Arcaydis DM1 review

These musically compelling speakers impressed us hugely – there's very little at this price point to match the DM1s Tested at £299

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A fantastic speaker for the money, capable of putting more expensive models to shame


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    Awesome dynamics

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    excellent sense of organisation

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    superb midrange and bass


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    Available to buy only online

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    high frequencies could deliver a greater degree of refinement

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

The Arcaydis name began life back in 1997, but behind the name is some serious hi-fi pedigree. It's on a bit of a roll, too, having a hand in the well-received EB Acoustics EB1s well as the Arcaydis DM1s.

These speakers are available to buy only from the Arcaydis website. Direct selling means costs are kept down, so the DM1s represent fine value – we'd expect to see them selling for plenty more if they were available from a network of dealers.

Constructed from a composite material called ARCOLAM, which is made especially by Arcaydis itself, the DM1 speakers look and feel like a serious slab of hi-fi, their weight alone inspiring confidence.

Tweakers and lovers of cabinets will be delighted to hear that some members of our team sensed good things from just a tap or two of the cabinet...

The rest of us required a little more convincing, but working our way through a selection of test discs did
the job. For such a diminutive cabinet – it stands just 16cm wide – the DM1s are blessed with a rock-solid bass foundation.

Relaying Burial's Etched Headplate, bass notes are as tight and defined as a sprinter's thighs and every bit as powerful when required thanks to superb agility and timing.

Power with insight
But these speakers are no bruisers. Play Vampire Weekend's I Think Ur A Contra and there's a level of insight, delicacy and precision that's unrivalled at the price. Vocals are full of emotion, while piano notes are crisp and clean, lingering only for as long as intended.

We wondered whether, when really pushed, these Arcaydis offerings might wilt under the pressure or lose control, but there's not a chance.

Dynamic, powerful strings from the Gladiator soundtrack sound powerful and raw yet precise and under control, while the grimy attack of The Dead Weather's Pony is handled confidently too, that shouty delivery sounding only a fraction dirtier than perhaps it ought.

The DM1s are compact, affordable, easy on the eye and endlessly capable. We thought these speakers were good; if anything we underestimated them. Far more than a great budget speaker, the DM1s will be the last part of your system you'll ever want to upgrade.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test