In this JBL LSR 305 and the PreSonus Eris E5 review, we offer you a detailed comparison of two of the best studio monitors in the low to mid-priced market segment. Both are highly recognized brand names with a reputation for excellent quality and great sound. While the JBL LSR 305 costs $230, the PreSonus Eris E5 costs roughly $110. We will see how both compare in terms of the design quality, performance, audio quality and the many bells and whistles in each of the studio monitors.
JBL LSR 305
JBL is a trusted brand name in audio equipment and you shouldn’t expect any less when it comes to the JBL LSR 305. In fact, we regard this as one of the best if not the best studio monitors at this price point. The sound reproduction is hyper-accurate with a flat response and it will easily lend itself to various uses including in music and film production. The flat response is adequate where it matters and these studio monitors would easily combo as speakers where you can interface them with a sub for entertainment or casual listening applications.
At its relatively lower price, the LSR 305 allows you to bring the JBL quality and its industry-leading audio performance to virtually any studio. The design features JBL’s legendary Control Waveguide and it has been further refined with transducers. These studio monitors have a good amount of detail. You will appreciate the precise imaging in the LSR 305 as well as the wider sweet spot. They also have an impressive dynamic range.
How do these features translate into audio performance? For this price, you get a good deal. These are perhaps the cheapest but quality studio monitors that you can reliably use in production, syncing, sound editing and post production. Whether you are a musician or simply a music lover looking for some rich sound, these monitors will do the job. They are near-mixing studio monitors belting out 82 watts and with impressive specs and performance.
The JBL LSR 305 are three series reference monitors with better HF detail. These monitors will give you greater depth as well as ambience in your music recordings. They are so good that you will even catch the subtler details.
These JBL speakers also have good room-friendliness. You can get accurate adjustments in your audio mixes even if you not directly in front of the speakers.
The JBL LSR 305 also have a broader sweet spot. They are 3-Series speakers and will give you a more neutral sound over a very large working space. No matter your room acoustics, the sound from these reference monitors will be quite impressive.
Finally, they offer a good choice of connectivity options which includes TRS and XLR inputs complete with an adjustable volume control along with an input sensitivity switch.
PreSonus Eris E5
The 5.25-inch subwoofer PreSonus Eris E5 studio monitor is a two-way professional studio monitor that doesn’t cost much. At less than $110, this is an accessible studio monitor that will probably find its way into any studio.
In spite of its low cost, this is a serious studio monitor and far outperforms similarly priced competitors. You will love its ability to bring out super-accurate mixes that will come out nicely on other playback systems as well as with different kinds of multimedia such as TV commercial soundtracks, computer speakers or headphones.
This is a studio monitor with excellent translation, flat response and which actually “tells” you the truth when listening to content such as music submissions. You get the reproduction without any distortions or enhancements so you won’t have to worry about some boomy bass or muffled audio output. This monitor will also work well with your studio acoustics. It even includes room acoustics tuning functionality.
On top of the solid build, it is packed with the right tools to help you make better mixes. This reliable studio monitor enables you to tune your audio not just to the room features but also to the musical genre you are working with. It has an 80-watt class AB amplifier as well as a host of protection features.
Both of these studio monitors have an elegant design and solid build although the JBL LSR 305 has an edge and a more premium look. The JBL 305 looks good with a large shiny 5-inch woofer and the JBL logo at the bottom of the front panel. Its 3-Series speakers give you a more neutral sound. It’s also packed with plenty of subtle details that give you better depth and ambiance. The JBL LSR 305 has a power output of 82 watts compared to 80 watts for the Eris E5. The frequency response ranges from 43Hz to 24KHz compared to 53Hz to 22KHz for the E5. The two speakers weigh approximately 10 pounds although the Eris E5 is more compact than the JBL LSR 305.
The Eris E5 studio monitors have been superbly built. In spite of being very cheap, there is nothing about the look and feel that spells “budget”. The cabinet is solid with excellent finishing. The Eris E5 also features a great selection of options located at the back such as the RCA and ¼-inch XLR connections. They also have volume controls located to both the left and right for a balanced sound. The build quality is nice and they give an impressive sound. The design of the Eris E5 is quite ok for this price point making it a good value studio monitor for both professional users and home studio enthusiasts.
