Dy­nau­dio Emit M20

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Contents -

Sweep­ing dy­nam­ics; re­fined; well-built cab­i­nets

FOR

KEY FEA­TURES 52 sin­gle wiring Max power: 150W Not quite so adept with poorer record­ings

AGAINST

“Dy­nam­i­cally, the Dy­nau­dios are al­ways on the move within their gen­er­ous range, prov­ing as ca­pa­ble with ex­plo­sive changes as sub­tle ones”

If you read July’s is­sue of What Hi-fi?, you’ll have seen the Dy­nau­dio M10 stand­mounts (£500) made a huge im­pres­sion, knock­ing the B&W 685 S2s – two-time Prod­uct of the Year win­ners, no less – off their pedestal. That takes some do­ing.

Now it’s the turn of the Emit M20s – larger ver­sions of their im­pres­sive sib­lings – to try to make their mark. Place them side by side and the M10s and M20s are akin to those Rus­sian dolls: dif­fer­ent di­men­sions but made to the same pro­por­tions.

They both sport a satin lac­quer (avail­able in ei­ther white or black) and driver-dom­i­nated baf­fle which, thanks to a sym­met­ri­cal smat­ter­ing of screw­heads border­ing the driv­ers, looks as though it has been used as tar­get prac­tice.

But it’s not just the M20’s 36cm height and 27cm depth that qual­ify them as the se­nior stand­mount model in the Dan­ish com­pany’s en­try-level speaker range. As is the Dy­nau­dio way, new driv­ers have been de­signed specif­i­cally for each Emit model, with the M20 fea­tur­ing a 28mm soft-dome tweeter and 17cm mag­ne­sium sil­i­cate poly­mer mid/bass driver – up from the M10’s 14cm.

Pi­ano lessons

That big­ger driver goes a long way to ex­plain­ing the M20’s greater abil­ity when it comes to author­ity, scale, dy­nam­ics and bass depth. That is, af­ter all, what you should ex­pect from a larger stand­mount. More im­por­tantly, it hasn’t all come at the ex­pense of mu­si­cal­ity and agility along the way.

In Lu­dovico Ein­audi’s An­cora, pi­ano se­quences bask in nuance and tex­ture, to the point where it sounds not so much as though he’s strik­ing keys but giv­ing you a per­sonal les­son in ad­vanced pi­ano play­ing. While the M20s don’t play their sib­ling’s com­pact card, the scale and open­ness they de­liver is none­the­less very im­pres­sive.

Dy­nam­i­cally, the Dy­nau­dios are al­ways on the move within their gen­er­ous range, prov­ing as ca­pa­ble with ex­plo­sive changes as sub­tle ones. Each pi­ano note is solid, ex­act and punc­tual – even if in ab­so­lute terms they some­times trade out­right con­trol for fun.

Un­like some speak­ers that favour cer­tain mu­sic gen­res, the Emit 20s are game for ev­ery­thing – in­clud­ing the glitchy synths and in­tensely heady elec­trobeats in 65daysof­static’s Prisms. They whisk through the song with plenty of at­tack, and even in the most com­plex mo­ments find the dis­ci­pline and rigour to pick out the mul­ti­ple trails of thought – rhyth­mic drums, am­bi­ent guitar lines, cut­ting cym­bals – with­out sidelin­ing any el­e­ment.

They ex­hibit the au­dac­ity of the Dali Op­ti­con 2s, but sta­bilise it with a pleas­ant smooth­ness and re­fine­ment, and that win­ning al­go­rithm makes them ver­sa­tile and lis­ten­able.

Sonic land­scape

Though they aren’t quite as flex­i­ble with poorer record­ings, the M20s aren’t afraid to lift the lid on the slightly bright and edgy qual­ity of The Cure’s Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me al­bum, re­veal­ing the record­ing’s con­strained na­ture. That’s fur­ther proof of their trans­parency, but also a warn­ing that you won’t get the best from them play­ing be­low-par record­ings.

Nor will you by shov­ing them up against a back wall, for when it comes to place­ment they re­quire a bit of space to hit the right tonal bal­ance. Toe­ing them in slightly helps with stereo imag­ing too, so that when we fin­ish our test­ing with Traf­fic’s John Bar­l­ey­corn Must Die, tam­bourines, flutes and guitar pluck­ings are all pre­cisely mapped on the sonic land­scape. With both the M10 and M20 stand­mounts re­ceiv­ing five-star re­views and Group Test-win­ning sta­tus, it’s a thor­oughly im­pres­sive two from two for the Emit se­ries. If you, or rather your room, de­ter­mine that more scale, dy­namic range and bass is bet­ter, the M20s are bang on the money.

The screws on the drive units can be cov­ered by the speak­ers’ grilles, for a neater look

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