10 Best Studio Monitor Controller in 2023

If you have an impressive studio setup, complete with lots of different inputs, outputs, speakers, amps and studio monitors, then it can quickly get confusing for the person in charge of such a suite of equipment.

This is where ingenious devices like studio monitor controllers can really become important.

By allowing you to run all your studio monitors from one simple desktop box, you can make adjustments with the flick of a button.

So, convenience and practicality are major reasons for investing in a good studio monitor controller.

There are other advantages as well, which will be covered in this comprehensive review.

In this article I will cover the best studio monitor controller products available on the market right now and discuss what sets them apart from the competition.

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Behringer Power Amplifier (XENYX CONTROL2USB)

[amazon box=”B01KJ28QZE”]

I’ll start with one of the best studio monitor controller models that you can get without breaking the bank.

The [amazon link=”B01KJ28QZE” title=”XENYX CONTROL2USB” link_icon=”amazon” /] from behringer is a high-quality product that gives a large capacity for various input and output types.

For example, it includes 4 individually adjustable stereo input ports and can handle 3 similar outputs.

One of the most convenient features of this premium product is the inbuilt talkback mic, which allows you communicate directly with recording artists even if you are physically separate.

  • Simple black design with a clean interface
  • Good amount of input and output capacity
  • Low noise device
  • Features an in-built talkback mic
  • Not an overly ergonomic port setup
  • Other models have more dynamic headroom

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Video: “XENYX CONTROL2USB High-End Studio Control and Communication Center”

Mackie Big Knob Passive, 2×2

[amazon box=”B01NCUZ32O”]

As the name of this product suggest, it is targeted less at sophisticated studio setups and more at rough and ready DJ setup where simplicity and ease of use are most important.

The design revolves around this principle, featuring a large metal knob to control the overall levels.

The [amazon link=”B01NCUZ32O” title=”Mackie Big Knob Passive” link_icon=”amazon” /] can accommodate 2 inputs and 2 outputs and has robust electronics to compliment the simple design.

If you want something to use out of the box, this may be the controller for you.

  • Extremely simple design
  • Accessible and easy to use
  • Clean electronics help to reduce distortion
  • Highly portable
  • Not suitable for advanced studio recording sessions
  • Only accommodates 2 inputs and 2 outputs

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Video: “Mackie Big Knob Passive | Gear Review”

PreSonus Monitor Station V2 Desktop Studio Control Center

[amazon box=”B00JYF0P1G”]

This product has some nice features that make it superior to the simpler version featured above, but you will have to pay a bit extra for the privilege.

First of all, this controller can accommodate both digital and analogue signals, and it can feed to 3 stereo output monitor pairs.

The great thing about the [amazon link=”B00JYF0P1G” title=”PreSonus Monitor Station V2″ link_icon=”amazon” /] is that it features individual button and dial controls for each output, so you can adjust and mix in real time with ease.

There is also a solid state, build in condenser mic which has its own levels and gain controls, so that you can talk to the recording artist above all the noise of the music.

  • Each input and output source can be separately controlled with ease
  • Good amount of input and output capacity
  • Low self-noise
  • Features an in-built talkback mic
  • Isn’t compatible with all input types
  • Other models have more dynamic headroom

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Video: “PreSonus Monitor Station V2 Review”

PreSonus Central Station Plus: Studio Control Center with Remote Control

[amazon box=”B005JYCNRK”]

This is another excellent product from one of the best studio monitor controller manufacturers in the business.

This comes with its own perks, as you get good peace of mind and solid underlying engineering.

One of the major design principles of a good controller is that it should not process or amend the underlying signal.

The [amazon link=”B005JYCNRK” title=”PreSonus Central Station Plus” link_icon=”amazon” /] achieves this goal with a simple, transparent audio path and no inboard amps or sources of distortion of noise.

This device features a good suite of input and output ports and can accept both analogue signals and 192 kHz digital inputs, which is an industry standard.

  • Accepts both analogue and digital input signals
  • Reputable manufacturer
  • Good amount of input and output capacity
  • Provides a transparent audio path
  • This Studio Controller is a little on the expensive side, might not fit a smaller budget

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Video: “Presonus Central Station Plus Unboxing & First Impressions”

Dangerous Music MONITOR ST Remote-Controlled Source and Speaker Switcher

[amazon box=”B003Y55ZD0″]

This is another product which definitely deserves to be included on a list of the best studio monitor controller types.

The [amazon link=”B003Y55ZD0″ title=”Dangerous Music MONITOR ST” link_icon=”amazon” /] is a fully DC controller system, which means there are no transformers in the system that could color or distort the signal.

This means you get maximum signal transparency and integrity.

What’s more, the convenient design of this set up means that you can physically separate the remote controller and the actual input and output unit.

This enables you to create your perfect recording set-up, giving you considerable freedom to customize your recording suite.

  • Accepts both analogue and digital input signals
  • Uncompromised signal integrity due to DC system
  • Perfect audio transparency
  • Good amount of input and output capacity
  • Other models have more output capacity
  • Premium product with a premium price-tag

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Video: “Dangerous Monitor ST/SR: Remote and Front Panel”

JBL M-Patch 2

[amazon box=”B01I3B0OEE”]

This is a simple and functional device which might not have all the features of fancier models, but which gets the job done, nevertheless.

The [amazon link=”B01I3B0OEE” title=”JBL M-Patch 2″ link_icon=”amazon” /] has a large central knob which gives you fine control over the output levels, and there is a port to connect headphones so you can listen to the recording directly.

