Review: Genelec’s 8341A is pretty much the ‘perfect’ bookshelf speaker

Review: Genelec’s 8341A is pretty much the ‘perfect’ bookshelf speaker

Music "as the artist intended," but for real this time

Marketing is all about hyperbole and superlatives, but marketing in the audio world is distinctly egregious. I’m particularly irked when speakers claim to let you hear music “as the artist intended” without any substance to back that up.

Genelec, a Finnish audio company, makes similar claims on its website, but it gets a pass from me. Not only does the company provide extensive measurements for each of its speakers online — each of which demonstrates a neutral response — but its speakers are prominent in the recording industry. Chances are you’ve probably heard at least some music made with Genelec speakers.

The subject of today’s review is the Genelec 8341A, part of the company’s state-of-the-art ‘The Ones‘ series. The speakers are so named because they aim to provide a truly ‘point-source’ sound, such that all frequencies emanate from the same point in space. These speakers use a unique coaxial driver — the tweeter is embedded in the mid-woofer — flanked by two unique low-end woofers in order to provide an even sound front that very few speakers can claim. This particular model is about the size of a 6.5-inch bookshelf speaker, the second smallest out of four speakers in the series.

Long story short: the Genelec 8341A are some of the best speakers I’ve had the pleasure of listening to. They’re great at just about everything and do just about nothing wrong. While no speaker will ever be the best for every single track, the 8341A has both the subjective and objective performance to justify its eye-watering, roughly $6,000 price tag (not out of the norm for its category). It’s as close to textbook ‘perfect’ as any speaker I’ve measured. The speakers may be marketed at the pro industry, but any audiophile with a fat enough wallet should have these on their radar.

Genelec - Cinema Architects

It starts with the speaker’s design. The 8341A has a unique bulbous enclosure that isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but I love the futuristic look (it’s available in both black and white options). The rounded shape actually helps smooth out the acoustics, and the speaker comes with rubber feet that allow you to change the speaker’s vertical angle by a few degrees so you can aim the speakers precisely. Unlike most speakers, the 8314A also sounds nearly identical when oriented horizontally thanks to its coaxial design. Pick whatever works best for your setup.

Genelec has built a reputation for making resilient speakers — they’re intended for working professionals, after all. To that end, the 8341As are made not out of plastic or wood, but out of cast aluminum. You’ll feel it when you try to lift them up. Barring someone poking the exposed mid-woofer with a stick these speakers feel like they’ll last forever. The speakers come with a 5-year warranty upon registration (two years otherwise), and even if something goes amiss after the warranty expires, Genelec is known for stocking replacement parts for models made in the early 80s.

This is an excerpt from the complete review. For the complete review please click HERE

 Thank you to Napier Lopez for this incredible review

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.