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15+ Best Monitor Calibrators for Designers 2024 (July)

15+ Best Monitor Calibrators for Designers 2024 (July)

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Searching for the best monitor calibrator? Look no further.

We’ve rounded up the best monitor color calibration tools and ranked them, making it easy for you to find the right calibrator for you.

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Monitor calibration is extremely important as a graphic designer, photographer, or creative. The way your images, drawings, and photos look can either make or break your business.

No client would want something that doesn’t look it’s very best. For many creatives, the best way to ensure that their images are the most accurately represented is via monitor calibration.

If you’re looking for color accuracy, check out our faetures on the best photo editing monitors and the best monitors for graphic design.

What is a Monitor Calibrator?

A monitor calibrator is a piece of hardware and a software program that adjusts the color that your monitor is displaying. It does this by the use of the computer program and hardware that attaches to your monitor and reads the way the colors are displayed.

For many people, especially creatives, having the best-looking display can give a more accurate picture of an image on their monitor and help them produce their best work. With this in mind, we wanted to create a list of the Best Monitor Calibrators for Designers in 2024 to help you pick the best one for your monitor.


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Like any purchase, there are things you should consider first instead of just buying the first one you see. See our guide at the end of this article for more information.

The Best Monitor Calibrators for Graphic Design in 2024

  1. Datacolor SpyderX ELITE — The best monitor calibration tool overall (Editor’s Choice)
  2. Datacolor SpyderX Pro —The best value calibration tool
  3. Datacolor SpyderCube SC200 — The best budget-friendly calibration tool
  4. Calibrite ColorChecker Display Pro — The best easy-to-use calibration tool
  5. X-Rite i1 Display PRO — The best calibration tool for professionals
  6. Wacom Color Manager — The best calibration tool for Wacom displays
  7. Calibrite ColorChecker Studio (CCSTUDIO) — The best calibrator for photographers
  8. Datacolor SpyderX Studio — The best calibration tool for Pantone
  9. X-Rite i1Display Studio — The best calibrator for polished professionals
  10. Datacolor SpyderX Create Kit — The best calibration tool for the home office
  11. X-Rite i1Publish Pro 3 — The best calibrator for printers and projectors
  12. X-Rite i1Studio — The best all-in-one calibration tool
  13. Datacolor Spyder5EXPRESS — The best calibrator for hobbyist photographers
  14. Datacolor Spyder5PRO — The best calibration tool for serious designers
  15. Datacolor SpyderX Pro + Cube Kit — The best lightweight monitor calibration tool

See here for best 5k & 8k monitors for graphic designers.

What is the Best Monitor Calibration Tool?

Datacolor SpyderX ELITE is the best monitor calibration tool for graphic designers. But most of the time it depends on your requirements. We’ve compared them all below for your convenience.

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Best Overall
Datacolor Spyder X Elite – Monitor Calibration Designed for Expert and Professional Photographers...
Best Value
Datacolor Spyder X Pro – Monitor Calibrator. Color Calibration Tool for Monitor Display. Ensures...
Best Budget Choice
Datacolor SpyderCube - 3D Advanced Calibration Tool and Profiling Solution for Accurate Color...
Best Professional
X-Rite ColorChecker Classic (MSCCC)
Best for Pantone
Datacolor SXSSR100 Spyder X Studio: Suite of Photo Tools for Precision Control from Capture to...
Best for Wacom
Wacom Color Manager (EODIS3-DCWA), White
Title
Datacolor Spyder X Elite – Monitor Calibration Designed for Expert and Professional Photographers...
Datacolor Spyder X Pro – Monitor Calibrator. Color Calibration Tool for Monitor Display. Ensures...
Datacolor SpyderCube - 3D Advanced Calibration Tool and Profiling Solution for Accurate Color...
X-Rite ColorChecker Classic (MSCCC)
Datacolor SXSSR100 Spyder X Studio: Suite of Photo Tools for Precision Control from Capture to...
Wacom Color Manager (EODIS3-DCWA), White
Prime Status
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
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-
Amazon Prime
Star Rating
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-
-
Reviews
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4,627 Reviews
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-
-
-
Price
$238.93
$134.00
$53.66
$199.00
$309.98
$184.87
Best Overall
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Datacolor Spyder X Elite – Monitor Calibration Designed for Expert and Professional Photographers...
Title
Datacolor Spyder X Elite – Monitor Calibration Designed for Expert and Professional Photographers...
Prime Status
Amazon Prime
Star Rating
-
Reviews
-
Price
$238.93
Buy Now
Best Value
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Datacolor Spyder X Pro – Monitor Calibrator. Color Calibration Tool for Monitor Display. Ensures...
Title
Datacolor Spyder X Pro – Monitor Calibrator. Color Calibration Tool for Monitor Display. Ensures...
Prime Status
Amazon Prime
Star Rating
Reviews
4,627 Reviews
Price
$134.00
Buy Now
Best Budget Choice
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Datacolor SpyderCube - 3D Advanced Calibration Tool and Profiling Solution for Accurate Color...
Title
Datacolor SpyderCube - 3D Advanced Calibration Tool and Profiling Solution for Accurate Color...
Prime Status
Amazon Prime
Star Rating
-
Reviews
-
Price
$53.66
Buy Now
Best Professional
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X-Rite ColorChecker Classic (MSCCC)
Title
X-Rite ColorChecker Classic (MSCCC)
Prime Status
-
Star Rating
-
Reviews
-
Price
$199.00
Buy Now
Best for Pantone
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Datacolor SXSSR100 Spyder X Studio: Suite of Photo Tools for Precision Control from Capture to...
Title
Datacolor SXSSR100 Spyder X Studio: Suite of Photo Tools for Precision Control from Capture to...
Prime Status
-
Star Rating
-
Reviews
-
Price
$309.98
Buy Now
Best for Wacom
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Wacom Color Manager (EODIS3-DCWA), White
Title
Wacom Color Manager (EODIS3-DCWA), White
Prime Status
Amazon Prime
Star Rating
-
Reviews
-
Price
$184.87
Buy Now

