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Best Very-Nearfield monitor for bedroom mixing

sejarzo

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Adam T5V you either love it or you don't. Not my personal favorite but many people love the ribbon tweeter. YMMV.
A couple of guys have used the same word to describe the top end of the T5V..."mushy."

When I ask what they like, they told me the JBL 305P, which to me was harsh, plus I couldn't stand the hiss, even when I tried to use them at greater distance.

So...why don't you like the T5V?
 

mjgraves

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I see used Genelec 8030s for around $350 each. (PSSL.com)

I'd recommend refurb'd JBL 705P, but I don't see any offered any longer.
 

DrSpan

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Hello everyone!

I'm in a bit of a predicament, I already mix/sound-design in headphones most of the time, but I would like some new monitors that are as good as they can be for a tiny bedroom setup. I already own some Kali-LP 6 V1's, but they are just too large for me to get accurate monitoring. The furthest distance back I can put a set of monitors is 2-3 feet from my listening position (right up against a wall). My setup is also underneath a lofted bed, and I also use a 34" ultra-wide monitor (on an arm) which makes the spacing of the speakers even more difficult.

I'm willing to buy a new monitor arm/speaker stands to get additional space underneath my monitor, but I'm not sure if there's anything else I can really do about the lack of space.

I have been looking at Kali-UNF, Kali-INF, iLoud MTM/Micro, and the Adam T5V monitors. Is there anything else I should consider? Which one should I buy?
"but I would like some new monitors that are as good as they can be for a tiny bedroom setup“ = The Kh80 any day.

Have not heard the Kali in real life and i think they are not that compact as the Kh80 and MTM either way

Adam t5V ….. Not comparable to Kh80 and also fairly bigger so not good either way for you.
The MTM (had ther MTM as traveling speakers) are pretty good and if you are without subwoofer they can do more deep bass than the Kh80 if you sacrifice a bit max Spl in comparison.

Iloud Micro- Big No go imho. It tries too much to impress and has way too much bass for the size and the port „farts“ when pushed with deep bass music.
Completely different league than Kh80 and MTM. Yes as a side monitor but not as your main speaker.


You can even do some „basic corrections“ in the Kh80 itself and store it inside the Kh80 itself using the ipad app and the build in software Parametric EQ. Its amazing.
You can for example High Pass them completely independently of a Subwoofer despite it having a HP signal out or not etc and also lift or dip specific areas etc .

The MTM is also very good but i would choose it after the Kh80 and only if i cant get the Kh80. Its the perfect speaker for your usage scenario
and as perfect a speaker this size can get.

I also recommend to buy a MiniDsp . Even one with Dirac but a MiniDsp for starters will get you a long way.


To me Kh 80 is the speaker most people never need to re-sell. Its that good.

For me Kh80 + MiniDsp if you can but even without MiniDsp, Kh 80 is the best small monitor . Period
 
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DrSpan

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A couple of guys have used the same word to describe the top end of the T5V..."mushy."

When I ask what they like, they told me the JBL 305P, which to me was harsh, plus I couldn't stand the hiss, even when I tried to use them at greater distance.

So...why don't you like the T5V?
I think this is a bit of a taste thing. Years ago i had the adam artist 3 then later the Adam A5. I never got „peace“ with the tweeter.
it has a certain quality that you either like or don`t but it is something that you simply have to hear in real life. You can`t describe it in words
cause technically it does not really have a flaw. A loose interpretation would be
It has a very distinct way of as i describe it „present the highs on a silver plate a bit like a salesman “ if that makes sense.
i always felt the tweeter is almost fighting to get attention.
I would not call it mushy but would call it a bit too much information in a way
 

DrSpan

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If space is an issue, like it is for me, then I think the iLoud MTM is going to be hard to beat. Here's mine on mic stands either side of my 34" UWQHD monitor...

View attachment 349525

My MTMs are augmented with a Presonus Sub8 under the desk (crossed at 80Hz using filters on both the Sub8 and the MTMs)
If i may suggest to try also to cross the sub at 70-75 and the MTM at 80. Usually the filters are not super steep so so you have the
rolling off energy below 80 hz of the Monitors meeting the roll off upwards of the sub above 80 so they overlap creating a bump an the x-over frequency point.
In your case 80hz.
Sometimes its best to leave a gap that the roll off will fill out.
 
