Sonodyne are a true underdog of professional studio monitoring. The company produces professional and consumer level products as well as servicing cinemas, permanent installations and music studios. They’re not an unknown company, but their products are by no means entry-level so they may be unknown to engineers and producers who haven’t spent hours trawling forums looking for the best-of-the-best speakers.
The Sonodyne SRP400 are, more specifically, a two-way active near field monitor featuring a 4.5” Kevlar woofer and 1” Neodymium magnet high frequency transducer. They’re the second smallest of the SRP series of studio monitors.
In use, the SP400s are balanced and honest. Over time their honesty can be a little fatiguing but that’s the price you pay for a clear stereo image and honest sound. Stereo width and image can be clearly heard, referenced and mixed, while the high frequency response of the monitor is smooth and very present. The Sonodynes don’t let anything get past them without a solid look over to ensure your mixes translate on any and every speaker they could be played on. The Sonodynes would make a great main monitor, either in the baby SRP400 or up to the larger SRP800 with an 8” Kevlar woofer as opposed to a 4” one. The bottom end response of the 400s is present without being overbearing, but the SRP400s are listed as responding only from 75Hz up to 22kHz, so be weary. The monitors are nice enough to be integrated into a full-time system with a subwoofer though, so don’t let the frequency response turn you away. Being so small in size, the monitors could easily also be slipped into a hard case and travelled with for mixing or songwriting on the road.
The SRP400s are made from pressure die-cast aluminium and feature a custom waveguide around the high frequency transducer to ensure everything you need to hear in your sweet spot is available. On the back of the die-cast shell are a few little acoustic treatment controls such as bass tilt and treble tilt to ensure they sound as intended in any room. The inputs and power are recessed so that these speakers can be even less in the way than they already were (or weren’t), and feature XLR and 1/4” input jacks depending on what i/o you’ve got on your sound card. The crossover for the dual Class-H amplifiers is 3kHz, which assist the speaker in responding with such balance and power.The Sonodyne SRP400s feature an acoustic/bass port on the front of the speaker to assist in directing the sound to the right place: you. They also feature toroidal transformers to keep the bi-amplification running clean and quietly.
Overall, the Sonodyne SRP400s would be a great upgrade from a budget monitor, or for someone with an existing monitoring system who need some extra flavour. Main monitors are great, but more monitors are better. The Sonodyne SRP400s, as well as any of the other speakers of varying sizes in the SRP range, would serve a producer of any level really well. They’ll tell you what you need to know to get your recordings and mixes out as quickly as possible. The speakers run cleanly, quietly, sit inconspicuously and will continue to produce great, honest and balanced sound when you need them - whether that’s every day or as a point of reference when working through tough mixes.
Hits and Misses
Balanced sound regardless