Over To You: Best Cheap Speakers For DJing and Producing?

Many DJs rely on gaming speakers, not least because they already own them, for DJing practice. But they won't be good enough for producing music on.

Many DJs rely on gaming speakers, because they already own them, for DJing practice. But they won’t be good enough for producing music on.

Digital DJ Tips reader and beginner DJ Jesus Reyoso writes: “I have some awful speakers for my laptop, and I would like to buy some decent speakers for DJing at home with, but my budget is really low. What speakers do you suggest I start with? I want them just for my bedroom to practise and practise. However, the thing is that I am also beginning to produce music. So my question is, what do you think would be appropiate without paying a lot of money?”

Digital DJ Tips says

For just DJing with, we recommend you start with anything you’ve already got (home hi-fi, home cinema system etc) – as long as it bass and “goes loud”, it’ll do for practise. If not, gaming speakers are good value, especially those with a separate subwoofer for the all-important bass “kick”. But when it comes on to producing, it’s an entirely different ball game, with higher expectations. You could take a look at our Computer Speakers For DJing: 5 Top Pairs Reviewed & Rated article, and look to spend on one of the better pairs there, but my hesitation in recommending speakers that just bang it out for you to practise beatmatching comes back to the higher requirements for producing – you really need good studio monitors, well positioned, whose sound you can get to know intimately and trust, in order to master your music well.

I’d be inclined to suggest you go for a good pair of headphones (that can also be used as your DJ ‘phones) then some loud but cheap computer speakers to carry on DJ practice with. But it’s a hard issue, especially as you have a low budget, so let’s ask the readers.

What would you advise Jesus to do in his position? Is there such a thing as a decent speaker for DJing/production that won’t cost the earth? Or is the “headphones” route the best option for production (and if so, which headphones would you recommend)? Please let him know in the comments.

Comments

  1. Sid Roberts says:

    I have a pair of KRK Rokit 8s (£400 in the UK) and they are truly fantastic. There are also smaller versions for less money. I’d treat them as investment and splash out on some KRKs. You won’t regret it. :)

    • I’m on board with this. I caught some KRK RP-6’s a few years ago on sale. They were a bit more than I intended originally to spend, but I’m not disappointed at all. To this day, I never have any kind of remorse about over spending on these speakers.

  2. I agree with the two speaker system option if he’s going to produce AND practice DJ sets at home. Mostly because you don’t want to bang out your studio monitors while practicing a DJ set as monitors are reference speakers with a flat response for greater accuracy of your production mix. You can get decent monitors pre-owned that will do the trick. I have home hi-fi’s when practicing sets at home, but for my production work I use both studio monitors, and studio headphones (for mixing during late hours). With a $300 budget, you can get a good pair of entry level studio headphones and a pre-owned home system for your practice DJ sets. Best thing is to understand how your monitors/headphones sound and become familiar with them. Hope this helps.

    • Why would you not mix on the monitors? Speakers have a breaking in period of about 50 – 100 hours usually but I don’t think they can get over used. They should also be designed to go loud (my KRK’s go a lot louder than I would use to DJ on at home).

  3. If you’re serious about producing then you really need to be hearing a true reflection of what you’re creating. Decent monitors are fairly essential. The best within the lower budget range I’ve ever heard come from the KRK Rokit range. There are various models so Google them and read some reviews. For the money they sound excellent and would do you proud. But always give any speakers a good listen yourself before buying.

  4. I have three home setups.

    1. Logitech S.220 (also my “to go kit” when it is a small party whit very litte people. I take my laptop with me and just do a basic setup, no mixer and a predone playlist on automix) Works good at home to practice on aswell. Total cost 25 euro

    2. A small amp i bought for 30 euro (2x30w) and some old speakers from a old stereo total cost i think 50 euro

    3. My Hifi. A Denon DRA585RD, 1 pair Jamo E-470 and a custom built sub (12″ JBL sub in a box built by me) Total cost 1000 euro.

