Monitoring the Situation: Reference Monitor Sales in 2017

by Christian Wissmuller • in
  • Survey
• Created: October 6, 2017

Share This:

The results of this month’s dealer survey – sent out to over 200 MI retailers – suggest that studio monitors represent a fairly steady slice of the overall musical gear market.

With just under 50 percent (45.5) reporting level sales when compared to 2016, these speakers seem to be holding consumers’ interest.

The above isn’t particularly surprising, as more and more musicians, producers, and educators of all income and experience levels are creating their own home or classroom studios. Even the most basic setup needs reference monitors of some type and, interestingly, a decisive majority of survey participants note that intermediate – not entry-level – speakers are selling the most.

As Anthony Mantova of Mantova’s Two Street Music (Eureka, California) puts it: “In an age when everyone wants to sit at home in their pajamas and bask in the glory of their undiscovered sound, your customers will purchase a pair of studio monitors.”


On average, how would you describe the “typical” studio monitor customer (age, income level, ability, et cetera)?

“20-40 years old, making $25,000-$35,000, and purchasing for home studio use.”

Wesley Edwards, Sr.

Draisen Edwards

Anderson, South Carolina/Atlanta, Georgia


“17-30 year olds who are starting their home studio with a very basic budget.”

Dave St. John

Gard’s Music, LLC

Glendora, California


“Mid 20s or late 40s; 20s are dudes with little or no cash, 40s no problems, first timer home studio with moderate knowledge.”

Marc Boon

The Music Shoppe and Pro-Sound Center

Danvers, Illinois


“School music programs, almost exclusively.”

Don Hausen

White House of Music

Waukesha, Wisconsin


“Over 30, professional, higher income.”

Steve Zampino

Jupiter Music

Jupiter, Florida


“Average, middle income.”

Scott E. Stone

Music Proz

Indio, California


“Younger, 20s, amateur.”

Nilam Music

Hereford, England


Have you been noticing any significant shifts in this market segment, either on the supplier or consumer side?


“Margins are crap all the way around and the internet is killing us. Can’t carry them all.”

Marc Boon

The Music Shoppe and Pro-Sound Center

Danvers, Illinois


“Online orders from box stores.”

JD Kezar

Kezar Music Co.

Thief River Falls, Minnesota


“Suppliers are not as quality conscious (usually end up upgrading speakers and redoing bad joints), young consumers are not as interested (price over quality, phone-based platform recording), and older (my demographic) are beginning to ‘cash out.’”

Guitar Tex

San Antonio, Texas


“Growth in headphones.”

Alan Day

Music & Arts

Frederick, Maryland


“We’ve seen more choices in the low price points over the past three years.”

Dave St. John

Gard’s Music, LLC

Glendora, California


“People want better products and are willing to spend more.”

Dave Malekpour

Pro Audio Design

Hanover, Massachusetts

Share This:

Leave a Comment:

Check Out Some Past MMR Magazine Issues