If you are looking for some great gadgets – check out our essential tools for graphic designers post.

 

Top 3 Best Selling Monitor Calibrators

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These are the three best-selling monitor calibrator tools on Amazon right now:

 

1. Datacolor SpyderX ELITE (Editor’s Choice)

SpyderX Elite Monitor Calibration Tool - Best Monitor Calibrator
SpyderX Elite Monitor Calibration. Image credit: Datacolor / Amazon

 

The best monitor calibration tool overall

 Weight: 10.5 ounces | Compatible Devices: Laptops and Desktops | Calibration Setting Choices: 12 settings

A simple wizard-based mode makes setting up this calibrator easy. With an ‘unlimited’ setting for calibration, including grey-balancing, the SpyderX ELITE from Datacolor can make your laptop and desktop look just right within five minutes.

All of your displays can be calibrated to a single target, as well as using lightroom monitoring in order to determine the best brightness for your monitor. With the SpyderX ELITE, you can even see before and after results for your own images.

If you’re a professional graphic designer, photographer, or artist that requires true color accuracy, this is the best monitor calibration tool for your needs.

Pros

Cons

➕ Easy to set-up ➖ Poor customer support
➕ Good color calibration
➕ Affordable price

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
Datacolor Spyder X Elite – Monitor Calibration Designed for Expert and Professional Photographers...
  • Calibrating your monitor to achieve color precision now takes just a minute or two - several times faster than previous models
  • Groundbreaking lens-based color engine provides a higher level of color accuracy for multiple monitors (including StudioMatch Assistant to match displays) and projectors. SpyderX Elite features...
  • SpyderX Elite is intuitive, you don't have to be a color expert. It features a step-by-step assistant and expert console, with an all-in-one calibration control panel and unlimited calibration setting...
  • SEE THE DIFFERENCE INSTANTLY: SpyderProof functionality provides before-and-after evaluation of your display with full-screen images including your own
  • MONITOR TECHNOLOGIES CHANGE AND IMPROVE OVER TIME: SpyderX Elite assures you support for the latest screen types, recent resolutions and gamuts

 

Datacolor SpyderX ELITE Review

Want a closer look at this fine monitor calibrator? Check out this Datacolor SpyderX ELITE review video:

Video Credit: Mike Hagen/YouTube

 

2. Datacolor SpyderX Pro

Datacolor SpyderX Pro
Datacolor SpyderX Pro. Image credit: Datacolor / Amazon

The best value calibration tool

Weight: 289 grams | Compatible Devices: Laptops and desktops

For every professional out there looking for the best calibrator for their monitor, there is also a hobbyist trying to find the tools that they can use to make the best images they can. For those hobbyists, the Datacolor SpyderX Pro is an easy-to-use product that comes with two fixed calibration settings which are perfect for non-professional photographers and designers. Making it even easier to use, the EXPRESS can be used on both desktop and laptop screens.

With an interactive help guide to walk new users through calibrating their display, the SpyderX Pro is a great entry-level calibrator for any hobbyist or even those professionals just getting started.

