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Neumi BS5P Powered Bookshelf Speaker ($150/pair)

hardisj

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Full review can be found on my website in case some of the formatting doesn't carry over well here.
https://www.erinsaudiocorner.com/loudspeakers/neumi_bs5p/


I noted the price in the title because I've gotten a lot of people asking about budget speakers so, here you go. ;)






Neumi BS5P Powered Bookshelf Speaker Review
  • Saturday, Apr 17, 2021
71xoTE7khLL._AC_SL1500_.jpg

Foreword / YouTube Video Review
The review on this website is a brief overview and summary of the objective performance of this speaker. It is not intended to be a deep dive. Moreso, this is information for those who prefer “just the facts” and prefer to have the data without the filler.

However, for those who want more - a detailed explanation of the objective performance, and my subjective evaluation (what I heard, what I liked, etc.) - please watch the below video where I go more in-depth.






Information and Photos

Note: Neumi sent me this speaker to test. I was not paid for this review nor has Neumi seen this review before publication.

The Neumi BS5P is a powered 2-way Studio Monitor featuring a 5-inch midwoofer and 1-inch dome tweeter. It comes with a variety of hookup options (Bluetooth, optical toslink, and RCA connections. It also comes with a remote control. The below is from the manufacturer’s website:
The BS5P is a powered bookshelf speaker designed for the budget-conscious music lover who wants a pair of simple, affordable, yet great sounding speakers. With classic styling cues, the BS5P is attractive yet unassuming, making it a great fit for the home, office, or garage. Play music wirelessly from your smartphone or computer to the BS5P using Bluetooth! Low-latency technology minimizes lip-sync issues when watching videos. Other inputs include optical and coaxial digital inputs for use with a TV, DVD/BD player, or game console. The analog input can be used with any analog source, including record players that have a built-in phono amp. With 75 watts of clean total power, the BS5P can fill a small to medium-sized room with high fidelity sound. Its capable DSP sound processing engine has been optimized for a smooth frequency response while limiting distortion at high sound levels. Convenient full-function remote for changing volume, switching between available inputs, and music playback control in Bluetooth mode. Based on the well-reviewed BS5 passive bookshelf speakers, the BS5P uses the same 5-inch fiberglass woofer and 1-inch silk dome tweeter. This design combination has been tuned to offer a good balance of bass output, midrange transparency, and treble smoothness. The result is music full of dynamic impact, accurate detail, and precise imaging.​


As stated in the above, this is a powered version of the Neumi BS5 passive bookshelf speaker set, which I also reviewed here.

MSRP is about $150 USD for a pair.

And here are some specs copied from the manual:


Attachment-1.jpeg



The front can be covered with a grille. The back features various inputs as well as buttons for power, source selection and volume/track selection. And a remote is also included.

DSC01249.JPG


DSC01253.JPG





CTA-2034 (SPINORAMA) and Accompanying Data

All data collected using Klippel’s Near-Field Scanner. The Near-Field-Scanner 3D (NFS) offers a fully automated acoustic measurement of direct sound radiated from the source under test. The radiated sound is determined in any desired distance and angle in the 3D space outside the scanning surface. Directivity, sound power, SPL response and many more key figures are obtained for any kind of loudspeaker and audio system in near field applications (e.g. studio monitors, mobile devices) as well as far field applications (e.g. professional audio systems). Utilizing a minimum of measurement points, a comprehensive data set is generated containing the loudspeaker’s high resolution, free field sound radiation in the near and far field. For a detailed explanation of how the NFS works and the science behind it, please watch the below discussion with designer Christian Bellmann:


A picture of the setup in my garage:

DSC01215.JPG



The reference plane in this test is just below the tweeter, per the manufacturer. A single RCA input was used and the volume was set to default. No grille was used and the ports were open (not stuffed).


Measurements are provided in a format in accordance with the Standard Method of Measurement for In-Home Loudspeakers (ANSI/CTA-2034-A R-2020). For more information, please see this link.

CTA-2034 / SPINORAMA:

CEA2034%20--%20Neumi%20BS5P.png


Early Reflections Breakout:
Early%20Reflections.png


Estimated In-Room Response:
Estimated%20In-Room%20Response.png


Horizontal Frequency Response (0° to ±90°):
SPL%20Horizontal.png


Vertical Frequency Response (0° to ±40°):
SPL%20Vertical.png


Horizontal Contour Plot (not normalized):
Neumi%20BS5P_Horizontal_Spectrogram_Full.png


Horizontal Contour Plot (normalized):
Neumi%20BS5P%20Beamwidth_Horizontal.png


Vertical Contour Plot (not normalized):
Neumi%20BS5P_Vertical_Spectrogram_Full.png


Vertical Contour Plot (normalized):
Neumi%20BS5P%20Beamwidth_Vertical.png




Additional Measurements

On-Axis Response Linearity
Response linearity is -12.44/+8.54 dB (80Hz to 16kHz).
Neumi%20BS5P%20FR_Linearity.png


“Globe” Plots

These plots are generated from exporting the Klippel data to text files. I then process that data with my own MATLAB script to provide what you see. These are not part of any software packages and are unique to my tests.

