Dynaudio Focus 10 active loudspeaker Tests with Dirac Live

John Atkinson auditioned the Dynaudio Focus 10 with Dirac Live in November 2023 (Vol.46 No.11):

Jason Victor Serinus was impressed by this small, two-way, active all-in-one speaker from Denmark (footnote 1). He concluded his February 2023 review by writing, "Designed as a 'complete wireless sound system,' the Dynaudio Focus 10 active monitors are the most musically satisfying one-stop playback solution I've had the pleasure of hanging with. ... Within its limitations of image size and bass quantity, the Focus 10 is one of the most musically satisfying active loudspeakers I've had the pleasure to audition. Highly recommended."

Fig.1 Dynaudio Focus 10, Neutral setting, anechoic response on HF axis at 50", averaged across 30° horizontal window and corrected for microphone response, with the nearfield woofer response plotted below 300Hz.

I was also impressed by the Focus 10's measured performance, which, as I wrote in the Measurements sidebar, "indicates a well-sorted design." Aside from a slight excess of energy between 1kHz and 1.6kHz and a slight lack between 5kHz and 7kHz, the farfield frequency response, averaged across a 30° horizontal angle centered on the tweeter axis, was respectably even (fig.1).

JVS wasn't able to investigate one aspect of the Dynaudio speaker's performance in his review: built-in Dirac Live, which can be used to equalize and optimize the Focus 10's in-room behavior. I still had the Dynaudios I had measured for the original review (footnote 2), and as I had used Dirac Live successfully with the sample of NAD's M10 integrated amplifier that I had purchased after my review, I decided to examine the effect of Dirac Live, which is the objective of this follow-up review.

I followed the instructions in the manual to set up the Dynaudio Focus 10s, first installing the Dynaudio Connect and Control app on my iPad mini then connecting the Primary speaker to my router. After the speaker was connected to the network, it updated its firmware to version 1.2.880xb3ed1c3. (Another firmware update, which will offer bass-management options and allow Dirac to work with external subwoofers, will be available later this year.)

The source for my auditioning was my Roon Nucleus+ server sending audio data to the left, Primary speaker over Ethernet. The Primary speaker was connected to the right, Client speaker with a 4m length of coaxial S/PDIF cable. I placed the speakers in the positions where my KEF LS50s worked well: The left speaker's woofer was 31" from the LPs that line the nearest wall; the right speaker's woofer was 49" from the books that line its nearest wall. Both speakers sat on 24" Celestion stands, their single pillars filled with a mixture of dry sand and lead shot, and were 73" from the wall behind them. I left off the grilles.

Fig.2 Dynaudio Focus 10, Effect on the Neutral setting of the Bright (red trace) and Dark (blue) settings (1dB/vertical div.).

I used the Dynaudios without Dirac room correction for a couple of weeks in order to become familiar with their sonic character. The high frequencies were a little on the hot side, so I used the Dynaudio app to set the tonal balance to "Dark." The blue trace in fig.2 shows the difference in the anechoic tweeter-axis response with the "Dark" setting. The output at 20kHz is tilted down by 1.1dB; the output at 100Hz is tilted up by the same amount.

With this tonal balance, the highs were at the optimal level referenced to the natural-sounding, uncolored midrange. Stereo imaging was precisely focused, and the soundstage extended behind the speakers when appropriate. What impressed me most was the Focus 10's bass. I was streaming random tracks with Roon when my attention was caught by a recording of Japanese percussionist Kuniko Kato performing J.S. Bach's Cello Suite No.1 in G Major on a marimba (24/96 FLAC, Linn Records/Qobuz). The low notes had more weight than I was expecting from these small speakers with 5.5" woofers.

As discussed in JVS's review, the Focus 10 uses digital signal processing to adjust its low-frequency extension and sealed-box woofer alignment depending on the output level. At the lowest sound pressure levels, the Focus 10 has full output down to around 30Hz. As the SPL increases, the LF rolloff starts higher in frequency with a shallower slope. At the SPL I was playing the Kuniko track, averaging around 77dB(C), the Dynaudios were offering extended low frequencies.