There is no built-in mic and the circuitry could give better signal fidelity, but for the price, it represents good value for money.

  • Accepts both analogue and digital input signals
  • Good audio transparency
  • Affordable
  • Simple, functional design
  • No inbuild talk mic
  • Only has 2 input and 2 output ports

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ESI MoCo Passive Studio Monitor Controller

[amazon box=”B076M1528Y”]

There is a lot to like about this superb, small controller.

It stands out from the crowd because of its sleek, colorful design, and the slanted surface makes it more ergonomic and easier to adjust from a seated position.

The [amazon link=”B076M1528Y” title=”ESI MoCo Passive” link_icon=”amazon” /] doesn’t have a lot of extraneous features, but it does fill a gap in the market by allowing you to adjust and switch of speakers remotely.

What’s more, it contributes very little noise or static even at the highest volume levels. The interface is clean and easy to navigate.

  • Sleek design is aesthetically pleasing
  • Ergonomic, slanted surface
  • Low self-noise
  • Simple, functional design
  • Very limited features
  • Limited output and input capacity

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Video: “ESI Audiotechnik MoCo”

Palmer Monicon L

[amazon box=”B0142IKPDM”]

This is another single-use style control which has one simple goal and achieves it with style.

In this case, the [amazon link=”B0142IKPDM” title=”Palmer Monicon L” link_icon=”amazon” /] allows you to remotely control monitors and subwoofers separately, and merge the mono output signals, as you may require.

This is a totally passive device which avoids adding any disturbance or distortion to the system.

  • Elegant design with wood trim
  • Aux input accepts a wide variety of inputs
  • Passive system
  • Limited features
  • Limited output capacity
  • No talkback mic

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Video: “Palmer Monicon L Passive Monitor Controller”

Dangerous Music SOURCE Portable Monitor Controller

[amazon box=”B008FYTK1S”]

With a name like this you expect it to deliver some serious acoustic quality, and it doesn’t disappoint.

The [amazon link=”B008FYTK1S” title=”” link_icon=”amazon” /] can accept two outputs simultaneously and there is also an option to plug in headphones to monitor the output signal in real time.

This is very useful for simple connections to laptops. It doesn’t focus on full audio fidelity because it does have a built-in preamp to allow you to boost the signal.

Digital analogue converters also allow you to switch between the two. It can be conveniently powered by the in-build USB port.

  • Contains digital analogue converters and preamps
  • Aux input accepts a wide variety of inputs
  • Powered from any USB device
  • Can contribute to noise or distortion in final output
  • No talkback mic

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Video: “Dangerous Music Source Monitoring System Overview – Sweetwater”


[amazon box=”B0752XXRQH”]

This is another extremely good offering from one of the most trusted names in the industry.

The [amazon link=”B0752XXRQH” title=” Behringer Monitor 1 ” link_icon=”amazon” /] is a premium passive device where the active free circuitry guarantees good signal preservation and makes sure that your outputs will be crystal clear.

The controls are easy to navigate and highly tuneable.

Although it may have limited special features or input/output capacity, this product more than makes up for it with its build quality and acoustic engineering.

  • Simple, functional interface with two buttons and one knob
  • Aux input accepts a wide variety of inputs
  • Active free circuitry leads to reduced distortion
  • Stylish, minimalist design
  • Only accommodated 2 inputs and 2 outputs
  • No talkback mic

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What To Look For In A Studio Monitor Controller?

There are lots of things that go into making a good studio monitor controller and the best ones will have their own special features.

But to compare products from different manufacturers you need to know what specs are most important and will actually make a difference to your use of the final product.

With that in mind, here are some of the most important factors for you to take into account.

Inputs and Outputs

Probably the most important consideration will be the number of inputs and outputs you need.

This will depend on your personal circumstances and your intended use for the monitor controller.

If you just want if for a simple acoustic session with one instrument and one listener, then a simple, small, functional 2×2 set up will probably suffice.

If you need to output to a bunch of different studio monitors or accept inputs from a number of different signals (such as for a live performance), then you’ll probably need a much higher capacity piece of equipment.

3×4 setups are common, but even larger devices can be found if required.

Audio Quality

Another consideration should be the headroom and general audio quality of the device.

It is important that your controller can handle high power inputs without clipping or unduly distorting the signal.

For interface devices like studio monitor controllers, fidelity and accurate transfer of the signal is key.

This means they should not contribute any audible noise or distracting static to the overall audio experience.

To minimize this noise passive systems are preferred over active systems.

Other Features

There are a few other features that might be on your wish list for the best studio monitor controller.

For example, if you want to communicate directly with an artist in a recording booth, then a built-in mic is very handy.

A separate output port for headphones is also essential if you want to be able to monitor the signal in real time.

The final thing that a good device should have is a clean, easy to navigate interface.

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All of the products in this article have many advantages and disadvantages. Some are moderately priced while others fall in the expensive end of the spectrum.

Before you make a purchase you should give serious thought to how you will use the controller, as this should dictate what features and specs you should prioritize.

Remember to buy from a reputable seller and a trusted brand if you can, and always try and get a warranty included in the purchase.

With a great studio monitor controller like the ones featured in this article, you should be rocking out in a recording session in no time!

Juan Stansbury
Juan Stansbury

I'm Juan Stansbury, author and owner of Homerecordio – your ultimate destination for everything about homerecording. With hands-on experience, courses, workshops, and industry research, I offer tips on selecting the best equipment, and mixing and mastering your recordings to achieve professional-quality results at home. Join me on this journey to explore the world of homerecording and music production.

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