Yamaha HS8 vs HS7 which is better

Yamaha HS8 vs HS7 which is better?

I thought that this Yamaha HS8 and HS7 would be a pretty interesting comparison article to do today as I have spent quite a bit of time with the Yamaha HS8 speakers and thought that putting them against their little brother, the Yamaha HS7 speakers would be fun and also give you guys a better idea if the slightly larger, but more expensive speakers are the way to go. Or if you should save a few bucks, go for the smaller version. I am aware that these are “studio monitor” style speakers, aimed at those who are into music production and that certainly is not me! However, I am a music lover so I will be looking at these in regards to how my favorite albums sound out of them.


The Price:

As we always do with these types of comparison articles, price is where this Yamaha HS8 and HS7 battle is going to start. To be honest, there is not a massive price difference between these two sets of speakers.


Yamaha HS8:

YAMAHA HS8 Studio Monitor, Black, 8 Inch

You can actually get some pretty damn good deals on the Yamaha HS8 speakers. You were easily looking at 500 bucks when these things were first released, but as I write this you can get these on Amazon for $398,99 which is a great price. However, I have seen Amazon actually have these for a few bucks lower before so they do appear to go on offer quite often. You can check eBay if you want, but as you would expect, the prices are all over the price for these. I would say you are better sticking to Amazon and just getting them from there.


Yamaha HS7:

Yamaha HS7W 7-Inch Powered Studio Monitor Speaker, White

As I said before there is not a massive price difference between these speakers. Amazon currently has the Yamaha HS7 speakers for sale at $329 which is a very fair price for a set of speakers of this quality. On eBay, there do appear to be way more deals for these than the HS8. I have seen a brand-new in box pair of these speakers go for $250 on there which is a freaking steal. If you can get them for that kind of price, I would certainly say that they are a more attractive option for you.


The Verdict:

If we are going purely on what is on Amazon right now, I would say that you are better paying the extra 80 bucks and going for the HS8 and getting those larger and more powerful speakers. However, if you can get the HS7 for closer to 250 bucks, I would probably get those instead. While the HS8 are better, I am not sure they are over 150 bucks better.


The Design:

This design category we have here in the middle of our Yamaha HS8 and HS7 showdown is pretty interesting. The reason I say this is because, at first glance, you will probably not be able to tell which is which. Actually, unless they were sitting side by side, I am not sure I could tell you which was which either and that is only because of the size difference between the two.


Yamaha HS8:

The Yamaha HS8 speakers are available in both black and white, but we are specifically talking about the black versions here today. Check out this Z Unboxing – Yamaha HS8 Monitors video and you will see them in all their glory.

These are way heavier than I thought they would be coming in at just over 23 pounds, the “official” dimensions of these as lifted from Amazon are, 13.1 x 9.8 x 15.4 inches. These have a very high-quality build about them and they are just so very cool looking. Yamaha always makes great look audio equipment and these speakers are no different. I could just imagine how great these would look on a studio wall. Yamaha has this same design for most of their studio monitor speakers and as it is such a popular design, they have not really changed it much over the years.

From the front, these look very similar, if not identical to the HS7 speakers. I like how they have a kind of 80s style to them and I would honestly have these sitting in my living room as I do think that they are very cool looking. On the back of the speaker, it specifically says “HS8” and there are the two input ports, a switch dial and there is also a switch from room control and high trim. It is a very simple design, but it is a design that I think works. These are very stylish and I just could not see anyone being disappointed with the design that Yamaha has gone for here.


Yamaha HS7:

Next we take a look at the Yamaha HS7 speakers which are in the middle of the HS8 and the Yamaha HS5 speakers. These look near identical to the HS8, from photos unless you are looking at the back, I really do not know how anyone could tell the difference here. They are a similar size coming in at 14.41 x 12.64 x 18.98 inches, however, these are a fair bit lighter as they do weigh just under 20 bucks. Like the HS8, you can pick between black and white for these. While I think the white looks cool, for my personal taste, it would be the black version every time! I think these speakers have a very 80s vibe about them and as they are modeled on the very popular Yamaha NS-10 studio monitor speakers that is the reason why. I think the way Yamaha took that classic design and tweaked it slightly for their new series was really cool.

