Berlin’s Adam Audio company are primarily known for high-quality studio speakers. Their monitors, with their characteristic ribbon tweeters, can be found in countless studios across the globe and are renowned for their neutral and precise sound. With the Studio Pro SP-5, the innovative company aims to transfer these celebrated qualities to headphones. We have listened to what the resulting product has to say for itself to find out whether or not such a feat is even possible.
Unlike their studio monitors, where the ribbon tweeters are an obvious key selling feature, Adam Audio have opted for a relatively classic design with the SP-5, leaning very much toward a more conservative aesthetic. This arguably extends to the technical proficiency of the headphones, with the integrated 40mm drivers a common format and the 70 ohms lying firmly within the range of everyday studio headphones. Technical finesse comes to the forefront instead thanks to Adam Audio’s cooperation with Ultrasone, a business partnership that has endured since the very beginning of Adam Audio. Bavarian-based Ultrasone has contributed its patented S-Logic Plus technology to these headphones. If you read available information on this tech carefully, you’ll notice the stipulation that the acoustic “focal point” of the membrane does not point directly toward the auditory canal. Rather, it is shifted slightly along the axis, intending to give a more spatial sound. Certainly, the partnership between these two companies is a real North-South collaboration, with the SP-5 proudly presented with “Made in Germany” on the inside out of the headband.
As mentioned at the start of this review, the SP-5 shines with a pleasantly discreet appearance. It’s finished in matte black, accented only with “Adam Audio” and “S-Logic” branding. The loudspeakers can be pivoted 90 degrees, ensuring that the headphones can be stowed away in the high-quality carry bag that comes with each pair. A straight mini jack/mini jack cable and a spiral mini jack/jack cable are also included in the package. The desired cable is attached to the jack at the left of the headset, with bayonet locking for total security of connection. As a closed headphone design, the ear cups sit relatively firmly on the head, which can provide impressive external noise shielding. However, this also means that you might experience a slight degree of discomfort if wearing them for long periods.
I’ll keep it short: The Studio Pro SP-5 not only convinced me, but outright impressed me. This is mainly due to the fact that the headphones deliver top performance in all three core areas – frequency response, stereo resolution, plus dynamic/transient display. Firstly, there is the far-reach frequency spectrum. Manufacturer specification here is 8 Hz to 38 kHz. What’s more important about those impressive stats is that they’re also audible. You’re always left with the impression that the SP-5 clearly illuminates all corners of the spectrum. In regards to the overall tuning, the bass in particular – in contrast to many other studio headphones, which act rather discreetly here – gets a lot of attention, which adds to the listening pleasure. In higher frequencies, it’s a little more reserved but in such a way that nothing is missing. Rather, it results in a more “unstressed” sound character. All this takes place in a stereo field that’s as wide as it is resolved. The bold advertising statements of the S-Logic driver certainly aren’t hyperbole. The premier dynamics and crispness round out enjoyment of these headphones. All in all, the result is a sound that’s not only compact and differentiated, but also one that sounds extremely modern. Quality like this is rare for studio headphones. What’s more, due to its swivelling ear cups and closed design, there’s nothing to stop you from taking these studio headphones with you to the DJ booth.
The Studio Pro SP-5 is a grand debut for Adam Audio in the headphone market. You pay a high price for the privilege, but your money is well spent, with a solid device that offers incredible sound character and top-of-the-range precision in presentation. The headphones succeed in reconciling the two poles of neutrality and listening pleasure. It’s hoped that Adam Audio will throw an open version with similar qualities into the race at a later date, which will certainly be welcomed as the closed design can cause slight discomfort after long listening or production sessions.
Measurement ResultsMore measurement results
- Ear couplingOver-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)8 - 38.000 Hz
- Impedance76,9 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)95,69 dB
- Pressure averaged from big and small head796 g
- Weight with cable317 g
- Weight without cable290 g
- Cable length120 cm
What's in the box
- Coiled cable (6,3mm jack, 3m)
- Cable with 3.5mm jack (1.2m)
- Travel case
- developed in collaboration with Ultrasone
- S-Logic Plus Technology
- ULE Technology (magnetic shielding)
- 5 year warranty