The Dynaudio Xeo is the world’s first range of wireless, remote-controlled high-end speakers, designed to deliver audiophile sound quality without the need for messy speaker cables and a bulky amplifier. There are two models in the Xeo range – the floorstanding Xeo 5 and the Xeo 3 bookshelf speakers you see before you. As a high-end system, Xeo 3 isn’t cheap – few of Danish brand Dynaudio’s speakers are – but for anyone looking for maximum sound quality with minimum clutter, Xeo might be just the ticket. It’s primarily for designed for music playback, but there’s nothing to stop you rigging up a Blu-ray deck and enjoying two-channel movie playback.
With Xeo 3, Dynaudio has fashioned a truly stunning set of speakers, blessed with phenomenal build quality. Our samples are styled in a dreamy White Piano Lacquer finish, but they also come in Black Piano Lacquer, Satin White and Satin Black Lacquer.
At 281mm tall and 170mm wide they’re fairly unobtrusive, and their gently curved edges exude elegance. Pull off the stylish black cloth grilles and you’ll uncover silver driver surrounds that contrast beautifully with the white finish.
Just above the larger driver is a disc with a small LED status indicator that glows blue when a connection is made.
On the back of each speaker you’ll find two switches, one of which lets you select whether it’s being used as a left, right or mono speaker (select the latter when using one speaker on its own).
The other switch has three room settings, which allows you to control speakers on different settings separately with the remote control. There’s also an on/off switch on each speaker.
The transmitter is so compact you can almost pop it in your pocket. The rather light and hollow casing isn’t quite up to the same luxurious standards as the speakers but it sports a pleasantly rubbery black finish. Tucked away in a cabinet you’ll barely notice it.
On the back you’ll find four sets of inputs – 3.5mm minijack, analogue stereo RCA, optical digital and a mini USB for connection to a PC, allowing the Xeo transmitter to act as a soundcard. The optical digital input is useful for piping a signal from a Blu-ray deck – although remember to set the player’s output to PCM rather than bitstream – while the minijack is ideal for on the fly connection of MP3 players.
For the money it might have been nice to see Bluetooth or perhaps a coaxial input, but this is a decent selection of sockets. Also on the back is a switch that lets you select one of three transmitter ID channels.
Inside each Xeo speaker, an integrated 50W amplifier powers a 14.5cm mid-bass driver (made from Dynaudio’s proprietary MSP material) and a 27mm soft dome tweeter. The drivers are optimised to the integrated amp using digital signal processing.
The transmitter communicates using the 2.4GHz frequency with a range of up to 50 metres. It can handle files up to 24-bit/48kHz from a PC and sends signals up to 16-bit/48kHz (CD resolution). A single transmitter can feed three pairs of Xeo speakers in a multiroom setup.
It’s also nice to see that you get cables for all inputs in the box – optical, 3.5mm, RCA and USB.