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Neumann's first studio headphone - presenting the NDH 20
Old 25th January 2019
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Neumann's first studio headphone - presenting the NDH 20

Neumann's first studio headphone - presenting the NDH 20-ndh-20_diagonal_left_neumann-headphone.jpg

Neumann's first studio headphone - presenting the NDH 20

Neumann.Berlin is expanding its product portfolio

Neumann.Berlin, known and appreciated worldwide for its legendary studio microphones and high-class studio monitors, is expanding its product portfolio: At the NAMM show in Anaheim/USA, the company's first headphone has been introduced.

The Neumann NDH 20 is a closed-back studio headphone combining excellent isolation with the carefully balanced sound image and outstanding resolution you would expect from a Neumann product. It is thus ideally suited to monitoring, editing and mixing tasks, even in loud and noisy environments.

Wolfgang Fraissinet, President Neumann.Berlin: “Unlike most other closed-back headphones, the NDH 20 is also suited to mixing purposes. An unusually flat frequency response and natural stereo image allow for mixing with confidence and ensure compatibility to all playback systems. The NDH 20 is a dream come true: reliable studio-grade monitoring – even on the road.”

The NDH 20’s newly designed 38-mm drivers with high-gauss neodymium magnets ensure high sensitivity and low distortion. In other words, the NDH 20 would not need a dedicated headphone amplifier; it sounds just as great on mobile devices such as laptop computers.

Its entire construction is true Neumann quality: The headband is made of flexible spring steel while the ear cup covers are machined from lightweight aluminum. Large and soft memory foam ear pads make the NDH 20 a pleasure to wear for long periods without fatigue. For easy transportation, the NDH 20 is foldable.

Features:
  • Linear sound balance, like Neumann’s acclaimed studio monitors
  • Excellent isolation allows working in noisy environments
  • High long-term comfort, easy transportation
  • Two detachable cables (straight/coiled)

All further product information can be found at: Neumann.Berlin.

Attached Thumbnails
Neumann's first studio headphone - presenting the NDH 20-ndh-20_diagonal_left_neumann-headphone.jpg   Neumann's first studio headphone - presenting the NDH 20-x1_ndh-20-folded_neumann-headphone_g.jpg  
Old 25th January 2019
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Nominal Impedance 150 Ohms
Frequency response 5 ... 30,000 Hz
Sensitivity at 1 kHz/1 Vrms 114 dB SPL (1 kHz, 1 Vrms)
Old 25th January 2019
  #3
So... Sennheiser and Neumann are under the same corporate umbrella. How are they going to differentiate the seperate product lines?
One for studio HPs and one for high end listening HPs?

Anyone listened to these NDH 20s yet?
Old 25th January 2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
So... Sennheiser and Neumann are under the same corporate umbrella. How are they going to differentiate the seperate product lines?
One for studio HPs and one for high end listening HPs?

Anyone listened to these NDH 20s yet?
The interesting thing, is that these are supposed to based on the HD650, according to this article Neumann’s first headphones are the $499 NDH 20 for pro studio use - The Verge
I’m intrigued as well.
Old 25th January 2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman View Post
The interesting thing, is that these are supposed to based on the HD650, according to this article Neumann’s first headphones are the $499 NDH 20 for pro studio use - The Verge
based on the 650?
what about the hd 630vb
Old 25th January 2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkP View Post
based on the 650?
what about the hd 630vb
The article says that they’re reusing some of the external parts of the 630vb for the build, but using the sound of the 650 as their starting point.
Old 25th January 2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman View Post
The interesting thing, is that these are supposed to based on the HD650, according to this article Neumann’s first headphones are the $499 NDH 20 for pro studio use - The Verge
I’m intrigued as well.
This author sounds pretty neophyte towards studio headphones. Any press is good press, I suppose.

So they take a $270 pair of Sennheiser cans and tweek the material design a bit, then name drop the higher-end 650, leading to hype to justify $500 for tracking headphones.

