Klein & Hummel 0300 mastering monitors
Klein & Hummel (K&H) 0300s have become a staple in serious mixing and mastering studios the world over. These three-way active near/mid-field monitors cover the full audible frequency spectrum, providing an impressively flat response between 30Hz and 20kHz.
One of the standout features is their closed cabinet design. Many speakers use ports – holes in the speaker cabinet – to manufacture additional low-end from cabinet vibrations alongside what the woofers can produce on their own. The problem is that cabinet vibrations occur slightly after the woofer output, causing a small delay in the low end that can be deceptive. By avoiding ports, the K&H 0300s avoid this issue, making them exceptionally trustworthy for judging both low end and transients (the attack portion of the notes.)
What do K&H 0300s sound like?
K&H 0300s sound full, rich, and detailed. The bass extension is especially impressive for speakers of this size. And the 3-way design means that mid-range and highs are reproduced with extraordinary detail, saved from having to throw out lows from the same cones.
The sound of the K&H 0300s is roughly equivalent to the sound of high-end Sennheiser headphones. Incredibly revealing, technically neutral, but still a pleasant pair of speakers to listen to.
Why are K&H 0300s useful?
K&H 0300s are primarily used for mastering. Their accurate, full-range response makes them perfectly suited to tackling the broad-brush aspects of mix finalisation. They are especially useful for monitoring at lower levels, able to maintain energy even at quiet volumes – essential for protecting ears, and for dealing with detail at normal listening levels.
While I do use them to check the finer details of my mixes, I tend to reserve them for mastering, mixing primarily on the smaller Neumann KH120s and Avantone Mixcube before moving up to the K&H 0300s for an invaluable change of perspective for mastering.
History of the K&H 0300s
Klein & Hummel was a relatively small German audio manufacturer that achieved a stellar reputation over its 60 years, predominantly for studio monitors, but also for a handful of other rare products like the quirky UE-100 mastering EQ (now immortalised as the Lindell TE-100 plugin).
The company was bought by Sennheiser in 2005, which later folded K&H into Neumann (also owned by Sennheiser). As such, the current generation of these speakers is the Neumann KH 0310.
Interesting features of the K&H 0300s at Old Cottage Audio
The pair of K&H 0300s I have at Old Cottage Audio is pre-Neumann. They are almost exactly the same as the newer generation, though the woofer has been changed slightly for the Neumann model.
Having had these speakers for over a decade, they form the absolute benchmark for me – I don’t really know what something sounds like until I hear it on these.