Hercules is mostly known for its DJ controllers, software, and, more recently, their multimedia monitors. The brand offers quality entry-level solutions for those that want to get into DJing but don't have deep pockets or are unsure of how serious they are about it.
The Monitor 5 is the first product targeted at the home studio monitor market, and competes alongside other entry-level monitors like the KRK Rockit RP5 and comes in around the same price ($300 for the pair).
The speakers themselves are identical with the same front panel power switches and volume, along with bass and treble controls on the back to help dial in the room. You get three types of inputs, including RCA, balanced quarter-inch, and XLR inputs. The ability to turn these speakers on and off from the front, along with volume control, is fantastic. It sounds simple, but when you are in a tight space having access to these functions on the front is extremely handy.
The Monitor 5, as you would guess, comes equipped with a 5" woofer, a 1" tweeter and two front-facing ports to pump the air through. One thing we noticed right away was the heft and size of these monitors; they are 15 lbs and stand 12" high, 8.7" wide and 9.2" deep, so they might crowd your desk if you are in a tight configuration. You might want to consider getting some speaker stands with some isolation to help dial in the sweet spot. The speakers come with foot pads to mount on the bottom if you are going to set them on your desk.
Aesthetically the look clean with wood cabinets and plastic fronts with a yellow woofer, very reminiscent of the KRK's offering at this level.
The monitors are powered with an A/B bi-amplified system with the woofer getting 50 watts and the tweeter getting 30 watts. This power is enough to bump a small room and function as either DJ or Studio monitors adequately. You should not expect any heart-stopping bass here; these are for small spaces not powering your backyard rave.
How do they sound?
We tested these with our two-deck turntable set up with Pioneer PLX-1000s and the Omnitronic TRM-202MK3 2-Channel Rotary Mixer, along with running a line in from our AkJr HD Media player.
What you will notice with electronic dance music and hip hop is that the bass is a bit subdued and lacks that fullness we like as DJs. So if you are looking at these as DJ monitors, you might consider something else that gets a bit more bottom heavy.
Where the Monitor 5's shine for this price point is the mids and highs, you get a nice balance in genres like neoclassical, ambient, jazz, and even some more complex house music. So if you are more into production than DJing, these are a great way to start off your studio on a budget.
If you plan on DJing and using them for production, then these are a good bet for that type of versatility.
Should I get these?
If you are starting out and want to get a solid pair of monitors to handle a variety of genres and workloads, the Monitor 5's will suit you well. These are what we like to call bedroom monitors - they get loud enough to piss off your roommates, but your neighbors probably won't call the cops on you. If you are doing music production, these are definitely the way to go at this price point and will also suffice for DJing as well. These are kind of like an all-terrain snowboard, competent in the powder, groomers, and ok in the pipe. If you need deep bass, and want to only DJ with them, you won't be super happy with these.
Monitor 5 features
- 5 inch woofers.
- Balanced dual bass ports.
- Speaker enclosures crafted of high-density MDF.
- 80 watts RMS output power per speaker.
- RCA, TRS (6.35 mm) and XLR inputs.
- Compact design, perfect for any space.
- On/Off switch on front of each speaker for easy access.
- Master volume knob on front of each speaker for more precise control.
- Indicator light in ON position.
- High-frequency adjustment: + or – 2 dB.
- Low-frequency adjustment: + or – 2 dB.
- Adjustable low-frequency cutoff: 56 Hz, 80 Hz or 100 Hz.