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Genelec 8050B Review (Studio Monitor)

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Genelec 8050B powered studio monitor (speaker). It was kindly purchased by a member used and drop shipped to me. It costs US $1895 each when new.

I was horrified when I noticed the speaker was simply put in a plastic bag, dumped into a much larger box with a bit of padding. As a result speaker was moving around in there, bashing the sides of the box. I opened the box and there was not a scratch on the speaker and it operated as if new! This is one robust enclosure and speaker:

Genelec 8050B Review Studio Powered Monitor Speaker.jpg


Lots of controls on the back. I left all of them off for both measurement and listening tests:
Genelec 8050B Review Studio Powered Active Monitor Speaker.jpg


Input sensitivity seems high. I had to turn down the volume to measure and listen to the speaker.

I like the iso pads on it. It provides built-in isolation although deep bass still gets through.

The rounded shape of the speaker made it hard to align on my measurement stand. So angles are a bit approximate.

Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than an anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

I performed over 1000 measurement which resulted in error rate of around 1%.

Speaker was kept warm indoors prior to measurements. Measurement temperature was 59 degrees.

Reference axis was as recommended in the manual: the upper rim of the woofer.

Measurements are compliant with latest speaker research into what can predict the speaker preference and is standardized in CEA/CTA-2034 ANSI specifications. Likewise listening tests are performed per research that shows mono listening is much more revealing of differences between speakers than stereo or multichannel.

Genelec 8050B Measurements
Acoustic measurements can be grouped in a way that can be perceptually analyzed to determine how good a speaker is and how it can be used in a room. This so called spinorama shows us just about everything we need to know about the speaker with respect to tonality and some flaws:

Genelec 8050B Measurements Studio Powered Monitor CEA-2034 spinorama frequency response.png


On-axis response is pretty good although not ruler flat indicating DSP is not used for minor correction. Directivity (comparison of on and off-axis) is quite good although rather flat as studio monitors typically are.

The usual port resonances are there but in a more controlled manner:
Genelec 8050B Measurements Studio Powered Monitor near-field measurements.png


Early window shows a vertical dip around 2 kHz:
Genelec 8050B Measurements Studio Powered Monitor CEA-2034 spinorama early window frequency re...png


Predicted-in room response for far field listening shows the same one dip as deviation from excellence:
Genelec 8050B Measurements Studio Powered Monitor CEA-2034 spinorama Predicted in-room frequen...png


During my sweeps for distortion at 96 dBSPL, I could hear severe low frequency distortion and indicator coming on as well:

Genelec 8050B Measurements Studio Powered Monitor relative THD Distortion.png


That one high frequency peak is interesting. Wonder what the cause of that is?

Definitely usable at 96 dBSPL though if you cut off low frequencies:

Genelec 8050B Measurements Studio Powered Monitor THD Distortion.png


As noted, directivity is excellent:

Genelec 8050B Measurements Studio Powered Monitor Speaker Horizontal beamwidth.png


Genelec 8050B Measurements Studio Powered Monitor Speaker Horizontal Directivity.png


Genelec 8050B Measurements Studio Powered Monitor Speaker Vertical Directivity.png


Finally we have CSD/waterfall which shows the resonances we have already seen elsewhere:
Genelec 8050B Measurements Studio Powered Monitor CSD waterfall.png


Genelec 8050B Listening Tests
Just turn on this speaker, play the first track and in five seconds you know the tonality is right. Track after track in my reference list sounds beautiful even though I have curated them using my Revel Salon 2 speakers -- power of speakers being optimized to same ideals/targets! Bass was strong and deep which was satisfying.

Right when I wanted to quit and give the 8050B my highest honors, bass came and sadly at high volumes, it becomes ugly. The woofer makes this "brrrrrr" sound, first faintly and then strongly as you push it. I suspect it is some kind of limiting due to amplifier running out of juice as clipping indicator also comes on. Granted, I am listening to one speaker and you would use two but still, a speaker at this price range should be able to play cleaner in bass. I worry that the amplification (as usual) is holding it back.

I dialed in a 35 Hz steep high-pass filter and this got rid of most of the problem at a a slight loss in low frequency response. For a dynamic system, you need subwoofers with this speaker.

Conclusions
Hopefully this review is without (much) surprise. We expect Genelec to deliver on build quality, on and off-axis response. The larger woofer helps produce satisfying and good level of bass. For someone like me who likes to push speakers and systems :), it is not able to deliver loudness without limitation and rather ugly distortion. Your application may differ though.

I am going to recommend Genelec 8050B for low to medium listening levels for both high-fi and studio applications.

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As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Appreciate any donations using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

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thewas

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CTS

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The 2nd harmonic distortion peak at 13-14khz is the breakup harmonic of the metal dome, corresponding to the 27khz peak in the frequency response, if you look closely, you also see a 9khz 3rd harmonic peak and if you would zoom even further (not visible in Amir's scaling) you'd see a 4th and 5th harmonic peak at lower amplitudes as well at even lower frequencies

Edit: @thewas seems to have clarified the issue already, so just adding on here
 

Sancus

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LTig

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I don't think the 8050b has a DSP performing digital crossover. AFAIK it has an analog crossover.

I wonder about the dip between 1.5 and 2 kHz and the deep bass trouble.

I think investing some $400 more for a KH310a gives you a better speaker without the (relatively minor) flaws of the 8050b. In the EU the price difference is only €200 so choosing the Neumann seems to be a no brainer.
 

Pearljam5000

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That review also shows the sharp drop in output capability below 100hz that presumably causes the issue in the 96dB test. It does not seem like any additional power was added between 8050A -> B, both are rated 150W(woofer).

Genelec-8050A-Maximaler-Pegel.jpg
The only difference between A and B is the ISS function, nothing else was changed
 

ROOSKIE

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I am noticing how little the "score" improves when adding an ideal sub. From 6.3 to 7.0.
Especially as this one really needs one for that clean grunt due to Amir's subjective findings.

I see the measurements here as excellent and in a sort of flip, when only looking at the "score", many, many speakers surpass this expensive unit when suplimental bass is used.
Very interesting.


**edit. Looks like the score with sub is updated to 7.5 (was listed as 7)
 
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Matias

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ASR has really opened my eyes for Genelec. Hopefully one day I will get one too.
 

Sancus

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The only difference between A and B is the ISS function, nothing else was changed

This is essentially a speaker from 2005, then. Kinda makes it even more impressive... and past time IMO for Genelec to give it a real update with class D amps and at least 250W on the woofer!
 

PuX

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Would you say 8050 is too large for small to medium rooms?

For some reason I hope 8040 is even better, I guess we'll see :)
 

Pearljam5000

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That bass distortion is really odd, if it was a common issue I guess we would have read about it years ago , could.be a defective unit? Or damaged in shipping?
 
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amirm

amirm

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Would you say 8050 is too large for small to medium rooms?
No, it is a rather compact package and as I noted, doesn't get extremely loud anyway.
 
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