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Yet another post about best active speakers for near field listening

DjBonoBobo

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Oh, and don´t forget about the other hardware requirements for Neumann (interface with 48V phantom power for the mic, a network switch for connecting all 3 speakers to your network).
 

Pearljam5000

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Hey guys, some news here.

I went to a shop in my city in order to try some speakers. Obviously the conditions were not good but it's better than nothing I guess. It's a hi-fi shop so I couldn't listen to studio monitors.

I tried :
  • Kef Wireless II : very practical to use, the app seems great but has limitations regarding the EQ, the vendor couldn't tell me if I can EQ them from a room EQ solution but I guess I can thanks to their DSP (I'd like to avoid an EQ software on the PC). Great sound and sound stage at 1m50 from them but sadly a bit "boomy" at 70cm / 1m. I'm not sure it's worth the price for a "meh" at my listening distance, maybe custom EQ could do something though.
  • Devialet Phantom gold : I LOVE the way they look when bass are coming out, the sides of the speakers vibrating is awesome. No physical connection (only BT if i'm correct) to them so no in built room EQ I guess. Too boomy for at low level me even if I generally like it. Next.
  • Dali Oberon 1 C : not practical to use, probably the worst on this side for me. Very nice sound stage and it was nice to listen to them at 70cm so probably the best for my use on sound quality. Sadly I probably won't be able to room EQ them, and the lack of connectors is not a good point.
As I thought and you told me, studio monitors are probably a better option for me regarding the very near field use. So i'm now looking for Thomann 30 days free return to try some more.
I plan to buy and try 2 setup :
  • Genelec 2x8331 + 7350 (maybe 2 later) + GLM : no surprise if you read the last posts here. I really want to give them a try even if they are indeed probably overkill for my hears and for my bank account. What I'm looking for with them is ultra nier field possibility, sound stage, directivity, lack of fatiguing listening experience (i've read a lot on this vs 83x0 other Genelec speakers), and electrical consumption (in use and in stand by mode). Genelec 8330 could be a cheaper option but I'm not going this way for now.
  • Neumann 2xKH 80 + 750 DSP (maybe 2 later) + MA 1 : the cheaper challenger. A lot of people told me here I won't probably hear a significant difference from genelec setup, and for 1/3 of the price. A comparison point I'll be especially aware of is fatigue as I will listen to the setup i buy for several hours almost every day. Do I still need an iPad to correctly use the EQ software or is it fully OK on Windows ?
  • ? : if you guys have other ideas on a good and maybe cheaper setup with easy to use built in room EQ + XLR/RCA connection for very nearfield, i could consider buying it on thomann to try it with the 2 other setups.
After having tried them for several weeks I'll keep the setup i like the most regarding to it's price and return the other ones. I could also return all the setups if I'm not happy with them.

I will also buy a Topping EX5 DAC to connect with those setup. I'm planning to buy a full XLR cabling for the Genelec and a DAC > RCA to XLR cable > sub > XLR > speakers for the Neumann. That way it would be possible to A/B test them just changing the sound destination on the DAC. I'm also planning to listen to one setup for several days before switching in order to try the fatigue point. I'll also be checking the power consumption of the setups for similar uses, even if this point is more here to satisfy my curiosity than my final choice.

That's all folks ! If i'm wrong on something let me know, otherwise i'll keep you in touch later on for the next episode :)
I would never buy a 4 inch speaker, just too limiting, I would go for the KH120 as a minimum
 

DjBonoBobo

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One would have to very space constrained to choose otherwise in a stationary desktop setup.

Personally i don´t think a KH80 + 750 setup is too limited in a close nearfield situation. I liked the KH80 better than KH120 in such a scenario. But, although i own all of the Neumanns except the 420, i didn´t have time to make proper comparisons.
 

MusicDude

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The big problem imho is that your hearing situation is not symmetric, which will cause a big headache without room correction.

My suggestion…

Sonarworks SoundID can really make a difference, but needs a PC/Mac. I use it to correct my problematic bass situation - my friends use it to correct their problematic overall situation including non-symmetric hearing close to harsh walls. We all tilt +3db, so a little more bass and less treble.

