This Yamaha HS8I and HS8 fight that we have going on today is a bit of an interesting one. Recently I put the Yamaha HS8 speakers up against the Yamaha HS5 speakers. The HS8 came out on top in a pretty convincing fashion, to be honest with you. However, I have had a couple of people ask me if they are better getting the Yamaha HS8I speakers over the HS8 and that is what made me think that this would be a fun thing to look at today. I am going to tell you right of the bat, I do not think I have reviewed two products that are as similar as what these two we have today are which might make this a tricky comparison.
I think that the price for these is right around what you would expect. I do also feel that the price category of our Yamaha HS8I and HS8 is one that is rather interesting as there is not much to really go into a whole lot of depth with here. As the HS8I is more of a smaller upgrade, you do not want to be spending a great deal of money on them.
In my experience, you can find the Yamaha HS8I speakers for pretty much the same price you can find the standard HS8 speakers. You are looking at around the $370 to $400 if you shop around. The last time I saw these on Amazon, they were priced at the same $279,99 that the HS8s were priced at. If you look on eBay, you will see that the pricing of these is all over the place and some are a little less than the RRP and others are crazily above it. As these are so similar to the HS8, I do feel that if you can get them for the same price, you are as well getting these. However, I would never pay more for them!
I have noticed that Amazon tends to have the Yamaha HS8 speakers on “sale” quite a lot. As I write this they are listed at $374,99 which I think is a very fair price for speakers of this quality. Just make sure if you are on eBay, it is a pair you are getting as it is pretty confusing to know if you are getting a set or not so that is something to watch out for. At the end of the day, these are the same speakers, but they are lacking the bracket and that is the only difference. If you are not planning on mounting these speakers, it really does not matter if you go for these or the HS8I instead.
I in no way can say that the Yamaha HS8I speakers are worth more money than the standard HS8. You just need to go for whatever one you can get for the best price, a mounting bracket to me does not mean that the HS8I should be any more expensive than the original version.
The design category of this Yamaha HS8I and HS8 battle is just as close, if not even closer than the Yamaha HS5 and HS8 one I did a week or so back. I have looked at many different Yamaha products over the years and they are a company that once they get a design that works for them and the people, they like to keep it around for as long as possible. I like and understand this move, to be honest with you guys.
Like the HS8, the Yamaha HS8I has a very cool style about it. To be honest with you, it is near identical. The dimensions are nearly the same as this comes in at 16 x 14.2 x 21 inches with a weight of 29.1 pounds. So, they are a little bit lighter and heavier, but nothing that is really all that noteworthy if you ask me. These are available in both black and white like the HS8 and just like the HS8, it is the black version that I am specifically talking about today. If you want to know more about the white design of these speakers, check out this Unboxing The New Yamaha HS8i Studio Monitors in 2022 video. There is no way that you can look at either color of these speakers and not think that they are super cool in my opinion.
These have that same high quality black wood as the HS8 and the Yamaha HS8I has the same cool silver finishing touches on the front too. It is a style that I am a huge fan of and would happily have in my home. The black that they use is a slightly different shade around the front and this is something that I feel does give the speakers a lot of personality. So, what is the big change here? Well, the Yamaha HS8I comes with mounting points so that you can hang them on the wall or from the ceiling. For a home music studio or even a home theatre actually, I am sure this would be really handy. You do have to buy the mounting brackets separately though so that is something to keep in mind. On the back, you have your various dials and switches to set the speakers up just the way you want.
You know all the good stuff that I just said about the Yamaha HS8 speakers? Well, you can pretty much take all of that and apply that here to the design of the Yamaha HS8. These do come in a tad smaller as the dimensions of these are 13.1 x 9.8 x 15.4 inches and they weigh 23.5 pounds which is a couple of pounds lighter. However, when you see these side by side, you would be very hard pressed to notice any major difference. I just love the shade of black they have used here and like other Yamaha products, the build quality here is fantastic. The silver finishing touches are something that I am a huge fan of.
