I’m a big believer in quality products, you really do get what you pay for. I use this ethos when buying equipment and when sound quality of videos is crucial, having good studio monitors for checking sound is critical. That and the fact that there is always music playing in my office so only the best will do! Will the Adam Audio A5X’s cut it? Read on…
The A5X’s are a nearfield studio monitor that have proven to be popular with music professionals. The key specs are:
Adam Audio’s ‘X-ART’ Tweeter
5.5“ Woofer (Carbon/Rohacell/Glass Fiber)
Amp. Power RMS / Music: 100 W / 150 W
Frequency Response: 50 Hz - 50 kHz
Max. SPL per pair at 1 m: ≥110 dB
Easily one of the most impressive things about the monitors (and certainly the first thing you will notice straight out of the box) is the quality of the build. The wooden cabinets are predictably weighty but all of the fittings (the tweeter mount, cone, inputs on the rear) all feel rigid, well built and properly manufactured. There are clearly no shortcuts here and being hand-built in Germany, you wouldn’t expect anything less.
However, equally as impressive is the functionality. Well thought out design is very apparent, such as the on'/off switch and bass tunnels actually being on the front of the monitors, not only making them easy to use but optimising the sound in smaller rooms, which is predictably, where monitors like this will be used. Overall, they feel like a very high quality product and there are no disappointments in this department.
So this is the biggie, does the sound quality live up to the circa £600 price tag? Well, in short, yes, and then some. From the moment that I plugged these into the DAC and ran the first track through them, I have been incredibly impressed. I have even had to get a second opinion from friends who ‘know their stuff’, just to make sure I wasn’t being too over the top!
So what sets them apart? The first thing that strikes you is the clarity that the X-Art tweeter adds, but more of that later. The bass is equally sharp, with no muddy tones and the ‘room’ micro controls on the rear, really help you fine tune the monitors to suit your space. All though they have a fairly narrow dispersion, it will be worth considering placement of the monitors but rest assured, when you find the sweet spot you’ll know. The first few tracks that I listened had me twisting my head around in circles as I was picking up instruments left, right and centre - they really do provide a fantastic sound image.
I almost think that they are a bit of ‘overkill’ for anyone who is not producing music on a regular basis (me included!) but they are incredibly accurate and a joy to listen to with no audio-fatigue experienced whilst using them. They carry plenty of bass (though an additional sub-woofer is available) but unless you live in a detached house in the middle of nowhere (or own a recording studio!) I don’t think you’ll require any additional low. Additionally, at 150 watts, you won’t have to push them hard before you have some very upset neighbours, should that be something you’re interested in!
The Star of the Show…
A special word has to be said about the X-Art tweeter. It is a Ribbon Tweeter, something that I had not (knowingly) experienced before and it completely blew me away. To be honest, explaining how it works would take me way out of my comfort area as I’m not a studio technician, but if you fancy learning more about the technicality of it, you can read up HERE
The only thing that I would say is that it really needs to be experienced to appreciate the differences it makes. Having previously used the M-Audio BX5 D3’s - I would struggle to go back to them, having heard the quality and performance of the A5X’s. The performance of the mids & highs really does lift these monitors above the competition.
These are the best studio monitors that I have used by some distance. Stepping up from the M-Audio’s, there really is no comparison. The sound is so much clearer and crisper and you can really feel the difference that the X-Art tweeter makes. I would say that only studio professionals would need (or even be able to differentiate between) anything more expensive than these monitors. I certainly feel that you would be getting into the realms of diminishing returns with more costly monitors.
Should you purchase these monitors? That really is your choice but if they fit your budget, they should be very seriously considered. I would be amazed if you didn’t think they were anything other than a bargain considering the quality of the sound.
For more information, visit Adam Audio