Start with Genelec 8010 or Adam Audio T5V plus sub. The Genelecs will be much louder.

Start to find a position where room correction has the least impact. For me this is 20 cm above ear level, which is a big suprise for me, but desk-level positioning is much more complicated in my room.

This all will take a while. The SoundID measurement process alone takes 20 minutes per run.

This will help you to understand your room and your speakers a lot better.

When you are done, upgrade to anything bigger, maybe speakers with room correction included. Sell the smaller speakers on Ebay.

My Genelec 8010 allow me to detect details and instrument separation at the level of my Audeze LCD-2 Classic Closed. The Audeze are dark and beautiful - the Genelec are pretty flat, and usable even without room correction.

Don‘t throw too much money on it initially.

I use an RME ADI DAC-2 FS. Thank you Amir for reviewing this fine piece of equipment - but there is other stuff which might be good for you.

Oh yeah - cables - don‘t loose your hair on it, but the Galileo 238 should be in your basket when you order from Thomann.
 
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Nicochu

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Oh, and don´t forget about the other hardware requirements for Neumann (interface with 48V phantom power for the mic, a network switch for connecting all 3 speakers to your network).
I got an internet box with 3 free ports so i'm okay on this side. BTW i've seen genelec sell their speakers with RJ45 cables but neumann doesn't.
Could you please give me an example on an cheap interface with 48V phantom power that would make it from thomann website please ? I'm not sure i really got what is needed here.

I would never buy a 4 inch speaker, just too limiting, I would go for the KH120 as a minimum
Is it really worth if i take a sub with them anyway ? Does KH120 is as good as KH 80 in a very near field situation ? The setup has very limited chance to be listened from more than 2m even in years so I don't know.

The big problem imho is that your hearing situation is not symmetric, which will cause a big headache without room correction.
What do you mean by not symetric ? If you check the schema I did on previous page I will mainly be listening in front of the desk, i'll try to be in an optimal position with 30 degrees front left and 30 degrees front right.
If you mean the setup is not symetric in the room well yes, i probably won't be able to put my desk on the center of a side of my room so one of the 2 speakers will be close to a corner ( number 2 on the schema). Is this that bad ?

Globally you're saying to try different position to find the sweet spot, which i'm planning to do with the neumann or genelec room EQ solutions. I'll try to reach the best spot without EQ then put EQ on top of this position.
I'd like to avoid buying multiple things over time, i'm more on the "who buy cheap buy twice" religion. Of course I get why you advice me to buy cheaper to start but it seems those neumann and genelec setups are 2 masterpieces and i hope that trying those 2 will give me a good idea of what I want.

Oh yeah - cables - don‘t loose your hair on it, but the Galileo 238 should be in your basket when you order from Thomann
Why those especially ? Is this because of the double shielding ? I was going on Cordial brand but the price difference is not that big anyway.
 

MusicDude

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Correct, I am talking about the position of your desk. Without correction it will hardly work.

The room is quite tiny, I‘d pick up the smallest speakers possible plus a sub.

From what I have read, Genelec GLM 2.0 has 1 or 4 measurement positions. MA-1 for Neumann was rated „phenomenal“ by bonedo.de, it seems to be the more advanced system. Maybe because it‘s newer?

SoundID has 32 measurement positions, and you choice between phase-correct filtering (with latency) or a zero-latency mode. You said initially that you want the correction in the speakers itself to be more flexible concerning sources, so maybe it‘s not your favourite choice. I just wanted to mention it.

Anyway, I‘d like to continue reading about your decision and experience!

Edit: Neumann KH80 would have been too large for my desk ;)
 
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MusicDude

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[238 cables]
Why those especially ? Is this because of the double shielding ? I was going on Cordial brand but the price difference is not that big anyway.
Larger diameter with good shielding for an affordable price. You said you would like to order from Thomann…

I use them for Hifi, and also the 20m version for my PA.

