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Neumann KH120 II Monitor Review

Rate this monitor speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 2 0.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 3 0.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 36 8.6%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 376 90.2%

  • Total voters
    417

AdamG

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Let’s try to get back on topic. Open a new thread if you want to discuss the Pros/Cons of various materials used in Audio. I think it would be an interesting thread. Just not here please.

Thank you for your cooperation.
 

IamJF

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Can you do a quick general comparison between them ?
Thanks
It's been a while, I wrote already more detailed about this topic.
In short and from memory.

KH120ii has an incredible stage. That's obvious in a direct comparison but also against my main system they are really good. Wide and precise, room representation ist really good.
Next big step is the midrange - the new driver is "more natural", has more details. In 1:1 comparisons the midrange of the KH120 had a "problem area" - this is totally gone with the new version. I compared to midrange dome drivers from 2"-3" which is probably not fair but KH120ii makes the gap way smaller. This was all I hoped for the upgrade and they delivered.
It has deeper, a liiittle louder bass and can deliver more SPL. This is not so obvious in the measurements but a step forward. In fact in measurements it's not far from the KH150 which is amazing when you look at the price.
Feeding with the analog input I experienced the top octave of the KH120ii a little less "relaxed" as the KH120. That's the only downside in my opinion. But I didn't compared the digital input, it reminds me to the difference with my Hypex modules analog and digital input. Not confirmed.

AND - MA1 is GREAT! I only trust MA1 and Dirac for automated speaker calibration, these work. The "room correction" gives some "truth" in the reproduction which I normally only know from my main system. You can trust the speaker and what you hear for mixing. I had the same experience with KH80 and KH750 at my bass players system - after measuring with MA1 it made a good step forward to have a system you can trust for working.

So for ME it's an upgrade totally worth the money. Also at this pricepoint ... just geht the KH120ii + MA1. You can tune the frequency response to your likings with the software and in terms of level and precision and spaciousness they are really good for their size, hard to beat.

Of course when you search for some signatuer sound or relaxed listening in the evening ... just buy what you like. As a tool for working in audio they deliver.
 

Pearljam5000

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It's been a while, I wrote already more detailed about this topic.
In short and from memory.

KH120ii has an incredible stage. That's obvious in a direct comparison but also against my main system they are really good. Wide and precise, room representation ist really good.
Next big step is the midrange - the new driver is "more natural", has more details. In 1:1 comparisons the midrange of the KH120 had a "problem area" - this is totally gone with the new version. I compared to midrange dome drivers from 2"-3" which is probably not fair but KH120ii makes the gap way smaller. This was all I hoped for the upgrade and they delivered.
It has deeper, a liiittle louder bass and can deliver more SPL. This is not so obvious in the measurements but a step forward. In fact in measurements it's not far from the KH150 which is amazing when you look at the price.
Feeding with the analog input I experienced the top octave of the KH120ii a little less "relaxed" as the KH120. That's the only downside in my opinion. But I didn't compared the digital input, it reminds me to the difference with my Hypex modules analog and digital input. Not confirmed.

AND - MA1 is GREAT! I only trust MA1 and Dirac for automated speaker calibration, these work. The "room correction" gives some "truth" in the reproduction which I normally only know from my main system. You can trust the speaker and what you hear for mixing. I had the same experience with KH80 and KH750 at my bass players system - after measuring with MA1 it made a good step forward to have a system you can trust for working.

So for ME it's an upgrade totally worth the money. Also at this pricepoint ... just geht the KH120ii + MA1. You can tune the frequency response to your likings with the software and in terms of level and precision and spaciousness they are really good for their size, hard to beat.

Of course when you search for some signatuer sound or relaxed listening in the evening ... just buy what you like. As a tool for working in audio they deliver.
Thanks
What is your main system ?
 

IamJF

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Thanks
What is your main system ?
Pic from 2021. It's a custom build for the room. Beryllium tweeter, only one of the 2,5" midranges is active, ScanSpeak 8" drivers forming a single bass array. Hypex electronics.
Highly dampened room, these are VERY precise.
Studio2021 (FHD).jpg
 

BubbleBuddy

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I finally ordered a pair of KH 120 II's based on the glowing reviews and discussions written here. I've been very happy with them over the past week. Still on the fence about spending another $400 on an MA 1 to run room correction though. My home studio is a 2.9 x 2.7m box with basic panel treatment on the back and side walls, so I wonder how much difference a correction could make for a sloppy setup like mine. Apparently I should have noticeable unevenness in bass with such a small room, but my ears aren't really calibrated to detect that.

My only issue so far is that the speakers don't stay in standby mode. This wasn't a problem with my JBL 305P MkII's. Even with my input sources (PC > Motu M4 > XLR cable) powered down, I'll often find both speakers active and warm to the touch overnight. The speakers enter standby occasionally throughout the day but I have no idea what's waking them up every morning. My XLR cables are loomed alongside various power cords and display cords but I'd expect them to be well shielded.

