Earlier this year when I first heard the news that ADAM Audio, my favourite studio monitor brand, was to release a new range of studio monitors that they claimed to be ultra-affordable I had to stop and do a double take. Affordable? ADAM Audio? REALLY?
The T Series is ADAM Audio’s first attempt at providing a “low cost” studio monitor range, these are receiving rave reviews, so it’s time for Production Expert to put these to test to find out if T-Series are any good. Are these monitors a cheap shot to enter the budget home studio world or are these the T Series the studio monitor bargain of the century? Let's find out!
ADAM Audio T Series are 2-way powered active studio monitors. Two models are available:
Woofer Size: 5"
Max peak SPL: 106 dB
Frequency Response: 45 Hz - 25 kHz
Tweeter 20 W
Woofer: 50 W
Crossover Frequency: 3 kHz
Height x Width x Depth: 11.7" x 7" x 11.7"
Woofer Size: 7"
Max peak SPL: 110 dB
Frequency Response: 39 Hz - 25 kHz
Tweeter 20 W
Woofer: 50 W
Crossover Frequency: 2.6 kHz
Height x Width x Depth: 13.7" x 8.3" x 11.5"
Both T5V and T7V models share the same innards along with ADAM Audio's newly designed Unique Accelerated Ribbon Tweeters (Named U-ART for short).
ADAM Audio tweeters have always been the jewel in their monitoring crown. They are an integral component that helps to deliver that signature “ADAM’s sound” that many users, myself included, absolutely adore. But do these small, affordable T-Series sound like expensive ADAMs of old?
ADAM Audio has always had a great reputation for designing and building great sounding studio monitors that deliver superb full range detail along with top end shine that other monitor manufacturers can't seem to get close to. Somehow, in the T Series, ADAM Audio managed to design a low-cost monitor range that, to my ears, sound expensive without compromising on the quality of sound. Before I started testing the T Series I was worried that the ADAM sound I know and love could have been watered down due to cost cutting but those fears were quickly laid to rest when I started testing these in my studio.
Expensive Sounding Monitors For Less Than £350? Let's Compare T-Series With Monitors x10 The Price
Along the T Series I also borrowed a set of ADAM Audio S2V S Series monitors. The S Series is ADAM's current flagship monitor range. A set of S2Vs will set you back around £3,000, a set of T Series T7Vs costs in the region of £350, that's roughly a 90% price difference and both monitors feature 7" woofers... a listening test was afoot.
Apart from both monitors sporting the same woofer size the S2Vs and T7V have very little in common. Their tweeters are slightly different, the SV2 has smart DSP built-in and front-facing ports, the T Series have single rear ports. The T7V is clearly quite a basic affair compared to its bigger brother the S2V, however, when I started switching between these two monitors I couldn't really hear that much of a difference between them. So, first impressions were very positive, somehow ADAM Audio managed to squeeze an expensive sound out of the low-cost T Series.
After several hours of testing both the T7V and S2V monitors, it became clear that the optimal listening sweet spot was noticeably narrower between the T7Vs compared with the S2Vs and that the midrange wasn't as defined as the more expensive S2V monitors, however, the overall picture that the T7V produced was clear as crystal. I'm not saying that the sweet spot of the T7Vs is bad, not at all, but they are narrow when compared with a set of monitors that cost ten times the price. Both 5" and 7" woofers handle low end bass exceptionally well, thanks in part to the rear port on each monitor.
For the price, I don't think there's any other set of studio monitors on the market today that can deliver as good as these can, but are these the right monitors for you? Only you can decide that. If you are considering a set of T Series then head on over to your local ADAM Audio dealer and see if you can test these for yourself.
Cheap Doesn't Always Inspire Trust When Reliability Is Concerned
For years ADAM Audio has always proudly stated that they take reliability and durability extremely seriously in their product design. They claim to over-engineer their products so that their monitors can withstand the test of time in demanding studios. My ten-year-old ADAM Audio P22A monitors have never let me down so I don’t doubt ADAM Audio's reliability claims whatsoever but how about these new T Series monitors? These are low cost so surely they will disintegrate when used in anger?
True story - When we were moving the monitors from the car to my studio we accidentally dropped one of the T7Vs on the pavement! Whoops. Not that long ago I dropped a studio monitor on the floor and it didn't survive the minor impact. I'm not going to name and shame that product or brand but I will say that a set of those monitors that I had to return costs roughly the same as a set of T7Vs. Luckily, the T7V monitor wasn't damaged and worked flawless proving to me that these monitors have been built to take some punishment.
Towards the end of my first listening test day with the ADAM Audio T Series my brother in law and I plugged in his DJ Rig and decided to push the limits somewhat to find out how the T Series would respond to being pocked with a stick. At extreme volumes both the T5V and T7V monitors didn't show any signs of giving up the ghost. I was quite surprised to hear that somehow both the low and top end still sounded crystal clear with the mid sounding focused. Some active low-cost monitors I've used in the past don't sound quite right when cranked up, but the T Series, well that's a totally different level of oomph.
Goes to 24 kHz But Not 20 Hz?
Yes, the tweeters squeeze out top end that we humans cannot hear but that's just one ingredient in ADAM Audio's special sauce. Neither of these monitors produce anything down below 40 Hz but I didn't hear that as a problem in testing. After listening to both sets of monitors I decided to try them with my ADAM Sub 8 which took the overall listening experiences to fuller sounding levels. If you purchased either of these T Series and felt that these monitors were not putting out the level of bass you desire then I recommend getting a smaller ADAM sub 7 which costs about £350 to extend the low end.
If you choose to buy either the T7V or smaller T5V monitors then I'm certain you will not be disappointed with your investment. Both these monitors have since been returned to ADAM Audio and I'm left missing them. My brother in law wants to get a set for his studio... and so do I! I have yet to choose between the T5V and T7V.
Part of that signature ADAM sound that I discussed earlier in this article makes an impression on you, especially when you hear a set of ADAMs for the first time. That's why I got into using ADAM Audio monitors ten years ago. You can't unhear quality.
So to answer the question laid out at the top of this article:
Are ADAM Audio's new T Series a cheap shot at entering the budget home studio market or the opposite… The studio monitor bargain of the century? Without a doubt, the studio monitor bargain of the century.
Visit the ADAM Audio website for more information about the T Series range of studio monitors.