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Equator Audio D8 Active Nearfield Monitors

Equator Audio D8 - Pair

4.25 4.25 out of 5, based on 5 Reviews

Simply put, the best monitors money can buy under $1000.

12th November 2013

Equator Audio D8 - Pair by James O

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Equator Audio D8 Active Nearfield Monitors

In the fall of 2010, I was in the market for a pair of active near field monitors under $1000. Like any good GearSlut, I spent hours mining the seemingly endless threads and major magazine reviews about this particular market. Navigating that terrain can feel a bit overwhelming. Nevertheless, during my many travels on gear message boards, I've learned its far safer to trust ten people who say Product X does one thing really well rather than one person proclaiming Product X does ten things incredibly.

So when the Equator D5s became some of the best reviewed monitors on GearSlutz at any price, this lifelong skeptic took a leap of faith and purchased a pair from this (at the time) relatively unheard-of company. Like everybody else who heard these monitors, I was blown away by their midrange accuracy, detail, and spatial imaging, especially for the price.

Almost three years later, Equator released the D8, and being extremely satisfied with my D5s, I eagerly purchased a pair since bigger is always better, right? Of course it is! The D8's offer all the same qualities that made the D5's great but with extended bass response, higher SPL capability, and a new voicing control.

Many people already know the D5 and what makes them a great speaker so I won't rehash those details here. The question most of you probably are asking is "Is the extended bass worth the upgrade?" Well, it depends on you situation. Yes, you can hear the lower information on kick drums and bass instruments much, much better. But did the D8's suddenly transform into hyped fun boxes? Thankfully, no. Would the D8's still benefit from a subwoofer? Yes, but most top-of-the-line monitors do too. Plus, I think the new voicing controls are even more useful than the previous edition.

My one complaint about the D8's is they are not very attractive aesthetically. Let's face it, most clients don't know anything about gear but they know what a cool piece of gear looks like when they see it and unfortunately these speakers aren't winning any beauty contests. Perhaps their look is a part of the way Equator saves cost but I would have preferred solid black to the matte grey and perhaps a different font for the company name. A bit nitpicky but still important.

If your D5's serve mainly as a secondary reference or live in a space where the small footprint is essential, the D8's probably aren't worth the cash. But if you are looking for excellent monitors under $1000 and need high SPL capability with nearly full range response, the D8's should be your first choice. Even if your budget is around $1500, the D8's are worth a listen. After all, they come with a 60 day unconditional money back guarantee. And quick side note: the guys behind Equator are awesome and they provide excellent customer service.

've worked on and listened to nearly all of the D8's competitors: Yamaha HS80s, Mackie HR824s, MAudio BX8s, DynAudio BM6s, just about every KRK model, mid-level Adams, mid-level Focals and more. I would pick the D8's over any of those. Of course, much of monitor selection is personal preference (I've met plenty of mixers and producers who use mid-level monitors with bad reputations). But I personally prefer Equator's D8's because they are reliable, affordable, and are incredibly accurate for critical mixing situations. Would I rather have Barefoot Micromains or ProAc's? Sure. And I would love to ride a unicorn to work everyday rather than drive my car that sheds parts on the highway like a dog shedding hair before summer. But money doesn't grow on trees and even if it did I might use that money to buy a horse, gaff a waffle cone to its head, and keep rocking on my D8's.

  • 2
4th March 2015

Equator Audio D8 - Pair by aser

  • 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
Equator Audio D8 Active Nearfield Monitors

Recently I just purchased a pair of D8s, graduating up from my D5s after a few months.

I've been reading mixed descriptions online, so I spoke with Marty himself from Equator about the D8s. He tells me they are built the same as the D5s (same guts and internal parts), just larger and much more powerful.

If you want to mix or produce on a pair of speakers that let you hear pretty much everything in your mix, these are the speakers for you.

Just shot these out against a pair of naumanns, PMC 6s, and ATCs in two separate rooms, and they crush! Keep in mind the other monitors run up to 4x more $$

The monitors themselves add almost no extra flavour and are some of the best translating speakers from studio to car i've ever heard. They breathe so well and they have no crossover! Some people complain about high end issues in the 5s, well these have none of that whatsoever.

Nothing hides in your mix, and you'll be able to hear things you've never heard before on other peoples records and learn fast!!

If you weren't sure about the quality of these because they are such an amazing price for what you're getting, let me be the first to tell you you'll never be happier.

13th March 2017

Equator Audio D8 - Pair by Martel80

  • Sound Quality 2 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 1 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 1 out of 5
  • Overall: 2.25
Equator Audio D8 Active Nearfield Monitors

''Simply put, the best monitors money can buy under $1000''
Lets be clear about this.
''Simply put, the worst monitors money can buy under $1000''
The person that stated those monitors description need to get in touch with the semi-pro world. He would get better results with under 600$/pair monitors.

This review will be as factual as it could be, given the horrible experience I had with them, sonically but also with the customer service.

I bought a pair of D8 the 21st of febuary and received them the 6th of Mars.
To put it into context, I live in Montreal Canada and they were shipped from San Diego. So thats a 2 week trip for a same continent shipping.