Pros

Cons

➕ Accurate color calibration ➖ Slightly complex to work with
➕Quick to set up ➖ A bit pricey
➕ Comes with support for the latest screen types

 

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Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
Datacolor Spyder X Pro – Monitor Calibrator. Color Calibration Tool for Monitor Display. Ensures...
4,627 Reviews
Datacolor Spyder X Pro – Monitor Calibrator. Color Calibration Tool for Monitor Display. Ensures...
  • 𝗘𝗡𝗦𝗨𝗥𝗘 𝗔𝗖𝗖𝗨𝗥𝗔𝗧𝗘 𝗖𝗢𝗟𝗢𝗥: Groundbreaking lens-based color engine provides a higher level of color accuracy for multiple monitors. Spyder X Pro...
  • 𝗘𝗔𝗦𝗬-𝗧𝗢-𝗨𝗦𝗘: Spyder X Pro is so intuitive, you don’t have to be a color expert. It features quick and easy single-click calibration and wizard workflow with 12 predefined...
  • 𝗤𝗨𝗜𝗖𝗞 𝗖𝗢𝗟𝗢𝗥 𝗖𝗔𝗟𝗜𝗕𝗥𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡: Calibrating your monitor to achieve color precision is quick and easy, taking just a minute or two.
  • 𝗖𝗢𝗠𝗣𝗔𝗥𝗘 𝗕𝗘𝗙𝗢𝗥𝗘 & 𝗔𝗙𝗧𝗘𝗥: SpyderProof functionality provides before-and-after evaluation of your display and allows you to see the difference using...
  • 𝗖𝗔𝗟𝗜𝗕𝗥𝗔𝗧𝗘 𝗠𝗨𝗟𝗧𝗜𝗣𝗟𝗘 𝗗𝗜𝗦𝗣𝗟𝗔𝗬𝗦: Spyder X software allows you to calibrate multiple laptops and desktop monitors.

 

3. Datacolor SpyderCube SC200

Datacolor SpyderCube SC200
Datacolor SpyderCube SC200. Image credits: Amazon

The best budget monitor calibration tool

Weight: 3.52 ounces | Compatible Devices: Desktops and Laptops

Designed exclusively for creatives that use lenses and editing software, the SC200 from Datacolor is a great, reliable calibration tool that can work great to correct colors and the white balance of your work. With its small size, you can easily pack this away and take it wherever work may take you. This is the best cost-effective color calibration tool overall.

Pros

Cons

➕ Easy to use and install ➖ Delicate build
➕ Affordable price
➕ Compact design

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Datacolor SpyderCube - 3D Advanced Calibration Tool and Profiling Solution for Accurate Color...
  • 𝗠𝗔𝗦𝗧𝗘𝗥 𝗬𝗢𝗨𝗥 𝗖𝗢𝗟𝗢𝗥: Accelerate RAW processing and set the perfect white balance, exposure, contrast, and black point for your entire series of photos with...
  • 𝗔𝗖𝗖𝗨𝗥𝗔𝗧𝗘 𝗖𝗢𝗟𝗢𝗥 𝗖𝗢𝗥𝗥𝗘𝗖𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡: SpyderCube's unique 3-dimensional design allows you to see primary and secondary light sources for more...
  • 𝗦𝗘𝗧 𝗬𝗢𝗨𝗥 𝗖𝗢𝗡𝗧𝗥𝗔𝗦𝗧: Use the chrome ball, white faces, black face, and black trap to ensure the correct range of detail in your images, and turn on over and...
  • 𝗕𝗔𝗧𝗖𝗛 𝗔𝗣𝗣𝗟𝗬 𝗦𝗘𝗧𝗧𝗜𝗡𝗚𝗦: Once you've completed your image adjustments, use the SpyderCube image as a preset to apply settings to the rest of your...
  • 𝗦𝗘𝗔𝗠𝗟𝗘𝗦𝗦 𝗜𝗡𝗧𝗘𝗚𝗥𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡: SpyderCube integrates seamlessly with popular software like Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, and Premiere Pro, so you can work...

 

4. Calibrite ColorChecker Display Pro

Calibrite ColorChecker Display Pro
Calibrite ColorChecker Display Pro. Image credits: Amazon

The best calibration tool for professionals

Weight: 140 grams | Compatible Devices: Laptops and Desktops | Connectivity: Wireless

The Calibrite Colorchecker Display Pro is compact and self-sufficient for utmost portability. Its quick and easy usage makes this a very valuable piece of tech. And it plugs directly into your computer’s USB port. Seeing before and after results, like with other calibrators, is also available with the Calibrite Colorchecker Display Pro. Direct substitute for X-Rite i1Display Studio (EODISSTU) requires downloading of ccStudio software.

Pros

Cons

➕ Can be reused in multiple displays. ➖ Expensive
➕ Compact design
➕ Quick to set-up

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Latest Price on Amazon:

CALIBRITE ColorChecker Display Pro (CCDIS3)
182 Reviews
CALIBRITE ColorChecker Display Pro (CCDIS3)
  • Powerful and easy to use with ccProfiler (or i1Profiler) software
  • Optical design allows for high repeatability on the same display and across different display types for more consistent color profiling
  • Rotatable diffuser arm can be used as a stand for table top projector profiling, ambient light measurement and as a cover for instrument optics
  • Conveniently integrated tripod mount for projector profiling in larger venues
  • Powered by X-Rite

 

5. X-Rite i1 Display PRO

X-Rite i1 Display PRO
X-Rite i1 Display PRO. Image credits: Amazon

The best calibration tool for professionals

 Weight: 0.55 lbs | Compatible Devices: Laptops and Desktops | Connectivity: USB Type-C port

These days, many creatives use a laptop or a desktop for not only the work that they do but also projector screens, which is where the i1 Display Pro from X-Rite comes in handy. Using the same profile across displays, as well as assessing the ambient light in the room you work in is a handy feature to have so that your project always looks its best on the screen.