The manual suggests using the MA 1 alignment software to set the standby threshold to 30dB. Hopefully that means this is an adjustable setting that can be increased and stored onboard the speakers if needed in the future.

20240410_191647.jpg
 
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Pearljam5000

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I finally ordered a pair of KH 120 II's based on the glowing reviews and discussions written here. I've been very happy with them over the past week. Still on the fence about spending another $400 on an MA 1 to run some room correction. My home studio is a 2.9 x 2.7m box with basic panel treatment on the back and side walls, so I wonder how much difference a correction could make for a sloppy setup like mine.

My only issue so far is that the speakers don't stay in standby mode. This was never a problem with my JBL 305P MkII's. Even with my input sources (PC > Motu M4 > XLR cable) powered down, I'll often find both speakers active and warm to the touch overnight. The speakers enter standby as expecteed throughout the day, but I have no idea what's waking them up. My XLR cables are loomed alongside various power cords but I'd expect them to be well shielded.

The manual suggests using the MA 1 alignment software to set the standby threshold to 30dB. Hopefully that means it's an adjustable setting that can be stored onboard the speakers if I need to in the future...

View attachment 364405
How the KH120II compares to your HD800S?
 

BubbleBuddy

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How the KH120II compares to your HD800S?
I actually never tried comparing them before. I just did a little A/B testing and they seem super similar to my ears. I guess that's natural since they're both supposed to be as neutral as possible.

I get a vague first impression that the HD800s are slightly clearer or more balanced. Music feels like it can be pulled apart into complete separate layers by instruments and tones, as if each bit has a totally distinct source. Nothing "jumps out" from a good mix, but it's easy to pick out any element. Part of this is probably just because headphones offer total left/right stereo separation so you can subconsciously focus on one channel or the other.

I don't hear anything out of the HD800s that I don't also hear from the KH120II's. The slight difference is that the KH120II's output feels less separated, especially in terms of stereo imaging. The fact that the speakers' bass output is so much more powerful also stands out. Low notes and tones from the KH120II's grab your attention differently since they vibrate the room and can be felt through your whole body.

Seems like I'm just pointing out inherent differences in speakers vs. headphones. Basically, neither of these seems to have a distinguishing character since they deliberately avoid adding or subtracting any "flavour" from the input. The HD800s just feel a little more analytical!
 
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thewas

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It should be added though that the HD800S have without EQ a treble peak (not so large as on the HD800 but still there) which is one of the reasons they sound "analytical".
 

isabido

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Finalmente pedí un par de KH 120 II basándome en las entusiastas críticas y debates escritos aquí. He estado muy contento con ellos durante la semana pasada. Sin embargo, todavía estoy indeciso sobre gastar otros $ 400 en un MA 1 para ejecutar la corrección de espacio. El estudio de mi casa es una caja de 2,9 x 2,7 m con un tratamiento básico de paneles en las paredes trasera y lateral, así que me pregunto cuánta diferencia podría hacer una corrección en una configuración descuidada como la mía. Aparentemente debería tener una irregularidad notable en los graves en una habitación tan pequeña, pero mis oídos no están realmente calibrados para detectar eso.

Mi único problema hasta ahora es que los parlantes no permanecen en modo de espera. Esto no fue un problema con mi JBL 305P MkII. Incluso con mis fuentes de entrada (PC > Motu M4 > cable XLR) apagadas, a menudo encuentro ambos altavoces activos y calientes al tacto durante la noche. Los parlantes entran en modo de espera ocasionalmente durante el día, pero no tengo idea de qué los despierta cada mañana. Mis cables XLR están colocados junto a varios cables de alimentación y cables de pantalla, pero espero que estén bien blindados.

El manual sugiere utilizar el software de alineación MA 1 para establecer el umbral de espera en 30 dB. Con suerte, eso significa que se trata de una configuración ajustable que se puede aumentar y almacenar en los altavoces si es necesario en el futuro.

View attachment 364405
My opinion is that although this monitor is a real marvel, you need to apply a correction with the MA-1 or similar.

Even if it is a near field listening (in my case it is the same) the 100-300hz area is "spoiled" by the location and the table. At least that's what happened to me with my Genelec 8020.

In my case I cannot live without a system with FIR applied to the listening point, and as I have mentioned I hear VERY close, 0.6 meters, unless I put them outdoors.
 

TheBatsEar

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I finally ordered a pair of KH 120 II's based on the glowing reviews and discussions written here.
Sweet.

The manual suggests using the MA 1 alignment software to set the standby threshold to 30dB. Hopefully that means this is an adjustable setting that can be increased and stored onboard the speakers if needed in the future.
Further up are links to a Python tool to change some values, if you are up to it and the values you need are supported. I personally would call Neumann and ask if you need the MA1 to install their software.

