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Eve Audio SC305 Studio Monitor Review

Rate this Speaker

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 11 15.7%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 40 57.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 18 25.7%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 1 1.4%

  • Total voters
    70

amirm

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This is a review, listening tests and measurements of the Eve Audio SC305 studio monitor (powered speaker). It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $999.
Eve Audio SC305 3-way studio monitor speaker Review.jpg

You may think this is an MTM configuration but it is not. It is actually a 3-way speaker with one of the woofers playing down low like a small sub. As such, there are three amplifiers. You can choose which woofer is playing the major role and which is acting like a "sub." The front volume control and lets you setup a handful of parameters. Kind of hard to navigate but does the job. The LED ring around it is "smart" and changes function based on what it is showing.

Eve Audio SC305 3-way studio monitor speaker Back Panel Review.jpg


As you see, the ports are in the back. Even though this is a DSP speaker, it doesn't have digital input which is a bit of a shame.

Back to the controls, the LEDs flash when the input level is too high which is very useful. It lets you know when the ADC is being overloaded which can create nasty distortions. Most speakers have clipping indicator for the amp. That would be useful was well.

The grill in front of the tweeter is magnetic and can be removed and rotated. Company said it makes no difference so I left it in place although measurements may indicate you should remove it.

Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than an anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

Eve Audio SC305 Measurements
Let's start as usual with our frequency response measurements:
Eve Audio SC305 3-way studio monitor speaker Frequency Response Measurements.png


I was surprised to see the variations in different regions as the company data shows almost ruler flat response. Looking more carefully, their measurements are smoothed to just 1/6th octave which would have that effect. There is large directivity error when the tweeter kicks in around 3 kHz which I forgot to note on the graph. And we have a bit of bass boost. Maybe that was put in there to counteract the resonances around crossover region.

Digging into individual driver response using near-field measurements shows the reason behind some of the response errors:

Eve Audio SC305 3-way studio monitor speaker Driver Frequency Response Measurements.png


We see two distinct port/cabinet resonances. Good news there is that the port is facing back so as long as you don't put it near a wall (or put some 4+ inch absorber there), it should not have a ton of impact. The two woofers and tweeter go after each other in the crossover region especially since their roll off is not very good to avoid driver resonances/break up.

There is a sinusoidal response in tweeter which also shows up in my anechoic measurements. I am wondering if the grill is causing that.

Interestingly the early window reflections are a bit smoother:
Eve Audio SC305 3-way studio monitor speaker Near-field Frequency Response Measurements.png


Predicted in-room response for far-field listening shows a better picture than on-axis:
Eve Audio SC305 3-way studio monitor speaker Predicted in-room Frequency Response Measurements.png


Separation of low bass into its own driver/amp plays dividends in very low bass distortion:
Eve Audio SC305 3-way studio monitor speaker THD Distortion Measurements.png


Eve Audio SC305 3-way studio monitor speaker Relative THD Distortion Measurements.png


The peaks in 3 to 7 kHz may be tweeter or woofers still playing. Either way, like to see that gone or lowered.

Beam width is highly variable which is disappointing. This is likely due to interference between the dual driver and directivity mismatch with the tweeter:

Eve Audio SC305 3-way studio monitor speaker Beamwidth Response Measurements.png


Same but as heatmap:
Eve Audio SC305 3-way studio monitor speaker Horizontal Directivity Response Measurements.png


Vertically is actually smoother:
Eve Audio SC305 3-way studio monitor speaker Vertical Directivity Response Measurements.png


The waterfall shows the usual resonances:
Eve Audio SC305 3-way studio monitor speaker CSD Waterfall Measurements.png


Finally for fans of step function:
Eve Audio SC305 3-way studio monitor speaker Step Response Measurements.png


Eve Audio SC305 Listening Tests
I listened to the SC305 in my near-field setup. Listening distance is about 1 meter/3 to 4 feet. If you sit this close and certainly closer, you can easily hear the sound source being shifted to the left between tweeter and woofer (wonder if I should have made this the acoustic center). The right woofer is playing the "sub" role and is essentially silent. So I suggest putting some distance between you and the speaker. Moving left and right at close distance does change tonality.

In this setup, I found the sound to be pretty good. It was only after I EQed the 3 kHz region that I realized it was a bit hot there, making female vocals to stand out more than they should. I could detect some distortion at very elevated levels in high frequencies. Then again, the overall dynamics are excellent with none of the fall of the cliff that you get with monitors in this size. Because the very low frequencies are separated, the main mid-woofer barely gets distorted and even then, you can only tell if you block the tweeter with your hand as I did. I really, really like this as nothing makes me unhappy with a speaker than it running out of power/excursion.

Back to EQ, this is what I tried:
Eve Audio SC305 3-way studio monitor speaker Equalization.png


The one at 2.4 kHz is necessary although in short-term listening and depending on content, you may prefer otherwise. The one at 700 Hz seemed to make no effect due to its narrowness. I left it in there as I "thought" it reduced distortion in a hair. So really, you can listen without any filters or just the one. The variations in the graph are too fine to be very audible.