Using a technology name Flare Correct, the calibrator will adjust and measure the profile you are using based on the glare on your screen caused by reduced contrast ratios. Video editors aren’t left out in the cold, either. You can set up your display for the best results with the incorporated color standards. The only downside, which is minimal, is the price, as this can be an expensive little piece of tech for some.

Pros

Cons

➕ Great color calibration ➖ Could come with more features for its price
➕ Works with multiple monitors
➕ Comes with both basic and advanced modes for calibration
➕ Can measure ambient light levels

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
X-Rite ColorChecker Classic (MSCCC)
  • The Professional’s Choice – industry leading hardware & software for Display Calibration and Projector Calibration with unlimited control
  • Increased Functionality - i1Display Pro combines ambient light measurement, monitor profiling and projector profiling into 1 sleek, compact and fully integrated device at 5X faster measurements than...
  • EXCLUSIVE X-RITE TECHNOLOGY! Mobile Friendly - Compatible with X-Rite ColorTRUE mobile app for calibrating Apple iOS and Android mobile devices
  • Incorporates technologically advanced filter and optical systems, fast measurement speed, and unrivaled color accuracy on all modern display and projector technologies, such as LED, Plasma, RG...
  • Future Proof - spectrally calibrated, making it field-upgradeable to support future display technologies

 

6. Wacom Color Manager

Wacom Color Manager
Wacom Color Manager. Image credit: Wacom / Amazon

The best calibration tool for Wacom displays

Weight: 109 grams | Compatible Devices: Laptops and Desktops | Features: Comes with an extensive 256 color set

With technology developed by the people at X-Rite, the Color Manager from Wacom can give you a device with professional-level color calibration which is exceptional for designers, photographers, and film editors.

Featuring infinite settings which can be not only saved but shard as well, color controls are able to be adjusted manually for total color control. Mobile ready, the Color Manager is compatible with both Apple and Android devices, while a display quality check automatically keeps your color calibration accurate as time passes.

Pros

Cons

➕ Works with multiple monitors ➖ May not support older monitors
➕ Can save color profiles
➕ Versatile color control
➕ Quick to set-up

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Wacom Color Manager (EODIS3-DCWA), White
  • Core technology based on industry leading i1Profiler software for calibrating and profiling all modern laptop and desktop monitor technologies
  • The Wacom Calibrator hardware is also compatible with the most recent version of X-Rite Color TRUE mobile app for calibrating Apple iOS and Android mobile devices
  • Infinite control of white point, luminance, contrast ratio, gamma and more
  • Multiple monitor and workgroup profiling
  • Intelligent Iterative Profiling - an adaptive technology that measures and analyzes the color capabilities of each unique display for increased accuracy of profile

 

7. Calibrite ColorChecker Studio (CCSTUDIO)

Calibrite ColorChecker Studio (CCSTUDIO)
Calibrite ColorChecker Studio (CCSTUDIO). Image credits: Amazon

The best calibration tool for Photographers

Weight:‎ 130 g | Compatible Devices: Desktops, Laptops, Monitors

The Calibrate ColorChecker is a similar calibration tool to the Calibrate ColorChecker Pro. However, while they offer nearly the same features, the Studio is missing a feature that may be critical to some, ambient light monitoring. This is important to designers looking to get things exactly right when working in an office. While the measurement speed isn’t as high either, you can get the Display Studio for a better price if you don’t mind missing some features.

Pros

Cons

➕ Simple and easy to use ➖ The app still has issues
➕ Compatible with both computers and smartphones
➕ Reliable performance

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Calibrite ColorChecker Studio (CCSTUDIO)
  • Direct replacement for X-Rite i1Studio (EOSTUDIO) Requires software download - ccStudio
  • Monitor /display and projector profiling, scanner profiling, printer/paper profiling with ccStudio (i1Studio) software and camera profiling with ColorChecker Camera Calibration software and included...
  • Intelligent Iterative Profiling: an adaptive technology that produces optimised results for maximum color accuracy on each unique display every time you profile
  • Ambient Light Measurement: automatically determine the optimum display luminance for comparing prints to your display, based on a measurement of the lighting conditions where prints will be viewed
  • Powered by X-Rite

 

8. Datacolor SpyderX Studio

Datacolor SpyderX Studio
Datacolor SpyderX Studio. Image credit: Datacolor / Amazon

