Best Nearfield Studio Monitor: Adam A7X vs. Genelec 8010A

Martin Kristiansen

Martin Kristiansen

My name is Martin Kristiansen and I’m the founder and chief editor of HomeStudioIdeas.com. I’ve been playing, recording and producing music for the last 10 years.

Let’s break down two leaders in the nearfield studio monitor market — the Adam A7X and the Genelec 8010A — and find out the best option for producers and artists.


At a Glance

Let’s start with the Adam A7X nearfield monitor. This item is ADAM Audio’s most popular nearfield monitor, marketing it as one of the most balanced and versatile speakers available on the market. The A7X weighs 20.3 lbs. with HxWxD dimensions of 13.5 in. by 8 in. by 11 in.

The Genelec 8010A is a compact but surprisingly powerful nearfield studio monitor. Genelec was able to squeeze some impressive performance into such a small device. The 8010A weighs 3.3 lbs. with dimensions of 7 in. by 4 in. by 4 in.

I can tell you now that the Adam A7X is the superior product. But that doesn’t mean it’ll suit your every need. Both products are have their own strengths and weaknesses, and hopefully, we can find the right one for you.

The 8010A is at its best when you make use of its portability and power. A7X is superior in every way and the best option as a smaller monitor to put into your studio.

If you’re having trouble deciding which device to purchase, we’ll go more in-depth on the two products below, so keep reading to find out which one is the best for you.


Adam A7X Review

adam a7x
Adam A7X

The ADAM Audio A7X comes with an X-ART tweeter stuffed inside it, which produces top-notch, quality highs along with upper mids. The tweeter has a 50W Class AB amp powering it, and the bass/mid-woofer has a 100W PWM amp. The woofer ranges from 42 Hz to 2.5 kHz, producing a versatile range of sounds.

Operating the A7X for a long time fatigued me little compared to other products. I didn’t get tired of the device because of its X-ART technology within its tweeter. The tweeter also has been able to reproduce every detail of a sound put through it with incredible accuracy.

If you’re a sound engineer, producer or artist who wants the most accurate reproduction of your sounds, this studio monitor is for you.

Positive
  • Accurate reproduction of sounds across the entire audio spectrum.
  • Long listening periods become less tiring.
  • Comes with a five-year warranty with a full repair service.
Negatives
  • Not very portable due to its size.
  • No magnetic shielding around the woofer.

Genelec 8010A Review

genelec 8010a
Genelec 8010A

Employees created the Genelec 8010A for portability and quality sound production. A total of 50W powers the metal dome tweeter, and 80W supplies the woofer. With a frequency response ranging from 67 Hz to 25kHz and an SPL of 96 dB, the 8010A produces a surprisingly quality sound for its size and price.

At face value, you can see that the 8010A doesn’t have the best sound accuracy compared to other models. The main selling point, however, is that the sound quality is excellent for its compact size.

You can take this item anywhere: the bus, your closet or over to a friend’s house. If you’re a professional who is constantly on the move, this portable powerhouse of a monitor is for you.

Positive
  • Extremely portable and lightweight.
  • Versatile placement options.
  • Decent sound quality for its size.
Negatives
  • High volume exposes enclosure limitations.
  • No dynamic compressor for bass.
  • Crackles become apparent with sounds at lower decibel levels.


Side-by-Side Comparison

Now that we know what we’re working with, how do these two studio monitors compare to each other?

Connections and Controls

The kind of connections and controls that a monitor has are essential. A monitor with more connections means more functionality and versatility in setting up entire audio systems. The controls are also nice to have so you have more control over the speaker’s audio.

The Adam A7X features power and volume controls at the front of the speaker. I prefer to have controls in the front since it makes quick adjustments easy. There are additional controls on the back panel, including a gain for high frequencies and two shelf filters for high and low ones. A7X includes XLR(balanced) and RCA(unbalanced) connectors, which provide much-appreciated compatibility. The XLR-input allows you to connect the monitors to your audio interface with a 1/4″ TRS to XLR cable. This is the best option as it’s a balanced connection that eliminates noise and interference.

