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Hsldn
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PreSonus Eris E4.5 and alternatives?

Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:27 am

On the latest periphale stuff picks, PreSonus Eris E4.5 is recommended. This is a studio monitor , same company has speakers that are more suitable as computer speakers.  PreSonus Ceres 4.5BT , why aren't these preferred?

Also , Mackie cr5 BT is on my shopping list. Would you recommend this instead of PreSonus?  How would these compare to AudioEngine A5+  sound quality wise?
 
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Re: PreSonus Eris E4.5 and alternatives?

Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:40 am

I tried the Ceres 4.5 for a brief stint and sent them back.

The bluetooth module added unnecessary cost and introduced minor electronic noise (background hum whenever bluetooth was on, even if the speakers weren't plugged into any sources). Spend all of your speaker budget on "just" speakers that will last a decade; If you want extra functionality, do that through docks and other short-lived accessories that change with each generation of your phone/tablet/laptop.

If you can afford the Ceres 4.5 you can also afford KRK Rokit 5s, Mackie CR5, and Presonus Eris E5" speakers. It doesn't sound like a big upgrade but 5" is the sweet spot for studio monitors IMO. 8" sound slightly nicer but they're much larger and more expensive, disproportionately so compared to the minor gains in bass output. For what it's worth, I've had M-Audio 8" monitors, and KRK Rokit 5 monitors in addition to the Eris E4.5's. I've now settled (after much deliberation) on the Eris E5's because I was really impressed by the Presonus build and sound quality. 

All of them are decent quality though. The Eris 4.5 are usually the same price or cheaper than other quality 4" speakers, so in that respect they are an excellent, top-quality buy within that price range. Moving up, the KRK Rokits are all a bit bass-biased so they're enjoyable to listen to, but not particularly accurate without calibration. The 8" M-Audio monitors sounded best but they were retired due to age and the fact they are just too damn huge for a desk. The E5's are both front-ported, so better for shoving up against a back wall, and also 5.25" in a relatively compact cabinet. With calibration they are quite literally perfect from about 70Hz upwards, and they're not bad down to about 50Hz.
Last edited by Chrispy_ on Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PreSonus Eris E4.5 and alternatives?

Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:49 am

There's little that's "more suitable as computer speakers" other than having front-facing volume controls and a headphone output, really.

As for the rest... what he said.
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Re: PreSonus Eris E4.5 and alternatives?

Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:54 am

Ah yeah, and what drove to to the smaller monitors in the first place was the front-facing input, headphone jack and volume control. 

The Eris E4.5 and Mackie CR5 are just about the largest monitors worth buying with a front-mounted volume control. Once you go higher than that you're going to need to use a seperate in-line volume knob or get your soundcard to handle volume.
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Re: PreSonus Eris E4.5 and alternatives?

Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:34 am

morphine wrote:
There's little that's "more suitable as computer speakers" other than having front-facing volume controls and a headphone output, really.

As for the rest... what he said.

Thank you for the replies.

Every other review talks about speaker vs studio monitor differences but i'm not sure if there is any standard about what is a spekaer or studio monitor . 
This review says.
"The Ceres line of monitors are not for using as a “critical listening monitor”, as you might for mixing and mastering tracks, songs, or albums. They were designed, from the very conception, to excel at playing back todays MP3’s. However, they are also stellar at playing back CD’s, listening to the radio, brining your favorite movies to life, making “YouTube-style videos” more life like, and bringing a games’ audio information to exciting levels. Weather you are hooking up a laptop computer, home stereo, or just your ios device, the  PreSonus Ceres C4.5BT monitors are incredible sounding, and you will be blown away. I know I was!"

http://www.homerecordingweekly.com/2015 ... -reviewed/

would you go with Mackie Cr5 or PreSonus Eris 4.5 ? 
how do these compare to AudioEngine A5+? It is pricier than these ,more than double in PreSonus case, is it worth?
 
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Re: PreSonus Eris E4.5 and alternatives?

Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:52 am

The term "studio monitor" refers to a speaker that has a flat response. Flat response is a good thing, since a perfectly flat response is effectively a perfect speaker. If you could get a perfectly flat-response stereo microphone and perfectly flat response speakers, no blindfolded human being or measurement device would be able to tell the difference between genuine sound and the reproduced sound. In reality, "perfect" flat mic and flat speakers are impossible, but you can usually get both to within +/-2dBA of a perfect response, and also only within a specific range.

The Eris E4.5, for example, offer a flat response from about 80Hz to beyond the upper limit of human hearing; You can usually ignore the upper frequency specs on any half-decent speaker because at 22KHz nobody beyond puberty is going to be able to hear that high. 80Hz is good, but lacks the truly powerful rumbles of bass drums or game and movie explosions. At 4.5" the bass is going to have the same sort of punch as a $75 2.1 speaker set. It'll be far more accurate and it'll handle faster/busier basslines than a compact subwoofer, which can sound "muddy" or "blurry", but it won't deliver anything deeper or lower than those. Your money is being spent on the accuracy and clarity of the flat response. If you want earth-rumbling bass that you can feel in your chest, you're going to need to fork out hundreds of dollars for something with a 10" subwoofer, like the Z906 or buy a deidicate sub to accompany the studio monitors. The Mackie CR5 monitors go down to 60Hz with a flat response, which is borderline low enough to not want a sub.

Active studio monitors are often used as high-end computer speakers because they tend to be higher quality with a focus on use in prosumer and professional recording studios, and the "active" part is useful for a desktop since they can take a low-level input direct from a PC, DAC, soundcard or laptop headphone socket without needing a separate dedicated amp like typical HiFi speakers that you tend to find in most audio stores. There's nothing to stop you using normal HiFi speakers but you'll need a dedicated amp to go with them, which drives up the cost, and they don't usually offer a flat response, they add "character" (stupid audiophile term to describe a non-flat response) which tends to make certain types of music and sound sound better at the cost of making other types of music and sounds worse. 

A more relatable example of flat vs character is how 2.1 computer speakers and TV sound systems are: Their character is often described as "boom and hiss" or "punchy and crisp" because the sub is able to punch and boom, whilst the tiny satellites can cover the crisp trebles. It makes gunfire and explosive movies sound awesome and drum-heavy, simple-bassline pop music sounds good, but anything in the midrange (specifically vocals, complex bass that's too fast for the sub, and full-orchestral or richer music with more instruments and a denser scoresheet) will really struggle to sound good.

Hsldn wrote:
would you go with Mackie Cr5 or PreSonus Eris 4.5 ? 
how do these compare to AudioEngine A5+? It is pricier than these ,more than double in PreSonus case, is it worth?


What you should get comes down to budget. If you can afford the desktop size and outlay of 6" monitors, these are the ones to get since you can almost certainly get away without ever feeling you want a subwoofer. The Eris E4.5 is the best thing at it's price range, but I'd buy the Mackie CR5 if I had more budget to spend. Sound quality is partly down to build quality and partly the size of the drivers. The A5+ are great speakers but at list price they're a rip-off. For the same money you could get better-sounding 6" or even 8" monitors.
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Re: PreSonus Eris E4.5 and alternatives?

Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:22 am

Chrispy gave you the correct detailed explanation.

A simpler one is: there's no difference, except studio monitors sound 1000x better than 99% of "computer speakers" out there.
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Re: PreSonus Eris E4.5 and alternatives?

Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:58 am

Chrispy_ wrote:
If you could get a perfectly flat-response stereo microphone and DAC/input stage, pre-amplification stage, amplification stage that are flat or impart no distortion or interference potentially emphasizing certain frequencies through harmonics, etc, and interconnects that don't impart any interference, and mechanical drivers in the speakers that vary in decay or dispersion across frequency ranges and... and perfectly flat response speakers, no blindfolded human being or measurement device would be able to tell the difference between genuine sound and the reproduced sound.


