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ADAM Audio Studio Pro SP-5 - Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by John Culter, Oct 1, 2018.
  1. John Culter
    ADAM Audio is launching first professional studio headphones: ADAM Audio Studio Pro SP-5!


    > Closed back, cirumaural headphone with detachable cable
    > Gold plated 40 mm transducer
    > Impedance: 70 Ohm
    > Frequency Response: 8 Hz - 38 kHz
    > Sensivity @ 1 mW per ear: 95 dB
    > S-LOGIC ® Plus technology


    The ADAM Audio STUDIO PRO SP-5 is a premium-quality circumaural closed-back headphone designed for professional use with a balanced and dynamic response for monitoring and mixing in the studio or with a mobile setup.


    The ADAM SP-5’s transducers contain a 40 mm gold plated diaphragm allowing a wide frequency response from 8 Hz to 38 kHz, excellent transient response, and low distortion. Reproducing sound with pristine resolution across the entire bandwidth, the sensitivity of 95 dB @ 1 mW per ear enables the listener to exploit its generous dynamic capabilities when listening.


    The ADAM SP-5 utilizes Ultrasone’s patented S-LOGIC ® Plus technology, allowing excellent analysis of the sound staging and long hours of fatigue-free listening. Isolating padding and a total weight of just 290 grams give maximum wearing comfort with these professional studio headphones.


    With an impedance of 70 Ohms and interchangeable cables (3 m spiral cable with gold-plated 6.3 mm jack and 1.2 m straight cable with gold-plated 3.5 mm jack included), the ADAM SP-5 is suitable both for usage in any studio environment as well as mobile setups. A rugged case protects the headphones from being damaged when not in use and during travel. The ADAM SP-5 is hand-crafted in Germany.

    Designed and manufactured in collaboration with Ultrasone, the ADAM SP-5 headphones were engineered with a specific goal in mind — to allow professional musicians, producers and engineers access to a portable form of monitoring with the excellent transient response and tonal balance of ADAM Audio’s professional monitor speakers.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
    nick n likes this.
  2. FastAndClean
    that ultrasone rebranded piece of plastic is not a premium headphone, the cheap chunky headband has a bear trap grip, the sound of most ultrasones. . . well is not worth mentioning it
  3. John Culter
    Review by Streaky

  4. Roderick
    ha! Before reading it I actually thought they had rebranded $20 tascam. :D tascam_th_02_b_th_02_studio_headphones_black_984500.jpg
    PaganDL likes this.
  5. nick n
    Looks a lot like the DXP housing.
    If this is an update to the HFI-680 which has similar enough specs with the 40mm gold plated drivers, it is likely to be excellent.
    Though obviously they may have tuned these slightly different.
    The 680 has clean ( tested ) linear low end to the depths of the earth.
    Well sure the headband assembly is similar across their line, but they seem meant for rugged use and will likely take some abuse.

    No problem with clamping force here and the improved headband padding vs the older series of Sones would be ideal.
    If I did not have the HFI-680 already these would be on my radar.
    S-logic doesn't seem to work for everyone there which is too bad.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
  6. Roderick
    I don't mind plastic when there is a reason for it. It is perfectly fine for studio headphones. Also for mobile use it is ok because folding mechanisms made of alloys tend to break so often. Or atleast seems like they do. I'm sure Adam/ultrasone can take a beating.

    I just wish ultrasone would have used a own fresh design. That is of course just my my opinion. It's like they have two different design teams. One that designs some of the most beautifull headphones ever and other team that just uses same off the shelf parts as every other cheap manufacturer.

    Can't comment on ultrasones for their sound. I like some weird headphones so I could well enjoy s-logic. Only ultrasone I've ever had is hfi 15g. I think it was too small to benefit from s-logic.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
  7. FullBright1
    I'll pick these up, listen, and judge, and hopefully share a short review with you following my encounter.
    I can tell you that im not a fan of the Ultrasone "house sound" as i generally find their idea of treble reproduction to be very undesirable.
    However, Their "S-Logic Plus" application has always sounded to me, in theory, like a great idea, so, i hope the tuning of these cans will allow me to actually love them.
    So, Time will tell, as time is the great revealer.
    Till then, = posted below is the only review that ive found of the Adam SP-5 that offers anything worth reading.
    And, i will say that the review is written by a professional who IS a fan of Adam Audio products...
    Does this make him a fanboy?......Not necessarily.
    I also own Adam Audio monitors, and im not a fangirl...... I just like them.
    Same as i lke Dnyaudio and others.
    Good is good,.... and its only the flavor of the sound that is slightly changed, at a certain price point at the professional level.
    So, i have high hopes for these headphones.