The best calibration tool for pantone

Weight: 5.6 oz | Compatible Devices: Laptops, Desktops, and Android and iOS Mobile devices  | Connectivity: USB 1.1, USB 2. X, and USB 3. X USB Type-A Plug, also Compatible with USB Type-A-to-C Adapters for Use in USB Type-C Ports  | Features: SpyderCUBE Exposure Calibration Tool, SpyderPRINT Printer Profiling Tool, and a Metal Transport Case

The SpyderX Studio from Datacolor comes with the SpyderX Elite monitor colorimeter, plus a SpyderPrint spectrocolorimeter that you can use to check your printouts, and finally, the SpyderCube, which you can use to calibrate raw images. These three items alone make the Studio worth it for any professional. If you’re using a calibrator and looking to upgrade, while it may be pricey, you can’t go wrong with this set.

Pros

Cons

➕ Purchase multiple devices at a fair price ➖ A little pricey for those on a budget
➕ Easy to use
➕ Ensures accuracy in exposure, color, and prints
➕ Comes with an intuitive software

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Sale
Datacolor SXSSR100 Spyder X Studio: Suite of Photo Tools for Precision Control from Capture to...
  • SpyderX Studio is the essential, all-in-one suite of tools for serious and pro photographers seeking maximum control of their entire workflow from capture, to editing, to print.
  • SpyderX Elite is our fastest (4X faster), most accurate and easiest-to-use monitor calibration device, ever. It allows you to align seamlessly with monitor upgrades for screen types, resolutions and...
  • Spyder Print offers printer calibration with the ability to create any number of custom profiles for any combination of printers, inks, and papers.
  • Spyder Cube defines white and black values otherwise impossible to do with a standard gray card. Ensures accurate RAW settings for editing
  • This cost-saving suite of tools ensures your photos are captured accurately, your monitors display precise colors, and your prints are perfect every time.

 

9. X-Rite i1Display Studio

X-Rite i1Display Studio
X-Rite i1Display Studio. Image credit: Xrite / Amazon

The best calibrator for polished professionals

Weight:‎181 g | Compatible Devices: Desktops, Laptops, Monitors, Android and IOS devices | Connectivity: | Features: Wizard driven software, multiple monitor profiling, Flare correct for glossy screens, Ambient light measurement, and custom control

The Display Studio is a very similar calibration tool to the Display Pro that we featured above. However, while they offer nearly the same features, the Studio is missing a feature that may be critical to some – ambient light monitoring. This can be important to designers looking to get things exactly right when working in an office. While the measurement speed isn’t as high either, you can get the Display Studio for a better price, if you don’t mind a couple of things missing.

Pros

Cons

➕ Simple and easy to use ➖ The app still has issues
➕ Compatible with both computers and smartphones
➕ Reliable performance
➕ Comes with flair correct for glossy screens

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

X-Rite i1Display Studio (EODISSTU)
  • For Color Perfectionists seeking simplicity, i1Display Studio delivers incredibly consistent color with zero stress, letting you stay more focused on doing what you love.
  • Easy to use wizard driven software makes calibrating and profiling monitors and projectors a snap.
  • Allows multiple monitor profiling and flare correct option for glossy screens.
  • Profile validation and evaluation tools and adjustable reminder ensures your monitor calibration and profile is always up to date.
  • This product is NOT for use with 3rd party software - BenQ, View Sonic, Eizo, Dell, etc. Review i1Display Pro EODIS3.

 

10. Datacolor SpyderX Create Kit

Datacolor SpyderX Create Kit
Datacolor SpyderX Create Kit. Image credits: Amazon

The best calibrator for the home office

Weight: 68 Grams| Compatible Devices: Laptops and Desktops | Connectivity: USB Type-C port

If you typically work with super-bright displays, you should really consider the Datacolor SpyderX Create Kit. One of the best kits comes with SpyderX Pro, ColorReader EZ, Spyder Tripod, Spyder Shelf, and Spyder USB-C.

Pros

Cons

➕ Compact build ➖ Profile switching needs to be added software
➕ Measures up to 2000 nits
➕ Outstanding performance on OLED displays

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Datacolor SpyderX Create Kit ‒ from Image capturing and Monitor Calibration to Color Matching and...
  • Spyder X Pro ‒ Spyder X is our most accurate, fastest (4X, easiest monitor color calibrator ever. Groundbreaking lens-based color engine provides a higher level of color accuracy for monitors
  • ColorReader EZ ‒ Color-coordinate your photo shoot seamlessly. Scan the flat surface of any color to instantly find its Savage Universal background color match, paint color match, plus precise RBG,...
  • Spyder Tripod – Stabilize camera for sharp images. Flexible legs plus lightweight portability gives you the freedom to set up shots from a variety of angles.
  • Spyder Shelf – Provides vertical storage space in your work area by easily attaching to/or removing from your computer.
  • Spyder USB-C – Adapts USB-A cables to USB-C ports. The cable is compatible with Mac, Windows-based PCs, Android devices and iPad Pro.

