Published by jpanderson80 on 9th December 2011
The Yamaha HS80M monitors throw a nod to the classic NS-10 monitors. The white cones, black enclosures and honest referencing are the features that will immediately remind you of the classics. But the HS80M is a newer version - featuring new updates...
The monitors are powered, with 120 watts of bi-amped power for the 8 inch woofer (75w) and 1 inch tweeter (45w). The monitors accept input from both balanced and unbalanced XLR and TRS signals. Also found on the rear of each monitor is a flexible EQ section. This includes four parts: Mid EQ, Room Control, High Trim and Low Cut. Boosts and cuts can be made here to help fine tune your listening environment. Or one can choose to leave the settings in the "flat" position, to neutralize the monitors from influencing a tuned room.
Overall, in my experience these monitors are simple, and provide easy listening. Clarity has not been a problem. For around $350 each (retail) they represent the leader in my mind for value and performance in the "Under $1,000/pair" category. Compared to other monitors in this category in a head to head listening situation, I noticed that the HS80M's were not as beautiful in the high mids. They were not harsh, by any means, but not as enjoyably pristine. In mixes, I've found no problems with this range of frequencies. Ear fatigue has not been an issue, even after extended sessions.
Low end: The 8 inch woofer certainly helps the user find those low end frequencies easier, with the HS80M capable of reproducing tones from 42Hz to 20kHz. After studying some reference tracks and listening to the low end on these monitors, I was able to reproduce a nice bass and kick sounds without much guessing-burning CD-running to the car-etc... It is nice to be able to trust your monitors and ears in this regard.
CONCLUSION: While the Yamaha HS80M are not the most fantastic sounding monitors available in their price range, they are tremendous for performing their specific duty: producing a listening experience that allows the engineer to produce a mix that will translate well to other systems/environments. They truly follow in the footsteps of the NS-10, by the old mantra: "If it sounds good on the HS80M's then it will sound good anywhere." And being able to trust a mix, it is a benefit that an engineer cannot overlook.
By vivid435 on 20th December 2011
picked these up about two months ago. they are quite large and heavy monitors but are built to last.
so much value for money with these monitors. picked them up for $800 and they sound great. really flat and clear response which helps your mixes translate well. would recommend for anyone looking for monitors under $1000. although there is the option to purchase a yamaha subwoofer, the 8 inch cones provide plenty of bass without sounding muddy. the frequency range is large from 42hz to 20khz, which may be a problem for really small rooms. although at the back of the monitors are eq controls; mid eq, room control and high trim. this allows for control of the eq for rooms that can't afford proper treatment, so may still have frequency issues.i haven't had any issues with ear fatigue regardless of the fact that many claim the highs are harsh.
about the comparisons to the ns10s, yamaha are not trying to make them sound the same, they have improved them while still maintaining the key feature of the ns10s, the fact that the mixes translate well to many environments. the yamahas are very solidly built, the tweeters have a metal grill. they are also magnetically shielded.
would like to finish by saying that these are very clear monitors and great for people starting out as they will help produce great mixes due to everything sounding flat on them, nothing is glossed meaning you will work harder to improve your mixes.
Last edited by vivid435; 20th December 2011 at 03:43 PM.. Reason: didn't finish
By skellington on 21st December 2011
Look at the price
I had these for about a month for testing (until I decided to go for a completely other and more expensive model) but I did like them.
I cannot comment on how they compare to the NS-10, but I think these are serious monitors at an attractive price point. Not the most neutral ones, not without any issues, but with a solid overall tone, good imaging and lots of bass (for their size).
At smaller rooms, I'd say there is not really the need for an extra subwoofer. If you're on a budget, you can get a lot of work done with a pair of these and nothing else.
Last edited by skellington; 21st December 2011 at 08:38 PM.. Reason: typo
By IGive'nTakeInfo on 23rd December 2011
first off, these are not supposed to sound like ns10's. the speaker box is quite a bit bigger than an ns10's and the cones are different sizes so go figure they do not sound the same.
this is a good set of speakers to track with and to use as a reference when mixing along with a mono mixcube and a high end pair of near fields.
