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Review: PreSonus Eris E66 Studio Monitors

A closer look at the new E66 active MTM nearfield control room monitors.

By M. Erik Matlock November 10, 2015

The new PreSonus Eris Series active studio monitors, designed for the budget-conscious studio seeking accurate and powerful reference monitors, make a strong first impression.

The series incorporates a proprietary Midwoofer-Tweeter-Midwoofer (MTM, also known as “D’Appolito”) configuration, utilizing matched midrange drivers working together to create the effect of one much larger driver.

The E44 is outfitted with two 4.5-inch, custom-woven Kevlar LF/midrange drivers, while the E66 uses 6.5-inch versions. Both models have a 1.25-inch, silk-dome HF driver centered between the mid/low drivers, and they also incorporate protection circuitry that guards against RF interference, output-current limiting, over-temperature, and subsonic filter protection.

The internal amplifiers also have a “soft start” feature to eliminate pops when powering up.

Rear panel inputs include balanced XLR, balanced 1/4-inch TRS, and unbalanced RCA inputs. The panel also offers controls for adjusting input gain along with high and midrange levels from -6 dB to +6 dB, as well as 3-way switches for adjusting low-frequency cutoff (flat, 80 Hz, 100 Hz) and compensation for the acoustic space (flat, -2 dB, and -4 dB).

PreSonus recently sent me a pair of E66s for evaluation. The power specification is stated as 65 watts for the highs and 80 watts for the mid/lows via Class A/B bi-amplification. Stated frequency response is 45 Hz to 22 kHz.

The boxes are also aesthetically appealing, with a smooth, black vinyl-laminated finish over medium-density fiberboard. A centered PreSonus logo on the front lights up blue when the monitors are powered up. A nice touch, adding some elegance to an already attractive box.

As someone with a favorable opinion of PreSonus products, my expectations were high before even opening the shipping boxes. Knowing the company’s reputation for building solid gear with excellent sound quality, these new monitors have some big shoes to fill.

My first impression upon feeding them some preferred listening material was that the low end is substantially more powerful then I would normally expect from a box this size. Deep and rich bass saturated my room. Using a variety of tracks from classic rock to classical orchestral performances, I found them to be more than adequate for a smaller mixing environment like mine.

EDM tracks came alive, turning my space into an intense dance club. Artists like Moby and Psy were also well represented at normal listening levels as well as at levels loud enough to aggravate a fair portion of the neighborhood. Without ever connecting a subwoofer, I felt like there was more than enough bass to remove most of the artwork from the walls.

The high-frequency drivers deliver stellar definition for virtually every nuance of each track. I was impressed with the broad sweet spot, providing a wide stereo image across the listening area. Details like the finger movement on acoustic guitars and breaths between vocal passages came through very nicely after some minor adjustment with the individual rear controls.

The temptation was to reconfigure my home stereo and spend the afternoon…. evaluating, yeah, that’s the word… evaluating them with a few dozen of my favorite movies. I fully expect to see the broadcast and film industries drawn to both models. A few select sound effects tracks and film scores translated beautifully. I don’t see THX certification in the literature, but still anticipate film/video production companies to take notice of the Eris Series.

Overall, the E66 is an excellent choice for anyone working with powerful low end material, especially in a smaller control room. With a price of $349.95, PreSonus has developed a strong contender for quality control room monitoring in a range of genres.

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PreSonus

Senior editor .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) has worked in professional audio for more than 20 years in live, install, and recording. Read more of his random rants and tirades here.


About M. Erik

M. Erik Matlock
M. Erik Matlock

Senior Editor, ProSoundWeb
   
Erik worked in a wide range of roles in pro audio for more than 20 years in a dynamic career that encompasses system design and engineering in the live, install and recording markets. He also spent a number of years as a church production staff member and Media Director, and as an author for several leading industry publications before joining the PSW team.
https://www.prosoundweb.com/author/m-erik-matlock/

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