The A Series from ADAM Audio is a noticeable step up from their entry-level T series. I’ve already had a chance to review the smaller A4V, which proved to be a superb small monitor, but this larger 7-inch model is a better choice for larger studio spaces and for working with electronic music genres such as EDM.
ADAM Audio A7V
The ADAM Audio A7V delivers capable and reliable performance in a studio setting. It also offers extensive features to help you get the most out of the monitor. Below we take a peek at the highlights before diving into a more comprehensive breakdown.
The ADAM Audio A7V is not your run-of-the-mill studio monitor. It distinguishes itself from the competition in several ways. Some of these are the determining factors as to whether the monitor will suit your needs.
One of the hallmarks of ADAM Audio studio monitors is the exceptional clarity and extension in higher frequency response. That tradition continues with the A7V with a distinct sound profile that meets the challenges of intensive studio work.
The low-end features a noticeable bump in performance from its smaller sibling, the A4V, thanks to the sizeable 7-inch woofer. It’s meatier and offers greater depth. Bass response is full-bodied and warm without losing accuracy or straying into muddiness.
The A7V has a flat frequency response for studio applications.
The mid-range offers excellent accuracy and a smooth transition from the lows. Instrumental components, in particular, shine with fabulous vibrancy. The mid-range is also not overly forward, as I’ve experienced with some monitors. Perfectly balanced and engaging.
Moving into the higher frequency band highlights ADAM Audio’s supreme control over this critical band. The X-ART high-frequency driver never skips a beat with unrivaled clarity and precision.
If you are new to X-ART drivers, your initial impression might be that it is a bit bright. While there is some truth to that, the difference here is that fatigue is minimal over longer sessions. Something I can’t say is the case for other bright-sounding monitors.
The ADAM Audio A7V delivers everything you need from a serious studio monitor. A pure and precise sound that stays true to the source material, allowing you to make accurate and confident decisions when working on your latest project.
Stepping into this price bracket, my expectations are higher, and the A7V doesn’t disappoint. It’s a robust and durable monitor with high-quality components throughout.
Nothing grinds my gears more than a poorly executed cabinet, so I’m happy to report that the A7V features a tough MDF cabinet with vinyl wrapping. It’s a common material combination, but the quality difference between monitor brands can be vast. The execution and attention to detail must be high, which is undoubtedly the case here.
The A7V offers exceptional build quality and a long warranty.
Beyond the cabinet, the component quality is also top-tier. The mineral fiber woofer is lightweight and highly stable to deliver a clean response. Likewise, the signature X-ART high-frequency driver is meticulously crafted.
Switching to the rear panel also doesn’t disappoint. All the buttons, the level knob, and the connection points are high quality. The extended 5-year warranty also displays how much confidence ADAM Audio has in its products.
Digging into the technical data highlights the improved bass response over the A4V. The ADAM Audio A7V features a frequency response of 44Hz – 41kHz (-3dB), much deeper than its smaller sibling. It goes a long way to explain why I have a smile on my face when working with bass-heavy music. At -6dB, it can further stretch out to 40Hz.
The A7V offers an impressive level of bass extension.
The power configuration is identical to the A4V with a bi-amped setup with 130 Watts of power. ADAM Audio has opted for an efficient PWN (Class D) amplifier for the low-frequency driver. But unlike other monitors, the A7V features a Class A/B amp for the X-ART driver. The split is 110 Watts for the LF driver and 20 Watts for the X-ART driver.
A maximum peak SPL of 105dB at 1 meter is more than enough for most studio applications. The most comfortable mixing volume is between 80-90dB, and the A7V can easily handle this—no distortion or flubbing in delivery.
The ADAM Audio A7V also gives you access to various tuning controls to adapt to your space and ensure optimum performance.
Let’s start with the Room Adaptation options on the monitors’ rear panel. You’ll have access to Bass, Desk, Presence, and Treble here. The visual presentation makes it super simple to follow how your changes will impact the output.
Bass control offers +2, 0, -2, and -4 dB options to help minimize bass build-up. An essential feature if you place the monitor close to a hard wall. The Desk option features 0, -2, and -4 dB selections, which will help smooth reflection from a desk surface in the low-mid region.
The Room Adaptation options are easy to use and effective.
Next is Presence with +1, 0, and -1 dB options. This option focuses on the midrange, which can often suffer from unusual room acoustics. Finally, the Treble option provides +1.5, 0, and -1.5 dB options. I find the A7V quite bright by default, so the -1.5 dB option is superb to peg it back a notch to suit my listening tastes.
The A7V also offers Voicing options. The Pure setting keeps everything as neutral and flat as possible, while the UNR option is an ADAM Audio voicing that more closely resembles the previous AX Series. It’s also an engaging and more dynamic voicing profile for casual listening. Finally, the Ext option opens up the remaining tuning options.
By activating this, you can take advantage of changes you’ve made using external software. There are two primary options: the A Control application for Windows and MacOS and the Automated Room Correction from Sonarworks.
The A Control app gives you remote access to the options as the backplate, but it also has deeper tuning flexibility to sculpt your sound. The app is relatively straightforward but also equally deep. It can be a little buggy sometimes, but the experience should smooth out as more updates come.
Sonarworks is a powerful tool to help you adapt to your room dynamics.
The Sonarwards Sound ID Reference integration is also a little clunky. If you are unfamiliar with Sonarworks, it’s a third-party software application that will analyze the acoustics of your room and suggest a tuning profile to maximize performance. It works great, but you’ll need the reference microphone, which is an added expense.
The A7V comes with a 60-day full version trial of Sonarworks, so you can go nuts with presets. But after that date, you must purchase a license to create further presets.
