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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

mj30250

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View attachment 315116

Guys, any suggestions with this latest measurement? KH120II x 2 and KH750 x 1 to the immediate left of my left monitor. Placement options limited.
Keep in mind that what MA 1 is showing you here is only a prediction of the post-alignment response. You would need to take in-room measurements yourself to see what's really going on.

That said, are you able to provide the "before" measurements? You're clearly dealing with a large null below 40Hz. You could attempt to dial in a filter or two to boost that area a bit and see how it sounds / measures. Do you have any flexibility in the placement of the KH 750? Neumann recommends pushing it as close to the front wall as possible and this is what worked best for me. I was surprised at how sensitive to placement it was and even small adjustments of a couple inches made a large difference.
 

D700

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I did a lot of work in and with small rooms and a part of my bussines is room acoustics.
Toole has the view of doing acoustics for CONSUMERS. There is a lot of content how side reflections are beneficial etc.
That's not what I am searching in a professional critical listening environment! There are different ways to do that but MY way for my situation was to implement a non environment room - so very little room influence. And this worked out very well, never had mixes translate so good. Cause you simply hear what's on your source and mixing decisions are clear and easier.
For causual listening - this room is not enjoyable for many. I love the precision but people miss the "surrounding, integration" of the sound and the room. And that's fine - having a glass of wine and relax you probably don't want to hear that the mic was on the edge of distortion during recording or that the compressor from the bass is pumping a little to much. You want a surrounding experience, to be with the musicians.

So my advice for CRITICAL listening - get some basic absorption first (which is already a lot) and then do some measurements to finetune. Don't hang a few pannels - wasted money, it's not enough. And when you want to build a dedicated room and take it serious - choose an acoustic concept and go for it: https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/sos-guide-control-room-design
My room only startet to work really good after doing a proper on/in wall speaker installation - which is part of the design. But now it's a joy to work with.

(You need to get controll in the 80-250Hz area in small rooms - this is where the "boxy" sound comes from (these resonances are higher as in big, open rooms). And get multi sub/double bass array/at least good positioning + EQ or other geometrical approaches for the frequency response lower than that. There are great absorbers to save space like BCA. Do A LOT at the ceiling. And you can gete a room you can professionally work with)
I'm curious. When mixing, do engineers mix for their room, which they've neutralized as best they can? Or do they mix to a target curve or set of values of "the average room"? That would seem a quandary. "but but it sounded great in the studio..."
 

dominikz

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View attachment 315116

Guys, any suggestions with this latest measurement? KH120II x 2 and KH750 x 1 to the immediate left of my left monitor. Placement options limited.
I'd suggest to try moving the subwoofer - I'd probably try a position in the room corner first, and if that doesn't help then various positions against the front wall to see if that low bass dip can be avoided.
Also I personally wouldn't apply any filters above ~300Hz (if that is configurable with MA1) - KH120II seem amazingly flat right out of the box.
 

Filio45

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Do you have any flexibility in the placement of the KH 750?
I'd probably try a position in the room corner first, and if that doesn't help then various positions against the front wall to see if that low bass dip can be avoided.
Corners are not free but if change my desk with a new one that allows the sub to go under it, then I will have more options then I presently do. My current desk's legs, and board in between them, prevent the sub from going under it.

I did previously have the sub in the opposite position to the one I posted above, ie just to the right of the right-hand speaker. The measurement of it shows a similar null but not as pronounced as before.

MA1 screenshot of  2.1 an, no 1 - Copy.png
 

DJBonoBobo

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Corners are not free but if change my desk with a new one that allows the sub to go under it, then I will have more options then I presently do. My current desk's legs, and board in between them, prevent the sub from going under it.

I did previously have the sub in the opposite position to the one I posted above, ie just to the right of the right-hand speaker. The measurement of it shows a similar null but not as pronounced as before.

View attachment 315220
Maybe start your own thread and post more info about your room etc there, if you want help.
 

Bambo

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Hi all!
Has anyone else tested the difference in sound between a digital S/PDIF connection and an analog connection specifically in a Neumann 120 II without a subwoofer? Please tell me, is there a noticeable difference?
If there is a difference, and the sound over a digital S/PDIF connection is better than an analog one, then the next question is. When choosing an audio interface, we strive to purchase high-quality DAC and ADC converters. In the case of a digital S/PDIF connection, does it make a difference which audio interface carries digital audio? Simply, if there is no difference in the digital S/PDIF connection, then it is better to take the cheapest interface with a digital S/PDIF output. Am I right in my reasoning?
I have an Audient ID4 MKII. This interface has good DAC and ADC converters, but does not have digital output formats. And I think it makes sense to get an audio interface with a digital output, and if it makes sense, then what kind of audio interface to get. I write music, do mixing and mastering.
Thank you for your time!
 
