The merging of Klein & Hummel’s monitor lineup into Neumann’s catalog has commenced with the KH 120 powered, nearfield monitor ($1,098 each). The KH120 is also available in a “D” version with AES3ID digital I/O via BNC, multiple delay options and networked control.

The KH 120 is housed in a shielded, aluminum cabinet with a one-piece face and nonparallel walls (for standing-wave reduction). An elliptical tweeter waveguide is tailored for a wide sweet spot horizontally with narrow vertical dispersion (reducing early console reflections). The cab is front-ported to better allow mounting on or near walls and/or in tight spaces.

Drivers are a composite sandwich, five-inch woofer and a oneinch titanium fabric, dome tweeter that Neumann claims are so consistent that that every KH 120 pair is a matched pair. These drivers are fed by two 50W amplifiers, crossed over at 2 kHz, with a separate peak limiter on each. There are fourposition EQ controls and an input level trimmer.

With the KH 120s approximately 3.5 feet apart, equilateral with my listening position, I found their bottom end to be punchy and abundant for five-inch drivers, with an overall balance ideal for long editing sessions. With vocals, I was able to hone in on differences in pitch and tone and make accurate blends without the distractions of excessive low end, not to mention avoid fatigue. As I slowly inched up control room volume with a double-kick/killer metal track, the KH 120 pair responded like few other small nearfields can.

Over my time with the Neumann speakers, I continued to learn them, soon finding them to be valuable mix reference points— great for cutting crucial overdubs like guitars and vocals and absolutely ideal for vocal editing and dialog mixing. I appreciate their appropriately lean (flat?) bottom end, preferring it to the hype-y, false bass that some manufacturers choose to build into their nearfield selections. My only complaint with the KH 120s would be a slight frequency emphasis within the 500-800 Hz range, which can bring out some nasal qualities of the source audio.

The KH 120 outperforms many monitors around its price range and size/power category thanks to excellent design, fine imaging, superior SPL abilities and generally better construction.

Sennheiser USA