I don't know...maybe you would mix on closed backs if they said Neumann on them. Would look cool if you were mixing on the laptop on the plane.
Old 26th January 2019
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirthought View Post
Frequency response 5 ... 30,000 Hz
Like... +-36 dB?
Old 26th January 2019
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirthought View Post
This author sounds pretty neophyte towards studio headphones. Any press is good press, I suppose.

So they take a $270 pair of Sennheiser cans and tweek the material design a bit, then name drop the higher-end 650, leading to hype to justify $500 for tracking headphones.

I don't know...maybe you would mix on closed backs if they said Neumann on them. Would look cool if you were mixing on the laptop on the plane.
It would be odd if they just took a 630vb (one of the least interesting cans I’ve heard from Sennheiser ) , tweaked it a little bit and released them as a new design. But not impossible.

Hopefully the drivers are really new , the rest ( like the headband and external looks ) is just being reused to save development costs.

We’ll see...
Old 26th January 2019
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And then, there’s this highly sceptical article ( in French ), that compares the announced tech specs of the Neumann to the Senn 630vb as being nearly identical, and suggests that this could be merely a rebranding of the old headphones under a more prestigious name among audio pros...
[MAJ] Neumann NDH 20 : Clone du Sennheiser HD 630VB ? - Audio Du Village

The plot thickens
Old 26th January 2019
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman View Post
And then, there’s this highly sceptical article ( in French ), that compares the announced tech specs of the Neumann to the Senn 630vb as being nearly identical, and suggests that this could be merely a rebranding of the old headphones under a more prestigious name among audio pros...
[MAJ] Neumann NDH 20 : Clone du Sennheiser HD 630VB ? - Audio Du Village

The plot thickens
But the Neumann version lacks the bass management...
Since Beatz lectured the industry what people are willing to pay for headphones, I‘m very critical when companies start to offer headphones...
Old 31st January 2019
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Do we need more headphones?
Old 31st January 2019
  #13
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SOS YT video has Neumann stating there is nothing shared and this is a Neumann design.

Neumann - NDH 20 - NAMM 2019 - YouTube

I wanted to find great closed headphones for tracking (I have always used my HD 650s) and the price was good for me. Sweetwater says I’ll have them next week.
Old 31st January 2019
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post
Do we need more headphones?
In the closed headphones area, I think we do. I still dream of a closed back equivalent to my Sennheiser HD800, in a more portable and less fragile form ( and it isn't the HD820 ).
Old 31st January 2019
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Don't the headphones with dynamic drivers end up with some compromises? I'm under impression that phones with planar driver design tend to sound better?
Old 31st January 2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman View Post
In the closed headphones area, I think we do. I still dream of a closed back equivalent to my Sennheiser HD800, in a more portable and less fragile form ( and it isn't the HD820 ).
There are excellent closed headphones, they're just not mentioned much around here:

Mr Speaker Ether C
Fostex TH900
Ultrasone Edition 8
Sony MDR Z1
etc.
Old 1st February 2019
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post
Do we need more headphones?
Just where the hell do you think you are, grasshopper?! That's like walking into a cathouse and asking "Do we need condoms?"......!
Old 2nd February 2019
  #18
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NDH 20 Impressions After The First Two Hours

NDH 20 Impressions After The First Two Hours

Neumann NDH 20 headphones arrived and I have spent two hours listening, mixing, tracking and comparing to my HD-650s.

Compared to the 650s, these are radically different headphones and the difference will be very helpful in engineering and mixing as the NDH 20s are flat, revealing and unflattering. My first mix and tracking using 650s didn't sound great on the 20s, my mix and tracking on the 20s sounded great on the 650s.

The 650s are sweet and musical, which most of my artists like for inspiration during tracking. I would select the NDH 20s for engineering. For artists who are strong and confident enough to want truth while tracking in order to adjust the performance, the 20s are honest.

This was an unexpected outcome (I expected to move from the 650s to the closed back 20s for tracking) and I am quite pleased with the NDH 20s and the 650s, for different uses.

BTW, Neumann did a great job with design, materials, fit and finish. They look impressive and, based on looks alone, I know artists are going to want to try the NDH 20s. Cool that they include both a coiled and straight cable.