Among the 5-inch monitor speakers, the JBL LSR 305 is undoubtedly one of the best performers. You will love its amazingly flat response across the spectrum of the frequency band, great accuracy as well as an unbeatable power of 82 watts, one of the best you can ever get for this market segment. The sound you get from these studio monitors is clean, open and has excellent separation. The sound also has a nice bass to it. These monitors aren’t too bass heavy and they also have a clearer treble. The sound you will get from this will be incredible. You could easily use them for entertainment or for your music production needs including sound editing, syncing, production, and post production.
The PreSonus Eris E5 don’t disappoint either. You get a good power of 80 watts from its class AB amplifiers plus it has a 5.25-inch sub. There are lots of bells and whistles in the design, despite the price, including professional adjustments that will come in handy when you need to tune the monitors to suit your studio and uses. The design is resonance-suppressing and optimized for a clear sound. It also features a number of automatic protection features that you will not find in the JBL 305 speaker such as over-temperature and output limiting. However, you will love the audio performance with its sufficiently flat response.
The PreSonus Eris E5 is sufficiently powerful to work for any studio. It is designed with active studio monitors and you can put it to everyday multimedia uses such as music streaming, game soundtracks, online videos, movies, podcasts, or radio. The sound from the Eris E5 is of high fidelity and should fit your studio needs but if you need a more powerful and affordable studio monitor for music production, we’d recommend the JBL LSR 305.
Pros and Cons
Both of these are impressive monitors. The Eris E5 gives you 80 watts while the JBL LSR 305 gives you 82 watts. The Eris E5 has a bigger woofer of 5.25-inches while the JBL 505 has a 5-inch speaker. However, both of these speakers will give you an accurate sound with a very flat response.
The Eris E5 has a more compact design and will work even in tighter spaces. However, if you are buying the 305s, space will be a major consideration as it is a lot bulkier.
In terms of the overall sound quality, you will get a flatter signature with the JBL LSR 305. On the other hand, the Eris E5 has a punchier sound, particularly in the 100 to 105Hz frequency range. As a result, the Eris E5 speakers are better suited for multimedia uses and aren’t well suited for mixing like the 305s.
The Eris E5 will suit a casual listener looking for an exciting and punchier sound much better while the 305s will work well for music producers. For multimedia uses, the Eris E5 will give you a truly pleasant sound that is both mellow and relaxed. You might mix with them but the 305s outdo them in the sector and has crisper sound.
While the 305s feature a bass port at the back, the Eris E5 has the bass port on the front part. This can have its advantages and disadvantages. For instance, if the JBL LSR 305 is right against the wall, you won’t get the desired bass response that you would get if the studio monitor was positioned at least one or two feet from the wall. The Eris E5, on the other hand, has a front bass port and you will not grapple with this issue so the bass will come out very accurately even if the speaker is positioned against the wall. If you place the Eris E5 against the wall and the 305 one or two feet from the wall, you will get a similar audio output and bass response.
The JBL 305 is a superior offering, particularly if you are a budget-conscious buyer looking for a reliable studio monitor. Its drivers are more dynamic, more accurate as well as faster and you will, therefore, get an incredible, detailed and sharply defined sound that is particularly suited for mixing and production. The E5 on the other hand has a punchier sound and is more sweet and mellow and is better suited for general multimedia uses although you can still use it for some production work.
Both the 305 and the E5 have enough bass output and you can comfortably use them as studio monitors or speakers in your home. However, be sure to place the 305 at least a feet or two from the wall for a perfect bass response.
Overall, we believe both the JBL LSR 305 and the PreSonus Eris E5 are the best studio monitors in their class and for the price point. They offer you good mix of premium design, a good punch, accurate sound and good bass. The JBL has the more sharply defined sound although the PreSonus Eris E5 isn’t too bloated or artificial either. The response is relatively flat but you get a punchier sound with the E5 which is better suited for casual listening. The JBL LSR 305 can reliably be used for both casual listening as well as for mixing or monitoring.