 

11. X-Rite i1Publish Pro 3

X-Rite i1Publish Pro 3
X-Rite i1Publish Pro 3. Image credits: Amazon

The best calibrator for printers and projectors

With a large number of options as well as features that any professional from graphic designer to photographer will love, the X-Rite i1Publish Pro 3. The kit offers nearly universal compatibility for all displays, including LED and wide-gamut LCD displays, meaning you can use this kit to get great results every time.

Pros

Cons

➕ Works with multiple monitors ➖ The software could be improved
➕ Great for creating for single illuminant profiles
➕ Repeatable color profiles across cameras

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

X-Rite i1Publish Pro 3, EO3PUB
  • Create custom profiles for monitors, projectors, scanners and RGB and CMYK+printers. Includes ColorChecker Classic Mini target and Camera Calibration software for camera profiling
  • i1Pro 3 spectrophotometer new illuminant design offers a custom, full-spectrum LED light source, which improves device reliability and accuracy
  • Measures M0, M1, and M2 simultaneously in a single pass, cutting scanning time in half
  • Includes i1Profiler software with basic and advanced modes, monitor and printer QA functions, Optical Brightener Correction technology, and spot color capture off virtually any surface
  • Benefit from perfect printed colors every time with intelligent iterative profiling technology for best quality results and advanced controls for black generation and separations

 

12. X-Rite i1Studio

X-Rite i1Studio
X-Rite i1Studio. Image credit: Xrite / Amazon

The best all-in-one calibration tool

Weight: 249 g | Compatible Devices: Desktops, Andriod,  laptops, scanners, printers and projectors | Connectivity: Powered USB port | Features: Dual display support

When you need to calibrate a monitor and printer, you usually need to pick up separate gear to do so. Thankfully the i1Studio comes with both in one package. While it is bigger than a standard calibration tool, it comes with a case that will hold it on your screen. The Studio also includes an iOS smart device calibration. Simply download the ColorTRUE app and follow the instructions.

Pros

Cons

➕ Good color correction ➖ Software needs updating
➕ Portable and compact
➕ Easy to use

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

X-Rite i1Studio (EOSTUDIO)
  • Color Checker camera calibration software and Mini color Checker classic target for cameras
  • Monitor and projector calibration and profiling
  • Color and B&W printer profiles
  • Scanner profiling
  • IOS mobile device calibration with color true must have administrator rights to install and uninstall the application

 

13. Datacolor Spyder5EXPRESS

Datacolor Spyder5EXPRESS
Datacolor Spyder5EXPRESS. Image credit: Datacolor / Amazon

The best calibrator for amateurs

Weight: 4.6 ounces  | Compatible Devices: Desktops and laptops | Features: Spyder5 colorimeter and 7 new filters

A great, high-quality calibration tool from Datacolor, the EXPRESS gives you an evaluation after the calibration is complete to show you the before and after so that you can focus on the details that are important. This helps you ensure that the colors you’re seeing are consistent and accurate. This, in turn, makes photo editing and printing easier as it saves not only time but ink and paper too.

Pros

Cons

➕ Comes with good gray gradation and neutralization ➖ Does not brightness and contrast settings
➕ Reasonable price
➕ Fast and easy to calibrate

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Datacolor Spyder5EXPRESS – Designed for Hobbyist Photographers (S5X100)
884 Reviews
Datacolor Spyder5EXPRESS – Designed for Hobbyist Photographers (S5X100)
  • Advanced color accuracy solution for all of your laptop and desktop displays - See, share and print your images just as you intended with confidence. Fast and easy, full calibration takes only about...
  • Room light monitoring determines optimal monitor brightness so you see fine shadow detail and highlights in your photos, ensuring your edited images match your prints.
  • “Before and After” evaluation of your calibration results using your own photographs, to focus on details that are important to you.
  • Display Analysis feature lets you evaluate and compare the performance of all of your laptop and desktop monitors.
  • In less than five minutes, Spyder5PRO calibrates your monitor to ensure color accuracy and consistency. Not only will photo editing be easier, you will spend less time in the “print-edit-print”...

 

14. Datacolor Spyder5PRO

Datacolor Spyder5PRO
Datacolor Spyder5PRO. Image credit: Datacolor / Amazon

The best calibration tool for serious designers

Weight: 4.7 ounces | Compatible Devices: Desktop and laptop | Features: 7 Filter/Detector

If you’re a serious designer, you’re likely looking to ensure that your get a full-featured and advanced color accuracy experience. The best way to do that? The Spyder5PRO with its Colorimeter. With three ambient light settings, the PRO creates a unique color profile for each monitor and adjusts accordingly, based on the amount of light in the room. You can also evaluate and compare the performance of your desktop and laptop displays.

