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Not so long ago, we tested the smaller models of this line, the A5X and A7X. Now it’s the turn to look at the ADAM Audio A8X more closely. These are mid-price near-field monitors for professional audio applications. Is it worth buying or possibly upgrading them? Let’s find out!
First of all, all ADAM AX series monitors are two-way and the number in the model name corresponds to the size of the woofer. Thus, the A8X uses an eight-inch woofer. In the passport specifications, the size of the woofer is 8.5 inches. However, keep in mind that manufacturers do not indicate the actual dimensions of the speaker, but the diameter corresponding to the holes for the mounting bolts. In reality, the diameter of the diffuser including the suspension is slightly smaller – 17.5 centimeters, that is, approximately 7 “. This is a common situation for monitors of any manufacturers.
The woofer cone is traditionally a three-layer Carbon fiber / Rohacell / Glass fiber structure. According to the manufacturer, this material has a very low weight and high rigidity, which avoids bending vibrations and internal resonances. The frequency range of such a speaker reaches 2.5 kHz.
Throughout the AX series, the tweeters that are used are ribbon tweeters using proprietary “X-ART” technology. AX series also features updated X-ART tweeters from more expensive models. An external difference of the tweeter comparing to the previous models is only in a larger protective grille. The frequency range of the new X-ART tweeters has been expanded to 50 kHz.
The acoustic design of the A8X monitors is a bass-reflex circuit. The ports are located in front of the monitor, which allows the use of acoustics in close proximity to the wall. However, keep in mind that these are not 5-inch desktop monitors. The cabinet of ADAM A8X is 40 x 25.5 x 32 centimeters (15.5″ x 10″ x 12.5″). It is very convenient that the power switch is located in front. In addition, there is a sensitivity control and LED power indicator. All other settings are traditionally located on the rear panel.
ADAM A8X monitors do not have StereoLink mode, as in previous models. However, an unbalanced connection via the RCA connector is provided.
In the control section, everything also remains unchanged. It is possible to control the low and high pass filter, as well as separately the volume of the tweeter. According to the markings above the regulators, the filters are designed to change the signal within +/− 6 dB. For the volume of the tweeter, a value of +/− 4 dB is provided.
The sound quality of the ADAM A8X monitors, in general, should be described as excellent. Once again, the high sound quality of ADAM speakers becomes a baseline level for two-way systems with an 8″ woofer. The scooped middle in 8-inch two-way systems is a traditional design flaw, and the A8X speakers are no exception. However, this flaw is practically absent. In comparison with the smaller models of the AX series, the tested A8X monitors are objectively inferior in their elaboration of high middle frequencies, but the difference isn’t too major. Apart from that, they are more than professionally sounding monitors.
The high frequencies, like all AX monitors, are clear and have excellent detail. A variable volume level of the tweeter will allow you to optimally adjust the sound depending on the application and sound environment. The adjustable frequency range starts from 2 kHz.
There is no timbre mismatch or coloration at medium frequencies. The lower range of the middle does not cause any complaints.
Equalization and dynamic processing during backing tracks mixing is tracked well. This is a good test to check how detailed in sound the monitors are. If you mix such material on low-quality models, you would not hear the reverb tails and how spacious your mix is.
However, the difference then certainly pops up on the good monitors, and this is a technical defect, which is unacceptable. ADAM A8X monitors are just one of those monitors that are more than suitable for a wide range of tasks arising from professional activities.
The low-frequency range is also top-notch. Well-designed bass reflexes do not show any muttering and howling effect. In the zero position of the EQ regulator, the bass is audible, but you’ll have a room for adjustment with the EQ boost. However, you’ll have to work with the bass range if your monitors located on a table/console and near a wall.
If you compare the sound of the ADAM A8X with the ADAM S2.5A monitors, you would definitely hear the difference. Although the S2.5A woofer diffuser is only 5 millimeters larger than the A8X, you will clearly identify differences at medium and low frequencies.
The sound of S2.5A turns out to be a little better worked out in the lower mid-range, but in other frequency ranges the A8X sounds fuller. Thus, the A8X is more successful and with more balanced acoustics, compared with the older and more expensive model. At low frequencies, the sound of the A8X is noticeably superior to the S2.5A. This is manifested in better saturation and lower cutoff frequency.
Despite the fact that S2.5A has been discontinued, their cost significantly exceeded the A8X. Thus, we can conclude that the value of the acoustics of ADAM is developing in the right direction.
- Excellent detail and depth of the sound
- Ports on the front panel
- Can be placed vertically and horizontally
- XRT tweeters
- Mid-range frequency scoop
- No mounting holes
The ADAM A8X is a first-class studio monitor with high-quality sound. The flagship A8X monitors can rightfully be considered the most successful and balanced model of the AX series. They are suitable for professionals who need full-frequency monitoring in the near field. Also, these monitors receive very good reviews from fans who listen to music on the computer.
AX series, of course, has a room for improvement. For example, three-way monitors in this series would be great, because such models are already presented by the competitors, for example, KRK. Although ADAM Audio has three-way models in the SX series, they cost significantly more.
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