Genelec 8030A Near Field Speaker Review

Will they beat out my old KEF speakers?


I used to be an audio engineer and I used to design large sound systems,  but I have been out of that business for about 7 years so I asked around to my friends from college that work in or own successful recording studios and asked them what they used for an accurate near field reference monitor and a couple of them recommended the Genelec 8030A.

In the past 7 or 8 years the DSLR sensor technology has improved a ton, but I would guess that speaker technology has not improved hardly at all. In all the videos you have watched in my office you have seen my KEF Q30 (1993-96) which are about 18 years old and I love them. When I purchased them I compared them to a ton of speakers at the time they beat out everything including ones that where 3 times the price.

I will tell you that the Genelec’s are much more accurate from 500-5khz than my KEF’s but they don’t go down as low as my KEF’s which is OK since you can also buy a subwoofer for the Genelec’s as well. The transient response of the Genelec’s are also better than my KEF’s, what I mean by this is when you listen to a piano track the quick sudden rise of how the piano is struck is more accurately reproduced than my KEF’s.

The Genelec speakers are self powered which means in this case they contain a 40watt amp built in side. I am not crazy about this idea, I prefer to have my amplifier separate. They also come with only one input and it is an XLR which for the average Joe might have no clue what to do with them. You might might be thinking that 40watts doesn’t sound like much but when the speakers are only one meter away and the efficiency of the speakers is 100dB 1w @ 1m which means that with just one watt it will be 100dB which is pretty loud and you will have plenty of headroom.

Is it time to retire my old KEF’s for the Genelec’s, not yet since I am not wild about the built in amp and including a subwoofer. I am not apposed to spending a lot on speakers and these are expensive coming in about $650 per speaker. I can’t tell you how many blind tests I have been in that most expensive doesn’t win, so my quest continues.

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Canon 50mm 1.8