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Dynaudio Evoke 50 5.1 review

This speaker package sounds even better than it looks Tested at £8249 / $7196 / AU$16,700

5 Star Rating
Dynaudio Evoke 50 5.1 review
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

Dynaudio’s Evoke 50 is a sparkling and well-made home cinema package with dynamics, detail and drama aplenty

For

  • Consistent voicing across channels
  • Agile subwoofer
  • Cohesive soundfield

Against

  • Subwoofer settings clunky to navigate
  • Front three speakers on the large side

Dynaudio has always been a company led by engineering. The simplicity of its speakers doesn’t lie in fashionable Scandinavian aestheticism, instead, the company, which straddles both pro audio and domestic hi-fi products, is much more concerned with what's going on inside the box than flashy design on the outside.

The Evoke range was first released in 2018 and comprises five different speakers with two options each for floorstanders and bookshelf speakers as well as one centre speaker for use in a home cinema configuration. In addition, Dynaudio offers a choice of two subwoofers designed to complement all of its home theatre speaker systems.

The Evoke 50 5.1 package is priced at £8249 ($7196, AU$16,700), which places it around halfway up Dynaudio’s range, but it’s fair to say that the Danish brand has a bit of a ‘pay it forward’ approach to the high-end tech, which isn’t reserved just for its flagship products. As a result, Evoke benefits from many key developments in driver design first used in its pricier predecessors, cascaded across its entire range.

Compatibility

Dynaudio Evoke 50 5.1 compatibility

(Image credit: Future)

In our review sample, we have the Evoke 50 floorstanders, costing £3900 ($4999, AU$7499) a pair, on the front left and right channels. At 116cm tall, they’re the largest speaker in the range, the only model with four separate drivers and a 3-way crossover.

Dynaudio Evoke 50 5.1 tech specs

Dynaudio Evoke 50 5.1

(Image credit: Future)

Evoke 50 (Fronts)

Dimensions (hwd) 116 x 30.5 x 37cm 

Weight 26.9kg

Frequency response 35Hz – 23kHz

Evoke 10 (Surrounds)

Dimensions (hwd) 31.5 x 18 x 27.7cm

Weight 6.7kg

Frequency response 47Hz – 23kHz

Evoke 25C (Centre)

Dimensions (hwd) 18 x 60 x 27cm

Weight 11.8kg

Frequency response 50Hz–23kHz

Sub 6 (Subwoofer)

Dimensions (hwd) 33.3 x 47 x 26.8cm

Weight 21.5kg

Frequency response 16Hz – 230Hz

Starting at the top end, the Evoke 50 features Dynaudio’s ‘Cerotar’ tweeter, which uses design elements found in the brand’s higher-end ranges. These drivers contain a ‘Hexis’ inner dome positioned beneath the 28mm soft-dome diaphragm to manage the sound coming off the back of the tweeter dome for a more even frequency response. This inner dome then works in conjunction with a large rear chamber to control the back-pressure on the rear of the tweeter diaphragm, enabling enhanced frequency range extension.

When unboxing the floorstanders, the tweeters are covered with puck-shaped covers that clip on to protect those fragile soft domes. Keep these handy, as you’ll need them if you decide to re-box the speakers again.

While all the models in the range make use of the Cerotar tweeter, the Evoke 50 is the only one in this 5.1 package to have a dedicated midrange driver. Measuring 15cm in diameter, the diaphragm is constructed from a single piece of ultra-thin Magnesium Silicate Polymer (MSP), a material the company has used in its drivers for decades.

The low end is taken care of by two long-throw 18cm woofers, with large 56mm copper voice-coils for efficient power handling, as well as a substantial bass reflex port. This can be partially or fully closed using the included foam bungs to reduce low-end emphasis in small spaces, but for our testing, we leave them out.

Upfront is the Evoke 25C centre speaker, priced £1100 ($1199, AU$2299). On either side of its Cerotar tweeter sit 14cm MSP-coned units. These units are connected in a 2.5-way configuration, where one of the larger drivers generates everything from the midrange down leaving the second unit to augment just the lows.

Taking care of the surround duties is a pair of Evoke 10 bookshelf speakers, the baby of the series, costing £1250 ($1599, AU$2599) per pair. These use the same tweeter and woofer as the centre channel, this time with a 2-way crossover (and only one large driver).

Build

Dynaudio Evoke 50 5.1 build

(Image credit: Future)

Despite the towering size of the floorstanding speakers and the centre channel’s not insignificant footprint, the whole package benefits from a clean, minimalist design that will sit comfortably in most rooms. 

