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Yamaha HS7 Review (studio monitor)

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Yamaha HS7 powered monitor. I purchased this last spring for testing and costs US $320 each including prime shipping on Amazon.

The HS7 brings its trademark and in my opinion, attractive looks to HS7:

Yamaha HS7 Review Professional Monitor.jpg


It is a rather heavy speaker for its size with no sign of quality issues.

The back panel shows the now old-fashioned use of class AB amplifiers as indicated by the heatsinks:
Yamaha HS7 Review Professional studio near-field Monitor.jpg


I was surprised the date on it was 2018 seeing how I bought it year and half later (at Guitar Center -- large musician retailer in US). Must not sell many of them at that location.

Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than an anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

I performed over 1000 measurement which resulted in error rate of around 1%.

Temperature was 60 degrees F. Measurement location is at sea level so you compute the pressure.

Measurements are compliant with latest speaker research into what can predict the speaker preference and is standardized in CEA/CTA-2034 ANSI specifications. Likewise listening tests are performed per research that shows mono listening is much more revealing of differences between speakers than stereo or multichannel.

Reference axis was the tweeter center.

Yamaha HS7 Measurements
Acoustic measurements can be grouped in a way that can be perceptually analyzed to determine how good a speaker is and how it can be used in a room. This so called spinorama shows us just about everything we need to know about the speaker with respect to tonality and some flaws:

Yamaha HS7 Measurements Professional Monitor frequency response spinorama CTA-2034.png


As you see, on-axis response is rather variable especially for a studio monitor. We have a mid-range boost around 800 Hz and another peak around 12 kHz. Bass gradually shelves down (a bit of that may be due to cold temps I am measuring at).

We can see the reason for the peaking at 800 Hz in near-field measurement of each radiating surface:
Yamaha HS7 Measurements Near-field driver response.png


We can clearly see port resonance pushing up the overall response there -- a common problem.

Early window response shows rather severe dip due to ceiling or "floor" reflections:

Yamaha HS7 Measurements Professional Monitor early reflections frequency response spinorama CT...png


Best to avoid those if you can although as you will see, equalization worked well there.

Our predicted-in-room response is for far-field listening but my listening tests show that it applied just as well to my near-field listening:

Yamaha HS7 Measurements Professional Monitor Predicted In-room frequency response spinorama CT...png


Best not mix on this speaker as is or you will wind up with uneven response.

Directivity is good though due to use of waveguide:

Yamaha HS7 Measurements Monitor horizontal beam width.png


Yamaha HS7 Measurements Monitor horizontal directivity.png


Yamaha HS7 Measurements Monitor Vertical directivity.png


Distortion is well controlled at 86 dBSPL but of course not at 96:
Yamaha HS7 Measurements Relative distortion.png


Yamaha HS7 Measurements THD distortion.png


Some kind of limiter is keeping the sub-bass distortion from shooting up through the roof.

Yamaha HS7 Speaker Listening Tests and Equalization
My quick reaction to the sound of HS7 was that it was excessively bright. This was aggravated by lack of much bass. So I pulled out the EQ tools to correct this and other issues:

Yamaha HS7 Equalization EQ Studio Powered Monitor.png


Once there, the sound was still a bit bright but otherwise, quite enjoyable. Bass now had good tactile feedback and overall fidelity was quite good.

Conclusions
As modern studio monitors go, the Yamaha HS7 cannot keep up in delivering flat and objectively correct response. It does however deliver on industrial design. With a bit of EQ, the sound is transformed and becomes quite accurate and pleasurable.

Without EQ, I cannot recommend the Yamaha HS7. But with EQ, I would.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Appreciate any donations using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

Attachments

  • Yamaha HS7 Spinorama Frequency Response Audio Science Review.zip
    88.1 KB · Views: 104

dfuller

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Looks about what I expected of the HS7. Bass shy, midrange accented, kinda bright. While not flat, these speakers are absolutely ruthless about midrange information conflicts, which is to be expected somewhat from that 800hz boost. Unfortunately, they're just ugly sounding speakers without some correction.