Fig.3 Dynaudio Focus 10, Dark setting (red trace) and KEF LS50 (blue), spatially averaged, 1/6-octave response in JA's listening room.

This can be seen in fig.3. The red trace shows the spatially averaged response of the Dynaudio Focus 10s at the same SPL in my room (footnote 3), with the "Dark" balance setting. The peak just below 30Hz is due to the excitation of the lowest-frequency mode in my room; the response extends at full level to 55Hz, though with a slight boost in the upper bass. For reference, the blue trace shows the spatially averaged response of the KEF LS50s. Both pairs of speakers offer a smoothly balanced upper midrange and treble; the peaks and dips below 400Hz are due to interference with the direct sound by boundary reflections. However, the LS50s' low frequencies roll off prematurely compared with the Focus 10s'. (For critical listening with the KEFs, I use Roon's parametric equalizer to extend their in-room low-frequency response to 42Hz. As long as I keep the SPL below 85dB(C), the little KEFs offer effective low-frequency performance without noticeable distortion.)

It was time to investigate the effect of Dirac Live (footnote 4). I installed the Dirac Live app on the Mac mini and plugged the USB microphone supplied with my NAD M10 into the USB port on my Mac mini. When I ran the app, it found and identified the NAD microphone and the Dynaudio speakers, set the speaker's tonal balance to Neutral, reduced the playback volume, and performed a loudness check. I then followed the on-screen instructions, placing the microphone in each of the nine positions specified by the app and performing a "chirp" test at each. After the last test, Dirac Live calculated a correction filter, named it "Anduin," and asked for it to be saved to one of the Focus 10's eight filter slots. I could then activate Anduin with the Dynaudio iPad app.

I started listening to some favorite tracks, but it was immediately obvious that there was too much midbass and upper bass. Bass guitar was too rich-sounding; the piano's left-hand register, in Vladimir Ashkenazy's performance of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No.3, with Bernard Haitink conducting the Concertgebouw Orchestra (16/44.1 rip from CD, Decca), had way too much weight.

A measurement of the in-room response revealed that Dirac's Anduin filter was boosting the region between 60Hz and 200Hz by up to 5dB. Here's what I think happened. I had performed the Dirac response measurements at too high a level, which caused the Focus 10s to roll off their low prematurely. The Anduin filter was compensating for that rolloff. When, subsequently, I played music at a lower level, Dirac's correction in the bass was too much. It is necessary, therefore, to perform the Dirac measurements at the same SPL as will be used for the auditioning.

Fig.4 Dynaudio Focus 10, spatially averaged, 1/6-octave response in JA's listening room with Dirac Live correction: Rhine filter (red trace); Hegel filter (blue); and Broglie filter (green).

I repeated the Dirac Live calibration routine with the Dynaudio's volume control set to the same level, "57," that I had been using for my non-Dirac listening. I saved the new filter, "Rhine," to the Focus 10's second slot and measured the spatially averaged response at the same volume control setting (fig.4, red trace). Other than a small peak centered on 250Hz, the in-room response in the midrange and low-treble region was now superbly even compared with the red trace in fig.3, falling within ±0.7dB limits from 300Hz to 3.7kHz. The mid-treble slopes down a little more with Dirac's Rhine filter than it had with the "Dark" balance setting, which I heard as a slight lack of air on the Rachmaninoff recording. The upper bass was still around 3dB too high in level, and the speakers excited the lowest-frequency room mode to a greater degree than with the "Dark" setting.

To create the Anduin and Rhine filters, I used Dirac Live's suggested target response. For my next attempt, I modified the target response by reducing the amount of correction below 200Hz. The spatially averaged response with the resultant "Hegel" filter is shown as the blue trace in fig.4. The upper bass is now close to the average level in the midrange, though now there is insufficient midbass energy.

