We are reader-supported. Links on our site may earn us a commission. More about us

Genelec 8020D review: Masterful precision

Genelec has been one of the most renowned studio monitor manufacturers for the past four decades. Expensive, sure, but you certainly get what you pay for in most instances.

In this review, I’ll be looking at the 8020D model, one of the company’s more affordable monitors. Let’s take a deeper look and see what it has to offer.

Genelec 8020D studio monitors
Image: Higher Hz

Final verdict on the Genelec 8020D 5.0

The Genelec 8020D monitors present an excellent solution for individuals seeking a precise, neutral, and reliable monitoring setup.

Any perceived flaws are more likely a reflection of personal taste or specific requirements, none of which should detract from the overall design and functionality of the monitors as a whole.

What I like

  • Exceptionally honest sound.
  • Small and compact.
  • Durable.

What I don’t like

  • Rear reflex port may make room placement tricky.
Buy Genelec 8020D at: SweetwaterVintage King

Why you should trust me

I’m a producer, composer, and audio engineer with a decade’s worth of experience in the music industry.

Brandon Schock, author and contributor at Higher Hz

I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with a diverse range of gear and monitoring setups, working with brands like Yamaha, Neumann, Genelec, and more.

My extensive familiarity with myriad recording techniques positions me to provide you with insights that bridge the gap from technical intricacies to practical applications.

So, when it comes to trusting this review, you can rely on my expertise and experience in the field.

Power and frequency response 5.0

The Genelec 8020D monitors boast a frequency response of 62 Hz – 20 kHz (±2.5 dB) with a crossover at 3 kHz and an SPL of 100 dB. These monitors are exceptionally neutral, detailed, and clear.

The monitors are bi-amped, with both drivers offering 50 watts of power, providing ample headroom across the entire frequency spectrum.

Genelec 8020D tweeter closeup
Image: Higher Hz

While a subwoofer would do you a great deal of good in regards to taming the subs, the monitor’s cutoff at 62 Hz presents more than enough information to dial in a capable, if not stellar mix.

Genelec 8020D woofer closeup
Image: Higher Hz

The Genelecs above all can help you clean up the low-mid area, which often is the most crowded and difficult area to balance.

The sweet spot is also quite wide, and while there is some volume decrease in the high-end as you move off-axis from the monitors, the overall performance remains generally unscathed. 

Ultimately, there isn’t really anything bad to say about the 8020D. They will tell you if a mix is good, and it will highlight any and all weaknesses that are present if not.

I/O and controls 5.0

Turning around to look at the rear panel of the monitor, you’ll probably first notice the On/Off switch, the XLR port, and the rear reflex port. To the right of the rear panel you’ll also notice a sensitivity control dial, as well as tone DIP switches.

Genelec 8020D rear panel closeup
Image: Higher Hz

The monitor also features threads for wall and ceiling mounts, as well as an Iso-Pod table stand.

The Genelec 8020D also feature ISS (Intelligent Signal Sensing) technology, which allows the circuitry to detect whether there is an input signal be processed, and in the absence of will automatically put the monitors into low-power sleep mode.

In essence, if you forget to turn off your monitors you’ll be spared from wasted electricity.

Build quality 5.0

These are extremely well-crafted monitors, the die-cast aluminum minimum diffraction enclosure ensures both durability and precise audio reproduction.

The monitors exhibit that iconically sleek Genelec look, and have an incredibly small footprint. Point being that if you treat them right, they’ll probably last you a few decades of use.

Compared to other studio monitors

Considering their performance, it’s pretty safe to say the Genelec 8020D are some of the best monitors around the $1000 mark. However, here are a few alternatives to consider.

Genelec 8020D vs Neumann KH 80 DSP

The Neumanns have a slightly larger footprint than the Genelecs. However, their performance is more or less even.

In my experience, I’d say that the 8020D are more honest in the reproduction, and a solid mix out of them will translate extremely well across nearly any system. I’d say less so for the KH 80 in that regard.

Still, it’s always best to try to listen to both of them beforehand to see which you prefer.

See Neumann KH 80 DSP’s current price

Genelec 8020D vs Adam Audio A4V

Both these monitors share nearly identical specs, aside from the Adams being slightly cheaper. I’m fairly biased towards Adams in many cases, but you can’t go wrong with either.

Read the full Adam Audio A4V review

Genelec 8020D vs IK Multimedia iLoud MTM

While the iLouds are far more comfortably priced than the Genelecs and seem to have a wider frequency response, I would still recommend the Genelecs. They have a far bigger sound, and are much more helpful for serious mixing work.

See IK Multimedia iLoud MTM’s current price

Who are the Genelec 8020D studio monitors best suited for?

The Genelec 8020D monitors are best suited for professional mix and mastering engineers looking for a high-quality monitoring solution.

Their compact size and tone DIP switches make them an especially good choice for those of you who are working in slightly smaller spaces.

Buy Genelec 8020D at: SweetwaterVintage King

Video demo

Watch this video by my colleague Fabio, where he puts the Genelec 8020D studio monitors to the test.