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HEDD Type 05 Nearfield Monitors review

Another entry in the crowded nearfield monitor market, the HEDD Type 05 Nearfield Monitors offer a cutting-edge tweeter and some interesting digital I/O

HEDD Type 05 Nearfield Monitors review
(Image: © HEDD)

Our Verdict

The HEDD Type 05 doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it doesn’t need to. It performs well in mixing and listening situations, and the company offers its customers clever and cutting-edge perks to try and inch themselves to the front of the pack. At this price point, and accounting for taste, the Type 05 sounds as good as any of its competitors. It is well worth a serious look from anyone investing in their first good set of nearfields, or looking for a second set to A/B with.

For

  • Digital connectivity.
  • Quality sound.
  • Good value for money.

Against

  • A modern sound that is not suitable for all production tasks.

Heinz Electrodynamic Designs (use your “HEDD”) are a relatively new company. They’re essentially a splinter enterprise of well-regarded audio firm ADAM, created when one of the latter’s founders broke off to start a new line. 

I’ve reviewed my fair share of monitors, and in many ways, HEDD’s products are nothing revolutionary. They’re among a hotly contested segment of the market, where many companies vye to provide the consumer with ever-better performance at ever-low prices.

What makes these speakers worth a closer look are some of the perks that HEDD have included in their design and product ecosystem: the Air Motion Transformer, the Lineariser plugin and the Dante interface.

The Air Motion Transformer, or AMT for short, is an alternative transducer design to the tweeter. In case you don’t know, the tweeter is the small speaker above the larger one. Its function is to reproduce the upper half of the frequency spectrum. Without getting bogged down in the technical details, an AMT serves the same function but translates the signal into vibrations via an accordion-like diaphragm, rather than a speaker cone. The intent here is to reduce distortion and increase resolution in the high-end material. Juxtaposed with my reference set, I did notice an emphasis on these frequencies, with more perceptible detail and ‘space’.

While this is a highly subjective judgement, I’d say the speakers sound good-to-very-good (for the price). In addition to a nice high register, the lows are also solid. It’s easy to hear and create detailed bass on the Type 05s, which is an ever-important aspect of a great recording. Bear in mind that nearfields like this can’t reach the same level of performance or accuracy as systems with a dedicated sub.

It’s easy to hear and create detailed bass on the Type 05s, which is an ever-important aspect of a great recording.

The Type 05’s overall sound is a touch mid-shy, forgiving and contemporary. They are pleasant to listen to, and provide a hi-fi take on the frequency- sculpted consumer-grade headphones many people listen to audio on. If they were paired with, say, a set of flat, mid-heavy, passive speakers, then the mixer would have a great snapshot of how their music will be heard.

Another tool that HEDD provides to increase the accuracy of your listening environment is the Lineariser plugin. Again, without delving into the how, the why is that correcting for phase issues between your paired monitors will increase how accurately your mix is being reproduced. Any differences should be most noticeable in the stereo image and any related low-end information. The Lineariser Plugin is free and sits on your master DAW channel, and is powered by your CPU.

If I understand the pretty complex explanation from HEDD, the Lineariser uses maximally neutral impulse responses to help correct for inevitable phase issues arising from a room or speaker placement. In practise, I thought it made things sound better. I would really invite any prospective buyer to try the Lineariser out at a store – whether you think it improves the sound would be a large determinant in the HEDD Type 05’s bid for your bucks.

Finally, the HEDD Type 05 offers AoIP (Audio over Internet Protocol) support using Dante architecture. AoIP is a pro-level, large-scale audio solution that comes in several different flavours and is only just beginning to make its way into consumer and small business markets. In essence, an extra card expansion allows for the Type 05 to receive its audio information over one standard Cat-6 Ethernet Cable.

Ethernet is a cheap and robust medium for transmitting multitrack audio, and many people are increasingly turning to Dante – the most popular protocol for Ethernet audio – to enhance their large-scale systems or analog/digital hybrid studios. No doubt Dante connectivity will become increasingly important in years to come. For some, the presence of this connectivity here will be enough to justify a purchase on its own.

Specs

  • RRP: AU $1,658
  • 2-way system suitable for recording, mixing, broadcast and post-production tasks
  • Adjustable gain from -30dB to +6dB
  • Low and high pass shelving filters
  • Limiter circuit to protect drivers from overload
  • HEDD Bridge card compatible
  • HEDD Lineariser® Compatible
  • 2 Year Warrenty
  • Made in Germany
  • Contact: HEDD