The vast majority of (all) systems noticeably suffer from some combination of these and as such, some speakers emphasize certain frequencies in an attempt to compensate. And then there is the issue that people's hearing isn't flat - the most obvious being that treble perception falls off with age (and a speaker or system that imparts a treble boost above 10 or 12 kHz may, for example, rekindle a more youthful listening experience - the point being that "real" may not always be the ideal).

Flat speakers are great for mixing. Or if you like difference responses from for different types of music/applications and like to play around with EQs. But if you just want to "hit play" just grabbing a pair of speakers that are not flat, but provide a pleasing sound on your system, or to your ears, on average, is not such a bad thing in the interest of simplicity. Too much variation from flat response is generally not a good idea though.

Edit: If I was in the market for a set of powered "monitors" (ie, hifi speakers) for my computer desk, I'd be taking a look at the Kanto YUMI series as well. Haven't heard these, but I have their companion 8" sub (Sub8) and it's pretty decent for a small sealed unit.
 
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Re: PreSonus Eris E4.5 and alternatives?

Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:17 am

I've never seen the Kanto Yumi before but it's generally not rocket science to build a speaker. If the money has been spent on quality amplifier with decent SNR, a silk dome tweeter and a kevlar or glassfibre main driver, you've already won the battle against rubbish speakers. 

Beyond those basics it's things like build quality, aesthetics, convenience features and tuning options, all of which are effectively optional or down to personal preference. Presonus seem to constantly feature in "recommended" lists since their build quality is above average for the money and they tick all the basic boxes I mentioned in the paragraph above.
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Re: PreSonus Eris E4.5 and alternatives?

Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:43 am

Chrispy_ wrote:
but it's generally not rocket science to build a speaker.

Um, no. Anechoic chambers don't grow on trees, which is why many speaker manufacturers have facilities in Canada so that they can use the National Research Council's all-access chamber.
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Re: PreSonus Eris E4.5 and alternatives?

Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:28 am

That was probably referring to affordable-to-midrange speakers.
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Re: PreSonus Eris E4.5 and alternatives?

Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:36 am

morphine wrote:
That was probably referring to affordable-to-midrange speakers.

Is my nervosa showing again?
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Re: PreSonus Eris E4.5 and alternatives?

Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:37 am

Captain Ned wrote:
Chrispy_ wrote:
but it's generally not rocket science to build a speaker.

Um, no.  Anechoic chambers don't grow on trees, which is why many speaker manufacturers have facilities in Canada so that they can use the National Research Council's all-access chamber.

Which is then installed in a real-world room, and...
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Re: PreSonus Eris E4.5 and alternatives?

Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:47 am

Yeah, good speaker, not good monitor.

Monitors are a subset of speakers, but in this case I was referring to the basic, popular DIY speaker builds that require nothing special to sound good other than a clean amp, silk dome tweeter and reasonably stiff driver - of which the most common type are kevlar or grp composite.

This thread is starting to get slightly too technical, at the risk of confusing/scaring away the OP, but off the back of Bruno's peripherals article, one reason monitors are a good choice is because there are very few bad monitors. They need to be built up to a standard. It's like recommending PSUs. You don't have to recommend an 80+ Titanium or Platinum PSU, but in doing so you gaurantee that it's not going to be a $5 no-name PSU lookalike constructed from cheese and fluff.

ludi wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:
Anechoic chambers don't grow on trees, which is why many speaker manufacturers have facilities in Canada so that they can use the National Research Council's all-access chamber.

Which is then installed in a real-world room, and...

...which is why I'm an advocate of calibrating any (decent) PC speaker for the room; One of the best options is RoomEQWizard and EqualizerAPO. You use a mic to measure the speaker output at the listening point and then generate an equaliser profile to compensate for the interference that sound bouncing off surfaces causes. End result is flat, clean-sounding everything and it can even help with bad speakers.
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Re: PreSonus Eris E4.5 and alternatives?

Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:03 pm

Thank you for the detailed answers .
I'll get the Mackie CR5BT then. 
Do i need a DAC with this? I'm using Asus Hero VI 's on board sound chip. Is it enough for these speakers?
Last edited by Hsldn on Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: PreSonus Eris E4.5 and alternatives?

Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:20 pm

You're fine for now. External DACs are for when you want to start getting even more serious.
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Re: PreSonus Eris E4.5 and alternatives?

Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:43 am

I use the headphones more . So i need a way to switch between headphone and speakers easily. Connecting ,disconnecting the headphone jack to the speakers headphone input won't be convient. 

There is only one output on the motherboard , so is there a way to multiply and switch this output without losing sound quality?

There was  a post from a Kanto rep on another site . It says Kanto YU5 instead of YUMI maybe more suitable for computer use.

"The YUMI can be used as computer speakers but keep in mind they will go into standby if they do not detect audio for an hour. They can be woken up with the remote but they do not automatically resume. We typically recommend the YU5 for desktop use as their recessed midrange works well in near field situation. The YUMI has greater fidelity than the YU5 so if accuracy is your priority then you can't go wrong with the YUMI. "

 While Kanto speakers have integrated DACs and different input options , user experiences made me question the quality of the speakers . Internal DAC is convenient but how good is it really? Couldn't find pro reviews either.  I was going to buy a Kanto for the Tv room , they had a very nice price cut on Amazon , but without a dependable review its a risky buy
 
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Re: PreSonus Eris E4.5 and alternatives?

Fri Oct 28, 2016 7:47 am

Hsldn wrote:
Thank you for the detailed answers .
I'll get the Mackie CR5BT then. 
Do i need a DAC with this? I'm using Asus Hero VI 's on board sound chip. Is it enough for these speakers?

The onboard sound is likely fine, but it's pot luck based on your board's implementation. Sometimes, even with a good implementation you can get interference from the GPU under load when it's generating high fps. I'd suggest just giving it a try first and seeing if you're okay with it. 
If your GPU creates too much interference in your analogue audio signal, there are at least four workarounds for this:

  1. If your monitor has an audio passthrough for headphones, use this. The monitor will have a DAC and pass the audio over displayport or HDMI.
  2. A cheap USB soundcard is all you need. There are plenty of $10 USB cards on Amazon and they're all using the same Realtek codec or possibly C-Media codec that everything else uses.
  3. A studio/musician USB DAC like the FIIO E10K or Cambridge DACMagic XS. Slightly higher quality than a cheap USB soundcard, Dubious whether it makes a difference but possibly cleaner SNR.
  4. A dumb DAC that takes SPDIF or digital CoAx from your onboard sound and blindly converts to analogue out.

I prefer options 1-3 (I use 1 myself) since the DAC is visible to the PC at driver level, which means you can do more with it, specifically complex software EQ and more complex HRTF positional stereo. 

I've not used any Mackie monitors with Bluetooth but my experience with other brands is that the bluetooth implementations are poor and add noise to the system (it's electronic components and power circuitry in the same physical enclosure as your amp, it's always going to have some effect on the speakers!). You are MUCH BETTER OFF getting a $10 bluetooth adapter and using the 3.5mm input on the normal CR5 monitors if you really want Bluetooth. Not only is it cheaper, but it won't have that irritating powersave cutoff that the FCC requires the Mackie CR5BT's bluetooth radio to conform to. Here's one of hundreds on the market (rechargeable), but you could spend a little more and get a mains-powered one that plugs into the rear inputs and is a little more discreet/tidy.
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Re: PreSonus Eris E4.5 and alternatives?

Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:35 am

Mackie CR4 and the Presonus Eris 4.5 march towards a balanced sound quality whereas the Audioengine A5+ is geared towards a more colored audio listening and suitable for movies and so on.

If you aren't an audio geek, go for Audioengine A5+ that will add a sense of style to your room (though the price is high)

If not, then the Presonus serves well.

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