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APS COAX Active Studio Monitor

APS Audio COAX Active Studio Monitor

4.65 4.65 out of 5, based on 2 Reviews

I am a mixing engineer based in Brooklyn, New York. Here's my review for the APS Coax.

4th May 2015

APS Audio COAX Active Studio Monitor by matthew11490

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
APS COAX Active Studio Monitor

A few months back I heard some good feedbacks from peers about APS speakers. Therefore I approached APS and they sent me a pair of Coax and Aeon for demo. I wasn't sure what I am getting into at first. But as far as I know now, I ended up keeping them both, they helped my work in a tremendous way and I am grateful to have them.

I have been doing audio engineering for quite a while, worked in many great studios and worked on a lot of speakers. To name a few Yamaha, KRK, ATC, PMC, Focal, Dynaudio, Ausburger, Exigy, ADAMS, Barefoots, lipinski, JBL etc. I got very picky on speakers since I know what it takes to make it a good mixing speakers. I was using Yamaha ns-10, PMC two two 6 and a 10" sub to finish most of my work before I got the APSs.

First of all, I have to say APS customer service was superb, they are easy to reach and they explained patiently and took care of everything I worried.

I was told the Coax sounds like NS10 with better imaging, faster transient response and clearer.
When I first got the APS Coax, The build quality was superb, mine was in ebony cabinet, it was elegant. It was quilt heavy considering the small size. It is almost twice as deep as the NS10. height and width are similar.

When I first listened to it, it was much brighter than what I expect as an "NS10" type of speaker. I ended up lowering the high frequency by 1.5db otherwise I got fatigue very quickly.

After some discussion with the folks in APS, I let the speaker to run a few weeks to "warm it up" before I draw any conclusion.

After a few weeks warming it up, I did couple of mixing recently with it.

Here's my thought about it:

I tried them in various position, and they all worked well, doesn't matter I put them wide or narrow, ear level, higher/lower than ear level, just like my pmc, they don't have dramatic change in tone and color even if you move your listening position. This is great.

It was less harsh and bright than when I first got it. It's still bright but in a way "airy" bright just like my PMC twotwo6, very smooth high end, I don't have to roll off some high frequency anymore when I work on it.

The stereo image is very wide and clear, it's simply amazing, I put them roughly 2ft away, woofers on the outside, i felt like they were 4-5ft away. Totally great and suitable to small spaces where you cannot put monitors further apart to get a proper stereo image. I used to have problems with speaker putting too close to the center and the mix was translated narrow as a result.

Frequency response was similar to an NS10, the lows gradually roll off around 60hz, you can hear 60-70hz more clear (due to coaxial design I expect) and define than the NS10. The different would be the Coax has much better highs, you can hear 15-20khz without an issue.

Transient response is really quick. Great for playback but maybe not great for mixing as it might deceive you to think your drum sounds good enough.

After using it for couple of mixes, I realized a few things that Coax really stand out.
It sounds better than my PMC two two6 in a way that it has more mid range instead of scooped mid range like PMC two two 6. Other than that I found them really close in terms of sound quality, depth of the sound (reverb, delay etc), revealing small details of the mixes. For the price of Coax, I will pick it over anything else.
I found Coax is great for revealing 500-700hz and 3-5khz of the mix, I was able to pick up some problem in those area on Coax than on other speakers.
Another thing is nowadays I do all the automation especially vocal volume ride on Coax exclusively. The Coax is so responsive that I could hear very small dynamic changes (like a db or so) and I could make decision to smooth it out and make better decisions on riding the vocal so it sit in the mix better. To me this is another factors that surprise me.

If you haven't try it, you should. Coax is a great upgrade of near field. I wish APS would make a bigger model of Coax that has a deeper low end like Aeons and perhaps maybe 0.5-1db lower in the high end, that would be dream.

P.S. After I recommended APS to the studio I am currently working in, and they are happy with the AEON they got and expecting a pair of Coax soon.

  • 4
2 weeks ago

APS Audio COAX Active Studio Monitor by ilias

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 3 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
APS COAX Active Studio Monitor

I've been always interested to find great gear without breaking the bank.

Before buying these speakers, i have been working with Focal Solo6, before that i was with CMS50 and the CMS Focal Woofer. Also i have worked a lot a different studio with Focal SM9, SM8, Yamaha NS10, Yamaha HS7, Meyer Sound HD1, Avantone Mix Cubes and Adam A7x.

After understanding that my focals (solo6) sound very beautiful by themselves but they don't translate so well everywhere and they have a hi-fi character i spend two weeks going to every store that they have speakers for demonstration with my laptop and soundcard to ask them to check each one very precisely. I have tested speakers from 300 euros - 2000 euros a piece. Then i went to Pro Audio Europe (Funky Junk in Paris) and the guys gave let me test multiple APS company speakers. First of all i have to say that this company is great. I immediately fell in love with the APS Coaxial. But i had a problem with the bass. That's why i complemented my system with the Sub. APS Coax + APS Sub 10. The result is magnificent. The guys from Funky Junk they loaned me the speakers for 1 month to test them at my place and this time i had to mix an album of classical music. I know it's forbidden to mix with new speakers when you don't know them well but i did tried it. Everything went great. After sending the album mixed at the mastering engineer he called me to give me congratulations for the work and he asked me what system i had! I think it always matters how to do you hear music and find the time to have the speaker that suits better to your hearing abilities.

Sound Quality:
I put 4/5 because i have heard also ATC and PSI speakers. So i can't really put a 5. But for their money they sound extraordinary good.

The only thing is that you must not hear a high level. They don't handle that well and it changes the balance in a bad way. Some ringing problems too might arrive. But if you hear in a mid level spl they are really great.

It's a very transparent speaker that also help you reveal problems.
a) The details you hear in the mids is incredible.
b) The way you hear the dynamics and space is so transparent, every single small change is immediatly audible. (When i changed after my Focals i went crazy from how many things i couldnt hear before in terms of dynamics and space).
c) The sound quality of the air in the highs is top notch.
d) Plus you have zero phase problems because they are coaxial, so your brain translates the music information much better.
You won't wake up the other morning and wanting to change everything at your mix. This **** is over with these speakers.
e) I really like to hear music also from these speakers. Especially, jazz, classical or world stuff. If you in acoustic stuff they are the perfect monitor for this price range.

Ease of use:
I don't like that the on/off button is behind, plus it's put in a different place from one speaker to the other. Not a symmetrical way. It's very disturbing in the start. Now I'm used to it.

High Cut filters and Volume knob is behind again (not easy) but the important thing is that they have fixed stable steps so you can't make a mistake with a different volume to one or the other speaker.

Band for Buck:
Amazing for that money. As i have described above in the story i didn't find anything close at this price range neither in x3 times more expensive for my taste.

I recommend these speakers with eyes closed if you're in acoustic music.
I can't speak for metal, hip hop, rock, pop, etc. the aesthetics are so different for what i'm used to hear and i can't work in projects like that, so i don't have an opinion. That's why I don't like to work with NS-10s, i do get why people like them so much for mixing. It's very useful if you're in pop rock stuff. The NS-10s are like auratones with better space translation. But I like to hear and mix music and get a pleasure at the same time, and have a speaker that translates. That's why i choose Aps Coax.

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