Nice listening space you have there :cool:
 

Pouyoux

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My only issue so far is that the speakers don't stay in standby mode. This wasn't a problem with my JBL 305P MkII's. Even with my input sources (PC > Motu M4 > XLR cable) powered down, I'll often find both speakers active and warm to the touch overnight. The speakers enter standby occasionally throughout the day but I have no idea what's waking them up every morning. My XLR cables are loomed alongside various power cords and display cords but I'd expect them to be well shielded.

The manual suggests using the MA 1 alignment software to set the standby threshold to 30dB. Hopefully that means this is an adjustable setting that can be increased and stored onboard the speakers if needed in the future.

You can try to download MA1 software on Neumann website, install it and launch it without buying the MA1 kit and its licence then you can update the speakers firmware and change speaker settings. I think the MA1 kit/licence is only needed to do the sound calibration.
 

IamJF

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You only need a serial number from an MA1 microphone (search for pictures), then you can use the software.
And you can also download the frequency response for MA1 microphones to use them in other programs.
With that knowlede you could correct your goal curve to compensate and use every measurement mic you own. It's described in one of the MA1 topics, couldn't find it now...
 

BubbleBuddy

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My opinion is that although this monitor is a real marvel, you need to apply a correction with the MA-1 or similar.
I cracked and ordered the MA 1 a few days ago to make the most of my monitors and fix the standby issue.

Unfortunately it's impossible to download the MA 1 software from the Neumann website without registering an account. And it's currently impossible to register a new account because their sign up process leads to a 404 Error webpage! Funnily enough, their Contact Us page also results in a 500 Error if you try to submit a support ticket to report all of this.

In the meantime I've messaged Neumann via their Facebook page. Hopefully they read that and fix the issue before all of my cables and networking gear arrive to carry out the alignment process :facepalm:
 

mb1685

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I apologize if this has been asked (and if so, would appreciate if someone can link me to it), but does anyone have thoughts on how Dirac Live compares to Neuman's room correction? Preferably including a KH 750 sub.

I have a Dirac-live equipped MiniDSP DDRC-24 and a UMIK-1 measurement mic and am thinking of grabbing the KH120 + KH750 setup. It would be nice to simplify my setup a little bit and just use the Neumann options, but I'm wondering how they compare. I had the KH120As many years ago and loved them, so if Dirac is the better option maybe I'll just get a used pair of those.
 

DJBonoBobo

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I apologize if this has been asked (and if so, would appreciate if someone can link me to it), but does anyone have thoughts on how Dirac Live compares to Neuman's room correction? Preferably including a KH 750 sub.

I have a Dirac-live equipped MiniDSP DDRC-24 and a UMIK-1 measurement mic and am thinking of grabbing the KH120 + KH750 setup. It would be nice to simplify my setup a little bit and just use the Neumann options, but I'm wondering how they compare. I had the KH120As many years ago and loved them, so if Dirac is the better option maybe I'll just get a used pair of those.
I compared Dirac Live Bass Control and MA1 with 2 KH750s.

 

Hexspa

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I cracked and ordered the MA 1 a few days ago to make the most of my monitors and fix the standby issue.

Unfortunately it's impossible to download the MA 1 software from the Neumann website without registering an account. And it's currently impossible to register a new account because their sign up process leads to a 404 Error webpage! Funnily enough, their Contact Us page also results in a 500 Error if you try to submit a support ticket to report all of this.

In the meantime I've messaged Neumann via their Facebook page. Hopefully they read that and fix the issue before all of my cables and networking gear arrive to carry out the alignment process :facepalm:
They're also active on Threads and YouTube comments.
 

Hemi-Demon

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I cracked and ordered the MA 1 a few days ago to make the most of my monitors and fix the standby issue.

Unfortunately it's impossible to download the MA 1 software from the Neumann website without registering an account. And it's currently impossible to register a new account because their sign up process leads to a 404 Error webpage! Funnily enough, their Contact Us page also results in a 500 Error if you try to submit a support ticket to report all of this.

In the meantime I've messaged Neumann via their Facebook page. Hopefully they read that and fix the issue before all of my cables and networking gear arrive to carry out the alignment process :facepalm:
I just logged in to my account to download MA 1 - Automatic Monitor Alignment Setup 2.2.1.1291.exe.

The site seems to be working fine. I can upload the file if you still need it.
 

DJBonoBobo

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I cracked and ordered the MA 1 a few days ago to make the most of my monitors and fix the standby issue.

Unfortunately it's impossible to download the MA 1 software from the Neumann website without registering an account. And it's currently impossible to register a new account because their sign up process leads to a 404 Error webpage! Funnily enough, their Contact Us page also results in a 500 Error if you try to submit a support ticket to report all of this.

In the meantime I've messaged Neumann via their Facebook page. Hopefully they read that and fix the issue before all of my cables and networking gear arrive to carry out the alignment process :facepalm:

Maybe try opening this link directly inside an incognito or private tab: https://product-registration.neumann.com/
Also you can try changing the language (upper right). Once i experienced an error with the german page, but the english page worked. Or was it the other way round? I don´t remember.
 
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