There are four finishes; black or white high gloss and Walnut or Blonde Wood veneers. Every detail, from the gently curved front corners and tapered trapezoid shape of the MDF cabinets to the contrasting matt black ‘screwless’ drivers and flawless glassy lacquer, helps the Evoke system neatly take its place. 

The .1 in this 5.1 package is Dynaudio’s more premium subwoofer, the sealed-box Sub 6. Unusually, this design has twin 23cm opposing drivers; an arrangement that minimises any vibration generated by the movement of the cones, something that should help those with sensitive neighbours.

On the rear face of the sub, there are a pair of balanced and unbalanced inputs as well as mirrored outputs for daisy-chaining. There’s also a small LCD screen and a single knob for navigating level adjustments and settings for speaker matching, power saving, low pass filter, phase and distance from the main left/right channels. While useful, this control system feels rather clumsy in use.

With a nominal load of 4 ohms, the front three speakers appear to be a demanding prospect for most amplifiers, but Dynaudio engineers the impedance curves of its speakers to be more forgiving than the spec suggests. We expect most price-compatible AV receivers to be comfortable with this Evoke package.

For testing, we use our 2020 Award-winning Denon AVC-X6700H amplifier, priced at £2299 ($2499, AU$6190), with the Pioneer UDP-LX500 UHD 4K Blu-ray player as our source.

Sound

Dynaudio Evoke 50 5.1 sound

(Image credit: Future)

We play the opening scenes of The Social Network, which proves a solid workout for the centre channel, and we’re impressed with the clarity and projection of Aaron Sorkin’s rapid-fire dialogue. It’s rare to be able to hear every single syllable in this scene, especially those muttered in Zuckerberg’s nasal deadpan, but we don’t struggle to follow the exchange at all.

Even as the action moves to narrated montage, with Trent Reznor’s bouncy electronic score filling out the rest of the soundfield, the Evoke 10s have an excellent range and musicality for a surround speaker and a solid grip on the lower-mid synth notes without detracting too much from the main image.

We move onto Baby Driver, with its uptempo score giving the floorstanders a chance to shine, and they don’t disappoint. There’s fluidity in the midrange and an ease with which it hands over to the tweeter, while the rapid rhythm of Bellbottoms is as cleanly rendered in the high-frequency cymbals as it is in the surprisingly nimble low end. The integration between the Sub 6 and the Evoke 50s, with their punchy bass, is effective, particularly on the leading edge of the gutsy sounds of the car engine that syncopates with the music.

As we reach the Harlem Shuffle section, sonic differences between the floorstanders and the centre channel become more apparent. The scene consists of a single tracking shot with the ambient sounds of passers-by drifting in and out of central focus, and we feel more aware of the shift into a fuller range sound as Baby pushes each pedestrian to the side. With such a difference in cabinet size, however, this is to be expected, and not serious enough to prove distracting.

Next, we try the Germania battle in Gladiator and as Russell Crow unleashes hell, the rain of arrows that descends zips across from speaker to speaker almost seamlessly, which is a testament to the consistency in voicing across the package. Similarly, in the first Colosseum fight, as the Carthaginian gladiator spins his mace, the 360-degree swirl wraps uniformly around the listener without the need to be positioned centrally. Overall, we find that the Evoke package adds an extra level of excitement to the often lethal transients in this film.

For a final test of dynamics, we play the Kurt Cobain documentary, Montage Of Heck, and are pleased to find that the system remains consistent even when pushed to the extremes. During the footage of Molly’s Lips, the din of the crowd and Cobain’s distorted guitar meandering into feedback feels overwhelming, as it should, but doesn’t become unbearably harsh. Through sudden shifts in level, from festival stages to a talking head interview back into trippy psychedelic sound design, the system maintains its tenacious character and detail across the board.

Verdict

This Evoke 50 5.1 package has been carefully developed to deliver consistent voicing across the channels, and on the whole, it succeeds, creating a well-balanced sound field. Rhythmically taut across the frequency spectrum with a standout agile, low end, the package is both detailed and robust, attacking action, music and dialogue with dynamic urgency. If you’re looking to recreate a proper cinema feel in your home, this Dynaudio package is a great place to start.

SCORES

  • Sound 5
  • Compatibility 4
  • Build 4

MORE:

Read our guide to the best home theatre speaker systems

Read our JBL HDI 5.1 review

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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 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.


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