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Behringer Behritone C50A

Mono Reference Studio Monitor

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Best Mono Reference Monitor

Behringer Behritone C50A

  • Don Makoviney
  • Last Updated: May 16, 2017

When you want to try out your mix in mono, and want a reliable reference monitor, the Behringer Behritone C50A is the best one for most people. At just over a hundred bucks, you will be able to make your tracks sound great on the crappiest speakers. Yes, the Behringer Behritone C50A is the best crappiest speaker you can get.


Why you need a reference monitor

If you’re here, you probably already know. For the uninitiated, here’s why:

Have you ever noticed when you listen to well-known songs on your phone speaker it still sounds pretty good? Of course it doesn’t sound as great as it would on your headphones, or through a great stereo system. But it sounds pretty good, right?

You’re not alone in noticing this. Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Ruben Nielson said:

All the good records still sound good coming out of an iPhone. I really like the mid-’70s [David] Bowie music. Those records sound good on the worst car speakers, an iPhone in a cup, or any other horrible situation.

mono-button-reaperProblem is, when you put your song on, throw your phone down on the table, and it sounds thin, mushy, and a lot of the nuances are gone.

Why is that? Because once that great‑sounding stereo mix is collapsed to mono, you will often find it no longer works, because those sources occupy the same spectrum and end up trampling all over one another. (source)

How do you fix that? One prominent tool in a producer’s arsenal is the mid range mono speaker.

Most producers today will use one. In fact, when I watched this Chainsmokers video below, I was impressed with all the Behritones right next to their monitors. (Especially noticeable around the 24:34 section):

 

Derek Ali (Dr Dre, Kendrick Lamar “To Pimp A Butterfly”) does 80% of his mixing in mono on one speaker:

About 80% of my time mixing [I spend] listening to just one Auratone speaker, so yes, in mono! Dre always told me that if I could get something to sound amazing on crappy speakers, it’ll sound brilliant on normal speakers. So I try to get a great mix on the Auratone, and then I’ll go to the NS10s. (source)

See, mixing in mono, with literally one speaker exposes your midrange. What you can then do is work in mono, get the mix right, and then flip back over to stereo. When you do, the mix opens up and sounds a-m-a-z-i-n-g.

Now that your mid range is fixed, try throwing your song on the phone and toss it on a table. It’s going to sound much better.

Our Pick

We like the Behringer Behritone C50A because it does it’s one simple job really well, while also being the most affordable. It has nearly five stars on Amazon and Sweetwater.

Jon Goad did a more in-depth hands-on review and described our pick like this:

Since the purpose of a grot box is not to sound great, this speaker does its job well! It sounds like a typical full-range speaker of its size that you would commonly find in a portable radio, television, dashboard, or computer speaker. Even though it doesn’t deliver a “hi-fi” sound, it has a certain vintage charm to it that’s reminiscent of those days of cruising in the car and listening to your favorite songs on the radio. So it’s in no way unpleasant to listen to.

In use, I’m finding that the C50A helps to uncover potential problems in my mixes that I might not normally detect over my main stereo monitors. Specifically, it’s helping me to make more informed decisions about EQ, helping me to watch out for problems with phase cancellation, and letting me know what my mix will sound like for a typical listener. It also provides a nice “reset” for tired ears if you’re in the midst of a long mixing session, and simply need a break from your larger monitors. All-in-all I think the Behritone is a small, but smart investment for a studio of any size that’s looking for another inexpensive way to improve your mixes.

User Reviews

Over on Gearslutz, a recent purchaser of the Behringer C50A was blown away by how much it helped his mixes:

Got my Behritone C50A yesterday and I am blown away how much this speaker reveals. Lack of transient response? Not at all. I can now focus on the midrange, especially 1-3 KHz. Very good mastered music really sounds good on these and not dull. But also, too much ess sounds from the voice can be identified as well. Everything sounds less impressive than over the mains. So that’s a very good speaker to compare your mix against the very best. Too hard kicks will sound too hard.

Wrapping Up

This is a great way to make sure your mix works well on as many different sound system configurations as possible. There are more expensive models, but they basically do the same thing.

Happy mixing!


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Best Mono Reference Monitor

Behringer Behritone C50A

Best Mono Reference Monitor

Important Specs

Powered Yes
Power Configuration Single Amp
LF Driver Size 5.25"
LF Driver Type Full-range Speaker
LF Driver Material Composite
LF Driver Power Amp 30W
Total Power 30W
Frequency Range 90Hz-15kHz
Input Types 1 x XLR, 1 x TRS, 1 x RCA
Dimensions 6.5"H 6.5"W 7.8"D
more specs

Synopsis:

When you want to try out your mix in mono, and want a reliable reference monitor, the Behringer Behritone C50A is the best one for most people. At just over a hundred bucks, you will be able to make your tracks sound great on the crappiest speakers. Yes, the Behringer Behritone C50A is the best crappiest speaker you can get.

