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Adam or Neumann for a small office?

DLS79

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I've been slowly redoing my home office over the last 2 years. I just started Building My wife & I's new desks, so it's time to get serious about picking out new speakers.

The office is pretty small at 9' 8" wide, by 12' 4" long, with 8' ceilings. My desk is on the right wall, my wife's is on the bottom wall. The top wall is an exterior wall with a window, and the left wall has a small closet (gutted that last year). A small recliner will be set in the top left corner for when I just want to sit and read, listen to music, or watch tv (mounted to the wall above the monitors).

What I'm looking for is speakers that will work for critical and casual listening at my desk (3' 2-1/2" listening distance), while still having enough power to fill the room for casual listening while sitting in the recliner (9' 6" listening distance). The room will be acoustically treated, and I will use REW to fine tune everything.

Aesthetically speaking I prefer Adam speakers by a non-trivial margin over everything else, but I'm ok with the looks of Neumanns as well.

With all that being said the following speakers are on my short list.
  • Adam A4V - My original choice, but the port resonance at 1KHz concerns me. I question if they could be made to begave with PEQ when you start adding in room corrections etc.
  • Adam A7V - My second choice. Amirm hasn't measured them yet, and they have a reported resonance at 650 Hz, but it looks like it could be dealt with without to much fuss. My only concern is that a 7" driver might be to much for the space.
  • Neumann KH 80 DSP - Neumann's equivalent of the A4V, but without the port resonance issues!
  • Neumann KH 120 II - The most expensive of the bunch, but Imo the best measuring and perhaps the best fit for the space with a 5.25" woofer. I just wish it was more to my aesthetic tastes.
  • Adam T5V - cheap, not bad but not exceptional either. These are my fall back (what's in the cad model), I'd keep these for a few years, and then give them to my son when he's old enough to appreciate them.
Thoughts, opinions? Am I over or under estimating any of the issues?


office.png
 

coonmanx

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I wouldn't fret too much about that 7" driver... I have a pair of Scott 166 speakers downstairs that have 6.5" drivers. I usually listen to them from across the room. But when I am up close and in the near field, they sound great. The bass sounds wonderful near field where it is a bit subdued from across the room. So those speakers with 7" woofers would definitely be on my short list as long as they fit the space. Otherwise I think that the ones with 5.25" drivers might work. Possibility of a sub later...
 

Hexspa

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Nearly 10’ listening distance? Probably something in the KH120ii or even 150 range. You could also get a Kali LP8v2 or similar if you’re ok with a lower grade of speaker to save cash.
 

IAtaman

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Adam usually has "funny cause its true" taglines, that makes you chuckle and shake your head in agreement at the same time. Newman is quite knowledgeable and does not back off from a long and tedious discussion.

Hard decision...

I think you'd be happy with either one.
 
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DLS79

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I wouldn't fret too much about that 7" driver... I have a pair of Scott 166 speakers downstairs that have 6.5" drivers. I usually listen to them from across the room. But when I am up close and in the near field, they sound great. The bass sounds wonderful near field where it is a bit subdued from across the room.

Nearly 10’ listening distance? Probably something in the KH120ii or even 150 range. You could also get a Kali LP8v2 or similar if you’re ok with a lower grade of speaker to save cash.

Thankyou gentlemen that helps me narrow down my options to the A7V & KH 120 II. Imo, the KH 150 is to big (physically speaking) for my desk, not to mention more $$$ than I want to spend at this point in time.
 

Matias

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I would go for Neumann KH 120 II for sure.
 

Klonatans

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A7V is very similar in size compared to KH150, however twice as expensive. On the other hand KH150 has more LF extension (39Hz flat) and probably there's no need for a subwoofer that's an additional cost.
 

tmtomh

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IMHO the Neumann KH 150 would be the ideal choice for you, if not for the cost.

Between the Neumann KH 120 and Adam A7V it's a tough choice. I believe the Neumann has a slightly higher F3 - 52Hz vs 46Hz for the Adam - and that makes sense given the difference in the woofer sizes (5.25" vs 7"). I would also think the Adam could play at higher volumes with a bit less bass distortion, again owing to the larger woofer.

But the Neumanns are very well engineered and it's possible they could provide a smoother, more linear listening experience, especially off-axis which is important for you given that your easy chair does not appear to be centered between where the speakers will be.
 

ahofer

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As long as you stay away from Adam Neumann

3986ea773904952568f6dbf7d8f1d5fcc6-Adam-Neumann.rhorizontal.w700.jpg
 

rationaltime

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Here is my opinion.

I have a pair of Adam A3X for near field listening and mixing. They are positioned 32 inches center to center
and about 32 inches from me. I am happy with these monitors. At at 10 foot distance they are plenty loud
enough, but the stereo separation is much reduced.

I also have one Adam T5V not used in this set up. It sounds the same to me, though capable of being louder.
I think the larger drivers are a matter of volume. You can just turn the volume down for quieter listening.
I would not have that concern.

Apart from price I would consider size. The A4V seems a reasonable desk top size, and the T5V and A7V
not much larger, but noticeable. The biggest difference is front to back. I think any would fit for my set up,
but worth thinking about.

I have not heard the A4V or A7V, but I expect them to sound better than the older models. I think any of
the three would be a good choice for me. I am not replacing mine, but I would probably choose the A4V.
Since you posted the question here, I suggest choosing the A7V if it fits. Then in future you will not be asking
yourself, "Should I have chosen the larger monitors?"
 

