There are two things that can take forever for you to do: song mixing and cables uncoiling. Any sound engineering enthusiast, however, will find it daunting to choose suitable studio monitor speakers.
Studio monitors are of paramount importance in the mixing process and abundance of different models on the market may beat you out of reason when choosing one.
You must understand that there’s no such thing as “best studio monitors”. It all depends on your needs and music preferences. Only by carefully studying all the pros and cons of different models, you’ll be able to make the right choice.
With that said, in this article we are going to review and compare two midrange studio monitors — Yamaha HS8 and ADAM Audio A7X.
|Yamaha HS8||ADAM Audio A7X|
|LF Driver Size||8"||7"|
|LF Driver Type||Cone||Carbon, Rohacell, Glass Fiber|
|HF Driver Size||1"||2"|
|HF Driver Type||Dome||X-ART tweeter|
|LF Driver Power Amp||75W||100W|
|HF Driver Power Amp||45W||50W|
|Maximum Peak SPL||≥114dB SPL @ 1m|
|Input Types||1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4" TRS||1 x XLR, 1 x RCA|
|Enclosure Type||Rear Ported||Front Ported|
|Weight||22.5 lbs.||20 lbs.|
The first thing that you would notice while comparing these two monitors together is the price tag. You can either go for a pair of Yamaha HS8 or buy one Adam A7X monitor for the same price. Does the sound of Adam A7X justify the price difference from the HS8? Once again it all depends on your goals and music preferences.
If your working process revolves around classical or symphonic music, you’ll still need large systems of midfield or far-field monitors to hear all the meticulous details of the orchestra in a large hall.
But for pop and rock music Adam A7X monitors are your saving grace! They will be a great choice for jazz too, although, not for all genres. It’s steel better to monitor a large acoustic jazz band with the midfield monitors.
So, if you are thinking about setting up solid recording studio and your budget is quite flexible, you should definitely save a buck and go for Adam A7X. They will last you as long as possible and will sound great in pretty much any room environment.
Another important detail is heat sink and control panel. The obvious downside of Yamaha HS8 monitors is their dependence on the room size and placement within its environment. With porting and control knobs at the rear panel, it’s quite challenging to place these monitors in small rooms and adjust sound to your liking.
Adam’s front porting, as well as control section with shelving filters, allow you to easily adapt monitors to an acoustically difficult room environment. Considering that most of home studios lack some space and have untreated walls, this could the bottom line in your final choice.
ADAM Audio A7X Review
The ability of the ADAM A7X to accurately reproduce every detail of the sound on the different volumes, transparent sound image, timbre depth and stereo localization inspire music producers around the world and explain why these monitors have received various awards in the recent years.
Inside, the ADAM A7X is trimmed with a special fabric that prevents internal resonance and improves bass imaging. The power switch and volume control are conveniently located on the front panel for easier use. Bass ports are also located at the front, giving you the opportunity to install the ADAM A7X studio monitors tightly to the wall.
The Perfect Combination: A / B and PWM Amplifiers
The high-frequency speaker is powered by a 50 W A/B amplifier, and the mid-woofer speaker is driven by a 100 W PWM amplifier (pulse-width modulation). This setup does not require additional cooling radiators and is more reliable and durable than other amplifiers.
The middle and high frequencies are very transparent and any nuances of a sound (arrangement, timbre of each instrument) are easy to read.
Correction of Room Acoustics
The basic configuration of each monitor of the AX series includes the feature that enables you to change the power of HF speaker. It enables you to increase or decrease the level of high frequencies to 4 dB. In addition, ADAM A7X has shelf filters that allow you to adjust the monitors to the acoustics of your room.
The low-pass filter allows you to smoothly change frequencies below 300 Hz from -6 dB to +6 dB, and the high-pass filter starts working from 2.5 kHz with the same level from -6 dB to +6 dB.
Dynamic Reproduction of High Frequencies
In practice, this technology leads to a significant reduction of various distortions which are quite common for monitors with electrodynamic speakers. It is also worth noting that it was the use of X-Art Tweeter that made such a serious expansion of the frequency response up to 50 kHz.