Great for the price. Look good. Solid Build. Only $800 for the pair tax in and delivered
By Cody on 1st January 2012
I have had the Yamaha HS-80's in my possession for a couple years, and although I have lusted over more expensive monitors, I have yet to pull the trigger. Why? They get the job done!
I must preface this review - I am not a professional, more of a gear-manic hobbyist. That being said, I do take mixing very seriously and have taken steps to improve my skills and workspace.
The HS-80 is a neutral monitor, not as quick as the NS-10, but at the same time capable of clear sound and robust bass. For mixing rock, I have had no trouble using these monitors to tighten up the low-mids and tame sub bass. If you are into mixing hip-hop or R&B, you may want a sub to check the ultra low end.
What I find keeps me happy with these monitors is the mid range, especially between 1-3khz. On the back of these active monitors is a switch that lets you dial in more or less mid range, centered around 2khz. When I first started mixing, I had this switch set to +2db so that I could really hone in on this part of the frequency spectrum. As my ears sharpened up, I was able to switch this to it's flat setting.
There are also room control switches, enabling you to attenuate the low end, and boost or cut the high frequencies. In the last couple years I have moved to a couple different homes (with different challenges for room treatment) and I have found these switches very helpful, especially for the low end.
To round out the switches on the back of the monitor, there is a low cut (either bypassed, 100hz, or 80hz) and a level pot that accommodates balanced to unbalanced incoming level.
This has been a positive review because, for my personal needs, I felt that these speakers were a tremendous value for what they deliver. I truly do plan on upgrading my monitoring down the line, but I will never get rid of my HS-80's. They reference well with other systems... my mixes translate very well and I feel that even with better monitors, I'll find the Yammy's useful. If I could point out any flaws, it would be that they don't have the 3D depth of comparable sized Genelecs that I have used, and the high end isn't quite as revealing as the Genelecs. However, they are not fatiguing to use (which was the case with the Genelecs for me) and they cost way less.
By seangray1 on 16th January 2012
These are my first pair of decent speakers. I bought them after making music with some normal computer speakers and obviously it was fantastic to be listening to proper monitors.
I bought them because basically I was clueless and all my friends who are students (budget) have them and they are pretty serious about mixing. So I trusted them and I don't regret it.
I can't compare them to very much, because I haven't heard that many speakers before. Though in my school they have mackies. When dealing with sub these are very different from the Mackies. I get it lovely and smoothe sounding here at home and then I go to school and the mackies turn my mix into dubstep, sounds like a wobble bass. I don't know if that's these speakers that are giving me the wrong picture (they are cheaper than the mackies) or whether it's the mackies that have harsh lo.
I've never really had any problems with them. Make sure you don't turn down the volume knob on the back, strange things happen. Keep it on 12 o clock.
I like the sound, they sound very transparent and smoothe. The hi's expecially are very lively, but I think that also has something to do with my room.
I'm no expert in this field, I've been working seriously on productions slightly less than a year. I can tell the difference between these and some behringer ones that I heard at a friends place.
These sound really smoothe and clear.
I like 'em!
AudioTailor - Music and Sound Design
By andrew caramia on 23rd February 2012
i agree with all the other reviewers here- these monitors are the best for the price and even if you already have a pair of expensive speakers get these as well! you wont be dissapointed. if i was stuck on a desert island with only one choice of speakers these would be it. ive had a lot of monitors in my time and these are genuine keepers.
theres a lot of love for these monitors on gearslutz, and its got nothing to do with the visual comparisons to the ns10's. they sound nothing alike but follow the same philosphy. they wont tell you want you want to hear, but what you need to hear.
i also highly recommend that you check out the yamaha msp7 studio monitors and their subwoofer combinations. see my comparison review of the hs80m and msp7 here- http://www.gearslutz.com/board/revie...80m-hs10w.html
By JoRillo on 6th March 2012
Love my Yammys.
These monitors are awesome. I got them for $500 for the pair for a price match from Zen Pro Audio at my local GC when they had them on sale. They have plenty of low end (which is awesome), they aren't harsh to listen to, and they look awesome. I have yet to try them with the sub, but they sound good enough as is. One day I'll probably get the sub, but i'm good for now.
