You and I can agree on one thing: musical endeavors are never gratified. That’s the truth with all musicians out there who hole up in their custom-built home studios trying to bring their musical phrasing to life.
Inside your musical haven with DAWs at your fingertips, you’re also bound to experience a need for an upgrade or maybe something that spices up the user interface of your favorite digital audio workstation. A computer monitor is definitely what you’re looking for.
Monitors have broadened my musical horizon, especially when it comes to mixing in DAWs as I could see all the tracks I have recorded in the queue without scrolling down and messing my mixes up.
Now, I’ll acquaint you with the best computer monitors for music production, which I stumbled upon during my career.
The Dell Ultrasharp U2415 monitor provides every music producer with the standard 24-inch real estate they need to pursue their musical quests. Despite being rated as a Full HD monitor, the Ultrasharp U2415 runs at a slightly higher resolution, 1920 x 1200 resolution instead of 1920 x 1080 resolution, granting you more pixels per inch to spot these squiggly track lines in DAWs.
This computer monitor achieves excellent coverage of the sRGB color gamut at 99%. Almost all DAWs, recording kits, and rendering software use the sRGB gamut to generate color tones for their content, and the Ultrasharp U2415 nails it in this department.
Lying at the heart of this computer monitor is the IPS panel, which offers ultra wide viewing angles. Since digital audio workstations feature a wide interface, you’ll be pleased with how colors don’t get washed out as you change your posture.
Music producers love to adjust the monitor to different positions when holding an instrument or previewing a final version of their mix, and the ergonomics here is capable of that. This monitor has a -45° to 45° swivel range, -22.5° to 5° tilt range, and -90° to 90° pivot range. Moreover, the monitor stand allows for height adjustments up to 4.5 inches.
Being VESA-compatible, you can wall-mount this monitor to save space on your desk for more important gear. After you turn it around to see the 100×100 VESA pattern, you’ll spot an abundance of connectors with five glorious USB 3.0 ports for peripherals or your audio interfaces, 2 HDMI 1.4 ports, a DisplayPort, and a Mini DisplayPort for connectivity.
Dell is generous enough to include with the purchase a power cable, a USB cable, drivers, a DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort cable.
On the downside, the contrast ratio drops off when this monitor lights up in dark rooms, resulting in blacks shifting to grays.
Higher resolution than standard FHD
Great color production
Wide viewing angles
Excellent connectivity suite
Comes with cables
Poor contrast ratio in dim environments
I believe that the Dell Ultrasharp U2415 monitor deserves a unanimous vote from all music producers from the fine blend it provides: a wide horizontal perspective, accurate color tones, and most prominently, a fully ergonomic stand. Did I mention the 3-year warranty? Yes, that’s also included in this best computer monitor for music production.
We’re still roaming in the realm of the 24-inch screen size in our runner up. The Acer R240HY monitor operates at a Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 resolution). I actually like that smaller screen sizes display more pixels per inch than, say, a 28-inch screen with the same resolution.
Like the Ultrasharp U2415, the R240HY’s total coverage of the sRGB color gamut hits 99%, more than enough to produce accurate and saturated color tones in DAWs. What I appreciate about this computer monitor for music production is that it overcomes the contrast adversity in our top choice through a dedicated Movie Mode, which minimizes color shift in dark rooms.
Speaking of color shift, this computer monitor also packs an IPS panel with decent viewing angles, especially wide horizontal ones that come in handy regarding the DAW layout. A very annoying thing about monitors, in general, is screen tearing. So, Acer reinforces this monitor with its Flickerless technology to cut tearing to the bare minimum.
The color uniformity is even across all areas of the monitor display. However, you’re bound to notice minimal backlight bleed at the corners. However, the ultrathin bezels make up for it.
The R240HY is somewhat humble when it comes to ergonomics, and that’s why it’s placed as our runner up for music production. What you can merely do is adjust the vertical tilt range, which varies between -5° and 15°. The stand also doesn’t feature height adjustments.
Regarding connectivity, this monitor has the standard trio suite comprising an HDMI port, a DVI port, and a VGA port. I just wished Acer would ditch that old VGA port for a DisplayPort. Unfortunately, there’s no 100×100 VESA pattern for wall mounting here.
Accurate color tones
Great contrast in dark rooms
Wide viewing angles
No swivel or height adjustments
People’s mileage from the Acer R240HY monitor may vary. Yet, for music producers who stay up all night doing music production, this computer monitor offers an excellent contrast ratio in dark rooms, all while enjoying a frameless design and a flicker-free preview of your work making it one of the best computer monitor for music production.
This music production monitor boasts the same screen size as the R240HY with the same FHD resolution. Expected from the price, the sRGB color gamut coverage here accounts for 72%. So, you may run through some calibration tools to tweak the color tones to your liking. The great news is that the display uses a blue-light filter for reducing glare to prevent eye strain (here are some specialized eye care monitors)along with decent resolution.
It’s thoughtful of HP to include dual 2W speakers. While it sounds a tad underwhelming for me, I consider it very useful when you want to hear a demo of your mix, but it won’t be as great as an instrument splitter, for example, as it’s a bit hard to spot the instruments in the background with these speakers.
