Germany has been important to the history of pro audio, as it has given us many of the tools we use daily in the studio. In 1999, ADAM Audio was founded in the capital of Berlin and nearly a decade later the company is continuing the country’s legacy of innovation by creating incredible monitors.
The history of ADAM Audio starts way before 1999 though. It begins with Oskar Heil’s design for the Air Motion Transformer in the 1960s, which would serve as the basis for ADAM Audio’s X-ART (eXtended Accelerating Ribbon Technology) tweeter. The design, which uses a pleated diaphragm as opposed to the traditional piston-like diaphragm, was truly the starting point of all forthcoming ADAM Audio designs.
In this Buyer’s Guide, we will be talking about each line of ADAM Audio’s monitors, including the T Series, AX Series, S Series, Subwoofers, and headphones. By going through the technology and design involved in each line, you’ll be able to better understand what ADAM Audio gear would fit well into your own studio.
ADAM Audio T Series
The T5V is a vertical nearfield monitor with a 5” polypropylene woofer, rear-firing bass reflex port, and a 1.9” U-ART ribbon tweeter coupled with ADAM’s patented HPS Waveguide. The T5V has a small footprint but a big sound that can handle 106 dB of SPL. It relies on a 20W Class D amp for the tweeter that reaches 25 kHz, and a separate 50W amp for the woofer, that takes you down to 45 Hz. If you need to reach even lower, you can bring in more bass with a separate subwoofer such as the ADAM Sub7 or Sub8. Either way, the T5V is the perfect entry point to get the ADAM Audio sound into your project studio.
The T7V is also a vertical nearfield monitor, nearly identical to the T5V, except for a larger 7” polypropylene woofer that allows the bass to reach 39 Hz and the SPL to increase to 110 dB. All other specs remain the same as the T5V, and of course it can be married to the ADAM Sub8 for deeper bass response. The wide dispersion of the HPS Waveguide increases the horizontal sweet spot while focusing the vertical response, to avoid reflections from ceilings, floors, and your mixer. This makes it an ideal choice for small control rooms.
As the latest addition to the T Series, the T8V utilizes the same technology, features, and build quality as the T5V, T7V, and T10S Subwoofer. So what's new with the T8V? Well, the monitor features 8" woofer that allows for ample bass extension all the way down to 33 Hz.
With the woofer working alongside ADAM Audio's U-ART tweeter and Waveguide design, engineers can expect a larger sweet spot during tracking and mixing. The monitor's Class D amplifiers for the tweet and woofer will deliver 20 W and 70 W and offer 118 dB max SPL per pair.
ADAM Audio AX Series
The entry point for the AX Series is the ADAM Audio A3X. It sports the famous X-ART folded ribbon tweeter, a 4.5” carbon fiber woofer that reproduces down to 60 Hz, and a built-in 50 watt amplifier. Unique to the A3X (and its big brother the A5X) is the ‘Stereolink’ feature, which provides an extra pair of stereo I/O jacks to allow any single monitor to act as master or slave unit, providing volume control for both speakers from the master unit, and individual control for the slave unit. Power and volume controls on the front of the unit make adjustments easy.
The next step in the AX Series is the ADAM Audio A5X. Along with the same X-ART tweeter and Stereolink feature, the woofer is increased to a 5.5” size made of a sandwich of carbon, Rohacell® and glass fiber. Rohacell® is a patented, extremely light yet rigid foam core, providing the perfect qualities you want in a transducer material: allowing fast transients without sacrificing the rigidity that provides tight reproduction of frequencies. A pair of 50 watt amplifiers are split between the two drivers to provide each with the ideal amplification. The A5X is a great choice for tight spaces that need tight bass response down to 50 Hz.
