Yamaha HS80M or HS8 is a better choice?

Yamaha HS80M or HS8 is a better choice?

Howdy folks, our Yamaha HS80M and HS8 contest today is a pretty interesting one. These are two very popular studio monitor style speakers and I have spent a fair bit of time playing around with both of these. Now, both the Yamaha HS80M  and the Yamaha HS8 speakers are aimed at those who are into music production of some kind. If you know me, you know the only musical talent I have is rocking out with my air guitar while listening to Guns N Roses or playing Guitar Hero on my Xbox! Still, many people swear by these as everyday listening style speakers as well and that was all I needed to hear to give me an excuse to listen to some of my favorite albums with these.


The Price:

When it comes to audio equipment, I have always found Yamaha to be one of the fairer companies out there in regards to the prices they charge for their stuff. This Yamaha HS80M and HS8 speakers battle we have going on today shows that.


Yamaha HS80M:


Yamaha HS80M Studio Reference Monitor

The Yamaha HS80M are not currently available on Amazon and from what I have seen, they have not been for quite some time. I would say that you would easily be looking at the 350 to 500 bucks range if you were to find a music store selling these brand new. I did decide to have a look on eBay and as you have probably guessed, the pricing is all over the place for these. There are some sellers on there asking as much as 800 bucks! In no universe are these speakers (as good as they are) worth that kind of money.


Yamaha HS8:


YAMAHA HS8 Studio Monitor, Black, 8 Inch

While the Yamaha HS8 speakers do have an RRP of $499,99 or at least they did when they first came out. You can get these right now on Amazon for a very fair asking price of $374,99. I think for a set of speakers like this that price is truly incredible. The first time I checked out these speakers, I was sure this had to be some kind of special offer or limited time deal which we all know Amazon does like to do. However, they have been listed at this $374,99 price for a few weeks now, so I am thinking they are going to be sold for this price until they are gone! There are many on eBay that cost considerably more than this, so you might want to jump on these now before they are gone and you have to rely on 3rd party sellers.


The Verdict:

There is no version of this article where the Yamaha HS8 does not win this one! With how similar these speakers are in terms of how they look and what they do, searching around for the Yamaha HS80M when you can just hop on Amazon and buy the HS8 for a fantastic price makes zero sense to me at all!


The Design:

I have been looking at these studio series speakers from Yamaha for a few weeks now and this Yamaha HS80M and Yamaha HS8 contest is going to have a real air of familiarity about it if you have read any of the other Yamaha stuff I have written recently. The reason I say that is because these are two very, very similar looking speakers, so much so that from the front, most people will not be able to tell that they are different models of speaker!


Yamaha HS80M:

While this Yamaha HS80 – Unboxing & Set-Up video is pretty short, it is still pretty good to watch if you want to see how this thing things fresh out of the box. Even though I am talking about the Yamaha HS80M first I actually received this after the Yamaha HS8. Anyway, the design here is great, I am a huge fan of what Yamaha does and you may be surprised at how big these are as they come in at 16.38 x 14.25 x 21.5 inches and weigh 24.9 pounds so they are a tad bigger than what the Yamaha HS8 is. These are very well built and have that high-quality Yamaha feel to them, I really do think that Yamaha has crafted something awesome here and I do get a kick out of the kind of 80s vibe that these speakers give off.

The black MDF they have used for the outer casing is great and I love how the other “black” that is on this speaker is a very slightly different shade. The silver on the main speaker and the white Yamaha logo below it really does help give the speaker a bit more personality and style which I think is very cool. As we head around the back of the speaker, you have your two connection options, but there are also there are also other things here too. You have a level dial, and then you have a set of four switches for, Mid EQ, Room Control, High Trim, and Low Cut, these can be very handy for those of you that like to be a bit more precise with the way you experience your sound. For you musicians out there, this kind of thing is going to be much appreciated, I am sure.


Yamaha HS8:

As I just said the Yamaha HS8 are a bit smaller and lighter than the Yamaha HS80M. The dimensions of these are 13.1 x 9.8 x 15.4 inches and they weigh 23.5 pounds. The size and weight of these the first time I took them out of the box really did surprise me. Yamaha does have a pretty standard formula with their studio monitor style of speakers so you can pretty much take what I said about the excellent build quality of the HS80M and apply it here. I do have to give Yamaha a ton of credit, when they nail a design be it with speakers like we are looking at today or even their range of soundbars, they never mess with the design just for the sake of doing so. If they have a design that works, they run with it for as long as they can.