The innermost layer of this music production monitor houses our favorite panel type, IPS. With wide viewing angles up to 178°, you’ll be able to keep pace with the layers you’re recording on a horizontal level without worrying about the colors running muddy. Moreover, the bezels are remarkably thin for a distraction-free workflow.
If not for the color accuracy, this one would’ve been our runner up since it crushes the R240HY monitor in terms of ergonomics. You get a height-adjustable stand up to 5 inches, and the 360-degree swivel range is astonishingly flexible. Additionally, you can tilt this monitor from -5° to 30°. To top it all off, we luckily have a 100×100 VESA pattern on the back.
The connectivity suite residing in the back panel only houses a VGA port and an HDMI port and an audio jack, reflecting the price tag of this monitor.
Wide viewing angles with thin bezels
Mediocre color accuracy
Subpar speaker quality
Old VGA port instead of DVI or a second HDMI
You don’t have to get a multi-thousand dollar monitor for music production to complement your home studio as the HP VH240a will seamlessly blend in with your setup. You may condone the mediocre color quality when you consider its outstanding ergonomics.
We’re stepping up from the 24-inch realm to the 27 inch Ultrasharp U2720Q monitor. This screen size is where screen splitting comes into play. For instance, you can split the Ultrasharp U2720Q into two halves for the DAW software and the plugin bundle for seamless multitasking.
A 99% coverage of the sRGB gamut is what I expected from a 4K music production monitor. It’s factory-calibrated to deliver a precise range of color tones. If you calibrate it manually, you’ll end up with the same out-of-the-box color saturation! Like the U2415, the contrast is on the average side since blacks shift to a washed-out gradient in dim rooms.
Dive into the guts of this music production monitor, and you’ll find a glorious IPS panel with broad viewing angles that match the horizontal view of DAW interfaces. I liked that the edge-to-edge bezels’ thickness matches that of the bottom bezels, reducing distractions and allowing for multi-monitor setups if that’s your thing.
The 27 inch U2720Q leaves no place for procrastination during music production, thanks to the anti-glare laminate that minimizes eye fatigue for prolonged production sessions.
Like the HP VH240a, this monitor boasts flexible ergonomics. You can adjust the stand’s height up to 5.1 inches. I liked that the screen features a 360-degree pivot range compared to the standard -90 to 90° range, meaning you can flip it to the portrait mode in either direction. Furthermore, it has a -20° to 5° tilt range and a wide -45° to 45° swivel range.
Apart from the 100×100 VESA pattern, this monitor has got an abundance of ports, including an HDMI 2.0 port, a DisplayPort, three USB 3.0 Type-A ports for peripherals, and two USB Type-C ports. You can use the ubiquitous USB Type-C ports for display connectivity or power delivery to your laptop.
27 inch Crisp 4K resolution
Accurate color tones
Wide horizontal viewing angles
High-end connectivity suite with Type-C ports
The U2720Q is the holy grail lying inside the Ultrasharp series from Dell owing to its vibrant 4K resolution, faultless ergonomics, and boundless connectivity options. Although I have some misgivings about the contrast, I’d let out a sigh of relief, knowing there’s no backlight bleed across the corners!
I still remember the urge to have multiple workspaces when I was finalizing an 8-track EP for a client. Yes, it’s the urge to enjoy more screen real estate, and that’s what the LG 34WN80C-B promises with its ultra wide 34-inch display.
We’re downscaling from the 4K U2720Q monitor to a 1440p resolution in this monitor. It achieves a pixel density of 110 PPI, meaning you’ll never spot any wandering pixels even if you’re too meticulous. Additionally, the monitor scores a high-end 99% coverage of the sRGB color gamut. However, the contrast gets altered in dim environments.
What you should admire about this best computer monitor for music production is the 21:9 ultra wide aspect ratio. Let that sink in when you combine this horizontal real estate with the 178-degree viewing angles that the IPS panel provides, and you’ll be mesmerized with how the UI of your DAW of great choice is so neatly displayed. We thankfully get an anti-glare coating here to block reflections.
To complement the ultrawide experience, the On-Screen Control menu of this monitor features a Screen Split mode with which you can divide the screen up to 2, 3, or even 8 different areas with various configurations for each split mode. You guessed it—that’s how I brought the 8-track EP to life!
Intuitively, you won’t need pivot adjustments in an ultrawide monitor like this. Instead, it only offers tilt adjustments between -5° and 15°, while the stand is capable of height adjustments up to 4.3 inches. Aside from that, we get the typical 100×100 VESA pattern.
The connectivity options here are an embarrassment of riches for a music producer with DisplayPort 1.4 and two HDMI ports for display connectivity and two USB 3.0 ports for peripherals. Alternatively, the USB Type-C port here grants extra features, like power delivery for laptop charging and even display connectivity.
21:9 broad aspect ratio with horizontal viewing angles
Screen Split mode
Excellent connectivity with USB Type-C and DisplayPort
Middling contrast ratio
No swivel adjustments
Apart from the price tag, I’d say that the LG 34WN80-C is well-suited for large-scale music production projects in a studio where multitasking isn’t a privilege, but a must just like in the case of a best cad monitor. Combined with the 1440p resolution and the wide aspect ratio, the screen size is also optimal for heavy-duty music production.
