I knew that this Yamaha NS-10 and HS7 article was going to be something that I had to do sooner than later! Yamaha and their series of studio monitor speakers are very popular with people who like to make their own music. While that is not me, I still wanted to play around with this series and see what they are like for listening to music. Today we are putting the iconic and long lasting Yamaha NS-10 up against the Yamaha HS7 which is the middle child of the current Yamaha HS series which actually replaced the NS-10. What will come out on top, the old gunslinger that we all know and love or the new gun that has just walked into town? Keep on reading to find out!
As we always do with these things, the price is going to be the first thing we look at here in our Yamaha NS-10 and HS7 contest. I have talked about the HS-10 a few times now and how my buddy actually scored a pair of these speakers at a yard sale for like five bucks! I do not think I will ever not be jealous of his epic find!
The days of finding a set of Yamaha NS-10 speakers brand new in box is long gone. I would imagine that if you did, they would be from a collector and they would want a very, very premium price for them. The only way you can get these is if you get them on eBay or some kind of specialized electronics store. A specialized store is going to know exactly what these are and charge a premium price for them. On eBay, the pricing for these is all over the place, as you can find them anywhere from $100 all the way to $500, condition is a major factor in the price you will be paying here. Be sure to ask as many questions as you can and ask for more pictures if there is anything you are unsure of.
As I write this on Amazon, you can get the white version of the Yamaha HS7 speakers for $329.99 which I think is a great price. I did have a look on eBay for you guys too and I found a brand-new set of these for $250! That is a steal if you ask me, but that is the exception as, for the most part, these on eBay seem to be going for over 400 bucks! While I do think that the asking price on Amazon for these is very fair. I have to be honest and say that I think you would be better off paying the extra 80 bucks and getting the larger Yamaha HS8 speakers.
Hmm, I was going to say that the HS7 is the winner here, but I do not think it is that simple. You see, while the HS7 is great, I think you would be better off spending the extra money and getting the Yamaha HS8 as I think it gives you more bang for your buck. In regards to the NS-10, it all depends on the condition you want. I legit cannot pick a winner here!
I still remember when my friend called me to tell me about his big yard sale score, he actually got the speakers, an old Sony turntable, and a box of records too from this same seller. Anyway, thanks to him the design category of our Yamaha NS-10 and HS7 battle is going to be much better than if I were to be just looking at pictures of the NS-10!
The Yamaha NS-10 are some of the most iconic looking studio monitor speakers around. These things were designed in the late 70s and Yamaha made them available for many, many years. They just got the design absolutely perfect with these speakers and as someone who grew up in the 80s and 90s, they certainly have that old-school vibe to them. These are a decent size as the dimensions are 15 x 8.5 x 7.8 inches. However, they are not as heavy as you would think as the weight is around 14 pounds. These do come with a grill, but the speakers my friend got did not have the grill with them which is a bit of a shame as I would have liked to have seen it.
The thing is, even if I had a set of these and had the grill, I am 99 percent sure I would display them without it as I love the way they look and that splash of white with the Yamaha logo and the actual speaker really do pop thanks to the shade of black that the speaker cabinet is made from. It is when you get to the back of the speakers that you realize that these are an older set. There are not many connection options at all, as a matter of fact, you just have your standard speaker jacks and that is that. To be fair, this was the style back then so I cannot hate on them for that.
The Yamaha HS7 speakers are the middle child of the current studio speaker range from Yamaha. They also make the smaller Yamaha HS5 and the larger Yamaha HS8 as well. I have looked at the HS5 and the HS8 before and what I said about the design there is pretty much the same here, although these are closer to the HS8 in terms of their design. Weighing just under 20 pounds and coming in at 14.41 x 12.64 x 18.98 inches, these are not a bad size at all and they look pretty awesome too. These are available in both white and black, like the rest of the HS series from Yamaha, but we are looking at the black version here. I just love this design, it manages to have a similar style to the NS-10 which gives them a retro look, but at the same time, Yamaha has brought it into the modern day too which makes for a very interesting design.
