We have tested the Genelec 8331A studio monitor!

genelec-8331a-white-studio monitor

The products of the Finnish brand are known for their precise sound and premium quality. The General 8331 active studio monitor is 6.7 kg, the relatively heavy weight is due to three drives with separate amplifiers, and the 8331 monitor is the smallest member of The Ones series. The nominal frequency response is between 58 Hz and 20 kHz.

The oval subwoofer is made with acoustic concealed subwoofer technology (ACW). It has upper and lower openings. The subwoofer is of the bass-reflex type, with a panel in front of it, with a 90 mm coaxial center and a 19 mm coaxial tweeter, this type of recording is called Minimum Diffraction Coaxial Driver Technology.

Directivity Control Waveguide (DCW) function

Coaxal technology

The main advantage of the three-way coaxial design is that the sound comes from a single point, so phase problems are reduced and a wider stage image is obtained. Speakers that reproduce bass are built into the front of the case, but remain acoustically hidden as the sound waves they emit pass through the lower and upper openings on the front panel. The cohesive front panel is actually a waveguide. This type of design also has drawbacks, such as a limited frequency range or low maximum sound pressure level (SPL), but the Genelec 8331 has eliminated these flaws, according to the manufacturer.

The baffle that influences the direction of the sound waves, at first glance, looks like a high dome guard, but in reality, this sound wave baffle runs through the entire front panel. Thanks to the coaxial drives, the stereo sound will be much sharper and more stable. Thanks to DCW, the baffle acts as a driver-optimized waveguide, virtually minimizing resonances, this is the MDE, or Minimum Diffraction Enclosure. Thanks to the coaxial design, the speaker is perfect from up to 40 cm.

Software and hardware

Gen.8331 monitor--SAM-technology

Genelec Autocal, an automatic calibration software that is extremely easy to install and use. It’s a SAM studio monitor, which means it’s made with intelligent, active surveillance technology. Calibrations can be performed using the Genelec Speaker Manager and GLM software, and the tone can also be adjusted. The subwoofer has 72 watts, the center speaker has 36 watts, and the tweeter has 25 watts. The speaker has analog and digital audio inputs. Analog, balanced XLR input, digital AES / EBU balanced inputs can be found on the device.

Gen.-8331-back panel

The DIP switches on the back can be used to adjust the frequency responses as well as the low and high ranges. If you want to use the speaker on your own, you will need to connect a source device to make the volume and other settings. The Genelec Loud Speaker Manager hardware controls these settings, which are controlled by the GLM software on the computer. GLM hardware and software work extremely well together. You can connect the hardware to your computer via USB, and you can also find an input for the calibration microphone. Calibration of the EQ software is extremely fast, with a volume slider, mute, and EQ bypass buttons displayed on the control screen.

As for the shape of the Genelec speaker, it features a rounded, sleek design. Since 1996, the company has been making speaker enclosures from recycled aluminum, the exterior of the 8331 monitor was designed by Harri Koskinen. The maximum sound pressure level (SPL) of the device is 104 dB. The housing is quite solid and stable. Together, the SAM system, GLM software and the GLM user kit allow for extremely precise, precise settings. The GLM also includes a user-ready adapter, measuring microphone, USB cable and network cable. The DIP switches on the back allow you to make manual adjustments, and the upper and lower slots are used to adjust the bass tones. The reflex port system is a long curved tube inside the speaker, the purpose of which is to reduce the resonance and increase the detail and intensity of the deep sounds.

Sound – little and good

8331a- studio monitor in a studio

We tested the Genelec speaker in a relatively small studio. It is placed about three meters from the student position, but can also be used as a close-up monitor. Despite its small size, the monitor produced extremely loud sound, muscular bass, good dynamics, and balanced sound, and the stereo sound was accurate, clear, full, and detailed.

The acoustic treatment of the studio is in progress, so the sound is not completely perfect yet. Without calibration, certain sounds pounded too loudly in this untreated room. Room calibration software can be extremely useful when used in a studio with ideal acoustics. These softwares primarily measure sound pressure values ​​and are unable to correct acoustic problems such as echo or inadequate reverberation time. If you are really looking for the perfect solution, be sure to take care of the studio with acoustic elements. In a room treated with diffusers and sound-absorbing panels, EQ calibration programs are really useful and flawless sound can be achieved with fine adjustments. We tried the monitor while listening to stereo music.

We first listened to her song Pink -Who knew. Everything was absolutely fine with the stereo sound, we also got a multidimensional stage picture, the reverberation time was absolutely correct, the sound was precise and detailed, the dynamics were also absolutely perfect, Genelec 8331 was an excellent choice as a reference monitor. Jennifer Lopez’s hit: In the morning followed. The momentum and detail as well as the accuracy were adequate again this time, we didn’t really find any sound issues.

Verdict

The Genelec studio monitor, despite its small size, is capable of astonishingly powerful sounds. We could hear intense, clear bass, balanced mid-range, and the stereo sound and 3D stage image were also ideal. EQ settings have proven to be really useful, calibration was especially important in an untreated studio in order to eliminate pounding, distracting sound.

gen.8331-speaker-horizontal

Thanks to the coaxial design, the speaker can be placed vertically or horizontally and this flexibility is a major advantage. We also recommend this speaker for smaller studios, it can also be used as a close-up monitor, it provides excellent sound from a distance of up to 40 cm. If the acoustic handling of a given room is difficult due to the small floor space, the Genelec monitor is also a great place there.

Not many negatives were observed during testing. The high price can be a disadvantage. We recommend it specifically for studios, it is worth choosing another type of speaker for home use.

Written by Róbert Polgár