I had to do this Yamaha HS7 and HS5 comparison as I have spent quite a bit of time looking at the three different versions of studio monitor speakers available from Yamaha. Today we are looking at the Yamaha HS7 speakers and the Yamaha HS5 speakers. In their own way, these are great speakers, and truth be told, you could not go wrong with either of these. However, I wanted to put them together to see if the HS7 speakers are worth that extra money over the HS5 speakers. I do have to tell you that these speakers are made with a music studio/production setting in mind. As I could not be any further from that, please keep that in mind if you are someone looking at these for music production. I am just looking at these from a “how they sound” point of view.
I think that price is going to be the one part of this Yamaha HS7 and HS5 battle where many people will think that the HS7 may have a real edge. I always like to know how much I am going to be spending and that is why we are starting this thing off by looking at how much these bad boys cost.
I really cannot remember the last time I saw the Yamaha HS5 speakers in stock on Amazon or at Walmart! When Walmart do have these in stock they cost a very expensive, $199,99 just for one speaker so you are looking at 400 bucks. There are some 3rd party sellers offering these on Amazon and on there you are looking at anywhere between $137 to $199, but you will have to double check if it is a pair or just a single speaker that you are getting. I did have a look on eBay and there were some deals on there, you are looking in the 300 to 400 bucks ranges for a pair of these on there.
As I write this the Yamaha HS7 speakers on Amazon are listed at $329 for the white version, but the black is out of stock. I think that for a pair of these speakers, that is a fantastic price! It makes these speakers a much more attractive option in my opinion. There are a few 3rd party sellers on Amazon offering these at a very competitive price too and as I write this, that is the only way to get the black version from Amazon. There are some great deals for the Yamaha HS7 on eBay, the best that I have personally seen was a set brand new in box for $250, granted there was shipping on top of this, but that is still one hell of a deal!
I have to be honest and say that I am not sure how readily available the Yamaha HS5 speakers are right now. That is the only reason I can think that the going rate for them is so high! The Yamaha HS7 actually wins this round hands down, you can find them cheaper and easier and you are certainly getting more bang for your buck with them.
The next round in our Yamaha HS7 and HS5 battle to the death is looking at the design of these. I have looked at all three versions of these monitor speakers many times over the last few months and it is remarkable how similar they all look. Yamaha knows how to make stylish audio equipment and keep a design “uniform” and these speakers are a great example of that.
Out of the three speakers in this range the Yamaha HS5 speakers are the most compact in their design. The dimensions of these speakers are 7 x 9 x 12 inches so they are not going to take up much space at all and would be ideal if your setup dictates you need to have them on a desk for example. I do recommend watching a video like this Yamaha HS5 Studio Monitor Unboxing so you can get a better idea of the style of these speakers. These do look very similar to the HS7 speakers, but in a more compact scale. They are made with that same high-quality MDF and have a nice and gloss like finish that really does make them pop. While I do prefer the black version, I am sure some people will think that the white version has a bit more style and I can totally see why that would be the case.
The back of the Yamaha HS5 is a bit different from the HS7 and the HS8. You have a level dial right at the top, your two inputs underneath this, and then below that, we have a room control switch and a high trim switch. Towards the bottom of the speaker is your power port and your power switch. It is a nice and clean design and one that I really do like. The main difference is that there are none of the “fins” like there are on the back of the HS7, also, it states on the back that these are the Yamaha HS5 speakers, those are the only two differences (apart from the size) when it comes to the outside of the speakers.
Here we have the middle set of speakers in this range the awesome Yamaha HS7 speakers. These are a fair bit larger as they come in at 14.41 x 12.64 x 18.98 inches and they weigh a fair bit more too. Like the HS5, black and white are available here, but for me, they have to be black! These have a very 80s kind of vibe to them (well the 80s ones do) and that is something I really love about what Yamaha has done with the design here. They have a decent amount of weight to them and feel like a very premium kind of product, the kind of product where you feel like you have gotten excellent value for money. You have that same kind of almost gloss, but not quite finish as you get with the HS5. Overall, I think the larger size of these just gives them that extra bit more personality and presence that I would personally want from a set of speakers in my house.
