Yamaha HS5 vs Yamaha HS8: What’s the Difference?

Norvan Martin
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Yamaha is one of the most famous manufacturers of musical instruments. Several guitarists started with a Yamaha acoustic guitar, and many keyboardists grew up on Yamaha synths. But they also make studio monitors under the brand name HS series (HS8, HS5).

Specifications Comparison

  Yamaha HS5 Yamaha HS8
Dimensions 6.7 x 11.2 x 8.7 inches 9.8 x 15.4 x 13.1 inches  
Weight 11.7 lbs 22.5 lbs
Wi-Fi No No
Bluetooth No No
Physical connections XLR and TRS XLR and TRS
Portable No No
Water resistant No No
Room correction No No
Speakerphone No No
Speaker type 2-way bi-amp powered studio monitor 2-way bi-powered studio type
Output Power 70 W 120W
Frequency 38Hz – 30kHz 54Hz – 30kHz


The Yamaha HS5 Specifications

The Yamaha HS5 studio monitor is an updated version of the original Yamaha NS10 monitors. Here are five specifications you should be aware of when purchasing these speakers for your home or commercial studio.

1. Design/Portability

These speakers’ overall design and portability make it easy to transport them from space to space without too much hassle. These speakers also feature bass tightening high-tech speaker controls, 100-watt power (50W LF + 50W HF), and a wide, front-firing bass port.

Weighing in at 38 pounds, the Yamaha HS5 Studio Monitors make it easy to transport these speakers from one location to the next.

2. Pricing and Budget

The HS5 costs around $280 per piece, and the HS8s cost around $380 per piece, depending on where you buy them.

Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor
  • 2-Way bass-reflex bi-amplified nearfield studio monitor with 5" cone woofer and 1" dome tweeter
  • 54Hz-30kHz frequency response
  • 45W LF plus 25W HF bi-amp system for high-performance 70W power amplification
YAMAHA HS8 Studio Monitor, Black, 8 Inch
  • 8 inch cone woofer and 1 inch dome tweeter; Produce low distortion sound with a well-defined bottom end at any...
  • 38Hz to 30kHz frequency response; Power consumption: 60 watts
  • 75W LF plus 45W HF bi amp system 120W total; Level control ( 4dB/center click), EQ: High trim switch ( / 2dB...

The Yamaha HS5 studio monitor is priced reasonably well for what you get. You can acquire multiple monitors. However, it is recommended to only purchase 1 or 2 of these speakers per setup.

If you are buying more than that, you might be better off upgrading your mix room with other options, such as using commercial PA-type speakers. These monitors are perfect for home studios because they take up minimal space and can easily fit into tight spaces.

3. Sound Quality

With an overall frequency response of 70 Hz to 20 kHz, these speakers do not go low enough to take advantage of the high-end frequencies (above 19 kHz). Therefore, if you record music with lots of higher-end instrumentation, these studio monitors will get challenging to mix.

However, if you mix bass songs or hip-hop songs using lower-end instruments like keyboards and synthesizers, these studio monitors should work fine for you. The Yamaha HS5 Studio Monitors also provide a very neutral mid-range that can quickly reveal any flaws in your recording method.

4. Connectivity

You will find balanced XLR inputs and TRS phone jacks on the back of this monitor. The ¼-inch phone jack feature perfectly links your monitor to other studio components such as recorders or subwoofers.

It is recommended to have subwoofers with these speakers if you are recording music with lots of low-end frequencies. This is because the overall bass response on these monitors is decent but not nearly as powerful (loud) as commercial PA-type monitors.

5. Space Considerations

If you need a space-saving solution, then the Yamaha HS5 Studio Monitors may be an option for you. They only require 2 inches of clearance at the back and 37 inches of height clearance (from floor to bottom of rear panel).

These monitors also come with sturdy side handles that make it easy to carry them around from one room to the next. We recommend placing these speakers on a heavy-duty speaker stand for optimal sound performance.

