Dynaudio Excite X32 review

Floorstanding speakers that really do live up to the promise of their ambitious name Tested at £1765.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A true all-rounder that will suit anyone’s system and musical taste, the Dynaudios are an ever-reliable choice of speaker


  • +

    A brilliantly balanced, natural delivery

  • +

    genuine scale, weight and authority

  • +

    lovely delivery of vocals


  • -

    Lack of clarity at very high volumes

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.

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 genre
It'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.

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.

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.

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