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Dynaudio MC-15 review

Diminutive Dynaudios make up for lack of size with superb dynamic ability Tested at £780.00

5 Star Rating

Our Verdict

Well-executed active speaker that will impress on your desktop, or in a full-blown hi-fi system

For

  • Ideal for desktop use
  • easy to fine-tune
  • clear, transparent sound
  • excellent timing and dynamics

Against

  • Lack the scale and authority of larger speakers

Size isn't everything, they say. That must be good news for the Dynaudio MC15's. They look positively Lilliputian compared with the Tannoy Precision 8Ds tested at the same time.

On the positive side, their petite dimensions certainly give them an advantage when it comes to positioning. They're extremely practical and you could quite happily plant them on a desktop or, dare we say it, bookshelf. Of course, there's nothing wrong with perching them on top of a pair of good old-fashioned speaker stands.

Dynaudio has designed the MC15s to be as adept at handling music from a standard CD player as they are from multimedia devices such as laptops and MP3 players. The other speakers here are equipped with more specialist XLR connectors, but the Dynaudios are fitted with a simple RCA phono connection.

So all you need is a cable with a 3.5mm mini-jack connection at one end and twin phono outputs at the other. Simply connect the mini-jack to the line output or headphone output of your laptop/MP3 player and a phono plug to each speaker.

The power outputs of each internal amplifier is a relatively modest 50W, but don't make a judgement call based purely on specifications. To tune the sound, there are three filter switches that relate to treble, midrange and bass, as well as a variable high-pass filter and input sensitivity switch.

Superb differentiation
The Dynaudios don't have the sense of scale of the likes of the Tannoy Precision 8D and the Acoustic Energy AE22's, but, this certainly doesn't mean that they sound timid.

Low frequencies are solid and tight. Bass is delivered with the precision of a surgeon. Listen to Kanye West's Flashing Lights and there's excellent differentiation between individual notes – also a symptom of the speaker's open, clear presentation.

Move on to something that demands excellent timing, such as O Fortuna, and the MC15s answer any questions thrown their way, never shaken off the scent, even through the most complex parts of the track.

Dynamically, they're strong performers too. Crank them high and they remain calm and controlled at all times; listen at low levels, and you can enjoy the peaks and troughs of the music.

If you want an audiophile-grade sound for your desktop or listening room, you should audition these Dynaudios.

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, New York 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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