The lowest-frequency room mode was still excited with Hegel but not as much as with Rhine. My final experiment was therefore to adjust the target response to roll off the low bass. I also tried to compensate for the small peak at 250Hz. The in-room response below 310Hz with this filter, named "Broglie," is shown as the green trace in fig.4. Its output between 40Hz and 200Hz is identical to that of Hegel, and the peak between 200Hz and 300Hz has been reduced in level. The low frequencies now roll off precipitously below 35Hz, though there is a return to the Hegel output below 25Hz. (Dirac Live's target response appears to be restricted to frequencies above 20Hz.)

With the Dynaudio Connect and Control app, I could switch between the four correction filters I had created. I started listening with Broglie. While this filter's low-frequency rolloff will protect the Focus 10's small woofers from excessive excursions, I was not satisfied with what I heard. While stereo-imaging specificity was excellent and low frequencies were well-defined, soundstage depth seemed restricted and the hall ambience seemed suppressed on Encore, featuring live recordings I had made at the 1997 Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival (16/44.1 ALAC, Stereophile STPH011-2). Too much correction is too much of a good thing.

I abandoned Broglie and continued listening, alternating Rhine or Hegel. The double bass on Mendelssohn's Sextet in D, Op.110, sounded a little reticent with Hegel. Rhine brought it into the correct balance with the piano and string quartet. But on a recording of Vaughan Williams's Tuba Concerto (24/96 FLAC, Royal Concertgebouw/Qobuz), the blatty bottom register of soloist Perry Hoogendijk's instrument had a touch too much bloom with Rhine. Hegel worked best with this recording, as it did with Cantus performing Curtis Mayfield's "It's Alright" (16/44.1 ALAC, from Outside the Box, Cantus Records), on which I had boosted the upper bass a little in the mix to give the a cappella performance a sufficiently firm tonal foundation.

Overall, I found that the Rhine filter I had created with Dirac Live worked well with all kinds of music. On "Nell's Bells," from Attention Screen's Live at Merkin Hall (16/44.1 ALAC, Stereophile STPH018-2), the hall acoustic surrounding Bob Reina's Steinway grand, Don Fiorino's ukulele, Chris Jones's fretless bass guitar, and Mark Flynn's drums was palpable (footnote 5). The tonalities of the instruments were, for want of a better word, perfect, though, as JVS commented, the stereo image was small. (That's what you get with small speakers.)

Even without Dirac Live, the Dynaudio Focus 10 combines ease of setup and use, stereo imaging precision, and a natural-sounding midrange with surprising low-frequency extension for such a small speaker, provided the SPL is kept below 85dB or so. It would be a great fit'n'forget choice as a complete music system for use in relatively small listening rooms. Dirac Live takes its sound quality to another level.—John Atkinson

Footnote 1: The Focus 10 costs $5500/pair. Dynaudio A/S. Sverigesvej 15, 8660 Skanderborg, Denmark. US distributor: Dynaudio North America, 500 Lindberg Ln., Northbrook, IL 60062. Tel: (847) 730-3280. Web: dynaudio.com.

Footnote 2: The serial numbers were 10033212 (Primary, left) and 10033213 (Client, right).

Footnote 3: Using the FuzzMeasure 3.0 program, a Metric Halo MIO2882 FireWire-connected audio interface, and a 96kHz sample rate, I average 20 1/6-octave–smoothed spectra, individually taken for the left and right speakers, in a rectangular grid 36" wide by 18" high and centered on the positions of my ears.

Footnote 4: Something that should be noted if a Focus 10 owner is intending to use this speaker to play movie soundtracks is that Direct Live correction introduces around 61.5ms of additional latency—almost two video frames—to the uncorrected speaker's 11.7ms latency.

Footnote 5: See my essay on how I recorded this concert here.

Dynaudio A/S
US distributor: Dynaudio North America
500 Lindberg Ln.
Northbrook, IL 60062
(847) 730-3280

remlab's picture

For that price, I think the Genelec 8331A would be a good comparison.

