While developing semiconductor-manufacturing technology for Intel in the early 2000s, Thomas spent his spare time pursuing his passion for music. He quickly became known as a speaker and acoustics guru in online recording forums, and often shared his belief that every step of the production process requires the same level of sound quality, dynamic range and bass extension.
In 2004, Thomas designed a groundbreaking all-in-one approach to monitoring that utilizes multiple drivers to deliver balanced, detailed sound across the entire frequency spectrum in any environment. Today, Barefoot Sound monitors are used in recording studios all around the world by everyone from Grammy-winning engineers like Butch Vig, Chris Lord-Alge, Eddie Kramer, and Jack Joseph Puig, to world-class performing artists such as Dave Grohl, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, and Sean “P Diddy” Combs.
In this Buyer’s Guide, we’ll talk about each of Barefoot Sound’s studio monitors, including the Footprint 01, MasterStack12, MiniMain12 and MicroMain series. We’ll break down the technology and design differences between each model to help you find the perfect set of Barefoot Sound monitors for your studio.
Barefoot Sound Technology
Every pair of Barefoot Sound studio monitors are equipped with three pieces of innovative technology as part of their signature sound.
No, not that kind of meme… MEME technology stands for Multi-Emphasis Monitor Emulation, which uses sophisticated DSP modeling to emulate the sound of a wide range of classic studio speakers, giving you the flexibility to A/B your tracks on multiple sets of speakers all from the same device.
The “Old School” setting captures the sound of the iconic Yamaha NS10M monitors, with a strong midrange presence. The “Cube” setting is modeled after Auratone cubes. “Hi-Fi” sweetens the high-end and warms mid-range, similar to consumer hi-fi systems.
Traditional studio monitors suffer from distortion and coloration caused by the driver vibrating back and forth. Barefoot Sound studio monitors utilize an innovative force cancellation design that eliminates vibrations before they even begin for distortion-free sound, even with extremely low frequencies.
Dual Ring Radiator Tweeter
Unlike conventional tweeters, which have very narrow dispersion, Barefoot Sound studio monitors feature dual ring radiator technology, which provides an extremely wide sweet spot all the way up to 40 kHz.
Barefoot Sound Monitors
Barefoot Sound Footprint01
The Barefoot Sound Footprint01 is a smaller nearfield monitor that shares the same signature sound as the classic MicroMain series. This active 3-way speaker features two 8-inch paper cone subwoofers for an extended frequency response all the way down to 36 Hz.
Footprint01's 4-inch aluminum cone driver delivers tight, punchy mids and a 1-inch tweeter offers crystal-clear highs. An innovative two-way DSP crossover feeds dual Class D amplifiers that deliver 500 W of power to the subs and an additional 150 W to the mid- and high-frequency drivers.
The monitor features a unique design with the midrange driver above the tweeter to keep the acoustic focus in the center of the cab. The new Footprint01 captures the signature Barefoot sound in a compact, affordable format that’s perfect for engineers, producers, musicians and more,
Barefoot Sound Footprint02
The Barefoot Sound Footprint01 has been the best selling monitor at Vintage King Audio since its debut at the NAMM Show in 2017. The brand is now following up its highly successful nearfield speaker with its smallest and most affordable monitor yet. Meet the Barefoot Sound Footprint02!
The Footprint02 is smaller in stature than the Footprint01, but follows in the footsteps of its predecessor with the same unparalleled audio quality and design. The 3-way active monitor features Barefoot Sound’s signature Dual-Force technology with 6.5” signature side-mounted dual opposing paper cone subwoofers.
The monitor also has a dual ring radiator tweeter and aluminum cone midrange driver set in an aluminum front sub baffle which generates the acoustic focus in the center of the cabinet. All of this is packaged up in a cabinet with sleek, rounded corners and edges that minimizes distortion and coloration.
Internally, much of the technology of the Footprint01 has made its way over to the Footprint02. The Footprint02 houses the same 2-way DSP crossover feeds and dual Class D amplifier modules rated at 200W, which sits perfectly with its reduced cabinet dimensions.
Barefoot Sound MasterStack12
The Barefoot Sound MasterStack12 is the pinnacle of Thomas Barefoot’s achievements in monitor speaker design. This astonishing monitor system, which features MiniMain 12 and MiniSub12, combines Barefoot Sound’s signature sound with breathtaking dynamic range and advanced DSP technology for unrivaled performance.
The MasterStack12 is a 4.5-way active modular tower with 10 drivers housed in two cabinets. A third base unit provides signal and power distribution. A 1-inch ring radiator tweeter powered by a 250W amplifier delivers crystal-clear high-end, while two 2.5-inch midrange drivers with their own 250W amps deliver clear, detailed mids.
