PreSonus Eris E8 by CKBeattie
I am by no means a professional, up-market studio owner but I have shadowed in a number studio environments for a few years with a variety of monitors and monitor setups so I would say I have a pretty good idea what something should sound like to my ears. I'm writing this review because of the lack of material there is on these speakers and I think they deserving of a honest consumer review.
The Eris E8's are PreSonus' stab at the affordable monitor world. And they are, at anywhere from £170-190 a unit depending on where you get them from. I won't bore you with specifications because they're all over the web, but the Eris come in three basic sizes, E4.5, E5, and E8's; 4.5", 5.25" and 8" woofers respectively.
Because I am in the market now for affordable monitors to start my own critical listening environment, I had a few monitors in mind. The Yamaha HS8's and E8's were of those few and I had a chance to A/B both speakers for over an hour each. I needed an eight inch monitor that was going to deliver in the low end enough to be able to tell what's going on down there. The E8's did not lack, in fact, I think they even went lower than the HS8's. The low end was also tight and defined- something you obviously won't get with Rokkit's. The 1.25" dome tweeter delivered proper high frequency response without being overly hyped and I found this to be especially satisfying when listening for long periods at louder levels. Dispersion was also not a problem with the E8's when moving around from the ideal listening position which was something I was also looking for. Over all, the transient response was good and the fact that the monitors' peak SPL is 105dB means there's plenty of headroom for those dynamic moments in your mix.
I decided to get used to each monitor by listening to them for a long period of time. I think constantly switching back and forth between your A pair and B pair at first doesn't really paint a proper representation of the sound of each speaker in your brain and doesn't give your ears enough of a chance to get used to either. I started with the E8's first. I listened to everything from Jazz, Electronic Music to Hip-Hop and Classical. The E8's delivered in all these areas decently. I progressed on to the HS8's, playing the same songs. Immediately I noticed some differences. At first I wasn't pleased by the mids being ever so slightly harsh but it took me less than a minute for my ears to adapt- this is where the HS8's took the stage. I can't really describe this certain depth the HS8's had over the E8's but they felt more revealing. The mids were not harsh- they were just more revealing in that particular frequency range. The highs felt more silky and flatter. Also, I did try different placement but overall I determined the E8's were at tad more muddier in the low-end domain. In the end I went for the HS8's.
All In All
I don't feel as if this is really fair, because the HS8's are slightly more expensive than PreSonus' counter-part. PreSonus are also pretty new to monitor world and the E8's are a definitely good stab at the affordable market. Also maybe I am a little bit biased because I've wanted the Yam's for a while, but I do think I made an honest comparison to myself. At any rate, if you're looking to mix and master music and are looking for an affordable monitor that isn't a Rokkit- the E8's will not fail you at all. Their front port design means they're suitable for small spaces which gives them the upper hand over most other monitors in this price range. Despite what I've said about these compared to the HS8's, the differences are only small. These monitors are great and you will not be disappointed.
Please trust your own ears, demo them yourself as they may sound different to you. Ask your sales consultant to try different set ups to really get a sound of them.