Conclusions
Nice to see some variation in design of powered speakers. Having the very low frequencies play in a sperate driver+amp, is a good idea. Having it then interfere with the other drivers higher up, isn't. I think the trade off is a positive one due to my sensitivity when it comes to distortion. To get 3-way monitor without this issue will cost you a lot more than SC305. Overall, this is a nice, compact speaker with good performance.

I am going to recommend Eve Audio SC305.

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As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

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617

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Kali In5 or In8 on its side is surely superior.
 

trcloud

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I did felt the highs are bit less dynamic. This level of distortion for a hi drive unit that “supposedly” should be low distortion is disappointing though.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Kali In5 or In8 on its side is surely superior.
Surely not. :) Those speakers distort audibly a lot more. And the IN8 that I measured is no more smooth than this.

index.php
 

BrokenEnglishGuy

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Kali In5 or In8 on its side is surely superior.
Also the extension is clearly better on Kali.

I have listened these design, this like the A77X have that bad directivity mess.

Even amir hear that issue '' you can easily hear the sound source being shifted to the left between tweeter and woofer '' to me that thing alone deserve a ''headless panther''. Also the high distortion vs bass output ( lowering the bass extension output for looking better in the 86dB graph doesn't fool me. )
Here is the kali graph.
Surely not. :) Those speakers distort audibly a lot more. And the IN8 that I measured is no more smooth than this.

index.php
 
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amirm

amirm

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Great review, it leaves me perplexed. The reflex tuning seems to be around 50 Hz, so it is not a real sub-woofer, as the 20-40 Hz octave is MIA. Cabinet resonances are very bad between 1 and 2 kHz. At a similar price I can get a Genelec 8030C with better overall performance.
That's why I put "sub" in quotes. It is not a real sub but plays the same role for say, a 2-way speaker in bringing up lower end.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Even amir hear that issue '' you can easily hear the sound source being shifted to the left between tweeter and woofer '' to me that thing alone deserve a ''headless panther''.
Why? It is no different than a 2-way monitor on its side plus a little "sub" to its right. The only reason I noted it is that your eye wants to tell you the sound comes from center and it does not.
 

Cars-N-Cans

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Really bizarre design to basically put a 2.5 way speaker on its side so you get to hear the part of it's dispersion that's a bit off, while the ceiling and floor get to listen to "nice" sound. I can see making it squat might make it easier to put on top of consoles. Its intriguing and different, but the woofer breakup and the chewy directivity might be an issue after a while if you had to live with it. I get the feeling it would be one of those speakers where it sounds really good some times, and other times you really wish it didn't do this or that when using it.
 
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Cars-N-Cans

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Even amir hear that issue '' you can easily hear the sound source being shifted to the left between tweeter and woofer '' to me that thing alone deserve a ''headless panther''. Also the high distortion vs bass output ( lowering the bass extension output for looking better in the 86dB graph doesn't fool me. )
Here is the kali graph.
From the looks of it the AMT doesn't take over until about 3 kHz, meaning the spatial cues are split between the mid-woofer and the tweeter, causing image shift. Would not be as much of an issue stood on-end, but then it gets kind of awkward being tall and narrow. It would work better as a true 3-way with a sub out back and just the mid-woofer and tweeter in the front, but then it looses some of its aesthetics and potential marketing appeal.
 

vkvedam

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Interesting configuration and arrangement for an MTM lookalike speaker :)
 

ctrl

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Wow! This is one of the worst designed BR speaker tested recently.

One should always keep in mind that Amir's near-field measurements of woofer and BR port almost correspond to a 2pi half-space measurement.
This means that the measured BR port frequency response still has to be corrected to 4pi free field conditions ("baffle-step correction", which will lower the bass frequency SPL).

The blue curve is the 4pi BR-Port frequency response plotted in Amir's near-field measurements. The BR-Port (and cabinet?) resonances in the 600-900Hz range have about 5dB higher SPL in the free field than the actual Helmholtz resonance of the BR tuning around 60Hz:

1664010028110.png

For a speaker that costs around 800€ each, the result is devastating.

In addition, there is the uneven radiation and the pronounced directivity mismatch at the transition from the woofer to the tweeter, as can be seen in the very uneven shape of the sound power DI in the 2-5kHz frequency range.
1664012137639.png
 
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heraldo_jones

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Is there any special reason (apart from the form factor) to prefer this above a "standard" active monitor?
Some monitors costing less than half of its price measure better.
One thing are the measurements and other the quailty of the drivers and how good they represent micro details. B&W 802 D1 measure far from flat but the level of detail you get are galaxies away from the 'flat kings' here aka Gens 8030 or Neumann KH120 ... and I can asure you have used all of them.
 
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