    ADAM Audio Release New Studio Pro SP-5 Headphones - Our First Listen & Impressions

    Our friends at ADAM Audio, makers of some of the best sounding studio monitors around, have just released a new product in their premium studio monitoring range, the Studio Pro SP-5 headphones.

    The Studio Pro SP-5 headphones are closed-backed that ADAMS say delivers a smooth and balanced sound across abroad frequency spectrum from 8 Hz to 38 kHz.

    Here’s what ADAM Audio have to say about the SP-5 headphones:

    “Its sound characteristics are best described as analytically precise, being developed to satisfy the exacting demands of pro audio monitoring and mixing. This premium headphone integrates Ultrasone´s S-LOGIC technology, employing transducers spatially arranged to exploit the natural form of the human ear and utilizing the natural acoustics of the wearer’s pinna to channel sound into the ear canal. The result is a superbly natural sound experience with startlingly realistic spatial imaging of a quality typical of a stereo monitoring system installed and calibrated by experts. This system makes mixing on the SP-5 easier than on traditional headphone designs that simply point directly at the ear canal.”

    Main Features:
    • Closed back, cirumaural headphone with detachable cable

    • Gold plated 40 mm transducer

    • Impedance: 70 Ohm

    • Frequency Response: 8 Hz - 38 kHz

    • Sensitivity @ 1 mW per ear: 95 dB

    • S-LOGIC ® Plus technology
    Another advantage of headphones deploying S-LOGIC technology is that they require less SPL to deliver the same subjectively experienced volume. This reduces distortion artefacts and avoids listening fatigue, making the SP-5 an excellent choice for long mixing sessions. Great care has been taken to ensure that this headphone is comfortable to wear for extended periods.

    ADAM Audio developed the SP-5 in collaboration with the Bavarian company Ultrasone, a manufacturer famed for its decades of experience in first-class quality headphones ‘Made in Germany’. ADAM Audio’s speaker technology experts put the transducers selected for the SP-5 through an intensive re-voicing process to give the SP-5 its own special character that mirrors the unmistakably precise ADAM Audio sound.

    ADAM Audio CEO Christian Hellinger explains:

    “We’re very pleased to have worked with such a renowned industry partner to offer our first ADAM Audio headphone. Our collaboration has produced a headphone that fits perfectly into ADAM Audio’s range of reference-class monitors and follows the same objectives of providing ultra-precise reproduction of audio material while avoiding hearing fatigue.

    The ADAM Audio Studio Pro SP-5 is available to buy today.

    Pricing: £499

    What We Think Of The SP-5 Headphones :

    Pro Tools Expert partnered with ADAM Audio recently to host an S-Series monitor listening event at Miloco studios in London. Pro Tools Expert Deputy Editor Dan Cooper was the guest presenter for the evening. Dan was given the opportunity to listen to the new SP-5. Below are Dan’s first impressions:

    "The first thing I noticed about the SP-5 headphones when I picked up them up was the strong build quality, these are, without doubt, a premium product to the touch. They feel nicely weighted both in the hand and on the head. The isolation ear pads are by far the most impressive I’ve ever worn. They do a great job of keeping ambient noise out, I dare say these headphones are close to the performance of noise canceling headphones. Th SP-5s felt quite tight on the head but it wasn’t uncomfortable. Tight cans aren’t bad in my opinion, I like to think of “tight headphones” as “secure headphones”.

    Let’s get on to the million dollar question, how do the SP-5 headphones sound? I listened to 5 of my own mixes, all of these were mixed through my ADAM monitors. The first thing I noticed was a a definition in the low-end that I have not heard in headphones before. I could hear subtle sub bass that I had mixed in my studio (that has an ADAM Audio sub8 in) that I have not heard translate in other studio headphones I own. Overall the sound is very balanced, even, detailed and crisp. Could I mix with these? Yes but I’d rather track with them as the isolation is incredible."

    We’ll get a set in for review soon so that we can test these in some mixing and mastering applications.

    Visit ADAM Audio for more information.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
  8. FullBright1
    Final Revision : 10 : 20 : 2018

    Ok, I have the Adam Studio Pro's strapped on my head.

    Arrived about 40 mins ago.
    Thank you FDX and Sweetwater Sound.

    Wanted to give you first impressions, as im not a true believer in "burn in", as i have experienced ZERO improvement with most headphones and a limited improvement with a few, over time of use.
    Some swear by it, and thats fine,... so you keep swearing,... and i'll keep saying what i just wrote.
    My opinion is that if it sounds BAD right out of the box, then burning it in is just a "mind game" device being played on you, for the most part, in general, by some creators of these products who hope that by the time you have them on for 150-200 hrs, you will have forgotten you have the option to send them back.