Whenever I get a better set, these will serve as a great secondary reference set. They were a great price, and are well built. Best set of starter monitors in my book.
By Mark_Andrasko on 30th March 2012
I think these are a great all-around reference monitor. They say monitors fall in a range from beautiful sounding speakers that "dangerously make your mixes sound better than they really are" to "absolutely accurate" to "sound so bad your mixes actually sound good." I think the Yamaha HS80m definitely falls somewhere in between the first two points.
I picked them out because they sounded better than every other monitor at the store but when I got them home they completely changed the mixing process for me.
No more running around to every speaker system in the house/car/friend's houses/friend's cars. When I mix with the HS80ms I know I have a mix I can trust. Not only that but they have great room referencing switches that can boost/cut the highs/mids/and lows depending on your taste/room.
That said I definitely enjoy using a pair of "garbage" speakers in conjunction with these speakers. Before I bought the HS80m's and was only mixing on junk speakers I had absolutely zero idea how it sounded anywhere else. Now when my mix sounds good on my HS80ms and my junk speakers I know it's a phenomenal mix.
Overall: Just listening is a pleasure on them but I feel I'm getting a very honest reference point.
By Scenariofever on 15th January 2013
sounds too mid-focused
I had them 8 months in my studio for alternative listening next to the genelec 1030 and blue sky's media desk.
i think they look nice - but thats all.
the mids are hyped in an unusefull way.
bassperformance was also far from what i hoped to hear from a big box like the hs 80 is.
over all, they are just a bit better than some desktop boxes.
the rear panel allows you to use some eq for room-curtailings - but with the sound the hs 80 create you don't need corrections for the problems a typical small room has, you simply need a better monitor.
translation to other systems failded nearly everytime - using the hs 80 alone:.
By tsbs on 11th February 2013
i got them speakers for 500 euros just 2 weeks ago- before i had m-audio dx4 speakers-small ones- this is big jump for me- first time i own this kind of speakers- so -- sound quality is very good- very live - but i want to mention one thing-nobody says here anything about little noise they have when you turn them on- like (shhh-white noise) very small one- but when you connecting to sound card and computer this sound gets little bit more louder- which is noticeable very much-i tout maybe was something wrong with my ones and went back to shop for checking- so same story there too- looks like all big speakers have this kind off shhh sound-i think need little bit more time to adapt
By Den on 27th May 2013
Yamaha HS-80 is a not expensive pair of studio monitors, so it can help a lot when mixing and sculpting the sound. I had HS-50 before but I replaced them with HS-80. They are different in the mid's. In my studio Yamaha is third pair of monitoring and they have role to give me some points where I have to look out in the mix. The most important is positioning and calibration for these speakers. They coming with factory flat settings on tone controls, but I needed to adjust it to my studio and with other monitors (Genelec S30D, Avantone MixCube Active). After setting the gain to -6db to K-System (Bob Katz) and adjusting tone controls Mid+2, Hi-2, they was very close to my other monitors.On the factory tone controls sounds hollow in the mid's.
They cannot have such 3D stereo like Genelec's but they have different role in my setup. This model have internal amp. limiter for the bass driver while MSP-7 don't have it, and it is very easy to hear distortion.They can hide reverb in low-mid's, so be careful it can be too much out there.
Lots complaining for tweeter that sounds unnatural can be avoided with Gain reducing to 10 o'clock. After that was really nice. After few years of using it, I am satisfied user for what HS-80 providing.
NS-10M Studio, and Hi-END Amplifier is the best solution for the Pro.
By proche3 on 27th September 2013
Yamaha HS80M - Great starter monitors but get the sub!
These studio monitors are very accurate. I went to a guitar center in Philadelphia to personally spend a day listening to about a dozen different types of studio monitors and pick the best, most accurate monitors for my home studio set-up. I brought 3 mixes with me that I was very familiar with and put each in their CD player and spent about 3 hours in their room listening. Although I heard many of the speakers that were pleasing to my ear like the rokit and JBL models, the ones with the most clarity and accurate sound representation were the Yamaha HS80M and HS50 monitors. I moved them to different heights on the shelf, I tried to do blind tests with my buddy swapping the mixes in their CD player yet the HS80M’s ended up winning my ear test at the end of the day for overall clarity and size in case I end up moving to a bigger space.
