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Behringer Truth B3031A 2-Way Active Ribbon Studio Reference Monitor with Kevlar Woofer, Single Speaker

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Pros: Room compensation settings, immense power reserve, accurate and neutral playback, smooth and pleasant highs

Cons: Very sensitive to bad sources and files, automatic power switch seems fickle, 250Hz resonance in reflex tube ornaments (needed to be re-attached)

I compared these speakers little brothers, the B3030A before purchasing against Genelec 1032A. The B3030A was less harsh and they seemed to have a more natural low frequency. Then again both are not meant to blurt out farting bass notes, and my own preferences are towards smoother tones, so the Genelecs didn't impress me anyway.


The speakers arrived with individually measured frequency response curves, mine are measured 01-11-2011, so that's friday, and my speakers are brand new! First impression was that they're HEAVY! And a bit ugly.. But it's the sound that matters, especially at this price the appearance of the speakers is decent. At home I compared the B3031A to the Wharfedale Diamond 10.5. The room compensation settings were all 0 for the review, we used Vangelis - 1492, Conquest of Paradise for the testing. The conditions were less than ideal, seeing that the Diamond 10.5 were standing near a wall and the B3031A were wider apart without any hindering walls. B3031A vs. Diamond 10.5

 

in the song Conquest of Paradise, the male vocals seemed more dramatic and strong with the Diamond 10.5, but the B3031A reached lower, while Diamond 10.5 settled for playing back the upper bass. I've listened to the Diamond 10.5 against Dali Lektor 6, and they were a bit bloated on the bass even in a well dampened room, so it's definitely not because of the wall and this comparison further proves their tendency for upper bass emphasis. Monastery of la Rabida has pretty chimes in it, and cranking it up the Diamond 10.5 got more fatiguing and artificially sharp, whereas the B3031A seemed to ooze pleasant and smooth sounding tones. My little brother, father and me agreed on this. Pendulum - Slam humiliated the Diamond 10.5 whereas B3031A slammed the listeners with really strong low notes, even without the aid from a back wall.

In general usage, even with -6dB gain the Behringer B3031A are quite sensitive in picking up interference from bad sources. Although my AKG K 272 HD are silent with the FiiO E7, I could easily hear the familiar chirping and whizzing noises coming from my computer chassis whenever the CPU or GPU were under stress, and there's a constant hum even without any. If I could use TOSLINK instead of USB/Coaxial, I would de-couple the speakers from the computer and get rid of this issue. (I'm sure it's because it's running a ground through USB, if I unplug the USB cord from FiiO E7 the speakers are dead silent. I'll try out a Nuforce µDAC-2 if it has better power filters than the FiiO E7, or maybe I'll order a Maverick D1.. Anyway, the FiiO has to go, they don't do justice to the B3031A and it's getting annoying fast.

 

You'll hear many saying in YouTube and the such that the B3031A are bass light. Well, they say the same thing about AKG.. This is certainly not the case, as low notes in songs like Ayreon - Comatose, Nine Inch Nails - Corona Radiata etc. feel really powerful and accurate. Actually I believe this is the first time I'm rolling with a completely flat EQ and genuinely enjoying the sound from speakers (the AKG does the same with headphones). I also did a short time test where I cranked the speakers up to the max, and equalized +9dB of bass from 50Hz to 150Hz. The wind from the reflex tubes mixed my hair a bit and the sound had an immense amount of authority and slam. Rolling with a flat EQ now, they WOULD like a subwoofer to be honest, a huge one at that. 18" would sound appropriate, since the B3031A doesn't necessarily have any trouble going low, but it just isn't meant for LFE-channel rumbling and explosions. I took ½ stars for this.

For the money the only thing that could be better is the automatic switch, which kicks in whenever the speakers aren't pumping out more than 70dB or so, so the feature is useless for laid back low-volume listening as the speakers pop on and off frequently. I was slightly dissapointed with this and have reduced a whole star and a half for this, but having a tolerance switch for the auto-power option would be ridiculously luxurious for 360€ which I paid for these!

Just to note, I sold my Audioengine 2 clones and a 8" active subwoofer for $300, and got these instead. I'll never recommend a 2.1 set again when pure stereo solutions like this exist!

EDIT: The speakers have developed a rather annoying resonance. At 250-260Hz area when cranking up -almost sine wave-like- bass notes, there's a high about 1kHz droning noise. The noise seems to be coming out of the reflex port bezel and not the transducers, and it's more audible in the other unit. Other users do not report this, so my units might have gotten damaged during shipment (the box looked a bit battered but they were protected well). The issue isn't enough to disturb me during actual music listening, gaming or movies, but it's certainly something I'd rather not witness in a brand new product. I'll update this review if something comes up.

Behringer Truth B3031A 2-Way Active Ribbon Studio Reference Monitor with Kevlar Woofer, Single Speaker
Description:

Admittedly, our TRUTH monitors never sounded hyped or enhanced. When our engineers designed the TRUTH series of monitors, they only had one goal in mind: to create the most accurate and honest monitors so you could hear and feel exactly what you've recorded. For the past two years our acoustic engineers have worked hard on improving the TRUTH B2031A which has become industry standard. They insisted on using the best materials and technology such as ultra-high resolution, 2" velocity ribbon transducers, long-throw woofers with Kevlar cones and deformation-resistant aluminum die-cast chassis. Our engineers also integrated 225-Watt bi-amped technology so the B3031A could boast enormous power reserves when driven hard. To guarantee an ultra-linear frequency response, each monitor is hand-aligned and comes with an individual frequency diagram. But how do they sound? Just listen!

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandBehringer
EAN0403365306143
FeatureAdjustable to a wide range of acoustic conditions and subwoofer operation
Height18.5 inches
Length14.09 inches
Weight32.63 pounds
Width12.6 inches
LabelBehringer USA
List Price$299.99
ManufacturerBehringer USA
ModelB3031A
MPNB3031A
Package Quantity1
Product GroupMusical Instruments
Product Type NameSOUND_AND_RECORDING_EQUIPMENT
PublisherBehringer USA
StudioBehringer USA
TitleBehringer Truth B3031A 2-Way Active Ribbon Studio Reference Monitor with Kevlar Woofer, Single Speaker
UPC403365306143
Batteries Included1
Is Autographed0
Is Memorabilia0
Number Of Items1
Release Date2009-02-01
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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