Why Are Studio Monitors Sold Individually?

Buying studio monitors for your music production setup can be a daunting and challenging task, especially considering their price tags. 

Every music enthusiast knows that if you ever want to make good music, you need to use studio monitors for mixing purposes. A pair of random speakers won’t give you accurate enough audio because they add too much color and effects to the sound.

So, if you’ve been thinking of buying a studio monitor, it’s likely that you have come across a few monitors that are sold individually and not as pairs. That begs the question, why are studio monitors sold separately in the first place?

Well, the truth be told, there are many possible answers to why studio monitors are sold individually. But the primary reason for selling monitors individually from an audio production standpoint is that single studio monitors setups are often helpful in assessing mixes in “true mono,” with only one centered speaker. 

This is why individual studio monitors are often used by experienced producers and are therefore sold in markets to target this consumer base.

There are also a bunch of other possible answers as to why studio monitors are sold individually. This post will discuss every one of those reasons in detail, so keep on reading. You might be surprised to find that some reasons make a lot of practical sense if you think about it. So, let’s get started!

True Mono Mixing

Single studio monitor setups can be used to listen to the produced audio in true mono. If people want a stereo experience, it becomes necessary to use a pair of monitors, but listening to mono audio during the production process has a few benefits you should know about.

Finding Wide Elements

Evaluating your mix in a proper mono setup helps you to produce a higher quality of music overall. It becomes substantially easier to locate and pinpoint problems in your audio, like checking for too wide instruments.

If some instruments in your recording are too broad, they might not sound too bad on stereo setups, but the same audio when played on some mono systems may sound terrible due to instruments being too wide in the mix.

It would help if you always struck a good balance between spacious and expansive sounding instruments and compatibility with mono audio systems. For this reason, mixing in mono setups like with only one studio monitor is essential to find and correct all issues in your mixes before moving ahead. 

Some of the most common mono speaker setups are found in smartphone speakers; they are designed to utilize authentic mono sound due to being fit with only one speaker. Not mixing on mono during production can lead to terrible audio quality on mono systems such as these smartphones.

Finding Issues With Your Equalizer Settings

Mixing in mono can help you to find issues with your equalizer settings. Muddy or exceedingly concentrated aspects of the produced music are easier to pick up in a mono mixing setting.

This is something most professional producers have been using in recording studios for decades. Stereo setups can sound good, but they can give false data; what sounds good while mixing in stereo doesn’t necessarily translate to good quality audio playback in mono setups. Hence why checking mixes in mono is always preferred and is more reliable overall.

This is why from an audio production standpoint, studio monitors are sold individually. It is always easier to purchase and set up a separate studio monitor with the sole purpose of being used for mono playback rather than having to adjust your existing stereo set up each time to check your mixes.

Marketing Strategy

Sometimes, selling individual monitors can also be used as a marketing strategy. Manufacturers sometimes knowingly advertise single studio monitors in such a way as to trick consumers into believing that the studio monitor they are buying comes as a pair and is at a low price.

Due to this deceptive advertising strategy, the consumer believes that they are purchasing two studio monitors at a significantly low cost while, in reality, they end up only getting one.

Sadly, this method often works, and many consumers leave raging reviews on some brands as a result. To be on the safe side, always be sure to go through all the relevant information and reviews of the studio monitor you are thinking of buying before bringing out your wallet.

Replacing Individual Failed Monitors

Studio monitors are complicated pieces of equipment with many components, such as built-in amplifiers, that are bound to fail at some point. Considering how expensive good quality studio monitors can be, buying a pair of monitors to replace only a single failed one can cost a considerable sum of money.

Fortunately, many manufacturers offer studio monitors for sale individually, giving you the ability to buy and replace a single failed monitor in your setup instead of having to fork out a significant sum of money to replace a pair.

Financial Purposes

Studio monitors could also be sold individually due to financial reasons. Selling studio monitors individually gives people with limited budgets the ability to purchase single monitors for their 3.1 or 5.1 setups.

Most of the time, an excellent single studio monitor is better than a pair of crappy ones. If you’re on a tight budget, you could buy a single high-quality monitor and then buy another one to complete the pair down the line when you have some extra money lying around.

This could be a better alternative than settling for a pair of monitors that doesn’t meet your requirements and are of terrible quality. Individual pieces are also much easier to ship and transport as well.

Each setup is different, so always consider all available options and always go with what’s best for your setup.

The Takeaway

There are numerous answers to the question, “why are studio monitors sold individually?” But perhaps the biggest reason is the one listed at the beginning of this post. 

Studio monitors are sold individually to make it easier for producers to set up a single mono monitor for an actual mono audio experience to check their mixes in. 

Reconfiguring and rerouting a pair of stereo monitors to work as mono could become a nuisance, especially if you often need to alternate between stereo and mono.

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