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thelochias

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"but I would like some new monitors that are as good as they can be for a tiny bedroom setup“ = The Kh80 any day.

Have not heard the Kali in real life and i think they are not that compact as the Kh80 and MTM either way

Even though the Kalis aren't as compact, they make up for it by the fact that I can put stuff on top of the bass unit. For example, a DAC or an Interface.
The MTM is also very good but i would choose it after the Kh80 and only if i cant get the Kh80. Its the perfect speaker for your usage scenario
and as perfect a speaker this size can get.

I also recommend to buy a MiniDsp . Even one with Dirac but a MiniDsp for starters will get you a long way.

To me Kh 80 is the speaker most people never need to re-sell. Its that good.

For me Kh80 + MiniDsp if you can but even without MiniDsp, Kh 80 is the best small monitor . Period
The minidsp is nice, but it is quite a bit of money just to correct my room when I could use that app and their measurement mic for 1/4 of the price. It would also mess with having an Integrated DAC+AMP or an Audio Interface setup to switch between monitors and headphones which would be really nice. I will keep the KH-80 in mind, but I can also get Kali and MTM for 450-550 a pair. I will just wait and see if any KH-80s will come up within the next few months and get one of the choices suggested if nothing comes up.
 

audio2920

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I'm fairly sold on concentric designs being best for ultra nearfield and applications where acoustics are sub-optimal. I attribute this largely to (a) time alignment not being as skewed by distances to the individual drivers as you move your head around and (b) vertical pattern being more similar to horizontal, thus giving a more neutral (and more time aligned, within itself) desk bounce. Kali IN5 would be my go-to for this application.

That said, if you can live with the hiss of the LP6v1 (which I know is pretty bad but I'm OK with some hiss myself) and get the tweeter at ear level, I'd always advocate room correction, ideally Dirac or Trinnov or other FIR method. I'm of the opinion that you get better mix translation from a 'corrected' cheap monitor than an expensive 'uncorrected' one.

There's probably a limit to how cheap you can go on the monitors for this to hold true, but to put it in context, in terms of translation I'd honestly rather mix on a properly lined up and trusted Kali LP6 than an unmeasured Genelec 8361. Reason being, while in this made-up scenario the uncalibrated 8361 still wins in other areas [distortion, dynamics etc.] if there's a massive lump in FR because of the room or L/R phase (etc) you risk underplaying stuff in this region unless you're *very* familiar with translation through trial and error, and this generally has a larger effect than anything else.

Of course, this imaginary straight-out-of-the-box Genelec probably sounds nicer to work on and is more fun, but the reduced distortions do not inform much about mix decisions, bar perhaps stopping you from pushing HF stuff or chopping things out in the mids unnecessarily in an effort to overcome the blur brought by mid-range distortion on low budget monitoring. But again, the magnitude of this is very small in comparison to room acoustics.
 

b**tlover

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I'm fairly sold on concentric designs being best for ultra nearfield and applications where acoustics are sub-optimal. I attribute this largely to (a) time alignment not being as skewed by distances to the individual drivers as you move your head around and (b) vertical pattern being more similar to horizontal, thus giving a more neutral (and more time aligned, within itself) desk bounce. Kali IN5 would be my go-to for this application.

That said, if you can live with the hiss of the LP6v1 (which I know is pretty bad but I'm OK with some hiss myself) and get the tweeter at ear level, I'd always advocate room correction, ideally Dirac or Trinnov or other FIR method. I'm of the opinion that you get better mix translation from a 'corrected' cheap monitor than an expensive 'uncorrected' one.

There's probably a limit to how cheap you can go on the monitors for this to hold true, but to put it in context, in terms of translation I'd honestly rather mix on a properly lined up and trusted Kali LP6 than an unmeasured Genelec 8361. Reason being, while in this made-up scenario the uncalibrated 8361 still wins in other areas [distortion, dynamics etc.] if there's a massive lump in FR because of the room or L/R phase (etc) you risk underplaying stuff in this region unless you're *very* familiar with translation through trial and error, and this generally has a larger effect than anything else.

