The Yamaha HS5 and HS8 are arguably the two most popular studio monitors in Yamaha's line-up. They're indoor speakers though, so I wouldn't really recommend them for outdoors use (which, in such case, you can check out Klipsch AW-650).
In summary, if you’re looking for a high-quality monitor for casual listening to music and watching movies at home, then the Yamaha HS5 has just the right frequency range and power for a great listening experience. But if you intend to use it in a studio for audio production or build a home theater system, the Yamaha HS8 has better overall acoustics and is the better choice.
In summary, the difference in sound quality between HS5 and HS8 is quite a bit noticeable even to non-professional ears. Additionally, even when looking at it from the price-performance standpoint, the HS8 pays off every extra penny in my opinion.
- The Yamaha HS5 is best for casual listening or beginners in music production, while you can use the Yamaha HS8 in a professional studio for audio production and home theater systems
- The Yamaha HS8 is twice more expensive than the HS5
- The Yamaha HS8 has a better and more professional overall sound quality
- The Yamaha HS8 is the upgraded version of the HS5
- The Yamaha HS8 is a lot heavier at 29.1 lbs than the HS5, which is only 12 lbs
Design and Build
The Yamaha HS5 and HS8 are part of the Yamaha Professional Audio Speakers HS Series, the 2nd generation nearfield reference monitors. All the products in this series come in two classic colors—black and white.
The Yamaha HS5 is a single-unit woofer that’s mountable and has a stereo output. This is the smallest unit in the HS series, the 5-inch speaker, which measures 7x9x12 inches and weighs 12 pounds.
The cone woofer measures 5-inches, and the dome tweeter measures 1-inch. Though the smallest in the series, it creates a very smooth response over different sound frequencies.
The Yamaha HS8 is likewise a single-unit woofer that’s mountable and has a stereo output. It measures 16x14.2x21 inches and weighs a lot heavier than the Yamaha HS5 at 29.1 pounds. It has screws and mounting points to make installation easier. Baton brackets are available but are sold separately.
Check here the manual of Yamaha HS5 and HS8.
The Yamaha HS series has accurate signal reproduction and superior sonic performance. It has highly efficient twitters, powerful woofers, and a low resonance enclosure design.
Both the Yamaha HS5 and the Yamaha HS8 have a 2-way bi-amp design. This means it has a dedicated amp for the woofer and the tweeter, ensuring a high-resolution sound. They have two response controls, the HIGH TRIM and the ROOM CONTROL.
These features will be beneficial to adjust the sound depending on where it is situated or in case the monitor needs to be placed against a wall.
The HS series has newly constructed enclosures using a resilient MDF and damped acoustic response. These monitors have advanced noise reduction technology. This is done through a carefully engineered speaker port that prevents any vortex at the end to trap air, vibrate, and cause noise.
The Yamaha HS8 has an 8-inch subwoofer and a 1-inch tweeter. This is usually powerful enough to for an entire studio, so you don’t need to purchase an additional subwoofer.
To sum it up, the Yamaha HS8 has all the physical features of the Yamaha HS5 but is more upgraded in sound quality.
Let me tell you something right off the bat.
The sound quality performance you'll end up getting from a speaker will always depend on your room acoustics - particularly room dimensions and speaker positions.
The impact of the combination of these two is actually so strong that in most cases, it doesn't even make sense to utter a single word on sound quality without speaking of them.
This is also why it's not unusual to see completely different reviews of the same speaker.
In one case the speaker might be placed in a sweet spot inside the room and hence the user might be satisfied. In other cases the same speaker might be ill placed and hence user might even have returned it.
The point most people miss here is that it mostly isn't even about the engineering behind the speaker itself. It's about where you place the speaker inside which room.
So, in order to solve this problem, I've partnered with Acoustics and Audio Engineering PhD Andrea Cicero from AC Acustica and created Soundton - a simple, 2D, browser accessible online speaker placement calculator.
With Soundton, now there's a way to figure the sound quality of most speakers before you buy them.
Read more about its working principles at soundton.com/documentation/.
The end colormap provides you the locations with the best (green) and worst (red) acoustics.