- M

Sources

  1. Graham Cochrane, The Recording Revolution, 20141020
    The Best $99 You Could Spend To Instantly Get Better Mixes
    “For better or worse, the Behritone (or any speaker like it) exposes your midrange. And that’s a good thing. Really good studio monitors can give you nice bass and top end response, but even with all that clarity they can hide what’s happening in the mids. And the mids is where all the action is. It’s where a mix is won or lost. In general, it’s a good idea to have some alternative speaker(s) to reference your mix on simply for the fact that our ears (clever as God designed them) can and will adapt to whatever they are hearing, meaning you lose perspective on how your mix really sounds.”
  2. User HomeProducer, Gearslutz, 20120208
    Behritones vs Avantones?
    “Got my Behritone C50A yesterday and I am blown away how much this speaker reveals. Lack of transient response? Not at all. I can now focus on the midrange, especially 1-3 KHz. Very good mastered music really sounds good on these and not dull. But also, too much ess sounds from the voice can be identified as well. Everything sounds less impressive than over the mains. So thats a very good sepaker to compare your mix against the very best. Too hard kicks will sound too hard.”
  3. Paul Tingen, Sound On Sound, 20150601
    Why Derek Ali (Kendrick Lamar) Mixes In Mono For 80% Of The Mix
    “about 80 percent of my time mixing listening to just one Auratone speaker, so yes, in mono! Dre always told me that if I could get something to sound amazing on crappy speakers, it’ll sound brilliant on normal speakers. So I try to get a great mix on the Auratone, and I’ll then go to the NS10s, and when I’m in Tom-Tom, to their main Augspurgers, with Bryston 4B amps. I make sure everything is clear and crisp and I’ll do any edits on the NS10s, and then I play it super-loud on the mains. I mix on just one Auratone, because I like specific elements of the mix to pop out, and listening in mono on that speaker really helps me define that. When I do my pans I often use the S1 Imager to get things to sound even wider, with things going round in a circular motion, and happening behind your head. But it’s difficult to assess your balance like that, whereas when you listen in mono, you can gauge the true value of how everything sits in the mix. I then reference things in stereo again, but most of the time I’m in mono. I’ve been doing this for the last couple of years, and I know when tracks are phasing in stereo and what to listen for in terms of balance. It’s something that I have developed that works for me.”
  4. Jon Goad, Silent Sky, 20110919
    Review: Behringer Behritone C50A
    “Since the purpose of a grot box is not to sound great, this speaker does its job well! It sounds like a typical full-range speaker of its size that you would commonly find in a portable radio, television, dashboard, or computer speaker. Even though it doesn’t deliver a “hi-fi” sound, it has a certain vintage charm to it that’s reminiscent of those days of crusing in the car and listening to your favorite songs on the radio. So it’s in no way unpleasant to listen to. In use, I’m finding that the C50A helps to uncover potential problems in my mixes that I might not normally detect over my main stereo monitors. Specifically, it’s helping me to make more informed decisions about EQ, helping me to watch out for problems with phase cancellation, and letting me know what my mix will sound like for a typical listener. It also provides a nice “reset” for tired ears if you’re in the midst of a long mixing session, and simply need a break from your larger monitors. All-in-all I think the Behritone is a small, but smart investment for a studio of any size that’s looking for another inexpensive way to improve your mixes.”
  5. Nelaid, Gearslutz, 20160129
    Behringer Behritone C50A: User Review
    “One of the best price/quality ratio monitors I have tried so far. Very good for mixing in mono, since these little cubes are able to reveal the unpleasant sounds in the mid-range. [...] I would definitely recommend these. As mentioned above, they're not monitors for the joy but to uncover stuff. [...] I was quite impressed of the nearly indestructible way they're made - fell on the floor a few times.”
Originally published: February 6th, 2016

Important Specs

Powered Yes
Power Configuration Single Amp
LF Driver Size 5.25"
LF Driver Type Full-range Speaker
LF Driver Material Composite
LF Driver Power Amp 30W
Total Power 30W
Frequency Range 90Hz-15kHz
Input Types 1 x XLR, 1 x TRS, 1 x RCA
Dimensions 6.5"H 6.5"W 7.8"D
more specs


“It’s not so much the equipment as how you use it. I’ve heard people with really cheap studios do great recordings.” —Frank Gambale


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