October 18

Producer’s Review of the IsoAcoustics Aperta Monitor Stands

Adding a pair of desktop monitor stands to your home studio setup is a great way to get way more bang for your buck out of whatever monitors you’re using. You’ll get more clarity, a better response, and a better angle for listening.

My personal choice for desktop monitor stands are the IsoAcoustics Aperta 200 stands, and my number one tip is to not be like me. I owned my Yamaha HS8 monitors for 2 years too long before I decided to invest in a pair of these stands. Once I got them I was blown away by the sound difference and quality difference coming out of my monitors!

Here’s everything you need to know, plus my own personal experience using these stands over the past several years. Before we get into it, here's a few quick links in case you'd like to check out reviews or prices on Amazon:

Smaller studio monitors: Aperta Series

Mid-size or larger studio monitors: Aperta200 Series

Subwoofer stand: Aperta300 Series

The Purpose of Studio Monitor Stands

If you’ve found your way to this post but aren’t quite sure what the point of studio monitor stands is in the first place, that’s OK! You’re in the same boat as most home studio musicians who are just starting out and don’t have a commercial music background.

Chances are, if you already have a setup, your studio monitors are just setting on your desk or table, right? That’s what seems to make sense for most setups. But leaving your speakers on your desk in this way can lead to several problems.

First is the angle. Your studio monitors aren’t designed to blanket the room evenly with perfect sound. They’re designed to produce exactly even sound in a pretty narrow distribution. Shoot that sound straight out, and it’ll probably hit you in the chest, not the ears.

So studio monitor stands address this by changing the height and the angle at which your speakers produce. A properly calibrated pair of stands get your speakers properly calibrated for you, angled properly so that your speakers’ sweet spot and your ears end up being in the same place.

The other less obvious but perhaps more important reason to use studio monitor stands is to reduce unwanted dampening and reflecting. The speakers weren’t designed to sit on a solid, reflective surface, and so if you put them there, you’ll end up with weird reflections that distort your sound (or unusual dampening effects that do the same).

Remember, the whole point of using studio monitors isn’t to love what you hear. It’s to hear exactly what’s on your tracks. By angling your monitors properly and reducing unwanted reflections and other artifacts, you’ll hear more accurately what’s actually in a take.

And that’s absolutely worth the minimal cost of a couple stands.

Types of Monitor Stands

There are two primary types of monitor stands available on the market: desktop monitor stands and floor stands.

Technically, there are also mounting and hanging options that accomplish the same things — but for space and focus, we won’t cover those here.

Floor Stands: Better, If You Can Make Them Work

First up: floor stands. You won’t be shocked to read that these are monitor stands that sit on the floor. And if you can make them work in your space, they’re likely the better all-around solution.

In nearly any setup, the best placement for your studio monitors is in some empty space between a wall and your workstation. The reasons why are highly technical, having to do with wavelengths and reflection angles and whole lot more. But suffice it to say: if you have the luxury of not placing your desk against a wall, then floor stands are the way to go.

The problem is that most of us don’t have this luxury in our home studios. You need quite a bit of space to make this work because the speakers can’t get wedged up against the wall, either (see previous comments about reflections).

Desktop Monitor Stands: More Convenient and Well Worth Getting

For the rest of us who are editing or even recording in a small bedroom with a setup pushed up against a wall, desktop monitor stands are the way to go. These stands (also unsurprisingly) sit on top of your desk, providing separation and angling so that your monitors point where they need to.

This setup is infinitely more convenient. And even if desktop stand performance isn’t quite as good as floor stands, the difference is still significant. You’ll notice it immediately and be blown away at how much you were missing — I certainly was!

My Top Choice: IsoAcoustics Aperta Series Monitor Stands

isoacoustics aperta 200 monitor stand review

If by now you’re convinced that you should add a pair of desktop monitor stands, my top recommendation is the one I personally own and use, the IsoAcoustics Aperta 200.

IsoAcoustics stands in general are some of the best you can buy, and they don’t break the bank. But the IsoAcoustics Aperta series specifically offer a ton of great functionality and do exactly what you want out of a pair of desktop monitor stands.

By the way, if you’re not quite sure that a pair of IsoAcoustic 200 stands are right for you, why not check out The Best 11 Studio Monitor Stands for Your Desktop or Floor. Or, if you’re a DIY enthusiast, you might even take a stab at building your own.

