Back in the late 1970's, the Yamaha NS10M speakers/monitors series were arguably the most widely used near-field monitors used in the recording environment at the time. Thirty years later, the Yamaha HS series speakers/monitors continue the tradition with the HS50M.
At Yamaha Musician, we tested Yamaha's HS50M speakers. The HS50M is a 70W bi-amp 2-way powered near-field flat frequency response speaker/monitor (55Hz-20kHz) that's designed for keyboards and studios. The HS50M comes with extensive features for tweaking its frequency response, accepts an XLR or 1/4" phone plugs as an input, has a 5" LF (low frequency) cone, and a 3/4" tweeter all weighing in at less than 13lbs (5.8kg).
For accurate near-field monitoring, Yamaha recommends positioning a pair of HS50Ms in a 60-60-60 degree equilateral triangle configuration and ideally placing them 5ft (1.5m) away from walls and corners. However, since most people won't have that much room to spare and will place the speakers/monitors closer to walls, the Yamaha HS50M comes with a ROOM CONTROL switch which allows you to compensate for low frequency exaggeration due to sound reflecting off of walls, ceilings, and, floors. With the ROOM CONTROL setting, you can attenuate frequencies below 500Hz by 2dB or 4dB. This is a very useful feature for those of us who usually place our speakers/monitors near the wall (or live in an apartment with neighbors who always complain about the loud bass!).
In addition, the HS50M has a HIGH TRIM switch which allows you to boost or attenuate frequencies above 3 kHz by 2dB, a MID EQ switch to boost or attenuate frequencies around the center frequency of 2 kHz by 2dB, and, a LOW CUT switch to sharply attenuate frequencies either below 80 Hz or 100 Hz. We found these features very helpful for accurately setting up the HS50M in a less than ideal recording and mixing environment. The Yamaha HS speakers/monitors also integrate beautifully for surround sound 5.1 setups too.
All these settings are located on the back of the speaker with sound graph diagrams to give you a visual of what each setting does. Finally, we loved how the HS50M looked when powered up—the Yamaha logo lights up bright white.
The HS50M is a great speaker/monitoring system to have in the studio—they have plenty of power, they're compact, light, and, will give you an accurate mix. They will produce sparkling highs and deep lows; however, if you are looking for earth shattering lows, the HS10W 8" subwoofer would be an excellent compliment to the HS50M.
We love that these Yamaha speakers/monitors accepts both an XLR and 1/4" phone plug input and can even directly connect to a keyboard or guitar—very convenient. For all its great features and sonic capabilities, the Yamaha HS50M is priced competitively well against its rivals and makes it the perfect sound solution for the home studio musician.