If Thomann would sell Mogami Quad I‘d favour those, but they are again more expensive.

I also use a lot of Cordial cables, but only for PA. There is nothing wrong with it. I guess in a non-optimal room it will be very fine. Construction quality is superb for all of them.
 

DjBonoBobo

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Could you please give me an example on an cheap interface with 48V phantom power that would make it from thomann website please ? I'm not sure i really got what is needed here.

Cheap: Focusrite Scarlett Solo. But you would also need the right cables for connecting speakers (no xlr on the interface side, but TRS).

Different approach: RME UCX Ii or something like that with digital outputs instead of the Topping. You could use AES XLR for the Genelecs and a RCA to BNC digital coax cable (75 Ohm) for the Neumann 750.
 

rdo

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You should try IK Multimedia iLoud MTM. Very stupid name, but they come with microphone and auto correction functionality. Their only downside is they can't play loud, but for desktop should be fine.
 
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MusicDude

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Cheap: Focusrite Scarlett Solo. But you would also need the right cables for connecting speakers (no xlr on the interface side, but TRS).

Different approach: RME UCX Ii or something like that with digital outputs instead of the Topping. You could use AES XLR for the Genelecs and a RCA to BNC digital coax cable (75 Ohm) for the Neumann 750.
I use a Scarlett 8i6 to go with S/PDIF into an RME only for room measurements - the DAC strangly sounds shrill. 3 people confirmed it, did not investigate further whether the cables were the problem, or the device.

Friends of mine prefer Motu M2 and M4, but the headphone out is not very powerful.
 
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Nicochu

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Correct, I am talking about the position of your desk. Without correction it will hardly work.

The room is quite tiny, I‘d pick up the smallest speakers possible plus a sub.

From what I have read, Genelec GLM 2.0 has 1 or 4 measurement positions. MA-1 for Neumann was rated „phenomenal“ by bonedo.de, it seems to be the more advanced system. Maybe because it‘s newer?

SoundID has 32 measurement positions, and you choice between phase-correct filtering (with latency) or a zero-latency mode. You said initially that you want the correction in the speakers itself to be more flexible concerning sources, so maybe it‘s not your favourite choice. I just wanted to mention it.

Anyway, I‘d like to continue reading about your decision and experience!
I've read GLM 4.1 is a very nice overall solution for room EQ, I don't think it is limited to only few positions. Could someone confirm this ? In my mind Neumann one is not as good as Genelec but i could be wrong. I'm planning to do EQ whatever my setup will be BTW :)
I'll read about Sonarworks SoundID, I don't know this yet (new things to learn, yay !)

If i'm correct a really nearfield position makes you hear more the direct sound from speakers and less from room reflection, so I guess a little room with nearfield listening experience will suffer less from bad positioning in the room than a mid field listening experience. I mainly rely on this page about listening distance from Genelec to say this.

I also use a lot of Cordial cables, but only for PA. There is nothing wrong with it.
I think i'll go Cordial but not sure yet, I'll have to wait 4 weeks before Thomann has the neumann KH 750 anyway.

Cheap: Focusrite Scarlett Solo. But you would also need the right cables for connecting speakers (no xlr on the interface side, but TRS).
So i'll need this box and this cable from Thomann in order to plug the microphone and make the room EQ, right ?
Edit : i guess i need a female XLR like this cable instead of the XLR male one.

Different approach: RME UCX Ii or something like that with digital outputs instead of the Topping. You could use AES XLR for the Genelecs and a RCA to BNC digital coax cable (75 Ohm) for the Neumann 750.
If full digital improves the sound against analog + digital i could think about it, but without a real advantage on sound quality it seems way easier to go analog (especially for sound level manipulation). And I want to have blueetoth as well.
 
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Nicochu

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IK Multimedia iLoud MTM
I'll check those, if i get them on Thomann i'll need 2 so i'll have 2 microphones i guess. I'm a bit concerned about sound quality versus the 2 other setups though.
 