But if you’d rather just cut to the chase: Get a set of IsoAcoustics Aperta stands. Here’s why I love them.

Construction

IsoAcoustics has crafted its Aperta series from sculpted aluminum, making them lightweight, yet sturdy enough for even the heaviest monitors. The stands are available in either black or silver finishes, which should match just about any aesthetic.

The design will be somewhat familiar if you’ve seen other monitor stands, but with a more modern aesthetic. You’ll get top and bottom isolation sections, with rubber feet on the tops and bottoms, respectively, for grabbing your desktop surface and the bottom of your monitor. Then there are four small tube risers that connect the two sections.

The construction is designed to reduce reflections, vibrations and other artefacts that would otherwise transmit through and even back into your monitors. And these stands definitely do a great job of isolating in this way.

Angle and Rise

The base Aperta model offers three inches of rise from your desktop surface (or from flat-plated floor stands, if you go that route), while the Aperta 200 gives you three and a half inches. Those heights may not sound like much, but they make a pretty big difference.

If you need more rise than that, IsoAcoustics’ ISO series gives you much more height flexibility in an overall more clunky package.

As far as angle, you can adjust your monitors up or down, up to 6.5 degrees of tilt. For desktop applications, this is plenty for nearly any scenario.

Available Models

IsoAcoustics offers three models in the Aperta lineup: the IsoAcoustics Aperta, the Aperta 200, and the Aperta 300. Each has some important differences you should know about.

Aperta

First up is the Aperta. This stand measures 6.1 x 7.5 x 3 inches and supports up to 35 pounds. Stands come in pairs and offer tilt up or down up to 6.5 degrees.

Because of the design of the stand, you’ll typically want to use a speaker that at least matches the height and width dimensions. Larger speakers will work, too, as long as they’re within the weight limit.

A pair of the basic Aperta stands typically retails for $199.99.

Aperta 200

The Aperta 200, my personal pick, does everything the Aperta can do and then some. These stands measure 7.1 x 10 x 3.5 inches, giving you overall a considerably larger platform to play with. They also support up to 75 pounds each.

Notice the 3.5-inch height measurement, meaning that you’ll definitely get an extra half inch of height if you choose the 200 over the basic Aperta.

Otherwise, the Aperta 200 matches the Aperta in terms of features, tilt, design, color options and so forth.

If you have a larger set of studio monitors or want that extra bit of height, then the Aperta 200 is right for you. A pair of these larger stands retails for $249.99.

Aperta 300

The Aperta 300 is essentially built for your center channel speaker (or potentially your subwoofer, if you use one). It measures 11.8 x 7.9 x 3 inches, so it’s wider than it is long. It supports up to 60 pounds and has the same level of tilt control as the other models. One thing to note about the Aperta 300 is that it ships as a single, not a pair.

Now, most home studio musicians aren’t using a center channel speaker. That’s more the domain of hi-fi home audio or surround sound systems.

But you might be using a subwoofer, and you might want to isolate it just like your desktop monitors.

As long as the dimensions check out compared to the dimensions of your sub, the Aperta 300 should do the job pretty well.

That said, at $159.99, you might be able to find less expensive ways to isolate your sub. You don’t need to angle your sub, so you’re in effect paying extra for functionality you don’t really need.

Final Thoughts + My Experience Using IsoAcoustics Aperta Stands for 3+ Years

So, to recap: the right pair of desktop monitor stands can get your speakers angled up toward your ears like you want them to be, plus they provide isolation and eliminate unwanted reflections and other artefacts. If you want to do any serious mixing, you need a pair of monitor stands.

And, in my opinion, the IsoAcoustics Aperta 200s are the way to go.

I’ve been using these stands in my own setup for 3 now, and I can honestly say they've been so worth it. The first time I set them up I was blown away by the difference. How had I gone so long without having a pair? So much time producing and mixing music without realizing I wasn't getting the best out of my monitors like I should be!

Interested in buying a pair for yourself?

Check the current price on Amazon for the IsoAcoustics Aperta200 Speaker Stands


Tags

aperta200, aperta300, isoacoustic 200, isoacoustics, isoacoustics aperta, isoacoustics aperta 200, isoacoustics aperta200, isoacoustics stands


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