PreSonus Audio Electronics was founded in 1995. Their goal was to create affordable, professional equipment with exceptional sound quality. As well as providing innovative music production tools for musicians and audio engineers.
We’ve always had a love/hate relationship with PreSonus equipment. The main reason stems from the fact that they are always the last name in gear suggested when purchasing new equipment.
This might sound a bit unfair. But when you’ve used Focusrite and Genelecs for years, and you are more than happy with the results, then you generally stick with what you know best.
We know that PreSonus delivers lots of high-end, quality audio equipment these days. But with so many established market leaders around, where do they sit in all this chaos?
Let us get a feel for things with our in-depth PreSonus Eris E3.5 review…
The PreSonus Eris E3.5 are entry-level, two-way active reference monitor speakers. These speakers are proof that you don’t need to spend a fortune to achieve an accurate sound. Considering the extremely low price point, these could be some of the best budget studio monitors out there.
These use the same technology as the larger Eris models and deliver a pretty smooth and accurate frequency response. The tweeter has a fairly wide dispersion pattern. Additionally, they can hold their own against many other speakers at the same price or slightly more expensive, with a crisp, clean sound.
Like most entry-level, budget speakers, they are made of a medium-density fiberboard which is vinyl laminated. The Eris E3.5 speakers do have a very agreeable color scheme with a nice matte black finish and an appealing blue shade on the woofer.
They are pretty compact with a width of 6.5”, a height of 8.3”, and a depth of 6.4”. They weigh in at 2.9 kilos for the pair. These speakers are very popular and used worldwide because they are some of the best portable speakers around. They are considered by some engineers to be useful in music production, and to a degree, as mixing speakers.
The woofer is a 3.5” low-frequency transducer cone made of woven Kevlar. The tweeter is a 1” ultra-low-mass, silk dome frequency transducer with a frequency response of 80Hz – 20kHz and a crossover frequency of 2.8kHz.
For this price, it is impressive to see two sets of inputs on the back; a balanced ¼” TRS and an unbalanced RCA. On the front, there is a stereo 1/8” Aux input.
This Aux input is a great addition, allowing you to easily connect your smartphone or any other device with the useful stereo 1/8” mini-jack input. This means these are not only good monitoring speakers but could also be an awesome set of the best computer speakers as well.
The addition of a high and low EQ on the back is also an unexpected surprise at this price point. If it’s a flat frequency response that you’re after from the Eris E3.5 speakers, the ability to cut or boost in the low and high frequencies will point you in the right direction.
For compact monitors, they deliver an impressive balance across all frequencies. The low end, although reasonably smooth, lacks depth. That said, we didn’t expect much more since these are some of the best cheap mixing speakers and not premium-grade studio monitors.
Mid and low range…
The midrange is very reasonable and not lacking a great deal, to be fair. The low-end isn’t bad either, and you can adjust it on the back if need be. Although we would say if you wanted to try any mixing with these, it would be worth investing in a good subwoofer.
Another very useful addition is the extra 50 watts of class AB amplification. When the front volume knob is set in the middle at unity, you are now at a very comfortable level to monitor your mix.
However, there is plenty more volume offered by these speakers to deal with run-away transients in your mix. This makes for pretty loud speakers, which can be helpful in the mixing world.
To get your head around these monitors, you will need to spend some time adjusting your ears to them. They are good but, they’ll never be the same as a pair of Yamaha HS8 speakers.
So, get together a collection of music you know well. Then sit yourself down and figure out what you are missing from the Eris E3.5 experience. Likewise, listen for what you are accustomed to on other monitors.
We often use the more expensive HS5’s. But like these, the low-end needs the help of a good subwoofer to get the most out of your mix. We have heard it say that mixes translate extremely well on the Eris E3.5 speakers, but that is down to personal choice and not so much what we experienced.
PreSonus Eris E3.5 – Specifications
- HF Driver: 1” silk dome.
- LF Driver: 3.5” woven composite.
- Frequency Response: 80Hz- 20kHz.
- Max Peak SPL: 100 dB SPL @1m.
- Enclosure Material: vinyl-laminated MDF.
- Power: 50w Class AB
- Volume Range: A-type taper.
- Width: 5.6” (141mm)
- Height: 8.3” (210mm)
- Depth: 6.4” (162mm)
- Weight as a pair: 6.4 lb (2.9kg)
PreSonus Eris E3.5 Review – Pros and Cons
- Great sound for an entry-level speaker.
- Two sets of outputs.
- EQ controls.
- Aux and headphone inputs.
- Clean and balanced sound.
- Compact speaker with a smart design.
- At this price point, there are few cons.
Looking for Something Else?
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You may also like our comprehensive review of the Best Studio Headphones For Home Recording, our Focusrite Scarlett Solo Gen 3 Review, our PreSonus Audiobox USB 96 Review, as well as our review of the Best Budget Studio Monitors Under $200 Dollars, and our Best Studio Monitors Under $500 Dollars currently on the market.
PreSonus Eris E3.5 Review – Final Thoughts
PreSonus delivers a very good set of reference speakers at a very low price. The harshness in the high-frequencies is eliminated by the silk-dome tweeters, and the low-end is solid with minimal bass distortion. However, a subwoofer would help if you are serious about trying to use them to mix a song to a professional level.
Although a very reasonable and accurate sound can be achieved from these speakers, we don’t see ourselves ever using them to mix professionally. We can certainly see how they could be useful at home or in your project studio to give yourself some early reference mixes. But, unfortunately, not to complete a final mix project.
On the other hand, we see these as great speakers for gaming, home video production, and listening to music. For us, although a very acceptable sound at this price point, we don’t feel that they sit in the high-end world of professional music production.
Until next time, happy listening.