Last edited:

dominikz

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Hi all!
Has anyone else tested the difference in sound between a digital S/PDIF connection and an analog connection specifically in a Neumann 120 II without a subwoofer? Please tell me, is there a noticeable difference?

If there is a difference, and the sound over a digital S/PDIF connection is better than an analog one, then the next question is. When choosing an audio interface, we strive to purchase high-quality DAC and ADC converters. In the case of a digital S/PDIF connection, does it make a difference which audio interface carries digital audio? Simply, if there is no difference in the digital S/PDIF connection, then it is better to take the cheapest interface with a digital S/PDIF output. Am I right in my reasoning? Thank you for your time!
There should not be any sound quality difference between either connection method (assuming nothing is broken).
One benefit of a digital connection is that you don't have to bother with analog gain-staging (i.e. making sure that the DAC maximum output level and loudspeaker input sensitivity are optimally aligned for maximum signal-to-noise ratio without clipping).
DACs have been a commodity for a long time, and there is no formal evidence (that I know of) where 'better' DACs result in improved sound quality (again, assuming nothing is downright broken). A while ago I made a small experiment that you might also find interesting.

EDIT: Of course, I'd always recommend buying gear where performance has been validated by measurements - that gives you some confidence that it indeed isn't 'broken'. Also, buying from reputable brands sometimes comes with non-performance oriented benefits like good post-sales product support.
 

Bambo

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При любом способе подключения не должно быть разницы в качестве звука (при условии, что ничего не сломано).
Одним из преимуществ цифрового подключения является то, что вам не нужно беспокоиться об аналоговом каскаде усиления (т. е. следить за тем, чтобы максимальный выходной уровень ЦАП и входная чувствительность громкоговорителя оптимально согласованы для максимального соотношения сигнал/шум без ограничения).
ЦАП уже давно стали товаром, и нет официальных доказательств (насколько мне известно), что «лучшие» ЦАП приводят к улучшению качества звука (опять же, если предположить, что ничего не сломано). Некоторое время назад я провел небольшой эксперимент , который, возможно, тоже покажется вам интересным.

РЕДАКТИРОВАТЬ: Конечно, я всегда рекомендую покупать оборудование, производительность которого подтверждена измерениями — это дает вам некоторую уверенность в том, что оно действительно не «сломано». Кроме того, покупка у известных брендов иногда приносит с собой преимущества, не связанные с производительностью, такие как хорошая послепродажная поддержка продукта.
Thanks a lot!
 

IamJF

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Hi all!
Has anyone else tested the difference in sound between a digital S/PDIF connection and an analog connection specifically in a Neumann 120 II without a subwoofer? Please tell me, is there a noticeable difference?
I didn't had time to do a proper test, maybe in a few weeks as workload get's less.
I noticed a liiittle difference with my Hypex modules and very high resolution speakers, I use the with digital input.

When searching for an interface get one with a nice volume knob also for the digital output. I use RME ARC USB + a fitting interface and it's a really good system. You need to control your volume, a slider in windows would not be good enough (and good god, don't do a wrong klick ...)
 

IamJF

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I'm curious. When mixing, do engineers mix for their room, which they've neutralized as best they can? Or do they mix to a target curve or set of values of "the average room"? That would seem a quandary. "but but it sounded great in the studio..."
You normally mix what you hear in your room. Then go to the car, kitchen and living room and have a listen. Use a 2nd pair of small speakers. And all sorts of controlling your mix.
You "learn" your room + speakers. And always listen to a reference track in between to set back your bias.
That's a pretty time consuming, cumbersome and distracting thing.

The better your studio is, the less you have that problem! I was working for years to get my room + speakers right and am very happy now. I need WAY less checks in other rooms, the mix "translates" as we say.
It's not my business any more but hey - you need some challenges as engineer :cool:
 

Bambo

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I didn't had time to do a proper test, maybe in a few weeks as workload get's less.
I noticed a liiittle difference with my Hypex modules and very high resolution speakers, I use the with digital input.

When searching for an interface get one with a nice volume knob also for the digital output. I use RME ARC USB + a fitting interface and it's a really good system. You need to control your volume, a slider in windows would not be good enough (and good god, don't do a wrong klick ...)
Thank you!
 

cryptout

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Is MA 1 better than Sonarworks? I already have SW with mic and would want to use this if I buy the 120 II.
 