DjBonoBobo

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I use a Scarlett 8i6 to go with S/PDIF into an RME only for room measurements - the DAC strangly sounds shrill. 3 people confirmed it, did not investigate further whether the cables were the problem, or the device.

Friends of mine prefer Motu M2 and M4, but the headphone out is not very powerful.
I had two scenarios in mind:
1. Focusrite only for measurements or
2. RME for everything, connected digitally to speakers (no DAC before speakers)

If i'm correct a really nearfield position makes you hear more the direct sound from speakers and less from room reflection, so I guess a little room with nearfield listening experience will suffer less from bad positioning in the room than a mid field listening experience.
I dont think so, but wish you luck.
So i'll need this box and this cable from Thomann in order to plug the microphone and make the room EQ, right ?
Yes.
If full digital improves the sound against analog + digital i could think about it, but without a real advantage on sound quality it seems way easier to go analog (especially for sound level manipulation). And I want to have blueetoth as well.
No, it will not improve the sound. I mentioned the RME because we have the same "religion".
Easier - i dont know, depends on your needs. RMEs TotalMix software is fantastic.
But your choice of course, i only wanted to mention some options.
 

Trell

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I've read GLM 4.1 is a very nice overall solution for room EQ, I don't think it is limited to only few positions. Could someone confirm this ?

You can take as many positions as you want.
 
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Nicochu

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Hello guys,

I'll order the 2 setups soon, I'd like to be sure I don't miss anything in order to A/B test (RCA/XLR) the 2 setups. Could you please confirm that I have everything i need on those screens ? I need to have the 2 setups working at same time with previous calibration and I will plug them to a Topping EX5 DAC/Amp (one in full XLR, the other in RCA > XLR)

basket_1.JPG

basket_2.JPG

Is everything the good choice regarding cables and stuff ? :)

Thanks !
 

Trell

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Hello guys,

I'll order the 2 setups soon, I'd like to be sure I don't miss anything in order to A/B test (RCA/XLR) the 2 setups. Could you please confirm that I have everything i need on those screens ? I need to have the 2 setups working at same time with previous calibration and I will plug them to a Topping EX5 DAC/Amp (one in full XLR, the other in RCA > XLR)

View attachment 180959
View attachment 180960
Is everything the good choice regarding cables and stuff ? :)

Thanks !

This is from the Thomann site? You could ask their sales support if what you have matches.

Why do you buy the Neuman Monitor Alignment Kit when you are going with Genelec for both monitor and subwoofer?

No need for the IsoAcoustic stand when you got the Genelec ones that are made for the 8331/8330.

The Focusrite is not needed for any calibration of the Genelec as all you need is included with the GLM Set, unless you want it for other purpose than that.

As for the cables is that you need one balanced set from the audio interface to the 7350, and another set from the 7350 to each 8331. The cables from the 7350 to 8331 are XLR at both ends. In total 4 cables: two from the audio interface connected to the 7350, and two from the 7350 subwoofer to the 8331. The audio interface/DAC output determines what kind of plug you need on that end. Please see the 7350 manual for details.
 
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Nicochu

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This is from the Thomann site? You could ask their sales support if what you have matches.

Why do you buy the Neuman Monitor Alignment Kit when you are going with Genelec for both monitor and subwoofer?

No need for the IsoAcoustic stand when you got the Genelec ones that are made for the 8331/8330.

The Focusrite is not needed for any calibration of the Genelec as all you need is included with the GLM Set, unless you want it for other purpose than that.

As for the cables is that you need one balanced set from the audio interface to the 7350, and another set from the 7350 to each 8331. The cables from the 7350 to 8331 are XLR at both ends. In total 4 cables: two from the audio interface connected to the 7350, and two from the 7350 subwoofer to the 8331. The audio interface/DAC output determines what kind of plug you need on that end. Please see the 7350 manual for details.

I'm planning to plug and try both neumann and genelec setups at the same time to A/B test them, so here i need to plug and room EQ :
  • Genelec 2x 8331 + 7350
  • Neumannn 2x KH 80 + KH 750
I'll ask Thomann to be sure i'm going right, that's a good idea :)
 
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