REVIEW: PreSonus Eris E5 XT Powered Studio Monitors

We have reviewed PreSonus Eris Series monitors in the past and have been impressed, but the new Eris E5 XT brings heftier low-end presence in a small size.

Inside these vinyl covered laminated MDF enclosures resides a 1” silk dome high frequency driver and a 5” woven Kevlar composite low frequency speaker. For added low end, a horizontal port opens up some extra thump. These are powered monitors, come in at 80 watts, and can handle up to 102 dB of output.

Connectivity is covered with RCA, TRS and XLR balanced connections from your interface. The gain control on the rear covers all three inputs, and there are additional controls allowing mid and higher EQ adjustments, as well as low frequency cutoff and acoustic space adjustment. Nice touch.

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Our tester’s desk is loaded; with three video monitors, a pedalboard shelf, interfaces, a Mac mini, and more, so space is at a premium. There was some concern of having to re-configure his space just for this review, but with the new Eris’s just being a tad bit bigger than our tester’s previous set of monitors, they fit nicely and still had adjustment for optimum placement.

The unique EBM (Elliptical Boundary Modeled) waveguide really helps tune these speakers, and had us convinced that we had a larger speaker doing the work. The dispersion pattern was quite nice, with a nice sweet spot right at our desk. We did some fiddling and adjustment for our space, and within a couple of passes of a few reference mixes we were very pleased.

First off, it’s all about the bass, and there’s plenty of it. Listening to a mix where we previously thought the lower ranges were somewhat lacking, the new Eris models corrected our ears, and gave a better idea where to tame some of the bass for more optimum punch and definition that didn’t mean a lot of re-adjusting the overall mix. Speaking of low end, these will go down to 48Hz, fairly impressive for such a smaller woofer size.

Thankfully these aren’t bottom-heavy one trick ponies, and the overall frequency response sits nicely with plenty of clarity and punch in the high and mid frequencies. Running an acoustic guitar mix had plenty of range to really tune in the track with just a touch of EQ. It was great to have the monitors work with our mix, and not fight it. Our reviewer does a lot of YouTube music related videos, and starting with a good mix is key. These helped sort out optimum settings for his EQ templates for these situations.

Overall, the bass response will have you thinking you have a sub-woofer going, but not having to mix to a sub’s idiosyncrasies is a godsend. We recommend these as a fully adjustable, powered speaker that won’t occupy a huge footprint, and can be tuned for YOUR space; for smaller rooms this could be your gamechanger.

PROS:

Excellent functional and usable bass response for such a small speaker, tunable

CONS:

None

STREET PRICE

$149 (each)

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