The Genelec 8010a has a power button on the rear panel, and an app controls most of its other functions. It also has room response controls above the power button on the back. These power the ISS disable, sensitivity (-10 dB), desktop control and bass tilt (-2 and -4 dB) options.

Adam Audio’s A7X monitor wins once again. I prefer the power and volume controls located on the front of the speaker. It gives me greater control over it. Another positive is the two connectors, which provide more options in setting up a sound system. Genelec’s 8010a had to skip out on these features to get its compact design.

The Tweeter and Woofer

In case you didn’t know, the tweeter is the smallest speaker on a studio monitor. The larger speaker is the woofer. The tweeter is responsible for producing sound in the higher frequencies of the music range. Conversely, the woofer produces sounds at lower frequencies.

Adam A7X’s tweeter has X-ART technology inside it, making it one of the best in audio reproduction. It also has a larger diaphragm area, increasing the dynamic range of the tweeter. The woofer in ADAM Audio’s monitors/speakers are all HexaCone. The HexaCone woofer prevents deformation and break-up resonances, producing the most accurate low-frequency sounds on the market.

Genelec’s 8010a has a 0.75-inch metal-dome tweeter and a three-inch woofer. The driver configuration combines these two with a pair of 25W Class-D amps. Despite its small size, it can produce sounds with high sound pressure. Unfortunately, it falls short when a sound with deep bass is played, but producers can remedy the distortion with a sub.

The clear winner in this review is the Adam A7X. Its tweeter and woofer have almost no downfall in terms of quality and can handle more sounds than the 8010a. Genelec’s monitor is still capable, so don’t let the second-place finish bother you too much if you want to purchase it.

Portability and Versatility

Portability and versatility can make or break a speaker for some people, depending on their needs. If you tend to move around and work in a variety of spaces, keep reading. Versatility in mounting options is also a good feature to have.

Adam’ A7X is small enough for artists to transport it from place to place, but it can get tiring when one does it frequently. It’s also on the heavier side, weighing 20.3 lbs., which doesn’t make it easier to carry. You can place the monitor in a vertical or horizontal setup, but if you go with a horizontal option, you’ll have to mirror it.

Genelec’s 8010a is built for portability and versatility with its Iso-Pod foot. It’s so small you can fit it in a backpack and take it practically anywhere. It also has a four-cornered rubber base providing anti-slip decoupling.

Along with the base, it also has a metal clip attachment that allows for aiming the monitor upward, straight or downward. An artist can mount the monitor on a variety of surfaces.

The Genelec 8010a wins when it comes to range of function. It is No. 1 in portability and versatility across the entire market. Even though some sound quality gets sacrificed here, its portability more than makes up for it. A7X doesn’t even come close in terms of the options that come with 8010a.


Adam A7X vs. Genelec 8010A: The Winner

Overall, the clear winner among these two nearfield studio monitors is the Adam Audio A7X monitor. There is a reason it is one of the most highly regarded studio monitors available for producers. It has quality features and an incredibly accurate playback of sounds.

The one downside I would say is its portability. It is quite a complex system, but if you ask me, it is worth the quality it brings to the table.

Genelec’s 8010A is still an excellent choice, and it is the more affordable option out of the two. Artists should not ignore the monitor’s quality considering its size. If you are a producer, engineer or artist constantly on the move, I recommend this studio monitor.

You can put a laptop and an 8010A in your backpack and travel across the country with it if you want. Part of the appeal of the compact size is that you can use the device so often. Many mobile producers will appreciate this device.

If you have a decent studio right now and are looking to upgrade your monitors, I cannot recommend the ADAM Audio A7X enough. You will immediately tell the difference in quality as soon as you hook it up. It’s a powerhouse of a studio monitor that was worth every penny, and it has truly earned its spot as one of the best studio monitors available.

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