Review: Hercules Monitor 5 ‘The first serious studio monitors’ - InsideAudio

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30 Jan 2020

Review: Hercules Monitor 5 ‘The first serious studio monitors’

reviews Review: Hercules Monitor 5 ‘The first serious studio monitors’


We mainly know Hercules from the accessible DJ-controllers like the Inpulse, P32 and the XPS monitors, which we’ve written about before. Besides that, the French company develops all kinds of multimedia hardware. But will they be producing equipment for the producers that desire more than just the basics? It looks like the answer might be yes thanks to Monitor 5. It certainly isn’t a high-end studio monitor, but it’s well-priced to be an entry-level monitor.

Enough cause to see for ourselves whether the Hercules Monitor 5 is worth considering!


Positioning

Hercules is known for developing very accessible hardware with a focus on beginner DJ’s. Besides that, they boast an array of consumer products and a few monitors that fit right into a DJ set. We’ve already seen the steps towards professionalizing with the launch of the Inpulse all-in-one DJ-controller. Monitor 5 looks like the continuation of this trend towards professionalizing.

At first glance, it should be competing head to head with KRK’s RP5 since they’re in the same price class, have the same woofer size and because of the famous yellow monitor.

Hercules sells the monitors as a set for €299, -, but is it worth that price?

Hercules Monitor 5
Hercules Monitor 5
Ports
Hercules Monitor 5

Build quality and hardware

The previous XPS monitors by Hercules gave us a budget feel, which most definitely isn’t the case for the Monitor 5. This isn’t that surprising seeing that the XPS monitors are half the price. The monitors are fairly heavy and feel well-made. The case is made of matte black MDF-wood, which gives it a clean look, and the front has a plastic finish.

The 5-inch woofers are made of Kevlar composite and 1-inch metal membrane tweeters. Below are two little bass ports tucked away in the corners, which you can see on the image below.

Bi-amplified

The Hercules Monitor 5 is an active bi-amplified speaker. Because it’s bi-amplified the power is distributed, the woofer getting 50 watts and the tweeter 30 watt, which is a fair distribution of power and sound. This adds up to 80 watts per speaker and 160 watt per set, which is more than enough for your bedroom!

Controls

There’s an on/off switch on the front paired with a volume knob, which rotates around freely, which isn’t ideal if you’re trying to set it at a precise setting. There’s a led built into the volume knob allowing you to see whether the speaker is on or off at a glance.

It seems like a better idea for us to place these controls on the back of the speaker, especially in a studio setting. But since the speaker is versatile and can be used for multiple purposes, it might come in handy having these controls on the front.

Adjusting based on your room

Besides featuring 3 input options (XLR, a big jack (TRS) and RCA), which is great, you also have the option to adjust the frequency response on the back of the monitor with a low-pass 56 Hz, 80 Hz and 100 Hz and also boosting or lowering the high and low frequencies with 2 decibel. It’s good to see Hercules providing the option to configure the monitors based on your room.

Hercules Monitor 5
Hercules Monitor 5
Hercules Monitor 5

Specifications

Down below you’ll find Hercules Monitor 5’s specifications.

  • 5-inch woofers.
  • Balanced dual bass ports.
  • Speaker enclosures crafted of high-density MDF.
  • 80 watts RMS output power per speaker.
  • RCA, TRS (6.35 mm) and XLR inputs.
  • Compact design, perfect for any space.
  • On/Off switch on front of each speaker for easy access.
  • Master volume knob on front of each speaker for more precise control.
  • Indicator light in ON position.
  • High-frequency adjustment: + or – 2 dB.
  • Low-frequency adjustment: + or – 2 dB.
  • Adjustable low-frequency cutoff: 56 Hz, 80 Hz or 100 Hz.

Sound quality

The sound is very clean and tight, which we weren’t necessarily expecting, it’s the first serious speaker Hercules has made, and you can’t expect perfection on a first try. The high frequencies are very clean and especially hi-hats and vocals sound excellent. When comparing the low frequencies with other speakers the Monitor 5 doesn’t sound hefty enough, but luckily this is adjustable on the back.

On the whole, these are fine speakers for creating your first productions and mixing!

Conclusion

The positioning of the XPS-monitors wasn’t very clear to us, are these DJ-speakers, studio speakers or multimedia speakers? Hercules has given the Monitor 5 a clear position as a decent set of studio monitors.

The Hercules 5 are good all-round monitors for your bedroom studio and for use in, for example, a DJ-setup. So not as multimedia speakers in your living room, but clearly for use as a DJ or producer.

We think that Hercules has made an important step towards producing serious monitors for beginners. When it comes to sound the low frequency is a bit lacking, but they aren’t big speakers after all – maybe Hercules will come out with a 7 or 8-inch version in the future?

All in all a very interesting set of monitors for beginners with impressive performance for its price range!

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