Home Studio Monitor Comparisons Yamaha HS5 vs. HS7 vs. HS8 – Which Is Right For You?

Yamaha HS5 vs. HS7 vs. HS8 – Which Is Right For You?

by Stuart Charles Black
Published: Last Updated on

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Preview
More Power/Bass
YAMAHA HS8 Studio Monitor, Black, 8 Inch
Better For Reference
Yamaha HS7 100-Watt Series Monitor, Black, 6.5"
Title
YAMAHA HS8 Studio Monitor, Black, 8 Inch
Yamaha HS7 100-Watt Series Monitor, Black, 6.5"
Color
Black/White
Black/White
Weight
22.5 lbs.
18.1 lbs.
Amp Type
Active (Does not need separate amplification)
Active (Does not need separate amplification)
Controls
Level Control, EQ: High Trim Switch, Room Control Switch
Level Control, EQ: High Trim Switch, Room Control Switch
Total Power
120W
95W
Balanced Inputs
1x Balanced XLR, 1x Balanced TRS (1/4" or 6.35mm)
1x Balanced XLR, 1x Balanced TRS (1/4" or 6.35mm)
Frequency Response
38Hz - 30kHz
43Hz - 30kHz
Driver Technology
Low Frequency: Cone, High Frequency: Soft Dome
Low Frequency: Cone, High Frequency: Soft Dome
Driver Size
Woofer: 8" Tweeter 1"
Woofer: 6.5" Tweeter 1"
Dimensions
Height: 15.4" x Width: 9.8" x Depth: 13.1"
Height: 13.1" x Width: 8.3" x Depth: 11.2"
Rear Ported
Prime
-
Amazon Prime
Price
$339.99
$262.99
More Power/Bass
Preview
YAMAHA HS8 Studio Monitor, Black, 8 Inch
Title
YAMAHA HS8 Studio Monitor, Black, 8 Inch
Color
Black/White
Weight
22.5 lbs.
Amp Type
Active (Does not need separate amplification)
Controls
Level Control, EQ: High Trim Switch, Room Control Switch
Total Power
120W
Balanced Inputs
1x Balanced XLR, 1x Balanced TRS (1/4" or 6.35mm)
Frequency Response
38Hz - 30kHz
Driver Technology
Low Frequency: Cone, High Frequency: Soft Dome
Driver Size
Woofer: 8" Tweeter 1"
Dimensions
Height: 15.4" x Width: 9.8" x Depth: 13.1"
Rear Ported
Prime
-
Price
$339.99
Details
Better For Reference
Preview
Yamaha HS7 100-Watt Series Monitor, Black, 6.5"
Title
Yamaha HS7 100-Watt Series Monitor, Black, 6.5"
Color
Black/White
Weight
18.1 lbs.
Amp Type
Active (Does not need separate amplification)
Controls
Level Control, EQ: High Trim Switch, Room Control Switch
Total Power
95W
Balanced Inputs
1x Balanced XLR, 1x Balanced TRS (1/4" or 6.35mm)
Frequency Response
43Hz - 30kHz
Driver Technology
Low Frequency: Cone, High Frequency: Soft Dome
Driver Size
Woofer: 6.5" Tweeter 1"
Dimensions
Height: 13.1" x Width: 8.3" x Depth: 11.2"
Rear Ported
Prime
Amazon Prime
Price
$262.99
Details

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 Yamaha HS8 vs. HS7 Comparison, grab a snack, sit back, and relax because…

You’ve come to the right place!!

What I will bring you in this review

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!


Introduction


Back when I was first starting my home studio, I didn’t even know what studio monitors were.

Once I found out, it seemed like a daunting task to even figure out how to hook them up.

In reality, it’s a fairly simple process. Pretty much all active monitors on the market today come with a balanced XLR and/or TRS input.

“Active” simply means there’s no need for separate amplification. The amp is inside.

All you need is something like an audio interface to connect to your PC/Laptop. This takes care of the digital-to-analog conversion.

You’d simply purchase 2 sets of balanced XLR to TRS cables.

In my studio, I have the Universal Audio Volt 2 which connects to my Yamaha HS7s via these cables. You can also use these.

Just match the XLR end with whatever your speaker has (male or female).

Both of the balanced TRS cables go into the back of my Volt 2, while the XLR ends plug into each of the monitors.

I always recommend using balanced cables because they use 2 signal wires plus a ground wire, in effect reversing the polarity and canceling out any noise.


Design & Features


The design of the HS8 and HS7, and HS5 are roughly the same, though the HS8s are a bit heavier at 22.5 lbs. and are large and in charge like the Nutty Professor.