The Yamaha HS8 Specifications

1. Design/Portability

The HS8 has the standard design for studio monitors, otherwise known to be bulky and heavy.

It comes with a detachable power cord and sturdy protective corners. It can fit in any studio or home environment, especially when you need accurate sounds compared to consumer-based speakers with more bass than they need to have.

2. Pricing and Budget

At around $500, these are some of the cheapest but most efficient studio monitors today. They are already included in Yamaha’s NEXUS series, which means they come at an affordable price.

For this amount, customers get better sound quality, and its beautiful design compared to other monitor brands out there may cost nearly twice the price of the HS8.

3. Sound Quality

The Yamaha HS8 is known for accurate sounds, essential, mainly if you produce music to be sold or enjoyed by others.

One great feature of these studio monitors is its Room Control and High Trim features that allow users to lower unwanted frequency noises according to their preference.

Overall, it has a fantastic sound quality and design, making it more versatile than other studio monitors out there that may not have attractive designs or top-notch sound quality.

4. Connectivity

The connectivity options for the HS8s are excellent, but it would be even better if there were active speakers. Your standard 3.5mm headphone jack and an XLR connector in the back. Along with that, you also get RCA connectors which can help if you need them.

5. Space Considerations

The biggest issue with these monitors is the size. They are on the larger side, so they’ll take up more space than others, which can be annoying depending on how many other items are around you when planning out where to put these monitors down on/near/etc.


Design/Portability Of Yamaha HS5

The Yamaha HS5 is a single-unit speaker with stereo output. The speaker is not heavy and is therefore easy to mount. The HS5 is the smallest unit in the HS Series. 

The cone woofer measures 5 inches while the dome tweeter is 1 inch. The portable bass-reflex speaker from Yamaha has a clean, pleasant design that makes it stand out clearly. The white subwoofer cone breaks the monotony of the black box, and the Yamaha logo that glows when the woofer is turned on makes it glamorous. 

The youthful decorative monitor will look good in any room. The speaker box is made of an MDF board and guarantees strength. 

Design/Portability Of Yamaha HS8

Yamaha excels in the design and construction of speakers. With MDF board body construction, the HS8 speakers are solid as they come. The textured finish adds to the appeal while helping reduce resonance. 

While the white woofer cone stands out, the rest of the enclosure is a plain matte black design. Some people say that the speakers look somewhat more professional. Besides, you can get them all in white to make them brighter. 

On the other hand, you can buy ready-to-mount Yamaha speakers as they come with dedicated mounting points and screws. This will help you keep a workplace or home living room cleaner.

Pricing And Budget Of The Yamaha HS5

Getting a good sound system at a pocket-friendly price can sometimes be challenging. In fact, many audio systems deliver sound qualities that are very proportionate to their pricing plans. 

However, being expensive does not mean good. This is because different companies vend audio products, and they apply very different pricing policies. 

The Yamaha HS5 is favorably priced. Compared to most of the competitors in the same range, the pricing for HS% is better, and you still get more value for every dollar spent.

Pricing And Budget Of The Yamaha HS8

The 8-inch studio monitors can get very expensive, especially considering that they are made from high-quality materials and excellent sound quality. You can still get other cheaper options in this series. However, dollar for dollar, you will never fault the HS8. 

Sound Quality Of Yamaha HS5

Yamaha HS5 produces good sound for a better sound experience. Best for small to average-sized room listening, the speaker will deliver just the right sound for your music or movie. Also, the HS5 is a good product for basic music production. 

The 45W frequency and 25W high-frequency bi-amplified system help make the unit a high-performance speaker. 

Sound Quality Of Yamaha HS8

Compared to the HS5, Yamaha HS8 delivers better sound quality. The difference in their delivery of low-end sound frequencies is as distinct as night and day, with a meaty and satisfying thump that gives more justice to the bass output.

If you prefer to listen to bass-heavy music or enjoy the rattles in the movie theater, you will successfully do that with the HS8 monitors without a subwoofer. 

