Dynaudio Excite X14 Review
Dynaudio Excite X14 from Denmark is an entry-level bookshelf speaker in the Excite series. It has a slightly different shape from the previous generation X12. The new X14’s front baffle abandons the different panel design. There are no extra curves or decorations. It looks neat and straightforward and more integrated. Dynaudio provides four finishes: Real wood veneer Walnut, Rosewood, Satin Black and Satin White. The new Excite series has been widely recognized by various audiophiles worldwide.
Dynaudio may be one of the most highly recognizable speaker brands in the world. For decades, Dynaudio has been using silk soft-dome tweeter and MSP diaphragm woofer. Although the cabinet design has changed, it still maintains a slender body. Over the years, the speakers’ product lines have undergone countless revisions, and the crossovers have also been continuously improved.
The design of the new Excite series is also a complete evolution. First, the tweeter. Compared with the previous Dynaudio Excite X12, the surface coating of the tweeter is processed more precisely to reach a better performance. The 5.7-inch MSP diaphragm mid-woofer unit is also comprehensively improved. The voice coil is also redesigned to make the back and forth movement of the unit more stable. The driver’s frame is also strengthened. Even the bass reflex holes are redesigned.
In addition to the changes mentioned above, Dynaudio also revised the unit to increase the average impedance from 4 ohms in the previous generation to 8 ohms. We all know that low-impedance speakers have very high requirements for the amplifier’s current output power, and high impedance will be more friendly to the amplifier. Although the impedance becomes higher, the sensitivity of the Dynaudio Excite X14 is still only 85dB. Is it possible that the amplifier still needs a specific considerable driving power to drive it well? There will be an answer to the listening experience at the end of the article.
As for the mid-bass unit, Dynaudio emphasizes that it is made of ultra-lightweight aluminium voice coil winding and a more powerful magnetic system. The diaphragm is naturally the signature MSP material. Don’t think that the Dynaudio Excite X14 bookshelf speaker is just the entry-level speaker of Dynaudio. The DDC directivity control technology belonging to the flagship speaker is also used in the X14 crossover. The most significant advantage is that it can control sound wave diffusion and further reduce the reflections, the problem of interference caused by music playback.
X14 has another feature, which is also a common feature of the new Excite series, that is easier to drive. The speaker impedance has been increased from 6 ohms to 8 ohms. Many speakers have an average impedance of 8 ohms, so that this design can be good. If the impedance value of the speaker is low, sometimes the amplifier cannot provide enough current to drive it. If the impedance value is increased to 8 ohms, the power requirement of the amplifier will be relatively easy. Even with the general entry-level amplifier, it can have good sound performance. Dynaudio called this “amp-friendly”.
Next, let’s talk about the crossover. Because of the excellent quality of the self-made driver unit, Dynaudio still insists on using the first-order crossover design with the lowest phase distortion. It is challenging to achieve the lowest phase distortion through the first-order crossover, so Dynaudio’s crossover structure and circuit design are beyond imagination.
Dynaudio’s top series of products all use DDC (Dynaudio Directivity Control) technology when designing crossovers. The sound waves can diffuse vertically and significantly reduce the interference of spatial reflections. However, the prerequisite of this design is that the speaker units must be arranged in mirror symmetry. Dynaudio Excite X14 bookshelf Speaker is not a single mirror arrangement, but the Dynaudio adopts a concept similar to the DDC design so that the speaker has better sound wave pointing control.
Let’s talk about the sound performance of Dynaudio Excite X14 speaker! I think this is a very worthy speaker, and it is also a pair of speakers that is very suitable for music lovers. The X14 is a very versatile speaker. Paired with different sources and amplifiers, it can produce sound above the level at the same price range. But if the user takes a little more time to tune the system, X14 will present a more outstanding performance.
As soon as the sound is turned on, I can feel that this is a pair of speakers with great potential. I tried to increase the distance between the speakers. As a result, the X14 can also maintain a perfect sound image while creating an open sound field. But I think the sound is perfect, especially the quietness of the background, and the shape of the mid-frequency and low-frequency is also warm and thick.
