difference between studio and hifi speaker


why do audiophiles dislike studio monitors and vice versa?

I often read that studio monitors are perfectly flat whereas hifi speakers are deliberately designed with a sagging response.

is that the only difference that explains the difference in sound?

I have found all studio monitors to be unrefined, harsh and unpleasant. However ive been told that is because they are designed to be extremely accurate and honest rather than beautiful.
 
whats the truth?

kef blades are hifi speakers. They are flat. But ive not seen them being used in studios.
genelec is a popular speaker in studios but rarely mentioned in the audiophile community. 
kenjit
Studio stuff can be ugly, and the biggie...not marketed toward the high end crowd, so it won't get the exposure.

From personal experience pro amps can be quite good, but.... ugly.... keep it in the closet.
Many studio speakers were a bit scooped in the mid range just like Hi-Fi speakers. So it probably isn’t that.

I think it is mostly aesthetics and the fact that studios prefer two extremes of speaker - either a small near-field (at 3 feet) or a massive far-field beast (at 20 feet). The small near-fields go on a desk or meter bridge while the massive far-fields are usually mounted in a soffit for perfect bass response.

Studio speakers tend to be bass shy or lower Q than compared to most small audiophile speakers that are ported to sound big (with a big hump in the bass response). This is for accuracy as professionals don’t want to get the bass wrong because the speaker is emphasizing something too much. A speaker on a desk or meter bridge will get a bass boost. The trusty studio workhorse - the Yamaha NS-10 - only sounds flat when sitting on a desk otherwise it is bass light.

While the small near-fields are within audiophile budgets they don’t do so well when mounted on stands at 8 to 10 feet and the finishes are ugly.

The large main monitors are extremely bulky and ugly and may cost as much as an average audiophile home once installed with all the requisite studio acoustic treatment and design. This simply isn’t an option for most audiophiles. These are mostly used for bass checks or to impress clients who pay for the use of a studio facility.

Another factor may be time domain response or waterfall plot. The Yamaha NS-10 has a nice waterfall which means you hear less speaker coloration (warmth or nasal character). The sealed box means the bass group delay is very good too. All these factors add up to a more faithful reproduction of the source - warts and all.

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/yamaha-ns10-story

This research paper is also worth reading

https://dt7v1i9vyp3mf.cloudfront.net/assetlibrary/n/ns10m.pdf



the ns10 are a perfect example. Loved by studio pros but sound absolutely horrible. 
No absolute truths here.  I run ATC 40 actives and they are very musical, not brutal ugly studio harsh.  Preamp is Manley Neo-Classic 300B, so that may tame some of it.

The speakers lived with the store I purchased them through for 2 months and they loved them.  They sell Proac and Focal and found no studio nastiness.  Mostly they ran them with a $5,200 high end Sim preamp/streamer.
Post removed 
How about the venerable BBC LS3/5A? The best small speaker to put in a van (its intended location!). Still highly-prized for home use!
However ive been told that is because they are designed to be extremely accurate and honest rather than beautiful.
This is incorrect. A good studio monitor is good in the home as well. Years ago I had a set of Snell Bs, which are good to 22Hz. This speaker was one of the top models made by Snell. We were having troubles with the spiders failing because we liked to play cuts with deep bass :)  The spiders failed several times; Snell finally sent us redesigned woofers that could handle the bass- and told us that the only other place this was happening was when the speakers were used as monitors in studios... see what's happening here? A top of the line high end audio speaker was being used as a studio monitor- some studios with a nice budget do things like that.


We run monitors in our studio that are high end audio speakers. If anything, the big difference between high end speakers and studio monitors might be cost- a lot has to do with the intentions and scope of the studio. For example, for LP mastering we use a set of inexpensive Tannoy monitors. We don't need to know if we need more bass or treble; we just need to know if we can hear a hum or buzz, or if there is some type of distortion. Its assumed at this point in the recording chain that the recording itself is OK.
I find the term "Monitor" used as desired by many makers
so you need to listen to each one. Harsh they can be.
If you prefer "Musical" you may not be a Monitor man.
The Gold 300s are nice though. haha
I love my ProAc studio 148s and their 140 and 100 models are great also. 
theyre hifi not studio speakers. 
I just Googled the  NS10 studio monitors.  Are the cabinets made of plastic?  They certainly in my opinion looks like a high quality speaker.  However, I am new to this hobby and have a lot to learn.
The NS10 are MDF. They are small portable and very accurate with a sealed box. The bass response will be interpreted as bass shy because of the roll off and the exceptional time domain response. They aren’t available anymore. 

Masking is is caused by loud low frequencies removing the ability to hear higher frequencies. The key to a sealed box speaker is the quality of the bass - it lets you hear more mid range. A typical audiophile ported speaker will mask the mid range due to the delayed bass response but the heavier bass can be pleasing to untrained ears.
Atc used ported as well in some of their designs.
I've been around NS10s too often pretty much since they arrived everywhere, and although I understand them, I absolutely hate the way they sound...seriously...luckily most recording studios (including mine) have alternatives.
No one loves the NS10, studios use it because of how bad it is that it sounds extra poor with bad recordings.  
  
High end studio monitors and high end Hi-Fi speakers from KEF, Revel, etc. are going to sound near identical, they all aim for transparent, they add no coloration.
If you read all of the definitions of what is considered a " studio monitor ", you will find that many high end companies try to accomplish the exact same characteristics, and imo, can be used as such. I worked in a studio a long time ago ( before digital showed dominance ) and we had NS10s, JBLs, and a pair of Duntech Sovereigns in our larger listening space. 
High end studio monitors and high end Hi-Fi speakers from KEF, Revel, etc. are going to sound near identical, they all aim f
for transparent, they add no coloration.


ive never seen blades used in studios or genelecs being used or discussed by audiophiles. 

And they don’t sound nearly identical. 
atmasphere: ".... a lot has to do with the intentions and scope of the studio. " +1 (ie: https://www.architectmagazine.com/project-gallery/boston-symphony-orchestra-unveils-wsdg-redesigned-control-room) (YES- those are B&W 802s and a sub)                 btw: The BSO’s hall is one of the best designed acoustics, in the world. They DO know what they’re doing, regarding sound: https://www.bso.org/brands/bso/about-us/historyarchives/acoustics.aspx

Atc used ported as well in some of their designs

port creat noise,front ports creats realistic beat,rear ports creates punch:)
Masking is is caused by loud low frequencies removing the ability to hear higher frequencies. The key to a sealed box speaker is the quality of the bass - it lets you hear more mid range. A typical audiophile ported speaker will mask the mid range due to the delayed bass response but the heavier bass can be pleasing to untrained ears.
There are many technics to avoid masking midrange,transmission line,ribbon tweeters etc..
@kenjit

  ”Atc used ported as well in some of their designs.”

Yes. They use ports on their larger models. The purpose of the port on large speakers is different than small ones. The goal is simply higher SPL and lower distortion rather than extended LF response. This means group delay in the bass is much better behaved than on a small ported speaker. Almost all of the very large high performance studio speakers are ported (designers from Tannoy, Urei, JBL, Westlake and ATC and many others use forward facing very large ports.)