The wood and general quality of all the components here is very high. I think that many people are surprised when they first take these out of the box as they do have a very premium kind of feel about them. If we look on the back of the speakers, it does have the Yamaha HS7 model written on here so there is no mistaking what speakers you have. Apart from this, the back is exactly the same! You have those same two inputs, the same dial, the same two switches, and all of this, the power port, and the power button are all located in the exact same spot as they are on the HS8! I do not see a problem with the design, I actually think it is pretty neat that Yamaha has kept the design so similar for all three versions of these speakers.


The Verdict:

This pretty much boils down to if you like the number 7 or 8 better… in all seriousness, there is very little between these. However, I do have to pick a winner and I am going for the Yamaha HS8, I think that the extra bit of weight thanks to what is inside it just makes those speakers have a little bit more of a premium feel about them.


The Sound:

I said at the start of our Yamaha HS8 and HS7 battle that these are designed with being used in a professional setting and as I know nothing about music production or making “sick beats” I cannot speak about what these are like in that regard. However, I can talk about how these made some of my favorite albums sound.


Yamaha HS8:

What really impressed me about the Yamaha HS8 speakers was just how much more bass and power they offered over the Yamaha HS7 speakers. These things really do rock and thanks to that larger 8 inch woofer, you are getting some serious kick with these speakers. I picked up the remastered version of Welcome To My Nightmare by Alice Cooper a few weeks back at a yard sale of all places. I love this album and know it very well and it sounded great when pumped through the HS8 speakers. I tend to listen to more rock music than anything else and I think that these speakers offer me the right amount of power, in a smaller room, I am sure that these would freaking shake the walls and rock the roof as they do have that kind of power. If you are into something more mellow like Adele who my wife loves, you will be very impressed with the immense vocal clarity that these speakers provide you with.

Actually, now that I think about it, how clear these speakers are is probably a huge reason as to why they are some of the most popular studio monitor speakers around. I would imagine music producers love how real and raw the sound coming out of these sounds, plus add in that extra bit of bass you get thanks to the 8-inch woofer and these really are something quite special. One album that I can tell you firsthand really did knock my socks off was the soundtrack for The Greatest Showman which I have on vinyl and that opening song was truly remarkable. I even cranked the sound all the way up and these did not falter in any way. I played a lot of records and CDs with these speakers and while they are made for people who like to make music. I legit would not have any issue having these plugged into my setup!


Yamaha HS7:

I have to start by saying that the Yamaha HS7 speakers are awesome and they sound great. Had I not used the HS8 before I checked these out, I probably would have been even more impressed with them, to be honest with you. Look at this Yamaha HS7 Soundtest 2020 which gives you a sound test and also shows off the white version of these speakers.

These have a very well balanced kind of sound and the wife and I were assembling a new TV unit while listening to Legacy by David Bowie and we both felt that the record sounded great, as good as it does through the speakers (which I am not going to name drop here) that we have in our living room. While I do think that we have a great sound coming out of these speakers, there is one area where they are not quite blowing me away in.

I am talking about bass and power. These have a standard 6.5-inch woofer in them and that is decent enough, but it is certainly lacking in comparison to the 8-inch woofer that the HS8 has to offer. The Guns n Roses Greatest Hits album is one that I have listened to a ton and I mean a ton of times and while it sounded good, it did lack that kickass bass and power I come to expect from songs like Paradise City. I am sure that these are still great for those that want to make their own music. Also, for a smaller room, you probably will find that these do offer a real sweet sound that fills the room near perfectly. However, I noticed right away that there was a clear downgrade from the HS8 speakers in terms of bass and that is an issue for me.


The Verdict:

These are two awesome sets of speakers. I think had I played around with the Yamaha HS7 speakers before I had the Yamaha HS8 speakers and not the other way around like I did, this may have been a bit tougher for me to call. However, I know that we all hear sound differently, but I see no world where someone would test out both of these and not say right away that the Yamaha HS8 speakers offer a better and punchier kind of sound.


Which Is The Better Speaker?

Here we are at the end of our Yamaha HS8 and HS7 battle and it has been one that if I am being brutally honest, I knew which way I was going to go from the start. There is no debate in my mind that the Yamaha HS8 speakers are better than the Yamaha HS7 speakers, the bass alone makes them better in my opinion. Also, if you were to get them on Amazon, I really do think you are better off paying that extra 80 bucks (or perhaps even less depending on the deal) and getting the HS8 speakers over the HS7. However, the one fighting chance I give the HS7 speakers is that if you can find them for around the $250 mark, they are the ones to go for. Yes, the HS8 has better bass and a more “real” sound in my opinion and it is worth the extra 80 bucks, however, I would not say they are worth the better part of 200 bucks more!

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