The true charm of the MasterStack12 is in the woofers. All three woofers operate down to 80 Hz, but only two of the woofers extend up to the mid-range band crossover point. With three woofers working together in the low-mid frequencies, the MasterStack12 produces minimal distortion. And with four dedicated 12-inch subwoofers, the MasterStack12 offers incomparable bass response.
This massive multi-speaker system is ideal for large-scale studios and post production facilities.
Barefoot Sound MiniMain12
The Barefoot Sound MiniMain12 is based on Thomas Barefoot’s original design from 2004, and takes the signature Barefoot sound to a whole new level of resolution and detail. The MiniMain12 is a 4-way active speaker system with seven drivers for unprecedented clarity throughout the entire frequency spectrum.
A 1-inch tweeter delivers pristine highs. Dual 2.5-inch aluminum midrange drivers produce punchy, focused mids, while two 7-inch woofers offer thick, rich lows. Two 12-inch subwoofers provide powerful low-end. Each driver is powered by its own Hypex amplifier and operates as a perfect piston for ultra-fast transient response.
As the largest all-in-one speaker in the Barefoot lineup, the MiniMain12 is perfect for mid to large-sized studios who need plenty of power.
Barefoot Sound MicroMain26
Based on the renowned MicroMain27 Gen2, the Barefoot Sound MicroMain26 is a 4-way active speaker system that features six drivers for a transparent, detailed sound. A 1-inch tweeter delivers incredible detail and wide dispersion for an extended sweet spot. The 2.5-inch aluminum cone midrange is housed in a cutting-edge 3D printed waveguide enclosure to help prevent distortion. Equipped with two 5.25-inch paper cone woofers and two 10-inch aluminum cone subwoofers, MicroMain26 monitors deliver class-leading low-end.
As a 4-way system, each driver is powered by its own state-of-the-art Hypex amplifier for maximum clarity, even at high volumes. The tweeter and midrange drivers are both powered by their own 180W amps, while the woofers have a dedicated 250W amp. The subwoofers are powered by a massive 500W amplifier for maximum low-end efficiency.
Barefoot Sound MicroMain27 Gen2
The monitor that put Barefoot Sound on the map. Released in 2006, the Barefoot Sound MicroMain27 Gen2 is a 3.5-way active system with five drivers for an extended frequency response from 30 Hz to 45 kHz. A 1-inch ring radiator tweeter provides crystal clear highs. Two 5.25-inch paper cone midbass drivers offer unparalleled detail, while two 10-inch aluminum cone subwoofers deliver tight, punchy bass. Barefoot Sound teamed up with Bruno Putzeys of Hypex to develop a completely transparent amplifier stage with 1,250W of total power.
The MicroMain27 Gen2 is the most versatile reference monitor in the Barefoot Sound catalog and works well in studios and production facilities of all sizes.
Barefoot Sound MicroMain45
The Barefoot Sound MicroMain45 is a stripped-down version of the MiniMain12 with a compact footprint and an affordable price tag. This 3-way active reference monitor features four drivers: a 1-inch tweeter, two 2.5-inch midrange woofers and an 8-inch woofer.
The MicroMain45 utilizes a zero-compromise design to capture the signature Barefoot Sound. With an extended frequency response from 40Hz – 45 kHz the MicroMain45 delivers class-leading sound quality. As the most compact Barefoot monitor, the MicroMain45 is ideal for smaller studios, and with over 600W of power, they deliver distortion-free sound even at high levels.
Barefoot Sound MicroSub45
The Barefoot Sound MicroSub45 is designed specifically to complement the MicroMain45. The MicroSub45 adds depth, power and headroom to your system with dual 8-inch aluminum cone drivers and 500W of power. The MicroSub45 also utilizes Barefoot Sound’s signature dual-force technology for an extended frequency response down to 25 Hz.
Barefoot Sound MicroStack45
The Barefoot Sound MicroStack45 combines is a pair of 3-way active MicroMain45 reference monitors and stereo MicroSub45 subwoofers for a total of six 8-inch aluminum woofers, four 2.5-inch midrange drivers and a pair of 1-inch tweeters, all designed to work together seamlessly. And with 2220W of power, this compact speaker system is perfect for small to mid-sized studios. An innovative tilt feature enables you to perfectly position the MicroMain45 monitors towards your sweet spot.
If you’re interested in adding Barefoot Sound monitors to your studio, contact a Vintage King Audio Consultant via email or by phone at 866.644.0160.