Recording Reviews: PreSonus Eris E8 XT Studio Monitors Review
Could these be the sweet spot?
PreSonus released the Eris series studio monitors in 2013 to grab ahold of the mid-priced studio monitor market, focusing on audio quality and listening environment flexibility. The series (originally offered in 8” and 5.25” configurations) quickly became a best-seller for most retailers due to the PreSonus pedigree and quality-to-cost ratio. Six years later and they are refreshing the line, rebranding it PreSonus Eris XT (although as of this review the original Eris 5 is still available through retailers and listed on the PreSonus website).
The PreSonus Eris XT series continues the Eris tradition of 5” and 8” offerings, claiming sonic enhancements and refined room tweaking. PreSonus sent me a pair of the Eris E8 XT monitor for evaluation in my humble mixing and recording setup. Each monitor is independently powered and features multiple inputs, EQ and room tuning functions, and is rated at 130 watts (bi-amplified).
What You Need to Know
The PreSonus Eris E8 XT studio monitors I reviewed were each driven by 8-inch woven composite low-frequency transducer with 1.25-inch (31.75 mm), ultra-low-mass, silk-dome, high-frequency transducer and front-firing acoustic port supports 105 dB maximum continuous SPL with 130 watt Class AB bi-amplification. User controls include HF Adjust (±6 dB, continuously variable), Midrange Adjust (±6 dB, continuously variable), Acoustic Space settings (flat, -2, -4 dB), and Highpass filter (Off, 80 Hz, 100 Hz).
Here are the tech specs-
1- Balanced XLR
1- Balanced ¼” TRS
1- Unbalanced RCA
Frequency Response 35 Hz - 20 kHz
Crossover Frequency 2.2 kHz
LF Amplifier Power 75W
HF Amplifier Power 65W
Peak SPL (@ 1 meter) 105 dB
LF Driver 8” reinforced woofer
HF Driver 1.25” silk dome tweeter
Input Impedance 10 kΩ
Dispersion 100 degrees horizontal by 60 degrees vertical
Volume Range A-type taper
MF Control -6, 0, +6 dB
HF Control -6, 0, +6 dB
Low Cut Flat, 80 Hz, 100 Hz
Acoustic Space Flat, -2 dB, -4 dB
Width 9.75” (247.65 mm)
Depth 11.5” (292.1 mm)
Height 16” (406.4 mm)
Weight 23 lbs (10.43 kg)
The Presonus Eris XT is PreSonus’ enhancement to their Eris line of studio monitors, built on the foundation of smooth, accurate frequency response, high amplification and headroom, and acoustic tuning functions that ensure you always get the best sound. There is a reason the original Eris series is a category best-seller for the price point. The Eris E8 XT brings improvements in the form of deeper lows and a wider sweet spot through proprietary wave guide design.
The aforementioned sweet spot isn’t just marketing mojo; Eris XT studio monitors leverage a Sarvis-designed Elliptical Boundary Modeled wave guide to bring superior high-frequency response and a wider 100-degree horizontal dispersion that extends the traditional listening space for collaborative listening in a wider area.
The woven composite low-frequency driver is still core to Eris' signature bass response; plenty of punch and no flub. Eris E8 XT studio monitors enlarge the ported enclosure beyond that of the original Eris to extend accurate low frequency production as low as 35 Hz. To my ears, the amount of low-end produced without a subwoofer far exceeded mixing and mastering requirements. It was nice to know there was more available, but that’s not really what monitors are for. That much exposure to low frequencies does create the opportunity to identify and carve out mud inferior monitors may hide.
The Eris XT onboard acoustic tuning configures the monitor to the listening room via Low-cut, Mid, and High controls and a 3-way acoustic space tuning to compensate compromised speaker placement when mounted to walls or stuck in corners. While people looking to upgrade their monitors to the Eris XT may have much of this already figured out, I found these features indeed made setup and dialing them in easier.
The Eris E8 XT monitors provide balanced XLR, balanced ¼” TRS, and unbalanced RCA line-level inputs, and while I leaned on XLR for the evaluation, I confirmed the other inputs worked well and were without obvious disadvantages.
I would have liked a SDPIF input/link option for more immediate connection with my existing desk.
There’s a bit of a dance in discussing gear that isn’t supposed to have a sound, in that everything introduces some character or color to audio as it reproduces it. My evaluation time with the PreSonus Eris XT monitors, whether testing mixing/mastering tracks or as a keyboard monitor, proved them to be more than capable of providing audio to create pro mixes. If you want to hear what’s missing (or too present) in your audio, you’ll be more than equipped to tackle it, and the level of gear to capture and mix audio beyond the specs and capacity of the Eris XT would dwarf the expense of the monitors themselves.
PreSonus Eris E8 XT Studio Monitor Product Page
Buy PreSonus Eris E8XT Studio Monitor at Sweetwater (MSRP, $324.95, Street $259.95)
Chris Loeffler is a multi-instrumentalist and the Content Strategist of Harmony Central. In addition to his ten years experience as an online guitar merchandiser, marketing strategist, and community director he has worked as an international exporter, website consultant and brand manager. When he’s not working he can be found playing music, geeking out on guitar pedals and amps, and brewing tasty beer.