What We Like
- An interesting visual design.
- A very portable form factor that is also intentionally durable.
- Sound quality is accurate with huge presence for tiny speakers.
What We Don’t Like
- Not much in the way of features on offer.
Founded in 1978, the core of Genelec’s business has always been professional audio monitoring. Only relatively recently have they entered the general consumer market, and brought their ironclad commitment to the best possible sound reproduction to a brand new audience.
The 8010A represents the smallest entry in Genelec’s 8000 series weighing in at just 1.5kg per speaker. Although there is a clear emphasis on portability and a desire to create a pair of speakers which will travel well and with ease, the lack of weight should not be confused with a lack of robust build quality. In fact, the 8010As feature a die-cast aluminium enclosure as well as metal driver grilles which both serve to greatly reduce the chance of the monitors sustaining any serious damage whilst in transit.
The enclosures are rear ported, and feature the standard Genelec IsoPod rubber base which is built into the speakers themselves rather than removable as with some models. The benefits of this base are two-fold. Firstly, because they are able to be tilted into a wide range of possible configurations, this takes care of axis angle and allows you a lot of options as to placement in this regard. Secondly, they provide a good amount of transmission reduction which helps to improve the overall performance.
One thing that we tend to find with speakers which are sold individually rather than as a pair is that they generally do not compete brilliantly in terms of feature sets with similarly priced studio monitor. As the cost per unit is lower, they often have a feature set akin to a pair of speakers for the cost of one rather than taking into account the kind of features which would be on offer if you compared to speakers which cost as much as a pair.
This is, as you may have guessed, the case with the 8010As. There’s not a whole lot going on in terms of interesting extras, but that is largely to be expected given both the individual price and the highly portable design.
One trade off to be aware of is that in order to keep the size of the speakers small, you only get 1 XLR analog input. It would have been nice to see another input squeezed in, but the decision to prioritize portability (and to design specifically around the use case of someone who needs to move their speakers often) makes this an understandable lack.
With a maximum sound pressure level of 96dB, we were initially surprised by just how powerful the response was from such small speakers. Another pleasant surprise was the bass response, which far exceeded our expectations given the form factor and relatively small drivers which Genele have opted to include.
The overarching characteristic of these speakers was a commendable sense of clarity. This was true across the board, and even at the lowest end of the frequency spectrum the bass retained an accurate response. All in all, it’s a high quality, detailed, and accurate performance which comes across as far more nuanced and rich than you would expect from a speaker of this size.
Genelec doesn’t produce a lot of small speakers, but it turns out that they have managed to maintain the same excellent sound which they have become known for even in the much smaller form factor of the 8010As.