You are lacking the mounting points on here which I guess could be a problem for those who wanted these on the wall or hanging from the ceiling. To be honest with you, the first time I checked these out I never even gave the fact they did not have mounting points a thought! On the back, you have your dials and ports and for the most part, these are the same design that you are getting with the Yamaha HS8I.
While these are near identical, I do think that the Yamaha HS8I has to be the winner of this round. The reason I say this is that while they have a very similar style to each other, the fact of the matter is those mounting brackets are better to have than not in my opinion. These are made with people having a home music studio in mind and I would bet that most people would rather not have their speakers sitting on the desk.
You know how the first two rounds in this Yamaha HS8I and HS8 contest have been very, very close. Well, this last and final round, the main event if you will is going to be pretty much the same thing.
I do not think Yamaha has ever let me down when it comes to the sound quality, no matter what one of their products it is I am checking out. The Yamaha HS8I speakers really are a great product! They have a nice and loud sound to them, that has plenty of bass, some real clarity and I think if you are musically minded and want these in your home studio you will be very happy. The best way I can describe the sound that the Yamaha HS8I provides is balanced. I think that these being the middle sized speakers in this line really do give them that perfect, “Goldilocks” style of sound that most people will really appreciate. A favorite album from my high school days is One Hot Minute by the Red Hot Chili Peppers (I thought it was so cool when Dave Navarro joined the band) I listened to the album from start to end with these speakers and it sounded truly amazing. Everything was on point and I was incredibly impressed with the sound quality.
While I love music, I am not a musician of any kind so I cannot tell you what they are like for music production, but when it comes to listening to music, these are great. As I had these connected to my laptop I did also watch a couple of movies with these too such as Avatar as I am hyped for the second movie coming this year. I was very impressed with how good these speakers were for movies too. That balanced sound they provide really does make things sound great and give you a truly awesome stereo style sound. I had these kind of angled pointing at me as I watched and the sound blasted me in a very positive way.
I am sure that there are some technical differences between the insides of the Yamaha HS8 and the HS8I, however, I am going to be real with you right now and tell you that these sound near identical to my ears. There were times that I thought that the HS8I was just a tad clearer, but that may have just been my mind telling me they had to be as they are newer. If you want to hear these things in their element, check out this Yamaha HS8 Sound test!! video where the dude shows them off. These are well balanced and if you are a music lover like I am, you will be very happy with how your favorite albums sounded.
I was in the mood to listen to some live music so I put on Sheryl Crow – Live at the Capitol Theater which is a DVD/CD combo and the audio sounded fantastic. The vocals were clear and precise, but it was the music that truly grabbed me and made me say wow while I was listening to the first CD.
I have watched a few movies with the Yamaha HS8 running the sound as well and these speakers really did impress the hell out of me. I know it is not one of the better movies from the MCU, but The Incredible Hulk is a great movie to test speakers or a soundbar with. It has lots of loud action and some soft and quiet dialogue as well. You really get to see what speakers like these can do with a movie like this and I think the clever design of them balances things very well.
I have to say that I noticed very little difference here. My mind is telling me that the Yamaha HS8I has to be better as they are the newer version, but the sound is so similar it is very hard to pick a winner here. However, I do think that I am going to give this to the HS8I, maybe my mind was playing tricks on me and the sound was not actually better, but I have to go with what I feel and that is I feel that there was a slight better-quality sound with the HS8I.
Which Is The Better Speaker?
This Yamaha HS8I and HS8 has been kind of awkward with the Yamaha HS8I and the Yamaha HS5 being so similar in pretty much every regard. They are similar in price, similar in design and they have a sound that I am sure some people will say is identical. There are two factors that will decide which of these is better for you. First of all, go for whatever set you can find the cheapest, that is probably how you should go about picking between these. However, if you know for a fact that you want your speakers on the wall or hanging down from the roof, you have to go for the Yamaha HS8I as they will give you that extra option. If the price for these is the same, I would say that the Yamaha HS8I is the better option as it is better to have those mounting points and not need them than not have them at all.