Danish brand Dynaudio specialises in upmarket audiophile speakers, but Excite is one of the company’s entry-level ranges. Yes, the ensemble on test here still comes in at just under £4k, but if you have your heart set on a Dynaudio then this might be the most affordable way of getting one.
It comprises a pair of X32 floorstanding front speakers, the X22 Center speaker, a pair of X12 bookshelf rears and one of Dynaudio’s smaller subwoofers, the Sub 250 Compact. If you fancy an upgrade there are step-up front floorstanders (X36).
For the money you get a heavy-hitting system, blessed with top build quality and high-grade components. First we grappled with the Dynaudio X32s, which weigh 17kg each – a good sign, but won't do your back any favours. They’re also surprisingly short (920mm), which means they aren’t quite as imposing as you might expect, in situ.
The Dynaudio Excite X32 floorstanders are also tastefully styled, without going overboard. Our system’s sumptuous white piano lacquer finish makes a bold style statement – nicely contrasted by the black cloth grille – but if you prefer something a little more ‘classic’ then they also come in Rosewood, Maple and Cherry and real wood veneers.
Their conventional shape is all straight lines and right angles, but there are some attractive sloping front corners. The drivers underneath the grille are accentuated by fetching silver surrounds. Surprisingly the grille is held on by plugs and not magnets – many manufacturers opt for the latter so it doesn’t interfere with the speaker’s performance.
The Dynaudio Excite X22 Center shares the X32’s awesome build quality. It’s so big and robust it feels like a force nine gale couldn’t shift it, plus the white finish and black grille simply ooze class. Attached to the bottom is a metal plinth that tilts the speaker upwards to project dialogue into the room.
The Excite X12 bookshelf rears are mini-me versions of the X32s, sporting the same angled front corners and white finish. Their luxurious build quality is consistent with the other speakers but their smaller size makes them easier to place at the back of the room (Dynaudio sells a couple of stands for these – Stand¹ and Stand³, which will set you back about £200 per pair).
Interestingly Dynaudio has opted for ‘direct radiating’ speakers for the rear channels as opposed to dipoles or bipoles, which radiate sound along the walls. Dynaudio says it feels there are drawbacks to using these speakers in the home, claiming they provide "completely diffuse and artificial" surround sound that "just sounds wrong" from some listening positions.
The Dynaudio Excite subwoofer
The remaining player in the team is the Sub 250 Compact, which seems cute on the outside but inside it packs a muscular 200W that’s primed to deliver thumping bass. It’s cube-shaped to minimise resonance and attractively styled in high-gloss black or white lacquer. The enclosure is sealed with a forward-firing 24cm woofer.