If you’re looking for a pair of active nearfield studio monitors for music production that offers you exceptional sound quality for critical listening, appealing aesthetics, and all of these in a compact package without breaking the bank, the ADAM T5V, T7V, and T8V are options to take a look at.
In summary, all three monitors are sound investments to make for building a project studio at home, using them as your reference monitors in more elaborate studio settings, or even taking them with you for a weekend songwriting session in the back of your car (although the Adam T8V would probably about a bass guitar with a flight-case). Launched in 2018, they feature 5inch, 7inch, and 8inch mid/bass drivers, respectively. The Adam T8V is also the largest and priciest of the three and gives you a maximum bass response. The Adam T5V offers lesser in the lower frequencies but maximum portability and compactness. The Adam T7V is something of a balance between the three. All three have received rave reviews and multiple awards from leading industry specialists.
Sound interesting? Now let’s have a closer look.
The Adam T5V, T7V, and T8V come with near-identical aesthetics. While some don't find this 'posh' enough, the minimalist, no-nonsense, black with simple white branding oozes (their hometown) Berlin vibes and is something of an acquired taste. The build quality offered in this price range is very competitive. The overall finish leaves no room for doubt as far as quality is concerned. Neither does the confidence of the 5-year warranty these speakers come with.
Overall, you'd be hard-pressed to find any differences in design between the three on paper until you take size and weight into consideration. The Adam T5V, T7V, and T8V increase in ascending order in this regard.
The one legit gripe some users have had are the seamless volume knobs on these monitors in the back. While not a 'flaw' per se, the lack of any indents on these, combined with the fact that they’re not easily accessible, can make setting volume levels a little difficult.
Adam T5V: 11.7" x 7" x 11.7" (298 mm x 179 mm x 297mm)
Adam T7V: 13.7" x 8.3" x 11.5” ( 347 mm x 210 mm x 293 mm)
Adam T8V: 15.8" x 9.8 “ x 13.2“ (400 mm x 250 mm x 335 mm)
Adam T5V: 12.6 lbs (5.7 kg)
Adam T7V: 15.7 lbs (7.1 kg)
Adam T8V: 21.6 lb (9.8 kg)
Check out the Operation Manual of Adam Audio’s T Series.
Have you ever noticed that there often tends to be quite the opposite opinions about a speaker?
I can understand this for more "personal taste" kinda products like clothing, for example.
But for engineering products like speakers? Personal tastes and preferences probably still play a role. But shouldn't it be less?
Why is it that we can't set a universal metric for sound quality?
First time I asked this question to myself has been a pivotal day.
Because it turns out that in the mid 90's, Electrical Engineer PhD Floyd Toole came up with a method called Spinorama. This is exactly what he accomplished with this. Turns out that his book Sound Reproduction is like the bible of audiophiles.
Put it simply, Spinorama is a set of measurements that gives a comprehensive overview of a speaker's performance from various angles.
It allows you to compare the performances of different speakers before even laying your ears hands on them.
Isn't that amazing?
This is why Spinorama was apparently groundbreaking news for audio industry. Hence in the mid-late 2010's, most brands and magazines began publishing Spinorama measurements, despite the challenges of making such measurements.
Fortunately, now we have the Spinorama data for a bunch of quite popular speakers. Pierre Aubert put all this untidy data together and put it into https://www.spinorama.org/. This is a stunning source. Pretty valuable stuff from him right there.
All good up to this point.
Now there comes a caveat.
Since the sound speakers propagate are in the form of omnidirectional waves, all measurements are obtained in anechoic or semi-anechoic chambers (a super-quiet room where soundwaves don't bounce back, here's how different that room sounds [a mind blowing time-adjusted video]).
This is a problem because it means that Spinorama alone, unfortunately, won't give us all we need. Placement and reflections play an equally important role there too.
This is why most A-class brands (like SVS, Bang & Olufsen, etc) often come up with room correction features, adjusted either manually or automatically. The EQ adapts itself to the placement (room, corner, center, etc) for a better (deeper and more accurate) sound. Which is great.
Additionally they often emphasize the importance of placement, here is an example: https://www.svsound.com/blogs/subwoofer-setup-and-tuning/75365187-the-art-of-subwoofer-placement
The source code under Pierre Aubert's work is licensed under GPL (General public license). He didn't perform any of the measurements himself, and instead he compiled all of them into one place, so that makes sense.
At this point, I thought that if there was a tool that combined both the Spinorama with the room acoustics data, it'd be extremely useful.
Unfortunately, it turns out that there wasn't any.
This is where I stepped in and partnered with an Acoustics and Audio Engineering PhD in order to achieve this.
We combined Spinorama data with room acoustics and came up with Soundton. A very simple, 2D online tool that allows you to:
- Reveal optimal speaker positions in a room,
- Test with real speakers from real brands,
- Compare different speakers and different positions in the room.
It can be very valuable for the vast majority.
The colormap provides you the locations with the best (green) and worst (red) listening experience.
It works the best with subwoofers since Soundton processes low frequency response waves only.
- Soundton is going to be, say, 80% accurate. Not 100%.
- Because, other parameters such as the age/materials of the building, furniture/windows in place also have an impact on room acoustics.
- If you want absolutely the most detailed room analysis, then what you need is an acoustics consultant. Mind you that's going to require deep pockets and patience though... assuming you find the right person and they get the job done.