Pros

Cons

➕ Reasonable price ➖ Needs multiple monitor tweaking
➕ Impressive calibration speed and sensor performance
➕ Suitable for both beginners and advanced users

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Datacolor Spyder5PRO – Designed for Serious Photographers and Designers (S5P100)
  • Advanced color accuracy solution for all of your laptop and desktop displays - See, share and print your images just as you intended with confidence. Fast and easy, full calibration takes only about...
  • Room light monitoring determines optimal monitor brightness so you see fine shadow detail and highlights in your photos, ensuring your edited images match your prints.
  • “Before and After” evaluation of your calibration results using your own photographs, to focus on details that are important to you. "Please make sure that there is no direct light falling on your...
  • Display Analysis feature lets you evaluate and compare the performance of all of your laptop and desktop monitors. In less than five minutes, Spyder5PRO calibrates your monitor to ensure color...

 

15. Datacolor SpyderX Pro + Cube Kit

Datacolor SpyderX Pro + Cube Kit
Datacolor SpyderX Pro + Cube Kit. Image credits: Amazon

The best lightweight monitor calibrator

With its lightweight design, it offers a Datacolor SpyderX Pro + Cube Kit compact package with an excellent calibration experience. Able to conduct the fastest monitor calibration plus offers color correction to make your work flawless. An advanced filter and optical system help adjust color settings on your display and is a perfect option for video-based projects with its comparison of color calibration on raw files.

Pros

Cons

➕ High calibration speed ➖ USB-A connection not ideal for latest version laptops
➕ Protects sensor when not in use

 

Latest Price on Amazon:

Datacolor SpyderX Pro + Cube Kit
16 Reviews
Datacolor SpyderX Pro + Cube Kit
  • SpyderX Pro - SpyderX is our most accurate, fastest (4X faster), easiest monitor color calibrator ever. Groundbreaking lens-based color engine provides a higher level of color accuracy for multiple...
  • The SpyderX Pro features room-light monitoring, automatic profile changing and significantly more precise screen color, shadow detail and white balance.
  • Spyder Cube - Set white balance and RAW conversion. Achieve accurate colors without trial-and-error operations in RAW processing. Easy to use and compatible with all RAW converter software. Can also...
  • Spyder Tripod Pro – Stabilize camera for sharp images. Flexible legs plus lightweight portability gives you the freedom to set up shots from a variety of angles. Includes GoPro mount, smartphone...
  • Spyder USB-C - Adapts USB-A cables to USB-C ports. The cable is compatible with Mac, Windows-based PCs, Android devices and iPad Pro.

 

Things You Should Consider When Buying a Monitor Color Calibration Tool

Things to consider when buying a monitor calibrator

Nothing is worse than a monitor that is fresh out of the box. Oh sure, it’s an exciting fact that you have a brand new tech toy, and you cannot wait to break that baby in. Anyone would feel the exact same way as you.

But if you don’t ask yourself some questions before handing over your credit card, you could end up with a good product for sure, but not one that does what you need, so the images on your monitor are the best they can be.

Here’s what you should consider before buying anything.

Do you work at home, on the road, or both?

While some creatives may only have a workspace at their home or office, others may be on the go frequently, doing work anywhere they can find a comfortable space and a strong Internet connection. If you like working in other locations like a coffee shop or library, a feature that you may want to look for is an ambient light sensor.

Believe it or not, the amount of light in the room you’re working in can affect the way you see your screen. Having an ambient light sensor in your calibrator can help ensure that regardless of the hue coming from a lightbulb or the amount of sunlight coming through the window, the monitor will display the best possible image.

Do you use multiple monitors?

For many people, working tends to require one monitor, especially if the monitor is large enough, while others may prefer to have multiple monitors and a laptop for on-the-go work. If you are the latter, making sure that each monitor that you’re using is calibrated correctly is important. Finding a calibrator that can be used on multiple screens is important to find so that each looks as close to the same as possible.

Not every monitor is the same, even if they are the same brand. The type of monitor that you’re using as well as other factors can affect the monitor’s ability to display color, blacks, whites, angle of view, contrast ranges, and much more. Having a calibrator that can be used on multiple monitors can help make them as uniform as possible.

How much printing do you do?

Anyone who has bought ink for a printer can tell you that printing costs money. If you print images for work, having to print something over and over in order to get the colors “close enough” is, no offense, a waste of freaking money. Ink isn’t cheap, and we haven’t even mentioned the paper. For the cost of all that paper and ink, you could pay for a good calibrator, so you aren’t getting frustrated or paying for professional printing.

While there are a lot of nuances to printing at home, and there are even some calibrators that will “talk” to your printer, although these can cost a pretty penny, so unless you do a lot of printing at home, having that kind of calibrator may be a little bit overkill. A good calibrator should help make your prints come out much better than not using one. If you are printing a large number of images for your business, you may want to look into a higher-priced option or look into a printing service that already uses calibration on its monitors to get the best result possible.