Last edited by StevenLMorgan; 2nd February 2019 at 11:42 PM..
Old 2nd February 2019
  #19
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They are starting to pop-up in stores everywhere. I'm looking forward to trying them next week.
Old 2nd February 2019
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenLMorgan View Post
NDH 20 Impressions After The First Hour

Neumann NDH 20 headphones arrived and I have spent an hour listening, mixing and comparing to my HD-650s.

Compared to the 650s, these are radically different headphones and the difference will be very helpful in engineering and mixing as the NDH 20s are flat, revealing and unflattering. My first mix using 650s didn't sound great on the 20s, my mix on the 20s sounded great on the 650s.

The 650s are sweet and musical, which most of my artists like for inspiration during tracking. I would select the NDH 20s for engineering. For artists who are strong and confident enough to want truth while tracking in order to adjust the performance, the 20s are honest.

This was an unexpected outcome (I expected to move from the 650s to the closed back 20s for tracking) and I am quite pleased with the NDH 20s and the 650s, for different uses.

BTW, Neumann did a great job with design, materials, fit and finish. They look impressive and, based on looks alone, I know everyone is going to want to try the NDH 20s.
Thanks for the review -- it's good news for the 20s! I find open and closed back phones to sound very different so the comparison isn't surprising. I'm curious to know how these sound compared to other similarly-priced closed phones.
Old 2nd February 2019
  #21
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hhh me i have my sennheiser hd 650 coupled to my asus stx a good audio player the class
Bluestacks Kodi Lucky Patcher
Old 5th February 2019
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenLMorgan View Post
NDH 20 Impressions After The First Two Hours

Neumann NDH 20 headphones arrived and I have spent two hours listening, mixing, tracking and comparing to my HD-650s.

Compared to the 650s, these are radically different headphones and the difference will be very helpful in engineering and mixing as the NDH 20s are flat, revealing and unflattering. My first mix and tracking using 650s didn't sound great on the 20s, my mix and tracking on the 20s sounded great on the 650s.

The 650s are sweet and musical, which most of my artists like for inspiration during tracking. I would select the NDH 20s for engineering. For artists who are strong and confident enough to want truth while tracking in order to adjust the performance, the 20s are honest.

This was an unexpected outcome (I expected to move from the 650s to the closed back 20s for tracking) and I am quite pleased with the NDH 20s and the 650s, for different uses.

BTW, Neumann did a great job with design, materials, fit and finish. They look impressive and, based on looks alone, I know artists are going to want to try the NDH 20s. Cool that they include both a coiled and straight cable.

Thanks for the quick review! Can you please comment on the isolation for loud tracking situations in a live room? Any better than the 650s?
Old 5th February 2019
  #23
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I was not able to check on isolation externally in the time I had with the 20s before traveling M-TH this week but, I'll see if my wife will assist this weekend. Worst case, next full session is 2/23 and I will be checking isolation at that time.
Old 5th February 2019
  #24
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I love metal phones. I hate the fact my ATH 50's are plastic........I want these just because they look so cool.....
Old 6th February 2019
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by endless.studios View Post
Thanks for the quick review! Can you please comment on the isolation for loud tracking situations in a live room? Any better than the 650s?
I don't have the headphones, but it has to be better isolation because the 650s are open back, thus there is NO isolation. Sound comes in and sound goes out freely. Not really apples to oranges.
Old 6th February 2019
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I briefly tried them today in a store, and it's not what I was expecting....
Isolation is decent, clients were talking loudly next to me, I could still hear them but they were quite muffled. Comfort was excellent, very comfy and stable on the head. They were also much smaller that they look in the photos.
Now the sound, well I was quite surprised. Somewhat neutral , yes, but still leaning heavily towards warm and dark and bassy. Not an aggressive sound, quite mellow. In fact, my first thought was that they sounded a bit like my Sennheiser HD600 but darker, and without that "veil" effect. Another headphone they reminded me a bit of is the Focal Listen Pro. The Neumann sounded however much darker than those two.
Another thing that surprised me in a negative way is the level of resolution and detail. They sounded much less detailed than any of the headphones I own ( HD800, HD600, ATH m50X, Focal Spirit pro ). It was hard to pinpoint the position of instruments, or to really distinguish individual sounds, it's like a "glue" effect taken to extreme, but in an enjoyable manner.