Although the low-frequency extension of the X14 is only to 50Hz, it can cover the low-frequency range of most instruments still. For example, when listening to Dave Matthews’s “Some Devils” album, you will definitely mistake it for the sound from a floor-standing loudspeaker if you close your eyes. The vocals and musical instruments are full, and the singer’s voice sounds very comfortable, rich and soft, very friendly.
When listening to Danilo Rea’s “Lirico” piano solo album, you can fully feel the reason why Dynaudio’s soft dome treble has dominated the industry for many years. The sound of the piano sounds very detailed and smooth, and the high-frequency resonance not only has a good feeling and transparency. The high frequency sounds thick. The high frequency of a real piano should be like this, not thin and dry.
I admit that the source’s personality adds pleasant colour to the high frequencies at the right time, and the Dynaudio Excite X14 speaker reflects the source very correctly. Of course, this tweeter also has a lot of detailed information and dynamic response. You must be wondering why the tweeter needs to be dynamic? Isn’t it easier to drive than mid-woofer? I suggest you take a listen to violin skills. You know that it is not easy to master the strong and weak changes of the violin’s high frequency. The key to an excellent tweeter is to be able to perfectly master the changes in the strength and weakness of the fast-running high frequency. The X14 has this good skill.
Of course, don’t forget that many people mistakenly think that the violin mainly measures high frequencies. In fact, the so-called high frequencies in many people’s perspective are midrange, so the dynamics of the mid-bass woofer is also fundamental. The speed response of the base unit in the 5.7-inch MSP diaphragm used by the Dynaudio X14 is also speedy, and the high-frequency performance is excellent. No matter what form of string music is listened to, it has a very smooth performance.
In the beginning, I started to warm up from the piano music, playing “Chopin: 21 Nocturnes 21 Nocturnes” by Irina Mejoueva. The X14 speaker is small, but the image of replaying the piano is very large, like a grand piano. The sound field is deep, and the treble is thick with a touch of refined lustre. In addition, the X14’s resolution power is quite excellent. With these details, the music sounds alive.
Next, I took out “The Dali CD vol.3”, the third track of Teitur’s “Stormy Weather”. At the beginning of the track, the low-frequency rhythm laid out in the background was clear, bright and impactful. Teitur’s singing stood in the centre solid. How good is the low frequency of Dynaudio X14? Just listen to the last two tracks of electronic music! What you hear on this system is a fast and precise low-frequency impact rhythm, which will not be muddled or blurred at all.
The whole sense of energy fills the entire listening space, the sound field is very open, and the electronic sound effects go back and forth in front of you, drifting quickly. If you have a chance to listen to it, I suggest turning the volume down. Even if the sound pressure is so high that the ears can hardly stand it, the speaker is still calm. It’s awesome!
The Dynaudio Excite X14 bookshelf speaker, which appeared on the cover of Stereophile, has four speakers in the same series, X38, X34, X14, and X24 CENTER. X38 and X34 are floor-standing speakers, and X38 is the most giant floor-standing speaker with two 18 cm woofers. The X34 is a little smaller, with two mid-bass units and one tweeter. X24 CENTER is a centre channel.
Dynaudio’s high-end or affordable speakers are all made in Denmark and use the same soft silk dome tweeter and excellent self-made cabinet to ensure high sound quality. X14 is a bookshelf speaker with a new long-stroke mid-woofer, a powerful large magnet system, and a light voice coil to obtain excellent bass energy. The constant impedance of eight ohms makes it easy to match any amplifier and maintain good balance characteristics. The Dynaudio X14 among the crispest, cleanest and glossiest performers this kind of money can buy.
Dynaudio Excite X14 Specs
- Sensitivity: 85dB (2,83V / 1m)
- IEC Power Handling: 150W
- Impedance: 8 Ohm
- Frequency Response (±3dB): 50Hz–23kHz
- Box Principle: Bass Reflex Rear Ported
- Crossover: 2 way
- Crossover Frequency: 1900Hz
- Crossover Topology: 1st/2nd order
- Specification sheet for Excite part 1
- Woofer: 14cm MSP
- Tweeter: 28mm soft dome
- Weight: 6.5kg / 14lb
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 170 x 282 x 246mm/ 6.7 x 11.1 x 9.7in
- Dimensions with feet/grill (W x H x D): 170 x 282 x 262mm/ 6.7 x 11.1 x 10.3in