The Adam Audio T8V is the largest model in the company’s T-Series monitor range for home studios. It’s for DJ/producers who want a bit more “oomph” from their speakers and have the desk space for them. Not as versatile as the excellent and inexpensive T5V, but if you want big sound and clear highs without breaking the bank (and you’ve got the room for it) you’ll find a lot to like here. Recommended.
First Impressions / Setting up
The Adam Audio T8V are monitor speakers made with bedroom producers and home studio owners in mind. They’re the latest addition to Adam Audio’s T-Series, and they’re the biggest too having 8″ woofers onboard (the T5V and T7V have 5″ and 7″ woofers respectively). This means that not only are the speakers themselves physically bigger and heftier than the other models in the line, but they’re also louder and have a more extended low-frequency response.
These are aimed at DJ/producers who want speakers that can easily pump out low-end while still retaining a nuanced and balanced sound which are desirable characteristics for music production monitoring.
In front of the unit you’ll find the 8″ woofer at the bottom as well as Adam Audio’s patented U-ART 1.9″ ribbon tweeter at the top. It’s an active speaker monitor, and it has two Class D amplifiers onboard: a 20W amplifier for the U-ART tweeter, and a 70W amplifier for the woofer.
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Behind the unit are a bass reflex port, plus high-frequency and low-frequency switches for adjusting the response of the speaker to suit them to different room placements and acoustic treatments (or lack thereof). Then there’s a volume knob, an XLR balanced input and an RCA unbalanced input, plus a switch that lets you select one or the other. A power switch and IEC socket are found at the bottom of the unit.
We loved how the smaller T5V sounds as well as its versatility – it sounds balanced and detailed, especially for the price (US$199 for one piece). Will the T8V continue this tradition, albeit in a larger package? We started testing to find out…
Adam Audio monitors are well-loved for their high-frequency reproduction. The company’s X-Art tweeters are found in its mid and high-tier offerings (the AX series is excellent and are found in many project and pro facilities around the world) and are renown for silky smooth highs. The more affordable T-Series features the U-Art tweeter, a more modest ribbon tweeter model, but still retains some of that high-frequency detail.
As far as sound goes, the T8V doesn’t disappoint: just like the T5V we reviewed before, the highs are still crisp and the mids are clear, though this time there is a bit more power in the lower frequencies thanks to the larger 8″ woofer. Compared to the A7X (a sublime monitor for more serious and seasoned DJ/producers), the frequency response skews a bit more towards the bass side of things, as opposed to the brighter signature of the A7X. I felt like the T8V wasn’t as “open” in the highs, but then again the A7X is a speaker that costs more than twice as much.
There are two switches at the back of the T8V that let you tailor its sound to your room as well as the speaker’s placement in your room: HF and LF. HF stands for High Frequency, and LF stands for Low Frequency.
The HF switch can boost the high frequencies by 2dB, or cut it by 2dB. This can be engaged if you want to hear more treble in the overall sound of the speaker, or if you are in a very acoustically dampened room (eg wall-to-wall carpeting with drapes all around).
The LF switch can boost the low frequencies by 2dB, or cut it by 2dB. This is particularly useful if you’re placing the T8V up against the wall or in a corner, which are both undesirable positions for speakers because they exaggerate low-end / bass frequencies. Cutting the lows using the LF switch can help somewhat, though your results may vary depending on the size of the room as well as how close the speaker is to the rear wall or corner.
The HF and LF switches are nice-to-haves and do help in a pinch, making it a more versatile speaker in a way, but it’s not a full-on substitute for good speaker placement in which the speakers are situated away from room corners and walls.
The T8V is big and hefty – it weighs around 10kg – so it feels very solid and looks very “pro”. Having these on top of your studio desk and sitting in front of them definitely gives you a feeling that you’re in the sweet spot. At this size though, these speakers are better suited to bigger rooms: use them in a tiny space (like my 10sqm bedroom) and they can sound overpowering before you even have a chance to set the volume at an optimal level.
Plus, since these speakers have an extended bass response compared to the smaller T5V (and T7V), you could run into low frequency acoustic issues that could mask the true low-end levels that a piece of music has: this is manifest in either low-end frequency cancellation (bass sounds thin when it really isn’t, which leads to bass-heavy mixes that sound wooly) or low-end frequency exaggeration (bass sounds louder than it really isn’t, which can lead to thin mixes).
This is affected by a number of factors including room shape, depth, and acoustic treatment, but generally a larger speaker is able to reproduce sound more accurately and efficiently in a larger room than in a small one, and this is most evident in the bass.
The T8V is a satisfying mix of power and clarity, though it does require more desk real estate as well as room space to sound its best because of its size. If you’ve got a smaller desk (or a smaller room), check out the excellent T5V model which comes in a more compact build.
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If you’re looking for a pair of monitors that can double as both production monitors and monitors that you can use for your home DJ set-up, the T8V would fit that bill nicely and we recommend it. Just don’t use it for house parties – sure it’s big and strong, but you could end up blowing the tweeter (or woofer) if you turn it up too loud for too long.