I received them cracked, chipped and rusted ( see pictures attached ).
One of them was also dusty(I also took 2 little bread crumb out of the space in between the driver gasket and the plastic mount), the screws from the back panel AND front driver were also lacking paint like if it was opened or rebuilt/refurbished.

The lack of info/spec on their website for the monitors + the over-hyped reviews led me to think those monitors were full range referential material. Fact is, they are one step short of being 749$ USD funky box.
This (only available) description of the EQ features on their website ( and in the 1 folded sheet for that matter ) should have been a good warning of what I was getting into.
My fault.

Here's the funky description:
Position 3: the normally free standing position has a bell type dip centered at 150Hz (to bring down the mid-range overtones) and a general rise starting at 6500Hz.

Position 2: a flattening out of the 150Hz dip and a flattening out of the 6500Hz rise. Boundary position 2 is flat with no bass roll off.

Position 1: Position 2 with a 2.5 dB roll off from 1k down to 44Hz. (Appropriate for a wall position placement of the speaker).

Sonically, they sounded thiner then a pair of JBL LSR305.
At 82dba ( on my spl ) the ''suposed to be'' excellent mids were distorting .
The lows and mid-lows (300-30) felt like they were hidden way underneath the fuzzy mids.

Dynamically, they felt a tiny bit better then a pair of adam a5 but nothing spectacular. The Adam A5 on the other end had spectacular mid lows compared to the D8 but both sounded extremely boxy.

The sweet spot on an isosceles triangle of 4 feet gave me 3 inch , side to side, from the center position to get an appropriate mid/side translation.Further left or right and the mid were disapearing completely ( good job on the coax build...slow clap)
The stereo image as a whole were not as flat as a pair of Yamahas but narrower then the JBL.

As I was EXTREMELY disapointed, I contacted the owner Marty Bradley on March 7th ( with 3 pictures of the dented, cracked and rusty monitors( see pitures attached)) who answered me 36 hours later saying and I quote : ''I can only assume that the dented cabinet happened during transit. That is unfortunate. As for the rusty screw….that is something I have not seen before.''.
Maybe he have not seen this before but we can all clearly see it now that this is the sort of product he offer.
He sent me a Tracking number for me to send back the Monitors stating he would refund me once the monitors were shipped and confirmed.

I then proceeded to open a dispute on Paypal as this was all smelling very bad and mostly like a scam to me. I've posted the tracking number in the dispute and he restated in the dispute that he would pay me back once the monitors were shipped and confirmed by UPS.

So the day after UPS came and picked the Monitors (march 8th).
I posted in the dispute that the monitors were shipped.

March 9th (thursday), UPS tracking number was confirming that the monitors were piked up and in transit so I reposted in the dispute to inform him and quoted him on what he said ( I will refund you once the monitors are shipped and confirmed). That was 48 hours without answers.

March 10th, I reinformed him that the Monitors were now in Wattertown New York, on the way to san diego.Still no answers.

On Monday afternoon, the monitors were not refunded so I transformed the Dispute into a Claim. He still havent answered.

So all in all, Equator Audio Customer service cant be considered as sincere or even professional.

This experience was a total nightmare and I hope no one will get scamed like I did.

Dont even touch them with a stick....youre better off with some 1982 60$ technics passive funky box.

Equator Audio D8 Active Nearfield Monitors-17193799_10158250093340246_299923489_o.jpg

Equator Audio D8 Active Nearfield Monitors-17122209_10158250093430246_482503800_o.jpg

Equator Audio D8 Active Nearfield Monitors-17195462_10158250093260246_731243870_o.jpg

Attached Thumbnails
Equator Audio D8 Active Nearfield Monitors-17193799_10158250093340246_299923489_o.jpg   Equator Audio D8 Active Nearfield Monitors-17122209_10158250093430246_482503800_o.jpg   Equator Audio D8 Active Nearfield Monitors-17195462_10158250093260246_731243870_o.jpg  
  • 2
11th January 2019

Equator Audio D8 - Pair by HipBonanza

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Equator Audio D8 Active Nearfield Monitors

I got used to using a set of these over 3 years @ dBs live Bristol, in one of the pro-studios on my uni degree.

In the various production studios there were always choices of Adam A7X's, Quested, 824's, PMC's etc...
but I found an affinity most with the D8's over this time.

They translate well enough, not sure how well these would fair in smaller rooms though, I can imagine them being quite problematic better of with D5's!

Anyway bought my own pair last year and they continue to serve me well.

There are a lot of options monitor wise these days so it's worth having a good look around, subjectively these speakers work for me and can recommend them.

11th January 2019

Equator Audio D8 - Pair by Sound-Guy

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use N/A
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.75
Equator Audio D8 Active Nearfield Monitors

Odd to see a review just pop up for Equator Audio speakers - the company went bust almost two years ago. It was a shock and a shame since the D8 and D5 were excellent speakers (as were their pro Q series). D5 worked very well with a sub since it couldn't pump out bass below 80 Hz very well, but imaging was excellent. I just retired a pair in favor of PreSonus Sceptre S6, which can produce far better bass on their own, and with my sub make an excellent full range system.

I put n/a for ease of use since they are not available unless you find a used pair.

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