu October 2, 2016 - 10:38 pm

Hey Philip!

Honestly man I would just go with 2 of the same monitor. You will most likely end up with more headache if you were to use two separate. I would imagine it’s going to just end up being more difficult to mix down. The 305’s are such a steal nowadays, I would try those first and see how you like ’em. I’ve had mine for 2 years now and I love the sound. Let me know!

Edit: Just saw there’s only one left. The pack of two is a bit more expensive for some reason, so I would just wait until they get more in stock.

Blessings,
-Stu

Reply
Ohad Raps November 6, 2016 - 10:51 pm

Hi dude. Was wondering if the HD Yamaha series (HS 5 with hs8s subwoofer) is better than a jbl lsr 305 with the suited jbl 310s subwoofer?

Reply
Stu November 9, 2016 - 2:01 am

Are you just asking if the JBL sub is better than the Yamaha sub?

Reply
Sachin April 15, 2017 - 2:48 pm

I just ordered a pair of the LSR305s and then discovered your review. Glad to have made the choice and can’t wait to listen to them!

Reply
Stu April 23, 2017 - 1:44 am

Yeah man!

Love the 305’s. Have had them in my studio since Dec. 2014 or thereabouts. Couldn’t have made a better investment. Let me know how you like them! Try not to get blown away. Lol. I still haven’t put mine past 7 on the back dial. With the right tracks they really thump. I remember one of the first tracks I listened to was off of Rage Against the Machines’ first album. I was floored.

Reply
LightBox July 31, 2017 - 4:10 am

I am thinking of getting HS8 for general home usage like listening to music and watching movie. Or should I get others? Any recommendations…

Reply
Stu August 1, 2017 - 3:56 pm

Hey there!

I think the HS8 should work wonders for you. Do you plan on getting the amp as well?

Reply
LightBox August 29, 2017 - 4:39 pm

There is in build amp for powered speaker. You mean audio interface?

Reply
Stu August 30, 2017 - 3:25 am

Not sure I understand your question? Please clarify 🙂

Reply
Peter August 22, 2017 - 9:54 pm

Thanks for this blog! Just ordered two 305s (white:) and I am going to use them with 7.2 pre-out featured Yamaha RXV781. I’ll let you know when I listen to this setup. I thought about 2 x HS5s as the back supporters – do you think it may be interesting to have JBLs in front and HS5s at the back so let’s say for stereo I would have left side combined of 305+HS5 and the same for the right side?

Reply
Stu August 23, 2017 - 1:29 am

Cool let me know how you like them! Hint: You will really like them lol. Not too sure about your question though, as I’ve never had experience doing anything like that.
-Stu

Reply
Peter August 25, 2017 - 7:40 am

Stu – short and simple – the sound from these two is amazing! I had to trim bass down -20db at the back as it’s just too much for my living room. The sound floods the room you close your eyes and it’s everywhere. Three dimensional stereo from two speakers. Mediums and highs are perfect – I can hear and feel sounds I never could before. Even my JBL E50BT can’t compete. Completely different thing. Thank you!

Reply
Stu August 25, 2017 - 7:44 pm

Yeah dude!

Thanks for the ringing endorsement! The 305’s have been in my studio since December of 2014. For me there’s no real reason to upgrade. They have some crazy bass slam if you so desire, and in fact I still to this day haven’t put the dial past 7. Since I’m in an apartment, I’m not trying to blow people away, lol. But for 5″ woofers, these guys have some crazy impact. The cool thing is that they double as mixing monitors and casual listening speakers. So glad you’re enjoying them!

Ever need anything just Contact me..

Blessings,
-Stu

Reply
LightBox August 29, 2017 - 4:37 pm

Lsr305 or hs8 for casual listening? Is there any noticeable difference from casual listening?

Reply
Stu August 30, 2017 - 3:20 am

Hey!

The HS8 is for larger rooms, and will thump much harder than a 305. 305’s are incredible for the price though, you really can’t go wrong. I’ve had a pair since December 2014, and they do great for mixing and casual listening. For a 5″ inch woofer, they slam pretty hard.

Let me know what you think!

Reply
LightBox August 30, 2017 - 4:48 am

Both sound great for their pricing. However, Yamaha had a better build than the LSR305. 8 inches had better treble than 5 inches. What do u think?