The most popular speaker in the AX Series is the A7X. Winning accolades from all over the audio industry, the A7X brings the tonal clarity, depth and precision that only the best monitors can provide. The 7” mid-range/woofer is a sandwich of carbon, Rohacell® and glass fiber that is driven by a 100 watt Class D amplifier, reproducing the spectrum from 42 Hz up to 2.5 kHz. This is where the famous X-ART tweeter takes over, driven by a 50 watt Class A/B amp. It’s a "best of both worlds" scenario where the transition between drivers is seamless and the listener never gets fatigued by overly hyped or compressed highs and mids. Nuance, detail, powerful bass, it’s all here in the A7X, housed in a dual-ported enclosure designed to be inert and let the music shine through, all the way up to 114 dB of sound pressure level.
For those looking for a monitor that can do double duty as a nearfield or a midfield, the ADAM Audio A8X is the answer. Its 8.5” carbon/Rohacell®/glass fiber woofer, driven by a 150 watt Class D amp, can drop it down to 38 Hz, while the famous X-ART tweeter does its thing all the way up to 50 kHz, driven by its own 50 watt Class A/B amplifier. A full 120 dB of SPL is impressive enough, but even more impressive is the detail and depth that these monitors provide, with excellent transient response. For medium size control rooms, the A8X provides an excellent way to incorporate a midfield monitor in your setup.
The pinnacle of the AX Series is the TEC Award-winning ADAM Audio A77X. Essentially a pair of A7X monitors in one cabinet, this design allows you to venture boldly into midfield territory, with all the depth and detail of the legendary A7X, but with added benefits. Complementing the X-ART tweeter are the twin 7” woofers, which act in tandem up to 400 Hz to give you the huge bass you want, and then one begins to fade out while the other takes over up to 3 kHz, avoiding the phase problems that plague all double-driver designs. This “2 ½ way” system provides unique benefits in stereo imaging and compression free reproduction. The wide dispersion of the A77X makes it an ideal midfield, spreading the sweet spot across the control room.
The bass drivers are a revolutionary design that feature the new Symmetrical Magnet Assembly (SMA), whose voice coil can travel 3 times farther than standard designs, allowing for highly accurate reproduction. The cabinets play a role here as well, with highly dense, inert construction, aerodynamically designed bass reflex tubes, and wide-radius rounded cabinet edges to minimize diffractions; all wrapped in a durable coating. A new DSP engine provides the user of any S Series model with a wide array of functions to customize the monitors to their environment.
The first level of the S Series is the S2V, a 2-way vertically-oriented nearfield monitor design. The handmade S-ART tweeter, more accurate than ever, is run by a 50 watt Class A/B amplifier, while the low and midrange are handled by a 7” hexacone woofer, newly designed specifically for the S2V. With its own 300 watt Class D amplifier, the woofer can reproduce down to 35 Hz, allowing this compact monitor to handle up to 120 dB of SPL. The crossover between the drivers is managed by the custom made DSP, which also provides equalization, room tuning, and limiter-based protection for the tweeter, along with processing the incoming digital signals through the AES3 input. The DSP software can be operated or updated via the handy USB port
S3V and S3H
The anchor of the S Series is the S3V, a 3 way vertically-oriented Midfield monitor design. The 3 drivers each have their own amplifier: 500 watt and 300 watt Class D amps for the bass and midrange, and a 50 watt Class A/B amp for the tweeter. This 850w powerhouse can reach from 32 Hz up to 50 kHz, with the crossovers precision-controlled by the DSP unit. The S-ART tweeter is the most precise folded ribbon ADAM has ever produced, while the 4” midrange is a new dome/cone hybrid design (DCH) utilizing the best features of both of those time-tested forms. The woofer is also new, a 9” hexacone design providing very accurate and deep bass from 32 to 250 Hz via the new basket, the Extended Linear Excursion (ELE) design and the Symmetrical Magnet Assembly. Along with the waveguides and solid cabinetry, the S3V provides world-class monitoring in a 3-way design.