In fact , my overall impression was more of what I've heard from some headphones targeted at "consumer audiophiles" and the opposite of headphones targeted at mixing pros : warm, mellow, non-analytical. Very enjoyable yes, if you just want to relax with a drink in a comfy chair and listen to your favorite music without trying to be in an analytical mood.
I can see myself purely enjoying music on these ( with a bit of EQ, still too tilted towards a bassy sound ), but can't see myself mixing on them.

Quite unexpected and a bit disappointing I must say... I might just try them again in another store to confirm again my experience, or in case something was wrong with the ( only ) unit the store had.
Old 6th February 2019
  #27
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We are on the same page with “not what I was expecting” but personally the sound for listening to music was not at all appealing to me. I love 650s for listening to music. I use an RNHP and a Little Labs Monotor for amps.

All of my mixes sound great on 650s but require mixing rework on the 20s. Not EQ, but rebalancing to sound good. If I could be happy on the 20s, it sounded great on 650s.

Although I have never listened to Neumann monitors, what I am hearing through the 20s reminds me of the descriptions of Neumann monitors. Just a gut feeling reinforced by Neumann’s description of intended use for the 20s.

As mentioned, I am traveling through tomorrow but this weekend I’ll try listening for pleasure on the 20s although, at the moment, thinking back on a few hours mixing on the 20s, I don’t know that I am going to enjoy it!





Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman View Post
I briefly tried them today in a store, and it's not what I was expecting....
Isolation is decent, clients were talking loudly next to me, I could still hear them but they were quite muffled. Comfort was excellent, very comfy and stable on the head. They were also much smaller that they look in the photos.
Now the sound, well I was quite surprised. Somewhat neutral , yes, but still leaning heavily towards warm and dark and bassy. Not an aggressive sound, quite mellow. In fact, my first thought was that they sounded a bit like my Sennheiser HD600 but darker, and without that "veil" effect. Another headphone they reminded me a bit of is the Focal Listen Pro. The Neumann sounded however much darker than those two.
Another thing that surprised me in a negative way is the level of resolution and detail. They sounded much less detailed than any of the headphones I own ( HD800, HD600, ATH m50X, Focal Spirit pro ). It was hard to pinpoint the position of instruments, or to really distinguish individual sounds, it's like a "glue" effect taken to extreme, but in an enjoyable manner.

In fact , my overall impression was more of what I've heard from some headphones targeted at "consumer audiophiles" and the opposite of headphones targeted at mixing pros : warm, mellow, non-analytical. Very enjoyable yes, if you just want to relax with a drink in a comfy chair and listen to your favorite music without trying to be in an analytical mood.
I can see myself purely enjoying music on these ( with a bit of EQ, still too tilted towards a bassy sound ), but can't see myself mixing on them.

Quite unexpected and a bit disappointing I must say... I might just try them again in another store to confirm again my experience, or in case something was wrong with the ( only ) unit the store had.

Last edited by StevenLMorgan; 9th February 2019 at 10:59 AM..
Old 7th February 2019
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman View Post
Sennheiser HD600 but darker, and without that "veil" effect.
FWIW, it was commonly known that the cable which shipped with the 600s contributed largely to that veiled sound. Cardas made a direct replacement which brought them to life. It was expensive, but it really did transform their sound in all the right ways.
Old 18th February 2019
  #29
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A little review

I use Neumann KH120/805 monitors and was really looking forward testing the NDH 20.

Well, my first impression was that the NDH 20 sounded boring!
But as I tried my AKG K812 again I realized how good the Neumann performed. Much more detailed. Yes flat, but accurate. Fantastic.

I don't like the foam that much and the cable is too inflexible, so I "hear" it hitting my right shoulder often. But no critical factor imho.


Hands down, one of the best mixing headphones out there. Worth every penny.
Old 25th February 2019
  #30
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I have not heard these new Neumann headphones but the reviews seem largely in the direction of them being neutral. The build quality looks impressive. I have decided to purchase two pair for tracking vocals. Now I am just looking for a good price.....
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