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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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KH120ii is one of the BEST designs in terms of port resonances and avoiding them. But still ... they are there and I build my systems with closed (low)midranges to avoid this problem completely. (But not really doable in a 2way speaker, you need at least a subwoofer. Or some crazy ideas with multible drivers)
 

teashea

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KH120ii is one of the BEST designs in terms of port resonances and avoiding them. But still ... they are there and I build my systems with closed (low)midranges to avoid this problem completely. (But not really doable in a 2way speaker, you need at least a subwoofer. Or some crazy ideas with multible drivers)
Neumann audio engineers, who are the finest in the world, have determined that a front port design is optimal for nearfield monitors. My money is on them. Read the results of the measurements. The front ports they designed cause absolutely no audible problem. Some other ported speakers have issues. Neuman KH 150's and KH 120 II's do not.
 

ninetylol

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Hello, can someone explain to me, what would be better?

1. Getting a high quality DAC with XLR outs to XLR in of KH 120 II

2. Using a SMSL PO100 Pro with USB C input to coaxial to spdif input of KH 120 II

Is the internal DAC of the KH 120 II adequate or even better than using another external DAC?

Also what does it mean that SPDIF Digital input connection needs a 75ohm resistance?
 

teashea

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Over the last ten years the quality of DAC's and audio interfaces has dramatically increased. You do not have to spend much to buy a high quality one that blows older ones out of the water in terms of quality. Do not spend unnecessary money on snake oil.

The internal electronics of the KH 120 II are very high. Do not try to duplicate them. Consider that the audio engineers of Neumann are the best in the world for all aspects of studio monitors. Do not second guess them. That would be naive and silly.
 

ninetylol

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Over the last ten years the quality of DAC's and audio interfaces has dramatically increased. You do not have to spend much to buy a high quality one that blows older ones out of the water in terms of quality. Do not spend unnecessary money on snake oil.

The internal electronics of the KH 120 II are very high. Do not try to duplicate them. Consider that the audio engineers of Neumann are the best in the world for all aspects of studio monitors. Do not second guess them. That would be naive and silly.
Excuse me, but I still dont understand what you are advocating here.

I think going fully digital into the KH 120 II and letting it handle all is the choice here, but why is everyone else using analog XLR Input then?

Also is there an easy way to change volume with a digital (100% source level) volume?
 

AudioJester

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. Using a SMSL PO100 Pro with USB C input to coaxial to spdif input of KH 120 II

I do this with active Kefs which do not have usb input, connect directly from a pc. Its a cheap quality device, I use optical into the Kef.
 

ninetylol

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I do this with active Kefs which do not have usb input, connect directly from a pc. Its a cheap quality device, I use optical into the Kef.
Cheap but lossless in quality. How do you control volume?
 

AudioJester

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Cheap but lossless in quality. How do you control volume?

Subjectively sounds better than bluetooth. Its a desktop setup - can control volume on pc and also remote for Kef. Predominantly stream using Tidal
 

teashea

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Excuse me, but I still dont understand what you are advocating here.

I think going fully digital into the KH 120 II and letting it handle all is the choice here, but why is everyone else using analog XLR Input then?

Also is there an easy way to change volume with a digital (100% source level) volume?
Because if one uses these as studio monitors, as they are intended, virtually all good studios already have a good audio interface with good converters. The overwhelming majority of these use the audio outputs of the audio interface for inputting to the studio monitors. The internal converters of the KH 120 II are as good as a good audio interface but not better (ie there is no audible difference). I use an SSL 12, Audient iD 44 II and SSL Big Six for most of my audio interface needs. There is no magic.
 

IamJF

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I think going fully digital into the KH 120 II and letting it handle all is the choice here, but why is everyone else using analog XLR Input then?

Also is there an easy way to change volume with a digital (100% source level) volume?
Whe using an additional D/A converter the signal is D/A converted from your source, then A/D converted from the speaker, then processed and crossover and then D/A converted again. When putting a level control in front of the speaker your first D/A converter runs with full dynamic range but A/D AND D/A conversion don't.
But as converters and digital dynamic range are pretty good nowerdays artefacts are burried in the noise floor and are not audible.
So useing the analog XLR input is for convenience and difference should be small.

Pro's use their audio interface for volume control. I use my RME UFX + ARC USB. I don't know of a good and cheap consumer solution but I would not rely on a software slider from Windows ...
 

