After an hour test­ing them I reached for my credit card

Future Music - - REVIEWS | HEDD AUDIO TYPE 20 -

As a new­comer to the studio mon­i­tor mar­ket­place, the Ber­lin-based HEDD Au­dio – set up by ex-Adam Au­dio MD Klaus Heinz and his son Dr Fred­erik Knop – are quickly gath­er­ing a buzz. Their range spans sev­eral sizes and con­fig­u­ra­tions: the Type 05, Type 07, Type 20 (on re­view here), Type 30 and the forth­com­ing Tower Mains.

Be­fore re­ceiv­ing the re­view pair, I was scep­ti­cal – I’ve found Adam mon­i­tors a tad bright and an­a­lyt­i­cal for my taste, and so ex­pected a sim­i­lar sound from the founder’s new brand. How­ever, be­ing in the mar­ket for new mon­i­tors, and with sev­eral UK elec­tronic pro­duc­ers gush­ing with HEDD praise on so­cial me­dia, I was in­trigued by the Type 20’s spec sheet.

Upon delivery, their 15kg weight each and deluxe matte-rub­ber fin­ish set them apart from more ‘plas­tic-y’ com­peti­tors. At the rear are bal­anced XLR and un­bal­anced RCA in­puts, plus a slot for HEDD’s Bridge sys­tem, whereby an op­tional card can be fit­ted for Dante/AES67 in­puts. Also on the back are high-shelf (+/- 4dB at 2kHz) and low-shelf (+/- 4dB at 200Hz) con­trols to help tai­lor the sound to your room. I in­stalled the HEDD Lin­eariser – a VST/AU plugin de­signed to cal­i­brate the mon­i­tors’ lin­ear phase re­sponse – and loaded it up last on my DAW’s mas­ter chain.

The Type 20s have a sleek, fu­tur­is­tic, some­what dinky look – but their ‘cute’ size is in no way in­dica­tive of their sound! With a fre­quency re­sponse of 32Hz to 50kHz, their front-ported three-way de­sign (7.2” woofer, 4” midrange driver and 1” ‘Air Mo­tion Trans­former’ tweeter) kicks out a scrump­tious full-range pre­sen­ta­tion that com­pletely blew me away. The first thing that hit me was their low-fre­quency re­sponse, pre­sent­ing not only bass weight but also de­tail down there that I’ve only heard from the likes of sealed-cab­i­net de­signs from Bare­foot and ATC.

How­ever, it’s not all about the bass… and the Type 20s are hon­est through­out the en­tire fre­quency spec­trum. Bril­liant pro­duc­tions sound as bril­liant as they should, but flaws also be­came ob­vi­ous. When mix­ing, I found midrange bal­ance was child’s play, while tre­ble is oh-so de­tailed with­out harsh­ness. And the stereo im­age is in­cred­i­ble: mono el­e­ments are re­ally mono, and stereo po­si­tion­ing is ac­cu­rate down to minute pan moves, mak­ing width eval­u­a­tion and ad­just­ment a breeze.

When eval­u­at­ing mon­i­tors, I judge them on how an­a­lyt­i­cal and ‘ster­ile’ they sound com­pared to how en­joy­able they are to pro­duce on – my holy grail is some­thing bang in the mid­dle. And that’s where I think the Type 20 sit. Need a speaker that’s vibey enough to give you a ‘big pic­ture’ over­view? No prob­lem! But the Type 20s would be just as at home in a mas­ter­ing studio, as you can lis­ten deep into a mix and get as de­tailed as you like.

Mon­i­tor speak­ers of this cal­i­bre aren’t cheap, but a good pair is es­sen­tial if you’re se­ri­ous about pro­duc­tion, mix­ing or mas­ter­ing. After only an hour of test­ing them in my studio, I’d al­ready reached for my credit card. They ab­so­lutely de­liver on all counts, and I rec­om­mend you hear them for your­self.

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