Genelec, based in Finland, has been around since the late 1970s as a manufacturer of active loudspeakers for professional-grade recording studios, broadcast, and movie production. They’ve upheld their reputation for decades, thanks to how well designed their products are, and the 8010A is no exception.
Our verdict on the Genelec 8010A
The Genelec 8010A is a superb monitor, and we can’t recommend it enough. It’s a wonderfully accurate speaker, and what’s more, is that it’s incredibly room friendly, and won’t have its performance hindered by placement. The speaker is small, compact, and while it is more expensive than your average pair of consumer studio monitors, we think it’s worth the expense.Check availability and current price: SweetwaterAmazon
Power and frequency response
The Genelec 8010A has a frequency response spanning from 74 Hz to 20 kHz (±2.5 dB), with -6 dB points at 67 Hz to 25 kHz. Also, despite their insanely small size, they’re capable of a max SPL of 96 dB!
All in all, these are true Genelec speakers, and while they may be lacking in heavy bass, they have excellent clarity and warmth to them, so clear that the low cutoff is practically inconsequential to the overall listening experience.
In fact, bass guitars and kick drums sound incredibly punchy, and far more focused than one would maybe expect from such a small monitor. What’s more is that the high-end is exceptionally smooth, which comes as a bit of a surprise considering the metal tweeters. Unlike most monitors with metal-tweeter designs, you can listen to the Genelecs for quite some time without having to worry about ear fatigue.
We do have one thing worth mentioning in regards to the max SPL of 96 dB, which is that these speakers suffer from a whole lot of harmonic distortion in the low end at high amplitudes. The amount of bass distortion present at 86 dB is downright unusable, so unfortunately we can’t say it’s a very practical option for louder listening. That being said, when listening at more moderate volumes, you simply can’t beat the 8010A.
The 8010As are built into the same aluminum casing as the larger 8000 Series monitors. They feel very sturdy, and thanks to their small size, we can see them being perfect for any mobile recording application. You won’t have to fear them getting tossed around in customs, and while we advise you don’t make a habit out of it, these speakers can take a bit of a beating (beating as in bumping around, not facing the brute force of a baseball bat).
I/O and controls
On the rear of the speakers, is a balanced XLR input. Power is supplied through a two-pin mains socket, considering that the monitors are too small to support an IEC connection. There are also some room correction switches right above the On/Off switch. Pretty much everything you need is attended for, so without much more to say, let’s move on.
Compared to other studio monitors
Before we finish up, here are some other monitors that might be worth your consideration that compare to the 8010As.
Genelec 8010A vs. Yamaha HS5
We understand why people would often look at the HS5s in conjunction with the 8010As, but the truth is that these monitors are pretty incomparable. Yes, the lack of low-end showcased from the Yamahas can be an ample reason for many to assume that there isn’t much of a difference between them and the Genelecs, and in a way, the comparison isn’t wrong. However, what you aren’t getting with the Yamahas is a neutral response. The Genelecs, on the other hand, while not ruler flat, are exceptionally transparent and warm. That’s why you’d spend the money in the first place.
Check out our full Yamaha HS5 review
Genelec 8010A vs. IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitor
These are an interesting set of monitors to be talking about, although the acclaim for the iLoud speakers has been pretty unanimous. They are fairly small, being a 3″ speaker just as the 8010As, but crazily enough can reach down to 50 Hz. They also have Bluetooth capabilities, which is odd, but we take it as a sign of the demographic these monitors are meant to cater to, as no professional audio engineer has ever been wishing for their speakers to connect to Bluetooth. They’re moderately priced, but again, you won’t be getting the same clarity as with the Genelecs.
Genelec 8010A vs. Genelec 8320A
We’ll try not bore you with too much information, but the most you need to know is that the 8320A is essentially the next step up from the 8010A. They’re a bit bigger, the frequency response a bit wider, and they cost roughly twice as much. As far as we’re concerned, there’s no reason not to opt for the 8320As if you have the means, but if not, the 8010As are just as good for what you get.