They are great speakers, you can read hundreds of reviews on them that praise them, and probably a few non-descriptive reviews that do not. They are not NS10’s nor have I had the opportunity to hear NS10’s but they seem very accurate and honest. I play my mix in another studio with "Better" or more expensive monitors or just on my car stereo with EQ all flat and I think it translates really well, except maybe for sub low end. They are not harsh or fatiguing to the ears, I spend a lot of time listening on them, up to 8 hours a day at around 80dB but one thing I am always a little warped on when I go to listen to my mixes back in the car or someone else’s system is the sub low end (usually below 125Hz). I am personally planning to purchase the sub to match these speakers and really get the full spectrum because I find I am always trying to boost Bass a bit too much in my mixes according to how these monitors sound in both of my rooms. I do a lot of Hip-hop and live band recordings. Headphones seem to get me closer on the sub bass until I calibrate my ear to the bass of a reference mix. I’ve put up tons of bass traps in the corners of the room, measured equal distance from each speaker, sit about 1/3 of the way back from the wall, have them on speaker stands with foam insulation underneath so I suppose I must conclude they are not uncovering low end enough. If it is my room, I cannot seem to fix this, I just have to adapt my ear. There are frequency buttons on the back which are nice, however I rarely use them because I don’t have measurement software to know what to cut! Better off listening back on many different speakers instead and calibrating your ear to it. I will use the room size selector on the back of the speakers which comes in handy when you are using them in different spaces. This helps to even out your bass response but just not quite enough IMO. I personally leave them flat all the time except to cut for the size of my smaller room. I find this has the most accurate sound but again, you need to calibrate your ears to the low end, calibrating the speaker with the switches and just your ear without some sound measurement software or something is pretty tough and just throws me off personally.
Another thing that’s a little bothersome is that there is a tiny bit of hiss that is always present while these speakers are on that you need to get used to. Even when I don’t send any signal to them, just the power cord plugged into the wall they have this tiny bit of hiss you can hear until you get about 5-6 feet away from them. Not sure why, I think it’s just because they are a larger speaker so you aren’t supposed to sit so close? Shouldn't be, but it's there. Regardless it doesn’t seem to get in my way when listening back to mixes even at low volumes. Stereo image is great, very true accurate representation of LR spectrum as well as front to back (figuratively speaking) I feel I am never guessing with them except on low end. Hope you find this review to be useful. I will update when I finally purchase the sub woofer.
By TheRealRedBeard on 30th November 2013
Another HS80M Review
I'll keep this short since you're probably reading through 90 other similar reviews.
For starters they're not ns-10's, they're meant to be a more balanced remake of them. That essentially means they're completely different. If you're new to audio, I'd say they are much much easier to get to know, and therefore better for the hobbyist or if you're just getting started. The way I see it is the ns-10's basically trick you into making a better, more smileyfaced mix than you otherwise would. The 10's are very frowney (frequency response with low lows, high mids, and low highs, the result looking like a frown on a visual eq) while the HS80m's are much more flat. The thing people loved with the 10s is the because you hear a frown, you mix a smile, and the smiley eq on a mix is generally appealing, mostly because its what we've been trained to love. Thats my opinion on the differences, and its just that, my opinion.
The only iffy thing I've noticed one the 80's is that in multiple rooms the low end was out of control in various ways, even nicely treated rooms. In my room its got a pretty huge bump from 165-175hz, but I am aware of it, and mix accordingly, always checking it when I reference too. I could probly fix it with more specific treatment and traps but honestly it works, I know its there so its not a problem. That can happen with anything but from what I've seen its slightly harder to reel in with the 80's. This is all nit picky stuff that I feel should be reserved for a higher price point. I feel they are far better than you'll find in anything else in the pricerange. Are they the monitors to end all and use exclusively for the rest of your live? Nah, but I think most people buying in this pricerange know thats not what they're gonna get.
I know this wasn't comprehensive, but you're gonna read another 500 reviews so its cool, hopefully my opinion helps you!