Adam Audio A8H: What is it?
Adam Audio’s recently revamped A series studio monitors couple its classic X-ART (Extended Accelerated Rhythm Technology) tweeters with a new glass fibre HPS tweeter waveguide, newly developed MLM woofers, onboard DSP and Sonarworks integration in order to deliver a highly flexible monitoring solution that retains Adam’s classic mojo.
Up for review is the flagship 3-way front-ported A8H. By default, it’s a horizontal configuration monitor and the cabinet design and layout means it comes in specific left and right versions. However, much like other Adam monitors, the tweeters can be unscrewed and rotated 90 degrees to position them vertically.
At 38cm wide and over 13kg these are biggish monitors. Most controls and connections are round the back. XLR or RCA inputs are joined by an Ethernet socket for remote monitor control. Back panel options include level (+/- 12dB), 4-band room adaptation and three voicing positions. The selectors have green LEDs for all button positions, so you can see settings at a glance.
Adam Audio A8H: Performance and verdict
In terms of onboard EQ (room adaptation) you have four choices – bass, desk, presence and treble – each offering various cut or boost settings at their specific fixed frequencies. In our medium-sized control room we cut the bass (-2dB) and desk (-2dB) as per the manual’s suggestions, but we didn’t feel the need to modify anything else. In addition to room adaptation, the A8H includes three ‘voicings’ which influence the overall sound.
The default (Pure) is the most neutral or flat setting, whereas UNR (Uniform Natural Response) is closer to Adam’s AX series. To our ears this has more low end and slightly enhanced upper mids. Both options can be used in conjunction with the room adaptation EQ. The third option (External) is used with an Ethernet connection and Adam’s A Control software for remote control of settings.
The A Control software replicates all the back panel options and also opens up a more comprehensive 6-band parametric EQ that overrides the other tone settings. With shelf, peak, high and low-pass filter shapes, +6/-20dB gain and 20Hz to 20kHz frequency range, you can adjust the speakers however you like.
There’s also further overall gain (+12/-60dB) and positive timing delay (up to 5ms). As mentioned, the A8H can apply its own Sonarworks Sound ID reference curve, which was a simple process.
The A8H is a big loud monitor, and when you turn them up those front ports really shift air. Nevertheless, the all-important mid-range is ably handled by the 3-way design and as ever the ribbon tweeters deliver a silky smooth top end that‘s not fatiguing.
They’re also great at lower volumes, so if you can accommodate their size, the forward-ported design and excellent tweakability make them a great choice for any space. Despite these being by far the most flexible Adam monitors we’ve used, we really didn’t feel the need to tweak them that much, which no doubt makes them perfect for coupling with Soundworks Sound ID room correction, where more extensive tone shaping is applied. All told, these monitors are really impressive.
MusicRadar verdict: A powerful 3-way monitor ideal for larger rooms, but also highly flexible. Perfect for a variety of modern production environments.
Adam Audio A8H: The web says
"It is an excellent addition to a professional studio setup with fantastic build quality and exceptionally detailed sonic performance."
Home DJ Studio
Adam Audio A8H: Hands-on demos
Adam Audio A8H: Specifications
- Onboard DSP: AD converter 24-bit, 96kHz, Horizontal/vertical positioning.
- Freq. Response: 34Hz–42kHz (-3dB).
- Max. peak SPL per speaker at 1m: 105dB SPL.
- Crossovers: 400Hz, 3kHz.
- Woofer: 8” Multi Layer Mineral (MLM) fibre Amplification: LF 250W peak (Class D), MF 70W peak and HF 20W peak (Class A/B).
- CONTACT: Adam Audio