The HS5s by contrast are rather tiny and only a tad bigger than my Presonus Eris e3.5s. 

All are Black and White, and all are Active monitors as we discussed before.

Both the HS8 and HS7 have a High Trim EQ Switch and a Room control switch.

The HS8 has more total power at 120W, while the HS7 comes in at 95. The HS5 is the lowest at 70W.

All have balanced XLR and TRS inputs. The main difference is the bass.

The HS8’s bass definitely digs deeper, so if you’re in a smaller room it’s going to be overkill, especially with no room treatment.

I would say if you have a large room, the HS8 is ideal as long as you plan on using some bass traps and acoustic panels.

You could get away with using the HS7 without treatment, but it’s not really recommended.

If you don’t use some panels, the sound (and especially the bass) will bounce around and contribute to an inconsistent and shoddy final mix down.

The HS5 can be used in small to medium-sized rooms without much treatment, but it’s still recommended.

Overall, the HS7s will work best in medium-sized rooms, the HS5 in small rooms, and the HS8 in large rooms.

For clarity:

  • The HS8 has an 8″ woofer
  • The HS7 has a 6.5″ woofer
  • The HS5 has a 5″ woofer

All are rear-ported, so placement is critical. We’ll get into that in a bit!

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Build & Size


The Yamaha HS8 studio monitor is a pretty beefy son of a gun, to put it mildly.

The 8 is simply a bass-heavier monitor, that also happens to be a lot bigger and heavier (physically) overall.

All of these monitors have a rock-solid build though.

The thing to keep in mind is your studio space.

If you have a smaller space to work with, the HS7 or HS5 is probably your best bet.

  • The HS8 is a huge monitor, sitting 15.4″ tall and 9.8″ wide.
  • The HS7 is a bit shorter at 13.1″ and 8.3″ wide.
  • The HS5 is only around 8.7″ high and 6.7″ wide.

Take a quick measurement of your space and see which will fit better!

The last thing you’d want to do is buy the HS8 and find out there’s no room for it.

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How about the sound?


Sound


The sound of all is very accurate and flat overall.

All 3 have roughly the same frequency response, but the HS8’s bass response digs around 5Hz deeper; 38Hz vs. 43 for the HS7.

The HS8 is still fantastic, but you’ll need to be more careful with its bass response when mixing down a track.

This is because more bass generally = harder to control in less-than-ideal room situations with no treatment.

The HS5 is also great but suffers from a lack of low-end. 

I’ve been making beats off and on since 2007.

If I had to choose a monitor for mixing between these 3, I would definitely go with the HS7.

It sits in a nice middle ground between both the HS8 and HS5.

Even with that said, if you’re in a very small room, I wouldn’t opt for the HS7 as it will sound a bit too “big” for the room.

If you’re in a tiny to smaller-sized space, I previously owned the LSR 305 and really enjoyed it.

After upgrading to a true monitor in the HS7, I’d probably recommend that to you now and bypass the 305.

The 305 can work for mixing but it’s actually not entirely neutral and actually works better for general listening.

General Room Sizes

I get asked this question quite a bit so I’ll go ahead and outline it here for you.

Generally speaking:

  • Small Room – 10×10 or smaller
  • Medium-Sized Room – 12×12
  • Large-Sized Room – 14×14, 14×16 or larger

For reference, my room is probably considered medium-large at around 12×14, but I’ve since moved into a better space within my apartment.

If you can find an area that’s more open, and shaped slightly irregular, it can be ideal to mitigate resonance and the like.

Adding panels to the walls also helps quite a bit.

No space is perfect, and certainly mine isn’t, but it works better for me than my bedroom.

The space I’m in now is actually my dining area that I wasn’t using all that much, so I converted it into the studio (image above).

In any event, the HS7 works really well in my current space, and would probably do okay in my bedroom given it’s medium large.

That said, I definitely recommend treatment in bedrooms that have close-ish parallel walls.

Anyway, the differences between these 3 really come down to the bass response as well as the overall weight and footprint in your studio space.

I would say all excel with the following:

  • Hip-Hop production.
  • Audio/Video post-production.
  • Guitar performance (Critical listening).
  • Acoustic/Chamber music.
  • Keyboards.

Honestly, you’re going to enjoy them with most genres. I wouldn’t stress over this part.

Again, the HS5, while excellent for mixing, does lack some low end so definitely keep that in mind before purchasing.

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Now that we have a good idea about how they sound, let’s look at the setup!


Set Up & Placement


As alluded to in the open, hooking these up shouldn’t be complicated.

