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Adam A7X Monitoring Speaker Review

The Adam A7X is the successor to the original Adam A7 monitoring speakers, which was released in 2006. Various awards and tons of dedicated fans turned the A7 into a legend in near-field monitoring, so nobody thought the A7X was likely to be much better than the A7. However, the mix engineers were proved wrong, as the A7X is better than the A7 in practically every aspect. In fact, it was voted the best studio monitor for two consecutive years by Sound on Sound magazine. It’s almost impossible to find someone who has anything bad to say about the A7X, and after doing tons of research, we at Studio-Speakers.com would like to tell you why this is a great studio monitoring speaker package.

Features of the Adam A7X monitoring speakers

What we first noticed with the Adam A7X is that it’s a good looking studio monitor. While looks aren’t everything, good looks certainly are still a plus. It also looks similar to the A7 monitor speakers at first glance, also utilizing its elegant satin black finish. At a closer look, however, we found that almost every element had been redesigned by Adam. Unlike the A7, the A7X has two front-firing bass ports with a front panel control section between them. The power switch and the volume control knob are still on the front panel but the power LED is in a green color. The box is slightly bigger than the original A7s as well, measuring 13.5”x8”x11”, and weighing 20.3lb.

adam a7x in use

What really makes the A7X stand out is its sound; it is often described as having the performance of a three-way monitor in a compact two-way nearfield speaker enclosure.  This is something that Adam should be very product of; quality three-way speakers are renown for being capable of achieving a superb midrange while still providing excellent low-frequency and high-frequency extension.  However, three-way speakers have the downside of being more expensive, large, and the physical distance between the drivers can cause phase-alignment effects when located close to the listening position (this can be heard when the listener moves their head from side to side).  This makes most three-way speakers more suitable for placement at mid-field monitoring distance, where the distance between the speaker drivers within each box is much smaller than the distance between the speaker and the listener.  This also means that studio acoustics come more into play; the further the listener is away from the speakers, the larger the proportion of the sound comes from room reflections.  In most smaller and poorly-treated studios this makes most quality three-way systems impractical, and the recording engineer is often best using a pair of high-quality two way monitoring speakers in a near-field configuration.  This is where the Adam A7X really shines; it sounds like a high-quality three-way studio monitoring system with all the benefits of having smaller two-way studio monitors placed in a near-field configuration.

The Adam A7X features a 7” midwoofer that is driven by a 100W internal amplifier, which is said to provide excellent integration with the lower frequencies.   However, what really makes the A7X stand out from the A7, as well as from other monitor speakers, is its upgraded X-ART Tweeter. The X-ART, which stands for eXtended frequency response-Accelerating Ribbon Technology (quite a mouth full!), is said to offer a flat-frequency response of up to 50kHz (which is way above the frequencies an average person can hear) and is designed to offer a higher efficiency, as well as higher maximum sound pressure levels. The X-ART tweeter is driven by a 50W amp and is claimed to produce detailed, uncompressed highs without exhausting the ears over long listening periods.

Around the back are the controls, inputs and power. There is a shelving filter operating below 300Hz for adjusting the low end, as well as a shelving filter operating above 5kHz for adjusting the high end. Both of these have a range of -6dB to +6dB. The input section has a balanced XLR connector and an unbalanced RCA connector.

As for the sound, the Adam A7X offers very impressive detail and sounds noticeably better than the A7. The frequencies are separated extremely well, offering you an almost three-dimensional experience as you would expect from monitoring speakers of this caliber. The highs are a little less bright than the A7, although remain exceptionally crisp and clear. The low end is very natural and there is minimal distortion to be heard at any frequency range. It also sounds wider and more extended than the A7.  Also, as the low end goes all the way down to 42 Hz (not bad for a “midwoofer”), you could easily get away without a sub.

The midrange sound quality of these monitors really excels. Not only is it extremely accurate, it’s also very revealing. It might even become one of your favorite things about the A7X. Getting this kind of midrange from a two-way speaker is definitely difficult, but Adam has able to do it without sacrificing the low end or the high end.

As the sound of the A7X is very honest, it will really highlight areas in your mix that need some work. It gets the job done right and does it really well.

Technical Specs
Woofer 7” Mid-Woofer
Tweeter 2” X-ART ribbon
Power Output 150 W (50W High/100W Low)
Frequency Response 42Hz – 50kHz
Max Peak SPL 106dB
Input Impedance 30K Ohm
Dimensions 13.5”x8”x11” (400x255x320mm)
Weight 20.3lb (9.2 kg)

Other Feedback

I’ve always rated the Adam A7s as excellent nearfield monitors at their price point, so was rather taken aback when the A7Xs I set up alongside them sounded noticeably better in every respect. The low end seemed more natural, the highs were airy and smooth, and overall the sound was cleaner and more three-dimensional.”

Paul White, Sound on Sound

“The mid-range monitor market is extremely competitive, but to our ears the Adams are easily as good as any of their rivals and we’d be tempted to choose them over anything else in a similar price range.”

Musicradar.com

Conclusion

Compared to the Adam A7, the A7X triumphs in almost every way, which justifies its higher price point. The company itself has stated that the A7X is their best-selling nearfield monitor, and it’s not difficult to understand why.  All of this makes total sense; even with so many advantage, the A7X has no major faults. In fact, we haven’t noticed anything bad about the speaker or its sound, which is why we gave it our “Editor’s Choice” award for the best studio monitors in its class.  If you’re looking for a professional studio monitor that can offer exceptional performance without compromise, then the A7X would be ideal. We highly recommend it!

Do you already have the Adam A7X studio monitors? We’d love to hear your thought’s below.

9.5 Total Score
Could this be the best nearfield monitor?

The A7X is an incredible near-field studio monitoring speaker that provides three-way studio monitoring performance in a compact two-way speaker enclosure. Could the Adam A7X become the new pro-standard in studio monitoring speakers?

PROS
  • Exceptional detail
  • Highs are crisp and clear
  • Very natural and wide low end
  • Accurate midrange
  • Honest and revealing
CONS
  • None
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