Electrophone's picture

In fact, after the Xeo 5s were irreparable, I was on the lookout for new speakers. A friend recommended Genelec. I then had the opportunity in my living room to compare the Genelec 8350 and 8351, both calibrated with GLM. In the end I settled on the 8350, which sounded a little better for my taste, a tad less analytical. The best loudspeakers I ever owned, highly recommended!
My loudspeaker vita, starting 1977:
Sony SS-2030 (Terrible loudspeakers, I was young, and on a budget)
JBL L-19 (Huge improvement)
Altec Model 19 (Wow! I should have kept them. I put an ad in the paper, and a Guy drove all the way from Yugoslavia to Frankfurt/Germany to pick them up)
JBL L-112 (Ok..)
Early standmount B&W, can‘t remember the model.
Rauna Leira (Concrete cabinet. Very nice 2-way from Sweden)
Yamaha NS-2000 (Sounded too thin in my system)
Mission Cyrus 782 (Ntwha)
Tannoy D-700 (Brilliant! I loved them!)
JmLab Antea (Almost as dynamic as the Tannoys, but more neutral. Great sound!)
Dynaudio Confidence 3 (Smooth, transparent, lots of bass. But very demanding, amp-wise).
B&W 804 Nautilus (Sounded very nice and balanced in my room)
B&W 804 S
B&W 804 Diamond (Too bright for my taste)
Canton Vento Reference 3 (Bland)
Bang + Olufsen Beolab 9 (Surprisingly good! Weird design)
Dynaudio Excite X14A (ok…)
Dynaudio XEO 5 (Didn‘t last long.)

johnnythunder1's picture

it seems you go through speakers as fast as people go through shoes. Why such chronic speaker change-it-up-itis ? I've had 5 since 1989 - and 3 of the same brand since 2001 (each an upgrade.)

Electrophone's picture

I've always been very curious. Since I've worked in the hi-fi industry for over 40 years, I was able to buy most of the speakers at a discount, and often resell them without a loss.
I am retired now, and believe that with the Genelec 8350A I have arrived at the final destination of my journey through the loudspeaker world.
And I am glad that my wife tolerated my passion, because apart from the speakers I purchased, I took many others home to audition them.

gn77b's picture

as your reply is from almost one year ago but I was wondering which amps have you found to be a good match for them? I own them and have always heard from other owners including the ex owner that they only are at their best with very good amps. I tested them with a few mid-priced ones but haven't found serious changes. Actually, I found the lesser Audience 52s are more demanding on the amp and change for the better by not a small amount with good amplification.

Electrophone's picture

When I bought the Confidence 3 I had a Sansui AUX111 integrated amplifier. It didn't sound like I wanted it to, so I bought a Rotel pre-power amplifier combo, Michi Series RHA-/RHB-10. I was quite happy with that setup.

gn77b's picture

I posted this yesterday...

...but the comment didn't show up for some reason.
When I got the Confidences I used them with a DIY amp (based on class D Hypex UCD180 modules). It was ok but then I switched to an Audio Refinement Complete which I received for a test out of pure luck. I thought the ARC sounded much livelier so I kept it. Interestingly, doing a back to back test after a few years I found the difference wasn't so great as I had intially thought. Then I got an Atoll AM200 (current amp). Not because I thought it'd be better but because it's future proof so to say in case I get misbehaving speakers. The Atoll has serious current capability so at least in theory I should be fine. I also tested them on an older Accuphase (can't remember the model) and a Roksan Caspian. FWIW the Roksan was able to make a pair of Audience 52s change dramatically for the better, compared to the ARC and other amps (I didn't own the Atoll then to make a direct comparison). I keep reading/hearing (the ex owner told me the same) that the Confidences ar at their best with very good amps but TBH I haven't found significant changes with any I tested so far. I recall a discussion on a forum where someone said they could only bring the best in them with a Gryphon which costs a few thousand euros used. So, far from surprinsing, I'm still curious to this day about any unlocked potential. The Rotel seems like a very serious amp.

