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Genelec 8320a Review (Powered Monitor)

amirm

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#1
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Genelec 8320a powered "smart" monitor (speaker). It was kindly purchased by a member and drop shipped to me for testing and costs US $625 each.

It should come as no shock to anyone that the 8320a looks just like the rest of Genelec line although the small sizes makes it look cute!

genelec 8320a Review Powered Monitor.jpg


As you see we don't have a coaxial design here but rather 2-way with integrated waveguide. The back side is interesting in that there are no mechanical dip switches to adjust anything:

genelec 8320a Review Powered smart Monitor.jpg


I have the Genelec GLM kit which I will be testing soon to see how it can configure the speaker. For now, I found the balanced analog input to be extremely sensitive. I had to turn down the volume way down both in measurements and listening tests. I am assuming it is defaulting to consumer levels.

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 less than 1% or so.

Temperature was 68 degrees F.

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.

Reference axis was as instructed in the manual: at the rim of the woofer.

Genelec 8320a 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 8320a Frequency Response Measurements Powered Monitor.png


I was impressed by how smooth and controlled the bass response is. Post that we have some tiny wiggles here and there but nothing of note. There is however some crossover directivity error.

Early window frequency response shows good summing although a stepped response:
genelec 8320a Early Window Frequency Response Measurements Powered Monitor.png


This partially compensates for the reverse step up in on-axis resulting in less of a step in predicted in-room frequency response:

genelec 8320a Predicted In-room Frequency Response Measurements Powered Monitor.png


Near-field measurements show care in how the enclosure resonance comes out of the port to make sure it doesn't interfere much with the on-axis response:

genelec 8320a driver and port Frequency Response Measurements Powered Monitor.png


Distortion is well managed at 86 dBSPL but as expected, not so much at 96:

genelec 8320a THD Percentage Distortion Measurements Powered Monitor.png


Interesting behavior of the tweeter limiting its response above 10 kHz.

genelec 8320a THD Distortion Measurements Powered Monitor.png


Beamwidth is very well controlled as we could see from the design of the waveguide:

genelec 8320a Horizontal Beamwidth Measurements Powered Monitor.png


genelec 8320a Horizontal directivity Measurements Powered Monitor.png


Vertical directivity is typical of 2-way speakers that are not coaxial so keep the tweeter axis pointed at your ear:

genelec 8320a Vertical directivity Measurements Powered Monitor.png


Finally, here is the CSD/waterfall showing some resonances:

genelec 8320a CSD waterfall Measurements Powered Monitor.png


Genelec 8320a Listening Tests
I always start with my female test tracks but after playing them a thousand times for testing of speakers and headphones, I am darn right sick of them! Yet, when a speaker produces excellent tonality, I can still appreciate them and such was the case with the Genelec 8320a. Track after track was enjoyable with reasonable bass response. Deep bass though as you can imagine was very soft.

Power capability was not bad. Turning up the single speaker up gradually lit up the red clipping indicator but there was no static or crackle as I have heard in other powered speakers. This only happened with tracks that had deep sub-bass. With spectrum above 40 Hz in the music, I had all the volume I needed in near-field listening (3 feet/1 meter). I especially enjoyed the track Hunted from Radical Face thundering away:


I could hear a bit of bloated bass at times which is clearly room modes so look forward to testing the unit with GLM.

Conclusions
While one expects near perfect execution from Genelec, it is still interesting to test their various designs. This little "guy" is cute, takes very little space but produces satisfying sound on the desktop that doesn't scream "I need a subwoofer." It is smooth and has wonderful tonality. And quite capable despite being such a small speaker. Of course you pay for this in its high cost at nearly $1,300 for a pair.

I am happy to put the Genelec 8320a on my recommended list.

------------
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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dfuller

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#3
I know this is small and has a relatively high F6, but that is truly not great distortion behavior at 86dB below 200hz. Audible? Maybe not. But certainly I expect better from Genelec.
 

temps

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#5
I know this is small and has a relatively high F6, but that is truly not great distortion behavior at 86dB below 200hz. Audible? Maybe not. But certainly I expect better from Genelec.
Yes, surprising to see it so far behind the KH80 which has an even smaller woofer. Probably amplifier related? The KH80 has almost three times as much power for the woofer.