Running at a standard FHD resolution, this 28-inch monitor spans the majority of tones present in the sRGB color gamut. So, you can expect a vibrant out-of-the-box color quality and resolution. Likewise, the contrast here is very consistent since blacks don’t shift into grays in blacked-out rooms, and there’s a reason for that.
This music production monitor boasts this best crisp image quality owing to its VA panel that remedies the contrast curse that IPS panels suffer from while maintaining the same color coverage. However, this monitors VA panel will never outperform IPS panels in terms of viewing angles since the brightness levels slightly get altered as you change the viewpoint during use.
In addition to great anti-glare laminate, this best music production monitor is enhanced with a filter that reduces blue-light emissions, limiting eye strain for prolonged periods. The On-Screen Control menu supports the 2-Screen Split mode to pick up the pace of your workflow in DAWs. Besides, it’s a nice gesture from ViewSonic to integrate two 2.5W stereo speakers into this monitor.
Ergonomics is where this monitor setup disappoints since it only supports tilt adjustments from 5° to 23°. Other than that, it has a 100×100 VESA pattern hinging on its back. Regarding connectivity, the suite offers just the basics: a VGA port, an HDMI port, and an audio-in jack.
ViewSonic backs this monitor up with a great industry-leading 3-year limited warranty in case any issues arise with their monitors.
Great contrast in dark rooms
Acceptable viewing angles
Limited stand adjustments
Contrast shifts with different viewing angles
Old VGA port instead of an additional HDMI or DVI
I’ve always felt there’s something special about 28-inch monitors when it comes to music production. They pave the way for a sweet spot between a gigantic 34-inch and standard 24-inch monitors. The ViewSonic VA2855SMH establishes that middle ground owing to its lifelike color reproduction and competent contrast ratio.
How to Pick a Computer Monitor for Music Production
Most guides on choosing a monitor setup won’t be relevant to a music producer because specs like response time won’t be useful in any way when it comes to mixing and mastering in DAWs. Instead, we’ll be shedding light on the factors that make the best computer monitor for music production.
Concluding the Panel Debate
Music producers wouldn’t want to feel dazzled looking at a specs sheet—they’re already overwhelmed with layering multi-tracks on top of each other during music production. Since great TN panels are primarily directed at gamers, you’ll find yourself in front of types of panels: IPS and VA monitors.
IPS (In-Plane Switching) monitors panels get the lion’s share in the majority of monitors. These panels excel at providing the broadest viewing angles with no color alteration. Also, they’re characterized by their superior color production and use.
However, their performance drops off when it comes to contrast since blacks tend to diminish to grays in dark rooms.
VA (Vertical Alignment) monitors panels aka vertical monitors have set the scene for a middle ground between IPS and TN panels. On recalling VA panels, what pops up in a geek’s mind is the dependable contrast ratio, which is more competent than that of the IPS. However, unlike best IPS panels, the color tones fail to retain consistency from different viewing angles in VA panels during music production.
It seems that the monitors shortcomings are fewer on the IPS side. Although VA panels offer better contrast ratios, IPS panels still stand as the best choice for producers, thanks to their wide viewing angles required during music production.
Know Your Ports
Make sure to take a look at the connectivity suite to see whether the ports are compatible with the cables you’re already using.
HDMI is the most cost-efficient type of connection between your machine and monitors. HDMI ports are capable of powering best FHD displays at the standard 60 frames per second. However, for 4K displays, it’ll deliver a slower picture since the frames will be capped at 30 FPS. HDMI connections are also capable of providing audio to your monitor setup.
DVI and VGA connections in monitors are considered old news by now, especially with the advancement in HDMI and the emergence of the DisplayPort, which can power a 4K monitor at 60 FPS.
USB Type-A ports in monitors are the icing on the cake for music production. These ports don’t serve the monitor setup. Instead, they act like a USB hub for connecting extra peripherals like mics, keyboards, and even audio interfaces. Type-C ports, on the other hand, can provide power for laptop charging and DisplayPort connectivity.
Get the Right monitorsErgonomics
Monitors Ergonomics refers to the ability of a monitor setup to pivot, swivel, or tilt. Monitors capable of pivoting can be placed in a portrait mode, whereas the tilt range denotes the monitor’s ability to bend forward or backward. The swiveling motion is, by far, the most useful since it allows for side-to-side adjustments for easy maneuvering during music production.
It’s also a great idea to check whether the monitor supports VESA patterns if you’re going to wall-mount it to save desk space during music production.
After reviewing the 6 best computer monitors for music production, you must’ve formed speculation about which you must opt for. In case you’re still baffled with the list, I’d be glad to tell you my final recommendation.
I believe that the Dell Ultrasharp U2415 checks all the boxes for a monitor for music production. With a standard screen size, enhanced FHD resolution, reasonable price, and a myriad of ports, this monitor setup will render every aspect of your music production career prominent.