Electrophone's picture

The review sounds tempting, but I wouldn't buy a Dynaudio speaker again after my bad experience with the Manufacturer’s Customer Service.
I bougt a pair of Xeo 5s in 2016. A few months ago one of the two loudspeakers no longer wanted to connect to the transmitter. My dealer removed the electronic unit and sent it to Dynaudio. From there came the information that a repair or replacement was no longer possible. Very disappointing.

CraigS's picture

I had the same problem a couple of years ago with my 2006 Dodge Magnum SRT8, which FWIW was outfitted with an awesome Audison sound system. Models are discontinued, replacement parts run out (even from scrap yards), and at some point you're sh-t out of luck. I have Dynaudio X14A's on my desk (plus a sub) and I love them, but I guess at some point I'll have to "retire" them as well.

kai's picture

Fig. 3 and the related text doesn‘t fit.
I even don‘t see much difference in the curves.

John Atkinson's picture
kai wrote:
Fig. 3 and the related text doesn‘t fit. I even don‘t see much difference in the curves.

Fig.4 repeats the top and bottom traces in fig.3, normalized to the level at 100Hz. You can see how the higher spl (red) results in an earlier rolloff at lower frequencies.

BTW, the flattening of the high-spl trace below 20Hz is due to the measurement being corrupted by distortion. Fortunately, other than pipe-organ recordings music doesn't have high-level content below 20Hz.

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile

kai's picture

Maybe you have a look again on what‘s really published.
The curves in Fig. 3 are all almost the same (I overlaid with Photoshop) and the colors don’t match the text.

The red curve from Fig. 4 does not appear in Fig. 3.

John Atkinson's picture
kai wrote:
Maybe you have a look again on what‘s really published. The curves in Fig. 3 are all almost the same (I overlaid with Photoshop) and the colors don’t match the text.

You are correct. I uploaded the wrong graph to the website. Fig.3 is now correct.

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile

David Harper's picture

it ran through me and urged me to drop my pen,tap my feet, and......"
hooooo boy. My Elac Debut B6 speakers have the same effect on me. And for $229 / pair!!!!!

rschryer's picture

I'm sure I speak for all audiophiles when I say we are happy for you. But why do I feel you constantly need to disrespect us on our own soil?

JHL's picture

...that you ask rhetorically. ;o)

rschryer's picture

I'm actually curious as to what compels a person to regularly visit a hobbyist website, forum or FB page, to make fun of the hobbyists, rather than just let them enjoy their hobby, which would be the grownup thing to do.

David Harper's picture

You have convinced me that you're right. I will stop trolling this forum.
My apologies.

johnnythunder1's picture

that I replied angrily to.

JHL's picture

I assume that that compulsion inadvertently expresses the futility of audio by numbers, and that from time to time defectors are cleaved off to go hear great systems and be saved. They're welcomed with open arms.

David Harper's picture

I hear what you're saying. I understand that you all have a vested interest in what you do here at stereophile. I try to resist my compulsion to react to reviews which I read here. But it isn't easy. I understand that audiophiles hearing is mostly influenced by the price of the component in question.

ChrisS's picture

...99cent items that all eventually end up in the landfill.

Your compulsion is misplaced.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

Do you have research to back up your assertion, David? (If that is your real name.) Because, if not, it's simply your belief.

Then, let's take it a step farther. Do you feel this to be true of me in particular? After all, I wrote the review.

I am not going to try to defend myself or my opinions, or start declaring, "This doesn't apply to me." As I learned a long time ago from my cursory exposure to A Course in Miracles, there is nothing to defend. What there "is" to do is pay very particular attention to set-up, upgrade my system to make it a fine tool for discerning differences large and small, listen closely, and write with integrity and dedication to what I perceive to be the best interests of readers of Stereophile.


David Harper's picture

No. I do not say this is true of you in particular. I have not made any personal insinuation. I believe you are an honorable man.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

Greatly appreciated.

I also might add when I am attacked, I breathe deeply, examine my actions and writing, and see if I can find a basis for the criticism. If I do, I act. If not, I chalk up the attack to whatever is going on in the attacker. Sometimes, many things are at play.