The speaker is, however, not all about low-end sound. The mids and highs are equally up to the task. Mids are warmer with plenty of depth, and the highs are crisp and clean. 

On the other hand, the balance you get across frequencies with HS8 is solid, and the flat response is fantastic. The clarity and precision you get from these speakers cannot be matched by some of the most expensive speakers out there. 

Yamaha HS5 Connectivity

A good speaker system should come with several connectivity options. This makes it more adaptable to the future while retaining compatibility with analog systems. The HS5 comes with two options: the balanced XLR and TRS input. 

This is not an excellent opportunity for those who use devices that do not support the options provided. In fact, the lack of RCA connections makes it more limited to the devices it can connect to. 

Yamaha HS8 Connectivity 

The speaker comes with two connection options to make it easier to connect both balanced and unbalanced signals to the speakers. These are TRS and XLR.

Space Considerations For Yamaha HS5

Modern studio spaces and even home entertainment spaces are much smaller. Music lovers, therefore, prefer smaller units that can fit well into the small spaces while still delivering excellent sound quality.

The speaker has a petite body construction and will work well in most of your rooms or office space to give you the best sound experience. 

Space Considerations For Yamaha HS8

For professional studio recording, you don’t just need a speaker that will pick up the sound signals and give you an output.

You need a speaker unit that will match the size f your room and deliver excellent sound quality. Yamaha HS8 is much bigger than HS5. As a result, it will fit much better in larger rooms. 

Pros of Yamaha HS5

  • They are made from premium materials: The HS5 Studio Monitor’s (HS5) build and design are exceptional, making it one of the most convenient speakers out there.
  • They are equipped with modern technology: The Yamaha studio monitor’s design reflects the latest monitor speaker technology, allowing for superior acoustics through its bi-amp feature.
  • They are user-friendly: The Yamaha HS5 speaker system has been designed with the end-user in mind, making it one of the most convenient studio equipment you could find on the market right now.
  • They provide high-quality sound: The Yamaha HS5 studio monitor’s ultra-responsive woofer and tweeter ensure that every note is well-defined and accurate.
  • They have an aesthetically pleasing design: They are available in either matte black or white finishes. The Yamaha HS5 monitor speakers will blend seamlessly with existing home decor regardless of the preferred style.
  • They are easy to set up: The HS5’s simple plug-and-play feature allows consumers to enjoy high-fidelity sound right after unboxing their purchase immediately.
  • Small size 
  • Fresh and stylish design 
  • Two amplifiers 
  • Reasonable price 
  • Amplifiers the bass in rooms with unfavorable acoustics 
  • Excellent, sharp, and clear high range
  • Has an image-impressive stage that is detailed
  • Resonance-free housing 

Cons of Yamaha HS5

  • The tweeters are made to give you excellent midrange but lack the low-end needs of many bass enthusiasts.
  • They lack an adjustable EQ which can be a deal-breaker to some listeners.
  • The bass range is very weak
  • Cables are not included with the speaker 
  • Medium sounds are too intense 
  • The bass is less powerful 

Pros of Yamaha HS8

  • Clear and transparent sound reproduction – Most people get used to their equipment pretty quickly. They become familiar with it after a while. Therefore, what initially sounded unnatural starts to seem normal.
  • 8 inches woofer for low-end frequencies – The Yamaha HS8 studio monitors’ eight-inch woofer is responsible for the lowest end of the frequency range that also includes all of your bass tracks. This makes them ideal if you’re working on anything from Rock, Metal, and any other similar genres to Hip-Hop and Pop.
  • 1-inch dome tweeter for high-end frequencies – There’s a one-inch dome tweeter here as well. This means that this monitor can reproduce up to around 22 kHz, a lot of Rock and Metal tracks don’t go much higher than that. Hence, you’ll still be covered even if your production doesn’t need something like super high-pitched samples.
  • 35 watts RMS of power distribution – The Yamaha HS8 studio monitors come with 35 watts RMS of power distribution. This falls under “Continuous use” on their official page.
  • Magnetically shielded – The Yamaha HS8 studio monitors are magnetically shielded, which is excellent news if you’re planning on buying some of these while having a CRT monitor in the same room. It’s possible that the magnetic field emitted by the speakers could interfere with how your screen displays colors.
  • Strong warranty coverage with two years of parts and labor – The Yamaha HS8 studio monitors come with a one-year limited warranty on parts and labor. This is pretty standard for such products and not many manufacturers offer more than that (and there are some exceptions).
  • Excellent clarity 
  • Install options available 
  • Solid bass output 
  • Good range of tuning options 
  • Well built 
  • Appealing 

