What We Like
- A simple design that is made interesting by the LED set-up.
- A well balanced sound across the board.
What We Don’t Like
- Bass is a little underwhelming as you would expect given the 5” driver.
- Some distortion when ramping the volume up.
Over its 40-year history, Numark has been at the forefront of advancing technologies designed for DJs and music producers across the world. Founded in Edison, New Jersey in 1971, they are the largest manufacturer of DJ equipment in the world.
The most obvious thing you are likely to pick up on when you first lay eyes on the N-Wave 580s is that they demonstrate far more in the way of visual design than much of the competition around this price range. Numark understands that, for a working DJ, your set-up has to both sound and look the part. And the 580s certainly look the part.
The cabinets themselves are a fairly simple, unobtrusive affair fashioned out of high-strength MDF to dampen as much audible resonance as possible. The front baffles feature a smooth, radial edge which “minimize audible edge diffraction”. So that’s good. When they’re turned off, they look fairly simple. A standard black finish, metal grilles protecting the bass drivers and a plastic strip in front of the tweeters. But when you turn them on the fun really starts.
Color changing LEDs aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re the kind of person who enjoys a splash of color in their life then this is perfect for you. Numark have packed in a multi colored illumination system featuring a 3 Stage Color command in the form of pulsate, slow cycle, and off. It certainly helps to create some atmosphere.
As mentioned, the LEDs are something of a unique selling point for the 580Ls. The tweeter bar and the woofer each feature their own color changing LED, and the three stages of control allow for some serious flexibility in terms of playback. If you prefer to have them off, you can. The choice is yours.
On a more technical note, the cabinet features a tuned bass port which allows for a low end response down to 55 Hz. The drivers are magnetically shielded which will stop them from interfering with other equipment or magnetic media. Lots of studio monitors claim this feature, but there is some variance in testing it. Thankfully, we tried these out next to a whole host of other equipment and found no significant interference whatsoever.
Lastly, the N-Wave 580L comes with an electronic bass boost circuit for when you need to take the bass response to the next level.
When it comes to studio monitors, we have to keep in mind that this is a compact product. There is a serious upper cap on the kind of performance you can expect from a pair of monitors of this cabinet size, let alone with drivers that are on the smaller side. That said, Numark have managed to pack a good deal of punch into the N-Wave 580Ls, and it really shines through.
The sound, overall, is pretty well balanced and manages to deliver decently when it comes to volume output. A positive comparison we noted was that they manage to sound significantly warmer than many other speakers of the same size. The bass was also better articulated than many. It’s still not going to knock your socks off, but that is to be expected given the size. It is sufficiently powerful without becoming boomy or overwhelming.
Highs do well to avoid feeling too bright and artificial as is often the case from drivers of this size. Mids feel well distinguished in the mix, and were more rich and nuanced than we were anticipating. We did notice some distortion as the volume was ramped up.
Numark made a name for itself delivering quality equipment for working DJs and producers, and part of that is catering to a range of needs and use-cases. For the bedroom producer, the 580Ls are a worthy addition to any toolkit.