It has that classic Yamaha NS-10M look. :D
That's the idea with the entire HS line. (un)fortunately, they don't sound anything like an NS10 due to the bass reflex design rather than the sealed cabinet of the NS10, among other things.
 

majingotan

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Nice to see a review of my nearfield computer speakers :) I normally listen to these WITHOUT equalization, on axis 2 feet away from the tweeter at 85-100+ dB SPL and never once I find these to ever sound bright
 

YSC

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Don’t looked that bad compared to the hs5 and somehow I feel when put near rear wall the wall bass boost would compensate on the ~4db bass deficiency
 

JohnBooty

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While not flat, these speakers are absolutely ruthless about midrange information conflicts, which is to be expected somewhat from that 800hz boost. [...]
That's the idea with the entire HS line.
Is that kind of thing actively desired by folks using these in the studio?

You have studio monitors that strive for flatness (JBL, Genelec, etc) and then you have monitors like these that are intentionally doing something else.

Makes me think some pros actually want that. I guess I could see the utility, but that's still weird to me.
 

dfuller

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Is that kind of thing actively desired by folks using these in the studio?

You have studio monitors that strive for flatness (JBL, Genelec, etc) and then you have monitors like these that are intentionally doing something else.

Makes me think some pros actually want that. I guess I could see the utility, but that's still weird to me.
Yes; speakers with deliberately colored responses are useful as alt speakers to a wide range flat response speaker.
 

Maiky76

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Hi,

Here are some thoughts about the EQ.

The raw data with corrected ER and PIR:
Score no EQ: 4.0
With Sub: 5.9
Spinorama with no EQ:
  • Not as Flat as i would expect, reminiscent of the NS10?
Yamaha HS7 Spinorama No EQ.png

Directivity:
Better stay at tweeter height or just under
Horizontally, better toe-in the speakers by 10/20deg and have the axis crossing in front of the listening location, might help dosing the upper range and get the ON to be closer to the LW that is designed to be "flat".

Yamaha HS7 2D surface Directivity Contour Only Data.png

Yamaha HS7 LW better data.png

EQ design:
I have generated two EQs. The APO config files are attached.
  • The first one, labelled, LW is targeted at making the LW flat
  • The second, labelled Score, starts with the first one and adds the score as an optimization variable.
  • The EQs are designed in the context of regular stereo use i.e. domestic environment, no warranty is provided for a near field use in a studio environment although the LW might be better suited for this purpose.
Score EQ LW: 5.77
with sub: 7.58

Score EQ Score: 6.20
with sub: 8.00

Code:
Yamaha HS7 APO EQ LW 96000Hz
January252021-133428

Preamp: -2.1 dB

Filter 1: ON HPQ Fc 43.8 Hz Gain 0 dB Q 1.14
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 377.5 Hz Gain -1.57 dB Q 2.93
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 891.5 Hz Gain -4.13 dB Q 2.28
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 1576 Hz Gain 1.32 dB Q 2.11
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 3922 Hz Gain -2.17 dB Q 1.51
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 8657 Hz Gain 1.12 dB Q 5.4
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 12193 Hz Gain -3 dB Q 3.73

Yamaha HS7 APO EQ Score 96000Hz
January252021-132733

Preamp: -2.1 dB

Filter 1: ON HPQ Fc 43.6 Hz Gain 0 dB Q 1.14
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 380.5 Hz Gain -1.57 dB Q 2.43
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 896.5 Hz Gain -4.13 dB Q 1.88
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 1712 Hz Gain 1.82 dB Q 1.41
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 3942 Hz Gain -3.04 dB Q 1.05
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 12184 Hz Gain -3.6 dB Q 2.73
Yamaha HS7 EQ Design.png

Spinorama EQ LW
Yamaha HS7 Spinorama LW EQ.png

Spinorama EQ Score
Yamaha HS7 Spinorama Score EQ.png

Zoom PIR-LW-ON
Yamaha HS7 Zoom PIR-LW-ON.png

Regression - Tonal
Yamaha HS7 Regression-Tonal.png

Radar no EQ vs EQ score
Nice improvements
Yamaha HS7 Radar.png


@amirm EQ
Score: 4.95
Score Sub: 6.75
Yamaha HS7 EQ Design Amirm.png

Yamaha HS7 Amirm EQ Spinorama.png

The rest of the plots is attached.
 

