• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Do the Genelec 8030c hiss?

mrmojo

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2023
Messages
41
Likes
2
I am close to buying a pair of Genelec 8030c speakers for desktop listening at an arm lengths distance. I listened to them, and a bunch of other monitors in store, and really liked them.

However I've read some posts stating that they hiss if you aren't playing anything on them, and that the hiss is audible when listening to music with very quiet portions (hear the hiss during the quiet portions). I didn't hear any hiss in the store, but it was a bit noisy.

What's the conclusion on this - does this affect all 8030c's? Some of them? Can anything be done about it? I think it'd be a deal breaker for me if they hissed.
 
The specified self-noise is 5 dB at 1 m. I don't think it bothers me at usual distances.
 
It did bothered me (speaker idle and being less than 1m away sitting quietly on my desk) and I bought something else. There is a thread here somewhere which quantified the hiss of various speakers for comparison. It is not a problem for music listening.
 
They do hiss, almost all active speakers hiss (if your ear is close enough). However, the hiss is low enough that in all but the very quietest rooms, then you will likely not hear it from 50cm+ away. Like HarmonicTHD said, you won't hear it at all when playing music, but in a room with very low background noise you might be able to perceive it.

If you have a typical PC with fans/hdds running, then that will be noisier, usually by far.
 
Hiss is something I just can't live with, it'll drive me nuts.
 
What's the conclusion on this - does this affect all 8030c's? Some of them? Can anything be done about it?
They're not as quiet as the best, but their high minimum sensitivity may actually be the bigger issue... you better make sure your audio interface's output has sufficiently low residual noise. By the time you've got an Audient iD4 MkII or MOTU M2 going, you should be well in the green though.
 
Can anything be done about it?
Would you switch them off after you finished your listening session?

If not:
I think it'd be a deal breaker for me if they hissed.

Hiss is probably audible at LP (only listened to 8030As), when no program material is running. Then, you would switch them off with a remote. If you do not want to pay attention to this, you might consider a passive speaker instead.
 
I am close to buying a pair of Genelec 8030c speakers for desktop listening at an arm lengths distance. I listened to them, and a bunch of other monitors in store, and really liked them.

However I've read some posts stating that they hiss if you aren't playing anything on them, and that the hiss is audible when listening to music with very quiet portions (hear the hiss during the quiet portions). I didn't hear any hiss in the store, but it was a bit noisy.

What's the conclusion on this - does this affect all 8030c's? Some of them? Can anything be done about it? I think it'd be a deal breaker for me if they hissed.
don't spend this money until you do more research. in my experience, 8030c has an insane amount of hiss at arm's length (all situations including: only power plugged-in, no XLR/audio input attached, built-in amps at their minimum +6 input sensitivity on dial). i'm still trying to figure this out, but it's worth noting that most of the posts in related threads about this horrible noise floor will attempt to convince you that you don't have ears and so you are imagining the sound.
 
They do hiss, almost all active speakers hiss (if your ear is close enough). However, the hiss is low enough that in all but the very quietest rooms, then you will likely not hear it from 50cm+ away. Like HarmonicTHD said, you won't hear it at all when playing music, but in a room with very low background noise you might be able to perceive it.

If you have a typical PC with fans/hdds running, then that will be noisier, usually by far.
On an 8030c pair, you don't hear that inactive hiss even at 50cm? I agree with the "when playing music you won't hear these frequencies" comment, though I'm not sure that's a gold-standard way of defining noise floor for monitors at this price range. I would be very curious to know if you're tested your hearing range on a frequency sweep up to 20k at a distance of 50cm. In such a test, can you hear the hiss range that you hear with your ear pressed against the 8030c pair? (*Editing to add that if your computer with all of its whirring fans happens to be in the same room as your would-be new Genelecs, you probably will suffer from whiny computer fans and maybe audible HDD seek blips well before speaker hiss. Still, my recommendation is the same; before you spend the considerable money for 8030c (etc.), do some more research. Also, if you have the space, fix the problem of your computer's proximity to your listening environment first before investing $1600 in potentially-hissing studio monitors.)
 
Last edited:
It did bothered me (speaker idle and being less than 1m away sitting quietly on my desk) and I bought something else. There is a thread here somewhere which quantified the hiss of various speakers for comparison. It is not a problem for music listening.
What did you buy instead? What's the noise floor at 50cm?
 
Luckily, I had the opportunity to compare the hiss of the Neumann KH120A and Genelec 8030C in the exact same room and condition.




1676955215.jpg

The graph above shows RTA data measured at a distance of 10cm from the tweeter.

I hope this will be helpful to you.


P.S. The noisefloor level in my studio is measured at 22-23 dBA SPL, and I found the 8030C's noise quite annoying at a distance of 1 meter.

The only active speakers I've heard that weren't annoying at 1m were the KEF LS50W, Neumann KH120A, and Focal Alpha 50 EVO.
 
Last edited:
You would also be at an arm length to press the little button* behind them to completely remove any hiss. How often would you be in that room without listening to music?
In my case, at that distance, I can hear a little hiss of nothing else is turned on or making noise. I actually never realized before reading it here.
Hope it helps.

*the on/off button is really easy to access on such a small speaker.
 
The graph above shows RTA data measured at a distance of 10cm from the tweeter.
Shouldn't the 0 in your chart be 22/23db, if that was the background noise level?
 
Shouldn't the 0 in your chart be 22/23db, if that was the background noise level?
I first measured RTA the background noise with the speaker powered off, then did another measurement and compare the two to see how close their deviation was to 0dB SPL.

I thought this would give us some indication of the reliability of our experimental environmental controls.

After that, I measured the speaker's hiss noise.

So you can see that I was measuring the hiss noise versus background noise at a distance of 10 centimeters.
 
So you can see that I was measuring the hiss noise versus background noise at a distance of 10 centimeters.
What's the difference between red and blue? Why does one say 100 dBu and another 100 dB SPL?
 
I first measured RTA the background noise with the speaker powered off, then did another measurement and compare the two to see how close their deviation was to 0dB SPL.

I thought this would give us some indication of the reliability of our experimental environmental controls.

After that, I measured the speaker's hiss noise.

So you can see that I was measuring the hiss noise versus background noise at a distance of 10 centimeters.
Thanks much, it's nice to see this replicated by someone else. I may do some similar testing in REW at some point when I find my umik-1. I happened upon this thread because I was searching for others' opinions about this hiss. I'm more than 1 year into ownership of 8030c pair (coupled with 7050A) in a small room, and I'm beginning to think about selling and swapping out for speakers that don't hiss like these. I don't suppose you (or anybody else) has similar graphs to compare this 8030c curve to that Neumann KH120A or other active monitors this size?
 
I have Neumann KH310's, KH120's/KH750 and KH150's. They are silent - no hiss even when listening at .3 meters. That is one reason why I like them so much. I do not like hiss - at all. I listen very nearfield so this is an important issue for me.
20230115_182339.jpg
 
The specified self-noise is 5 dB at 1 m. I don't think it bothers me at usual distances.
Actually the spec is "Self-generated noise ≤5 dB SPL".
 
Back
Top Bottom