    Im now switching to Random, "off the cuff", comment mode, vs, trying to do an incredibly organized sounding review, as in the end, you only want to know about.:

    1. Build
    2. Comfort
    3. Sound
    4. Bass & Treble & Mids

    1.) Build Quality : is , functional,..... headphones are.... "decent plus +"... regarding how you will feel if you buy them and upon first unboxing look, as you won't call these "feel and look like super high end quality".. as they have a lot of hard plastic involved in their frame.
    2.) I would suggest that they have a similar aesthetic look of BeoPlay H6's, if that set of headphones was 90% plastic, as these are not a large headphone, as the 40mm Drivers & Design didnt allow for a larger cup, apparently.
    3.) Packaging : is Beyerdynamic unimpressive-like,.... but the zippered case is ok, and you get (2) the coiled cord and the shorter straight cord, both with Gold plug ins, and you plug in, twist, and you are pretty much locked and loaded.
    4.) Headband is comfy after you pass the 15 min mark, and the headphones, which are quite light, don't disappear once they are strapped on but after 15 mins there is a minor upgrade in comfort as they adapt to your head's shape.
    5.) Ear Cups ??? Interesting, as they are hard, and are not what you would describe as shallow or deep, and they will not make large ears extremely happy. You will want to get softer cups, or, i predict you will suffer the consequence, as by the 2nd day i had these, they hurt my ears.
    Now, i could adjust and try to compensate, but, unless you want to take a chance on bending the headband, these will feel too tight.
    I would describe the firm Cups as over the ears, but, not outstandingly so, and they will get warm if you are not sitting is a nice cool room with the AC involved in the summer.
    6.) Comfort on my head, that is use to larger heavier headphones..... i would rate as a 6.5
    This rating is solely based on the ear cups which do not sit in a friendly way on your ears and the clamping pressure of the band, which is unfortunate.

    Ok, lets get to the meat of the mini review, and find out if you want to get these.

    1.) Do they sound good?

    Yes, they are a $400 + dollar sound, and they do not drill holes into your eardrums using piercing treble as i was expecting to experience with this product based on a bit of prior frustrated history i have with the maker's other designs.
    These are not headphones you will return because the Treble is an Icepick inside your skull........no worries.
    But, they are absolutely not a relaxed top or a "rolled off" treble designed product, and they do not push the mids forward, and, they do not have a scooped sound, nor a U sound......they are quite balanced by good design, and overall their sound is North of neutral.
    Do you love the Audeze EL8's both closed and open?...Then dont buy these, as these are much more balanced and open sounding, and have a lot more treble response, and as compared to those, the mids are sterile and not nearly as warm.
    These are better then average regarding keeping outside sound out, tho not like Bose QC35's of course, but, they are fairly impressive in this area.
    Ill give you an example....When i use my 17" Macbook Pro Laptop (sitting in my lap) to play a CD, i can't hear the CD Drive spinning, or if i can, its so so so very slight.

    2.) Are these ADAM Headphones more for listening pleasure, or for mixing and tracking?

    I vote they are quite more interesting as a listening device then i had presumed before arrival, and they would probably suit a PRO who understands how to adapt to their headphones when mixing. So, if you are wanting to mix using closed, then these would be a very decent opportunity.

    3. ) Can you describe their sound and also, can you give us an idea about their sound ?

    I would describe their sound as being balanced, with a lot of crisp precision involved regarding how they portray instrument reproduction.
    Yes, they are accurate, and quite revealing, yet they are not a warm sounding headphone experience.
    The Adam's monitor house sound is crisp and airy, and these are exactly that in a headphone, with a nice bass response.

    4.) Do you feel "boxed in", and is the soundstage small?

    I don't have the feeling that im listening to a device that is making the music smaller or more shallow. So, this is a good sound design that pays attention to soundstage and instrument separation, and balance, and resolution.

    5.) How are the Mids?

    Very decent...Not scooped nor recessed., accurate, and with enough personalioty to satisfy the person who prefers acoustic guitar, folk music, and classical music.
    Similar to the Senn HD800's, these represent the brighter side of the sonic landscape which allows a lot of detail to be heard and enjoyed., tho this is not what everyone is going to love.

    6. ) How is the treble?.

    I would say these are created by a design soundsmithe who is not afraid to give you some treble, while understanding when the line between "crisp" and "sibilant" is being crossed, = so back off a little, go no farther, yet take it TO that line and do thyself no harm.
    I personally would rate their sound as crisp tho accurate, as they offer ample treble and provide a bass response that is very engaging.
    I feel that when you speak about "flat and neutral", you are dealing with losing too much bass and treble at the expense of getting the midrange very very very accurate.
    So, it becomes a trade off to get to "flat and neutral".
    These are, in general, sonically crisp and accurate, and are not midrange heavy or "U" shaped.

    7.) How is the Bass.???

