PreSonus Eris E3.5 | E4.5 | E66 Review – The Ultimate Budget Monitors

Music production and recording at the home studio have always been a tough task. Thanks to technology, there’s no need to install expensive high-end and professional sound systems at home to produce high-quality audio. Nowadays, all you need is a few devices to set up your own home studio to record or edit as much music as you want. 

Studio monitors play a great role to achieve expert-level audio recording as these speakers are specially designed for professional audio production for both home and commercial music studios. Also known as reference monitors, studio monitors offers linear or flat frequency response for audio frequencies to reproduce at the same level without any treble or bass addition.

Studio monitors feature built-in amplification while supporting a 2 or 3-way design for more powerful and accurate sound.  These powered monitors have balanced input connectors that include RCA and XLR for device connectivity, thus providing all the specific parameters a recording or mastering engineer needs.

Good-quality studio monitors aren’t cheap but PreSonus offers some budget-friendly studio monitor models which deliver a great audio quality that is required for music production. Let’s look at some PreSonus budget studio monitors in detail.

Eris E3.5 Studio Monitor Review

Presonus Eris E3.5-3.5 Near Field Studio Monitor (Pair) front panel

  • Eris E3.5 Features and Design:

The PreSonus Eris E3.5 are entry-level 2-way reference monitors that have quite the same technology of larger Eris-series speakers. These are very compact and small in size with dimensions 6.4 x 5.6 x 8.3 inches which makes them perfect for smaller home studios and multimedia gaming. E3.5 features 1-inch silk dome tweeter at the front coupled with 3.5” Kevlar woofer below that offers a tight solid base with clean sound. The speakers have a peak SPL of 100dB at 1 meter and 80Hz-20kHz of frequency response. 

Not just computers, they can also be plugged into your smartphone; on the front panel of the left speaker, you’ll see a stereo 1/8-inch auxiliary input along with the headphone jack, a volume control knob, and a power on/off switch. This keeps the speaker design both compact and minimal for easy usage.

Looking at the speaker’s back, there are two knobs that PreSonus referred to as acoustic tuning. It allows you to tune highs and lows to customize sound’s EQ with -6 or +6 dB. Beneath acoustic tuning are all balanced and unbalanced inputs (TRS and RCA). The right studio monitor only has composite woofer and tweeter. Each speaker has 25W class AB amplified power with RF interference for protection.  When it comes to built quality, the front is solid plastic with vinyl MDF wood casing while 1” tweeter is covered with a metal mesh grille. 

Presonus Eris E3.5-3.5 Near Field Studio Monitor (Pair) back side

  • Eris E3.5 Sound quality:

Eris E3.5 is a great choice for someone who produces music or videos even a gamer as these small-sized studio monitors deliver clear and loud sound. The highlight feature of these studio monitors is definitely the 3.5’’ Kevlar low-frequency woofer driver with absolutely outstanding mids and highs. 

Plus, acoustic tuning helps a great deal in delivering pristine audio in any type of room. Sound is super-clear and accurate, thanks to the wide dispersion type 1’’ tweeter. It offers a wide sound stage with reduced time-smeared audio which is ideal for music production. Moving speakers around will still deliver the same accurate music output.

 With a 2.8 kHz crossover frequency, the frequency response is smooth, even, and accurate. Smooth, cleaner, loud and refined sound is what you get from 50W powered Eris E3.5 studio monitors.

Being lightweight and portable, these speakers can almost fit anywhere with their smaller footprint. Also, these studio monitors are a great choice for traveling artists, music engineers, audio producers as well as gamers since they perform better than multimedia speakers.

PreSonus Eris E4.5 Studio Monitor Review

Presonus E4.5-4.5 2-Way Near Field Studio Monitor

  • Eris E4.5 Features and Design:

Just like the E3.5, the Eris E4.5’s standout feature is the 4.5” Kevlar low-frequency woofer and 1” silk dome low-mass tweeter on the front panel. Very similar to the previous E3.5 model, this 4.5 woofer studio monitors have a soft power button that prevents popping, 3.5mm headphone jack, and stereo input to hook up an external device like mobile phone or tablet. Both the right and left speakers are connected with an included cable. The Eris E4.5 has 100 dB of peak SPL, 70 Hz-20 kHz of frequency response, and 50W total amplified power.

Presonus Eris E4.5-4.5 Near Field Studio Monitor (Pair) back side

  • Eris E4.5 Sound quality:

The acoustic tuning allows for accurate mixing and music production. The bass is powerful, crisp, and clear. These cost-effective studio monitors are great for a home studio as they deliver clean, loud, and accurate sound. In addition to acoustic tuning, it also features acoustic space controls for flat, -2 dB or -4 dB. This cuts all frequency levels below 800Hz. This reduces the bass boost effect when placed near a wall or in the corner. Thanks to the RF shielding feature, it filters out all low-frequency vibrations that cause interference with the woofer. It produces bold loud sound with a solid base and crystal-clear treble which is great for home recording.

Out of all Eris series, E4.5 provides the finest bass definition with crisp audio. They work well for rock, electronic, and pop but might not be suited for strings recording as compared to other high-end studio speakers. However, these 2-way entry-level speakers have impressive overall sound quality that is loud, clear, and clean with tight bass.

