Yamaha is one of the leading studio monitor specialists in the industry and they’ve found a winning product with the HS range. A follow on from the popular NS10 design, the HS series takes on brand new technology and pushes the boundaries of studio monitor design.
The HS7 and HS8 are the two popular products in the HS series and this article will look at how you can differentiate between the two. The size and output are the obvious factors in these monitors and although they are very similar, each design can offer slightly different results.
You’ll find that each one will give you superior sound quality when used in certain situations and for specific music genres. We’ll take a closer look and explain in detail how each monitor works and hopefully, this will make your eventual buying decision a little easier.
Side by Side Comparison
|Yamaha HS7||Yamaha HS8|
|LF Driver Size||6.5"||8"|
|LF Driver Type||Cone||Cone|
|HF Driver Size||1"||1"|
|HF Driver Type||Dome||Dome|
|LF Driver Power Amp||60W||75W|
|HF Driver Power Amp||35W||45W|
|Input Types||1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4" TRS||1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4" TRS|
|Enclosure Type||Rear Ported||Rear Ported|
|Weight||18.1 lbs.||22.5 lbs.|
In terms of design, there is not a lot of difference between the HS7 and the HS8 apart from the size. The HS7 comes with a 6.5-inch woofer and the HS8 is designed with the 8-inch woofer but everything is pretty much the same in terms of construction, features, and outputs.
The setup and build quality of the two monitors are both very similar as well. The rear-firing ports are built into both designs so placing them away from walls is going to give you the best sound possible. They are both coated in scratch-resistant material which adds to their durability.
The sound quality is where we start to see a difference. The HS8’s are designed to output deep bass frequencies and these monitors will overpower a smaller-sized room. The HS7, although not as bass-driven, is the all-rounder in terms of usability but loses some punch in the low end.
The price between the two is roughly $70 and it’s not a huge difference but spending the extra money to buy the HS8 to use in a small room is a waste. The HS7 is far better suited and so it really comes down to the style of music and size of the room when deciding between the two.
The Yamaha HS7 is one of the most desired studio monitors in the HS-Series. The sound comes from a 6.5-inch woofer and 1-inch tweeter which is covered in a metal mesh screen for protection. The distinctive white cones and solid construction are reminiscent of the NS10’s.
The HS7 monitor delivers a truly honest mix and that’s why they prove to be so popular amongst the pros and even many casual music producers. The room control and frequency response features give users accurate performance no matter where the monitors are set up.
Internally, the HS7 delivers 60 watts via the woofer and a further 35 watts through the tweeter with a crossover frequency of 2kHz. Yamaha has always delivered good-looking monitors and the HS series stick to that rule. The smooth and rounded sides are coated for an elegant finish.
The HS7 is a well-rounded monitor and suited to music styles that are not so bass-heavy. Also, the HS7 is your go-to monitor if you’re working in a small-sized room because anything bigger, like the HS8, will cause the sound to distort and bounce around the room too much.
Pros of the Yamaha HS7
- Active/powered monitor design
- Works well in different sized rooms
- Dynamic 54Hz-30kHz frequency response with great mid-range
- Bi-amped drivers for pure high and low frequencies
- Room Control and High Trim features for sound optimization
- Competitively priced
Yamaha HS8 Review
The Yamaha HS8 is the biggest in the series and comes with an 8-inch woofer and 1-inch tweeter. It has been designed to suit the bass-heavy music genres of EDM and D&B and offers a flat frequency response with an exceptionally tight deep end sound.
The newly designed drivers and cabinet is an upgrade on the original HS80M design and the black and white colors look great in any studio setup. The white LED light illuminates behind the Yamaha logo and this gains some extra points for coolness!
The deep bass is synonymous with the HS8 but it has been designed to not lose any clarity in the mid-range. The frequency response of this studio monitor has been set between 47Hz and 24kHz and so this should have more than enough low end for most users in a studio situation.
As we mentioned, the HS8’s are the biggest in the HS-Series and they’re only going to be effective in large rooms. Place them in any standard sized bedroom and they’ll be wasted with too much distortion and the true potential of these expertly designed monitors will be missed.
Pros of the Yamaha HS8
- Active monitors with a neutral sound
- Accurate sound perfect for critical listening
- Huge potential for low-end frequencies
- Bi-amped driver design with a well-defined low-end
- Optimized Room Control and High Trim features
The real comparison of the HS7 and HS8 comes down to the sound output and cost. The price difference between the two is minimal and if you’re working and mixing in a large room then the extra $70 or so is going to be worth it. The extra punch from the bass is going to sound great in the right sized room and it gives you plenty of headroom for working on EDM and other bass-heavy music. So to clarify, the HS7 is the right choice for bedroom producers, unless of course, you’re lucky enough to find yourself living and mixing in a huge bedroom! HS8’s would be overkill in our opinion and so the clarity and consistency of the HS7 in a smaller room will work nicely for most users.
In summary, if it’s loud and punchy bass that you want and you’ve got the room or studio to warrant the HS8’s, by that we mean a professionally treated space for big bass-driven music, then it will be a worthwhile purchase. Otherwise, we suggest sticking to the HS7 as they provide more than enough power and quality for most musical projects. If you do find that you need some extra output and bass then adding a subwoofer to the monitor setup would be your best solution. If you can figure out what style of music you’ll be working on the most and then take into consideration your studio space, the choice between the HS7 and HS8 should be a simple one.