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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: 3 0.6%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 43 8.5%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 460 90.9%

  • Total voters
    506
D

Deleted member 66025

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Hi, everyone!
I have Adam A7X (home studio 20 sq m) and want to replace it for Adam A7V. But found out about Neuman 150. Many people like it and I'm thinking of buyinf it instead of Adam A7V. But I can't listed to them and I didn't founf the info about the soundstage. I like Adam because of super good soundstage. Will I get the same with the Neuman or not?
Yes. And better clarity :)
 
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Deleted member 66025

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This is probably a dumb question, but does using the RCA inputs on these speakers introduce any latency? As one speaker gets daisy-chained to the other, would that not add latency (even a tiny amount) to the second speaker in the chain as the audio is not being fed to each speaker at the same time from the source/my audio interface?
 

jhaider

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They didn't respond to my query regarding their thoughts on people mostly having to use software volume controls vs hardware (with potential danger of accidently maxing volume) and if they are looking into releasing a hardware volume knob.

Why would you have to do that? Plenty of products offer variable digital output that you can use to control the volume of Neumann digital-input speakers. Two examples are WiiM Mini/Pro (no buttons or knob though) and RME ADI-2 Pro.
 

Markus @ Neumann

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This is probably a dumb question, but does using the RCA inputs on these speakers introduce any latency? As one speaker gets daisy-chained to the other, would that not add latency (even a tiny amount) to the second speaker in the chain as the audio is not being fed to each speaker at the same time from the source/my audio interface?
Hello coolbeans,

The digital output on KH 120II and KH 150 do not add any delay. It is a direct digital through with just a latency free buffer.
In combination with a KH 750 the recommended digital signal chain would be to go into the 1st KH 150, then the second and then the KH 750.
However, even if there was a latency (which is not the case) MA 1 would correct it and handle it as a time of flight delay.
 

Elder

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Why would you have to do that? Plenty of products offer variable digital output that you can use to control the volume of Neumann digital-input speakers. Two examples are WiiM Mini/Pro (no buttons or knob though) and RME ADI-2 Pro.

Need something with a knob or buttons on the unit (knob greatly preferred) which as far as I can tell only leaves the RME units. I just couldn't bring myself to spend RME money just to get volume control over a digital output.

If there are any other options for under $500 AUD, I would be good to go but struggling to see any.

I know this seems pedantic, but having no physical volume control in the long term would really get to me. Probably just stick with analogue at this point. This setup will be used as a nearfield desk setup for music production, I often have to change the volume.
 
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jhaider

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Need something with a knob or buttons on the unit (knob greatly preferred) which as far as I can tell only leaves the RME units.

MiniDSP has a Flex with digital outputs and a knob as well. Not sure what it costs.


I know this seems pedantic, but having no physical volume control in the long term would really get to me.
Nope, not pedantic. Realistic. Makes perfect sense to me.
 

Elder

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MiniDSP has a Flex with digital outputs and a knob as well. Not sure what it costs.



Nope, not pedantic. Realistic. Makes perfect sense to me.

I was eyeing off the Flex actually. It's a little out of budget, but would help with integrating possible (non-Neumann) subwoofers down the track too. Might possibly just run the speakers using the analogue outputs of whatever cheap interface I buy to supply the 48v to the MA-1 microphone, then spend the money on something like the Flex down the track.

Thanks for trying to help me work through these mental gymnastics haha. If only there was a cheap interface like the Focusrite Scarlett 4th Gen with variable volume digital output.
 
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Hello coolbeans,

The digital output on KH 120II and KH 150 do not add any delay. It is a direct digital through with just a latency free buffer.
In combination with a KH 750 the recommended digital signal chain would be to go into the 1st KH 150, then the second and then the KH 750.
However, even if there was a latency (which is not the case) MA 1 would correct it and handle it as a time of flight delay.
I see, thank you for the info Markus!
 

Filio45

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Two examples are WiiM Mini/Pro (no buttons or knob though) and RME ADI-2 Pro.
The Wiim Pro/Pro Plus does have a touch sensitve volume control on the front fascia, albeit not very fine control. However, there's also a remote. So no need to break the bank to connect to Neumann's digitally. I personally did not get on too well with the Wiim and returned it, but it's a good option for sure.

I wasn't aware the ADI-2 Pro had an spdif output, only the UCX ii. Not that much more cash for a different set of features. I've only noticed folks, here on ASR who opt for a RME solution, mention the UCX ii for this purpose for some reason.

Hello coolbeans,

The digital output on KH 120II and KH 150 do not add any delay. It is a direct digital through with just a latency free buffer.
In combination with a KH 750 the recommended digital signal chain would be to go into the 1st KH 150, then the second and then the KH 750.
However, even if there was a latency (which is not the case) MA 1 would correct it and handle it as a time of flight delay.
Interesting to know...Is that preferable to 750 -> 120II/ 150?
 