Reply
Stu September 3, 2017 - 1:39 am

It really comes down to your budget and the size of your room to be honest. I love the 305’s, and wouldn’t have a great need for the HS8’s unless I was in a larger room with treatment. Let me know what you decide!

Reply
zeissiez October 4, 2017 - 5:23 am

I had a pair of HS5 and later traded in for a pair of HS7. Yesterday I auditioned the LSR305. To my ears, the closer sounding speakers to the LSR305 are the HS7, not the HS5. The HS5 tonal balance is not very ideal. The HS5 has a lower treble peak than makes instruments and vocal sound more pop out and more 3D than the HS7, which excites at first, but in long session, it’s quite fatiguing. Both the LSR305 and HS7 are more neutral, at the same time extended at the bottom, and both sound quite a lot more natural than the HS5. The HS7 and the LSR305 are pretty much in the same ball park. The differences between the HS7 and the LSR305 are: 1. The HS7 has a more forward treble and the LSR305 has a more laid back treble. This lead to seemingly more details and more defined images of the HS7. I love how acoustic guitars sound on the HS7, clear, sparkling and image very well. However, in close range, like on the desktop, within 3 feet, the LSR305’s treble sounds smoother and cleaner, and it’s absolutely fatigue-free. 2. The HS7 although quite a lot bigger in size, has actually less elevated bass. Both neutral, but I would say, for music listening, the LSR305 sounds more balanced and natural. 3. The HS7 ‘s best listening position is more limited than the LSR305. Both image well, but I will give the edge to HS7. For studio use, for the money, I think the LSR305 is a better buy, though I think the HS7 might give a slightly better mix. And for music listening, I feel the LSR305 is more balanced at the bottom. But again, both are great, the LSR305 being quite a bit cheap, in my opinion is a more solid buy.

Reply
Stuart Charles Black October 8, 2017 - 9:09 pm

Thank you so much for that valuable insight! Some people think a very bright treble helps with mixing as it kind of reveals a lot of flaws that you would otherwise miss. I agree, but also agree with you that it can become quite fatiguing. The MDR 7506’s are the same way in that they can wear you out over a long session.

It seems that your sentiments are echoed by the majority of folks. I don’t think the HS5’s are quite worth it, though they are still pretty solid overall. The LSR305 is indeed the better buy, while the HS7 would be a nice step up from that.

I’m sure your comment will help a lot of folks!! I appreciate it.

Blessings,
-Stu

Reply
Lukas December 8, 2017 - 10:55 pm

I’m currently torn between the LSR305 and the HS7. I can get the 305s for 200€ a pair and the HS7s for 350€. My room is quite large that’s why people told me to go for the HS7, but I’m not sure if the 150€ would be worth it since I’m hearing that they are both really solid.
I wouldn’t mind investing, since I plan on using them for a while.

Is there something I should consider?

Reply
Stuart Charles Black December 8, 2017 - 11:52 pm

Hey Lukas!

Yeah it’s definitely a close call. The 305’s actually provide quite a bit of slam for the price. They will most definitely surprise you regarding how full the sound is. My default recommendation based on what you said is to go with the HS7, but why don’t you try the 305’s and see if they will suffice? My room is larger than average, and they do quite well, even with the dial only on 7 (out of 10).

If they aren’t loud enough, you can always return them for the HS7’s. The reason I say this is precisely because of price. The 305’s are basically a steal nowadays. I bought them for $149 (USD) a pair a few years ago and they’ve come down considerably. It’s almost a crime how good the price to performance ratio is.

Keep me posted on your decision..

-Stu

Reply
Brady December 26, 2017 - 7:49 pm

Stu,
I’m still not sure which monitors to select. Even after reading your reviews and watching the videos I’m feeling uncertain. I thought that going for the Yamaha’s was a sure thing, but some of the reviews about them have left me questioning that. If you were to choose among the Yamaha, JBL, or KRK, which would you choose for a medium sized room with no acoustic panels? Is there another monitor out there that is better than these three? Thank you!

Reply
Stuart Charles Black December 26, 2017 - 9:00 pm

Brady,

LSR 305 without question. I have them, and they’re the absolute best entry level monitors. You’re right about the HS5. Good monitor, but the sound is too thin down low and that’s basically unanimous. Forget about the KRK. It’s an overly bass heavy, muddy sound. 305 all the way. Crazy tight sound, lots of impact, great for your situation. I’ve had them since Dec. 2014 and still haven’t pushed the dial on the back past 7 and they blow me away. Plus they’ve come down in price over the last few years.