Horizontal Polar (Globe) Plot:

This represents the sound field at 2 meters - above 200Hz - per the legend in the upper left.
Neumi%20BS5P_360_Horizontal_Polar.png




Vertical Polar (Globe) Plot:

This represents the sound field at 2 meters - above 200Hz - per the legend in the upper left.
Neumi%20BS5P_360_Vertical_Polar.png





Harmonic Distortion
Harmonic Distortion at 86dB @ 1m:
Neumi%20BS5P%20--%20Harmonic%20Distortion%20%2886dB%20%40%201m%29.png


Harmonic Distortion at 96dB @ 1m:
Neumi%20BS5P%20--%20Harmonic%20Distortion%20%2896dB%20%40%201m%29.png




Near-Field Response
Nearfield response of individual drive units:
Nearfield%20%40%2015cm.png





Response Linearity (Compression and Enhancement)
The below graphic indicates just how much SPL is lost (compression) or gained (enhancement; usually due to distortion) when the speaker is played at higher output volumes referenced to 76dB at 1 meter.
Neumi%20BS5P_Compression.png


Based on my results above, it is obvious the output is limited significantly somewhere above the 96dB @ 1m output level. I haven’t confirmed with Neumi if this is a built-in limiter, though, I assume it is.




Neumi BS5P vs BS5 (Powered vs Passive version)

Below is the on-axis response comparison of the BS5P and the previous passive BS5 I tested in June 2020. You can see the updated BS5P has a definite “V-curve” response to it, putting more emphasis on the midbass and high frequencies.
Neumi%20BS5P%20vs%20BS5.png



In-Room Measurements from the Listening Position

Below is the actual measured in-room response (with no DSP correction). This is a spatial average taken over approximately 1 cubic foot. The speakers were placed approximately 1.2m from the front wall (not the cabinets; but the actual wall). The listening position was primarily at 1.5m but for this test I measured the response at two different distances from the speakers.

Black = Predicted In-Room Response from SPIN data
Red = Actual In-Room Measured Response from Main Listening Position at 1.5 meters
Blue = Actual In-Room Measured Response from Main Listening Position at 3.5 meters

MIR%20vs%20PIR.png


As expected, the predicted in-room response and the farfield response (3.5 meter, blue) line up quite well above approximately 500Hz. However, when moving to the nearfield (1.5 meter, red), the high frequency response is accentuated even more above 8kHz, reaching as much as +4dB compared to the farfield response/estimation.



Parting / Random Thoughts
If you want to see the music I use for evaluating speakers subjectively, see my Spotify playlist.
  • Subjective listening varied between the nearfield at 1 meter and the farfield at 4 meters. Subjective listening was conducted at 80-95dB at these distances. Higher volumes were done simply to test the output capability in case one wants to try to sit further away.
  • The response linearity is all over the place thanks to the "V-curve" shape and the port resonances at ~800Hz and ~1.8kHz. These resonances were also present in the passive version so weren't necessarily unexpected. However, the V-curve response makes the response of this speaker much further from ideal.
  • Very punchy bass at all output levels.
  • There is a tendency for this speaker to resonate and hang on to notes in the 100-200Hz region a bit too long.
  • Very heightened high frequency content, which is fatiguing when listening long-term, especially at higher volumes.
  • Midrange vocals recessed.
  • Despite the manufacturer stating “optimized for a smooth frequency response while limiting distortion at high sound levels”, this is not a reference speaker. Furthermore, in my humble opinion, the BS5P is unfortunately a step-down in fidelity from the Neumi BS5 (passive speaker) I reviewed in the past.
  • These speakers have very good directivity, outside of the port resonances and therefore should respond well to EQ. In which case, they would make a good option for computer speakers if you can implement EQ to tame the exaggerated bass and highs.
  • If you are, however, looking for a speaker with a lot of pizzaz and a lot of hookup options then this is an option for you. That said, I would not necessarily recommend these for TV as the dialogue frequencies are recesses relative to the high and low frequencies.
As stated in the Foreword, this written review is purposely a cliff’s notes version. For more details about the performance (objectively and subjectively) please watch the YouTube video.


Support / Contribute
If you like what you see here and want to help me keep it going, please consider donating via PayPal through this link. Donations help me pay for new items to test, hardware, miscellaneous items and costs of the site’s server space and bandwidth. All of which I otherwise pay out of pocket. So, if you can help chip in a few bucks, know that it is very much appreciated.
 
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hardisj

hardisj

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I wonder if some of it is just part variation for these cheap drivers. Like with Vanatoo I think the company even said so when Amir’s measurements came out.

Possibly. Though, @joentell told me he heard a distinct V-curve to the response and when I sent him my PIR curve, it overlaid on his in-room measured response. This indicates two different sets of speakers behaving the same way.
 

beaRA

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This is disappointing. I was hoping for a soundbar alternative better than the Edifiers that I could recommend to people on a tight budget. I've been suggesting the passive BS5's recently as there aren't many other good options in the ultra budget category right now.
 

richard12511

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If you watch the video you'll find out I'm bummed by this design. They took a really great budget speaker ($90/pair for the passive version) and managed to screw it up when all they had to do was put a plate amp on it with some I/Os and call it a day.

giphy.gif

Seriously! They took a pretty great budget bookshelf speaker and gave it one of the worst batman curves we've seen :(.

