The PreSonus Eris E4.5 monitors are a good entry level home studio monitor. For the price, we don’t think you will be disappointed by their sound and performance.
So You Need Some Home Studio Monitors?
Recording great music is hard enough – but don’t drop the ball when it comes to the final sound. Without a good set of studio monitors you won’t be able to tell whether all your hard work has paid off.
Good studio monitors don’t come cheap – but PreSonus have put together an impressive package in the PreSonus Eris E4.5 set of monitors. Do these speakers deliver the quality of sound you need for your production? Read on for our PreSonus Eris E4.5 review.
Things To Consider Before Buying Home Studio Monitors
Before we get to the Eris E4.5 speakers, for mavens staring out, you may be wondering why studio monitors are important? After all, aren’t most people going to listen to your music on cheap headphones or on Kia speakers in their car?
And here is the key: studio monitors aren’t to make your music sound good, but to help you put together good sounding music. What?
Think of it like this: as the producer you need to be able to hear your music as well as possible. Yes, a good pair of headphones is key – but they aren’t enough. You need to be able to hear the music in-the-room. That’s different from headphones.
And if you can’t hear your music accurately, then you won’t be able to produce the excellent sound you want to produce. A good set of studio monitors will do just that – help you hear your music accurately.
Good, let’s check out the Eris E4.5 monitors.
The Eris E4.5 Monitors
The PreSonus Eris E4.5 monitors are two way active 4.5” speakers. They come in above the entry range Eris E3.5 and compete for head to head with the JBL Professional 305P MkII monitors JBL Professional 305P MkII monitors.
They also offer the ability to adjust their response to fit with your room – they can even compensate for the bass boost that can occur when monitors are placed in the corner of the room.
But keep in mind these are entry-level studio monitors – perfect for the home studio maven who is getting started. If you want some proper studio monitors to work with, but aren’t yet looking to put a second mortgage on the house – then these are targeted at you. And in our view, they sound pretty darn good for the money.
Eris E4.5 Features & Benefits
So let’s start with what you get out of the box and what they look like.
These are good looking monitors and you won’t feel embarrassed to have them on show (or in the cupboard under the stairs if that is where the magic happens!). And they are pretty loud – their peak sound pressure level (SPL) is 100 dB which means you can really crank them for the party when the mixing tape is finished.
The 4.5-inch woofers have a blue-on-black weave that aims to give a more constant dispersion pattern across the frequency range. Sounds impressive, but so what? It should give you a cleaner overall sound by achieving less time-smeared audio.
The frequency response for the E4.5 monitors goes down to 70 Hz (compared to its bigger brother – the E8 – which goes as low as 35 Hz) is not outstanding, but unless you are doing a lot of heavy bass production should be sufficient for getting started with your home studio. If you are headed in that direction you will need to get a sub-woofer like the Temblor T8 as well as the E4.5 monitors. It is hard for a 4.5” speaker to really shine on the low end – but the E4.5 monitors do a pretty good job overall – and they won’t take up too much room either (every strength is a weakness after all!).
Up top is the dome tweeter to bring out the high-end frequencies. PreSonus have tried to design the tweeter to radiate the sound with a wide dispersion pattern – so it is still clear from various angles. To get technical, the tweeter is a 1-inch (25 mm), ultra-low-mass, silk-dome, high-frequency transducer (up to 20 kHz – which is piercingly high and any higher would bring the neighborhood dogs!).
What you really want in a studio monitor is an accurate and flat sound. And the mid response is critical here. And the E4.5 monitors perform well in this range. Nothing stands out here – just as you want it to be.
Unlike more basic speakers the E4.5 monitors can be tuned for your room. Out of the box, the speakers achieve a pretty flat sound which you want in your monitors. But sometimes you need to do some tweaks for your specific room and setup.
The E4.5 gives you some flexibility. The monitors come (via software and the switches on the rear of the speaker) with audio tuning controls. The acoustic tuning controls include:
– The three-position Acoustic Space which is for tuning against positioning in your room. It enables you to compensate for the proximity of the speaker to a wall – in particular, to compensate for the boundary boost that can happen when near a wall
– The high and mid controls are more generic controls to smooth out (or hopefully remove) other room anomalies. These controls can even be used to simulate different listening environments – so you can test your mix in different contexts (earphones, headphones, car, etc).
– A low cutoff filter is also available. If you have taken the plunge to get a stand-alone subwoofer like the (Temblor T8) the E4.5 monitors can reduce their bass via the tuning controls.
If you are interested in learning more about calibrating studio monitors, check out this video
Low-end monitors can suffer from “popping” on power up or weird resonances from how the speakers are put together. From a construction perspective, the E4.5 monitors cover the bases: they have an amplifier “soft start” feature that is designed to eliminate the popping on powering up, and PreSonus has optimized the internal bracing to suppress any resonance issues.
In terms of inputs, the E4.5 monitors cover all the basics. You will be able to connect to nearly any line-level source no problem. There are three input types provided for in the E4.5 monitors: stereo ¼” TRS, mono 1/8” TS and RCA inputs. Nothing complicated here but does the job.
Reviews From Mavens In The Wild
HSM has analyzed 391 reviews from many retailers and forums including musiciansfriend.com, bhphotovideo.com, and guitarcenter.com. Overall HSM has ranked the monitors 94 on the HSM rating scale.
But keep in mind that most users of the speakers are also (or primarily) using these speakers as additions to a computer setup or tv. For that purpose, they deserve a high score. But for real home studio mavens, they are fit for purpose – a good set to get started with.
If you are still not sure if the PreSonus Eris E4.5 monitors are right for you, there are some real contenders out there.
First up is the JBL LSR305 (head to the full review) which we rate highly for starting out. But you also might want to check out the KRK Rokit 5 G3 which go head to head with the JBL speakers.
If you are new to using studio monitors and you’re looking at your budget don’t forget to factor in other things you might need such as speaker stands, sound card, cables and so on.
Also, if you are new to making music at home make sure to check out our guide on setting up your home studio.
Buying a pair of PreSonus speakers brings the comfort of knowing these guys have been around for a long time (since 1995) and learned a thing or two! The company began with an 8 channel compressor and have built the range out since then. It’s all designed in the USA. Studio monitors are more recent (since 2013) but they have been a range of low, mid and high-end studio monitors since then – adding the Temblor subwoofer along the way.