Presonus has created quite a good name for themselves in the Pro Audio sphere. They have been incredibly successful in carving out a following within the Home Studio market. They have created a budget monitor line that is surprisingly great for the price tag.
In this Presonus Eris E3.5 review, we will dive into the nuts and bolts of what makes these monitors an awesome choice for the budget-minded home producer. Here’s what you can expect from this review:
- Pros & Cons
- Who Are They For?
- Final Verdict
Presonus Eris E3.5 Review: Overview
At first glance, these monitors look like a pair of average multi-media speakers. They are in fact great for people who would like to use them for content creation, gaming, and music listening, but how do they stand up as reference monitors for music production?
Overall, the Presonus Eris E3.5 monitors do a good job of giving you a smooth frequency response. They are made using the same technologies as the larger studio monitors. The low frequencies are surprisingly tight above about 100hz. Obviously, at this size, they cannot produce much below that. The mids and highs are present and you can hear most of the transients.
They are made, like most of the small speakers in this range, with one side being powered and the other being passive.
The sweet spot is wide for such small monitors. Add in the acoustic tuning options and you have a set of monitors that you can trust for making the right mixing decisions. I am super impressed with the sound quality of these budget monitors.
There are a few features of the Presonus Eris E3.5 that really set these monitors apart from their competitors. One of the things that I was excited about is the soft-start amplifier. This feature eliminates the popping sound when you turn them on and off. It also gives the amplifier a little more life. Another great feature is the built-in RF interference protection.
Let’s take a look at some of the other features.
Like I said earlier, the sound that you get from these budget monitors is surprising. There is a lot of clarity in the upper frequencies. I had no problem mixing percussion and hi-hats. The lower mids are pretty tight. The only thing they are missing is the sub frequencies, but this is to be expected for a speaker of this size.
The sound stage is quite large. This is so helpful in creating the space you need in your mixes. These monitors give you the ability to accurately place things in the stereo field to create big mixes. It also makes it easy for you to place the speakers in the right place for a big “sweet spot”. They give you the freedom to be able to move your head around and still be in the right spot.
Part of the reason the Presonus Eris E3.5 sound so good is the build quality. Presonus uses a composite weave on the woofers. These give a more even distribution of mid to low frequencies. They also use silk dome tweeters for crisp highs.
The cabinet is made of fibreboard and is covered in vinyl. They also put in internal bracing to further reduce unwanted resonance.
- 1/8-inch stereo input for headphones
- ¼ inch TRS x2
- Unbalance RCA input
- 80Hz to 20kHz frequency
- 2.8 kHz crossover frequency
- 25-watt amplifier power (per speaker)
- 100 dB peak SPL
- RF interference protection
- Fibreboard and vinyl laminated cabinet
Most of the budget monitors on the market do not allow for any kind of tuning options. The Presonus Eris E3.5 has included this feature and it helps for setting the speakers to compensate for room problems.
There are two knobs on the back for tuning the high frequencies and the low frequencies. You have the ability to take out 6dB or add 6dB on both the low and high end.
If you combine this feature with some room calibrating software, you can create an accurate reference monitor.
These are great-looking monitors. The matt black finish makes them look sexy and more expensive than they are. The exposed woofer looks nice and adds to the aesthetic as well as the performance. The tweeters however are protected by a metal grill so you don’t have to worry about damage to the tweeter.
Having the bass port on the back is a good design feature. It provides a tighter sound and helps to keep the design of the speaker looking sleek. Set up is easy, as the controls are all on one speaker.
For a small set of monitors, they did a super job of making them look sleek and professional as well as making them sound awesome.
In my opinion, the Presonus Eris E 3.5 are the best value in the budget studio monitor category. For the price, you are getting a much higher-end product. For a small investment, you are getting honest, fully capable reference monitors for your home studio. They are a great place to start in your new studio.
Presonus Eris E3.5 Review: Pros & Cons
Like everything, there are some things I loved and some things I didn’t.
- Lightweight and portable
- Sleek design
- Larger than average tweeter and woofer
- Accurate sound reproduction
- Plenty of input options
- Low price
- If you need to hear the sub frequencies, you need to add a sub
- Maybe not as loud as some would like
Who Are They For?
The Presonus Eris E3.5 are made for home studio creators. Whether you are making videos for social media, creating content for video games, or producing music, they are a great choice. They are designed with the small home studio in mind.
Anyone who finds themselves on a budget will not be shortchanged by picking these reference monitors.
Check out our review of the Mackie CR3-X
JBL One Series 104
There is no question in my mind that the Presonus Eris E3.5 are the #1 budget studio monitor. They sound fantastic. I know I can trust them for making the right mixing decisions in my home studio.
Again, the thing that sets them apart from their competitors is their accuracy. They are flat, not boosted in the low-end as most smaller reference monitors are. They are versatile and durable. You will definitely have them for a long time.
We don’t always need to use reference monitors. If you are in a small studio or don’t have the budget for room treatment, I would suggest using headphones. Here is a list of the best headphones for music production.