Just like I said before, I love the shade of black used here, and the Yamaha logo and the silver color of the main speaker truly do pop and give these a very cool look to them. The main difference apart from the slightly smaller stature and weight of these speakers can be found around the back. While you do still have the two same input ports on the back of here and that same dial switch located above them. These Yamaha HS8 speakers actually have fewer switches on the back. On here you only have a Room Control and a High Trim switch. I would wager for most people; that this is not going to be an issue and for me personally, it was not. However, if you are someone that is into music production, this could be an issue for you so it is something to at the very least think about.


The Verdict:

With these speakers looking so similar how can I pick a winner? Truth be told, it is near impossible. I guess I have to say that the Yamaha HS80M is the winner as it does have those extra switches on the back. However, if you are using these in a home studio, chances are whatever you would have the HS8 connected to will give you that same amount of “tinkering” you get with the switches on the back of the HS80M so it is not as big a deal as you would think.


The Sound:

When it comes to studio monitor style speakers, it can be hard to get too deep into the sound as it is all subjective and it greatly depends on what you have them hooked up to. That is very true with this Yamaha HS80M and HS8 battle that we have here today. This is very close, but I do feel that we have a winner so let’s buckle up and get this final round going!


Yamaha HS80M:

If you are someone that is looking to get the Yamaha HS80M  for your home music studio, I do not see how you can be disappointed. I have read many reviews about these from people that make their own music and they all say that these are very raw and let them truly hear the music that they have created. I though, used these for listening to music and I was very impressed, they do pack a fair bit of bass, perhaps too much for some people, but I really dug what I was hearing here. I had these hooked up to one of my turntables and put on Appetite for Destruction by Guns n Roses, which is in contention for my favorite album of all time. It sounded great here and I was very impressed with how balanced the sound I was getting was.

Overall, I am pretty sure that I could be pretty cool having these as a set of speakers in my home. I did think that they hit the mid-range pretty spectacularly and when I was listening to Yourself or Someone Like You by Matchbox 20, I did keep cranking the volume dial up on my receiver just a tad, more and more to really see what these could do. It handled it very well and I think the overall clarity did actually take me by surprise a bit. If anything, it made me realize why the majority of people who do use these for music production speak so highly of them.


Yamaha HS8:

I have played around with most versions of the studio style speakers that Yamaha has to offer and they all have a very, very similar sound and that rings true for the comparison between the Yamaha HS8 and the HS80M that we have today. I suggest you check out this Test yamaha hs8 video which also shows off the white version of these speakers too. I love the sound that these speakers provide, they just have some really good quality sound to them, and no matter if you are rocking out with some Poison or getting mellow and romantic with some Boyz II Men (hey in the right setting, I love my slow jams, don’t judge me!) you are going to love how clear, raw and real the sound that these speakers give you is. I have to say that I do feel that the sound on offer here is just a bit better, a bit clearer, and a bit more punchy than what you get with the HS80M. However, I do also have to admit that I am sure most people will notice zero difference between the two.

Like the HS80M, these are speakers that are more aimed at those who are into music production. While I have always been tempted by this and after listening to something like the Tron Legacy Soundtrack from Daft Punk, I may be “inspired” to try it. At the end of the day, I am not a musician so I cannot speak for how these are in that regard. However, what I can tell you is that in all the research I have done for these speakers, the negative stuff I have read about these in regards to people who use them for music production has been nit-picking at best! These are speakers that musicians and producers hold in extremely high regard and that is why they are still sought after to this day. I can say that they are great for everyday listening, but hearing that they are also amazing for making music makes them even more appealing, I am sure.


The Verdict:

I have to give this round to the Yamaha HS8 speakers. I know that the difference is minimal and I am sure that there will be some who say that there is no difference or that to their ears, the Yamaha HS80M sounds better. However, this is my article and for me, I do feel that there was a slight upgrade across the board with e HS8!


Which Is The Better Speaker?

As we bring this Yamaha HS80M and HS8 battle to a close, you may think that it is going to be hard for me to pick a winner between the Yamaha HS80M and the Yamaha HS8 speakers as they are so similar. Truth is, that is not the case and it has actually been very easy. The best speakers out of these has to be the Yamaha HS8. I am saying this because I truly do believe that they sound just a little bit better. However, they are also far easier to get and that alone makes them the more sensible purchase in my humble opinion.

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