What’s your budget look like?

Ah, the big question. How much are you able to spend on a calibrator for your monitor? You can find a color calibration tool that runs the pricing gamut from $80 all the way to $500. Even if you’re just starting out, buying an entry-level calibrator for your monitor is better than using nothing at all. If you have a set budget, look at the features that those in your price range offer. If you need to use a calibrator on multiple screens, paying a little more for the features you need may be worth it. However, spending $500 on a calibrator when one that costs $150 and suits your needs better is not something you want to do.

How to Calibrate Your Monitor Correctly

Monitor Calibrating

Once you choose and buy your monitor color calibration tool, you are going to need to set it up correctly. If you search online for how to do this, you will find hours and hours of video showing you to set one up correctly. Don’t believe us? Go check for yourself.

We’ll wait.

Believe us now? Thought so. Anyway, setting up a calibrator for your monitor comes down to some basic steps to get things going:

  • Install the software and the device.
  • Leave your monitor on for about 20 minutes or so in order to warm the monitor up so that the software and device can provide the best calibration.

Brightness and Contrast

While the software you use will likely have recommendations on what to use, however having the proper brightness and contrast can help display colors that are more accurate. When you are setting these values, you’re not just setting the black point values but also the black and white values at the same time.

Gamma correction

A mathematical curve that, within a range of luminance, describes how a film handles exposure, gamma is used in a lot of film photography. The toe and shoulder of the curve show how a film will react in different ways at light value extremes that it can capture.

If you work in digital photography, it can still describe the value of light and the reaction that the equipment can have, but it can be described with a number row.

Color Temperature

If the white you’re looking at doesn’t look white, that’s because of the color temperature. One of the key parts of monitor calibration is adjusting the monitor for a proper balance.

Ambient Light

As we described earlier, some creatives will not always work in the same room every day. Having a different setting profile that will take into account the ambient light that you may find yourself in regularly can help reduce the need for recalibrating every time.

Make sure that you repeat these steps with each monitor that you use, or it could affect how your monitor displays the colors for your next important project.

The Best Monitor Calibration Tools for Graphic Design in 2024

Too many people are simply using the settings that their monitor came with, and we thought it was about time we stepped in and helped those unfortunate few.

With all that there is to consider before buying the best monitor calibrator, we thought that doing some shopping of our own might make the process a bit easier. Now while these are our picks, your needs may be different, and we’re totally fine with that.

Below is a list of our choices for the best color calibration tool for graphic designers in 2024. While many of these may seem very similar, they are definitely not considered the same, as each one have different features that they can offer you. Whether you choose one of these or another, you want to make sure that the one you choose fits all of the needs that you have.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best monitor calibration tool?

Datacolor SpyderX ELITE is the best monitor calibration tool. With an endless range of settings for calibration, including grey-balancing, this device can make your laptop/desktop look great in minutes. You can also see the before and after results of your own images.

Are monitor calibrators worth it?

Calibrating your monitor is a good practice to generate a neutral white with no color shift. It is also important for other colors to be accurate when you work in ambient light conditions. So yes, it's worth it, and doing it once every month is a good habit.

How long do monitor calibrators last?

Monitor calibrators generally have a warranty of 12 months, but based on average usage, most monitors offer the durability to last for many years.

Do I need to calibrate the monitor for photo editing?

Calibrating your monitor is a good practice for any profession. For photo editing, it is even more important to calibrate. The color calibration ensures that you are editing photos with accuracy to create high-quality images.

What is the most affordable monitor calibrator?

Datacolor SpyderCube SC200 is the best affordable monitor calibrator on this list. Among the several ones available, this calibrator offers quality results at an affordable price.

What is the best monitor calibrator that is easy to use?

Calibrite ColorChecker Display Pro is a monitor calibrator that is easy to use and affordable.

Why do we need a monitor calibrator tool?

It is always important to ensure the colors are as accurate as possible. It is always a critical task to ensure and match colors to the common standard. This is why a monitor calibrator tool is needed. Moreover, it protects and helps to reduce your eye strain while doing intensive work.

How often does a monitor require calibration?

The period of calibration for monitors relies on several factors. They change in color accuracy, contrasts, and brightness as they get aged. Taking this into account it is recommended to calibrate your monitor every 2-6 weeks with the best calibrator tool.

 

Best Calibrator for Monitor Summary

For someone new to monitoring calibration, reading this article might cause a lot of confusion. If you’re a little confused about how monitor calibration works and need a more in-depth guide to setting your calibrator up, we recommend checking out one of the many videos on YouTube for help.

When you go shopping for a calibrator, it is important to make sure that you have a checklist of what features you need to have before handing over your money. With our list of the Best Monitor Calibration Tools for Creatives in 2024, we hope we’ve given you some options to consider when you start looking.

Do you have a calibrator that you trust and recommend? Let us know in the comments below!

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