Dynaudio Contour 3.3 loudspeaker Just Who Are These Guys?

Sidebar 2: Just Who Are These Guys?

Dynaudio was founded in Denmark in 1977 by Wilfried Ehrenholz and a partner. In 1994 Mr. Ehrenholz became Dynaudio's sole proprietor. Initially, the firm constructed speakers from OEM drivers, using its own crossover designs, but it quickly became apparent that, in order to build speakers to the quality level it desired, the firm would have to design and build its own drivers.

Within three years of its founding, the company's entire line of loudspeakers was constructed from drivers developed and built in-house. Dynaudio decided to offer its drivers for sale as OEM components, a move that immediately paid off in worldwide sales to high-end speaker companies.

Ehrenholz believes that the heart of any speaker system is its driver complement. "But," he cautions, "quality doesn't come cheap, and it is up to consumers to decide whether they want to pay for top-of-the-range technology, or buy something cheaper that doesn't perform as well. Dynaudio refuses to compromise, and we will not allow the company's name to be associated with any product that does not deliver top-quality results."

In 1994, Dynaudio introduced a line of high-end car audio loudspeakers that have become quite successful in their own right, and now account for almost 20% of the company's yearly sales. Volvo's new C70 coupe will feature an audio system built around 10 Dynaudio drivers.

DynaudioAcoustics, a subsidiary that develops and distributes professional audio products, has also taken off in recent years. A wide range of TV and radio studios use their products, as do studios such as Air Lyndhurst, Battery, The Peirce Room, The Hit Factory, and NRG, to name but a few.

While most audiophiles in this country recognize Dynaudio's drivers from their use in many of the most highly regarded speakers in the High End, the OEM driver market actually makes up only a small percentage of the company's sales. Dynaudio has always been, first and foremost, a speaker-building company, with over 55% of its worldwide sales consisting of their finished speakers. By establishing Dynaudio North America, the firm has made a commitment to becoming a larger presence in this market.

But Dynaudio doesn't intend to rest on its laurels—the firm reinvests 10% of its annual turnover in R&D. As Ehrenholz says, "I don't think any company can sit back and relax, even when it is making a profit....Spending money on research and development is an investment in the future....No matter how successful you are, you must keep moving forward, or you will be out of business and left behind."—Wes Phillips