PreSonus E4.5 will make a great combo with the PreSonus Studio 26c audio interface.

PreSonus Eris E66 Studio Monitor Review

Presonus Eris E66 Active MTM Dual 6 Studio Monitor review

  • Eris E66 Features – Design:

What’s unique about Eris E66 is its nested MTM design, widest sweet spot, and ultra-wide stereo field in the whole Eris series. These studio speakers have MTM design which means mid-tweeter-mid: dual 6.5inches low-frequency Kevlar woofers with silk-dome 1.25inches HF tweeter in between each speaker. This high-quality studio monitor pair offers wide improved spatial resolution with an accurate response. 

They have 106db maximum peak SPL and 45 Hz – 22 kHz of frequency response. Great features like acoustic tuning (-6db to +6db), 3 different input connectors, input gain attenuation, and acoustic space presets at the speaker’s back panel allows the user to tune speakers with the room and eliminate extra bass that comes from the back wall. The low cutoff will allow speakers to be in either flat position, 80Hz, or 100Hz filter. The 140W Class AB bi-amplified speakers with MTM configuration can be placed in a horizontal or vertical position.

Ultra-wide, detailed stereo soundstage!

Presonus Eris E66 Active MTM Dual 6 Studio Monitor backside

  • Eris E66 Sound quality:

These MTM design studio monitors adapt to any room environment and deliver highly accurate and expanded frequency response while offering the widest stereo field. This MTM configuration also improves spatial resolution and off-axis response which offers great sound quality. You will have a better listening experience of the accurate audio that has the widest soundstage. The frequency response is smooth with no sonic inconsistencies and component interference in the output sound that it delivers to the listener. 

Unlike other studio monitor’s sound quality, Eris E66 has no delayed reflections so you get more cohesive and transparent sound. Detailed stereo imaging and accurate sound make it a great choice for those who want the best spatial resolution.

PreSonus Eris studio monitor series is a perfect option for bedroom producers and home studios. If you are looking for a more basic sound to listen to your favorite tunes, we would suggest you go for one of the best speakers for vinyl or bookshelf speakers for under $200.

PreSonus Eris E3.5 vs E4.5 vs. E66 – Ultimate Comparison: 

All Eris series models are designed to deliver smooth and accurate sound. However, they all are a bit different in terms of size, features, and sound quality. The E3.5 studio monitors have the smallest and most compact size in the line. Whereas, E4.5 being slightly larger measures 16.5 x 9.1 x 11.8 inches. E66 speakers have the largest dimensions of 8.5 x 18.1 x 9.8 inches. 

Not only they differ in casing size, but all 3 also have different sized woofers; 3.5”, 4.5”, and 6.5 inches. Besides, E3.5 and E4.5 have one LF Kevlar woofer and a small-sized 1” tweeter on each speaker. E66 takes an edge over the woofer. It features 2 mid-woofers on each speaker with 1.25” dome-tweeter.

Both E4.5 and E66 have acoustic space presets on their back panel. Whereas no acoustic space controls are present on E3.5. When it comes to built-in amplifier power, E66 wins with its 140W total power making it super-loud as compared to 50W power of E3.5 and 4.5 models. Since the earlier 3.5 and 4.5 models lack MTM configuration, E66 delivers more cohesive audio. In terms of sound quality, E66 has a smoother frequency response, wide sweet spot, soundstage, cleaner sound, and dynamic output.

Presonus Eris E66 Active MTM Dual 6 Studio Monitor photo

In our full list of the best studio monitor speakers, you will find models by Yamaha, KRK, Genelec, Adam Audio, PreSonus, and Focal Alpha.

PreSonus Eris E4.5 vs Mackie CR4 – Comparison:

Mackie Creative Reference Multimedia Monitor (Set of 2), Black w:green trim, 4-inch (CR4 (Pair))

The PreSonus Eris E4.5 and the Mackie  CR4 are two incredible budget studio monitors with amazingly similar features and specs. It is really hard to make a choice between these two. 

 The CR4 monitor is compact, light, and made by high-quality components, such as the Eris E. series. The price tag in both speakers is almost the same and it won’t hurt your pocket. Both monitors deliver a smooth, balanced, and accurate frequency response that makes your tracks and mixes sound proper. The differences between them are so minor that the last choice is an ultimate personal matter.

Final thoughts

PreSonus Eris series include budget studio monitors that can be a great investment for your home studio. Also, these studio monitors are the perfect alternative to high-priced multimedia speakers. The cost-effective E3.5 studio speakers are good enough gamers, video, and audio editors who need compact space-saving sound recording speakers. If you are a professional recorder or an expert music engineer or producer, buying Eris E66 studio monitors will work best for your home studio.

Remember that you will need an audio interface to connect your monitors, headphones, and recording devices.

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2 thoughts on “PreSonus Eris E3.5 | E4.5 | E66 Review – The Ultimate Budget Monitors”

  1. Nice article! Do you find that this is the best place to save money in a DJ setup? Or is there another area better for saving costs? I’ve got some colleagues looking to get more into DJ-ing professionally but don’t have an unlimited budget.

    • Definitely! DJ speakers are not a priority for any DJ who is just starting out. The PreSonus speakers will perform exceptionally well in every bedroom setup without breaking the budget.


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