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Genelec unveil 'The Ones' at Metropolis Studios

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Product launches are often hit or miss, I find. Sometimes they drag, sometimes they don't; sometimes the kit is spectacular, sometimes it's, well, not. Having a launch at a major recording studio complex always gets me excited - and Metropolis is certainly that. Genelec took over pretty much the whole building to unveil 'The Ones', and thankfully the products lived up to the Pinot Noir on offer, and some.

It may be because we at Headliner are in the process of building our own writing room/recording space that we took such interest in these little beauties (hint, hint), but considering Grammy-winning mix engineer (and Headliner columnist) DJ Swivel just cut The Chainsmokers' debut record on a pair of Genelec's flagship 8351s, the idea of a smaller format version was very appealing indeed. And that's exactly what Genelec have delivered, in the guise of the smaller format 8341, and the even smaller 8331.

After these two new monitors were unveiled (see pic below), we were asked to sit through a very technical but at the same time engaging presentation - a lot of smart thinking technology has gone into the creation of these new products, and the Genelec guys made it clear that these are designed to last - they want to see 'The Ones' in your mix room in 10 or 20 years time, not just until next year.

These are three-way monitors, and the first coaxials without sonic compromise. This means you can get up close and personal with your mix - half a metre from the speaker, in fact, and without any fear of fatigue. That will raise an eyebrow or two with bedroom producers, for sure.

'The Ones' are also said to offer detailed imaging and exceptional off-axis responses, and of course Genelec's GLM setup application means these can be used in practically any environment for recording, mixing, or mastering.

So how do they actually sound? Well, we were fortunate enough to be led down to Studio B for an intimate listening session. All three of 'The Ones' were sitting side by side, ready to go.

We listened first to the little ones - the 8331s - and the first thing that struck me was the extraordinary low end that they put out. The control room - which is pretty sizeable - was quickly filled by these little powerhouses. Half way through the track (a rather enjoyable ABBA cover), the audio was switched to the 8341s - pretty seamless, in honesty, just a little richer and fuller, as you'd expect. Finally, the 8351s took over, and of course took everything up another notch. What was really impressive though was when the 8331s took over from the 8351s again - despite the huge size difference, it really wasn't a noticeable shift: the same silky smooth top end remained, with plenty of oomph at the bottom. Very impressive.

We listened to a variety of songs in the same fashion - switching from monitor to monitor - and 'The Ones' continued to impress, with their fantastic stereo imaging. I asked the engineer to crank the small ones a little more just out of interest, which he did, and although they're obviously going to have less crankability than the larger models, they really did deliver.

Now the only question remains is, which of 'The Ones' will be 'the one' for Headliner's studio? I'm thinking the 8341s in white...

Check out the video below, and for more information on 'The Ones', click HERE