To go even deeper into the bass realm and higher in the wattage department, ADAM offers the S3H, a horizontally-oriented Midfield monitor that trades a single large 9” woofer in the vertical system for a pair of 7” woofers that can dive down to 30 Hz - each of them powered by its own 500 watt Class D amp. No need for a separate subwoofer here! Meanwhile the midrange of 250 Hz to 3 kHz is covered by a 4” hybrid dome/cone speaker powered by its own 300 watt Class D amp. Above 3K, the spectrum is handed over to the S-ART tweeter, with the custom-designed DSP handling all the crossovers as well as allowing for EQ and room tuning customization. The S3H is an all-in-one solution for any studio needing a highly accurate Midfield monitor that provides nuances at low levels and extended response up to 126 dB SPL. With an expansive sweet spot, 1350 watts of power, and DSP control, your studio never sounded better.
S5V and S5H
The ADAM Audio S5V is a preeminent main monitor, with the same 4” hybrid dome/cone midrange and S-ART tweeter found in the S3V, but with a larger 12” hexacone driver that can take your tones down to an earthshaking 25 Hz. And due to the Symmetrical Magnet Assembly and Extended Linear Excursion designs, those bass frequencies are as tight as bass can get, allowing an accuracy never before realized in this part of the spectrum. To handle it all, a 700 watt Class D amp is employed, along with 300- and 100-watt versions for the midrange and tweeter. With their waveguides milled from solid chunks of aluminum, they give you clarity and deep stereo imaging with a wide sweet spot and excellent off-axis response – exactly what you need from main monitors in large control rooms.
The S5H doubles up on the woofers with a twin 10” design that utilizes the ELE and SMA designs that allow for accurate bass – in this case down to 22 Hz! As in the vertical version a trio of Class D amps provide a total of 1100 watts of power while the DSP handles all the crossovers and other functions for the 4” dome/cone hybrid (DCH) midrange and S-ART folded ribbon tweeter. The DCH employs a specially laminated carbon composite that combines the linear response of a dome with the long excursion of a cone, eliminating wobble and reproducing an octave lower than other drivers in its class. In the S5H you get tons of headroom, and tones of accuracy – a main monitor that can go from bone shattering to pianissimo and never break a sweat. Depth, clarity and a wide sound stage; the ADAM Audio S5H delivers everything you want from a world-class Main monitor system.
The granddaddy of the S Series is the S6X, a main monitor that pulls out all the stops. 7 different drivers combine to bring you the ultimate in stereo imaging, acoustic detail, depth of bass, and a wide sweet spot. Twin 500 watt amps for the woofers and five 250 watt amps for the rest of the drivers bring a grand total of 2250 watts, with enough power and headroom to reach 133 dB in SPL. These drivers are mounted to a panel of Alucore®, a light and highly rigid honeycomb of aluminum that enhances the mechanical connection to the cabinet, thus reducing unneeded distortions. The X-ART design is employed for the single tweeter as well as a larger pair for the midrange.
A pair each of 7.5” and 12” hexacone woofers cover the frequency spectrum down to 23 Hz, complemented by four bass ports. Extensive controls on the front panel allow for adjustment of input sensitivity, filter slopes and parametric equalization, to tailor the monitors exactly to your room as well as your sonic material. All of these features add up to a monitor that has consistent dynamic behavior across the entire frequency range, allowing accurate analysis of complex music and precise reproduction of the most demanding material. You, in turn, should demand nothing less than the best for your studio.
All subs feature a -60 to +6 dB gain range, a variable upper frequency control from 50-150 Hz, and a phase switch. Satellite speaker outputs also have an optional high pass filter at 85 hz. The remote control feature allows easy adjustment of speaker parameters directly from the sweet spot, saving time and providing precision control. Both balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA connections are provided, to allow incorporation into any system.
The ADAM Audio Sub7 features a 7” paper subwoofer powered by a 140 watt amplifier. With a frequency response from 150 Hz down to 32 Hz, the Sub7 is designed to complement ADAM’s smaller nearfield monitors, such as the T or AX Series, and handles up to 107 dB in SPL. Featuring both XLR and RCA connections, the Sub7 is equally at home in the studio or…at home! The handy remote lets you adjust from the sweet spot, providing control of the face mounted, motorized volume and crossover knobs. Also mounted on the face is the front-firing bass port, which allows for close placement against walls in smaller control rooms.