  5. Sebastian says:

    Sony APM Series, get them pre-owned.

  6. CosmicRift says:

    Lord knows jk haha I use Klipsch computer speakers to DJ on. I think I got them for around $200 along with a years worth of insurance from Best Buy. As for producing I would get KRK monitors or Sennhesier 240HDs which can also be used as DJ headphones. Personally I prefer headphone mixing but, it’s really whatever your most comfortable with while producing.

  7. I have the ROKIT6s … very nice speakers. But I also mixed on my setup in the living room which is a denon surround receiver and JBL Northridge 90s.
    Back in the day when my dj set was in the living room of an appartement I used jbl control speakers.
    You can use almost everything but on the contrary to Phil’s advice, invest in quality not in noise.
    For home use, you do not need LOUD. It is bad for your ears and the neighbours and it doesn’t help you in practising.

    • Let me qualify – by “loud” I mean loud enough for you to hear it properly, ie not tinny little computer speakers. You need to be able to “feel” the music or there’s no point in DJing, that’s all I’m saying. I live in a flat so same scenario here there’s no booming it out for me either.

  8. I use JBL creature computer speakers for bedroom/basement DJing. Buy them refurbed from ecost.com and they are cheap enough. For small gigs of 100-150 people, I use a couple of Behringer B215D speakers. Cheaper than the Thumps/Mackies and sound just as good. Loud enough to do an indoor event of 200 if you put them on stands. Would need a powered sub for any more people.

  9. I’m using warfedale Diamond III Speakers connected to an old AKAI amplifier and they are fine for in my small DJ room at home.
    I never tried the KRK speakers everybody is talking about.

  10. The new pioneer Dj and production speakers, look they may cost a bit, but it is really the ideal product 4 some how does not want 2 get 2 diffent speakers. or get a good set of monitor head phones and a focurite vrm box.

  11. I recommend these ESI NEAR08 CLASSIC

    http://www.thomann.de/gb/esi_near_08_classic.htm

    8″ 2-way active studio monitors rated at 140W each with a 70W built in amp for the 8″ Kevlar-coned bass/mid drive and a 70W amp for the soft-dome tweeter.

    £190 for a pair.

    Review.

    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan08/articles/esinear08.htm

    The ESI out perform anything else in their price range and are on par with the KRK’s that cost double the price. Good value for money.

  12. My first sound system was made from car speakers and components from HI-FI speakers. I made wooden cabinets out of MDF. I had bass bins the lot all running through car and stereo amps. cost about £100. Made that cash back selling it on. Pawn shops and junk sales are good places to go find vintage speakers, amps and HI-FI’s. lots of which will sound great with a good amp. I have a selection of speakers in my studio new and old some music sounds better on old HI-FI speakers, depends what I’m playing or producing.

  13. My first sound system was made from car speakers and components from HI-FI speakers. I made wooden cabinets out of MDF. I had bass bins the lot all running through car and stereo amps. cost about £100. Made that cash back selling it on. Pawn shops and junk sales are good places to go find vintage speakers, amps and HI-FI’s. lots of which will sound great with a good amp. I have a selection of speakers in my studio new and old some music sounds better on old HI-FI speakers, depends what I’m playing or producing.

  14. Anything is going to be fine to practice DJing, some good bass is a bonus and some PC speakers with a sub will be perfect.

    I use KRK Rokit 8’s, mentioned above, for production and DJing (I don’t do much DJing at home though). They are good for the price, not the most amazing monitors when compared to high end stuff, but flat and can get the job done. I can’t understand why you wouldn’t use them to DJ as well which is suggested in the comment above. I am guessing these are too expensive based on the article.

    You can generally pick up some Beringer Truth 8 inch monitors second hand for a great price so look out for some on ebay or similar as they are pretty good for budget studio monitors.

    Don’t use DJ headphones for production. They colour the sound and are uncomfortable for long periods of use. If you wan’t to produce with headphones get some descent ones but you will get what you pay for.