Let me know if that helps and what you decide!

-Stu

Reply
Fann March 4, 2018 - 7:39 am

I just read your review and this is really helpful. Thank you so much for doing this.
I am a beginner and have a small room with no sound treatment. I am struggling with getting JBL SLR305 Or Yamaha Hs5, this is so hard to decide. I am a singer-songwriter, besides making demos and transcribing music, I also want to connect it directly to my keyboard sometimes. Ive heard that HS5 accept unbalanced signals better than JBL. May I have your opinions and suggestions? really appreciate!!!

Reply
Stuart Charles Black March 10, 2018 - 11:06 pm

Sorry for the late reply man! My internet has been down for a week and I just recently got it in working order. I would go with the 305’s without hesitation here. They are extremely powerful but perfect for your situation. Don’t think twice about it. I’ll look forward to hearing about them from you soon as well. 😉

God bless!

Reply
Marion Sucho March 29, 2018 - 9:47 pm

Hello,
Do you use the 305’s with a subwoofer or is it not needed with the bass that is built in with them?

Reply
Stuart Charles Black March 30, 2018 - 7:54 pm

I wouldn’t worry about a Sub for the 305’s. They provide plenty of slam and will pretty much blow you away. Lol.

Reply
Nigel August 11, 2018 - 5:30 pm

Im getting the jbl 305s would you say that the mixes translate as well from source to source?

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Stuart Charles Black August 11, 2018 - 5:49 pm

Yeah I would say so, as you’re not overcompensating for bass and what not. It’s just a great investment my man. Had ’em since 2014. They are perfect. Let me know what you decide.
-Stu

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Frederic September 13, 2018 - 2:13 am

I intend to buy set of speakers for my keyboard. My play is mainly classical music. My room is not a big one. In my situation, what would you recommend ?

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Stuart Charles Black September 13, 2018 - 5:05 pm

I would still go with the 305’s my friend without hesitation. They have a newer model which you may find interesting. I still have the old ones and they have been working flawlessly since Dec. 2014.

Let me know what you decide!

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Higor March 6, 2019 - 7:04 am

Really interesting and eye opening post. I have a newbie question. I’ve just bought myself a pair of JBL 305P mkii and I’m running them through my Scarlett 2i2 1st gen. How should I set the monitors input on their back? -10 or +4? Also, sometimes when playing guitar through them, some notes get really bassy and boomy. What could that be?!

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Stuart Charles Black March 13, 2019 - 12:34 am

Hey buddy! Mine came defaulted to -10. I’d probably just stick to that for now. As for your other question. Hmm. Are you using balanced cables? Honestly though my first initial thought is that perhaps you should upgrade to the Gen 2 Scarlett although I can’t say for sure that would make a difference. I’m running 2i2 1st gen with 305 first gen and have never had any problems. Also, are you plugging straight into the front via the combo XLR/TRS jack? Could be you’re suffering some latency issues. It’s really hard to say. Let me know the exact set-up.
-Stu

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Raju April 11, 2019 - 6:23 am

Hey Stuart,

Thanks for the review man. I have an untreated medium or small size room and have a 2i2 scarlett interface. Could you suggest me which fits my needs perfectly. JBL 305 or the Yamaha HS5

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Stuart Charles Black April 11, 2019 - 3:56 pm

Hey Raju!

I’d go with the 305 MK II’s man! The HS5’s are lacking in the bass region so if you need them for mixing it’s going to be imperative that you get a subwoofer to go with them. I would personally go with the 305. More punch yet still a good entry level set for mixing. One of the best investments I’ve made in my studio over the years. I also have the 2i2 and with TRS to XLR they are a dream.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

-Stu

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Raju April 27, 2019 - 10:48 am

Thank you so much Stuart!

One last thing. Are the 5 inch ones good enough for the small room, or should I go for the 6 or 8 inch?

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Stuart Charles Black April 27, 2019 - 6:02 pm

Hey man!

The 5″ work great for me in a small room. You can always upgrade later if it’s not enough, but I think you’ll find that it will be plenty. I still don’t move the dial past 7 on my 305’s and I’ve had them since 2014. Hope that helps! Keep me posted.