IamJF

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Neumann audio engineers, who are the finest in the world, have determined that a front port design is optimal for nearfield monitors. My money is on them. Read the results of the measurements. The front ports they designed cause absolutely no audible problem. Some other ported speakers have issues. Neuman KH 150's and KH 120 II's do not.

Front port is only good to have when you do an inwall construction. It's convenient. And doesn't interfere with the place for the electronics.
Otherwise a back port would be better.

Have a look - that's what's going on at the port of the KH120ii. (Port nearfield measurement, level corrected).
Even with this optimised ports resonances are -15dB and less under speaker level. That's for sure not inaudible - I would consider -40dB to be ok (-60dB would be perfect).


port fr norm.PNG
 

Filio45

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Pro's use their audio interface for volume control. I use my RME UFX + ARC USB. I don't know of a good and cheap consumer solution but I would not rely on a software slider from Windows ...
A cheaper option: PC (ddc converter, optical out) -> Wiim Pro as digital volume control -> spdif input on first Neumann.

My audio chain and works well/ sounds good.
 
Last edited:

ninetylol

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Whe using an additional D/A converter the signal is D/A converted from your source, then A/D converted from the speaker, then processed and crossover and then D/A converted again. When putting a level control in front of the speaker your first D/A converter runs with full dynamic range but A/D AND D/A conversion don't.
But as converters and digital dynamic range are pretty good nowerdays artefacts are burried in the noise floor and are not audible.
So useing the analog XLR input is for convenience and difference should be small.

Pro's use their audio interface for volume control. I use my RME UFX + ARC USB. I don't know of a good and cheap consumer solution but I would not rely on a software slider from Windows ...
I cant find it right now, but amir measured digital volume control in different scenarios and came to the conclusion its totally good enough for transparent audio.

EDIT: he promoted this to mainpage: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...truth-about-dsp-volume-control-in-roon.23552/
Conclusion
The DSP volume control inside the Roon Bridge is as perfect as can be.

The noise floor remains at -178dB, regardless of which attenuation is set for the DSP volume. This means that even at volumes down to -50dB the dynamic at the output is higher as the signal to noise ratio of the best DACs and power amplifiers. No other issues like intermodulation artefacts between the two frequencies or other distortions have been found. The dither is very well done with a completely flat response.

My conclusion is that there is nothing at all to worry about DSP volume in the Roon Bridge. No analogue volume control in the word can deliver these results. The thermal noise of a potentiometer or an analogue ladder attenuator will be much higher than the -178dB the DSP volume control of Roon delivers.

My recommendation: Use DSP Volume whenever possible.
 

thewas

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Front port is only good to have when you do an inwall construction. It's convenient. And doesn't interfere with the place for the electronics.
Otherwise a back port would be better.

Have a look - that's what's going on at the port of the KH120ii. (Port nearfield measurement, level corrected).
Even with this optimised ports resonances are -15dB and less under speaker level. That's for sure not inaudible - I would consider -40dB to be ok (-60dB would be perfect).


View attachment 319201
The problem is that when doing a typical nearfield measurement at the port you measure also partially the contribution from the woofer, which can be easily confirmed if you close the port and measure at the same exact location again, meaning that real the level difference is usually larger than the measured one.
 

IamJF

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That's true of course. But the hump at 700Hz is not from the midrange membrane.
 

IamJF

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A cheaper option: Source (ddc converter, optical out) -> Wiim Pro as digital volume control -> spdif input on first Neumann.

My audio chain and works well/ sounds good.
Do you use the remote control of the Wiim for changing volume? I use them for streaming only but good and stable solution. For a living room setup that's probably all you need!
 

Filio45

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Do you use the remote control of the Wiim for changing volume?
yes, it provides a little more fine control compared to touching the front panel, which I often do too.

For a living room setup that's probably all you need!
Its small size is also appreciated on my somewhat cluttered desk. I've not tried streaming so far. Just as a 'preamp' between a PC and 120II, nearfield.
 
Last edited:

teashea

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Front port is only good to have when you do an inwall construction. It's convenient. And doesn't interfere with the place for the electronics.
Otherwise a back port would be better.

Have a look - that's what's going on at the port of the KH120ii. (Port nearfield measurement, level corrected).
Even with this optimised ports resonances are -15dB and less under speaker level. That's for sure not inaudible - I would consider -40dB to be ok (-60dB would be perfect).


View attachment 319201
That is entirely false and laughable. Neumann monitors are the finest in the world and they are not inwall. Read the measurements of the KH 120 II and KH 150 here on ASR.
 
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