Entry-level monitors are notoriously hit or miss. And with so many options out there it can be a challenge to navigate through all the sub-par offerings. In this review, we check out the well-priced T5V from ADAM Audio. A powerhouse brand that has a stellar reputation.
Adam Audio T5V
The ADAM Audio T5V is rather astounding. Rarely have I come across a monitor at this price point that delivers in so many areas. Here are the highlights before we take a deeper dive into these impressive 5″ studio monitors.
The T5V takes advantage of years of industry experience from the team at ADAM Audio. It incorporates several features from ADAM Audio’s more expensive offerings. Below we take a closer look at how these monitors stack up.
One of the most striking qualities of the ADAM Audio T5V is how good these sound. Very impressive for a studio monitor at this price point.
The top end is exceptionally clear and well-defined. Not everyone likes the sound of ribbon tweeters. But the U-Art tweeter from ADAM Audio is arguably one of the best in the business. It doesn’t display the harshness that some ribbon tweeters are prone to.
Each tweeter is handmade with expert precision.
Fatigue is also non-existent. Something other ribbon tweeters suffer from. Details are ever-present but not in your face. Excellent for analytical listening.
The mid-range also delivers consistency and a distinct level of spatial awareness. Positioning is accurate and tonality is rich and well-rounded. Vocals are particularly impressive. Especially coming from a small monitor.
The waveguide is excellently executed and provides a generous sweet spot. Near-perfect for a monitor at this price point.
It does exhibit the same lower-mid issues I experienced with the larger T7V. This could be due to the crossover point but it is minimal enough that it didn’t interfere with the listening experience too much.
But one of the most astounding elements of the T5V is how well it handles the low-end. This is a 5-inch woofer that packs a lot more punch than I expected. And it isn’t just punchy. It’s warm and inviting without any distortion.
Driving down to 45Hz it has plenty of depth where you could forgo adding a subwoofer. Perhaps not ultra-accurate but refined enough for you to make educated decisions in your mix.
It is no surprise that the T-series from ADAM Audio scooped up a bunch of awards on release. This is an impressive series of monitors that deliver. Budget-conscious buyers looking for a great monitor can’t look past this excellent offering.
Entry-level monitors inherently come with some drawbacks. And this area is usually where most of the damage is done. But the ADAM Audio T-series manages to flip this notion on its head. This is a solid and dependable monitor.
The cabinet is thick and solid and at 12.6 lbs. (5.7 kg) it offers plenty of heft and stability. But not to the point where you’ll struggle to find appropriate isolation pads or stands.
The ADAM Audio T5V features high-quality components throughout.
The U-ART accelerated-ribbon tweeter is also of excellent quality. This is where I appreciate the level of expertise ADAM Audio has in the industry. Taking thoroughly researched technology and incorporating it into a wallet-friendly offering. Not something other manufacturers can do.
The remaining components like the Class D amplifier and Polypropylene woofer don’t disappoint. Around the back, all connection points are also high-quality. Not a hint of roughness or sloppy craftsmanship.
It is also worth noting the standard 2-year warranty that extends to 5-years if you register your monitor. An instant sign that they believe in their products. And this isn’t just some throwaway warranty. ADAM Audio has an excellent reputation for customer service.
If you want a dependable and well-crafted studio monitor the ADAM Audio T5V is among the best.
Taking a deeper look at the T5V reveals the wide frequency response range. At 45Hz – 25kHz, this monitor digs deep and shoots high. Plenty of depth on both sides to deliver rich and detailed audio. Not quite as broad as the larger T7V but still more than similar-sized monitors from the competition.
The T5V is an impressive studio monitor at its price point.
And balance across the full frequency range is impressive for a monitor at this price point. A fine choice for any producer that needs an accurate monitor without shelling out the big bucks.
On the power front, the ADAM Audio offers up a bi-amped design. 50W of power for the low-frequency driver and a further 20W of power to drive the tweeter. Bi-amped power modules allow for specific tuning for each driver. Something I often find results in better performance.
Another impressive specification is the Max SPL of 106dB. This monitor is loud and more importantly, it handles that loudness with grace. Other monitors may offer up high SPL but start to fall apart in terms of audio quality and distortion when pushed. The T5V is a little trooper that takes higher volumes in its stride with ease.
Impressive from top to toe. There is little to fault with the engineering behind this power-packed monitor.
Flexibility to adjust to your space is a critical component of a good monitor. The T5V does provide you with some control. But the options are a little sparse compared to some of the other choices in the market.
The T5V features a basic set of tuning options.
You’ll have access to both low-frequency and high-frequency adjustments. The base 0 levels out of the box will be suitable for the vast majority of studios. But you can tip them up or down 2dB.
The low-frequency switch is likely the most useful here due to the rear-facing bass port. A quick and easy way to help tame the lower end. In practice though, correct placement is still going to do more for output than these small tweaks.
I would have liked a smidge more flexibility here. But considering how well-tuned these monitors are out of the box it is hard to complain too much.
The T5V from ADAM Audio oozes professionalism in its design and appearance. The angled cabinet catches the eye and is a nice departure from other monitors. Likewise, the ribbon tweeter offers a different appearance and eye appeal.