    For getting into production you will, again, be fine on anything. Having amazing monitors isn’t going to make your track sound any better especially when you are just learning. The key to getting things to sound better is practice combined with education (self-taught or formal). Don’t let the quality of you speakers stop you getting going as you probably aren’t going to sign your first tune anyway. You will however know your way around your DAW better if you start ASAP rather than waiting.

  15. Will Marshall says:

    KRK Rokit 5s are about the most basic speaker you can use successfully for production. If you’re on a budget, though, it’d be cheaper to invest in some *good* headphones (proper monitoring/studio ones, not expensive consumer ones). Much more bang for the buck.

    For DJing it matters a lot less.

  16. I would recommend a pair of Mackie MR5 or MR8 active monitors. If you have a small room, an MR5 will do perfectly for DJing and producing as well.

  17. BelgianJungleSound says:

    I’m going to get some yamaha speakers cause my speaker system is too bass heavy, and it really shows when i listen to my songs on some good studio monitors.

  18. I have a Logitech 5.1 system a friend gave to me. I like it…but I still rely heavily on my Sony Studio Monitor headphones (MDR-V6). I still love them more than any “DJ headphones” I’ve tried.

  19. Dj Lyts Out says:

    Behringer Eurolive B315D….sounds awesome just got one last week. Great for doing house parties n backyard BBQ’S

  20. I use my trusty Logitech Z-5500 sound system when I’m mixing DJ sets but when I produce, I put on my Sony MDR-V7506.

    If you can still find the Z-5500, I can’t stress hard enough how awesome these speakers are at everything. I picked them up for $250 a couple of years ago and after many years of playing music way too loud, they’re still in perfect condition and the sound is as flawless as ever.

    The reason I use my MDR-V7506 headphones for mixing is that they’re a great reference point: just enough bass, mids and treble for every kind of music.

    • The Z-2300 is an awesome setup for djing at home. Basically the same as the Z-5500 except in 2.1 format instead of 5.1. They’ve served me well at small apartment gatherings of up to 30 people, and at $100, they’re super cheap. Can usually find them on eBay, as they’ve been discontinued otherwise.

  21. Hi, I would post this in the forums, but I have insufficient privledges at the moment and this seemed like the next best place.

    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/170634227203?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT#ht_6748wt_1129

    Is there any chance that something like that is a viable solution to spin tunes on for house parties of about 40-50 people. Relatively small rooms, but I can’t find any branding or anything on the speakers, any advice would be much appreciated.

  22. Vive La'Bam says:

    I’ll let you into a little secret….. Edirol MA 7ABK speakers…..£ 80 ……. Self powered….. Small….. Crisp and fairly loud…. But flat enough to produce the real sound….. Also has a trick up it’s sleeve with it’s bass technology….. I own them….. And love them…..

  23. Bought a pair of Reloop ADM-5 active monitors. They retail for £125 and sound amazing!

    NB. I’m using them for DJing, not producing.

  24. It seems KRK is the chosen one. Not so expensive (you have a bunch of versions) and best sound. If you have a good stereo to connect them, go ahead.

  25. Your a beginner hifi at ear level (set eq’s to flat)

    Tip .. you hear more when you listen to the music opposed to it shouting at you

  26. I realize this thread is a couple of years old but still great info. One thing that I realized starting out was that there was absolutely no chance I would be able to spend $1000 or more on proper studio monitors but desperately needed an unbiased flat EQ sound for producing. In-ear monitors were my saving grace. I waited for a great sale and got a $400 set for about $225. Then a cheap set of monitors to reference against (lots of good options in the $100-$150 range– actually still have my NPM5s). The bonus is you can mix with the in-ear monitors and have the main go out to your monitors for home and small party mixing. This is great for producing though, since a good set of IEMs will give you sound quality that is expensive to match with regular monitors. For producing, the more speakers you can listen on, the better off you’ll be. Just my .02 for future readers. :)

    Cheers,
    Massakre
    http://nwug.net/

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