    Ah.....ah.........hummmmm, well, have no fear, these are not Basshead cans, yet there is ample (more then Aeon Flow's or HD600s) , but, its kinda unique. Their low end gives the impression//sense of a small sub being involved in the sound room that these 2 cups are building around and inside your head. And that is the best way i know hoq to explain it.
    Let me just say that its not that you'll hear more bass response, but you'll notice a lower freq bass response that is in there and its very attractive.
    I think that most people who listen to these, will really like this feature, and find it unusual that a closed set of fairly inexpensive Cans can offer it.
    Bass is good here, have no fear.

    Should you buy them?
    You should if the thought of a very "crisp and airy" sound, does not drive you into a cold sweat and seizure.
    You could if you are able to deal with a very snug fit and ear cups that are firm and mildly uncomfortable.
    My "go to" headphones are usually Audeze X's, or HIFi Man HE500s, so, to my ears, as compared to those, these are a decent sonic match, and offer more treble then the Audeze X's, and i really like the Treble in the Audeze X's which are my favorite headphones.
    So, You should buy them if you can afford to have a lot of headphones and this is important to you, = that you keep finding more headphones to try...., or, if you are wanting a modestly uncomfortable closed set that sound good, and will allow you to mix and master your tunes with a very decent level of accuracy.
    Sonic Bang for Buck ratio regarding these Adams is a solid 7.9 for their sound, and a 6.5 for their overall comfort level.
    Not highly recommended due to their lack of comfort issue.

    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018
    volly, nick n and Roderick like this.
  9. nick n
    Thanks very much for taking the time to post this up.
    I liked how you can portray a great amount in such few words.
    Sounds like they really nailed the tuning.

    If the pads go south after a bit of use, or you feel the need to try them later, these are nice and soft and likely of similar dimensions as is mentioned over in the Usone DXP thread.
    Seller ships quite fast.
    Had to get some spares myself and thought I would mention it while I had the link.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018
    menuki likes this.
  10. FullBright1
    Hey Nick N.
    Glad you were able to use my mini review and found it helpful.
    And thank you for the link, as its always nice to know where to find extra pads.

    After i posted the mini review of the Adams, i continued to listen for a few hours.
    I have to say that they sounded better the longer i listened, and they do a possess a very prolific bass response that is admirable regarding its quality.
    These are unique , somewhat analytical, good sounding closed headphones, and as my ears adjusted more and more to NOT having on the Audeze X's, which are a very thick sounding, rich, sonic experience..... the more i listened to the Adams, the more i liked.
    Many people like to use new headphones to listen to all their favorite music, and these will be very effective for enjoying your favorite music again.
    I had stated yesterday that these have a snug fit, and everyone will say that, as its a fact.
    They are comfortably snug, and as long as you are not in a warm environment, they should be ok.
    So, im off to listen to them more.
    Thank again for the link.

    menuki and nick n like this.
  11. menuki
    Got these yesterday and so far I am actually impressed, especially by the soundstage.

    My only gripe, they do have a peak at about 10khz, which is evident when I run a sine sweep. Now, this peak is not actually noticeable in music, atleast not that I hear, but I would love to know if such a peak is common because I find it a bit weird.

    When I run the sine sweep, the sound is really balanced up until the 10khz mark where it just gets really loud.. Hmm. Would love to hear some opinions about that, I don't remember any headphone having such a peak.

    Also, if someone could compare them to ANY other Ultrasone Signature headphone, please go ahead, because I think I will also try the DJ or DXP, and I would go for the studio as well, but I read that they have less bass and I really enjoy the bass response of the Adams as is. :)

    EDIT: After about 20 hours of burn in and brain adjustment, the peak seems to have smoothed out, if its not just brain burn in after all. In any case, they actually begin to grow on me, a lot, as they sound downright fantastic I have to say. The soundstage is so wide even though they are closed and everthing sounds so defined. I begin to fall in love with the bass and the detail up top as well. So many details and subleties you can hear out with them.

    I will write a lot more about them after I listened more. I also ordered the Signature DJ and DXP to compare! If these don't have the same stellar mids and general definition I will keep the Adams and be very happy, but I am just too curios to not try and compare them atleast.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  12. Blinxat
    Would be interested in these, I loved the technical bass response of the Signature Studio, very textured in the bass, you could easily judge high bass, mid bass, low bass details. However otherwise the Sig. Studio was a bit unnatural in the mids for me and the treble response a little rough.
  13. axw
    Do they need a headphone amp or can be driven from DAPs and phones as well?
  14. menuki
    Even though they are rated at 70 omhs, they get plenty loud enough from my phone. I own the HUAWEI P20 Pro, so if you get the chance, just try em out!

    Just superb headphones by the way. The sound is so clean and clear it's incredible. I like the compactness of the sound and stereo imaging is just great.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2018
  15. Art Garfunkel
    When can we expect a retort from EVE Audio?

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