Dynaudio, they’re one of the few high-end companies that don’t require a lengthy introduction. I’m guessing that most of you are already familiar with the name. Still to those very few of you out there who have never heard of this company before. Here’s a brief history of the brand.
Dynaudio is a Danish loudspeaker manufacturer based in Denmark. They have been in business since the late 1970s. Since then, they have become a powerhouse in the world of high-end loudspeaker manufacturing. They’re well-established in multiple industries, such as the professional audio market, home audio market, the automotive industry, and the custom install industry. For decades they also supplied OEM parts, namely the drivers they design and build to other high-end companies. Suffice to say, they’re pretty well established, and they’re very well respected in each of those industries. For now, let’s focus on one of their products, which is the Dynaudio Evoke 10.
The Evoke 10 represents the entry into their latest lineup, the Evoke series. The Evoke series took trickle-down tech from their higher-end lines and packaged it into something a little bit more affordable.
The Evoke 10 itself is a very straightforward design. It’s a compact two-way, rear-ported, bass-reflex design. On the top, we are going to have a 28mm coated soft dome tweeter. And they’re very proud of this tweeter. The tweeter uses Dynaudio’s newly developed Hexis built-in dome, making the details in the music clearer. You can hear every detail in the music performance. Not only can the Dynaudio speakers be consistently precise and accurate, but also rich in detail. For example, when listening to a violin performance, the sound is bright and elegant, making the music more transparent and full of aura. The important thing is that you will find that the violin’s treble does not feel harsh, but the shape is precise and dense.
Beneath the tweeter, we will have a 14cm MSP(magnesium silicates polymer) woofer. These are drivers that they’ve been manufacturing for a long time. They’ve been steadily improving that design through the years. And as you can imagine, this features trickle-down tech from their higher-end models.
Let’s take a look at the back. You may notice that there are no screws around the driver, presenting this super clean aesthetic outlook. Turning this speaker around, we’re going to have this lovely curved cabinet and a walnut veneer. I know that the cabinets are designed and made in Denmark. I’m not sure about the walnut veneer is sourced in Denmark as well. On the back, we are going to have our rear port. We have a set of five-way binding posts.
About the accessories, these speakers come with some standard black grills. What is nice is that they come with foam plugs. If you need to place these speakers against a wall boundary, but you still value a quick and articulate base, all you have to do is take the supplied plug, put it in the port, and there you go.
Let’s talk about how they sound. The Evoke 10 has a warm, comfortable to listen to the sound. Yet, at the same time, they’re transparent. They also have some excitement about the presentation. In other words, they’re balanced like all things should be.
First, let me summarize the experiences that I’ve had with other Dynaudio products. Here’s the bottom line, Dynaudio has always had one significant strength, and that is their versatility. They tend to sound good with a wide variety of components, mostly solid-state. They’ve also done a great job of building a speaker that isn’t to discriminate about the kind of media you listen to. Whether it’s a home theater, music, great recordings, mediocre recordings, rock-and-roll, and jazz, etc., it handles it all pretty well.
But the thing that I haven’t been a fan of in the past is the somewhat dry sound. I wouldn’t call it clinical, just dry. It’s very versatile, very matter-of-fact, yet it’s like there’s no character to the sound. But that’s not the case with the Evoke 10. What you get out of the Evoke 10 is that classic Dynaudio sound, except now there’s richness within the character.
So how is the Evoke 10’s performance? The Evoke 10, to be clear, isn’t a small speaker that’s trying to be anything more than what it is. It’s not going to have this huge sound that you can listen to at a rock concert-like volumes. It’s not going to have that sharp treble or the V curve that many people like with bright treble and massive bass. It’s all about natural tone, the outstanding balance between the tweeter and the woofer. It’s all about giving you a presentation where it’s easy to listen to across a wide variety of recorded material yet just expressive enough to be interesting.
Most importantly is designed to get out of the way of itself, which leads me to its general performance. When you listen to these speakers, you’ll notice that number one, they don’t project in a forward way. They’re not like Focal, KEF, Klipsch, or JBL. But nor are they super laid-back either. They’re kind of in-between. When you listen to the Evoke 10, the sound does come across more like it’s limited to the plane of the loudspeakers themselves, which for me is fine. But still, they’re going to be for somebody who wants a balanced, right tone, something that’s expressive yet easy to listen to. That leads me to the individual elements of the presentation, starting with the treble.
Their treble, I would say, is inherently smooth sounding. That will be great news for many of you because most of you stream music nowadays, and streaming could use a little bit of smoothness. That’s what these speakers can deliver. They’re very, very easy to listen to, even on less than perfect recordings. What I like so much about them is there’s some expression to the tone. There’s going to be natural liveliness and even sharpness if the recording calls for it. Of course, you can also get a somewhat bright sound out of these speakers. Inherently there’s slightly smooth sounding but are capable of delivering a little bit of lively top-end.
Another thing I like about the treble beyond just the usual audiophile stuff is spatial separation. In detail, you don’t need to crank up the volume to hear excellent information out of these speakers, which was another feature to a lot of the Dynaudio products.
