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Genelec 8361A Review (Powered Monitor)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 4 0.7%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 4 0.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 23 4.1%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 533 94.5%

  • Total voters
    564

Karu

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You wouldn’t have known. Check the venue’s information. Almost every major concert hall have some sort of amplification.

Last night they were running two “Dirac sweeps” in the Tonhalle, said needed those with audience present…
 

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BrokenEnglishGuy

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I think this is the speakers that fit in most real places, most dont wanna use subs. The only problem is their price.
Hope Genelec do a cheaper series in China for 1/2 its price.xD
 

Descartes

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Genelc 8361A studio monitor (powered active speaker). It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $4,995.

The 8361A looks identical to the rest of the series except massively scaled up:
View attachment 164823

It doesn't look it but it is extremely heavy. It has a handle in the back but I could barely carry it a few steps using that before having to ask my wife for help. This is a 3-way speaker with coaxial mid and tweeter helped by dual woofers hidden behind the front massive waveguide/baffle.

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.

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 the center of coaxial driver (aligned by eye). Unit was factory reset and all dip switches were in off setting. It is getting colder with the measurement room temp at 16 degrees C.

Genele 8361A 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 164824

What beautiful results! It almost doesn't get any better than this. The only minor nit is slightly lower bass output. I have seen this in another Genelec speaker. Company's measurements don't have this. So either it is slight measurement error due to lower temp, or level is set slightly too low by Genelec due to their measurements not showing the same.

Due to excellent directivity index, early window reflections are all similar to on-axis but slightly rolled off as they should be:

View attachment 164825

Put the two together and we get predicted far-field response of:

View attachment 164826

Perfection! :)

Notice how port/cabinet resonance is kept at extremely low level:
View attachment 164854

Drilling into beam width shows the same precision and attention to bot on and off axis response:

View attachment 164827

View attachment 164828

Notice how not only are the red portions of the graph smooth, but that the transition to white happens with very little chaos indicating lack of diffraction errors due to cabinet, driver edges, etc.

Same praise almost goes for vertical axis naturally:

View attachment 164829

Modelling the full 3-D sound field at three critical frequencies shows the near perfection of this speaker/driver:


View attachment 164830

Forward projection is so controlled and well formed.

As I was running the sweeps for distortion tests, i could detect the deep bass and super smooth response from low to high indicating absence of distortion:

View attachment 164831

Speaker simply doesn't feel the pressure of being asked to pump out this volume so I cranked it up another 10 dB:

View attachment 164832

Now the clipping indicator was blinking and as I have seen with other Genelecs, it aims to protect the tweeter by limiting its output. Listening through my hearing protection, I thought the sound was still fine.

Waterfall shows some resonances:

View attachment 164833

Impulse response is impressive in approximating the ideal:
View attachment 164834

Assuming Klippel has measured the latency correct, we are looking at almost 5 milliseconds.

Genelec 8361A Listening Tests
While many pros buy the Genelecs for near field listening, our membership here is mostly interested in far field so that is how I tested it (pictured above). The first impression is that of clarity with slightly light tonality. I did want to see if it could benefit from some bass boost per measurements though so dialed that in:


View attachment 164835

The increased bass performance was phenomenal. So much so that in some tracks my room mode at 105 Hz became a bit much so I dialed it down as you see. Once there, I was greeted with a level of clean and deep bass which I had never experienced with any other speaker I have tested. It was like having the most perfectly integrated subwoofer next to a very powerful and capable speaker. Dynamics knew no limit. Turn it up and it simply gets louder and louder with deep notes rocking the entire room!

With the bass boost the sound was so wonderful and fun that I did not want to stop to eat dinner and then type this review! No speaker I have tested come close to this level of performance. Yet I keep looking at a speaker that is less than half the height of my own speakers! You keep wondering where the incredible bass tones are coming from.

And it is not just the bass. Midrange and treble clarity was superb.

Conclusions
Do I honestly need to write this? That this is one of the most perfectly executed speakers both objectively and subjectively. No longer does a powered speaker have a limit in either deep bass or loudness. I was testing just a single one. I can just imagine a pair being able to bring the house down with perfect clarity and dynamics. $5,000 sounds like a lot of money but you are getting multiple levels of amplification and DACs for free plus in-built DSP, room EQ, etc., etc. Buy a pair for $10K and you are done with your journey as an audiophile.

It is my absolute pleasure to strongly recommend the Genelec 8361A. I killed my back (and that of my wife's) carrying it around to measure and listen to but it was all worth it. If you can afford it, run, don't walk to get them for your system!

Edit: video review also posted:

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

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
Thank you for the great review! How far from the speakers did you listen? I was considering buying them as my three front speakers for my home theater! I sit 12 feet away.
 

pozz

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richard12511

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How about the 8351B, it seems ideally less than 2.5 m
For 12ft and HT, I'd probably go with the 8361. It's not very much more expensive, and should give some extra cushion for comfort.

If you really need to save the money, 8351b should get plenty loud with subs. I'm at about the same distance, and they get above reference level.
 

Sancus

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If I am reading this correctly, neither 8351 or 8361 is ideal for listening over 3 meters away because the direct sound would be overpowered by reflections. Or is that not an issue because the directivity is so good?
The correct monitors chart is misleading imo. It looks like the only variable is the speaker but thats not true. The room volume and RT60 are also variables. Most of the variation in critical distance between the Ones models is due to the fact they use different rooms for each model.

Also, most people listening to hifi speakers at 3+ meters are listening to reflection dominant sound. You need very narrow directivity speakers or an extremely large room to stretch the critical distance that far.
 

Pearljam5000

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Screenshot_20211120-043741.jpg

What's weird is that the S360 is on the main monitors page but the 8361A is not
 

YSC

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The correct monitors chart is misleading imo. It looks like the only variable is the speaker but thats not true. The room volume and RT60 are also variables. Most of the variation in critical distance between the Ones models is due to the fact they use different rooms for each model.

Also, most people listening to hifi speakers at 3+ meters are listening to reflection dominant sound. You need very narrow directivity speakers or an extremely large room to stretch the critical distance that far.
I think that’s where the GLM comes handy?
 

YSC

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A bit of a spoiler ...

Does anyone , really, sincerely. seriously think those measurements from the 8361A are ...poor ?????!!!??? :eek:
Seems there are a few who think so according to the poll?
Sorry for the spoiler but ,Man! I had to ponder...

BAck to the scheduled discussion :)
Er~ Maybe those who feels really irritated by the dissemble photo?

Or maybe it’s coz genelec analog ones did so well in flat response, so the dsp variants they expect dead flat one as. KH80?
 

dfuller

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DjBonoBobo

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