|Dynaudio Audience 5.1 Speaker System|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Speaker Systems|
|Written by Brian Kahn|
|Sunday, 01 February 2004|
Page 1 of 3
Dynaudio is a Danish company known for over 25 years for producing high-quality speakers ranging from affordable bookshelf models to some of the finest, priciest transducers in the world. In addition to the speakers produced directly by Dynaudio, astute audio enthusiasts may have noticed that many famous high-end speaker makers also use Dynaudio drivers in order to build their own speakers. In recent years, Dynaudio has picked up significant momentum in the ultra-competitive affordable speaker market and their relatively new Audience line represents Dynaudio’s latest effort to bring their design expertise to an affordable price level.
The Audience system reviewed here retails for less than $4,000 and is comprised of the model 62 ($1,350) mini-towers for the front left and right channels, the 42c ($450) and 42 ($800) for the center and surround channels and the Sub-20A ($1,209) for the low-frequency effects channel. These prices include the wood veneer finishes that are available in four flavors.
Even though Audience is Dynaudio’s least expensive line, it is still chock-full of advanced features and quality drivers. The 62 is the smallest of the three towers offered and features a 17cm mid-woofer and a 28mm soft-dome tweeter inside a 34-inch high, eight-inch wide and 10-inch deep cabinet. The front baffle is a dark gray, impregnated piece of MDF, with a front-firing port under the drivers. The port helps the 62 obtain a useable frequency response down to 38Hz. The same gray from the front baffle is utilized on the bottom base panel, separated from the maple-finished cabinet by a small gap, giving the speaker a nice clean modern look. The removable front panel can be handily attached to the rear of the speaker, thanks to an extra set of grille mounts. The bottom of the rear panel features a pair of true five-way binding plugs.
One look at the 42s and you can tell that they are little brothers to the 62s. The 42 measures approximately 11 inches high by seven inches wide by nine inches deep and has the same slate gray baffle on the otherwise maple cabinet. Beneath the grille, you will find a 15cm driver mounted immediately below a 28mm soft-dome tweeter. The port on the 42s is on the back; a wall- mount version is available with the port on the front. The 42 is the smaller of the two bookshelf-sized speakers in the Audience line. The 42c is the smaller of the two center channel choices and uses the same drivers as the 42, mounted in a horizontal configuration and featuring a front-firing port.
All of the passive speakers in the Audience line utilize a 28mm soft-dome tweeter, with a smooth response extending past 25kHz to handle the extended frequency response offered by the newly available formats. The tweeter assembly also consists of a substantial aluminum baffle with a rear damping chamber to absorb any rear wave energy. The midranges all feature a large, three-inch lightweight aluminum voice coil, coupled to custom designed cones made out of magnesium silicate polymer. The interaction of the drivers is handled by custom six dB per octave, first order crossover.
The last speaker in the system reviewed here is the Sub-20A, and again, as you may have guessed, it is the smaller of the two subwoofer options. This is a relatively small powered subwoofer with a front-firing driver measuring just under 10 inches in a cabinet that is approximately 11 inches wide, 17 inches high and 18 inches deep. The 90-watt amplifier can be driven by either stereo or mono input. The rear panel also features a daisy chain connection and line level outputs with a switchable crossover. Also on the rear panel are a continuously adjustable phase control, crossover and level controls, all under a rear-firing port. Internal circuits include thermal protection, automatic standby and a subsonic filter. I should note that Dynaudio just announced that they are replacing the Sub-20A with the Sub-300, which will be similarly sized with a bottom firing port and remote control.
The 62s flanked my seven-foot screen with their inside edges just under seven feet apart and two feet from the front wall. The center channel was mounted just below the screen with a slight upward angle. The 42s were mounted just behind and outside my seating position on Vantage Point stands and were toed inward. Lastly, the Sub-20A was positioned between the center and front right speakers.
The five-way binding posts were a bit thick for the spades on my AudioQuest Gibraltar cables, forcing me to put one leg of the spade in the center hole of the post, a less than perfect connection situation. The subwoofer’s adjustments allowed me to easily set it up with the rest of the Audience speakers.