Home Studio Monitors Presonus Eris e3.5 Review – Best Bang For Buck Monitors?

Presonus Eris e3.5 Review – Best Bang For Buck Monitors?

by Stuart Charles Black

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Originally published 3/31/22.

Updates:

  • 4/21/22. Caveats section added.

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 Presonus eris e3.5 Review, grab a snack, sit back and relax. You’ve come to the right place!

At A Glance

Title
PreSonus Eris E3.5-3.5" Near Field Studio Monitor (Pair)
Preview
PreSonus Eris E3.5-3.5" Near Field Studio Monitor (Pair)
Monitor Type
Active 2-Way
Power Rating
25W RMS per Channel
Frequency Response
80Hz - 20kHz
EQ
LF Shelf: -6 to +6 dB at 100 Hz (Continuously Variable dB Increments) HF Shelf: -6 to +6 dB at 10 kHz (Continuously Variable dB Increments)
Audio I/O
2 x 1/4" TRS Balanced Female Analog Input (10 Kilohms) 2 x RCA Unbalanced Female Analog Input 1 x 1/8" / 3.5 mm TRS Unbalanced Female Analog Input 1 x 1/8" / 3.5 mm TRS Unbalanced Female Analog Output
Weight
6.4 lb. / 2.9kg
Prime
Price
$99.95
Title
PreSonus Eris E3.5-3.5" Near Field Studio Monitor (Pair)
Preview
PreSonus Eris E3.5-3.5" Near Field Studio Monitor (Pair)
Monitor Type
Active 2-Way
Power Rating
25W RMS per Channel
Frequency Response
80Hz - 20kHz
EQ
LF Shelf: -6 to +6 dB at 100 Hz (Continuously Variable dB Increments) HF Shelf: -6 to +6 dB at 10 kHz (Continuously Variable dB Increments)
Audio I/O
2 x 1/4" TRS Balanced Female Analog Input (10 Kilohms) 2 x RCA Unbalanced Female Analog Input 1 x 1/8" / 3.5 mm TRS Unbalanced Female Analog Input 1 x 1/8" / 3.5 mm TRS Unbalanced Female Analog Output
Weight
6.4 lb. / 2.9kg
Prime
Price
$99.95

In The Box

PreSonus Eris E3.5 3.5″ 2-Way 25W Nearfield Monitors (Pair)

5′ Stereo 3.5mm TRS to Dual RCA Cable

5′ Stereo 3.5mm TRS Cable

6.6′ Speaker Cable

Power Cable

8 x Foam Feet

Limited 1-Year Warranty

Specs

  • Price: Check Amazon! | Check Sweetwater!
  • Monitor Type: Active 2-Way
  • Enclosure: Bass-Reflex, Shielded
  • Power Rating: 25W RMS per Channel
  • Drivers: 1x 3.5″ / 88.9 Kevlar Woofer, 1x 1″ / 25.4 mm Silk Dome Tweeter
  • Amplification: 2x Full-Range Amplifier: Class-AB Rated at 25W
  • Frequency Response: 80Hz – 20kHz
  • Maximum Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 100dB. Related: What is SPL?
  • Protections and Limiting: Output Current Limiting, Peak Limiter, Subsonic Filter, Thermal Limiting
  • EQ: LF Shelf: -6 to +6 dB at 100 Hz (Continuously Variable dB Increments)
    HF Shelf: -6 to +6 dB at 10 kHz (Continuously Variable dB Increments)
  • Parametric EQ: None
  • Crossover Frequency: 2.8kHz
  • Audio I/O: 2 x 1/4″ TRS Balanced Female Analog Input (10 Kilohms)
    2 x RCA Unbalanced Female Analog Input
    1 x 1/8″ / 3.5 mm TRS Unbalanced Female Analog Input
    1 x 1/8″ / 3.5 mm TRS Unbalanced Female Analog Output
  • AC Input Power: 100 to 120 VAC, 50/60 Hz
    220 to 240 VAC, 50/60 Hz
  • Enclosure Material: MDF
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 5.6 x 8.3 x 6.4″ / 14.2 x 21.1 x 16.3 cm
  • Weight: 6.4 lb. / 2.9kg
  • Package Weight: 8.215 lb.
  • Box Dimensions: 15.1 x 10.6 x 8.25″

Introduction

Back when I was first starting my home studio, I had no idea where to begin.

For the longest time, I didn’t invest in studio monitors or an audio interface because I found it incredibly daunting.

A pair of Sony MDR-7506s and a cheap Lenovo laptop were all I used for quite a while, but eventually, I knew I needed to step up and get serious about it.

That’s when I decided to purchase a Scarlett 2i2 and some JBL LSR 305 monitors.

I loved my time with the 305s, but I had to sell them in 2019 for some quick cash and do miss them quite a bit.

Fast forward to now and I demo a LOT of gear. Headphones, Amps, and DACS primarily.

I’m also getting back into making beats so I thought I’d kill two birds with one boulder.

Since a lot of DACS come with preamp capabilities, I knew I needed another pair of speakers that had single-ended and balanced inputs.

Enter the Eris e3.5, a very versatile set of studio monitors that pack quite a punch!

Let’s take a gander at these unassuming little buddies and find out if they’re worth a purchase.

Front Panel

On the front, we’ve got a very convenient volume potentiometer, an auxiliary input, a headphone input, and a power switch.