IamJF

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Is MA 1 better than Sonarworks? I already have SW with mic and would want to use this if I buy the 120 II.
Yes!
Even when the result would be the same (and it isn't ;-)) it's way more convenient to have the correction in the speaker and don't have any hassle with plugins etc.
(Every Sonarworks user at least once did a bouncing with the plugin still activated ... )
 

holdingpants01

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(Every Sonarworks user at least once did a bouncing with the plugin still activated ... )
Not really, some DAWs have separate FX bus used only for monitoring like Reaper, and most users just use systemwide correction, otherwise it wouldn't work with anything outside of DAW. Is the Neumann software even available on anything other than iPad? It wasn't last time I checked
 

cryptout

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Yes!
Even when the result would be the same (and it isn't ;-)) it's way more convenient to have the correction in the speaker and don't have any hassle with plugins etc.
(Every Sonarworks user at least once did a bouncing with the plugin still activated ... )
Why is the result not the same? do we have measurements somewhere that shows the difference?
 

DJBonoBobo

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Is the Neumann software even available on anything other than iPad? It wasn't last time I checked
The old Neumann.Control-app is ipad only and has not been updated since 2019.
The MA1-software is available for Mac and Windows (not ipad). the software is only needed once for calibration, you don't need to include it in the DAW-workfkow.
I have not seen a comparison of Sonarworks and MA1 results. Someone who has both needs to do it. I tried this for a comparison of MA1 and Dirac Live Bass Control (DLBC), but i don't have Sonarworks.
 

vssyla

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Thanks for your responses! I honestly hoped to hear that the KH120ii's would be a major drop-in upgrade without having to rethink my setup. My speaker position is pretty restricted, but I've thought about adding bass traps to the rear corners of my room if that would be worthwhile (further research TBD). Should I not expect the KH120ii's to give much better bass performance than my 305p's even in the same environment?

I went to a showroom yesterday and directly compared the last-gen KH120 against the Genelec 8030C, Yamaha HS5, ADAM T5V, and KRK ROKIT 5. In the same room, the KH120 and 8030C seemed to produce drastically deeper and fuller bass than any of the lower-end models. Unfortunately they didn't have the JBL 305p to do an A/B comparison, but I assume it would have been similar to the HS5 and others. Does this not seem right? I'll have to check again and make sure the high-end samples didn't sneakily include a subwoofer that I didn't notice...

EDIT: I would also love to try some room measurements but only have my phone and a basic USB desk mic to record with. I'll do some research and see if I can figure out how you guys produce those SPL/frequency response charts!
everyone has a different opinion with how much bass they want, or punch etc. over the last 13 years, i've gone from rokit 8s to yamaha hs7s + hs8s sub, and produced on a lot on higher end focals and other speaker models w/dsp setups in studios. Cant speak for using the genelecs a lot, but I've heard them in person before and they are good. When i got the kh120 ii, no sub, I was playing some lower-sub freq 2 step garage music at 84 db (listening position). not super bass heavy in specific. All of the walls shook from the bass. it woke up my roommate that was taking a nap and we share a wall (perpendicular to the speakers). it shook her room as well. tons of bass (in my opinion). i actually ended up trimming -2db off the bass pretty quickly.

depending on listening position and other factors, you'll notice the bass more. But, theres serious bass on these that i did not expect for a small speaker. plenty for me at least, and worth the clarity in the other aspects of the speaker! but for real, that cabinet is no joke with the bass.

The biggest highlight for me is the tweeters. I cant believe the clarity that is present without harshness. It's ASMR to me. Im nowhere an expert on speaker knowledge, but when im listening to music on these speakers it feels like i have headphones on. so smooth. Maybe thats a phase linearity thing.

i can't think of a downside to the kh 120ii, maybe except if you wanted more *punch* nearfield. Even so, it's still great in that department.
 

IamJF

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Why is the result not the same? do we have measurements somewhere that shows the difference?
Yes - at least what Sonarworks does:
 

cryptout

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Yes - at least what Sonarworks does:
Thanks but I mean a straight comparison on the KH120. I'm curious since I used Sonarworks for many years and am not keen to spend money for a new measurement mic and software if it's basically the same.
 

IamJF

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You read the post and my comment at the end? Sonarworks does very wide EQing, the other softwares are more precise. And my experience with MA-1 is also a very precise correction.
I understand you don't WANT to buy the mic but I'm pretty sure results are better. ;-)

And no, up to now nobody has done the efford to do the measurements and corrections. I don't use Sonarworks any more. Maybe you could bring some light to this topic when doing your setup and provide a few measurements. Do you have send back options in your country when buying stuff? Just test the MA-1 and when you are not happy send it back. I'm betting a 6-pack you won't :cool:
 
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