Let’s talk about mid-range. The Evoke 10 has a very natural tone, especially for the price. I love the fact that it also integrates so well with the tweeter. A lot of small speakers have this dip in the upper mid-range. This speaker does not have that, meaning vocal sound very natural, live on implicant very honest. Yet there’s just enough richness to the tone to give the sound body, some weight, some density. That also lends itself well to heavier types of music electronic, rock-and-roll, hip-hop, R&B. It’s balanced. It sounds good with a lot of stuff.
Let’s talk about the bass. The bass will be strong for a speaker this size but don’t expect it to rumble your room. When it comes to bass output in speed, I would say it’s very middle-of-the-road, which I actually think is good. I like that because it gives the sound some solidarity but doesn’t expect this little speaker to sound way more significant than it is in low-end output.
Dynamic and Imaging
Let’s talk about the dynamic output. Dynamic output for something that has a slightly rich and laid back sound is outstanding. It can handle crescendos pretty well, which will be great news for people who love classical like me. It did a better job than most of the other compact speakers I’d had in the house, and I didn’t expect that.
Speaking of off-axis performance is very good. You can walk around a room. The tone isn’t going to shift very much at all.
Overall this is a well-rounded speaker who handles a wide variety of music just fine. It has that very balanced sound of Dynaudio in the past. There’s also some richness to the character that helps make for an engaging listening experience. True to the goal, it does a great job of getting out of the way of itself.
Equipment to Match
When it comes to imaging, imaging is going to be great as a compact speaker. When it comes to laying down a horizontal soundstage, it’s okay. It also has a good focus in between the speakers. But what I like so much about the Evoke 10 is the vertical dispersion seems to be very good. It scales very well. It doesn’t feel like this tiny speaker to where you have to be sitting at a certain height to get that decent sense of scale out of it.
When it comes to setting these speakers up in your room, the good news is they’re straightforward to work with. But for the best performance from the sweet spot, I found that they do best with 28-inch stands. That is where you’re going to get the drivers at your ears, where everything will come into focus. Don’t get me wrong. You can have them a little bit below your ears, and that’ll be fine. I’ve come to find that you don’t want them too high above your ears, though. So I would say that you’ll be good to go at your height or slightly lower in the sweet spot.
When it comes to equipment matching, the good news is that they are effortless to work with, and they’re also very transparent. To the point where the Evoke 10 can borderline change their entire character depending on the kind of gear that you use. I would say those solid-state amplifiers of 60 to 80 watts per channel or more where you’re going to want to be because these speakers do like power. If you listen to fair music at soft volumes in a small room, you can probably get away with an 18 to 30 watt per channel tube amplifier. But for most of you, 60 to 80 watts or more is where you’re going to want to be.
How does the Evoke 10 sound on a desktop?
Let’s talk about something a little less obvious that I didn’t cover already. How does the Evoke 10 sound in a desktop environment? With the speakers only maybe a foot or two away from your ears, in my experience, the answer is they’re right, but they’re not great. That’s because of driver integration. I found that you need to put about four or five feet between yourself and these speakers to enjoy that seamless driver integration that they are capable of. I feel like the tone is pleasant and very easy to listen to in the near field environment. You can tell that here’s a tweeter and here’s a Woofer.
Let’s go ahead and get evident out of the way. Number one, these are small speakers. If you listen to loud volumes, they’re probably not going to be the best choice for you. Nor are they going to be the best choice for somebody who has a big room and you want this small speaker to fill that big room with a lot of sounds, particularly when it comes to the low end. There are going to be other options out there. Also, for people who like that V curve sound, boosted treble, boosted bass. There may be something else that you may prefer, especially if you want the sharpness of metal done or that kind of forward sound that you get from a lot of metal woofers.
I want these speakers a lot more than I thought I would. I respect Dynaudio. I had many of their products in the past, and I’ve heard many of their higher-end models. I appreciate the versatility, the build quality, the history. Emotionally, their stuff usually leaves me a little bit dry, partially because I feel like the sound has always had this dry characteristic. But that’s not the case with the Evokes. There are richness and balance there. Between warmth, that’s easy to listen to yet something that’s also very expressive. That result is very engaging.
But I will say this is an easy recommendation for somebody looking for a quality monitor at this price point, mainly because Dynaudio is a very well-established company. They are not going anywhere. They just unveiled this new warranty program to where they increase the warranty to eight years if you register the product through them. This product is sold through many dealers, especially in North America, that offer up to sixty-day money-back guarantee trial periods. So you will have plenty of time to try this for yourself and to see if it works for you, especially if you’d live into US.
So overall, they’re excellent speakers, definitely not for everybody. If you want that big explosive sound, they’re not going to be for you. That strong V curve is not going to be for everybody. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. But in my opinion, these are surprisingly good speakers, and they may have emerged as one of my favorite monitors for this price now.
Dynaudio Evoke 10 Specs
- Sensitivity: 84dB (2.83V/1m)
- IEC power handling: 160W
- Impedance: 6 Ω
- Frequency response (±3dB): 47Hz–23kHz
- Box principle: Bass reflex rear ported
- Crossover: 2-way
- Crossover frequency: 1400Hz
- Crossover topology: 2nd order
- Specification sheet for Evoke part 1
- Woofer: 14cm MSP cone
- Tweeter: 28mm Cerotar with Hexis
- Weight: 6.7kg/14.8lb
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 180x315x266mm, 7.1×12.4×10.5in
- Dimensions with feet/grille (W x H x D): 180x315x277mm, 7.1×12.4×10.9in