Instrument Insight

Yamaha HS8 Review (Everything You Need To Know)

Learn everything you need to know about your next big hearing partner “Yamaha HS8 Studio Monitor” in this ultimate review guide before purchase: The best you can buy for the money.

Many sound system enthusiasts remember the Yamaha NS10 as an icon of music history used by nearly every record producer in the 1980s. Yamaha now offers a modern version to achieve the same impressive sound as their classic model in the HS8.

The Yamaha HS8 studio monitor is renowned for its ability to reveal honest sound flaws and inaccuracies in professional and home recording studios. Like its predecessor, these monitor speakers offer the incredible sound quality necessary for absolute clarity. This Yamaha HS8 review will explore every aspect of these excellent monitors.

Yamaha HS8 (At A Glance)

9.9out of 10

Sound Quality9.9
Built Quality9.9
Electronics9.9
Accuracy9.9
Value For Money9.9

Best For All-Around
9.9/10Expert Score
  • 8 inch cone woofer and 1 inch dome tweeter; Produce low distortion sound with a well-defined bottom end at any output level
  • 38Hz to 30kHz frequency response; Power consumption: 60 watts
  • 75W LF plus 45W HF bi amp system 120W total; Level control ( 4dB/center click), EQ: High trim switch ( / 2dB at HF) / Room control switch (0/2/4 dB under 500Hz)
  • Room control and high trim response controls
  • XLR and TRS phone jack inputs. Crossover: 2kHz
Pros
  • Reproduced and amplified sound ideal for correcting recording
  • 8-inch woofer and 2-way bass reflex system eliminate the need for a separate subwoofer
  • Two control systems ensure that the speaker is adaptable to every location
  • 120-Watt Power and impressive sound quality allow the HS8 to serve as a home speaker
Cons
  • Not as popular as the NS10, which discontinued
  • Intense bass tracks are not necessary for smaller studios

Specifications

These HS Series monitors boast impressive specifications. Speaker units consist of an 8-inch, 75-watt cone woofer, which ensures minimal distortion and clear sound on the bottom-end output.

For high-end output, an efficient 1″ dome tweeter further enhances crispness. A bi-amp system further enhances total output with combined 120-Watt amplification from Yamaha’s power amplifier and innovative bi-amp design.

The 38Hz-30kHz frequency range means an accurate sound reproduction of any sound, from low-frequency to high-frequency detail.

Features

Yamaha HS8’s amplified monitor also includes numerous useful features that further contribute to an excellent design.

These features include an enhanced 2-Way Bass Reflex system that ensures tight bass reproduction. It eliminates the necessity of a subwoofer while a room control feature avoids the issues typically present when studios place speakers near walls in the control room.

Additional highlights include a HIGH-TRIM switch, which also allows users greater control over high-frequency responses with HIGH-TRIM response options. At the same time, a Medium Density Fiberboard Enclosure eliminates any resonance.

yamaha-hs8

Design

The striking overall design of the Yamaha HS8 is a significant draw for record producers on the market for a high-quality studio monitor.

Overall Build Quality

As a larger studio monitor with a vertical orientation and easy mounting, the Yamaha HS8 is a striking model. Fourteen bolts in the front seamlessly incorporate a beautiful overall design, highlighted by Yamaha’s iconic white logo.

This active monitor’s rear panel includes standard jack outputs and level control room features. While this simplistic monitoring bridge design may not suit anyone, the HS8 is attractive to consumers seeking the sweet spot between overly simplistic and futuristic stereo imaging.

Sound Quality

Sound producers can expect a colored sound and clear acoustic response from the Yamaha HS8 at any volume level. Although the sound quality may not rival more expensive models, this monitor offers an accurate representation of any track’s pure sound.

A controlled flux field, internal crossover, and high-quality transient response further contribute to the exceptional sound quality offered by the intelligent design of the HS8. The resulting sound is perhaps the most natural sound produced by any speaker.

Although the enhanced clarity of music recording flaws may lead to a prolonged production process, the music produced with a Yamaha HS8 translates to standard car speakers smoother than music produced with any other type of studio monitor.

Versatility

While the customizable features of the Yamaha HS8 may not be necessary to produce exceptional recordings, the ability to change specific settings on these speaker units allows producers maximum versatility.

The speaker is virtually self-contained since it does not require a subwoofer and is easy to transport. Room control and frequency response settings also give producers the ability to optimize the studio monitor’s function for different rooms, regardless of the Yamaha HS8’s location.

Value For The Money

Yamaha produced the best studio monitor for its respective price category in the HS8. Although you can certainly buy higher-quality speakers for more significant price tags, the Yamaha HS8 creates an even purer sound than some high-end studio monitors.

Consumers should check price points at the time of purchase, but this sleek and powerful speaker’s lower price tag makes the Yamaha HS8 a smart buy for those on a budget.

Unboxing Video

Delight your eyes by this wonderful unboxing video by Aaliyah Nicole:

Sound Test

Yamaha HS8 Review Insight

Yamaha HS8 Review Insight (Editor's Edition)

Product Name: Yamaha HS8 Studio Monitor

Product Description: For creating honest and accurate mixes, professionals do recommend the proven Yamaha HS8 8" 2-way powered studio monitors as they're very capable of producing a natural and flat response. This monitor features high-performance speakers and a mounting system. Speakers include an 8" woofer and a 1" tweeter that produce superlative audio performance and full-bodied sound without a sub-woofer and delivers on-point midrange with high clarity with clean and smooth highs. Over time, this has become the first choice of sound professionals because of its bi-amplified monitor speakers as they make the most electrical and sonic sense. Some other features include built-in power, large magnets in an advanced magnetic circuit design, portability, versatility, serious surround production with noise reduction technology, and optimum response in any room and environment.

