Home Studio Monitor Comparisons Yamaha HS80M vs. HS8 [In Depth Look]

Yamaha HS80M vs. HS8 [In Depth Look]

by Stuart Charles Black
Published: Last Updated on

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Here’s a chart of my 3 recommendations based on the article.

I didn’t include the HS80M as I believe the HS8 is a better monitor.

The other 2 options were included as fantastic alternatives depending on room size. More on that in a bit!


Comparison Chart


Preview
More Power/Bass
YAMAHA HS8 Studio Monitor, Black, 8 Inch
Better For Reference
Yamaha HS7 100-Watt Series Monitor, Black, 6.5"
Best Value
JBL Professional 305P MkII Next-Generation 5-Inch 2-Way Powered Studio Monitor
Title
YAMAHA HS8 Studio Monitor, Black, 8 Inch
Yamaha HS7 100-Watt Series Monitor, Black, 6.5"
JBL Professional 305P MkII Next-Generation 5-Inch 2-Way Powered Studio Monitor
Color
Black/White
Black/White
Black
Weight
22.5 lbs.
18.1 lbs.
10.12 lbs.
Amp Type
Active (Does not need separate amplification)
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
LF Trim, HF Trim
Total Power
120W
95W
82W
Balanced Inputs
1x Balanced XLR, 1x Balanced TRS (1/4" or 6.35mm)
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
43Hz - 24kHz
Driver Technology
Low Frequency: Cone, High Frequency: Soft Dome
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"
Woofer: 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"
Height: 11.75″ Width: 7.28″ Depth: 9.88″
Rear Ported
Prime
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
-
Price
$398.99
$349.99
$129.00
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
Amazon Prime
Price
$398.99
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
$349.99
Details
Best Value
Preview
JBL Professional 305P MkII Next-Generation 5-Inch 2-Way Powered Studio Monitor
Title
JBL Professional 305P MkII Next-Generation 5-Inch 2-Way Powered Studio Monitor
Color
Black
Weight
10.12 lbs.
Amp Type
Active (Does not need separate amplification)
Controls
LF Trim, HF Trim
Total Power
82W
Balanced Inputs
1x Balanced XLR, 1x Balanced TRS (1/4" or 6.35mm)
Frequency Response
43Hz - 24kHz
Driver Technology
Low Frequency: Cone, High Frequency: Soft Dome
Driver Size
Woofer: 5", Tweeter: 1"
Dimensions
Height: 11.75″ Width: 7.28″ Depth: 9.88″
Rear Ported
Prime
-
Price
$129.00
Details

Hi friend and Welcome!

The Yamaha HS80M vs. HS8 is a very interesting comparison!

Before we get into why, grab a snack, sit back, and relax because…

You’ve come to the right place!!

What I will bring you in this review

Normally for my comparisons, I review both pieces separately and then compare and contrast at the end.

For this article, since the monitors are pretty similar, I will outline the HS80M’s and then compare them to the HS8’s.

  1. Specifications
  2. Summary
  3. Pros
  4. Cons
  5. Who do these monitors benefit?
  6. What you will need?
  7. Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
  8. Similarities & Differences
  9. Sound Test Video
  10. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!

Yamaha HS80M

Specifications

  • Size: 8″ cone woofer and 1″ dome high-frequency unit
  • Amp Type: Active
  • Crossover Channel Qty: 2-way
  • Nominal Output Power: 120 Watt
  • Frequency Response: 42Hz – 20kHz
  • Nominal Impedance: 10 Ohm
  • Crossover Frequency: 2000Hz
  • Output Features: Bass Reflex
  • Magnetic Shield: Yes
  • Connectivity Technology: Wired
  • Controls: Mid-EQ, Low Cut, Room Control, High Trim response control switches

Summary

The Yamaha HS80M is the real deal. “The truth,” and “life-changing” as some called it in my research.

They get stellar reviews everywhere you look, and it’s because of their overall flat-frequency response and brutal honesty.

This is a true reference monitor and a very revealing one at that. You will be humbled by the truth.

It could literally point out a blemish on your face from 5 miles away. Just kidding, but you get the idea. 😛

Rest assured, your mixes will be under a microscope listening to these babies.

They are extremely unforgiving but at the same time an absolute joy to listen to.

If your mix sounds good on the HS80M’s, it will sound good on anything.

I also read people were impressed by their longevity factor, with a few owning these for up to 5-7 years.

They also will rekindle your desire to listen to old records which is a nice added bonus as well.

Pros

  • Flat, with excellent clarity and detail.
  • Great definition in the stereo image. It shows the importance of panning and width. You will discover phasing and mixing issues in old tracks.
  • Very smooth, UN-exaggerated bass response.
  • Unforgiving, accurate, and true. They will point out the shortcomings of your mix.
  • Recordings come out as they were meant to be heard. Be aware of your sound source.
  • Longevity/Durability. Will hold up for a long time in your studio.
  • Effortlessly capable of high SPL (Sound Pressure Level). Feel free to really pump these up, lol. Blast ’em! What is SPL?
  • Dynamics are tight and natural, making it easy to catch out-of-place transients.
  • May change your perspective on music if it’s your first monitor.