Cons of Yamaha HS8

  • Muddy highs
  • Noticeable lack of bass below 70 Hz
  • Not budget-friendly 

Yamaha HS5 vs HS8: How Do They Differ?

1. Tweeter And Woofer Specs

The most significant difference between the two is in the tweeters and woofers. The tweeter in the HS5 is a 1″ dome neodymium unit, while the HS8 uses a more significant 1.25″ dome ferrite driver.

It doesn’t seem like much of a difference on paper since both drivers have an almost similar response range (-10dB at 20Khz).

But when tested side by side, you can see that there’s more punch on the high-end with the HS8 model than its sibling. It has a bit wider sweet spot as well due to this reason.

2. Maximum SPL Output

If you’ve been lurking in the forums long enough, you’ll know that there’s a specific compatibility issue between the HS5 and some amplifiers.

It appears when paired up with certain amps (e.g., QSC K12) that there might be a slight volume cut-off on the highs and mids of the speaker.

A bit-known fact is that this effect is reduced when used with Yamaha DXS series speakers due to its floating tweeter design. The result was increased amplification compared to other brands which do not have this feature.

3. Connectivity

While they still share similar features, such as XLR and TRS input connectivity, surprisingly, both speakers have different outputs on their rear panels.

The bass reflex port output of HS8 has a lower impedance which means it’s easier to drive than the high impedance output of the HS5.

It also comes with an adjustable crossover and phase switch while there’s no such feature on its sibling, which is aimed at studio use rather than live performance purposes.

4. Power output

The Yamaha HS5 and HS8 have almost similar power ratings apart from the maximum SPL output. The manufacturers claim that both speakers can reach up to 136dB @1M on their top volume level, which is very loud.

This isn’t an issue if you’re using a standard 2-channel mixer without a built-in amplifier and speaker management system since most of these mixers allow up to 99dB before clipping.

If your mixer doesn’t have this feature, it’s advisable to turn down the faders on channels with lots of high frequencies like guitars or vocals before running out of headroom.

5. Price

Now for the big reveal. As of writing, the Yamaha HS8 costs ~$250 more than its sibling. It’s worth spending a bit extra on this quality speaker, considering that it is more suited for live performances with a wider sweet spot and better high-frequency response.

Yamaha HS5 Vs. HS8: How Do They Differ?

  • HS8 is the upgraded version of the HS5. They are therefore clearly different in size and performance. 
  • The HS5 is best used by beginners in the music production industry, while HS8 can be used in professional studios and home theater systems.
  • At 29.1 lb, the HS8 is much heavier than HS5.
  • HS8 sounds better than HS5.
  • HS8 is twice as expensive as HS5.

Which Is Better?

As we mentioned already, the Yamaha HS8 is an upgraded version of the HS5. It, therefore, brings more value in terms of enhanced features, performance, and appeal to your musical experience. The HS8 is consequently better than HS5.


Both Yamaha HS models are great at doing, and there isn’t a clear winner between them. They both offer completely different tonal characteristics and features, so it is essential to think about which of those you need most.

As much as the HS8 is better than HS5, each one of them is built to satisfy unique needs. When choosing between them, it is advisable that you choose based on the factors you are looking forward to satisfying. Some of the factors to consider include the size of the speaker, size of the studio, experience in music production, appeal, and budget.

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Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics. My email: [email protected]  Connect on Pinterest and Linkedin