On the back, we pretty much have the same story as we have with the Yamaha HS5 speakers. You have the same line dial, room control, high trim switches, inputs, power port, and power switch placement. Yamaha nailed the design and I am glad that they kept it the same for all three sets of speakers. As I did mention when talking about the HS5 speakers. The Yamaha HS7 speakers do have those fins on the back, that along with the fact that it says, Yamaha HS7 on the top of the speakers is really only the main difference between the two.
As these are so similarly designed, they both look great. However, I am giving this round to the Yamaha HS7 speakers. I just think that their larger size and the fact they have more weight to them gives them a more premium kind of vibe than you are getting with the Yamaha HS5 speakers.
I welcome you all to the main event of our Yamaha HS7 and HS5 match and it is being held inside the confines of a 15 feet high steel cage… ok so perhaps a tad dramatic. However, this is where we look at how these things sound. As I stated before, I am not into creating my own music, which is what these speakers are designed for so please keep that in mind as we move forward.
I have to say that I think you get more power out of these rather small Yamaha HS5 speakers than you are probably thinking. These are actually the smallest speakers that Yamaha offers in this professional range and I really do like them. These do have a rather small 5 inch woofer which is lacking in the bass department and when I tested these in my living room which is rather large I did notice that the iconic Killers album by Iron Maiden did not rock the room like it usually does when I listen to it with my current Sony speakers. The overall sound quality was great and I think that if you were to connect these with a subwoofer it would more than make up for that lacking bass, but that would also add a great deal to the price tag as well.
A recent album I picked up was Who Cares A Lot? which is a greatest hits album by Faith No More and it sounded very good when played through the Yamaha HS5 speakers. It had a well-balanced sound, was nice and clear, but again, even when I cranked up the volume, the bass was a bit lacking. I think if you are someone in a bedroom getting started in the world of music production and you need a set of small speakers that are high quality, these would be a great place to start. However, I think for people looking for some more “oomph” from their speakers, they would be better getting the larger ones.
Each time that I have played around with the Yamaha HS7 speakers, I have been impressed. Have a look at this UNBOXING AND SETTING UP YAMAHA HS7 STUDIO MONITORS!!! video to get another opinion on what these speakers are like.
These have a larger 6.5 inch woofer which may not sound like much, but it provides way more bass and power than what the HS5 speakers are offering. There is a noticeable difference here and I decided to listen to some more Iron Maiden, this time, Live After Death which is one of my favorites and there was a clear increase in bass and overall power. While they do trump what the HS5s are offering, the HS8 speakers are even a step up from this. So, while the bass and power are better than the HS5 speakers, it is still not quite as rocking and loud as I personally would like.
How have I just talked about two epic and badass Iron Maiden albums and now I am going to tell you I also fired up Epiphany: The Best Of Chaka Khan! Well, it was the wife’s idea! At our wedding, we did a dance routine to Ain’t Nobody and my wife loves to have fun and recreate it every once and awhile. Anyway, it sounded great, very well balanced and this song actually made me see (well hear, but you know what I mean) why these speakers are held in such high regard by people who do like to make their own music. You get a very real and balanced sound out of these and while the power might not be quite where I would like, I would wager for most people it is more than fine.
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?
If you have made it all the way to the conclusion of our Yamaha HS7 and HS5 contest today, you already know which way this is going to go! The Yamaha HS7 speakers win this battle three rounds to zero! I think that they sound better, I prefer the larger size and they can actually be found easier and for a more affordable price too. While I do not think that the Yamaha HS5 speakers are bad speakers in any way. At the current price, they are going for online, I do not see any reason why someone would pick them over the HS7 speakers.