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Vanx

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I use the 155s and they work fine.
I think I'll sell the iso-200 and buy the iso-155, I told isoacoustics about this problem and they fixed the "wizard"......
I also need to raise them about 10-11cm to get the tweeter at ear level as I have them too low now (even if I see from manual that the ideal point should be between the tweeter and woofer), wondering if the iso-155 will be stable with the long rods? I had the iso-155 for my Yamaha hs5 and they wobbled a bit
 

Markus @ Neumann

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The Wiim Pro/Pro Plus does have a touch sensitve volume control on the front fascia, albeit not very fine control. However, there's also a remote. So no need to break the bank to connect to Neumann's digitally. I personally did not get on too well with the Wiim and returned it, but it's a good option for sure.

I wasn't aware the ADI-2 Pro had an spdif output, only the UCX ii. Not that much more cash for a different set of features. I've only noticed folks, here on ASR who opt for a RME solution, mention the UCX ii for this purpose for some reason.


Interesting to know...Is that preferable to 750 -> 120II/ 150?
Hello Filio45,

Both versions are possible. Going into the monitors first reduces the overall system delay because of the latency free digital out of the monitors.

1699434168296.png
 

Vanx

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I think I'll sell the iso-200 and buy the iso-155, I told isoacoustics about this problem and they fixed the "wizard"......
I also need to raise them about 10-11cm to get the tweeter at ear level as I have them too low now (even if I see from manual that the ideal point should be between the tweeter and woofer), wondering if the iso-155 will be stable with the long rods? I had the iso-155 for my Yamaha hs5 and they wobbled a bit
I've decided to sell the iso-200 and instead of buying the smaller ones to glue the rubber feet Neumann included in the box (that looking at some online tests seem exactly like some other silicone feet that got extremely good decoupling results) and then get two adjustable desk stand to place the monitor at the correct height.
Right now I have them 20cm below my ears and the soundstage is strange, I can feel like the center is too high.

Do you know guys if it is better to align the tweeter at the ear level or the intersection between X and Y axis as shown on Neumann manual? It says that for KH150 the vertical axis center is right between the woofer and the tweeter, so 197mm from the bottom of the speaker, but looking at the Neumann Ma1 videos on their channel, they point the laser measure directly at the tweeter, so higher.
 

DJBonoBobo

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I've decided to sell the iso-200 and instead of buying the smaller ones to glue the rubber feet Neumann included in the box (that looking at some online tests seem exactly like some other silicone feet that got extremely good decoupling results) and then get two adjustable desk stand to place the monitor at the correct height.
Right now I have them 20cm below my ears and the soundstage is strange, I can feel like the center is too high.

Do you know guys if it is better to align the tweeter at the ear level or the intersection between X and Y axis as shown on Neumann manual? It says that for KH150 the vertical axis center is right between the woofer and the tweeter, so 197mm from the bottom of the speaker, but looking at the Neumann Ma1 videos on their channel, they point the laser measure directly at the tweeter, so higher.
You can use the Tweeter for measuring distance with the laser, because it is easier to do. But the correct listening height (and also height of the MA1 mic) is the axis as shown in the manual.
 

Vanx

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For whom is using the Neumann LH 66 stands, is the decoupling effective? How much is the min and max height (of the speaker?)? I can't find this info anywhere.. thanks!
 

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DJBonoBobo

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Ugh, f***ing CapXon! Great.

From: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ann-kh80dsp-teardown.24116/page-3#post-820523

