ADAM Audio is one of those brands that is mostly associated with high-end speakers. Even so, they do offer a few ‘affordable' models that have shown to be every bit as good as everyone expected. ADAM Audio F5 comes to mind, being among the most capable monitors under $500.
When discussing ADAM Audio designs, you just know that every single detail is there for a very good reason. Their F5 is full of such examples. Cabs are made of good MDF and feature a highly optimized design. This explains the slight bevel seen on the front panels. From a purely aesthetic point of view, F5 comes across as fairly minimalist. They have chosen a more or less standard black vinyl and individual surrounds for both drivers.
One thing you will notice immediately is just how compact these monitors are. ADAM Audio wanted to make something that is perfect for desktop use and that is exactly what they have accomplished. Those who aren't familiar with the brand might think that smaller size impedes the performance of this speaker. That is anything but true as we are about to find out a bit later.
Out of the box, the most interesting feature of the F5 is its tweeter. Most of the press you will find online states that it is a ribbon tweeter. That isn't quite the case. ADAM Audio's X-Art tweeters belong to a very rare air motion transformer class of drivers. This design is awesome on its own, but its performance implications are truly impressive.
The low-frequency driver comes in form of a 5″ unit that has a solid range despite its size. Max power is set at 50 Watts RMS, which is enough for the speakers to hit max SPL of 106dB combined. In terms of acoustic adjustments, you have a 2-band EQ paired with a high pass filter. ADAM Audio went even so far as to include an auto standby mode, which greatly reduces the power consumption when you're not using these monitors.
In terms of performance, ADAM Audio's F5 monitors are pretty unique. These are among the flattest speakers you will find in this segment of the market. Those X-Art tweeters are partially responsible for this. For starters, their upper limit is 50 kHz with a very linear progression. Trebles are unlike anything a standard soft dome tweeter is capable of producing. They are tight, clinically accurate and incredibly organic in nature. Similar goes for mids. Having a 5″ low-frequency driver means that you won't really reach too far down in the lower end of the range, however, 52Hz is still plenty deep.
Overall, ADAM Audio F5 bring professional grade monitoring capabilities at a very reasonable price. You won't get a thumping bass, but that doesn't really matter much when you can hear every single detail in the mix, no matter how tiny or subtle.
ADAM Audio's F5 studio monitors are compact but extremely capable. Not only did they include their amazing X-Art tweeters, but the entire design of F5 monitors is focused on optimal performance. Needless to say, this model is about as good as it gets in terms of monitoring in small studios.