For audio engineers who understand the significance and manifestation of every detail of their recordings, PreSonus® Eris-series studio monitors are one of the most commonly used worldwide. Their popularity is a result of the features available and a track record of excellence associated with the company manufacturing them. Among the low-end PreSonus studio monitors are the PreSonus Eris E3.5 and the PreSonus Eris E5. This article compares the two products for those planning to buy one and are in two minds on which to select.
PreSonus Eris E3.5 at a glance
The PreSonus Eris E3.5 is an entry-level studio monitor suited to small studio settings and in-house gaming use. The monitor comes in a compact design and produces quality sound. At its under $100 price, the Presonus Eris E3.5 is arguably the best studio monitor you’ll get at such an affordable price.
PreSonus Eris E5 at a glance
The PreSonus Eris E5 is another quality two-way studio monitor suitable for sound engineers, music professionals, and hobby musicians. Like the E3.5, it comes in a portable and sleek design.
Our comparison of the two monitors will be made under various headings to remove any form of bias and ensure a level playing ground.
Appearance and Design
From afar, it may be a tad hard to distinguish between the two because of the similar design. The two cabinets are made of vinyl-laminated medium density fiberboard. Also, the two have a PreSonus logo that glows when turned on.
On a closer look, you’ll be able to point out the difference. The E5 measures 7 x 7.68 x 10.24 inches, which is quite bigger than the 5.6 x 6.4 x 8.3 inches dimensions of the E3.5.
Furthermore, the two monitors each have a 1-inch tweeter in front. The identical tweeter size means the two monitors have similar sound dispersal. Like their respective names suggests, the Eris E3.5 has a 3.5-inch cone, while the E5 emerges tops in this aspect with a 5.25-inch blue cone. The E3.5’s front panel also has a volume knob as well as one aux and headphone port. The E5’s front panel has a bass reflex port to make space for more acoustic tuning options.
Another point of divergence between the two products is that while the two E5 speakers are both active speakers with individual power supplies, the E3.5 has one active speaker and one passive speaker connected via red and black cables.
The two monitors have an excellent range of input. On the E3.5, there are three input options available – two balanced ¼” TRS inputs that eliminate potential RF interference, one stereo ⅛” as well as two unbalanced RCA inputs. These input options are found at the back panel of the left speaker, and they complement the aux and headphone port earlier mentioned. For the E5, you get one balanced XLR, one balanced ¼” TRS, and one unbalanced RCA input option. The speaker usually comes with an RCA cable, and we recommend using multiple connection options if you have quality cables. You’ll need to buy XLR and TRS cable if you want to use those input options.
This is the part you’ve been waiting for. All the features of the two speakers listed above will amount to nothing if they do not translate to top-quality output. For their sizes, the two speakers perform decently well. The PreSonus Eris E5 has a maximum sound pressure level (SPL) of 102 decibels, with the E3.5 falling a tad short with 100 decibels of peak SPL.
In terms of frequency response, the Eris E5 takes the day as it has a wider frequency response range. While the E3.5 has a frequency response range of 80 Hz to 20 kHz, the E5 has a frequency range of 53 Hz to 22 kHz, meaning it can reproduce a wider range of frequencies both on the high and low sides.
Since individuals have different tastes, it will be unwise to assume the default sound setting will be ideal for all. Therefore, we have to consider the tuning options available in the two studio monitors.
There are refined acoustic tuning options available with the Eris E3.5. The low and high frequencies can be tweaked by using the controls found on the back of the primary monitor (usually the left speaker). The controls can swing between -6 dB to +6dB.
Similarly, there are knobs at the back of the E5 to adjust the high and mid frequencies. A potential drawback here is that there is no dedicated tuning knob for controlling the low frequencies. To make up for this, the acoustic space setting is an extra perk that you’ll not find in most other studio monitors. It makes up for the lack of control over low frequencies.
After analyzing various aspects of the two studio monitors, it is quite easy to conclude that the PreSonus Eris E5 is head and shoulders above the PreSonus Eris E3.5. Considering the price, the Eris E3.5 is a quality speaker that simply falls short when compared to the Eris E5. It consumes less power and is less expensive.
Although they are similar in terms of appearance, the Eris E5 has a better frequency response range, a higher peak SPL and generally outclasses the E3.5 in terms of performance. This outcome is not a surprise, considering the fact that the Eris E5 has a bigger cone.
The Eris E3.5 is not suitable for music production, while the Eris E5 is made for music production because the bigger cone offers better overall balance coupled with the fact that the reflex port in front offers more low-end frequency. Also, the acoustic tuning option available is a game-changer. It allows you to get the best listening experience from your studio monitor without necessarily having the right environment.
Hopefully, this review has given you a clear idea of the most suitable sound monitor for you between the PreSonus Eris E5 and the PreSonus Eris E3.5.