As you can see, there is a staggering amount of flexibility on offer. Even excluding the Sonarworks integration, you’ll have deep access to sculpt output.
Aesthetically the A7V sets itself apart from other monitors thanks to the distinctive X-ART high-frequency driver. That slight splash of color is the only embellishment on an otherwise all-plain surface.
The X-ART tweeter also offers two orientations lending further flexibility to the A7V to be placed vertically or horizontally. The dispersion is also superb, with 120 degrees horizontally and 70 degrees vertically. The result is a wide sweet spot that will make finding the optimal seating position easy.
The rotatable X-ART driver makes the A7V a good choice for horizontal installation.
The angular front baffle also adds character and is a welcome change from other monitors that will often have a large elliptical waveguide as the only defining feature of the front baffle.
The other notable feature is the dual forward-facing bass ports. These ports assist with low-frequency delivery and make them easier to place against walls. But the drawback is an increase in cancellation issues from the force of the exiting air. It’s not a huge issue but some worth noting and a common issue with forward-facing ports.
The A7V also features mounting points. Four threaded M8 screw holes with 10mm depth will allow you to integrate these into various installation positions. I also appreciate the small LED indicator on the X-ART driver to indicate statuses. It’s not too bright and discreet so as not to be distracting in darker environments.
The ADAM Audio A7V is a large studio monitor, so you’ll need to ensure you have enough space available for it. There are more compact 7-inch monitors available, but the differences are minimal, and the A7V aligns with most options.
The A7V is similar in size to other 7-inch studio monitors.
As for weight, the ADAM Audio A7V comes in at 19.18 lbs. (8.7 kg). Once again, this is roughly in line with what many similar monitors will weigh. Double-check that they can handle this weight level if you intend to place these on stands.
The A7V keeps things straightforward in the connection department. You’ll have access to two analog input choices. A balanced XLR is the connection choice I recommend, but the unbalanced RCA is a handy addition that can prove helpful in certain situations. For example, many entry-level DJ controllers only offer RCA, making the A7V a viable candidate for your home DJ studio.
The A7V offers both a balanced and unbalanced connection option.
The only other connection point is the RJ45 Ethernet port. You’ll need to purchase a cable or use one you already own. This allows for the remote control features of the A Control application. It will also serve for any firmware updates, which is one of the benefits of a digital DSP.
The price point of the A7V is not exactly budget-friendly, but equally, it is a lot more affordable than many high-end studio monitors on the market. But even at this price point, there is some stiff competition. More than any other price point, you’ll have a plethora of high-quality options available to you.
While it might not be budget-friendly, the value is here. The exceptional build quality and the superb sound quality are enough to say that this monitor is worth its price. But taking it a step further with the comprehensive tuning flexibility seals the deal. Few other monitors provide this much flexibility to sculpt the sound profile to your preference.
The majority of reviews of the A7V sit at 4 or 5 stars. The most common praise is for the high detail level that this monitor offers, along with the versatility they provide. The only time this monitor scores lower is due to some of the clunkiness of the Sonarworks integration and the buggy A Control software. Both of which can be easily remedied via updates down the line.
Benefits Of Bi-Amped Configurations
The ADAM Audio A7V features a bi-amped configuration. Several other studio monitors employ a similar setup, while others opt for a solitary amp. But which one is better? Well, the intricacies of monitor design play a huge role in determining the answer, but there are some distinct advantages that a bi-amp configuration offers.
The most prominent advantage is that each amp is perfectly tuned to the driver. It’s like having the right tool for a job in a workshop. You wouldn’t use a chainsaw to make fine cuts; the same methodology applies to amplifiers.
By having each amplifier dedicated to a specific task, the engineers can tailor the end result more closely. Certain amplifiers are better at particular jobs than others. Utilizing the inherent benefits of certain amps reduces strain and heat build-up. The end result is often a more efficient and capable system.
It’s apparent that I am a fan of the ADAM Audio A7V, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only player in the game. Below are some other options that are equally fantastic as the A7V.
Focal Alpha 65 Evo Review
The Focal Alpha 65 Evo is an attractive studio monitor that backs up its slick appearance with impressive performance. It’s also substantially cheaper than the A7V.
- Excellent sonic profile that is accurate and flat.
- A futuristic cabinet and blue-tinged woofers make it one of the most attractive monitors available.
- The selection of tuning options is not as comprehensive as the A7V.
Focal Alpha 65 Evo
IK Multimedia iLoud Precision 5 Review
The iLoud Precision 5 is a lean studio monitor that can squeeze into tighter spaces. It also offers some innovative features that set it apart from the competition.
- A highly flexible sound profile that you can sculpt to different voicing profiles with ease.
- Includes a reference microphone so that you can apply room correction.
- Much like the A7V, this is not a budget-friendly studio monitor.
IK Multimedia iLoud Precision 5
Kali Audio IN-8 V2 Review
The Kali Audio IN-8 V2 is a cut-price alternative to the A7V. While you will miss out on all the extra bells and whistles, it’s a reasonable starting point for beginners.
- Flat frequency response for accurate mixing and mastering.
- It features a broad sweet spot and an excellent soundstage.
- The tiny dip switches for tuning are fiddly.
Kali Audio IN-8 V2
Should You Buy?
The ADAM Audio A7V is one of the best options for producers that want to step up from entry-level gear but are not ready to hand over the big bucks for pro-studio-grade equipment. This monitor often outperforms some of those more expensive options making it an enticing choice.
Adding remote control with an exhaustive list of tweaking potential adds to the appeal. This is a professional monitor you can rely on, not just sonically but also structurally. This is a fantastic monitor from a brand that continues its long tradition of developing high-quality studio gear.
ADAM Audio A7V