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.
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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.
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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:
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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:
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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:
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Predicted in-room response for far-field listening shows a better picture than on-axis:
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Separation of low bass into its own driver/amp plays dividends in very low bass distortion:
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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:
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Same but as heatmap:
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Vertically is actually smoother:
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The waterfall shows the usual resonances:
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Finally for fans of step function:
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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:
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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.
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.
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.
are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/