In this PreSonus Eris 4.5 and the JBL 305P review, we look at two of the most highly recommended “near-filed” monitors for the budget-conscious buyers. Not only do they have a sleek and compact design with high-quality components but they also have excellent sound quality, good bass response and can be put into an array of uses ranging from music production to casual listening uses.
These are near-field monitors and are what you will need if you want a studio monitor to reproduce the audio with a relatively flat response. If you want to get a faithful reproduction that is not ‘polluted’ by any enhancements, these two will suffice. The Eris 4.5 will work best if you want to listen to audio at low-to-medium volume levels near the source. However, depending on uses, they can also give you a room-filling sound. How do they differ? Which one should you go for? Let’s see how these studio monitors compare.
PreSonus Eris 4.5
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Like other studio monitors in the Eris series, the Eris 4.5 is a great choice of a near-field studio monitor if you want to hear all the detail in the recordings. This is a great studio monitor for content creators, music lovers or even gamers. With the Eris 4.5, you get the same studio-quality sound as well as a very accurate frequency response. They tell the truth. The design is elegant, compact and looks good and well made. Its size makes it ideal for home use. It has an array of rich features such as the onboard EQ controls. It also features an integrated headphone amplifier with which you can adjust them for the desired listening experience.
The Eris 4.5 are two-way active studio monitors. They give a high-value and high-quality sound and can be a great alternative for your computer speakers. The design features a woven composite woofer along with a low-mass silk-dome tweeter. Its onboard Class AB amplifier give you 50 watts of power, 25 watts per speaker.
Like other studio monitors in the Eris line, they also feature acoustic adjustment controls for studio-monitor accuracy in performance. All of these are available at $200 for a pair, the price point for many of those no-hum “multimedia” speakers flooding the market.
The Eris 4.5 gives you more advanced features that you are unlikely to find at this price point such as the controls that you can use to flatten its frequency response to mix accurately. This is a great choice if you are looking for a studio monitor that that you can use for accurate mixing without breaking the bank. Basically, you get the top-tier features and a decent sound out of a very accessible $200 studio monitor.
The PreSonus Eris 4.5 has bare-wire inputs, RCA, a balanced ¼” TRS input as well as an unbalanced 1/8” TS.
JBL 305P MKII
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The JBL 305P is another super-accurate nearfield monitoring speaker that will work for a cross section of studios. If you are a serious music producer or sound engineer, then you will get a good output from these active nearfield studio monitors.
Unlike the PreSonus Eris 4.5 that lends themselves more easily to casual listening applications, the JBL 305P is better suited for some serious mixing or production work with your DAW software. You can also use it to edit videos or for any production work where monitoring accuracy is of core importance.
The JBL 305P MKII also features a range of advanced features derived from the 7 Series along with the M2 Master Reference Monitor and at this price, these bring JBL’s legendary performance into practically any studio. It has the innovative JBL’s Image Control Waveguide which works alongside its refined transducers to produce a well-defined as well as a super-dimensional stereo image. The 305P MKII delivers great-sounding recordings, be they the smooth highs or the rich lows.
One of its most definitive features is the impressive stereo imaging which comes from its innovative waveguide design. The JBL lets you hear everything in the mix, thereby allowing you to also make incredibly accurate sonic judgments for recordings with an impressive sound. Its impressive stereo imaging comes from the innovative elements that the JBL 305P derives from the 7 Series as well as the M2 Master Monitors, giving this nearfield studio monitor impressive sound reproduction that will work for any professional studio. There is also the Image Control Waveguide which gives the 305P a detailed and wide soundstage as well as a sweet spot that is room-friendly. Overall, this is a studio-quality reference monitor.
You will get a better studio experience with this JBL reference monitor thanks to its wider sweet spot. Most of you will be buying a studio monitor for more than just doing some ideal mixing. The broader sweet spot in the JBL 305P will translate to less variation in the output when you are not in a perfect mixing position.
The design of the JBL 305P MKII is also ported to give you an accurate bass response even at the low playback levels. Its double-flared ported design also minimizes the turbulence that you would normally get in the ported reference monitors.
