Yamaha is one of those names that everyone is familiar with. And why not? The company is known to make some of the best products in the world ranging from motorcycles to in this case music equipment.
Two of their products that we are looking at here today are their top-quality studio monitors-the Yamaha HS7 and the Yamaha HS8.
At first glance, it would be hard to notice any difference at all, but as their varying prices seem to suggest, the two are very different.
Have you been thinking of getting a studio monitor and are torn between these two? We will compare them side by side and at the end of it come up with a verdict.
Without any further ado, let’s dive straight in!
Let’s kick off our review here by talking about the price. The Yamaha HS7 goes for $329.99 on amazon. That means you need $659.98 for a pair.
Now before you start thinking that this is expensive, consider that most industry-standard studio monitors will set you back $2,600 for a pair.
But how about the HS8? This one will cost $749.98 for a pair so while it is obviously more expensive than its HS7 counterpart, the price is still relatively affordable compared to other industry studio monitors.
The verdict: So price-wise, it is a really good idea to consider the Yamaha HS7 and HS8 speakers.
Now that we’ve gotten the price out of the way, it’s now time to take a closer look at the build. Starting off, the design.
One thing to note is that studio monitors come in all shapes and sizes. Some are better suited for certain situations more than others.
Both the HS7 and the HS8 are near-field monitors. This means they are designed for use within 3 to 6 feet of the mixing position. They are definitely not designed as mid-field or far-field monitors which are designed to be much further away.
Both the HS7 and the HS8 are also designed to be rather flat on the frequency and therefore do not produce extremely high levels of bass.
But think about it, aren’t all studio speakers designed to limit a bit of the bass?
If you are searching for the ideal speakers for your bedroom studio, then these two speakers are a great option.
When it comes to the design of the cabinets, both look pretty similar and it is not surprising that both the HS7 and the HS8 cabinets are made with the same material.
This is a top-quality dense MDF that does a great job at reducing resonance and internal boominess.
To help make the most of the low-frequency efficiency and get rid of unwanted noise, both speakers feature a bass reflex port that helps get rid of unwanted noise.
Furthermore, both the HS7 and the HS8 feature heat sinks at the back. Their function is to dissipate heat and protect the speakers from overheating.
That said, they are not identical and the HS8 is definitely heavier at 10.8 kgs(22.5lbs) than the HS7 at 8.2ksh (18.1lbs).
The only major reason for the difference in size and weight between these two studio monitors is the larger bass driver in the HS8.
The HS7, as well as the HS8, are 2-way studio monitors. This means that they utilize two speakers, one for a high frequency and another for a low frequency.
But that’s just about where the similarities end. The HS7 has a 6.5-inch woofer while the HS8 has an 8-inch woofer.
Because of the larger woofer, the HS8 can produce a lot more bass than the HS7.
Both the HS7 and the HS8 feature a 1-inch tweeter that handles a large chunk of the frequency range. This means that the woofers are left to handle the bass providing a clean crisp output.
Due to the larger output, the HS8 is better suited to a larger studio than the HS7. That said, while you may not need to consider much in terms of monitor placement with the HS7, you will definitely need to consider the optimum position to place the HS8 if you are in a larger space.
The verdict: If you prefer a studio monitor with a little more bass to it, then you are better off with the HS8. However, bigger isn’t necessarily better and the best speaker for you will come down to use and preference.
Both the HS7 and the HS8 feature two amps- one on each speaker. Yamaha made the amps specifically for the corresponding speakers which they serve.
The HS7 amps deliver 60 watts to the woofer and 35 amps to the tweeter speaker.
The HS8 on the other hand has an amp on the woofer that delivers 75 watts and one on the tweeter that delivers 40 watts.
The verdict: By now you probably get it that the speakers on the HS8 are more powerful. That however isn’t to say that the HS7 is a quality studio monitor.
The Inputs and Controls
Both these speakers offer you two main options when it comes to inputs. These are the TRS and XLR jacks.
The ones you use will depend on the output of the mixer.