Every challenge is an opportunity for self-examination and growth. Where would we be without our educated critics? I count myself among them.


David Harper's picture

my compliments on the fact that, much to my surprise, you have not banned me here.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

It is Jim Austin who does the banning. Not that in cases of blatant personal attack or homophobia or racism or sexism or violating our guidelines, I haven't joined other readers in blowing the whistle loudly. But your posts are none of the above. If they have a fault, it is that they are, for the most part, so similar in nature as to dilute their effectiveness.

We are all aware of the prices of components, and the fact that so many of them are out of reach of the majority of audiophiles. But I, for one, am also aware that the market for components is world-wide, and that there are plenty of people who can afford the high-price spread. Therefore, my focus—our focus—is on excellence in every price range.

The question of value is something else. I, for one, do not subscribe to the "law of diminishing returns." I find it a tired trope, because it is so subjective. If monoblocks that cost $400,000/pair, allied to a digital front end that, in itself, costs over $80,000, allow me to get closer to the artists and music I love, I find the return of infinite value. So, rather than discuss value per se, I discuss what listening through the component I'm reviewing feels like, and what impression it makes on me. That, in the end, is all I can responsibly do.

Price is also tied to country of manufacture, as in "it's affordable to me because it's manufactured in China." We mention the country of manufacture in our reviews, and then let you do the rest.

And now, my deadline calls. Stay safe, everyone, and enjoy whatever you're listening to and with.


teched58's picture

With respect, Jason, here is why I think there's continued complaints/pushback/trolling (call it whatever you want) from so-called "objective" types like myself and Mr. Harper:

--Engineers are ok with you guys writing whatever you want, but it gets our ire up when you claim engineering knowledge sans experience or credentials, even if tacitly out of years of experience at reviewing. This is analogous to a medical blog being written by laypeople and getting trolled by "real" doctors. Or an aviation blog being trolled by SLFs.(I am sure there are many such examples in the wild.)

--As regards the farrago around high equipment prices, many of us engineering types feel that the "love" that's shown high-priced equipment would have more credibility if it wasn't so easily at hand for you guys. As in, you and your colleagues get to sample the best of the best, one after the other. So "we" think that you lose the perspective of the majority of people for whom there is scarcity (i.e., they will rarely if ever have one such $$$ device in their home, much less a different one every other month.) In tandem with this, we'd attribute more credibility if we knew reviewers were paying full retail, as opposed to accomodation (wholesale) pricing.

These are just a few examples, which I am presenting respectfully so we get beyond the screaming matches and attempt to understand each other's perspectives.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

This is what happens when a reviewer replies to a comment. It's never-ending. Where do you folks find the time?

I'm glad to know that you, the unidentified teched58, have the credentials and permission to speak to for "objective types," engineers, and "engineering types." I won't dare ask what an engineering type is, let alone if all qualified engineers (including recording engineers) are so-called "objectivists." (I say "so-called" because I reject this either/or objective /subjective divide as an artificial categorization that sets up sides in an endless and endlessly polarizing debate that, if nothing else, supplies people with endless reasons to post comments.) Nor will I ask if you think all of us at Stereophile are alike.

As for screaming, was I screaming?

Okay, I'm outa here. Life is too short. As the Church Lady used to say on SNL, discuss amongst yourselves.

funambulistic's picture

Jason - that was "Coffee Talk" with Linda Richman (Mike Myers) not the Church Lady (Dana Carvey). Just sayin' (and definitely not screaming!).

Now back to our regularly scheduled Obj/Subj discourse...

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

I realize that I have just lost credibility with millions upon millions of SNL lovers worldwide. Mea maxima culpa. Chalk it up to not owning a TV. Lame excuse. GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY as charged. But wait, was I formally charged? Perhaps I'm being too subjective....

teched58's picture

> JVS wrote "Nor will I ask if you think all of us at Stereophile are alike."