Of course, this imaginary straight-out-of-the-box Genelec probably sounds nicer to work on and is more fun, but the reduced distortions do not inform much about mix decisions, bar perhaps stopping you from pushing HF stuff or chopping things out in the mids unnecessarily in an effort to overcome the blur brought by mid-range distortion on low budget monitoring. But again, the magnitude of this is very small in comparison to room acoustics.
сan you give a cheap options for midfield monitors, meaning that they will be roomcorrected? to get loud enough for 44 sq.m room, in 2.2 setup
 

Formant

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We're talking mixing ? untreated small room ? money wont fix a lot of your condition.
Get 305p MKii, they translate pretty good for the money and then save up 3,5k+ for a set of kh150's which will last you 10+ years (once youre out of the bedroom situation).

The c5 mentioned here before will also be a good aid, gets the job done better than you can imagine.
 
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teashea

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Hello everyone!

I'm in a bit of a predicament, I already mix/sound-design in headphones most of the time, but I would like some new monitors that are as good as they can be for a tiny bedroom setup. I already own some Kali-LP 6 V1's, but they are just too large for me to get accurate monitoring. The furthest distance back I can put a set of monitors is 2-3 feet from my listening position (right up against a wall). My setup is also underneath a lofted bed, and I also use a 34" ultra-wide monitor (on an arm) which makes the spacing of the speakers even more difficult.

I'm willing to buy a new monitor arm/speaker stands to get additional space underneath my monitor, but I'm not sure if there's anything else I can really do about the lack of space.

I have been looking at Kali-UNF, Kali-INF, iLoud MTM/Micro, and the Adam T5V monitors. Is there anything else I should consider? Which one should I buy?
Neumann KH 150's or KH 120 II's. Exceptional. Read the test reports here.
 

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teashea

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With very nearfield positioning, Neumann monitors will be ok. The problem is the small room size. Here is an explanation.


As far as acoustics go, there is considerable attention to this, which I consider critical. The most important thing is the monitors and their setup. As you see, all of my primary monitors are Neumann (KH310's, KH150's, KH750, KH120A's and KH120 II's. These are all used in very nearfield mode - 1 to 1.2 meters from the listening position.

They are positioned from the front walls to avoid detrimental reflections. Since these are all in very nearfield use, the secondary reflections are relatively small compared to the direct sound.

There is some false information on the internet saying that there should be no room reflections. This is incorrect. A complete dead room would sound quite - dead. I room must have some reflections to allow the source music to be natural.

Next, all of the monitors are within one foot of the front wall. Since sound (in air) moves at the speed of one foot per ms. So the difference in timing between the direct sound and reflected sound is 2 ms. As you know, it has been shown that one cannot distinguish two signals are less than 6 ms.

On the other hand, the reflections from the ceiling has a difference of about 110 ms, which is perceived an interference and not good. However the dispersion patters of these Neumann monitors are narrow. The loudness of the ceiling reflections are far less than the direct sound (very nearfield advantage).

The side wall reflections are mostly greater than 20 ms. Reflections of this timing are perceived as echoes/reverb, not as interference. And as mentioned above, to some significant degree this is desirable.

The back wall of the room is 50 feet away, with lots of furniture and objects that disperse the sound.

Bass is always the most difficult issue. The size of the room, which as side opening of 8 and 10 feet are generally not a problem. One reason is that in every one of my productions, I cut off the frequencies below 45 Hz.

But I will repeat myself again - using very nearfield monitors completely changes the game. It is physics.
 
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thelochias

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With very nearfield positioning, Neumann monitors will be ok. The problem is the small room size. Here is an explanation.


As far as acoustics go, there is considerable attention to this, which I consider critical. The most important thing is the monitors and their setup. As you see, all of my primary monitors are Neumann (KH310's, KH150's, KH750, KH120A's and KH120 II's. These are all used in very nearfield mode - 1 to 1.2 meters from the listening position.

They are positioned from the front walls to avoid detrimental reflections. Since these are all in very nearfield use, the secondary reflections are relatively small compared to the direct sound.

There is some false information on the internet saying that there should be no room reflections. This is incorrect. A complete dead room would sound quite - dead. I room must have some reflections to allow the source music to be natural.

Next, all of the monitors are within one foot of the front wall. Since sound (in air) moves at the speed of one foot per ms. So the difference in timing between the direct sound and reflected sound is 2 ms. As you know, it has been shown that one cannot distinguish two signals are less than 6 ms.

