Genelec’s 8381A Smart Active Monitoring System: Built to Rock Steady

Total Amplifier Power: 5926 W (Class D) | Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 35 kHz (“-6 dB”) | Max SPL: 126 dB | Weight: 440 lbs.

As part of its 45th anniversary year, Finland’s Genelec, makers of highly regarded studio monitors, offer up the flagship 8381A Smart Active Monitoring system. [footnote 1]

image credit: Genelec

The 5-way adaptive point source main monitor houses a coaxial 5-inch midrange driver and tweeter surrounded by four 5-inch midrange drivers, while the bottom end is filled out by a front-facing 15-inch woofer in the speaker’s upper section and two opposing side-facing 15-inch woofers in the bottom section. Woof!

All that power comes from a pair of individually calibrated Genelec RAM81 Amplifier Modules

The 8381A package includes Genelec’s Loudspeaker Manager (GLM) software that provides automated measurement, analysis, and adjustment. Think DSP on steroids.

“The demand for high quality free-standing full-range monitoring systems has been clear from the exceptional response to The Ones and W371A combination. It was also evident that there was a desire from customers for a free-standing system that could deliver even more headroom and increased low-frequency extension. And while we continue to offer a wide range of soffit-mounting main monitors, we’re confident that the flexibility and mobility of a floor-standing adaptive system like the 8381A will provide the perfect solution for any discerning user seeking a truly next-generation sonic reference.” – Siamäk Naghian, Managing Director of Genelec

While the price of the 8381A Smart Active Monitoring System has not been officially announced, word has it the package will come in in the neighborhood of €70,000/pair.

Company Website: Genelec

Technical Specifications

SPL: 126 dB
Amplifier Power: Total amplifier power: 5926 W (Class D)
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 35 kHz (“-6 dB”)
Accuracy of Frequency Response: ± 1.5 dB
Driver Dimensions

2 x ⌀ 15 in Bass + ⌀ 15 in Bass + 4 x ⌀ 5 in Midrange + ⌀ 5 in Coaxial Midrange + ⌀ 31/32 in Coaxial Tweeter

Dimensions: H 57 13/32 x W 19 11/16 x D 27 5/16 in
Weight: 200 kg / 440.9 lb


2 x XLR Analog Input
2 x XLR Analog Output
2 x XLR AES/EBU Input
2 x XLR AES/EBU Output
4 x RJ45 Control

1. What makes a speaker a monitor? One answer is intended use—a studio monitor is used as a tool to analyze a recording’s sound qualities so it should be as transparent to the source as possible, which is one reason many studio monitors are active designs and often include DSP, whereas a speaker intended for home audio is used to enjoy music. And no, these two activities are not necessarily the same but that’s not to say a monitor cannot be used for home audio or that a speaker cannot be used as a monitor.

I’ve been using a pair of ADAM A3X Studio Monitors for 10+ years on my desktop because I really enjoy listening to music through ’em.