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Equator Audio D8 Monitor Review

equator audio d8 review

TL;DR:

Equator Audio D8 Review. The D8 digital active monitor speakers are an affordable approach to monitoring audio in the recording studio control room and are adorned with an LED sweet spot guide system.


Review Preface:

As we begin a new year, here at The Pro Audio Web Blog we have been itching to bring you another Equator Audio monitor speaker review. Having previously rated the coaxial D5s with a full five star rating, the release of the flagship D8’s was something that filled us with excitement. In fact shortly after receiving this model, we were totally convinced that they were worthy of being held to the same pedigree, but just in a larger form factor and harbouring a massive eight inch driver.


Build Quality:

Solid, sturdy and functional are most definitely three words that define the D8s. They still feature a similar design to the D5’s, and clearly stand a hell of a time in semi-professional studios. Needless to say, they still contain the same digital circuitry, and alignment LED’s, which are very handy for locating the sweet spot fast.


With an MDF housing, and plastic precision tuned fanned front firing bass reflex port, the D8s appear to be both sonically and structurally sound with a nice dark-grey vinyl finish. Furthermore, as you would expect, the two-way crossover coaxial design consists of an eight-inch paper composite woofer, coupled with a centre aligned silk dome tweeter. Both of these components are unprotected (without a grille), but, like the rest of the design ethos, they are engineered to a premium quality and unremarkable.


Now turning our attention to the rear, the D8’s have everything that you would expect from a pair of professional active studio monitors. This includes; a balanced XLR input, balanced TRS jack input, and unbalanced ¼” jack input. In order to help musicians further, Equator Audio has included a small set of adjustable boundary controls that are actually very effective. These controls allow optimisation of frequency response in conjunction with placement of the monitor in the studio, and if you are placing these monitors close up against the wall, the front firing bass reflex port helps to eliminate issues, as does adjusting the boundary setting to ‘1’.


Sound Quality:

The crisp clear and defined detail that we received via the D5’s has very much been transcribed across to the D8’s with accuracy. The mids seem to shine out, with a smoothness rather than sharp harshness, even at higher volumes. However, the high frequencies do become slightly brittle when pushed, but still perform admirably at comfortable mix volumes.


So what has the larger driver brought us? A punch that's what! The D8’s have a larger mid-bass driver that is perfectly tuned to push out a low end that is clear, and is a pleasure to work with. It doesn't seem to colour or favor the low end, not at all, it just defines that area of the spectrum with a precise nature that all engineers will find technically useful in the mixing process. The tech-specks boast a 44Hz to 20KHz response and detail is maintained from top to bottom.


Review Conclusion:

Our conclusion is simple… These are some of the strongest sounding most sonically beautiful monitors in their low-mid price range. The D8’s certainly are not aesthetically pleasing, but the projection of sound mixed with a fluid neutral frequency response is what it is all about. So, as you would guess, The Pro Audio Web Blog proudly awards the Equator Audio D8’s with four-and-a-half stars.


Chris Pavey

Chris Pavey - 19th January 2014

US RRP: $777.00 | UK RRP: £649.00

Editors Rating:

Four and a Half Star Award
Equator Audio D8
4.5/5 stars
Equator Audio D8 Review. The D8 digital active monitor speakers are an affordable approach to monitoring audio in the recording studio control room and are adorned with an LED sweet spot guide system.