The JBL 305P MKII is an ultra-sleek and modern studio monitor that is guaranteed to add a stylish and dramatic flair to any studio. It has a compact design that will fit in different studio sizes. The design has been built to a JBL Linear Spatial Reference design that will give a good accuracy no matter the acoustic environment. It boasts integrated custom Class D amplifiers that provide 80 watts of power, 41 watts in LF and 41 watts in HF. Its Image Control Waveguide provides you with a detailed imaging as well as a much wider sweet spot suited for the room. It has JBL’s next-generation transducers that have been designed for optimal transient response.
The Eris 4.5 is also a well-designed and compact studio monitor with a 4.5” woven composite transducer delivering a well-balanced and accurate sound. Its silk-dome tweeter, made of ultra-low-mass, gets rid of the harshness in the sound for a smooth and mellow audio output. The high-frequency controls in the Eris 4.5 allows you to fine-tune the response of the studio monitor to the unique space you are operating in.
There is also a stereo aux input that you can interface with either your smartphone or a headphone if you after a more intimate listening experience. Both the volume and power on/off controls are located on the front panel for optimal convenience.
Both of these are impressive studio monitors but the JBL 305P is better equipped for a mixing environment.
However, the PreSonus Eris 4.5 still gives you studio-quality sound within a convenient compact design that will fit any studio. As a result, the Eris 4.5 is popular with content creators, gamers or music lovers. These studio monitors will give you a loud and clear audio from their 50-watt Class AB amplifiers. You can squeeze an even bigger bass response from the PreSonus Eris 4.5 using the low and high-frequency controls to tune the speaker response. The sound reproduction is accurate and with a flatter response. These reference monitors will work for you if you want to bring that crisp studio sound to your home environment.
The JBL 305P MKII is a sleek studio monitor that will be a visual upgrade to your studio. It also has the performance to match the build quality. These reference monitors have an outstanding audio clarity along with a phenomenal bass. You will get 82 watts from its custom Class-D amplifiers compared to 50 watts from the Eris E4.5. You won’t need a subwoofer with these for your regular music listening. Besides, at 82 watts and with a peak SPL of 108dB, you won’t even need a subwoofer to get the punch from these studio monitors in a studio environment. Considering that the JBL 305P are 5” woofers, you will be impressed by the low end. The sound remains accurate and clean even at higher volumes.
Pros and Cons
The Eris 4.5 is an impressive professional near-field studio monitor that is suited for home environment, gamers, or some light mixing work. However, it has good accuracy and a flat response and will still work for your critical mixes when it comes to film or video production.
For its size, the Eris 4.5 still has quite the low-end punch. It has rear porting and proximity to wall can really reinforce the bass. Still, you get a more neutral sound from this monitor as well as an accurate soundstage.
The Eris 4.5 also has an acoustic tuning function with which you can adjust the sound for the environment. The design has a professional and stylish look without being overly flashy.
On the flipside, this is still only a 50-watt monitor so if you want a punchier sound, you may have to upgrade. It also ships with mediocre cables.
The JBL 305P MKII, on the other hand, is a top-notch quality studio monitor designed for mixing and other production functions. It has good separation, imaging as well as a dynamic bass. The 305P also has well-balanced mids and a polite and detailed treble.
When comparing the PreSonus Eris 4.5 vs JBL 305P, it all boils down on whether you want a monitor for serious mixing and production work or for multimedia functions.
The JBL 305P MKII packs a set of advanced functions derived from the 7 Series and the Master Reference Monitor giving it a top performance which for less than $200, brings JBL’s legendary performance to virtually any studio with any budget. You get refined and dimensional stereo image from the 305P thanks to its Image Control Waveguide.
The PreSonus Eris 4.5, on the other hand, is your quintessential multimedia studio monitor and is more suited for gamers, content creators and music lovers than some serious studio mixing work. Nevertheless, they are accurate and have a flat response and can you still put them to some desktop mixing work. However, if you need a serious studio monitor for your mixing needs at this price point, we’d recommend the JBL 305P. The Eris 4.5 has some bass but it is not the kind of bass response that will rock your room. We’d recommend the Eris 4.5 for small studio recording uses for artists’ playbacks.
Overall, these are both impressive studio monitors for the price point. The JBL 305P has more power, advanced features, broader sweet spot, good dynamic range, powerful transducers and is better suited for serious mixing or music/video production. For lighter recording work and general multimedia uses, you won’t go wrong with the Eris 4.5 with its accurate sound, a reasonable bass and flatter response.