Neumann microphones are used on just about every recording we have in our collections. But did you know that they also make loudspeakers? This is a new thing for this company and something that happened after Sennheiser bought them out a few years back. Another Sennheiser purchase was Klein+Hummel, a professional loudspeaker manufacturer from Germany. Clearly, Sennheiser thought the Neumann name was a better marketing tool than KH and so Neumann Loudspeakers were born. However, it was not a simple bit of badge engineering, instead Neumann added their touch to the existing products and offered up improvements on what was already a fine range of studio monitors.
The KH 310 A was one of the first to be modified by Neumann and offers an improved midrange driver and better amplifiers than the original KH 300 on which it is based. The Neumann KH 310 A is surprisingly a sealed box design which flies in the face of most studio monitors of their size. Many companies use ported designs to get that artificial extra octave of bass response, but not the Neumann. Somehow Neumann manage to get bass response down to 34Hz from this relatively small sealed box, which is a big ask of the 210mm bass driver.
The 75mm midrange driver is very similar to the famous ATC midrange driver in appearance at least, and the 25mm tweeter completes the driver array, with 650 Hz and 2.0 kHz as the crossover points. The speakers come in a left and right set, which are designed to be placed on their sides in a near field position. Which begs the question, why are these being reviewed as an option for home use? To put it simply, they are spectacular speakers and in my humble opinion offer great value given the level of performance they are capable of delivering.
When matched with an equally transparent front end, such as the ATC CDA2 Mk2, or something like the Grace Designs M902 DAC/Pre-Amplifier, these speakers are capable of delivering an incredibly good soundscape that is dynamic, detailed and transparent without the harshness or brutal honesty of some studio monitors. It is something of a juxtaposition when a speaker is both transparent and accurate without being brutal in the way something like an ATC monitor can be, but that is what I think we have here with the Neumann KH 310 A monitors.
With the Neumann KH 310 A monitors volume is never an issue as there is power to spare here thanks to the three dedicated amplifiers in each speaker. The bass driver has a 210 watt amplifier, and the midrange and tweeter each have their own 90 watt amplifiers, which adds up to a whopping 390 watts of power per speaker. In fact, they are capable of delivering 116.3dB of volume! Remember too that these use an active electronic crossover to split the signal into the three separate ranges to feed each speaker only what it can handle, all of which makes the sound much cleaner and power usage more efficient than the traditional method of sending the power amplifier into a complex crossover network that sucks up much of the power being fed into it, not to mention the other issues associated with traditional crossover networks.
Neumann provide fine tuning controls on the back of each speaker to help make these monitors work in your room. If you do not know what you are doing then leave them as they are from the factory, but it is possible to tweak these monitors to your room with just a few subtle adjustments.
Neumann KH 310 A Powered Monitors Specifications:
- Frequency Response: (+/-3dB): 34Hz –21 kHz
- Power Output: 390 watts per channel
- THD: 95db
- Weight: 13kg
- Dimensions: 253 x 383 x 292 mm each
Why you want the ATC CDA2 Mk2:
The Neumann KH 310 A Powered Monitors offer enormous amounts of power and as a result a lot of sheer volume, but they do so with the finesse and accuracy of an audiophile speaker. When paired with a good front end they provide superb sound quality and bass extension that truly outweighs their physical size. So if sound quality is important to you and you do not have a massive listening area that can take large speakers, then seriously consider this path and mate them with something like the ATC CDA2 Mk2, and simply sit back and enjoy. Very highly Recommended!