I never got the Genelec haterade, so having said that you already know this is gonna be a positive review.
I’ve noticed guitar guys (as in people who play or mix guitar-centric music) tend to not love Genelecs, but that’s not me.
I’ll say I’m hard-pressed to find another active 5″ monitor of this quality in this price range. I owned a pair of HEDD Type 05 (Mk1) for four years, and I’d say the Genelecs are more accurate over all, particularly in the bottom end, but the HEDD’s have a more open top end. The latter do have narrower vertical dispersion, although that is by design (so I was told by their designer Klaus Heinz).
I remember people used to say Genelecs flatter the sound, but that’s not what I hear. These things reveal minor unpleasantness in recordings I always thought sounded great, particularly older ones. The bass repro is very good for a 5″ woofer, and in my small room it suffices, but it does not defy the laws of physics.
The sweet spot is fairly large and the sound is surprisingly consistent anywhere in the room. However, I will say that they do need to be pushed a bit, at very low volumes their performance isn’t quite as good. But build quality is literally second to none, nothing else feels this solid.
Of lesser importance, but something to consider, is that I really like Genelec as a company, they do things the right way, like their efforts to make their products and manufacturing process more sustainable. Their stuff is still made in Finland, whereas key competitors (Focal, Dynaudio, ADAM) have started to manufacture certain product lines in China. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but I do admire Genelec for not succumbing to the spreadsheet warriors and keeping everything in-house.
So over the last ten years I’ve had the following 5″ two-way nearfields: KRK RP5G2, Equator Audio D5, HEDD Audio Type 05 (first-gen) and now these Genelecs. I have reviews for all of them right here on this blog. I suppose it’s fair to question whether or not the Genelecs ($1500/pair) are worth five times more than the KRK’s ($300/pair).
That is hard to quantify, because how do you put a price on sound quality? Powered nearfields have come a long way, and it’s amazing what you can buy under $500 these days.
The 8030’s are not perfect and certainly pricy, but worth the money, if you ask me. Even if I were to move to a bigger room with different monitor needs, I doubt I’d get rid of these. They feel like things you just keep in the family for generations to come.