PreSonus Eris E5 Review
PreSonus has been looking to break-in to the extremely competitive ‘budget studio monitors’ market with its Eris range of monitors for a while now.
That’s easier said than done though. The space is dominated by the likes of the wildly popular Yamaha HS5 & the Hip-Hop savvy KRK Rokit.
The E5, their entry-level offering does come at a very attractive price point.
But what does PreSonus have to offer (beyond the price tag) that will capture the fancy of the discerning, indie artist and music producer that this price range usually caters to?
Well, they certainly have the brand presence courtesy ‘Studio One’, their mixing software that’s a staple these days in studios. And they have a longstanding record of making professional-grade pre amp mics & digital mixers to boot.
The question is, will brand presence alone help the E5 stand out among some serious competition?
Let’s find out.
PreSonus Eris E5 2-Way Active Studio Monitor Review
The Eris E5 is a two-way active, studio monitor that delivers surprisingly good sound quality at a budget price.
Despite being the entry level model in its range, it offers the most balance in terms of price to value.
The features are decent. The specifications are better than some of the higher priced competition.
The only thing that seems lacking here is the hype that precedes the rest of the flashier brands and models.
The Eris E5 has a very subdued and understated appearance that borrows from the classic speakers of yore.
The casing is all matte black. Almost incognito, if not for the discreet Presonus logo that lights up when the monitor is powered on.
The cabinet is front-ported and houses a 5-inch Kevlar cone that is rightly layered with a hint of luminous blue that complements the minimalistic aesthetic.
At a time when brands are going overboard with garish, over-the-top designs, the E5 is a refreshing change.
The cabinets stand 10.2” tall and about 8” thick. The footprint is reasonable and the 10 lbs. weight makes them portable as well.
Tough vinyl-coated-MDF and a durable PE baffle protect the inners from accidental collisions. Overall, the build quality is excellent.
Unlike most budget-priced monitors that have limited user control options, the Eris E5 offers a generous amount of options on the well-designed rear panel.
Apart from the standard balanced XLR, balanced ¼” TRS jack and unbalanced RCA sockets, there’s a slide switch for voltage selection, a rotary knob for volume (gain control), acoustic space (room control) switch to adjust the bass response according to the speaker placement and a separate set of rotary knobs to adjust the mids and highs.
That’s the most populated rear control panel that we’ve seen in a while, at this price range.
But it’s all arranged to perfection. Professionals won’t have to grope in the dark to find the switches and knobs.
The Eris E5 has a set of decent specifications.
It is powered by a 45W and 35W Class-AB amplifier that offers 80W amplification, which is perfect for a small home studio setup or even a small commercial set up.
The 5.25” Kevlar woofer extends to an impressive 53Hz and the 1” silk dome tweeter stretches to a satisfying 22Khz.
The real fun lies in the user controls though. The gain control allows you to boost the unbalanced input by 35dB and the balanced one by 31dB. You have +/-6 dB at 10kHz on the high control and +/-6 dB at close to 1kHz for the mid control.
If you wish to rig a subwoofer with the E5, then you can use the low cut off that gives you up to 12 dB at 100Hz.
Like we mentioned earlier, the amount of control that the E5 gives on the audio output is just amazing.
The first and most notable feature of the Eris E5’s sound quality is the crispness at higher frequencies.
Many budget-priced monitors fall flat at this range and sound harsh. Not the E5.
The mids are equally good with a surprising amount of details.
The deep bass is not as heavy as it is in the KRK Rokkit. So EDM producers might frown their brows listening to their mixes on the E5.
You must keep in mind the small amount of resonating space in these miniscule cabinets while judging the bass response.
In all fairness, the bass is not underwhelming. It is tight enough to impress the casual listener and nearly perfect for producers who work more on vocals.
What’s more important is the amount of controls that let you tweak every tiny detail while working on your projects.
Who’s the Eric E5 for?
Rather than generalizing the E5 as the perfect studio monitor for any genre of music, we’d say that it is a very versatile monitor that produces great sound quality.
It’s not the flat response of the Yamahas. But it’s certainly better than the bass-heavy, colored sounding monitors that are in vogue these days.
In other words, it’s one that can be used in a variety of settings.
And yes, the sound quality is also perfect for the casual listener who’s looking to step up from cheap desktop speakers.
Our Verdict: The most versatile nearfield sound monitor at this price point!