I just spent the afternoon comparing a pair of BX8a’s versus HS80m’s and the conclusion was simple: I now own a pair of Yamahas.
This is as unpaid as a review gets, by the way
Simply put, the Yamahas are better.
The boxes are roughly equal in the bass end in terms of frequency response and woofer flappage (there’s some on both if you push them right). But since the Yamahas have a variable low cut filter switch, they win in the low end.
Its in the higher mids and high end that the Yamahas really showed their superiority. Comparing the two sets side by side with a Korg SV-1, it sounded like the M-Audio’s were playing through a thick cloth or as though my ears were full of wax. By contrast, the Yamahas were clear, revealing all kinds of detail that was completely invisible on the BX8a’s.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I tried out a lot of other monitors in the price range and the BX8a’s were still preferable to many others (like smaller Yamahas, Dynaudio, Behringer, Yorkville, KRK). But comparing 8″ boxes side by side, the price difference for me completely disappeared once I heard them both in action.
If you’re considering getting a pair of BX8a’s, I’d recommend that you spend some time comparing these side by side too. Monitor selection on a budget is more art than science, but I’d say that you owe it to yourself to compare 8″ apples to apples before taking the cheaper BX8a’s home.