Connect hub


The Connect is the more powerful of the two main hub units offered by Dynaudio to route inputs wirelessly to any of the Xeo or Focus XD speakers. It adds significan­tly to the Xeo Hub, having the same local inputs but also able to connect to your home Wi-Fi network and thereby to the internet, bringing Spotify Connect, DLNA streaming and also Bluetooth — Bluetooth is already built into the Xeo speakers, of course, but is a useful addition to the Focus XD range, since any app source on a smart device can then be played through the Connect and on to the Focus XDs. Meanwhile the physical inputs, as on the Xeo Hub, include one minijack and one RCA pair of analogue inputs, plus three digital inputs — optical, coaxial and USB from a computer. This last uses a micro-USB socket; an adapter is supplied with the Connect.

Bluetooth includes the near-CD quality aptX codec for Android phones which support it; Apple devices will stream at 256k AAC; non-aptX Android will default to the SBC codec. The optical and coaxial digital inputs accept up to 24-bit/192kHz signals, but the connection to the speakers is made at 24-bit/96kHz, also the maximum available from the USB input. But that’s if you’re using only one pair of speakers. Underneath the Connect is a little DIP switch to select multiroom operation, and doing so limits transmissi­on to CD quality. So in multiroom mode, high-res playback is currently supported only from local inputs to the speakers themselves.

Using Bluetooth, you can use any app available to your smart device. For DLNA Android users will enjoy the easiest control of network streaming; iOS devices are weak on inherent DLNA support but we had some success using Twonky-Beam. The USB input worked faultlessl­y from our Mac Mini and from Windows, delivering excellent results at 24-bit 96kHz through the Focus 200 XDs.

We found set-up difficult until we got Dynaudio’s app (pictured below), which is fairly basic but does allow independen­t input selection and volume control for each of three coloured ‘zones’; and you can have multiple speakers or Xeo Links set to each colour. You can also have up to three Hubs if you have sources in different locations, selecting between them using A, B and C buttons. This needs some forethough­t, but of course set-up is a one-time thing. Once done you can settle back to enjoy the exceptiona­l quality

of Dynaudio’s speakers.

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