No, I don't think you're all alike. Kal Rubinson, for example, is Professor Emeritus of Neuroscience and Physiology at New York University School of Medicine.

Jim Austin has a doctorate in physics.

John Atkinson has deep experience measuring audio components.

I apologize in advance if I've missed anyone.

JHL's picture

...on that remark, it'd be useful for better sound if at some point you or anyone would articulate specific, meaningful differences between engineer, designer, reviewer (especially at this level) and lay user. They have to be fleshed out or your ostensibly related points are academic.

I say this because a) corollaries among device and sound are naturally nonlinear in a field of this size, and b) one of the more dismal pursuits, one enabled and prompted by purely objectivist outlets, is that where engineers and their public take views on things they haven't used or heard - this being audio - we get minutiae-burrowing and precious little more.

From there it's a short step to ranking on faulty grounds, again without knowing the overall design or its sound, which actually retards the progress of better sounding systems. Objectivism is too subjective.

By non-linear I mean the gulf between truly better-sounding gear and their limited measurements, multiplied by how this vastness filters through tiers of interested parties, multiplied by how it sorts into complex, interconnected systems. I don't think there's a valid complaint from the engineering side, save for obvious nits in the observable technical makeup of a particular thing, until there's a hierarchy connecting phenomena to sound.

As for the economics, they'll flow to some degree from this structure. Fortunately, my concern begins and ends with my pocketbook so I'd not bother remarking on anyone else's because that would be petty.

Speaking of petty, retail reviewing versus wholesale reviewing is a canard. I'd certainly hope a reviewer broadens his field of view based on *access* to gear in it. If a maker sends a piece *free of charge* for review, surely that's about as pure and direct a flow of critical contact and information and hence sound as any, and one in my view significantly more valid than the barrages of marketing-speak and enormous retail overheads that accompany crap audio, of which there is no end.

If you want to level a charge per the credibility of a reviewer or his publication, have at it. Or maybe just stop reading them and spare the onerous overtones. More direct and efficient.

Glotz's picture

Teched58 just went off on readers of the magazine that concur with JVS or any other writer here as 'Groupies", however outdated and utterly extinct that phrase or the behavior in this generation.

Claiming you are this or that, or implying that the engineers here, Jim Austin, aren't real engineers.

I would rather claim that you have never been an audio engineer, and yet you believe that you still have expertise in this area of discussion.

Bloviated trolling, linguistic vaporware is more fitting.

Minutiae-burrowing indeed.

When you give respect, you get. Most here haven't figured out that most basic of tenets of life.

SteveR1's picture

As I said above.

johnnythunder1's picture

and magnified its relevance by at least 10,000,000x, we still wouldn't give 2 sh-ts about it.

Glotz's picture

Respect gets when it gives.

ChrisS's picture

...can't stand anything they can't afford.

supamark's picture

Now add in the cost of 4 channels of amplification, a streaming DAC that includes an analog preamp input (with an ADC), volume control, some sort of room (and individual driver) correction, and a digital crossover with four line outs for the four channels of amplification. Now we're getting closer to an apples to apples comparison. Not there, but much closer.

So, as a troll attempt I give you a 2/10 because it was so lazy and transparently bad. I did give you a point for getting several responses though you really aren't anywhere near as clever as you think.

Mark Phillips,
Contributor, Soundstage! Network

David Harper's picture

The Elac speakers which I mentioned in my post are not my only speakers. I also have Magnepan LRS speakers.

JHL's picture

...you'll never hear sound like this, and if you happen to fall into it by some twist of fate one night you won't know what to do with it.

Except project dysfunction onto those who have heard it and who know it.


Now multiply that sound and its effect by a thousand events. The salient question for your kind is simply, how many others have to be wrong for you to be right?

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

When I conducted listening tests, I assumed that because I was receiving signal wirelessly, the power supply to my second mesh router wouldn't make a difference. Hence, I used the its switch-mode wall wart.

