Announced today and on show at ISE 2016 Amsterdam is the 8430A, a “world first” from Genelec. Audio-over-IP (AoIP) is fast becoming the future for all digital audio systems, and the 8430A marks the first commercially available AoIP studio monitor. Complete with Genelec’s SAM software for automatic room calibration, this is a very technically advanced speaker for tomorrow’s world. However, the full product name ‘8430A IP SAM’, is quite a mouthful.
This product resinates a lot with me. Firstly, I purchased one of, if not the very first pair of Genelec 8330’s sold in the UK. I bought them back in December after hearing them on a product demo when I knew I had to have them. Although they have a very similar look to a lot of Genelec’s existing product line, several developments have meant I was, and still am, blown away by them. This new 8430A appears to be a continuation of the same product range, in fact the specs read exactly the same except the AoIP connectivity.
Secondly, I have been following the AoIP story fairly closely and it’s certainly where pro and domestic audio is heading. In fact, it’s already here in a big way. In many respects I believe the development could have been faster, but the different protocols available have limited device compatability. However, the new AES67 standard which was laid out last year is already making interoperability possible. This isn’t just between the different protocols either, but will also mean audio-over-IP can co-exist with other data streams on existing Local Area Networks. These new 8430A’s from Genelec are compliant with AES67 which is a smart move and significant to see by such a renowned pro audio manufacturer. For anyone who is still concerned over the quality of hundreds of audio channels running down a single network cable, you shouldn’t be – just take a look at Focusrite’s RedNet system which is phenomenal.
Like my 8330’s, the 8430’s also incorporate Genelec’s MDE and DCW technologies, boasting “flow optimized reflex port, high SPL, low noise and wide uncoloured response in a very compact enclosure”. As with any of the SAM monitors from Genelec, included is their own Genelec Loudspeaker Manager software which performs any parameter controls and calibrates each monitor for level, timing, and room equalisation. However, in place of my AES3 connection, is the all new RJ45 AoIP network connection for IP streaming applications. I can’t be certain that the 8430 is exactly the same as my 8330 in sound quality and performance, but if they are, I can vouch that they’re excellent – highly recommended.
Prices aren’t available yet, although I’d be surprised if it’s very different from the 8330’s which makes this a significant product release for many applications.