Be sure to check out this Yamaha HS7 Powered Studio Monitors video if you want to get a bit more up close and personal with these speakers. I really like the way the white/silver pops on the front of these speakers. The shade of black that Yamaha is what gives these their 80s style. The MDF quality is great and they have a very solid feel to them. The back of the speaker is pretty much identical to the Yamaha HS8. You have your two inputs, a level dial and there is also a room control and a high trim switch as well. In all, these are some very stylish looking speakers that are going to look great in your home next to your hi-fi or in your studio.
There is no way that I could not give this round to the Yamaha NS-10 speakers! These are just so classic looking and you get a real blast of nostalgia from the design and that is something I think is very, very cool. I will say that the Yamaha HS7 look great too, they do have a similar design, but Yamaha modernized it. I can tell you that I would love to have a set of Yamaha NS-10 speakers somewhere in my house, even if they were just a display piece.
Of course, the most important round in this Yamaha NS-10 and HS7 battle is looking at the sound. The Yamaha NS-10 are held in incredibly high regard by those who are into music production. I am just looking at these from the point of view of listening to music. The HS7 are also designed with being in a music studio too, but I again am testing them with some of my favorite albums.
Before I give my thoughts check out this dude’s epic setup in this YAMAHA NS 10M Soundtest video if you want to see the Yamaha HS-10 speakers in action.
We are dealing with speakers that are older here and the ones I had to test out had certainly seen better days, as a matter of fact, the guy my friend bought them off said they had been stored in his not temperature controlled garage for about ten years! Still, I was very impressed with the real and raw sound I was experiencing, and with the design of these reminding me of the 80s, I fired up some King of Rock by RUN D.M.C and was very happy with how it sounded. These have way more power than I was expecting and they certainly let me rock the house.
I was on a real 80s kick as I was playing around with these so another album that impressed the hell out of me was Fly on the Wall by AC/DC which was actually the first AC/DC album I ever got as a kid and I fell in love with the band right away. I had so much fun playing around with these speakers! Yes, I have to be honest and say that Yamaha these days have fine tuned things to near perfection, but I was still very happy with the clarity and quality of the sound I was experiencing. This is coming from a set of speakers that have had nothing done to them too! I have seen a few videos online where people have maintained or upgraded these speakers and the results seem pretty spectacular.
I have to say that the sound you are getting from the Yamaha HS7 speakers is very comparable to the larger, Yamaha HS8. These offer you a nice and balanced sound and if you are using these for music production, I am sure you are going to be hit with a very real and raw sound. As far as using these for listening to music goes, I think that these are very impressive. I had a hankering to listen to Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill me from the soundtrack to Batman Forever by U2. I was very happy with what I was hearing here, the mid-range on these speakers I would have to say is near flawless and very similar to what you are getting with the HS8, but clearly better and more impressive than what the smaller HS5.
While that is great, these are not quite the Goldilocks speakers I am making them out to be. I have to say that these are not quite as impactful in the bass department. An album I love and am lucky enough to have on vinyl is Fat of the Land by the Prodigy. I listened to Breathe on these speakers, the HS8 and also the NS-10. I have to say in the bass department there was a clear, I do not want to say downgrade, but it was certainly not as powerful. I think in a smaller room or studio you may not notice it, but in a larger room, I do not think that these have that punchy kind of bass to really fill the room.
As much fun as I have had playing around with the Yamaha NS-10 speakers and as good as the sound was. I have to be honest and say that I do feel the Yamaha HS7 does have a better, more balanced sound. I do think that they did not have quite as much bass, but that could be just me. Anyway, I think that the HS7 is a great example of Yamaha taking what had worked for them so well for so many years and then putting a modern spin on it.
Which Is The Better Speaker?
I really want to say that the Yamaha NS-10 speakers are the winner of our Yamaha NS-10 and HS7 contest. However, I think that for most people these days, the Yamaha HS7 speakers are the smarter option. These are designed more with what a modern music maker or listener are going to need. I do think that if you are a collector of home audio equipment that the Yamaha NS-10 wins this hands down. However, to be brutally honest with you guys, I think that we have to throw the Yamaha HS8 into the mix as I did before. I think that the larger size and more powerful bass makes these the better option.