Let’s go over what you’ll need first:

  • A PC/Laptop.
  • 2 studio monitors of your choice.
  • An audio interface. This is the middle man between the sound you hear and the monitors. It effectively takes care of the digital-to-analog conversion. So basically, something like the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2/Volt 2 is what we would call an interface with built-in preamps and a clean A/D conversion. You could also opt for a standalone preamp, but it’s not necessary. Related: Preamp vs. Interface I would just go with an interface to start!
  • Balanced XLR to TRS cables. We discussed earlier why balanced cables are preferred. We want to cancel out any noise and using balanced cables effectively does that by using reverse polarity to achieve the desired effect.

Steps

  1. Plug the TRS ends into the back of your Interface, while also plugging the XLR ends into the backs of both of your monitors. Everything should be off at this point.
  2. Plug your Interface into your PC via USB. The device should be recognized. If it’s not, don’t panic! Just go to the company’s website and find the appropriate driver. 99% of the time that will fix the issue.
  3. After it’s recognized, go into your Sound panel and set the device as default. This will ensure that the sound comes from out of the monitors and not something else that you have (i.e. a separate headphone amp or something).
  4. Play some music!

As far as how the monitors should be placed? Check out my Proper Home Studio Monitor Placement And Positioning Setup Guide for an in-depth discussion on that!

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Some thoughts…


Thoughts from Stu’s notepad


Room Size Consideration

A big decision on which monitor to buy depends largely on your studio space.

Do you have a small room or a large room? If you have a small room, you may consider the HS5.

A medium-sized room? The HS7 will fare very well.

If you have a larger room, the HS8s may be for you.

Balanced

Make sure to purchase balanced cables to avoid noise/ground floor issues.

Sub-Woofer Considerations

Both can be used with the HS8S subwoofer, but as mentioned below in the video, it’s probably going to be overkill and unnecessary in a mixing environment.

In super large rooms?

Yeah, it will sound much better so keep that in mind as well.

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Check out the video…


Video Comparison

Shout out to Pad Bangers for the awesome vid. Subscribe to his channel!

Note: He said 85W for the total power of the HS7. It is 95W. Also, they are 6.5″ woofers and not 6″.


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What’s my final verdict?


Final Verdict

All of these monitors have tremendous sound quality, a great build, and enough features to keep you happy.

All are great reference monitors, but I’d venture to say the HS7 is the most accurate of the 3.

The HS8 is also great, but because of its raw power, should only be purchased for large rooms employed with Acoustic Sound Treatment.

If you try and push a speaker that can pump out loud volumes in a small space, issues will most certainly arise.

This is why we harped so much on the importance of room size earlier.

The HS5 is also great, but you may be overcompensating for the bass as it only reaches down to around 54Hz.

In my experience, this is less than ideal.

The HS8 and HS7 are very similar monitors with almost identical frequency responses.

The difference, again, is 5Hz in the bass, some slight emphasis around 60-70Hz on the HS8, and somewhat of a smaller boost in the lower mid-range around 600-700Hz.

So it’s pretty close.

I will say it’s a bit easier to mix on an HS8 when you consider that it doesn’t roll off as hard, but most people don’t have the right room acoustics for the HS8.

So…

What do I recommend?

I think if you’re in a small to medium-sized room without treatment, get an HS7.

If you’re in a larger room and plan to really hone in on treatment, HS8.

My overall recommendation today is most certainly the HS7.

It’s the perfect marriage of both HS5 and HS8 and will likely perform best in terms of mixing duties.

It also happens to be incredibly well-rated on Amazon and has over 1,800 reviews with an almost perfect star rating.

In addition to that, I own a pair and absolutely love them.

But be advised, these are NOT going to make your music (or any music for that matter) sound good. THey are incredibly raw and honest.

While I do listen to Spotify/YouTube, etc. with them, how they sound entirely depends on the engineer.

In other words, bad mix down generally equals poor quality. But this is why I love them. They’re revealing and honest.

With that, are you ready to level up your production game?

Learn More:

 


Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope I’ve shed some light on the Yamaha HS5 vs. HS7 vs. HS8.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please leave a comment below or contact me! I would be happy to help in any way…

Which of these are you more likely to go with? Let me know as well!!

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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20 comments

Alfred James May 11, 2016 - 3:46 am

Great article. I am a musician and I want to build my own home studio so I can finally start recording my music and start experience with different sounds and lyrics, in a music home studio we definitely need monitors so the material can be better, and I think you are offering a great product here, I like the fact that is a video-article, because that video gave us a final feedback. Thanks for share, I will buy it soon.

Reply
Stu May 13, 2016 - 1:46 am

Thanks for stopping by Alfred!!

Reply
zahara February 9, 2017 - 9:18 am

Good info but im still torn between the H7 or H8 – i wanted the H8 but they are out of stock and only the HS7 is available. I would grab them but what if the extra 5hz of bass response is needed.

