Of all the major high-end speaker-manufacturing countries in the world--the United States, England, France, Germany, Italy--Denmark is, in some ways, my favorite.
The Danes balance art and engineering better than anybody. I recently reviewed Dynaudio's latest series, Excite, for Ultimate AV magazine. You can read the complete review, but here are some excerpts:
The Excite system featured a pair of X32 towers (together costing $2,800), an X22 center channel speaker ($850), a pair of X12 bookshelf speakers (together costing $1,200) for use as surrounds, and a SUB 250 subwoofer ($1,000). None of them are very large or imposing; my nonaudiophile friends barely noticed the speakers' presence in my living room. That's probably a plus for folks looking for a 5.1-channel system that blends in with its surroundings.
All of the Excite models feature Magnesium Silicate Polymer cone woofers with die-cast aluminum frame baskets and aluminum voice coils. Dynaudio's specially coated soft-dome tweeters, with newly designed magnet structures, grace all the speakers.
The Excite speakers are available in real-wood maple, cherry, rosewood, and black ash veneers; my review samples came in the deep 'n' dark rosewood, which was truly stunning.
To tell you the truth, my very first impression of the Dynaudio Excite's sound wasn't at all exciting. The sound so perfectly meshed with the Blu-ray Discs' and DVDs' onscreen action, I didn't notice the speakers.
That's really something for an audio reviewer to admit--hey, it's my job to pick out flaws, but the Dynaudio speakers' sound was subservient to the films' stories. Lesser speakers' colorations invariably call attention to themselves and break the spell. If you want an "exciting" sound that hypes detail or shakes your booty, sorry, the Excite series may not excite you.
There's an open quality to the sound of these speakers, especially when you're listening to the complete 5.1-channel ensemble. The soundstage had remarkable depth and spaciousness; the speakers' disappearing act was astounding.
The Excite is one of Dynaudio's more affordable speaker lines; its top Evidence models go for the price of a nice Lexus. The basic Dynaudio sound is not so different; as you spend more money, the speakers play louder and make more bass. The $2,800-a-pair X32 towers don't come cheap, but they offer a taste of bona fide high-end sound and build quality for a price that's arguably attainable.