Link Audio | RRP: $399
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 has 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. If you’ve been creating podcasts, music, or video content for a while and it’s high time you levelled up from headphone mixing to active reference monitors, the PreSonus Eris E5 BTs have you covered.
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PreSonus’ Eris brand is well established and their E5 BT model offers a lot of versatility in a five-inch form factor. Built with faithful sonic reproduction in mind, they feature a few handy options to get the best out of even the most challenging of small studio environments. They look sleekly professional with an illuminated logo and their metal grille gives them an air of rugged reassurance.
Home offices, bedrooms, or other untreated rooms often produce worse sound if you throw too much at them. The Eris E5 features a 5.25-inch woofer, perfect for modest-sized rooms. They provide a plethora of connectivity options, including the Bluetooth 5.0 this revision is named after. It’s becoming increasingly common that desktops form part of tutorial sets and the minimalism afforded by a wireless setup will certainly appeal to aesthetically-minded content producers. Outside of wireless options, there’s balanced TRS and unbalanced RCA, and for the first time in the Eris series, a sub out option for integrating a subwoofer into your monitoring system.
Alongside the inputs at the rear of the monitor, you’ll find acoustic tuning dials for highs and mids, to fine-tune the sonic reproduction for your listening environment. Each dial can attenuate or gain the signal by up to 6dB, the mids at the 100Hz frequency and the highs at 10kHz. For use with a subwoofer, a low-cut switch allows you to select from flat, 80Hz, or 100Hz. Finally, there’s also a toggle switch to attenuate sub-800Hz frequencies based on their placement relative to the corners of the room, labelled ‘acoustic space’. There’s a handy diagram to help determine when to use it, perfect for users that don’t have bass traps.
Woven-glass composite woofers and silk-dome tweeters are utilised to project an impressively clean, neutral sound. With a frequency response of 53Hz to 22kHz, the one area they may be lacking is the bottom end, but the option of using them alongside a sub gives them great flexibility for treated rooms. With the prevalence of bedrooms or home-office content creation, the versatility of five-inch speakers used in combination with headphones for dialling in the bottom end is becoming increasingly common. The Eris E5 BT monitors suit this workflow perfectly and even feature a front-mounted headphone jack for ergonomic ease. RF interference and subsonic filtering provide protection from unwanted noise or muddy reflection.
Bundled in with these nifty monitors is PreSonus’ own StudioOne DAW software with over $1,000 worth of effects and VSTs to begin or enhance your music production journey. With 100 watts of combined power behind these monitors, they reach a booming SPL of 120 decibels, more than most home studios will ever need. That’s surprising power coming out of the modest 260 by 178-millimetre enclosure.
In use, the Eris E5 BTs performed admirably. Connecting via Bluetooth was a breeze and really helped reduce the amount of studio cable spaghetti that’s ever-multiplying in our studio corners. Having alternate connection options will be appealing to live streamers and podcast producers, especially the additional auxiliary input. The response was clear and articulate, ideal for mixing vocal takes whether it be reining in sibilance or adding more body and depth through EQ’ing, or spreading stacked takes to create the perfect stereo harmony for a chorus. In the non-linear video editing suite, they worked a treat for dialling in the mix between voice-over and soundtrack for corporate video production. Back in the DAW, the bass does noticeably taper off in the lowest frequencies but if used in combination with headphones, you can tame the bottom end much more accurately than trying to work with a dramatically-hyped monitor or entertainment system. There is also the subwoofer route which will appeal to creators working in treated studio spaces with limited space.
Here at Mixdown, we were impressed at the quality of these affordable monitors and expect them to be a popular option, especially for content creators. Given their price point, 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 with this five-inch variant.
PreSonus’ Eris monitors have a solid reputation for good reason, and between the bonus software and wide range of connectivity options, it’s hard to go wrong with the PreSonus Eris E5 BT.