Neumann NDH 20

Item: REC0014175-000
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The Neumann NDH 20 are a set of closed-back studio headphones which not only provide excellent isolation from external noise, ...  All product info

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Neumann NDH 20 Black Edition

Neumann NDH 20 Black Edition Product Image
  • Manufacturer: Neumann
  • Colour: Black
  • Bluetooth: No
  • Foldable: Yes
  • Over-ear: Yes
  • ...
£ 449.00
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Product information - NDH 20 Headphones

Neumann NDH 20 Closed-Back Studio Headphones

The Neumann NDH 20 are a set of closed-back studio headphones which not only provide excellent isolation from external noise, but also crystal-clear sound results that can be compared with Neumann's own studio monitors. Specially designed 1.5" drivers with high-calibre neodymium magnets ensure optimal authenticity for minimal distortion, so that the user can expect a pure audio signal without discoloration. The high resolution of the sound, paired with the comfortable design of the shells, guarantees an efficient working atmosphere with reduced signs of fatigue, even after long periods without breaks. The closed NDH20 is therefore suitable for monitoring and recording situations in the studio as well as for live operation at the FOH location. The robust construction ensures durability during transportation through everyday life, while 2x cables (straight and spiral) are included for personal preference.

The main features of the Neumann NDH 20 include:

  • Dynamic Circumaural Closed-Back Studio Headphones
  • 5Hz-30kHz Frequency Response
  • Transducer: 38mm Neodymium Magnet
  • Input Power Handling: 1000mW (Max), 200mW (Continuous)
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 245 x 255 x 85mm
  • Weight: 390g
  • Finish: White Aluminium

The competition: Avantone MP-1

Summary from Sound on Sound magazine May 2019


Very clean, full-range sound make these headphones an excellent tool for analytical listening,
They offer much greater isolation than most closed-back headphones.
Robustly built, with field-replaceable parts and removable, armoured cables.


Not the most comfortable headphones ever.
No carrying case supplied.


The Neumann NDH 20s are described as ‘studio headphones’ for a reason. They’re not flattering and they’re not especially comfortable but, as well as offering excellent isolation, they are a highly effective monitoring tool.

Hear The Truth

And so to the $64,000 question, or at least £419-in-all-good-reatilers question: are they any good?

Ill confess that it took me an unusually long tome to make up my mind about these particular headphones, and that initially, I was underwhelmed. My first impression was that they sound rather unengaging, with neither the flattering boost in the air band that makes many headphones sound polished and slick, nor the mid-range push that brings rock & roll excitement to others. They have a tendency to foreground the 100-150Hz ‘upper bass’ region but not in a bootylicious Beats by Dre fashion; so, lacking the dynamic punch that you get on a good pair of planar magnetic headphones, and tending to recess the 2kHz area, that can present some material as sounding soggy and lifeless.

However, as I used the NDH 20s more for mixing and editing as well as for music listening, it began to dawn on me that there is a reason for all of this. What Neumann’s engineers have is take seriously the goal of creating headphones specifically for studio use. This is absolutely not a hi-fi design repurposed with a new paint job and a different model number, but a tool designed from the ground up to meet the needs of recording engineers. Thus, as we’ve already seen, they’ve clearly put a lot of work into achieving the best possible isolation, even if that comes somewhat at the expense of comfort: and they’ve also put in a lot of work into making them the most revealing monitoring system they can be, even if that doesn’t maximise superficial listening pleasure.

The more I used them, for example, the more I appreciated that what I heard initially as a flat and unexciting sound is actually just the absence of distortion. It’s not only that these headphones exhibit an unhyped tonality: they also possess a cleaness that is unusual in closed-back phones. In particular, their ability to lay bare problems in the lower mid-range is uncanny. When I took mixes that sounded good on both studio monitors and my usual headphones and played them on the NDH 20s, I found myself noticing resonances, unevenness and mud that I hadn’t previously been aware of; and then u put the same mixes back on my other systems after EQ’ing them on the NDH 20s, there was a real improvement. Likewise, despite their relatively muted tonality, they proved a reliable aid to spotting vocal sibilance and other issues further up the frequency spectrum.

So, yes, the NDH 20s take some getting used tom but that’s because they are so ruthlessly focused on what’s useful rather than what’s fun to listen to. And this is the quality that makes them pretty much unique. Other headphones that provide effective isolation, such as the classic Sennheiser HD25 II, rarely offer neutral tonality or a clean sound, while models that do major on sound quality rarely conceive of it in such analytical terms. There are high-end open-backed modesl that have a flatter frequency response, but open-backed designs have minimal isolation, and as far as usefulness goes, flatness is a means to an end rather than an end in itself. The headphone market is a crowded one, and these are not cheap, but Neumann have located a niche for a genuinely studio-focused design – and the NDH 20s fill that niche very successfully.

- Sam Inglis, SOS May 2019



  • Manufacturer: Neumann
  • Colour: Silver
  • Bluetooth: No
  • Foldable: Yes
  • Over-ear: Yes
  • Converter build: Diving coil
  • Frequency range: 5 - 30000Hz
  • Maximum load capacity in mW: 1000
  • Impedance (Ohm): 150
  • Weight (kg): 0.39
  • Noise Canceling: No
  • Removable cable: Yes
  • Incl. 3.5mm adapter: Yes
  • incl. Accessories: Drawstring bag, cable, adapter
Neumann NDH 20 Product ImageNeumann NDH 20
£ 449.00
£ 449.00
£ 439.00
£ 476.00

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