Once upon a time, having a home studio was something that most musicians and music producers could only dream of. These days, it can be a reality for pretty much anyone and everyone. The technology needed to set up a home studio is more affordable and more accessible in 2021 than it ever has been before, and plenty of people are taking full advantage of that. So, whilst you will want to invest in some decent speakers, software, synths, plugins, loop pedals and more before you get started, a computer monitor is where you’re going to watch all your ideas come together and therefore it is of paramount importance too.
Luckily for you, we’ve put together a list of the very best computer monitors out there at the moment.
Whilst tech giants Samsung offer a couple of more wallet-friendly options in the C27F398 and the SF 354, we like the HP 27f as a simple budget choice. First of all, it’s only 27” wide so it will easily fit into smaller studio spaces if you’re working with limited capacity; secondly, what it lacks in physical size, it makes up for in wide viewing angle so you don’t lose out on visibility. Although this is, for all intents and purposes, a standard computer monitor, the image quality is high enough to keep it in the running for music production purposes. If you’re looking for a starter screen or are working within very limited finances, this is a solid choice that will not let you down. In fact, you could even buy two of them for far less than the price of one Samsung CRG 9 (more on that below).
MSI Optix AG32C
This 32” HD screen was originally built for gamers, offering a curved shape, narrow bezel and incredible image quality. As the online gaming sector continues to grow, many people are using their home PCs to play their favourite battle royale titles or take advantage of free spins bonuses with online slots games. This means that the build quality of gamer-specific hardware is very high, as the target audience want a monitor that will optimise all the on-screen action. For home music producers, a gaming monitor such as the MSI Optix AG32C gives plenty of scope to run long session timelines, as well as organise your desktop or program for maximum visibility. The curved shape and 16:9 ratio screen allow you to spread out as you work, encouraging healthier posture and more productive sessions at the computer. Although this design may not be for everyone, if you also enjoy gaming in your downtime then it’s a no brainer – this is the choice for you!
If you’re willing to go one step further in your quest for the ultimate computer monitor, then consider looking at this offering from Samsung. The CRG9 is a whopping 49” wide, has a dual QHD display and 120Hz refresh rate. Crisp! Again, this was originally designed as a gaming monitor so you know that it’s going to be the very best quality but it certainly delivers the ultimate deal on scope. The monitor is like having two full-sized 27” screens sandwiched together, giving you an enormous amount of space to work with. You’ll find that all the fiddly little details of your production program are now visible and pronounced on this piece of equipment, allowing you to work to the very best of your ability. Should the mood take you, you’ll also find that it’s overwhelmingly enjoyable to use it as a gaming monitor too – the possibilities feel endless with this expansive model.
This final option takes into account something that we don’t often consider enough when doing a lot of computer or screen-heavy work: our eye health. There is all sorts of research around the damage that can be done to our eyes through looking too long at a screen. Of course, no screen is going to overcome the need to take regular breaks, remember to blink often and stay hydrated, but this monitor from ASUS is certainly kinder than most. The in-built technology reduces screen flicker and filters that infamous blue light emanating straight from the screen into your eyeballs. This should reduce the feeling of tired eyes, dry eyes, and unfocused eyes, as well as promoting healthier circadian rhythms in users and reducing the occurrence of tension or cluster headaches. You may still need to pull an all-nighter to get a track finished on time, but at least you won’t feel like the waking dead afterwards.
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