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Neumann KH 150 Monitor Review

Rate this studio monitor

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 4 1.0%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 32 8.1%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 357 90.8%

  • Total voters
    393

amirm

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This is a review, listening tests and measurements of the Neumann KH150 DSP 2-way studio monitor (active speaker). It is on loan from the company and costs US $1,750 (each).
Neumann KH 150 two-way studio monitor speaker active DSP review.jpg


The design language is not changed of course. The main woofer is 6.5 inches now powered by 120 watt dedicated amplifier. While it is about 3X larger than the KH 80 DSP, it is still light and quite manageable. Here is the back panel with all the expected connections/controls:
Neumann KH 150 two-way studio monitor speaker active DSP back panel spdif review.jpg


As bad luck would have it, I yet again managed to test a Neumann speaker during colder weather here (around 56 degrees F). I kept the speaker indoor prior to testing with Klippel NFS speaker measurement system. Reference axis was on the outside top of the woofer.

Neumann KH 150 Speaker Measurements
As usual, we start with our "spin graph" of the anechoic frequency response:
Neumann KH 150 two-way studio monitor speaker active Frequency Response Measurement.png

I never stop being shocked when I run the computational phase of the Klippel NFS out and pops up a frequency response that is ruler flat! It is as if I am measuring a piece of electronics. There is tiniest bit of shelving down below 200 Hz and a bit of droop at the top end, neither of which Neumann sees in their measurements.

EDIT: received an overlay of Neumman measurements and mine:
Neumann KH 150 two-way studio monitor speaker active DSP Frequency Response.png

This is incredibly good match! This gives me confidence in my measurements and theirs.

What is uniquely impressive here is the bass extension to incredible 39 Hz for such a small speaker! Very nice.

There is a change in directivity due to Tweeter waveguide which could have probably only been avoided if the crossover point was lower in frequency.

Early window reflections show the classic issue we see in 2-way speakers with vertical directivity not being as good:
Neumann KH 150 two-way studio monitor speaker active early reflection Frequency Response Measu...png

You can help that as noted with absorption or high distance (from ceiling). Or let it be as vertical dispersion is not as important as horizontal. Predicted-far field response is still quite good:
Neumann KH 150 two-way studio monitor speaker active predicted in-room Frequency Response Meas...png


Near-field measurements of the port and drivers shows extremely good control of internal resonances:
Neumann KH 150 two-way studio monitor speaker active near field driver Frequency Response Meas...png


Most impressive bit is the very low distortion from such a compact speaker:

Neumann KH 150 two-way studio monitor speaker active THD Distortion Measurement.png


Neumann KH 150 two-way studio monitor speaker active  relative THD Distortion Measurement.png


Once again, at 86 dBSPL we are talking THD numbers that are in domain of electronics! See how the response essentially hugs the 0 dB axis. Even at 96 dBSPL, speaker is cruising above 100 Hz. Very remarkable.

Horizontal dispersion is a bit narrower at 50 degrees (as opposed to typical 60 degrees in my other tests):
Neumann KH 150 two-way studio monitor speaker active Horizontal Beam width Measurement.png

Neumann KH 150 two-way studio monitor speaker active Horizontal Directivty Measurement.png


Vertical dispersion as noted has the classic hole but otherwise, straightens out nicely:

Neumann KH 150 two-way studio monitor speaker active Vertical Directivty Measurement.png



CSD waterfall shows very nice control of resonances (as we could tell from spin data):
Neumann KH 150 two-way studio monitor speaker active CSD Waterfall Measurement.png


Finally, here is the step response for fans of that:

Neumann KH 150 two-way studio monitor speaker active DSP Step Response Measurement.png


Neumann KH150 Monitor Listening Tests
As usual, I pulled up my female vocals to test for tonality. I was immediate hit with a warm signature that I am not used to hearing with small speakers/monitors. This persisted across many tracks which I contribute to nice bass extension. That led me into thinking subbass response would be good as well. That was not the case. Much of it is filtered due to sharp drop off in response. So for that, you still need a sub or a much larger monitor.

Listening across a range of tracks was a delight. In my near-field listening, the KH 150 could get as loud as I wanted. Bass response (above sub-pass) was substantial and quite clean (unless pushed hard). Detail was excellent as were the dynamics. My reference test track Io sono metà from the album Musica Nuda was superb:


The detail in strings and the warmth from subtle bass response was to die for.

Conclusions
Even though I expect excellence from Neumann I was still pleasantly surprised by the bass extension, very low distortion and manageable weight and size of the KH 150. The price is up there to be sure but so is the performance. For that cost you get a speaker that will surprise you in how full range it plays yet it is not a giant box on sides of your desk.

It is my pleasure to recommend Neumann KH 150.

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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/
 

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Sancus

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YSC

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casted highest ranking before reading, ended up no surprises.

the down side? out of my reach anyway
 

Newman

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In a couple of spots you call it the KH120, BTW
 

fuzzychaos

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I gotta say I am glad they performed well. I bought mine a few days ago and love the way they sound, but it’s nice to see Amir recommends them. Eventually I’ll get the ma1 to use the built in DSP, but , they do sound good out of the box.
 

DevinCortno

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it compares extremely well with KH 310... it actually has less distortion in the midrange!

index.php


bass extension between the two is incredibly close. 310 F3 is 35hz, F6 about 33hz so 310 has about one semitone more extension.

Plus these have DSP and digital input, and they are quite a bit smaller... so they're a great deal after all. Fantastic stuff
 
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