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Neumann KH120 II Monitor Review

Rate this monitor speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 1 0.3%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 3 0.8%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 34 8.6%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 357 90.4%

  • Total voters
    395

IamJF

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I would see it from the other direction - You don't need the narrower dispersion and can save some money. Which you can invest in the sub shortly afterwards. :cool:
 

Filio45

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Does the narrower dispersion at that distance mean a smaller sweetspot area?
 

dominikz

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For a nearfield listening set up of 1.1 metre equidistant triangle, would the slightly wider dispersion of the KH120II compared to the KH150, make the former a better choice?
IMHO at such a short listening distance one cannot expect significant phantom image widening from lateral reflections. On the other hand, moving left-right in the chair would significantly change relative distance between each speaker - which would likely shift phantom image perception accordingly due to the inter-aural level difference. So IMHO (and IME) the sweetspot will be relatively small however we look at it - and regardless of the slight difference in dispersion width between the two loudspeaker models.

I'd second the proposal by @IamJF to look at it from the opposite direction: the even smaller KH 80 has better vertical directivity and is designed for ultra-nearfield desktop systems so might be better suited at such listening distances. Please note that IMO KH 80 / 120 / 150 all require a subwoofer anyway for full range playback, so in this case I'd personally choose the loudspeaker model based on:
  1. Required maximum SPL
  2. Listening distance
  3. Loudspeaker size (i.e. smaller box is easier to place)
And then I'd add the appropriate subwoofer :)
 

mj30250

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Yep, the small dispersion differences would not personally impact my decision in this case. If I never moved beyond desktop listening distances, I'd personally go for KH 120 IIs without hesitation. If you don't listen loudly, the KH 80 + KH 750 + MA 1 is likely all you'd ever need in that case.

I ended up with KH 150s because while I mostly listen to them from my desk, the office opens up into a living room and they do a wonderful job of filling the entire space at very high volumes when the mood strikes.
 

IamJF

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Does the narrower dispersion at that distance mean a smaller sweetspot area?
In theory - yes. In real life - what @dominikz says.

I have the impression that the KH120ii sounds better as the KH80. But take it with care, I did not an AB comparison after measurements. But I would for sure would want the digital input, esp in a smaller setup. When playing/recording instruments KH80 would not be loud enough for me. But a friend has the combination KH80+KH750 and this works very well for a small audio desk workspace. Bedroom studio -> KH80 great. (Home) Studio -> I would not go with less as KH120ii.

For mixing and listening to music KH120ii and KH150 could be enough without subwoofer. Keep an eye on the spectrum to avoid rumble at very low frequencies.
For Mastering or cinema I would add KH750s. To be honest - I would add KH750s anyways over time cause I'm used to fullrange sound :)
 

tifune

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For a nearfield listening set up of 1.1 metre equidistant triangle, would the slightly wider dispersion of the KH120II compared to the KH150, make the former a better choice?
This is more of a room/personal preference question. Can you post a photo? The differences will be minimal, but it's always fun to hypothesize
 

Filio45

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@tifune
I'm not able to take a photo right now. But the monitors would be about 3 cms (at nearest point) from a thin wooden wall, 1.1 m apart with a 27" monitor in between. About a third along the longest dimension of a 4m x 3.7m (x 2.8m height) room. Away from side walls.

If I never moved beyond desktop listening distances, I'd personally go for KH 120 II
Well I do also move around the room a bit for casual listening/dancing but mostly at desk


@IamJF @dominikz thanks for info
 
Last edited:

ivayvr

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I am so glad that I read all of this (well, not all..). I have a pair of Genelec 8020 and Genelec 7040 sub and according to their recommendations, they are less than ideal for my room and my listening position. From the very beginning I was very impressed by the sound and I was suspecting that something may be wrong with my hearing. My listening position is around 2.5 meters from the speakers. The room is approximately 3.5X4.5 meters and I never get even close to the sound level limit. This combination sound much better than any combination of HiFi speakers I ever had and I had quite a few.
Obviously what Genelec is suggesting is based on much higher standards required for professional recording and editing.
 

funnychap

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Any streamers that support Apple Music AND have SPDIF out? Can't help but wonder if Neumann missed opportunity to throw in a USB-C port. How are folks typically feeding these Neumann speakers with DSP?
I stream Apple Music (hires-lossless) so I bought the Eversolo DMP-A6 which has builtin native Apple Music.
I bought the $850 Eversolo DMP-A6 from Amazon.
 
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There's a remote controlled version of that WiiM Pro that was mentioned for under 200 EUR / whatever in dollars.
So that kind of control is available for cheap enough...and saves on the number of boxes one has to have in the bedroom :).

Edit.
Although...that thing has a dac in it as well, not sure what functionality is provided by that remote....and for which outputs...
To be tested.

Anyone using the KH120ii’s with a WiiM Pro (bypassing the WiiM’s DAC) and can confirm that one can control volume through the WiiM (ideally also through remote)?

Anything that speaks against such a budget friendly setup?

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

s9_0d1n

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Anyone using the KH120ii’s with a WiiM Pro (bypassing the WiiM’s DAC) and can confirm that one can control volume through the WiiM (ideally also through remote)?

Anything that speaks against such a budget friendly setup?