DVDdoug

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My only concern is that a 7" driver might be to much for the space.
I don't buy-into that theory. IMO - A 5 or 7-inch woofer is too small for "realistic bass" in any room! ;)
 

rcstevensonaz

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I don't buy-into that theory. IMO - A 5 or 7-inch woofer is too small for "realistic bass" in any room! ;)
Subwoofers (8" or 10") might be a better option. Due to the size of that room, sub placement can become critical so having flexibility to place them somewhere other than directly on desk in front of you would add flexibility.
 

rcstevensonaz

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Suggestion: replace the dual monitors with a single 32" monitor so that your speaker placement can be a more typical listening triangle. Additional monitors can be mounted on swing arms on the left and right sides of the desk, allowing them to be moved away from speaker for listening or moved next to center video screen when you need all monitors contiguous (e.g., gaming, flight simulators, panoramic video, etc.)

You also want to pay close attention to two other dimensions:
  • Distance from rear wall to the back side of speaker — primarily affected by how far you pull the desk from the wall (if at all)
  • Distance from seating position to tweeter — affected by both seating position, size of desk as well as the size of the speaker (from front to back)
EDIT: in addition, pay attention to the convergence distance of the various speaker sizes (e.g., 5" vs. 6.5"). The various manufactures will provide guidelines for minimum / maximum distance between the listener and the speaker for near-field listening situations. One of the reasons I selected KH 120a over similar model from Genelec was because my typical seating distance was in range for KH but too close for Genelec (and also a tad too close to the back wall for their guidance). But note: that is for my use case where I am primarily just working at my desk and never mixing audio. If your use case is audio mixing, you may also want to take a look at Genelec (speaking as a KH fanboy).

Finally, I would suggest adding in the cost of the desk mount speaker stand system designed by the speaker manufacture.
 
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kemmler3D

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Drivers might be too big for a given listening distance, but I don't think there's a specific size of driver that's too big for a given room, especially not if you are doing EQ. You can get too much bass in a small room pretty easily, but that will be because of overall SPL, not the size of the driver.

I don't see any bad options in this list, but if you are planning listening from 10' a lot it might be worth the splurge on the KH120s.
 

rcstevensonaz

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I am very happy with my KH 120a speakers. I find they are a perfect size balance for placement on my desk; and with the KH stands, they are about 4.25" from back wall to back of speaker. For what it is worth, my office is a 10' x 10' x 10' nearly perfect cube (ugh!).

Small subwoofers are a future project. Because of the very small size of the room, I personally would not want the main speakers going any deeper than they currently are. But conversely, I like the woofer on the KH 120 more than than the smaller KH 80 so that I still have more of the bass directly in front of me.

One other note: I find the sound imaging is very solid when sitting at my desk working. Just a tad better if lean back a few inches which is also when I'm critically listening (vs. music playing while I am focused on working). And if I was sitting much further way, I could easily remove the very slight toeing.
 
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DLS79

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Suggestion: replace the dual monitors with a single 32" monitor so that your speaker placement can be a more typical listening triangle.

Unfortunately, that's just not possible because it conflicts with my work needs. I've tried many different setups over the years, and I always end up with at least 2 monitors. The tv that's going to be above the monitors will act as a 3rd monitor on a regular basis. The monitors in the cad model are only 27" because it's still really hard to find 32" UHD reference grade monitors.

Finally, I would suggest adding in the cost of the desk mount speaker stand system designed by the speaker manufacture.
I'm planning to designing and make my own once I settle on what speakers to go with!
 

rcstevensonaz

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Unfortunately, that's just not possible because it conflicts with my work needs. I've tried many different setups over the years, and I always end up with at least 2 monitors. The tv that's going to be above the monitors will act as a 3rd monitor on a regular basis. The monitors in the cad model are only 27" because it's still really hard to find 32" UHD reference grade monitors.
Yea, that is a challenge of real life. Depending on the size of the TV mounted above, I'd be curious about the sound stage effect of mounting the speakers higher above the monitors vs. out to the sides of the monitors. on the desk.
 
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DLS79

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Depending on the size of the TV mounted above, I'd be curious about the sound stage effect of mounting the speakers higher above the monitors vs. out to the sides of the monitors. on the desk.

I'm thinking either a 42", 48" or 55" OLED. If i went with a 42" I could get closer to an equilateral triangle. However I do wonder how much of a soundboard effect I will get by mounting them to the wall.
 

AaronJ

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My personal feeling is anything bigger than the Audioengine A2 is too big for a desktop, so I'd tend to gravitate toward the smaller speakers. That's not a big room to fill even at 9.5' listening distance - I'd get a sub and cross over small speakers around 120Hz. Adam A4V gets my vote from that list.
 

rcstevensonaz

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I'm thinking either a 42", 48" or 55" OLED. If i went with a 42" I could get closer to an equilateral triangle. However I do wonder how much of a soundboard effect I will get by mounting them to the wall.
You don't have to mount to a wall. You could create a pole mount that raises to the desired level, where the pole itself is still a few inches away from wall so that you are getting sufficient back end clearance for your speaker. Could be extended poll from your desk, or on a platform extending up from the floor.

Also, in those configurations, your distances also open up the option of Genelec as well; in case you want to add that to the mix. And potentially bumping up a size (e.g., from KH 120 to KH 150).

Finally, I'll throw in one additional element that would now be a critical part of my decision if I were to start over: what platform do I want to use for subwoofer steering and room correction. E.g., the MA1 from KH, GLM from Genelec, RME's ADI-2 Pro 2/4, etc. That decision may (or may not) directly steer your choice between the great performing options from Adam, Neumann, or Genelec.
 
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