Whether you’re just starting to dip your toes into the deep, murky waters of setting up your own studio or you’re a seasoned professional with a penchant for all things boutique, you’ll know that PreSonus are always there to be relied upon. Although the brand have always aimed to appease those within the audio technology sector, it’s apparent there’s more to the market than musicians in this day and age.
The allure of podcasting, content creation and live streaming is attracting more and more casual consumers who are less picky about tech specs and focus rather on functionality and price, this is where these new Eris BT Monitors comes into the picture. Referred to by PreSonus as Media Reference Monitors, these compact, Bluetooth-equipped babies are available in both 3.5” and 4.5” configurations, making them suitable for creating, sharing and listening anywhere within the home environment.
As far as studio monitors go, setting up the Eris BT series is a breeze. Straight out of the box, you’ll find two speakers: one passive, and one powered with a 50w amplifier, as well as a mains plug, speaker connecting cables, a TRS to RCA cable and a single 1.5m stereo TRS cord. There’s also adhesive foam feet included that you can peel off and stick to the bottom of each monitor to assist with sound isolation, which I thought was a nice little afterthought here. Despite the difference in price and speaker size, both the 3.5” and 4.5” bear a similar combined weight of 2.9kg, while their slight dimensions allow them to flank your desk top, bookshelf or even bedside table without taking up any excessive real estate.
Even though they’re not directly referred to as Studio Monitors and are aimed at a demographic that wouldn’t consider themselves as audiophiles, both pairs of Eris BT monitors output a balanced, smooth sound without too much colour: an essential feature when used to critically reference audio. While the 4.5” obviously brings a bit more low-end to the table than its smaller counterpart, the woven composite drivers of these Eris speakers allow for a tight bass response which remains clean even when pushed at loud volumes.
The 1” silk-dome tweeters located above the woofers also let your transients and high-end frequencies sparkle without being too bright and shiny – something I noticed immediately while tapping out a hi-hat sequence on my MPC. These tweeters are also decked out with a wide pattern to ensure there’s a large optimal listening field - meaning you’ll spend less time positioning your speakers to find the sweet spot when mixing or even casually listening. Both the 3.5” and 4.5”’s main powered monitors also feature acoustic tuning knobs on the rear to attenuate or boost any frequencies your listening environment might absorb, making them even more versatile and user-friendly.
Pairing these monitors to any audio source via Bluetooth is also super simple – I managed to hook up both my laptop and phone within a minute via a simple menu dive, with the LED on front of the powered monitor glowing white to indicate you’re connected. To my surprise, I experienced barely any latency issues or notable drop in sound quality, even when I put these monitors to the test with a CPU-hungry Logic session. While it would be nice be able to pair more than two devices to the monitors, I’m sure this feature won’t garner many complaints from its intended demographic.
Given their pricepoint, functionality and sound, the PreSonus Eris BT series definitely set a new standard for budding content creators. They’re light, compact, easy to use, sound great and most importantly, cater to a range of users who mightn’t be as well-versed in the tech-heavy lingo of other reference monitors – and for that, PreSonus have bagged a winner.
Hits and Misses
Perfect for entry-level users
Great sound even in shoddy listening environments
Bluetooth connectivity is a big plus
Price is almost too good to be true