Neumann KH120 Monitors, pair, set #5


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Neumann KH120 monitors, set #5, in excellent used condition, almost unmarked, with original boxes. Photos show the monitors for sale

The KH120 was described to me by a producer as “the new standard small monitor”. After firing up a pair I could see why – they are beautifully balanced speakers with great dynamic range and they’re easy to work with

The Neumann speaker range is a rebrand / redevelopment of the popular Klein & Hummel range. When K&H joined the Sennheiser group their products received better marketing in the UK and grew in popularity

When first compared to my previous B&W home hifi speakers the KH120 seemed incredibly similar. The tonal balance was almost the same and I was a little underwhelmed initially. However I soon began to see the differences. The KH120 has a much tighter, more extended bottom end than most speakers of its size and punches hard up to surprising levels. Unlike many small monitors – the JBL LSR 305 is an example – the KH120 doesn’t sound harder as it gets louder but stays neutral. Ultimate bass output is limited by woofer & cabinet size but I can’t think of anything similar with a better bass output / tightness compromise

Over time I began to hear other advantages of the KH120. Distortion is extremely low – it’s pretty shocking to realise how much distortion most speakers produce and it’s much easier to “hear through” a speaker with less distortion. On tracks I know really well the KH120 showed up distortion I’ve never spotted before, previously inaudible edits and level & timbre changes that other speakers miss

The KH120 also has that indefinable quality of “rightness” – you know that it truly reflects what tracks sound like, that it doesn’t hype the middle or the high end and that it doesn’t require you to compensate for the way it sounds

My setup has a pair of KH120s on sand-filled stands spiked to the floor with the speakers sitting on sorbothane hemispheres. They create a really well-defined centre image and, though the stereo image doesn’t seem to extend past the speakers like it does in some setups, the stereo image is strong and different pan settings are easily heard

I use them with the EQ controls set flat. Listening in the control room of Studio 2 at Brighton Electric I pulled the mids back two steps and treble one step which matched them well to the room. The controls are subtle but very useful addition for room tuning

I’m happy to recommend the KH120 to anyone and think it’s a speaker you could – but probably shouldn’t – buy without auditioning first. The partner KH805 subwoofer is a very nice, though pricey, addition that makes the KH120 a proper full-range monitor. Worth thinking about

For a good technical perspective see the Sound-on-Sound review by Hugh Robjohns (see the Links tab)

In excellent used condition, almost unmarked. Supplied with the original boxes, manuals and UK power cables. Tested & working 100%. Photos show the monitors for sale

Mix Magazine:

“The Neumann KH120A is an extraordinary little speaker system. The detail represented in the midrange is absolutely stunning, making your job as a mixer/editor a little easier during post. In a world where vocal production in pop music is king, you will love this speaker”

Sound on Sound:

“The KH120A is a very impressive speaker, which performs to far higher standards than its size and plain demeanour might suggest. It’s undoubtedly a very clean, neutral and transparent monitor that is capable of working at silly volumes if required, all of which make it equally well suited to rock, pop, classical or speech work. The last is probably the most demanding, in fact, because any speaker coloration stands out like a sore thumb when listening to a known voice. However, the KH120A sailed through all my tests with flying colours, and I used them on a Lieder (piano and soprano) location recording in place of my usual PMC TB2As with great success.

Stereo imaging was very stable, with a broad ‘sweet spot’ and an excellent sense of depth and space. Transients were portrayed with very natural dynamics, while the frequency response was smooth and natural, conveying the bass end remarkably well without any hype or exaggeration, and with minimal ‘overhang’. The high end was smooth and clean, sounding very open and light without any grittiness, while the mid-range was honest and truthful. Hi-fi speakers tend to recess the mid-range a little to provide a more laid-back and engaging sound, while many ‘monitors’ hype the mids to give a forward or even ‘shouty’ quality, to try and make them sound more analytical. The KH120As have no need for such shenanigans — they are brilliantly revealing and detailed, and there’s no need to scorch your ears off! And for anyone who has had bad experiences with noise from active speakers, I’m please to report that the KH120A is utterly silent at the listening position, with barely audible hiss if you put your ear close to the drivers.”

Attack Magazine

“K+H and Neumann speakers are the unsung heroes of the monitor world – at least outside their home country. German producers frequently rave about them, and that’s not just due to favouritism for home-grown products. We’ve never quite been able to figure out why they rarely seem to inspire the same level of devotion outside Germany, but it’s an anomaly which needs to be rectified as these are truly top quality monitors”

Additional information

Weight 15 kg

The KH120 is a small speaker - 277mm tall, 182 wide and 220 deep - but weighs in at a substantial 6.4 Kg. It has two built-in amplifiers, delivering 50 Watts at less than 0.1% THD, driving a 130 mm woofer and 25 mm tweeter. A switchable built-in limiter prevents the speaker from being damaged by over-driving but it's capable of high listening levels before the limiter cuts in. Inputs are balanced via XLR on the back panel

Sound on Sound Review

Gearslutz thread

Gearslutz Review thread

Gearslutz Review

Mix magazine Review

Prosound News Review

Attack Magazine Ten Best Studio Monitors #8

Audiorumble Review

Front End Audio Youtube Review


In excellent used condition, almost unmarked. Supplied with the original boxes, manuals and UK power cables. Tested & working 100%. Photos show the monitors for sale

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