Brand: Yamaha

  • Built Quality
    (4.8)
  • Sound Quality
    (4.9)
  • Design Quality
    (5)
  • Versatility
    (4.7)
  • Electronics
    (4.9)
  • Value For Money
    (4.8)

In A Nutshell

  • Size: Near-Field
  • Configuration: 2-way
  • System Type: Active
  • Low-Frequency Driver: 8″
  • High-Frequency Driver: 1″
  • Driver Type: Dome
  • Frequency Response: 38Hz-30kHz
  • Output Power: 120w
  • Input Connectors: High Trim Response Controls XLR and TRS
  • Acoustic Space Control: Yes
  • Power Indicator: Yes
  • Width: 9.8 inches
  • Height: 15.4 inches
  • Depth: 13.1 inches
  • Encloser Type: Ported
Overall
4.9

Choose The HS8 If

If you are a sound producer seeking a versatile studio monitor suitable for any surroundings, choose the Yamaha HS8 for the advanced features that allow you to customize your monitor to your space. Fans of the Yamaha NS10 will especially appreciate this model as a modern alternative to the discontinued legend.

The pure sound of the HS8 is also optimal for EDM music producers who want to identify issues in their mixes quicker than similar monitors.

Don’t Choose The HS8 If

If your studio is small and you do not require the deep electric bass offered by the HS8, a smaller model may be more suitable. Additionally, if you have a higher budget, better quality monitors are available at a steeper price point. On the other hand, sound systems at a lower price category may be suitable if you don’t need colored sound.

Yamaha HS8 Alternatives

Although the NS10 was discontinued, Yamaha offers additional HS Series monitors to suit a variety of needs. The HS5 is an incredibly popular model that offers excellent overall sound with less bass intensity that is potentially a better fit for smaller studios than the HS8.

But for larger rooms, you can surely have a look at each of the following five:

Mackie HR824mkii 8-inch
Best For Sound And Accuracy
Mackie HR824mkii 8-inch
9.8
  • Powered Monitor with 8¾" LF Driver
  • Acoustic Space Control
  • 1" Dome Tweeter
  • HF Shelf (each)
  • LF Roll-off
Neumann KH 120 A
Best For Amazing Detail And Flat Response
Neumann KH 120 A
9.7
  • Bi-amplified (50Watt + 50Watt) 2-way monitoring speaker system featuring a 5.25-inch long-throw woofer and 1inch titanium fabric dome tweeter
  • Precision manufactured to ± .5db tolerance ensuring perfectly matched pairs to deliver superb sound staging and imaging
  • Compact and rugged, nonresonant Aluminum enclosure eliminates unwanted cabinet induced coloration
  • Free field frequency response of 52 Hertz -21 kiloHertz, ± 3 dB
ADAM Audio T8V 2-Way
Best For Powerful Lows & Transparent Highs
ADAM Audio T8V 2-Way
9.7
  • Crossover Frequency : 2,6 kHz
  • Input Sensitivity : +4 dBu / -10 dBV
  • Full Product Specifications : Tweeter
  • Amplifier Power70 W [Woofer] 20 W [Tweeter]
  • Input switch: +/- 2 dB High Shelf and Low Shelf filters
FOCAL Alpha 80
Best For Clarity And Neutrality
FOCAL Alpha 80
9.6
  • Near-field Active 2-way Drivers, Low-frequency driver: 8", High-frequency driver: 1", Driver type: Polyglass, Max peak SPL: 109 dB, Amplifier class: AB Output power: 140W Onboard Features Input connectors: XLR, RCA, Standby mode: Yes
  • The Focal Alpha 80 is a versatile studio monitor with quality components and design with 35Hz to 22kHz (+/- 3dB) frequency response
  • It serves beautifully in a variety of capacities, performing just as well with instrumental music as with electronic music
Avantone Pro Active MixCube
Best For Secondary Reference
Avantone Pro Active MixCube
9.5
  • Sold as a single monitor
  • Balanced Input: This combo XLR input accepts a Balanced male XLR plug as well as a 3-conductor Balanced TRS 1/4-Inch or a 2 conductor Unbalanced TS 1/4-Inch male plug
  • System Gain: This variable control adjusts the sensitivity of the signal that appears at the input
  • On/Off Switch: This illuminated switch turns the amplifier section on and off

Final Verdict

While the HS8 isn’t quite as popular as its predecessor, this Yamaha HS8 review demonstrated that this studio monitor is an excellent choice. The advanced specifications and useful features complete a thoughtful design that makes it possible for any recording producer to create impeccable sound in any studio. 

For those who simply wish to appreciate greater detail in the music, this monitor exemplifies its versatility as a powerful home speaker.

Author | Recording Gear Expert at Instrument Insight | Website

Steven P. Frizzell is from Kinston, NC. He's 37 years old and currently works as a recording gear expert at Instrument Insight. Steven has an amazing understanding of recording gears, and related equipment - their materials, build quality, and versatility. He also has an in-depth knowledge of the history and origins of various recording gear manufacturing brands. This makes him one of the most sought-after experts in the industry!

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