Dynaudio Focus 160 review

Produce a beautifully powerful sound for such relatively diminutive boxes Tested at £1800

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

These Dynaudios are “fit and forget” speakers in the best sense. They just do the job and don’t intrude into the music


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    Entertaining, informative sound

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    impressive scale and bass for their size

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    No shortage of top-class rivals

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.

Some products just sound right from the off. It’s not that they’re perfect, more that their sonic attributes gel in such a way that any shortcomings don’t intrude on the listening experience.

Dynaudio’s Focus 160 speakers are just such a product. For speakers that stand just 35cm high, they deliver high volume and deep bass with impressive confidence.

More than that, it’s the naturally fluid way they handle tracks such as Little Dragon’s rhythmically complex Precious that pleases.

These are speakers that go for entertainment above all else, but don’t sacrifice hi-fi virtues such as tonal neutrality or stereo imaging in the process.

That’s a neat balancing act few rivals can match, and means they are as happy pounding out the likes of the Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter as they are delivering Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.

Give them the partners they deserve

Any speaker at this price needs decent electronics. Partnering equipment should be of the standard of Naim’s XS or Roksan’s Caspian M2 range, if you are to get a real idea of what these boxes will do.

These speakers are only single-wired. Unusual, perhaps, but fine by us: it reduces cable clutter and allows you to buy the best quality single-run cable rather than compromising quality to accommodate two sets.

Solid stands are a must, too. We got excellent results with Custom Designs’ £190 FS104 Signatures.

In our test rooms, the rear-ported Focus 160s sounded best in free space with just a hint of angling towards the listening position. Get it right and they generate a generously spacious soundstage while still delivering the precision we’d expect.

There are speakers at this price that dig up more detail and those that are more neutral sounding. But look at everything the Focus 160s do right, and it’s hard to come to any other conclusion than they’re a great buy, and deserve a spot on any shortlist.

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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