PreSonus Eris E5 Active Studio Monitor Review
When I hear Presonus I think of awesome preamps and digital mixers, so it was a nice surprise to hear that they’d entered the realm of studio monitors. This is quite a brave move from their part, as this is a market which is already flooded with entry level monitors, but time will tell how they fare against the competitors.
The PreSonus Eris E5 studio monitors which I’m reviewing are not the smallest of the range, [there are a set of bookshelf size 4.5 Eris monitors too] but are probably the best suited to small bedroom size studio environments. If you need something with a little more ‘oomf’, there’s also the 8 inch Presonus E8.
I really like it when I look at the back panel of a monitor and I can understand what each knob and switch does without having to read the manual. So often the settings are so encrypted that you need to take out the manual and decipher the settings with fear of blowing the thing up. But PreSonus have taken a very pragmatic approach to the various switches and knobs, which is great. Most monitors have an output gain knob, but the PreSonus Eris E5 has ‘input gain’ which allows you to control the level of the source coming in, rather than the level of the sound going out. This helps to attenuate any noise that may be coming from the signal source.
Tthe ‘Acoustic Space’ switch is great on the PreSonus Eris E5 as it compensates for different room environments. If you have your speakers setup against the wall at an angle towards you, you use setting A. If you have them pointing straight on, and close to the back wall, you use setting B. And lastly, if you have them straight on but away from the back wall, you use setting C.
This is a clever feature, as it takes into account that not everyone buying the PreSonus Eris E5 monitors will have the best studio acoustics.
The ‘Acoustic Tuning’ controls allow you to tweak the mid and high frequency response to your taste. The High control shelves all frequencies above 4.5 kHz with a 6dB cut/boost, while the Mid control is a parametric EQ that boosts or cuts frequencies centred on 1 kHz. There’s also a ‘Low Cutoff’ three-way switch, which offers a roll off at 80Hz and 100Hz – useful if you want to add a sub to the system. There are also three input options: RCA, jack or XLR which is very useful if you’re going to be using different input sources.
How do the PreSonus Eris E5 Monitors sound?
Overall, I found that the Mids and Highs are very prominent on the PreSonus Eris E5, bordering on harsh perhaps, and I would’ve enjoyed a bit more presence in the low end [they are 5 inch woofers! Ed].
The PreSonus Eris E5 has plenty of volume on tap and when I cranked them loud the lows became easier to mix, and I was impressed with how tight the bass was even under high volumes. But I had to endure some pretty hectic mids and highs while mixing the lows and found that my ears took a bit of a hammering. I wasn’t expecting much bass response in entry level 5 inch monitors at low volume, but paired with my sub it was actually really nice to mix with, because I could turn the gain down a bit and still hear the low end. I’m not used to mixing with such prominent mids and highs, but there were elements that I could pin-point easily in the higher frequencies that I normally wouldn’t have noticed on my current monitors so that was a definite positive, but my ears did become fatigued a lot quicker than usual.
Who Should Get Them?
Someone who doesn’t have the luxury of a treated studio environment, but wants to produce quality music in the room that they have. If you save up one day to get top end professional monitors as your production abilities develop you could always keep the PreSonus Eris E5 monitors as an excellent reference pair.
The PreSonus Eris E5 studio monitors are the perfect monitors for the not so perfect environment.
Yes, they might not sound as great as my R14k monitors in my treated studio, but if you were using them in an untreated bedroom, I think they would fare a lot better than most fancy monitors with the help of the handy adaptable settings on the back panel.
Do the PreSonus Eris E5 loudspeakers stand out against the other competitors out there?
I think with the control you get using the ‘Acoustic Tuning’ and ‘Acoustic Space’ settings, there’s a lot of appeal and could sway my decision if I needed lots of tweakabillity within my mixing environment.
Presonus Eris E4.5
Expect to pay: R 3,299.00* per pair
Presonus Eris E5
Expect to pay: R 4,299.00* per pair
Presonus Eris E8
Expect to pay: R 7,299.00* per pair
Supplier: Tuerk Music | (011) 792-8402