Dear Gordon,

Bravo! It is wonderful to see studio monitors reviewed in “normal” and nearfield setups from the point of view of high-performance home audio. (Pro-audio reviews of monitors are usually boring, focusing strictly on the ability of the monitors to “translate.” One rarely sees anything about soundstage depth, enjoyability, or other important aspects of audio.) I was convinced long ago that these kinds of speakers provide killer value in home audio if one can overlook their typically utilitarian appearance. Think what it would cost to quad-amp a pair of standmounts with active crossovers, if you even could!

The best audio experience I’ve ever had in my home was not with my big rig of separates and 6’-tall electrostatic speakers in a dedicated room. It was when, for grins, I moved my modest but decent desktop rig comprising 5” pro monitors, isoAcoustics stands, and a DAC-preamp to the den, set it all on wooden chairs, for goodness sake, and sat down 10’ away. (My family was out of town at the time.)

I popped a Chesky CD in the computer feeding the DAC and experienced a wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling laser-focused soundstage like I've never experienced before. Ever. Sound was coming from 4’ to the outside of the speakers and well behind the front wall. The music was absolutely alive. To think that it was coming from a $1000 setup made me laugh out loud. I stayed up until 3:00 a.m. experiencing my best-engineered recordings in a whole new light.

Please continue reviewing pro monitors in home-listening environments. Some current efforts in this sphere are true giant-killers.

Incidentally, the 5” monitors I referred to are the humble but overperforming JBL LSR305, which can be had for as little as $120/each in the US. On the opposite end of the scale, I’d love to experience Barefoot Sound’s compact three-way Footprint01 or 02 monitors someday. Those would be great to review as home audio. Hint, hint.

United States

Hello Brad,

Thanks for writing, and thanks for the enthusiastic feedback. Your experience is interesting, and confirms my own (although I have never been fortunate enough to own electrostatic speakers and a big rig of separates). I agree completely about studio monitors offering killer value for home listening, and will certainly be reviewing other such products in the future.

And your hint is definitely taken. I’ve just sent off a note to Barefoot Sound requesting review samples of their new Footprint02.

Best wishes,