Yamaha HS50M Studio Monitors Hands on Review

Yamaha HS50M 5″ Monitors| Jace H.

In the tradition of Yamaha’s popular NS10M studio monitors, the Yamaha HS50M 5-inch powered monitor speakers are pro quality reference speakers designed specifically for recording studio use.

Yamaha’s HS50Ms are good-looking, well-built studio monitors, wide and hefty so you feel like they can do the job.  Each speaker has a 5-inch white polypropylene cone with a ¾-inch dome tweeter. Monitors are encased in high-quality MDF material with a multi-layer finish to reduce resonance. Each HS50M has a black finish and lighted Yamaha tuning fork logo. They feature an XLR and a ¼-inch input connector, room control and frequency response switches (mid EQ, hi trim, low cut) and 70-watt bi-amplified power.

The first thing that impressed me about these monitors was the sheer girth.  They’re heavy and sturdy, very well-made so psychologically, I feel like they can do the job. That’s a good thing, particularly for a project studio because the monetary investment of the HS50Ms is going to be about $200 for each monitor.  The second thing I liked is the attractive design of the speaker. In fact, I’m considering switching out my desk to offer a more fluid “feng shui” to my studio space. But that’s neither here nor there.

Yamaha HS50M Studio Monitor Connections

Yamaha HS50M Studio Monitor Connections


The third thing I like about the HS50Ms is the gain and frequency response options.  Before the HS50Ms, I had the M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Speakers that came bundled with my Pro Tools LE MBox 2 and I was always scrambling to turn the volume down on the speakers in anticipation of that pop you hear when you flip them on.  The HS50Ms didn’t have that.  Just a glowing light to let me know the speakers were on, which was nice.  The AV 40s were good monitors, had a very flat response just like the HS50Ms, but the Yamahas offer more flexible frequency response options and just sound way better than my trusty AV 40s.

For any recording situation, you want to be able to rely on near-field monitors that will reproduce sound just as it is, with no add-ons, no coloring, no fattened bass or brilliance added to your highs.  You need a flat response and the most honest representation of your mix.  The HS50Ms provided that.  They were crystal clear – I could hear my mix clearly instrument by instrument, so I thought I’d listen to some mp3s and sort out some of those Ed Motta lyrics I’d always been missing.  Again, the clarity was stunning compared to what I was used to.  Nothing against the AV 40s, they did the job I hired them to do, but it’s clearly time for an upgrade.  I’d been missing out.

Yamaha HS50M Studio Monitor Front

And it’s true what they say – if your mix sounds good on studio monitors with a flat response, they really will sound good on anything.  The HS50Ms are packaged and sold separately, so you can build your monitor set up the way you want it built.  The Yamaha HS50M studio monitors is definitely a great product, well worth the investment.

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