Just thought of something: If you were referring to the HS5’s, I would bypass them and get the HS7’s (which is actually 6.5″)

-Stu

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Raju May 4, 2019 - 11:47 am

hey stu ,
Just bought the 305 p M2 considering your suggestion . Thank you for the help. waiting for them to get delivered and get going .

Stuart Charles Black May 4, 2019 - 12:42 pm

Hey man!

Please keep me posted on set up/impressions, etc. Would love to help out further in any way and looking forward to your thoughts!

Phill May 21, 2019 - 1:13 pm

Hi Stuart,

I’m extremely frustrated with my setup – I beg for your help haha! For over 3 years I’ve owned the HS5 monitors after being advised by a friend that they’d be suitable for listening pleasure in my bedroom. My room is approximately 14ft (L), over 13ft (W), 10ft (H), with two alcoves either side of the chimney breast. Left alcove is 8 inches deep and about 4ft wide. Right side is five sided bay window 4ft deep and ft (W). Each monitor is placed near both corners of the chimney breast. I listen to various kinds of metal and rock and find that the HS5s lack body and depth… They’re rather tinny… unexciting! Given my room dimensions, what would you recommend? Do you think the JBL LSR 305’s would do a much better job, or do you reckon I’d need to look at different monitors/speakers altogether?

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Stuart Charles Black May 21, 2019 - 10:25 pm

Hey man!

My first initial thought is that YES! The 305’s sound incredible with stuff like Rage Against the Machine, Rock, Metal, Hip-Hop, and pretty much everything. I remember the first time I blasted songs from Rage first album in my old room at my parents house when no one was home 😛 It nearly melted my face off and I only had the dial on 7/10 (and still do!). They are great for everyday listening. I still have a pair in my studio and love ’em! You could go with the original 305 or try out the MK II’s. Admittedly I haven’t done a whole lot of research on the II’s but I would imagine they are really good going by the great marks they receive on amazon.

As for your room, I’m drawing up a diagram. Is the chimney seated at the back? And the 2 alcoves are on the side?

I did a bit of research and your bedroom seems to be on the larger side. I may recommend you the Yamaha HS7’s as they are more meant for medium to large sized rooms. the 305’s would probably be okay (and will still sound fantastic), but the HS7 is a definite step up from the HS5 and an incredible monitor overall.

Keep me posted and let me know about the chimney!

Regards,
-Stu

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Sean Arison November 5, 2020 - 7:49 am

Hello,

I recently started developing hearing loss in both of my ears which ended up resulting in hearing recruitment [Instead of frequencies where my hearing loss is located being less sensitive, they are abrasive and louder. Its similar to hyperacusis. I have a hard time listening to music for more than a few minutes, especially at mid to high volumes.

I compose and produce my own music, and I am trying to find monitors that would sound great at very low volumes and have very low noise fatigue or impact on my sensitive ears. Between these two, which would you recommend? Or any others in a similar price range.

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Stuart Charles Black November 9, 2020 - 6:15 pm

Hey man! Hmm. The 305’s sound great at low volumes for me because they tend to sound meatier overall. The HS5 has been accused of being a bit thin and dry sounding. Great at higher volumes, but perhaps not so much very low. They don’t have the bass extension that the 305’s have. In all honesty, music should be mixed on monitors at lower volumes, which is something you probably already know. 🙂 I would go with the 305’s. They are really amazing. Keep me posted!

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Rogerio M. March 22, 2021 - 4:58 am

Hi Stuart, between the Mackie MR624 and the JBL LSR305, which one do you suggest to mix and also to casual listen to? My room is 3x4x3, untreated.

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Stuart Charles Black March 27, 2021 - 4:10 pm

Hey man! Haven’t heard the Mackie but I’d def go with a 305. Funny you should ask that, as I had to sell mine in 2019 due to financial strain. Had
’em for 5 years at that point. Loved every second for both casual and mixing. It’s a hard-hitting but still an elegant sound perfect for mixing. I remember listening to Rage Against the Machine’s first album and my jaw literally dropped. The bass is done incredibly well and not overdone, but the entirety of the frequency response performs beautifully.

Well, now I’m in the market for monitors again, and guess what? In my research, I keep going right back to the 305. LOL. It’s an incredibly easy purchase! You’ll be ecstatic, trust me. Check ’em out at Sweetwater and Amazon. I’d take advantage now at the current price which I’m going to do as well I think.

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