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Dynaudio Xeo 20 review – bookshelf speakers that delivery audiophile level sound

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  • Design

The Dynaudio Xeo 20 speakers tick all the boxes for high quality audio that audiophiles are looking for.

The idea of a bookshelf speaker might seem old fashioned to some people but the Dynaudio Xeo 20 combines modern technology with old school connectivity but while still offering tremendous audio quality.

When we were offered the Dynaudio Xeo 20 to review we thought all we were getting were speakers but we quickly learned these impressive speakers were active speakers so they are their own source as well with Bluetooth connectivity to stream your favourite audio.

But these active speakers also have direct inputs so there’s no need for any extra amplifiers or receivers.

On the master speaker, which you can choose to be your left or right speaker, is a 24bit/192Khz Toshlink digital optical, stereo RCA phono and a 3.5mm AUX in as well.

This means you can connect CD players, turntables and even your old tape decks.

The Xeo 20 speakers are bookshelf size – 32cm high – and a switch on the back of each allows you to nominate which will be the left and right speaker.

There’s another switch so you can tell whether the speaker is in the open or a near a wall or in the corner.

The two speakers also connect via a 24/96 hi-res wireless signal so you’re not going to miss a single quality note.

Under the hood is a 14cm Esotec MSP driver and a 28mm Esotec soft-dome tweeter which incorporate Dynaudio’s signature technology including aluminium voice-coils and magnet system.

And each is powered by a 65W digital amplifier with each amp meticulously tuned and optimised for the driver it is powering.

These speakers are inspired by Dynaudio’s acclaimed LYD 5 professional studio monitors so what you’re hearing is what the musicians were hearing.

The onboard DSP (digital signal processor) has more power so it can still sound crisp and powerful no matter where they are placed in the room.

For our review we placed the Xeo 20 speakers about 1.5m apart (no, they weren’t social distancing!) in our lounge room. There is no TV in this room and ideal to just listen to music. This is the room where we test all our audio products.

Set up took a matter of minutes and we paired our iPhone to stream Apple Music to the speakers.

The Dynaudio Xeo 20 speakers also come with a handy remote so we were in complete control from our listening position in the room.

The remote can also be used to control anything you connect to the speakers as well.

The audio quality is phenomenal – rich and warm with beautiful detail.

What was really impressive was the bass level which is perfect for even the fussiest listeners.

We put the speakers through their paces listening to different types of music and they sounded amazing each and every time.

They have more than enough power to fill a room. But even at lower levels they are still so precise and clear.

Not everyone’s idea of listening to music is blasting it as loud as they can but it’s good to know these speakers can handle whatever type of listener you are.

Now a word on the price of the Dynaudio Xeo 20 speakers – they have an RRP of $3,399. So a little more expensive than your average smart speaker.

But the type of customer who would even consider the Xeo 20 is an audiophile who takes the time to sit down and listen to their music properly.

Those of you still gasping at the price are probably only used to listening to your music in the car, on a run, in the gym or on the bus or train.

It’s in the background while you’re doing something else. Nothing wrong with that.

But these speakers are meant to deliver high fidelity audio – that means as true to the source material as you can get – and for dedicated audio fans they take the time to sit down and listen to it.

And if you’re going to dedicate that sort of time and passion then you want something extraordinary to listen to.

Dynaudio Xeo 20 speakers are available now and priced at $3,399.

VERDICT

The Dynaudio Xeo 20 speakers tick all the boxes for high quality audio that audiophiles are looking for.