It is often said that good things are worth waiting for and our hunt to review Genelec's 6010A speakers, in tech terms, has been nothing short of epic. We were first blown away by them 15 months ago in a basement sound studio during a tech tour of Finland and with commercial, but no press availability in the UK it has been a long hunt to get them back into our grasp and a more real world testing environment. So were they worth the wait?
First a bit of background, because who exactly is Genelec? The Finnish company has actually been around since 1978 and built a large following amongst audiophiles, professional recording studios and video editing suites. Customers include the BBC and Sky Television. Until the introduction of the 6010A, however, Genelec hasn't been particularly visible to the mass market.
What has gained Genelec a cult following in pro circles is that it produces active monitors rather than traditional loudspeakers. As we mentioned at the time of our original preview: "This means that rather than having a single conventional amp producing one big signal to then be split up by a crossover circuit in the speaker, it has separate amps for each cone within the speaker unit. This allows the amps to be optimised for each driver and in particular results in a more accurate sound at low volumes. It also means you don't need a separate amp – just plug the speaker into a conventional line-level output, or an mp3 player's headphone jack."
Furthermore all Genelec speakers can adapt their sound to their environment via a gain dial at the back, switching to compensate for wall or corner proximity (Genelec offers setup guides) and each speaker is individually powered. This approach makes it easy to add further speakers in future, move around a setup or to split up a wide array into separate arrangements around the home – no further amps required. We were supplied with two 6010A speakers and an optional 5040A dedicated subwoofer.
When opening up the 6010A what is initially most striking is the size of each speaker. They stand just 181mm tall, 121mm wide and 114mm deep while weighing 1.4Kg. Genelec offers a travel case for pairs making them reasonably portable. In terms of design the immediate word that comes to mind is 'cute'. The Genelec 6010A looks strikingly similar to the adorable Aidpose aliens from Doctor Who with a curved rectangular design and thick rubber feet to avoid surface vibration. For those looking to avoid cult TV references, they also come in black.
Construction is excellent with a matt, textured and extremely rugged cast aluminium design. Notably our units came in white and while we managed to scuff one speaker the marks simply rubbed off. We haven't seen many more sturdy units in our time.