What's going on at 850Hz and 1.7kHz?
 

Ericglo

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Sorry Erin, I admit that is a pet peeve of mine to read first before asking a question and I went and did it.

Admittedly, when I see a poor performing speaker like this I just scan the review and usually dismiss the speaker. Ironically the bad reviews sometimes get the most discussion.


Since Neumi sent you the speaker, I wonder if they knew the port resonances would be this bad. Maybe they should take a look at Augerpro's recent tests and redesign their ports.
https://www.somasonus.net/box-construction-methods
 
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hardisj

hardisj

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Since Neumi sent you the speaker, I wonder if they knew the port resonances would be this bad. Maybe they should take a look at Augerpro's recent tests and redesign their ports.

They absolutely did. I had email exchanges with them about the port performance when I reviewed their passive speaker (BS5). That's why I'm so bummed about the overall performance of this speaker. At the least, they could have just added an amp with the BT/Coax/Optical/RCA inputs and called it a day. But they instead tweaked the output to perform even worse than the original (which, IMHO, is still the best budget passive bookshelf speaker out; port resonance and all).
 

Ericglo

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I wonder if they would have been better off going with a sealed box.

Also, are the ports straight tubes or flared?
 
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hardisj

hardisj

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Based on my recent discussion with Earl Geddes (discussion about it here), I decided to implement an additional compression test as I think this is another bit of data that can really help us understand how we may subjectively prefer one speaker over another. This differs from what I was already offering in that it is long-term. I have subsequently re-named my previous testing "Dynamic Range (Instantaneous Compression Test)" because I feel it is the most useful way of relaying speaker dynamics in test data. So, now I have two types of compression testing:
1) Short term (already had)
2) Long term (new test method)

I have updated my review with this new set of data but have also retroactively updated the text around #1 above. Here is a direct copy/paste of those two data sets.

----------------------------------------------


Dynamic Range (Instantaneous Compression Test)
The below graphic indicates just how much SPL is lost (compression) or gained (enhancement; usually due to distortion) when the speaker is played at higher output volumes instantly via a 2.7 second logarithmic sine sweep referenced to 76dB at 1 meter. The signals are played consecutively without any additional stimulus applied. Then normalized against the 76dB result.

The tests are conducted in this fashion:

  1. 76dB at 1 meter (baseline; black)
  2. 86dB at 1 meter (red)
  3. 96dB at 1 meter (blue)
  4. 102dB at 1 meter (purple)
The purpose of this test is to illustrate how much (if at all) the output changes as a speaker’s components temperature increases (i.e., voice coils, crossover components) instantaneously.

Neumi%20BS5P_Compression.png




Based on my results above, it is obvious the output is limited significantly somewhere above the 96dB @ 1m output level. I haven’t confirmed with Neumi if this is a built-in limiter, though, I assume it is.

Long Term Compression Tests
The below graphics indicate how much SPL is lost or gained in the long-term as a speaker plays at the same output level for 2 minutes, in intervals. Each graphic represents a different SPL: 86dB and 96dB both at 1 meter.

The purpose of this test is to illustrate how much (if at all) the output changes as a speaker’s components temperature increases (i.e., voice coils, crossover components).

The tests are conducted in this fashion:

  1. “Cold” logarithmic sine sweep (no stimulus applied beforehand)
  2. Multitone stimulus played at desired SPL/distance for 2 minutes; intended to represent music signal
  3. Interim logarithmic sine sweep (no stimulus applied beforehand) (Red in graphic)
  4. Multitone stimulus played at desired SPL/distance for 2 minutes; intended to represent music signal
  5. Final logarithmic sine sweep (no stimulus applied beforehand) (Blue in graphic)
The red and blue lines represent changes in the output compared to the initial “cold” test.

Neumi%20BS5P_Long_Term_86_Compression.png

Neumi%20BS5P_Long_Term_96_Compression.png
 
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hardisj

hardisj

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Some good news.

After I published my review, Neumi reached out. They were really perplexed as to how the results could be so far off from what they intended to build. They went to the drawing board and released a couple FW update options: 1) no EQ and 2) updated EQ.

I downloaded both and listened back and forth. I then tested both settings. The updated EQ is much better but not without issues, all apparently caused by the ports which was the same story I had when I tested the passive versions. So, I stuffed the ports and listened again. Muuuuch better. I threw it back on the Klippel NFS (making this the 4th test I performed on the speaker). The result?... much, much better.

I'll drop a "revisited" review hopefully within a week but the bottom line is that I now have no issue recommending the BS5P with the updated EQ and stuffed ports. And if someone prefers the ports opened then it is still an acceptable response and nowhere near as v-curved as before.

This is a fine example of when a company is receptive of feedback and is willing to make changes to improve their product.

:)
 
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