Reply
Stu February 15, 2017 - 3:56 am

Hey man!

I think you would be fine with the HS7 without the sub. They have plenty of low end extension.

Reply
Shirley April 6, 2017 - 11:15 am

I was listening to the HS8s at a friend’s place recently, they sure do have some kick to them. The only problem is I haven’t been able to clarify what might be classed as a small/medium/large room. Would you recommend going with the HS7s in this case, just to be on the safe side?

Reply
Stu April 23, 2017 - 2:17 am

Yeah you can’t go wrong with the HS7’s πŸ™‚

Reply
Dave September 11, 2017 - 1:19 am

Thanks for the info. I just ordered the HS7, although I had not seen this article. Now that I’ve read it, I’m glad I did. Sounds like it’ll be perfect for my smallish bedroom studio — and I saved $250 over the HS8.

Reply
Stu September 11, 2017 - 1:49 pm

No problem man!

If you ever need any advice, just contact me!

Blessings,
-Stu

Reply
J November 2, 2017 - 4:15 pm

Hi, I am new to studio monitors. Why do you say that you should “Never buy monitors with drivers larger than 5β€³ before your room is treated”. What happens if I were to get Yamaha Hs7 and my room was untreated?

Thank you!

Reply
Stuart Charles Black November 2, 2017 - 5:24 pm

Hey J!

Basically what would happen is that the sound would be too loud for the room, and become very muddy and cobbled. It does depend on the size of your room as well. Do you have a large, medium, or small space? Generally 5″ is fine without treatment in most size areas, but once you get into bigger monitors, the room size should match. Does that help? Let me know.

Blessings,
-Stu

Reply
Eugene September 18, 2018 - 5:38 pm

I have the first version of the HS80 with “mustache”. Room treatment to avoid reflections is important since these speakers have a very flat response. So the reliability of what you monitor and hear also depends heavily on your room acoustics. Change room and the sound takes on the character of the room. These are really that good. Another speaker I heard that was as good as the HS80 were the Tascam VL A8. Sold at about 50 euros cheaper than the HS80.

Reply
Stuart Charles Black September 18, 2018 - 9:46 pm

Hey Eugene!

What’s the “mustache?”

Also curious to know what you’ve got as far as treatment goes. What’s your take on small rooms and how something like room treatment would affect the sound of a JBL LSR 305?

I will definitely have to look into the Tascam. Sounds interesting!! Ever heard the original Yamaha NS10? Would love to get my hands on a pair of those someday. Like boobies or something. Lol.

Talk soon,
-Stu

Reply
Amr October 11, 2018 - 5:30 pm

Yamaha hs7 or hs8 at home studio

Reply
Stuart Charles Black October 11, 2018 - 5:40 pm

Depends on the size of your room, room treatment, and if you prefer more bass. Let me know.

Reply
Juan April 20, 2023 - 12:52 pm

I have a room that is 12 x 10 in size. I’m thinking that I’d be fine with HS5s and the HS8 subwoofer, right? I want to get those low frequencies which is why I’m adding the sub. So my question is are the HS5s adequate for that room size and setup? Just trying to pick between the HS5s vs. HS7s. Thanks!

Reply
Stuart Charles Black April 22, 2023 - 2:54 pm

Hey Juan!

Yeah, you’ll be golden with the HS5. I wouldn’t hesitate about it! If you ever migrate to a larger room, then I would look to the HS7 for sure. Keep me posted with questions!

Reply
Roman October 6, 2023 - 7:54 am

Hey, I have a room that is 14×16 in size and I want to migrate to a 7.1 surround sound setup. My previous monitors are broken but my sub, the M-Audio BX Sub, is still working fine. I think it makes the most sense to go with seven HS5s. Do you think that is adequate for my circumstances? Thank you in advance!

Reply
Stuart Charles Black October 6, 2023 - 1:37 pm

Roman,

Seven HS5s? I think that was a typo lol. But yeah man! if you already have a sub the HS5 will be fine. I got the HS7s and they are also awesome. Do you have any treatment for the walls? Also what monitors did you have previously? I’d be interested to know which model broke.

-Stu

Reply
Roman October 7, 2023 - 9:07 am

No, I actually meant seven HS5s, since I’m going 7.1 πŸ˜€ I’m building my new studio right now and it will have treatment for the walls, but my current studio does not. Previously I had the M-Audio BX5 D3, but it’s totally my fault that they broke.

Reply
Stuart Charles Black October 7, 2023 - 3:42 pm

Oh! Haha. Well keep me posted on it!

Reply

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