The awesome Neumann KH310 is the evolution of the classic Klein Hummel O300. The KH310 looks very much like the O300 and has the same dimensions but it has been completely redesigned. In this review, we won’t be focusing on numbers regarding the speaker because I want to focus on how they sound, but first of all, we have to know what has been changed from the previous O300 for it to become the KH310.
Midrange Driver: Completely new in-house design to reduce THD and intermodulation by another 10dB compared to the previous O300 midrange driver.
Woofer: Completely new in-house design with ELFF Technology (Extremely Linear Force Factor), flow optimized diecast basket and ribbed surround to reduce THD and intermodulation distortion allowing higher excursion and higher SPL and reduced breakup modes.
Tweeter: Completely new in-house design reduces THD.
The front of the speaker cabinet has Elliptical MMD (Mathematically Modeled Dispersion) to create better directivity. The backplate has an all in one aluminum back panel with a large integrated heatsink that improves heat dissipation and reduces thermal stress of the components leading to a very long lifetime.
Limiter: The new limiter is an extremely fast soft clipper for the woofer. It also has very low tolerance thermo limiters for the woofer, midrange, and tweeter integrated overheat limiter and a woofer excursion limiter.
So, how do they sound?
Well, what you hear is what you get! These speakers translate incredibly good to any other sound system. All speakers have a learning curve but these don’t seem to have it. The first mix I ever did with them came out exactly how I was listening to it in the studio. All the corrections I did to the mix were actually things I wasn’t totally sure about because “I thought I didn’t know the speakers that well” and were left that way to check in other systems and for my surprise they sounded exactly the same in the car and in my house stereo as they did in the studio. Came back to the studio, trusted the KH310s, made all the necessary tweaks, printed, went back to the car to check and mix done!
The stereo image is very defined with a solid phantom center. Panning elements in the mix are very easy and positioning elements in the vertical plane are very easy too. Reverbs and delays are very easy to apply and incredibly easy to equalize. These speakers will give you a really nice sense of space when mixing so achieving a great balance when starting a mix, which is crucial, is very easy too. They also have a great response to transients. It is very easy to find the right attack and release times when compressing and it’s also very easy to know when a signal needs some limiting to get rid of crazy peaks on percussion instruments. These peaks will jump right on your face.
One important thing about these speakers is that they sound huge. You don’t need to mentally compensate for any instrument sizes. Singers seem like they were singing right in front of your face, guitars sound like the amplifier was living inside the KH310 cabinet. The frequency response goes down to 34Hz (which is very low), this lets you listen to fundamentals on kick drums and basses making very low cuts easy to dial in and letting you shape the bottom end for your mix.
The price of the speakers is around 2,250.00 US Dollars each. It seems quite expensive for a reference speaker but hey, when you go to a doctor you want the best right? These are speakers you can fully trust and they are worth every penny. I found myself getting rid of the other reference speakers I had as 2nd references because I can really trust the KH310.
Neumann KH310 Specs:
– Powered Three-Way Speakers
– 150W Low-Frequency Driver Amp
– 70W Midrange Driver Amp
– 70W High-Frequency Driver Amp
– Frequency Range: 34Hz – 21KHz
– Max SPL 114 @ 1 meter
Ignacio Molino – Grammy Winning Mix Engineer and Producer