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Conclusion. In our high-fidelity hobby the price/performance ratio often doesn’t get the limelight it deserves because the air of upper improvements gets thinner and thinner. Then it’s all the more delightful to report on as massive a counter value as the three Genelec sets reviewed here present to your wallet. All offer an excellent ratio but with the Syno 30 in particular this value gets nearly absurdly steep. Obscene in a very good way. The decision about which system might best suit will primarily hinge on desired peak levels and bass extension/displacement. In matters of sound quality sibling rivalry—who’d be surprised—is very high. Since we covered three different setups, our usual Psych Profile too will split into three. The Syno 30 shall serve the basics whilst Syno 30+ (with sub) and Syno 40 will focus on the differences.

Genelec Syno 30 (8030A):

  • Tonal balance is even though true sub bass below 50/60Hz is missing by design. Mid and upper bass are very defined and seamlessly integrated in the midband.
  • That midrange is very transparent and open if tonally veering more into the light than buxom. Free from artefacts and very clean applies to the treble as well.
  • Particular strengths are microdynamic differentiation potential and resolution. For the money these qualities are enormous. Max levels and macrodynamic fireworks are not on the menu which for the sticker is a-okay.
  • Music floats freely in the room and soundstaging sorting precision is high. Height, depth and width are believably generated but the total scale of the virtual venue is more compact than generous.
  • Timing is brilliant and doesn’t merely apply to rhythmically complex music where the 8030A plays it charged and on the money. The decays of notes trail for what in this price class is eternity.

Genelec Syno 30+ (8030A plus subwoofer 5051A):
  • Adding the sub—no surprises here—generates more LF reach and pressure plus the ability to generally listen louder which benefits macrodynamics and peak potential. All previously mentioned qualities remain in place but soundstage scope probably due to more potent bass matures and scales up.
  • The low bass is nicely differentiated on quality but not ultimately dry for a middle-path solution.

Genelec Syno 40 (8040A):

  • Versus the 30+ combo bass extension diminishes a bit but compared to the Syno 30 solo there’s markedly more power and also reach.
  • Sonically similar to the 8030A this model is clearly more SPL robust, macrodynamically gifted and of grander scale in the soundstaging. The midband is more sonorous too.

  • Concept: Self-powered compact 2-way monitors with active filters and bass reflex loading
  • Dimensions and weight: Syno 30 - 285 x 189 x 178mm (HxWxD), 5.6kg/ea.; Syno 40 - 350 x 237 x 223mm (HxWxD), 8.6kg/ea
  • Trim: Aluminum chassis in white, anthracite or black
  • Power consumption: 8/11 watts respectively at idle, no standby
  • Other: Bass and treble trim, optional 85Hz high-pass for Syno 30 (for sub integration), adjustable input sensitivity (Syno 40) – cabling and wall mounts are included
  • Model 5051A concept: Active bass reflex sub meant for two 8030A satellites
  • Dimensions and weight: 362mm diameter, 300mm height, 9.8kg
  • Trim: Aluminum enclosure in white, anthracite or black
  • Power consumption: 8 watts at idle, <1 watt in standby
  • Other: Phase and level adjustable, remote included to adjust system volume (with satellites)
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