On the other hand, the reflections from the ceiling has a difference of about 110 ms, which is perceived an interference and not good. However the dispersion patters of these Neumann monitors are narrow. The loudness of the ceiling reflections are far less than the direct sound (very nearfield advantage).

The side wall reflections are mostly greater than 20 ms. Reflections of this timing are perceived as echoes/reverb, not as interference. And as mentioned above, to some significant degree this is desirable.

The back wall of the room is 50 feet away, with lots of furniture and objects that disperse the sound.

Bass is always the most difficult issue. The size of the room, which as side opening of 8 and 10 feet are generally not a problem. One reason is that in every one of my productions, I cut off the frequencies below 45 Hz.

But I will repeat myself again - using very nearfield monitors completely changes the game. It is physics.
Thanks for your in-depth reply! A few things have changed since I've made this post: I ended up buying some Kali LP-UNF with isoacoustics stands after seeing Erins review. With the smaller monitors, I can afford my monitors being a bit less than 1 foot from the wall! I'm also under a lofted bed so the ceiling reflections are virtually nonexistent. Good to know that you have had such a good experience using these Neumann speakers in the very near-field. I will definitely look at them for an upgrade down the road, but for now I am happy with my Kali LP-UNF's which sound incredible for the price.
 

Ellebob

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I'm glad it worked out for you. They are very nice speakers for the price. I ended up using these on my desk instead of the IN-UNF. It was more of a practical matter and freed up some space on the desk.

I may eventually add the WS-6.2 sub. I have one in the other room with Kef LSX II and it is a great little sub for the money. Definitely performs better than Kef KC62 for less money but is not as small or aesthetic.
 

TheZebraKilledDarwin

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but for now I am happy with my Kali LP-UNF's which sound incredible for the price.
Be warned and do not be surprised if the mixes will not translate very well and will always sound very different in the car or in the club.
Beginners always pay attention to a "full" sound, preferrably lots of "bass". But that's exactly the totally wrong approach: the less experience one has, the more helpful a good magnifying glass for the midrange becomes.
The bass from the speakers in your untreated room cannot be used to judge what is going on in the tracks and the mix. If you make decisions based on it, it will lead you to make the wrong decisions, because the bass will mask in the time and frequency domain the all decisive midrange.
 

kemmler3D

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Be warned and do not be surprised if the mixes will not translate very well and will always sound very different in the car or in the club.
Beginners always pay attention to a "full" sound, preferrably lots of "bass". But that's exactly the totally wrong approach: the less experience one has, the more helpful a good magnifying glass for the midrange becomes.
The bass from the speakers in your untreated room cannot be used to judge what is going on in the tracks and the mix. If you make decisions based on it, it will lead you to make the wrong decisions, because the bass will mask in the time and frequency domain the all decisive midrange.
To this point, agree. To get bass right from this setup, you probably need to check on (trustworthy, EQ'd flat-ish to 20hz) headphones, as well as take the mix around to several other systems to see what you are dealing with. Also make sure to compare your tracks to references with known good bass. Trust the scopes. Good luck.
 
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thelochias

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Be warned and do not be surprised if the mixes will not translate very well and will always sound very different in the car or in the club.
Beginners always pay attention to a "full" sound, preferrably lots of "bass". But that's exactly the totally wrong approach: the less experience one has, the more helpful a good magnifying glass for the midrange becomes.
The bass from the speakers in your untreated room cannot be used to judge what is going on in the tracks and the mix. If you make decisions based on it, it will lead you to make the wrong decisions, because the bass will mask in the time and frequency domain the all decisive midrange.
To this point, agree. To get bass right from this setup, you probably need to check on (trustworthy, EQ'd flat-ish to 20hz) headphones, as well as take the mix around to several other systems to see what you are dealing with. Also make sure to compare your tracks to references with known good bass. Trust the scopes. Good luck.
Thank you both! I forgot to mention that my primary mixing setup is a SMSL-SU8s -> Monoprice THX 887 -> HD 598cs balanced XLR. I am looking into new headphones and using the 598cs with the Tanchjim Space to mix on the go but that’s for another thread.

I wanted monitors to compliment my headphones in terms of fatigue and stereo imaging. I also bought sonarworks for headphones + speakers while it was on sale so I think I am set for now.
 
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