We love these Dynaudios. We're keen on the Excite range as a whole, but it's these X32s that shine brightest. So bright in fact, they were triumphant in our 2008 Awards.
These Dynaudios are smaller than the Aurousal VS and the Dali Ikon 7s also in the Group Test, but they are solidly built, and in our eyes, look fairly smart. We wouldn't object if the plinth offered a bit more stability, however.
Don't make the mistake of assuming that the relatively compact size must equal a smaller performance. Given The Battle from the Gladiator OST to play with, the Dynaudios respond with a rousingly big and dramatic rendition. The soundstage is far bigger than the speakers' proportions might suggest, and a deep, weighty bottom-end helps to produce a feeling of genuine scale.
Switch to Kings of Leon's Closer, and the Excites highlight and bring forward the excellent vocals, making the experience more intimate and immediate. This doesn't undermine the rest of the band, mind you: they're simply placed around the central performance, creating a perfectly natural, balanced whole.
Comfortable with every genreIt's this overall balance that proves the most valuable feature of the Dynaudios, as it lends them exceptional flexibility with musical genres. From the big-scale electronica of M83's Unrecorded, to the gentle introspection of Sufjan Stevens' John Wayne Gacy Jr, the X32s happily send it out with honest musicality.
More after the break
With the arrival of new competitors (namely the Spendor A5s), we are starting to see small chinks in their armour, though. One is that when pushed to very high volumes, they do lose a little clarity and composure. The other is that the treble could do with a bit more sparkle.
These are obviously minor niggles, but they're enough to prevent the Dynaudios from retaining top spot. If you've already got a pair, fear not, they're still exceptional, and if you're looking to buy now you should definitely give them an audition.