The controls are where both the HS7 and the HS8 really shine. These are located at the back of the speakers.
Both offer switches while enabling you to control frequencies that go below 500Hz. There is also another high shelf.
The verdict: All in all the speakers are identical in their build when it comes to inputs and controls.
The Sound Profile
After looking at some external specks, you are probably wondering how the HS7 and the HS8 sound like?
One feature that stands out with the HS7 is that it is a bit flatter. The benefit of this is that you can identify any imperfections in your mix.
Think of it as offering exactly the type of quality of sound that you would be looking for in an ideal studio monitor.
The HS7 has a frequency range of 43Hz to 30Hz while that of the HS8 stands at 38Hz to 30Hz. This means that the HS8 has a much larger frequency response.
What’s more, the HS8 offers a much more stable frequency compared to the HS7.
This is where the issue of high resolution comes in. A speaker with a hi-resolution will have a minimum bit rate of 44.1kHz. It should reproduce the range of frequencies that a human ear can pick up at 20Hz-20KHz.
There is also the issue of flatness. This simply refers to the shape of the curve of the sound that the speaker produces. Think about that time you used an equalizer, well that time, you were actually adjusting the sound curve. The best studio monitors should offer a flat curve for the best quality sound and both the HS7 and the HS8 achieve this.
That said, the HS8 has a flatter sound curve.
The downside of this is that the HS7 isn’t very suited for mixing heavy bass and for that you may find yourself getting a subwoofer.
But how does the HS8 compare? Well, it has a much stronger base that goes all the way down to 38kHZ.
The verdict: Since the HS7 has a far less low-frequency extension its sound quality is much better. Also, the HS8 might also not be enough when mixing a stronger base so you will also find yourself getting a subwoofer here as well.
Secondly, chances are that you have a bedroom studio or a small-sized studio if you are going to consider the Yamaha HS7 or the HS8. Since there isn’t that huge of a difference in the sound, you may want to save and get yourself the HS7.
The Colors and Finish
Whether you decide on either the Yamaha HS7 or the HS8, you will have two options when it comes to colors -white or black.
The speaker cones on both monitors are white. This means that you can either choose a white on white studio monitor or white on black.
Both speaker cabinets have a veneer covering. It offers grip as opposed to a smooth and sleek finish.
The verdict: As far as finishing and colors go, both the Yamaha HS7 and the HS8 are identical. You can choose either a white on white or a white on black based on your color preference.
The Pros Of The Yamaha HS7
- It is the ideal studio monitor if you have a small to medium-sized studio
- Has high quality and durable build
- Offers excellent sound output
- It is an affordable studio speaker
- Has great mid-range
The Cons Of The Yamaha HS7
- Doesn’t offer very loud volumes and for that, you will require to use the HS7 in conjunction with an amplifier
- The bass is not sufficient for certain types of music genres such as EDM
The Pros Of The Yamaha HS8
- Offers a well-balanced sound output
- A higher level of bass than the HS7
- Fine-tuning the sound output
- Excellent for music genres that require high bass such as hip hop,
- Great lows
- Doesn’t necessarily need an amp
The Cons Of The Yamaha HS8
- It may not be the best choice for smaller size studios as will negatively affect the midrange
Standout Features Of The HS7
- High trim response as well as room controls
- Big magnets
- Manual frequency correcting
- Dedicated power amplifiers
Standout Features Of The HS8
- Noise reduction technology
- High-quality performance amplifier
Both the Yamaha HS7 and HS8 have plenty of similarities. For one they look the same and have the same colors and finish. They also feature the same basic design.
That said, there are also some marked differences in terms of weight and size as well as sound output.
The Yamaha HS8 has a larger output and offers more bass. It is a more powerful studio monitor. However, it’s important to remember that both these monitors are designed for a small studio such as a garage studio or a bedroom studio.
More base also doesn’t necessarily mean better sound quality and you may find that you are better off with the HS7. Not to mention that the HS7 is also much cheaper than the HS8.