If one trend defines technology, it’s that we want everything to be smaller without compromising quality and power. In fact, we expect it to provide even better performance.
This notion defines PreSonus’ Eris E44 and E66 MTM monitors. Back when the company announced them in October 2015, the press release highlighted the Eris E44’s extremely compact size and smooth, extra-wide sweet spot. The E44, more so than its larger counterpart, does this smaller-but-stronger juxtaposition a bit better, and as a result, it’s poised to become one of the must-have monitors for your home studio or portable gear setup.
Just how small as it? The Eris E44’s base measures just seven inches by seven inches, and it’s 14 inches tall. Its medium-density fiberboard body, with a black vinyl laminate finish, falls within the 90 watt class of monitors, but as soon as you use it, it’s most notable quality starts to become its clear, precise sounds.
Behind this is PreSonus’ goal of developing a monitor with smoother frequency response and a wider, more detailed soundstage, and the MTM format helps make this a reality.
One is the dual Kevlar low/mid drivers, measuring at 4.5 inches for the E44 and a bit larger at 6.5 inches for the E66, that basically work together to cover the same frequency. While other monitors offer a similar setup, the product is less consistent than what the E44 gives. Typically, the sound waves from two drivers clash together, resulting in more unnecessary peaks and dips. The E44’s design, by contrast, delivers a greater “sweet spot,” a stronger bass, and a more dynamic overall output.
PreSonus then added a 1.25-inch silk-dome, high-frequency driver in between. Its inclusion lessens phase displacement and is said to improve spatial resolution, further contributing to that greater “sweet spot.” Within the MTM design, the smaller driver between two woofers helps create a more constant dispersion pattern through the frequency range, breaks up reflected energy, and blocks fewer delayed reflections from reaching the listener. As a result, the sound overall ends up being more transparent and consistent, and you’re more likely to get better high-frequency performance.
The drivers working as one extend the frequency range, so you get 6dB of audio in the low end, and give the E44 one of the largest stereo fields for its class. For the listener, what results is a more consistent listening experience.
Adding to this latter point is the improved Midwooder-Tweeter-Midwoofer (MTM) design, which, unlike others of its type, performs equally well when positioned horizontally or vertically. Giving both on- and off-axis performance is the proximity of both midrange drivers and the raised HF driver. In response, the E44 doesn’t favor one configuration over another, which proves to be an asset in a range of spaces.
Because you might need, rather than want, to use a monitor in a less-than-ideal room, PreSonus added a few more controls to the back to make the E44 even more adaptable. One is the three-position Acoustic Space switch, which dissipates the boundary boost that can occur whenever a monitor is placed near a wall or corner. Similarly, high- and mid-acoustic tuning controls work to eliminate issues with the listening space, such as a poorly soundproofed room.
Along with these aspects, the E44 comes with a Low Cutoff filter, which makes subwoofer integration easier, and includes XLR, ¼” TRS, and unbalanced RCA input connections, which mean you can use this monitor with a range of gear and in many environments. PreSonus further outfitted it with a few safety features, including subsonic protection, over-heating protection, RF shielding, and an output limit.
Overall, if you had to sum up the E44, it’s a small monitor that greatly outperforms its size and additionally small price tag. Specifically, its unique design gives one of the most accurate responses and widest frequencies possible for its compactness, and for its class, it exceeds others with truly excellent stereo imaging. Its sound, too, is far more concentrated, with more of a refined, deeper bass, than its package would like to you believe.
Where might you want to use it? If you’re building, or currently have, a home studio with limited room, say, in an apartment, the E44 makes a perfect edition. As well, if you’re a mobile DJ or someone who’s frequently transporting your gear, its size and lightweight construction won’t literally weigh you down. And, in either scenario, it’s really the perfect package: A monitor that gives quality performance, without any compromises for a more portable design.