Attachments

  • Yamaha HS7 APO EQ LW 96000Hz.txt
    398 bytes · Views: 45
  • Yamaha HS7 APO EQ Score 96000Hz.txt
    357 bytes · Views: 51
  • Yamaha HS7 2D surface Directivity Contour Data.png
    Yamaha HS7 2D surface Directivity Contour Data.png
    276.4 KB · Views: 68
  • Yamaha HS7 3D surface Vertical Directivity Data.png
    Yamaha HS7 3D surface Vertical Directivity Data.png
    438.2 KB · Views: 63
  • Yamaha HS7 3D surface Horizontal Directivity Data.png
    Yamaha HS7 3D surface Horizontal Directivity Data.png
    444.7 KB · Views: 71
  • Yamaha HS7 Normalized Directivity data.png
    Yamaha HS7 Normalized Directivity data.png
    480.8 KB · Views: 37
  • Yamaha HS7 Raw Directivity data.png
    Yamaha HS7 Raw Directivity data.png
    806 KB · Views: 38
  • Yamaha HS7 Reflexion data.png
    Yamaha HS7 Reflexion data.png
    242.5 KB · Views: 72
  • Yamaha HS7 LW data.png
    Yamaha HS7 LW data.png
    264.1 KB · Views: 29

thewas

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JohnYang1997

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PeteL

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I would love to see the older, higher end, but still available MSP5/MSP7. I suspect they'd be more linear. Does anyone have measurements?
I don't, but they sounded better to me in listening test (sighted AB, level matched by ear only). They are significantly more expensive tough.
 

FeddyLost

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that kind of thing actively desired by folks using these in the studio?
I suppose it's like another part of the trash spectrum for those, who can't afford something much better.
Like 2 or 3 pairs of cheap monitors with unique different deficiences instead of single good "flat" pair which will not sound informative enough due to room troubles anyway.
Like time-shared active crossover. One pair for lows, one for mids, one for highs. I've seen such solutions in cheap studios. Maybe big krk, small adams, and yamaha like these.
 

JohnBooty

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I suppose it's like another part of the trash spectrum for those, who can't afford something much better.
That seems like the obvious answer, but is it correct? I'm not sure that it is. Just curious: are you speaking from professional experience?

From what I know, for many years the Yamaha NS10, a colored and unpleasant-sounding speaker, was a "standard" in many recording studios. Many of your favorite albums from decades past were mixed with the help of these older "trash spectrum" Yamahas.

https://happymag.tv/how-ugly-made-history-the-story-of-the-yamaha-ns10/

But, I don't know if professionals look for that sort of thing these days...
 

Doodski

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for many years the Yamaha NS10, a colored and unpleasant-sounding speaker, was a "standard" in many recording studios. Many of your favorite albums from decades past were mixed with the help of these older "trash spectrum" Yamahas.
When I retailed home audio gear I sold the NS-10M because several times a week home recording artists and studio engineers would come in wanting to buy them. They where adamant that this was the speaker they needed and it was pretty obvious when showing them another speaker that they thought they where wasting time.

But, I don't know if professionals look for that sort of thing these days...
I still see pictures of contemporary recording studios with NS-10M speakers amongst their selection of speakers.
 

ctrl

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In defense, it must be mentioned in advance that the HS7 are budget monitors (400€ the pair in DE), so the demand for quality should not be set too high.

Now comes, as expected... but when a 6.5'' woofer at 86 dB in the range of 100-300Hz repeatedly tears the 1% HD3 and in the range around 1.3kHz even reaches 1.5% HD3, then it's worth a critical remark.
Have in my chassis stock cheap 4'' woofers that show at 90dB well below 1% THD.

The schizophrenic thing is that studio amateurs and professionals, who often pretend to be able to hear the smallest details (group delays, "bad" impulse responses,...), would really have to loudly reject these speakers, since the measured harmonic distortions are very likely to be well perceptible to a trained ear.
But to resolve this contradiction, there is marketing ;)
 
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