The term entry-level is relative, of course. But if you want a pair of floorstanders from Dynaudio it starts with the new Emit 30. Emit is a small range that’s made up of two cheaper standmounters (the 10s and 20s) and two towers (30 and 50), the smaller of which is on test here, and a centre speaker (25C). There’s not a dedicated subwoofer for the range, but Dynaudio makes a couple of stand-alone designs that should work well.
The Emit 30 aren’t a particularly imposing proposition; they’re 90cm tall without the feet and spikes fitted, and are pretty slim with it. Build quality is solid, and as is typical for Dynaudio’s entry-level products, there’s little in the way of visual frills. We don’t mind that. These speakers look functional and understated, which suits us just fine.
Dynaudio has always been about engineering, so it’s no surprise to find that the company has put plenty of effort into the drive units. The 28mm Cerotar soft dome tweeter is a new design that takes lessons learned from the brand’s top-end products in a bid to improve performance standards at a more affordable level. The technical highlight is the Hexis element situated behind the dome, which controls the airflow and reduces resonances.
Both the larger 14cm drivers use Dynaudio’s traditional MSP (Magnesium Silicate Polymer) cones and as expected there’s a great deal of care taken in the chassis design and motor system structure in a bid to deliver the signal with the minimum of distortion.
The three drive units are connected in a 2 1/2 way configuration where the bottom 14cm unit only comes into play at bass frequencies leaving the upper one to handle everything from the midrange downwards. Dynaudio has chosen pretty gentle slopes for the crossover, with first order for the tweeter and second order for the dedicated bass driver. The crossover frequencies are pretty standard at 3.55kHz between the mid/bass and tweeter, and 1kHz for the dedicated bass driver to roll in.
The Emit 30 aren’t particularly demanding about placement. A pair of rear firing ports means that they shouldn’t be placed right up against a rear wall (or even worse, in a corner), but they sound pretty balanced when given around 50cm of breathing space. If you do have more space, as we do, moving the speakers further out into the room will result in more expansive stereo imaging and slightly more articulate bass without sacrificing much in the way of low-end weight. In our test room these towers needed just a little angling towards the listening position to lock the imaging in place.
Any speaker at this level will benefit from a good source and amplification, and the Emit 30s are no different. While we use our reference electronics (Naim ND555/555 PS DR music streamer, Burmester 088/911 Mk3 pre/power) for much of this test, a more modest set-up with a Chord 2go/2yu/Qutest combination feeding a Naim Nait XS 3 was also used to see how these Dynaudios perform with more price appropriate electronics.
The Emit 30s’ character stays consistent regardless of system. These floorstanders are impressive in many ways. They’re detailed and composed, managing to render a wide range of recordings without issue. Feed them an aggressive production such as Eminem’s Recovery and there’s enough transparency to reveal the recording's thin and edgy nature. Importantly, there’s also the refinement to stop any such flaws being over-emphasised.
Sensitivity 87dB (2.83V/1m)
IEC power handling 180 watt
Impedance 4 ohms
Frequency response (± 3 dB) 44Hz - 25kHz (-6 dB 39 Hz - 35 Khz)
Box principle 2 x Bass reflex rear double flared port
Crossover frequency 1000/3550Hz
Crossover topology 1st order tweeter / 2nd order woofer
Midrange / Woofer 14cm MSP
Woofer 14cm MSP
Tweeter Cerotar soft dome with Hexis
Weight 15.53kg / 34.2lb
Dimensions (hwd) 900 x 170 x 271.5mm / 35.4 x 6.7 x 10.7in
Dimensions with feet/grille (hwd) 946.5 x 267.5 x 335.4mm / 37.3 x 10.5 x 13.2in
We have no doubt that Dynaudio’s engineers have worked hard to hone these speakers. The integration between the drivers is essentially seamless and there’s a lovely consistency of character from the lowest bass notes upwards. The Emit 30 are tonally smooth without sounding lifeless, and have a nicely-judged full bodied balance that works well across musical genres. Bass is firm, punchy and articulate, provided the rest of the system is up to scratch and suitable care has been taken over positioning.
We like their midrange performance too, thanks to a good level of clarity and articulation of voices. If you’re looking for a mature and sophisticated sounding pair of floorstanders there’s plenty to like here.
We switch to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and the good news continues. These floorstanders are capable of good sonic authority and scale, and when things let loose, are more than capable of punching out crescendos with real force. The 30s also dig up a good amount of detail and present it in an organised and controlled manner. These Emits are composed performers even when pushed hard with demanding music.
So, it’s clear these are highly capable speakers, right? So why haven’t we given them the full five stars? To get that, these Dynaudios need to deliver the music with a bit more energy. It’s not that we want the speakers to hype-up music to make it sound more exciting, it’s more that some of the music’s drive and drama seems to be reined-in to help that impression of sophistication. Rhythmic drive is more muted than we’ve come to expect from the brand and the Emit 30s don’t attack a track with the expected sense of verve.
Regardless, these remain accomplished performers that tick most of the boxes enthusiasts would consider important, but in not fully delivering the energy in music they fall short of the best at the price.
- Sound 4
- Compatibility 4
- Build 4
Read our Wharfedale Evo 4.4 review
See our review of the Fyne Audio F501
Check out our round-up of the best floorstanding speakers
Dynaudio has been owned by a large Chinese company for quite some time…
Some speaker cabinets may be made in China but as far as I know they are still assembled in Denmark.