The volume pot is nice because you can control it from the speakers themselves and/or the DAC which adds a bit of flexibility.

What’s even more important than that is the volume knob comes in handy when you want to switch from listening on speakers to listening with headphones.

For example, I’m using the e3.5s with the FiiO K3 at the moment, so if I want to use headphones I’d just turn the volume down on the speakers and use the DAC’s volume pot.

A DAC like iFi’s Zen has a variable/fixed switch on the back which can be a bit confusing if you’re new.

The analog volume control on the Zen can be used to control the headphone volume or preamp volume (on variable mode).

For the preamp section into the e.3.5, keep it on fixed if you prefer to use the Volume control on the speakers and not the DAC, and variable if you prefer to control the volume on the Zen.

As a personal preference, with the e3.5s, I like to keep it on fixed as it’s easier to manage and I like the output voltage being constant.

For speakers without a volume control, you’ll have to use variable mode.

Auxiliary & Headphone Input

One thing I’m not a huge fan of is the 3.5mm line in on the front. I would much prefer they had put this on the back of the unit as having a wire out in the open like that looks really tacky in the studio.

The headphone input is fine, but because I review a lot of gear I’m pretty much never going to use it. Your mileage may vary.

Back Panel

The back panel is where the fun begins.

fOlLoW mE!

What makes the e3.5 so valuable is that it has both balanced inputs (TRS) and unbalanced (RCA).

For around $100 I believe this to be quite a steal and it’s one of the main reasons I purchased them.

Because I knew I could use them with any DAC a company sends me, I found it to be quite an easy decision.

And you will too.

In addition to the choice of inputs, there’s an “Acoustic Tuning” section that allows you to adjust the treble and bass levels which I thought was a nice added touch.

Setup & Overall Value

If all that wasn’t enough, the package contains a lot more than I was expecting.

There are the speakers and power cable of course, but Presonus also includes a 3.5mm line cable and an RCA to mini which I thought was fantastic at the price point.

Perhaps I’m just jaded by the fact that DAC companies rarely ever include extra cables in the package, but it really warmed my heart.

Of course, including balanced cables would have been even more awesome, but I can’t fault them for not doing so.

Do keep in mind you will need something to get these babies playing music, whether that be an Audio Interface like the Scarlett 2i2 or some sort of DAC that has preamp capabilities.

  • Step 1. Plug the speakers into wall power using the supplied cable.
  • Step 2. Connect your DAC or interface to the speakers using your preferred method. Again, I like RCA to line or RCA to RCA in the case of a standard DAC with line/RCA out. In the case of something like a 2i2, use balanced TRS cables. Don’t forget you’ll need 2.
  • Step 3. Turn on the power switch.
  • Step 4. Open up your sound settings and make sure the correct DAC or interface is chosen.
  • Step 5. Chill the f out and enjoy some music.

Sound

Another aspect of these speakers that makes them such a great value is the sound. It’s crisp, snappy, and hits hard.

Not only that, but they pack a ridiculous wallop for being so freaking tiny. Could the bass use a little more reach? Sure, it only digs down to about 80Hz, but you may not even notice. The 305s hit around 50Hz and that was plenty. Unless you’ve got a song with a ridiculous amount of sub-bass (which is pretty rare), you’re not going to care much.

Upon unboxing, you may find them a bit underwhelming to hold in your hands. It’s almost like you’re cradling a newborn. Heck, the right-side speaker can’t weigh much more than a pound.

But gosh darn if they don’t slap you in the face once you get some music pumpin’.

Did my LSR305s get louder?

Yeah, probably. In taking a look at specs, the 305’s max SPL level is 108dB vs. 100 for the 3.5.

Is it enough to warrant a $200+ increase in price?

That’s a toughie. I’m leaning towards no only because I live in an apartment and can’t blast the volume that high anyway. Your mileage may vary, but I wasn’t expecting the e3.5s to get very loud and they certainly proved me wrong.

Is the sound quality better on the 305?

It’s been a while since I’ve heard those, and I would say yes, but it’s likely a small increase.

All you really need to know is that the e3.5 hits way above its price point in terms of sound. It’s really incredible what they did with such small speakers.

Potential Caveats

Here I will update my impression as I get more hours with the speakers and learn how they perform over time.

One update I can make since original purchase (1/2022) is that the right speaker developed an ever so slight hum/buzz, but it has since gone away.

Per my experience with tech products dating back to 2007, these issues can be fatal flaws but more often than not are minor anomalies and are to be expected to some degree.

In the case of the e3.5s, a simple reboot of the monitors and PC rectified the issue. Other potential fixes to these types of problems, as in the case of something like a K9 Pro, can range from driver updates, to firmware updates, etc. and will fix 99% of roadblocks you may encounter.

Stay tuned for updates to the e3.5s as I continue to demo more music on them.

Final Word

At this point, I’ve officially played around 14 hrs. of music on them and that’s not even including all of the songs I didn’t add to the playlist. In reality, it’s probably closer to 20-25.

With that being said, are they worth the investment?

I think you know the answer to that one.

Add these to the list of easiest and most fruitful purchases I’ve ever made.

 

Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Presonus Eris e3.5 Review and came away with some valuable insight.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

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Are you convinced these are a great value? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…

All the best and God bless,

 

 

-Stu

[Xtr@Ba$eHitZ]

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