Hello,

My name is Markus Wolff and I am the portfolio manager and technical coordinator for Neumann studio monitors.
I am not active in forums and usually do not comment in those. But I’d like to give some background information to some of the points mentioned in this thread from our point of view.
First, thanks to all of you for your comments and the constructive and fruitful conversation. I also very much appreciate the generally friendly and constructive way of communicating which is unfortunately not common at all.
A few words in advance before I come to some of the specific topics here. Sorry for the length of this contribution.
Our general philosophy regarding Neumann studio monitors is to provide professional loudspeakers for the audio engineer to enable them to judge audio material and to create statistically the best sounding and most reliable mixes. They provide the precision to immediately show any imperfection and sensitively show any changes in sound editing which leads to the least fatiguing working conditions.
The focus here is to concentrate on the real user benefit. The audio performance which can be achieved, the reliability even under the hardest studio conditions, consistency between different models and under different environmental conditions and the flexibility to integrate them in different environments.
The way this is done is what we see as our part.
Even though it is much appreciated by the marketing department to create stories about specific technical USPs which are relevant for the entire product portfolio (such as specific materials which are used, a certain driver arrangement or housing concept etc.), we use any technology which works best to achieve our goals even if it is different for every model. The USP is the user benefit as the best possible compromise between carefully weighted acoustical parameters. Marketing hates me for that .
A good example are the drivers that you can see on the picture. There is nothing spectacular visible. No die cast basket, no special coating, no unique cone material. The performance is what matters. It usually takes three years to develop a new driver. Every individual component is simulated in house and as a sum tailored to the needs in the specific model. The feedback loops between simulation, first samples, adapting simulation parameters to the real parameters and material properties and geometry to the simulation takes a long time. All components are individually produced on our own tools exclusively for Neumann. Visual appearance (despite the color black) has no influence.
During the project phase before every development stage the samples have to pass a 1000 hours full power test with different types of test signals. After that the loudspeaker has to behave identically to before in all acoustical parameters as well as with rattling and air tightness.
Regarding the power amplifier which there were some comments about: The performance stated in the data sheet of a component like this is important but does not necessarily reflect the overall performance when it is integrated in complex circuitry. This influences the overall performance significantly. The self generated noise and THD of the entire system shows that this is above what the chip itself is capable to deliver.
Also here: it is not the individual component or material that matters, it is the performance which can be achieved.
Regarding the specifically mentioned capacitors which we are using:
Capxon is one of the largest Taiwanese capacitor makers, they have fully automated processes, have automotive TS 16949 quality systems, supply major automotive companies, there is no evidence to conclude their quality is any lower than any other vendor at this time. There is anecdotal talk on the internet about this, much of this stems form an electrolyte quality incident about 15 years ago that impacted almost all Taiwanese vendors as they used the same sub supplier for the electrolyte, that does not represent the quality of the parts produced now as this issue has been solved. Regarding the apparent internet consensus here you also have to be mindful of the confirmation bias effect that occurs on the internet will tend to amplify a once legitimate quality issue for many years.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague
In fact when looking at reports of capacitor failures on the internet, most will be the fault of the product design not the capacitor. It is the responsibility of the design engineers to use a part within its specification or with sufficient margin under its specification to ensure an appropriate lifetime for the product. Unfortunately, many volume consumer goods where Capxon is popular, may only calculate lifetime to the warranty period, using “typical” usage models, and will tend to fail prematurely.
Without calculating the expected lifetime of the part in the application you cannot assume a defective part. You can only assume a part is defective if it failed before the specified lifetime under the conditions in which it was used, this is not what we typically see in the reports.
As these are electro chemical devices the temperature and applied voltage has a huge impact on the lifetime. It is not uncommon to see a low cost 1000 hour part used at or very near its rated temperature and voltage where the expected lifetime is only going to be 1000 hours. Now consider the same brand capacitor but this time we choose a 5000 hour rated part and we ensure that in the system it operated a maximum temperature 25 degrees below its rated value, and 25% below its rated voltage under all conditions, in this case it can be expected to last >50,000 hours. Same brand of capacitor, but a 10 times higher expected lifetime, by design, this is how you ensure a reliable product, not by choosing one brand over another brand.
All electrolytic capacitors used by Neumann are de-rated for a >10 year lifetime under a harsh usage model that far exceeds the expected normal use for the product. This is how we ensure the reliability and quality of our products.
I hope this could give you a rough insight into how we see and develop studio monitors.
Thanks a lot.
 

Count Arthur

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Too bad they don't show the tweeter
I don't think there's a photo of it anywhere online
The tweater is likely the same as the one in the KH 80, but I don't know for sure:

1699889314913.png



In which case it's nothing much to look at. The woofer, with that sturdy cast frame, looks the part though.

I think ASR has shown that the whole is often more important than the sum of it's parts. A well designed item that uses components of modest price and quality can outperfom those that ticks all the audiophile boxes with beautifully finished enclosures and all the right types and brands of components. Expensive Nichicon, Elna, Vishay, Mundorf or Mills components used in a poorly optimised circuit won't do much to help performance.

It's interesting that now that many resistors are tiny surface mount things, only a millimeter or so in length, that people seem to get less hung up on which brand they are. Whereas when they were larger through hole components, the distinctive Vishay Dale or Mills resistors were a sign of "quality".

1699889101601.png
1699889123975.png


Looks are important for some and who can deny that the some of the things made by premium brands, which are beautifully finished, inside and out, aren't impressive:

1699889888464.png
1699889914002.png


Some of them even perform well. :)

As the owner of a pair of KH 150s, I hope that Neumann have done their homework and that as a "professional" monitor, they are well engineered and long lasting, but I guess only time will tell.
 
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