Just a quick review of these two speakers:

Neumann KH 120 A : http://www.gearogs.com/gear/643-Neumann-KH-120-A
Focal CMS-65 : http://www.gearogs.com/gear/637-Focal-CMS-65

I got a loan of both these speakers to try out over a week.

Both were quite different to my Epos ES-14 http://www.gearogs.com/gear/343-Epos-ES-14 hi-fi speakers. The ES-14s sounded more scooped, elements in the music seemed more separated. They sounded 'nicer', but they are quite hard to judge a mix on because of this. They are also bigger than either of the monitors, so the bass was much more extended.

I got the Neumanns first. At first, I was quite disappointed that they didn't sound as 'detailed' as the Epos'. However, working with a mix, it made sense as the Neumanns sounded much more cohesive, and therefore easier to judge relative balance - no hype!

I was surprised at how compact the Neumann KH 120s are, they sounded bigger, a LOT bigger! The build quality is solid - an all aluminium enclosure with steel grills on both the woofer and tweeter make them feel bombproof, and easy to transport safely.

I got the Focal CMS-65s later. First impressions - these are a lot bigger! But not huge by any means. The build quality seemed about the same, with an aluminium enclosure and steel grills, maybe not quite as solid feeling.

Hooking them up and comparing the Neumann KH 120 against the Focal CMS-65... first impressions are they are close. This is good, they are both respected monitor speakers, and it was somewhat reassuring that they sounded similar. The CMS-65 sounded a little less forward in the midrange. When pushed, the CMS-65 also had a bit more bottom end, but surprisingly little compared to the size difference.

In the end, I went with the Neumanns. They sound great, they almost remind me of big Quested main studio monitors. The midrange is especially detailed and easy to hear what is going on. The compact size and bombproof construction mean I will happily take them out the studio when needed. All in all, a great set of near-fields.

The Focal CMS-65s are no slouch either. If I was less inclined to a portable set of speakers, I may have been more interested in them for the slightly more extended bass, but at the same time the Neumanns seem to have the edge in the mids. I'd recommend auditioning for yourself over a few days if possible to make your own mind up.

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