1622427514924.png
 

ntd

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#7
In general, is it possible to pull the off axis response along a different plane than horizontal and vertical from NFS data? I’d be curious to see that with and without normalization for a well behaved speaker like this vs one with a messy crossover.
 

MZKM

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#8
In general, is it possible to pull the off axis response along a different plane than horizontal and vertical from NFS data? I’d be curious to see that with and without normalization for a well behaved speaker like this vs one with a messy crossover.
I know Amir can show those directivity balloons (make it a gif going through frequencies), which is more telling than just lines. Not sure if can do raw vs normalized.
 

milezone

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#9
There's a pair of these listed as new on ebay in new condition for $800 if anyone is interested...
 

LTig

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#10
Yes, surprising to see it so far behind the KH80 which has an even smaller woofer. Probably amplifier related? The KH80 has almost three times as much power for the woofer.
AFAIK KH80 and 8x20 both sport a 4" woofer. But I agree otherwise. If I didn't already own the 8020a I would buy KH80 which are also much cheaper than the 8320.
 

GWolfman

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#11
I recently got the slightly bigger brother 8330a. I'm very pleased with them! This step up in price (for the upgrade) seemed reasonable; much more than the next step up (to 8340a).
 

YSC

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#12
Yet another almost perfectly executed genelec, but it seems that It’s not a lot better/flatter than the 8020? Seems the 8320 is only for its glm capability and not intended to be used alone in this price range, especially given the lack of dip switches presets to quickly adapt to common modes
 

napilopez

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#13
One thing I really appreciate about these detailed NFS measurements is seeing the behavior of the sound exiting the port off axis. It happens so often with ported speakers, and is quite apparent here, that even when the On-axis is pretty clean you see the port bump manifest itself off axis.

I have to wonder how audible this is. It only makes sense that if there's a pronounced off-axis elevation that doesn't appear at other frequencies, this should be at least a bit audible.
 

daftcombo

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#15
Yet another almost perfectly executed genelec, but it seems that It’s not a lot better/flatter than the 8020? Seems the 8320 is only for its glm capability and not intended to be used alone in this price range, especially given the lack of dip switches presets to quickly adapt to common modes
50W instead of 20W though.
 

Maiky76

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#16
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Genelec 8320a powered "smart" monitor (speaker). It was kindly purchased by a member and drop shipped to me for testing and costs US $625 each.

It should come as no shock to anyone that the 8320a looks just like the rest of Genelec line although the small sizes makes it look cute!

View attachment 132796

As you see we don't have a coaxial design here but rather 2-way with integrated waveguide. The back side is interesting in that there are no mechanical dip switches to adjust anything:

View attachment 132797

I have the Genelec GLM kit which I will be testing soon to see how it can configure the speaker. For now, I found the balanced analog input to be extremely sensitive. I had to turn down the volume way down both in measurements and listening tests. I am assuming it is defaulting to consumer levels.

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 less than 1% or so.

Temperature was 68 degrees F.

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.

Reference axis was as instructed in the manual: at the rim of the woofer.

Genelec 8320a 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:

View attachment 132798

I was impressed by how smooth and controlled the bass response is. Post that we have some tiny wiggles here and there but nothing of note. There is however some crossover directivity error.

Early window frequency response shows good summing although a stepped response:
View attachment 132799

This partially compensates for the reverse step up in on-axis resulting in less of a step in predicted in-room frequency response:

View attachment 132800

Near-field measurements show care in how the enclosure resonance comes out of the port to make sure it doesn't interfere much with the on-axis response:

View attachment 132801

Distortion is well managed at 86 dBSPL but as expected, not so much at 96:

View attachment 132802

Interesting behavior of the tweeter limiting its response above 10 kHz.

View attachment 132803

Beamwidth is very well controlled as we could see from the design of the waveguide:

View attachment 132804

View attachment 132805

Vertical directivity is typical of 2-way speakers that are not coaxial so keep the tweeter axis pointed at your ear:

View attachment 132806

Finally, here is the CSD/waterfall showing some resonances:

View attachment 132807

Genelec 8320a Listening Tests
I always start with my female test tracks but after playing them a thousand times for testing of speakers and headphones, I am darn right sick of them! Yet, when a speaker produces excellent tonality, I can still appreciate them and such was the case with the Genelec 8320a. Track after track was enjoyable with reasonable bass response. Deep bass though as you can imagine was very soft.

