Moving into a smaller space (monitor advice)

Hi all,

I’m moving into a significantly smaller space. The space is 237cm wide and 207cm deep. There is a window on the 237 side and on the other 237 side there is a door.

When spring approaches I’ll build some DIY treatment but for now I’m more concerned about my monitors.

I currently own a pair of Adam A7x’s and I’ve already tried them out here. Sadly they are a bit overpowered for such a small room and I get fatigued quite quickly. Also I like setting these up wide and I usually sit pretty far away. Something that I can’t do with them any longer. So I need a pair that can sit closer to my ears with a smaller footprint but preferably similar performance.

Can anyone recommend some decent monitors for small spaces? I was eyeing the neumann 120 hk’s but I’m not sure if they’ll produce enough bass after using the Adams for a few years.

Any thoughts?


Honestly, no monitors are really gonna sound great in such a small space. Get some proper headphones instead. A pair of Audeze LCD-X will put your Adams to shame. Pair with some Genelec 8010s for the occasional reference.


i was thinking about proper cans too

wow what a pricetag! anything note worthy in the 500,- area?

I know a pair of monitors would run me 1.2k as well but still

I heard the Genelec 8030 last week. They did sound really nice. More clear than my Focal Alpha 65.
If you want smaller ones I’m sure the 8020 are as good

1 Like

My space isn’t great at all… it’s basically an L shape desk in the corner of an office room at home. It’s not treated or anything, and I have some Genelec 8020s for my monitors, but I also use a pair of Audeze LCD1s and they are quality.

I picked them up for 200 quid used, and also Goodhertz Can Opener Studio and it’s all working well.


1 Like

This is kind of the point though. They’ll easily replace your monitors and will surpass any monitors in that price range.

Also get them used. I regularly see LCD-Xs going for 600-700 quid on ebay. You can get an Ifi Zen Can amp for something like £150 and then you’re sorted.

1 Like

hmm ill give it a look. What about ear fatigue? I got tinnitus from my first pair of headphones. mind you I was using them in a totally naive way when starting out in my early 20’s. cranked up the volume all the way all the time

Produce at low volumes. I bought a cheap dB metre, cupped the headphones around it, and reduced safe headroom limit in Sonarworks so that they never go past ~75db. You could also just mark the volume dial with your safe limit if you’re not using sonarworks.

1 Like

Thanks will check!

There is one for sale for 275,- locally

1 Like

Hmm yeah, im used to mixing really low on monitors. I also thought I should introduce like a timer to give my ears rest every once a while. Are you solely on headphones?

I’m 90% on headphones. I have a similar issue; not much space. When my kid was born she started squatting my studio, and I’ve been told I have to wait years before I can evict her! In the meantime, I’m on pretty much the same setup I suggested to you; Genelec 8010a for occasional reference, and headphones for most things. I have a set of HEDD Headphones, and some lower-end Audeze gaming headphones (Penrose) which I use for jamming on the sofa, or when I need to isolate myself from the squatter’s noise.

I previously used a set of Ollo S4 headphones which are brilliant, but much less detailed than the Hedds. By the way, my Ollo headphones are currently for sale in case that interests you:

1 Like

Open back are way better as far as ear fatigue and tinnitus. I always used open back and never had an issue. Then I tried a pair of closed back for a few days and still have a bit of ringing in my right ear from it, and I wasn’t even listening very loud. So I only use closed back if I need to track something nowadays.

Everyone has made great suggestions in this thread. A pair of Audeze headphones (LCD-X or MM-500) and some smaller Genelecs for referencing would be what I would do to in your situation.


Audeze/good headphones are a good recommendation, because you’ll also hear bass which would otherwise be a challenge in such a small space. If you must have speakers get something with inbuilt dsp like the Genelec SAM or Neumanns

1 Like

…i have neumanns kh120 in use since the day they came out…that’s 11 years by now…
if a product is still in production after more than a decade, exactly the way it was designed in first place, u know what ur dealing with…truu quality beyond all doubts.

they became pretty soon kind of the ns10 equivalent industry standard nearfield monitoring for the 21st century…

while truu low end can only be judged for real via a dedicated sub in a treated room…
anything else needs experience, really knowing ur speakers and ur room…
and know how to read ur spectrograms…

so, no need to worry here, the kh120 got THE perfect stereo stage and spread and a comfortably wide sweet spot, absolutely no selfresonating spots along the whole frequency band, give u perfect oversight and deepest insight to all sonic details and the confidence for ur own judgement, where exactly u like to place them in the stereofield and all the individual leveling…
a real sonic microscope without any fear for fragility…

their low end response is rounded up very well…at all loudness levels…
they’re easy to take with u anywhere, if needed, while always rocksolid in builtquality…
and if setted up in a narrow triangle sweet spot ratio, ur even good to go with pretty much any kind of room size and shape without any roomtreatment at all…

a typical investment u make only once and for the better, with the innerpeace to never have to look back again…

truu pro nearfield monitoring is covered for the rest of ur life with these…
their sonic print sounds exactly the same when run almost silent as when turned up to 11…
once u know them, no matter where it’s at with ur actual mixing skills, they will improove them big time…

1 Like

My space is a bit bigger 220w x 330 and I use a combination of Neumann KH80, Hd650 and M50x. All with sonarworks. I don’t have much treatment. I noticed a huge jump in quality between my old monitors and the KH80- they are so much better suited to the space.

I normally do most of the heavy lifting on headphones and then use the monitors to check my mixes.

I spent ages finding the best solution and am really happy now. I don’t think I will be buying anything else for ages.

1 Like

I have tinnitus in both ears at various levels from hammering IEMs on the commute when I was younger so I get the concern. The Audeze are so revealing and transparent that I find myself running these at much lower volumes and don’t have an issue.

Without sounding like a patronising old man, you have to be super careful with your ears, so take breaks and avoid those louder sessions. Lower volumes work for me once you get past the idea that a higher volume equates to a better perceived sound.

That’s also good advice on the open backs also.


I have a small room similar size to yours, I use iloud micros for my monitors, I don’t have (or need) bass traps due to no space for them, and the small drivers, but I do have mineral wool tiles to reduce flutter, I monitor at max 70-73db.

I have a few sets of headphones as well as a pair of Equator D5s, I rarely use the headphones as I don’t enjoy wearing them due to the cable. I sometimes use the D5s just to get a second opinion.

I have a drywall insulated with heavy studio grade mineral wool and a double glazed heavy duty widow.

I’m quite happy with this setup, I find that I can get reasonably accurate mixes, and I never get hearing fatigue due to the lower monitoring levels. I have the monitors set up such that the listening position is head height and in an equilateral triangle, by no means am I suggesting any of this is perfect, but it is a reasonable compromise, given the room size and within a reasonable budget.

1 Like

For smaller than the AX7, I think that the JBL 305 are nice, those are my main monitors. For even smaller, I also use the iLoud Micro which sound good for their size.

Also, get some good headphones and use Sonarworks. You can also use Sonaworks on your monitors, just gotta get their little mic.

1 Like

hmmm great info. to be honest it never occurred to me to go all headphones.

the good thing is the one doesn’t single out the other. you can always add a monitor setup later when the space permits it

1 Like