The ADAM Audio Sub8 features a 8.5” paper subwoofer powered by a 160 watt amplifier. The Sub8 is designed to complement ADAM’s smaller nearfield monitors, such as the T or AX Series, with a frequency response from 150 Hz down to 28 Hz and SPL handling up to 110 dB. Featuring both XLR and RCA connections, the Sub7 is equally at home in the studio or…at home! The front baffle holds motorized volume and crossover knobs, which can be accessed via remote control to let you make adjustments from the sweet spot. Also mounted on the face is the front-firing bass port, allowing for tight placement against walls in smaller control rooms.
ADAM Audio's Sub10 Mk2 features a 10” paper subwoofer powered by a 200 watt Class D amplifier. This amp is highly efficient (over 90%) and can run for long periods without overheating. The Sub10 Mk2 is designed to complement any Near- or Mid-field monitor set up, with a frequency response from 150 Hz down to 25 Hz and SPL handling up to 113 dB. The specially formulated surround and heavy duty voice coil of this woofer cone are designed for long excursions and long life. The special design allows for a low cutoff frequency and high sound pressure level, without the usual distortions that accompany subwoofers in this range. The downward firing bass reflex port is designed to minimize ventilation noise with its generous size and precise shape, while tapered corners on the front baffle minimize unwanted reflections. A great choice to enhance any T or AX Series monitor from ADAM.
The Sub12 from ADAM Audio features a 12” paper subwoofer powered by a 200 watt Class D amplifier. The Sub12 is designed to complement any near- or mid-field monitor set up, with a frequency response from 150 Hz down to 22 Hz and SPL handling up to 115 dB. The cone surround and heavy duty voice coil are specially designed for long excursions and long life. These drivers have a low cutoff frequency and high SPL, without the distortions that usually plague subwoofers in this operating range. The bass reflex port is downward firing, in order to minimize ventilation noise with ample size and a precise shape, while the tapered corners of the front baffle reduce unwanted reflections. The Sub12 is great choice to enhance any T Series, AX Series or smaller S Series monitor from ADAM, and the extra output means it can be cascaded with additional subs for even more power and flexibility.
The Sub15 takes you to a higher level by taking you to a lower level – all the way down to 20 Hz. The Sub15 features a 15.5” subwoofer made of aluminum, whose rigidity allows for precise response. The pair of magnets and 100mm voice coil of this driver are powered by a 1000 watt Class D amplifier. Over 90% efficiency allows this amp to run for hours without overheating or fatigue. The bass reflex port fires downward; its large size and rounded shape minimizes ventilation noise, while tapered corners on the front baffle minimize unwanted reflections. Multiple connectivity is provided by XLR and RCA I/O’s. Volume, crossover and other parameters are accessible via remote control, to ease the handling of satellite speakers or incorporation into a Dolby surround configuration. The Sub15 from ADAM Audio is an excellent enhancement to any Midfield or Main monitoring situation.
The big daddy of all the subwoofers from ADAM Audio is the Sub2100. With a full kilowatt amplifier (yes, that’s 1000 watts!) a humongous 21.5“ paper cone driver, and the world’s largest voice coil (a full 6 inches!), the Sub2100 reaches down to an amazing 18 Hz, while handling 128 dB of SPL, with lots of headroom and no compression. Take the reproduction of sound in a large studio to the limits of human hearing with this massive subwoofer.
Studio Pro SP-5 Headphones
Interchangeable cables allow for incorporation into any setup, while the weight of about 10 ounces allows for long periods of listening. And you’ll be listening to excellent transient response and the tonal balance you expect from ADAM Audio, with consistent dynamic character across the entire range, from 8 Hz to 38 kHz. Maximum passive isolation with minimum listening fatigue leads to maximal sonic reproduction with minimal difficulty moving from headphones to monitor speakers.
All this with maximum comfort and minimum troubles in spatial imaging, due to Ultrasone’s S-Logic Plus technology, which uses offset drivers to reduce the SPL at your ears and enhance the spatial relationships of sounds. And these headphones will definitely enhance your mixing ability, in the studio or on the go.