Three-way battle for the right to assault your ears
Beneath the wood veneer and lacquer finishes, speaker technology has evolved. Here, three offerings from Dynaudio, Dali and Wharfedale battle it out for the right to assault your ears
On paper, evolution isn’t always as apparent in hi-fi speakers as it is in other products that regularly pass through our test-room doors. TVS and streamers, for example, rely on quantifiable oneupmanship with, say, resolution or streaming service count.
But behind closed doors in a laboratory somewhere, there is a diehard speaker engineer buried away, constantly tweaking and fine-tuning crossover components and fashioning new cone materials with the goal of getting punters more performance for their pound than ever before.
Consequently, the standard of sound quality continues to rise. You need only look at the Dynaudio Emit M10 standmounts, which in the July edition of outclassed the B&W 685 S2s that had dominated the £500 competition for the past two years.
Now, for an extra £100, we have their big brothers, the Emit M20s, pitted against ‘larger standmounts’ from Dali and Wharfedale, the latter the company that brought us the best desktop speakers of 2015.
Bigger standmounters typically make gains in bass and scale over smaller entry-level ones, so if that’s where your (or your living room’s) ambitions lie, your next pair of speakers could well feature in the next few pages.