Successful design of the tweeter determined the success of the ADAM A7X monitors. The crystal-clear sound of these speakers has an outstanding uniformity of the sound field.
Here is what Klaus Heinz himself had to say about the tweeters: “Accurate and brilliant sound removed a heavy curtain from all the recordings I liked and had previously listened to in what I had until then considered a rather decent quality.”
Excellent combination of performance/price makes the studio monitors ADAM A7X an ideal choice for professional studios and high-quality home recording.
Pros of the ADAM A7X
- Wide frequency response of 42 Hz to 50 kHz
- Optimized cabinet structure
- Control panel and heat sink at the front
- 150 W PWM bi-amplification
- Doesn’t cause fatigue and perfect for smaller rooms
Yamaha HS 8 Review
If you are looking for a flat response monitors on a budget, Yamaha HS8 would be your go-to choice. Given its affordable price, you’ll get time-proven pair of monitors packed with handy features. This 120 W bi-amp “machine” is great for all genres as it offers non-colored sound which is great for mixing.
8″ Woofer gives you tight and punchy low-end frequencies, while 1″ tweeter is located in a thick waveguide results in clean and airy highs. All together, it pumps out high level of volume without excessive distortion of the sound.
Room control and High trim features allow you to fine-tune the sound depending on your room environment. High trim switch (+/- 2dB at HF). Room control switch (0/-2/-4 dB under 500Hz).
The design and quality of materials are phenomenal for the mid-range monitor. Once you see them with eyes, you’ll know that these monitors will last you for many years. The cabinets are made of high damping MDF material. It eliminates unwanted resonances and air vibrations inside the cabinet.
When it comes to music genres, Yamaha HS8 is a great option for EDM and Pop music. 8″ woofer gives you that superb bass frequencies and crystal-clear frequencies all over the mid-range spectrum.
For such a reasonable price, this is no-nonsense choice for a professional sound engineer who can use them for monitoring, and for amateur music enthusiast whose conclusions are uncertain.
Pros of the Yamaha HS8
- Neutral and non-colored sound
- Affordable price
- State-of-the-art materials and design
- Wide frequency range for a mid-range monitor
It should be firmly stated that if you are only thinking about buying your first pair of monitors and completely new to music production, it is important to understand that you will not likely hear the difference between these two – or any else – monitors.
When working with a sound, your ear comfort is of paramount importance. You’ll need ear-friendly monitors which ensure fatigue free working process. This process may include: recording, mixing, editing, casual listening.
At that point, The ADAM A7X monitor is a great choice. These monitors give you detailed sound at high and low volumes with front-to-back perspective.
As for the frequency response and clarity of the sound, everything is pretty balanced for both monitors. You can easily hear all the details with short attack at low volume. Nevertheless, the transmission range (42 Hz – 50 kHz) and X-A.R.T tweeter of Adam A7X speak for themselves.
The highs are more defined and cleaner on these monitors and give you deep, airy, 3-D sound.
If you are a “bass head”, compact 6″ Adam speaker reproduce tight and punchy low frequencies, although you can try to adjust the bass on the front panel. However, for hip-hop, R’n’B and EDM music, Yamaha is your go-to choice at that point. 8″ woofer and deeper low-end (38 Hz) would be case in a point.
Wrapping up, if you are amateur musician with limited budget and looking for monitors addition to your home studio, or maybe your music preferences revolve around electronic genres, Yamaha is a must-have choice. These time-proven monitors are best mid-range option you can find at the market. After all, they will make your mixes sound great on other platforms.
However, if your budget is quite flexible and you are planning on setting up professional studio for rock/jazz/indie bands recording — don’t be stingy. Adam A7X is definitely the next level monitors and can take on some high-end models. Wide frequency response, state-of-the-art materials, high frequency level control, and shelving filters make Adam A7X a practical choice when it comes to professional sound recording and song mixing.