Months later, self said to self, "Serinus, you're using an HDPlex 300 to power the Roon Nucleus+. It has another output that will work with your router, and you have an extra Ghent umbilical cord (Canare) to use with it. Why not give it a try?"

I have. Boy, has it made a difference. The sound is even smoother, warmer, and natural. I haven't heard the Genelecs - I'd love to try them in my living room - but I do know the sound of live music. Hey, in the past week, I've been to the Seattle Symphony (in row 8, in the aisle seat of orchestra central), and farther back in Meany Hall for the Takacs String Quartet (where sound is far less vibrant). These active speakers are remarkably good. Their sound is natural and convincing. I love their sound, especially when they're wired to their wireless source and each other. But they sound excellent in all configurations. They have their limitations, especially at higher volumes. But I've never heard them distort.

Moral of the story (if a moral you must have): Pay careful attention to associated components. The better it is, the better these babies will sound. As for attention to positioning, there you can breathe easier because their DSP works.


cognoscente's picture

I have not read the above comments. I've never been impressed by the "Dynaudio" sound myself. That is of course subjective, others swear by it. Anyway, who is this speaker for? I think especially for someone who is not a so-called audiophile, but someone who wants this "just" good sound without too much fuss, in other words as few devices as possible. So only speakers, less is not possible anyway (of course this is not only a speaker but a complete set packed in a speaker, you have to judge the sound as a complete set for this price and not just as only speaker) I have many friends like this. And who, despite not being audiophile, are willing to pay for a better sound however there are cheaper and also good active speakers on the market. A real audiophiles, like me, still swear to have every component, storage (or streaming), conversion, amplification and reproduction, in separate devices and interconnected with (thick) cables. Less is more but sometimes more is better, like with audio equipment.

Glotz's picture

Remind anyone with ears that their company has incredible engineers and designers. I really don't hear how anyone could poo-poo their expertise in that range.

That being said, I could see how many might find their more budget-minded offerings on the other end of the scale would half of listeners might find them analytically-balanced, or pointed towards accuracy vs. musicality.

Their design choices are valid imo. Whether they mesh with my tastes of sound is immaterial. There are those in the market that have enabled this company to flourish for many years.

I still need to read this month's review, though I am sure JVS did a fine job. And I'm sure that these speakers are worth every penny too...

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

you will discover that I have addressed this accuracy vs. musicality characterization head on.

It's amazing how certain critical comments take on a life of their own. "Cables should cost no more than 10% of your other components," "Wilson speakers aren't emotional," and "Dynaudio speakers are accurate but non-engaging." I recall a similar criticism about mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter; people claimed that she had a wonderful voice but was not emotionally expressive. In all these cases, all one has to do is listen to discover that these criticisms don't hold water. They are linguistic vaporware.

Glotz's picture

LOl.. love that phrase.


Lol.. couldn't resist.

JRT's picture

Dynaudio's $1.7k/pair Evoke 10 seems to be a similar size monitor with similar drivers, but with a passive crossover, lacking the amplifiers, lacking the digital inputs, and lacking the beneficial digital signal processing. For example the passive version lacks the protection from over-excursion of the small midwoofer provided by the DSP filtered dynamic pole shifting in the acoustic high pass response (poles and zeros in the S-plane).

I would have liked to have seen Dynaudio provide a pair of the passives to JVS to enable a comparison.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

Many of us want many things. My list is equally long. However, I am not equipped to review other speakers in the music room, and I have no spare amplifier to use with passives in the living room. Nor would adding an unknown amplifier to the equation make much sense, in that I wouldn't know what was responsible for what. Finally, given set-up constraints, putting the Evoke 10s in the same position as the Focus 10s would not produce good sound given speaker proximity to the front wall and corner. Best, instead, to focus solely on an active pair in which every component has been chosen to produce the sound Dynaudio wants you to hear.

cognoscente's picture

indeed, a direct comparison with the Dynaudio's Evoke 10 passive, or 20, in combination with Marantz 40n or Hegel H120 or comparable streamer/dac/amplifier would be of use to us as a reader