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NEOHIPO ET30 VU Meter Speaker Switcher Review

Rate this VU meter/Selector

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 4 1.9%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 8 3.8%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 51 24.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 148 70.1%

  • Total voters
    211

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the NEOHIPO ET30 VU meter and 2 in, 2 out speaker selector. It was sent to me by the company and costs US $160 but is on sale for 20% less on Amazon.
NEOHIPO ET30 Amplifier Speaker Switcher 2-in-2 Out Dual Analog VU Meter review.jpg

Let me tell you: you are not a hifi nerd if your heart did not melt as mine did the moment I saw the gorgeous, large VU meters!!! :D What's more, they are lit via very uniform lighting RGB LEDs. Above is set to yellow-green but you can change them to almost any color with the middle knob. Each color was stunning in how intense and beautiful the shades were.

The good story doesn't end there. There is acceleration with damped return. You set the range for the VU meters with the left knob. The right knob programs how fast they act, from very slow on far left to quite nimble (for their size).

The case is made out of solid metal giving the unit a nice feel and ability to hold on to speaker wires without getting pulled. Switches feel very good as well. A microphone is also provided if you want to use that as the pick up instead of wires:
NEOHIPO ET30 Amplifier Speaker Switcher 2-in-2 Out Dual Analog VU Meter back usb-c power review.jpg


A USB-C cable is provided which I connected to my PC for testing. You can of course use any USB-C adapter.

For my testing, I used the unit parallel to my amplifier. In other words, I did not test it as a switcher but VU meter. Speaking of "VU," I tested it for accuracy. As you would guess, it is not very accurate. -3 dB for example would show -2 dB. So this is really for fun and visualization that there is a signal there, not as an instrument.

I did find one minor limitation. If you push more than 30 volts RMS (225 watts into 4 ohm), the meter pegs to max but may not always return to zero if you remove the signal. Power cycling fixes this. Something is saturating and latching.

Neohipo ET30 Measurements
For testing, I fired up the Purifi reference design amplifier so that we have a high-performance instrument to measure the impact of VU meter. This is how it performs by itself (one channel is a bit distorted due to loose speaker connection which I fixed for later tests):
Purifi Class D stereo amplifier measurement.png


Now the same but with both channels wired in parallel with speaker wires to ET30 (and rather long cables at that):
NEOHIPO ET30 Amplifier Speaker Switcher 2-in-2 Out Dual Analog VU Meter Measurement.png


As you see, there is no impact at all. Same story is true for both frequency response and crosstalk:
NEOHIPO ET30 Amplifier Speaker Switcher 2-in-2 Out Dual Analog VU Meter frequency response Mea...png

NEOHIPO ET30 Amplifier Speaker Switcher 2-in-2 Out Dual Analog VU Meter crosstalk Measurement.png


To make sure it can handle high power, here is our sweep to clipping:
NEOHIPO ET30 Amplifier Speaker Switcher 2-in-2 Out Dual Analog VU Meter Power and noise Measur...png


We can be sure that there is no impact on the amplifier.

Conclusions
We finally found it: a near perfect VU meter to warm our hearts and feed our eyes as we listen to our music! It has no impact on the connected device which is as it should be but has not in other VU meters we have tested. The build quality is excellent and looks are exquisite. Controls for such things as bandwidth are a great icing on the cake. Go ahead and order one for your holiday present. You will be happier for it!

I am happy to recommend the Neohipo ET30 VU meter.

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

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farhad

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For my testing, I used the unit parallel to my amplifier. In other words, I did not test it as a switcher but VU meter. Speaking of "VU," I tested it for accuracy. As you would guess, it is not very accurate. -3 dB for example would show -2 dB. So this is really for fun and visualization that there is a signal there, not as an instrument.

I am torn on this. I am new to these measurements and this site in general so I feel I need to read up on these topics more, but this seems incorrect. I would be upset if I had something that measured a scientific value but was off by this amount. Is this type of error normal or justifiable for a VU meter? I would normally view this as an order of magniture error. Surely there is instrumentation that can do better, but maybe this is normal for what is such a nebulous unit. That all said it looks awesome and the build quality seems great.
 

kemmler3D

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Now we need to find a real useful and good to look at Spectrum Analyzer. Thonman used to have one no longer offered.
You know, for me that's the more nostalgic "vintage" visualizer, although IIRC my dad's system has both :D


Looks like you can get a fully functional one with (IMO) the right look for $50. https://www.amazon.com/Spectrum-AK2515-Analyzer-Display-Analyzers/dp/B0BMFY5M18?th=1

Pretty tempting to get one and put it into my desk setup right under the DAC...
 
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amirm

amirm

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I am torn on this. I am new to these measurements and this site in general so I feel I need to read up on these topics more, but this seems incorrect. I would be upset if I had something that measured a scientific value but was off by this amount. Is this type of error normal or justifiable for a VU meter? I would normally view this as an order of magniture error. Surely there is instrumentation that can do better, but maybe this is normal for what is such a nebulous unit. That all said it looks awesome and the build quality seems grgreat.
The interest here is purely for fun. Something to look at while listening to music. Some if us grew up with audio gear that had these. Then we needed them to be accurate as we set record level on tape machines. That need is far gone so lack of accuracy is not at all a wory.
 

kemmler3D

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I am torn on this. I am new to these measurements and this site in general so I feel I need to read up on these topics more, but this seems incorrect. I would be upset if I had something that measured a scientific value but was off by this amount. Is this type of error normal or justifiable for a VU meter? I would normally view this as an order of magniture error. Surely there is instrumentation that can do better, but maybe this is normal for what is such a nebulous unit. That all said it looks awesome and the build quality seems great.
+1 to what Amir said, if you want to do any kind of measuring use REW for $0 and infinitely better performance. This is just bling. :)
 

farhad

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Thanks both amir and kemmler for the responses. Yeah not caring that specifically about the value/measurements this thing looks great for the price. Without knowing how accurate this actually needed to be it was hard to evaluate or rate this device other than from the selector and looks/quality standpoint. That said, is there a well implemented and accurate/precise VU meter for reference to compare to, or is this outside the actual use case of what a VU meter is for (i.e. it is just eye candy)?
 

MrSoul4470

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I've said something like that before in another thread, but I'll say it again: That thing is wasted money. Put 350 Euros on the table (or get it used for less) and get a TC Electronics Clarity M and you'll have something serious and not a toy that's basically just a light show and doesn't show any valuable information.
 

AdamG

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The interest here is purely for fun. Something to look at while listening to music. Some if us grew up with audio gear that had these. Then we needed them to be accurate as we set record level on tape machines. That need is far gone so lack of accuracy is not at all a wory.
Finally some eye candy VU meters that don’t take a distortion/noise crap on the signal chain. And you can see these babies from across the room. Heck, even the Wife will be able to see them from the kitchen. Great review Amir. Love them. Now I just need to make room for seven of them. Maybe a Tower of VU power Stack. Well maybe the wife being able to see them from the kitchen is a blessing and a curse. :oops:
 

Blumlein 88

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I've said something like that before in another thread, but I'll say it again: That thing is wasted money. Put 350 Euros on the table (or get it used for less) and get a TC Electronics Clarity M and you'll have something serious and not a toy that's basically just a light show and doesn't show any valuable information.
They also make the same thing in an MV2 which does stereo or 5.1. Costs about $50 more. Much more ways to display results and much prettier than these old VU meters.
 
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