Thanks!
I don't have the Neumanns, but I have some Genelecs and will have access to them and the Wiim Pro again in about 3 weeks when I get back home.
I expect the volume control part to be similar even if the digital input of the Genelecs is AES/EBU.
The only thing I'm missing is the connecting cable, but I'll order that one.

I'm also curious about the experience with Neumanns though, as I'm considering a pair of KH 150's + Wiim for another setup.
 

Matias

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Anyone using the KH120ii’s with a WiiM Pro (bypassing the WiiM’s DAC) and can confirm that one can control volume through the WiiM (ideally also through remote)?

Anything that speaks against such a budget friendly setup?

Thanks!
The WiiM Pro digital outputs do have volume control, and better yet when conveniently used with its remote control (I bought mine bundled).

There should be no reason why a digital input active speaker would not work the same as my DAC+pre+amp+passive speakers.
 
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Thank you for the replies. I bought the Neumann‘s and the WiiM Pro. Everything works perfectly! Volume control via smartphone or WiiM remote (while bypassing the subpar WiiM DAC) works great. I understand that using WiiM volume control does not affect audio quality (see somewhere in this threat: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/.../wiim-pro-review-measurements-streamer.42300/).

As far as I can tell, audio quality is great (not an audiophile yet). Having only the tiny WiiM Pro beside the speaker saves a lot of space and looks very neat. I use the WiiM’s optical input for my TB, which also works perfectly.

In short, I couldn’t be happier to have such setup as a beginner!

Finally, this forum is fantastic and I learnt so much in 2-3 weeks! The scientific approach is also greatly appreciated. Thank you all (I’ll check in occasionally to read some of the nerdy debates)!
 

Matias

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Thank you for the replies. I bought the Neumann‘s and the WiiM Pro. Everything works perfectly! Volume control via smartphone or WiiM remote (while bypassing the subpar WiiM DAC) works great. I understand that using WiiM volume control does not affect audio quality (see somewhere in this threat: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/.../wiim-pro-review-measurements-streamer.42300/).

As far as I can tell, audio quality is great (not an audiophile yet). Having only the tiny WiiM Pro beside the speaker saves a lot of space and looks very neat. I use the WiiM’s optical input for my TB, which also works perfectly.

In short, I couldn’t be happier to have such setup as a beginner!

Finally, this forum is fantastic and I learnt so much in 2-3 weeks! The scientific approach is also greatly appreciated. Thank you all (I’ll check in occasionally to read some of the nerdy debates)!
Killer minimalist system, congratulations!
 

D700

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Thank you for the replies. I bought the Neumann‘s and the WiiM Pro. Everything works perfectly! Volume control via smartphone or WiiM remote (while bypassing the subpar WiiM DAC) works great. I understand that using WiiM volume control does not affect audio quality (see somewhere in this threat: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/.../wiim-pro-review-measurements-streamer.42300/).

As far as I can tell, audio quality is great (not an audiophile yet). Having only the tiny WiiM Pro beside the speaker saves a lot of space and looks very neat. I use the WiiM’s optical input for my TB, which also works perfectly.

In short, I couldn’t be happier to have such setup as a beginner!

Finally, this forum is fantastic and I learnt so much in 2-3 weeks! The scientific approach is also greatly appreciated. Thank you all (I’ll check in occasionally to read some of the nerdy debates)!
I've been contemplating same. Do you plan to get MA-1 and perform room correction? That's what I'm wandering through pros/cons of various software options in comparison.
 

HQY

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I've been contemplating same. Do you plan to get MA-1 and perform room correction? That's what I'm wandering through pros/cons of various software options in comparison.
I would think ma1 is a must have for neumann dsp monitor users.
 

IamJF

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I've been contemplating same. Do you plan to get MA-1 and perform room correction? That's what I'm wandering through pros/cons of various software options in comparison.
MA-1 is better as the software corrections I know and it's saved in the speaker - you can put everything in front of it and get the correction.
I tried these plugin corrections ... until I forgot to switch it off during bouncing ... it's a pain.
 

D700

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MA-1 is better as the software corrections I know and it's saved in the speaker - you can put everything in front of it and get the correction.
I tried these plugin corrections ... until I forgot to switch it off during bouncing ... it's a pain.
Good feedback, thank you. That confirms my suspicions. I’ve been airplaying to my Sonos Beam Gen 2 to get used to it…I can tell noticeable difference blind listening when Lossless and High Rez are sent which surprised me. I think I read the Neumanns translate everything to 24/48kHz anyway for DSP. My other consideration is a pair of Sonos 5s for less than half cost of KH120s, can’t find any comparison reviews as it’s apples and oranges for sure. Good thread here, thanks all.
 

IamJF

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2 very different speakers. Neumann wants to show you the music as recorded with as little room as possible. If you want to know how the music was meant to be, how it was in the original location etc - that's the best bang for the buck, esp with MA-1.
Sonso "integrates" the sound in your room. Working with reflections to get a "wrapping" sound experience in the whole room. This can also be very satisfying and fun to listen to music.
Just decide what you want - "truth" or "fun".
 
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I've been contemplating same. Do you plan to get MA-1 and perform room correction? That's what I'm wandering through pros/cons of various software options in comparison.
Indeed, I may do that in a bit. And down the line may also get Neumann‘s subwoofer to round out the setup.
 
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