Power capability was not bad. Turning up the single speaker up gradually lit up the red clipping indicator but there was no static or crackle as I have heard in other powered speakers. This only happened with tracks that had deep sub-bass. With spectrum above 40 Hz in the music, I had all the volume I needed in near-field listening (3 feet/1 meter). I especially enjoyed the track Hunted from Radical Face thundering away:


I could hear a bit of bloated bass at times which is clearly room modes so look forward to testing the unit with GLM.

Conclusions
While one expects near perfect execution from Genelec, it is still interesting to test their various designs. This little "guy" is cute, takes very little space but produces satisfying sound on the desktop that doesn't scream "I need a subwoofer." It is smooth and has wonderful tonality. And quite capable despite being such a small speaker. Of course you pay for this in its high cost at nearly $1,300 for a pair.

I am happy to put the Genelec 8320a on my recommended list.

------------
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/
Hi,

Any chance to see one of their SW tested?

Here is my take on the EQ although this speaker probably does not need *Anechoic* EQ.
The raw data with corrected ER and PIR:

Score no EQ: 5.7
With Sub: 8.1

Spinorama with no EQ
  • Very Flat
  • Minor directivity error.
  • Port as usual
  • perfect PC speaker?
Genelec 8320a No EQ Spinorama.png

Directivity:
Better stay at tweeter height
Horizontally, better toe-in the speakers by 10/20deg and have the axis crossing in front of the listening location, might help dosing the upper range.
Genelec 8320a 2D surface Directivity Contour Only Data.png

Genelec 8320a LW Better data.png

EQ design:
I have generated two EQs. The APO config files are attached.
  • The first one, labelled, LW is targeted at making the LW flat
  • The second, labelled Score, starts with the first one and adds the score as an optimization variable.
  • The EQs are designed in the context of regular stereo use i.e. domestic environment, no warranty is provided for a near field use in a studio environment although the LW might be better suited for this purpose.
  • Probably unnecessary, onboard EQ is probably enough to change the HF
  • Just tried to smooth out the resonances

Score EQ LW: 5.9
with sub: 8.4

Score EQ Score: 6.0
with sub: 8.5

Code:
Genelec 8320a APO EQ LW 96000Hz
May312021-143445

Preamp: -0.6 dB

Filter 1: ON HPQ Fc 46.7 Hz Gain 0 dB Q 0.9
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 489 Hz Gain -1.17 dB Q 2.41
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 257.5 Hz Gain -0.42 dB Q 0.54
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 908 Hz Gain -1.3 dB Q 11.1
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 1383 Hz Gain -1.12 dB Q 12
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 2574 Hz Gain -0.91 dB Q 12
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 4865 Hz Gain -0.68 dB Q 8.63

Genelec 8320a APO EQ Score 96000Hz
May312021-143013

Preamp: -0.6 dB

Filter 1: ON HPQ Fc 46.7 Hz Gain 0 dB Q 0.9
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 489 Hz Gain -1.17 dB Q 2.41
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 257.5 Hz Gain -0.42 dB Q 0.54
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 908 Hz Gain -1.3 dB Q 11.1
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 1383 Hz Gain -1.12 dB Q 12
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 2574 Hz Gain -0.91 dB Q 12
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 4865 Hz Gain -0.68 dB Q 8.63
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 9155 Hz Gain -1 dB Q 0.7
Genelec 8320a EQ Design.png

Spinorama EQ LW
Genelec 8320a LW EQ Spinorama.png


Spinorama EQ Score
Genelec 8320a Score EQ Spinorama.png


Zoom PIR-LW-ON
Genelec 8320a Zoom.png


Regression - Tonal
Genelec 8320a Regression Tonal.png


Radar no EQ vs EQ score
No Significant improvements
Probably does not need anechoic EQ.
Genelec 8320a Radar.png



The rest of the plots is attached.
 

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Last edited:

GWolfman

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#17
Yet another almost perfectly executed genelec, but it seems that It’s not a lot better/flatter than the 8020? Seems the 8320 is only for its glm capability and not intended to be used alone in this price range, especially given the lack of dip switches presets to quickly adapt to common modes
The GLM software makes this unnecessary.
 
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