Cons

  • I read about an exaggerated mid-bass, which in certain rooms may be a bit overpowering.
  • Low treble is slightly exaggerated.
  • Bass may not extend far enough and rolls off at around 40Hz.
  • Tweeter issues for a couple of reviewers. Possible defect after 1 year of use. Isolated incidents.
  • The only outputs it has are XLR and 1/4″ balanced or unbalanced. Find out about your cable differences in this TRS vs. TS article!

Who do these monitors benefit?

After reading all the Amazon reviews, I have heard them endorsed for the following:

  • Hip-Hop/Production
  • Rock
  • Blues
  • General Listening. A lot of people mentioned that they use them as a sound system!
  • Electronic
  • Techno
  • House
  • Party
  • Netflix
  • Video Games
  • Orchestral
  • Opera
  • Heavy Metal
  • Pop
  • Punk
  • Folk

Not as good for:

  • Jazz
  • Classical
  • Acoustic

What will you need?

An audio interface is highly recommended with these.

It will give you a good, clean digital-to-analog conversion, and will power the monitors with relative ease.

I previously owned the Scarlett 2i2 and really enjoyed my time with it.

Right now I have the Universal Audio Volt 2 and also love it. 

In case you were curious, I had to sell my original 1st generation 2i2 due to incompatibility issues with Windows 10.

You could also opt to go for a mixer if you’re a more hands-on type of person. The Yamaha MG06X would be a nice and simple option here.

Thoughts from Stu’s notepad

I have read that these are very enjoyable with all forms of music overall, regardless of the omission of Jazz, Classical, and Acoustic.

In addition,

they make for great everyday listening speakers. This was very much harped on in quite many reviews.

The bass is present but may be underwhelming for some, depending on your needs.

You may need a sub (HS10W) for some of the more bass-heavy stuff.

If you’re after a true and accurate low end, then there’s no need for one.

You may also need some basic Acoustic sound treatment. Studio foam panels on the walls and bass traps in the corners of your room will do the trick!

One person said the sound tends to get a bit hollow, but when you’re referencing with headphones it ends up being too loud for the mix. Check out these.

If you’re serious about accurate tracking, the fact that the bass isn’t too over the top is actually a blessing.

One reviewer pointed out that the mid-range and highs more than make up for it.

Another said that they aren’t quite brutal enough to be your only mixing speaker, but they will get you 90% there.

The figure of 90% was used a few times, which I thought was interesting.

Symmetry and Placement

The symmetry of your room and the placement of your speakers is important. They are pretty much near fields, which means a couple of things:

  1. You want them as close to you as possible since the sound diminishes greatly from farther distances.
  2. You’ll want to situate them in an equilateral triangle at about ear level. This creates the best imaging possible and helps to clarify and pinpoint where things are in the mix.

General Room Sizes

While we’re dancing around the subject, 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.

The point is that both the HS80M and HS8 should be used in larger rooms because the sound (and specifically the bass) from beefy monitors such as these are much harder to control in small spaces.

Bass

The bass is very revealing, and the amount will actually depend on how you mix. They will pump up the bass if you mix it louder, but they won’t exaggerate a song that’s already been recorded.

Called the Truth, these will save you a lot of time mixing (mentioned earlier).

If you’re mixing a track, you generally want to be at somewhat of a low level.

Check out Establishing Project Studio Reference Monitoring Levels if you really want to get down to the nitty-gritty.

Consensus/Conclusion

The fact of the matter is that all stuff about these that could be construed as unfavorable is really just nitpicking.

Monitors are also tricky to review as well.

They are more subjective than other equipment due to the quality of sound varying, what you’re using to power them, etc., etc.

Reputation plays a big role in the decision-making process.

One thing is for certain, these are brutally honest and revealing. No doubt about it.

Similarities & Differences

Similarities

  • The level control, the input connectors (XLR and TRS), the bass port, and the radiator are the same.
  • The durability of both is phenomenal.
  • The reproduction of instruments on both is excellent.

Differences

  • The sound settings on the HS8 now include only room control (0db, -2db and -4db) and high trim (+2db, 0db, -2db). The rest (mid-eq and low-cut) are gone. So you’ll need additional equipment or software if you want to deeply personalize the sound according to your room acoustics.
  • The weight of each is a bit different. 24.86 lbs. (HS80M) vs. 22.5 lbs. (HS8)
  • The differences in sound are barely noticeable according to a Reddit/Gearslutz.com reviewer. He says the HS8s have a rounder, warmer, and more calibrated bass, and the highs aren’t as “spicy.” The mid-range is basically the same.
  • Frequency response improved. The HS80M’s is 42Hz – 20kHz, while the HS8’s is 38Hz – 30kHz.
  • Slight cosmetic differences.
  • Treble? To my ears, the HS8’s treble is brighter overall than the 80M’s. 

Final Word

If you have a larger room and plan on using some bass traps and acoustic panels, I would give the HS8 a go. They are a tad better than the 80M.

Learn More:

 

 

If you have a medium-sized room, go with the HS7. You will still likely need some Acoustic Sound Treatment, but they have 6.5″ woofers and are a bit better for mixing and reference.

In fact, I think the HS7 is the perfect middle ground and represents a truly fantastic solution for the majority of people that want to take their mixing to the next level.

 

 

 


Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve come away with some newfound knowledge on the Yamaha HS80M vs. HS8.

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

Which of these monitors are you more likely to purchase? I would love to hear from you…

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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