It may be an all-black affair but for most studio environments you won’t be looking for pizzaz but rather performance. And in that department, the T5V delivers in spades.
The T5V is narrow but quite deep.
Moving beyond appearance there are other notable design decisions worth highlighting.
The most obvious is the rear-facing bass port. Smaller monitors are best suited for smaller studios. And most smaller studios offer minimal options when it comes to workstation positioning.
Generally, this results in tables up against walls which is an issue when it comes to monitor placement. Bass build-up is common with rear-facing ports against walls.
These monitors perform best when at least a foot away from a wall. For a smaller studio space that may not exactly be practical. How much this may be an issue for you will depend on your studio space. But it is worth highlighting.
Other little nitpicks include the power indicator on the back of the monitor. A place where you’ll never see it. Volume control is also on the back panel but this isn’t that unusual for studio monitors. However, it still makes it a little awkward to adjust the volume. There is also a lack of an indent at the zero position.
These are very minor gripes and nitpicks and are not dealbreakers in any way. Overall, the T5V looks and plays the part exceptionally well.
The ADAM Audio T5V is a great choice for smaller spaces. The slim width allows you to comfortably fit these into your studio. They are a little deep though which once again makes it a challenge to keep these away from walls.
The T5V offers a slim front profile.
I’ve already mentioned the weight at 12.6 lbs. (5.7 kg). I like this weight range of studio monitors. It provides a good amount of stability. But not heavy and cumbersome to move if the need arises.
On the connectivity side of things, I like the direction ADAM Audio has taken. You’ll have access to two connection points. A balanced XLR point and an unbalanced RCA point. But I especially appreciate the switch between the two sources. It keeps audio signals in check dependent on the input source.
The T5V features two connection options.
For most studio situations these connection points will be enough. But the lack of a TRS may be a dealbreaker for some.
As with any high-quality studio monitors, don’t expect any further connection options. The T5V doesn’t offer a headphone port or Bluetooth.
Setting up a studio isn’t a cheap adventure. You have loads of gear to buy. And far too many times I’ve seen people skimp when it comes to their monitors. Often resulting in regrets in the longer term.
The value offering here is one of the strongest elements of the T series from ADAM Audio. Advanced and capable technology without a big-ticket price tag. A rare feat and extremely appealing to budget-conscious buyers.
If you don’t have the resources to invest in more expensive monitors the T5V is a great entry point. High audio and build quality at a very reasonable price.
The ADAM Audio T5V is among the most highly rated entry-level monitors available today. Countless 5-star reviews. Even professionals have lauded the praises of this nimble yet powerful studio monitor. And with a bag full of awards up its sleeve there is no doubt the T5V is a firm favorite.
Minimizing Bass Build Up
Rear firing bass ports like the one on the T5V can cause issues in some studio setups. But unfortunately, there will be times when you won’t have many options except to place your monitors near a wall.
This will lead to bass build-up which can make it difficult to make accurate assessments. Where possible the easiest solution is to adjust your studio space to give enough room for your monitors.
But if this is not possible there are a few things you can do to smooth things out. The first is to adjust the tuning on your monitors to bring the low-end response down a bit. Often, this may be all you’ll need to do.
If you still experience issues you can look at investing in bass traps. These acoustic foam panels help diffuse lower frequencies. The result is cleaner and tighter bass without excessive build-up.
Between these two tactics, you can enjoy your rear-firing monitors in smaller studios without bass build-up.
There are several great 5-inch studio monitors available today. Below are some other options worth adding to your shortlist.
KRK Rokit 5 G4 Review
The iconic yellow and black styling of the KRK Rokit series has been a staple choice for many years. This latest generation ups the ante with some great new features.
- High build quality and impressive sound.
- Detailed tuning options make it a very versatile monitor.
- Balance and tonality are not as refined as the T5V.
KRK Rokit 5 G4
Kali Audio IN-5 Review
The relative newcomer to the scene has come out of the gates with an impressive showing. Backed by years of industry experience in its ranks the IN-5 is a worthy 5-inch monitor option.
- A very precise and accurate response across the full frequency range.
- Excellent build quality and value for money.
- The analytical sound may not be ideal for casual listening.
Kali Audio IN-5
Mackie CR5-XBT Review
If you are looking for a cheaper alternative with extra features the CR5-XBT is worth considering. While not the most accurate monitor it is more than capable of light studio work.
- Satisfying sound profile that is relatively flat but lacks precision.
- Attractive design and extra features like Bluetooth and front-facing headphone jack.
- The audio quality is not as good when streaming over Bluetooth.
Should You Buy?
ADAM Audio continues its stellar run of delivering serious gear for your studio. Initially, I was apprehensive of what an entry-level offering from them would offer. But any reservations I had were instantly dispelled.
The T5V is among the very best studio monitors in this price range. Exceptional sound with plenty of depth and precision. Excellent build quality and a striking appearance that blends well into any studio.
If you want a powerful and capable studio monitor the ADAM Audio T5V should be high on your list of options.
Adam Audio T5V