Dynaudio Excite X18
Bookshelf speakers (Walnut Satin)
Our take on the Dynaudio Excite X18 by Crutchfield's Steve Kindig
Delicious sound from Denmark
My first serious speakers were a pair of 2-way bookshelf monitors I built from a kit. They didn't cost a lot, but they sounded amazing. The magic ingredient was the high-performance Dynaudio woofer and tweeter — those drivers looked a lot like the ones in the Excite X18. The X18s deliver Dynaudio's famously smooth, dynamic, three-dimensional sound, wrapped in beautiful furniture-grade cabinets — no assembly required!
A woofer that looks different and sounds different
All Dynaudio woofers use the company's Magnesium Silicate Polymer (MSP) cone material. It combines low mass, high rigidity, and ideal internal damping, to respond instantly to music's constant ebb and flow. An MSP cone is molded in one geometrically-perfect piece, which helps to optimize sound dispersion. It also eliminates the need for a separate dust cap, further enhancing the cone's structural integrity.
The woofer cone is also shallower than conventional cones. That improves off-axis response, so the sound you hear when sitting off to the side is closer to what you hear directly in front. That'll keep everyone happy when you have friends over and don't want to give up the "sweet spot."
The X18 enclosures are ported to provide a bit of extra low-frequency oomph — but not enough to ever make these speakers sound boomy. A pair of foam plugs are included which you can insert in the ports to optimize bass response when placing the speakers near a wall.
A tweeter that sings
When Dynaudio's engineers find something that works, they stick with it. Core designs like the company's renowned soft-dome tweeters have been steadily improved and refined over the course of 40 years. The Excite X18's tweeter features a silk dome with a special coating that improves dispersion while eliminating high-frequency breakup. It sounds effortlessly detailed, neutral, and non-fatiguing, even when you crank up the volume.
Both tweeter and woofer use aluminum-wired voice coils that are lighter than traditional copper coils. That means Dynaudio can make larger voice-coils for a given weight. Larger coils exert better control over the dome or cone's movement, which lowers distortion.
Great for music and movies
Dynaudio speakers love music as much as you do, and their expressive, transparent sound quality suits every kind of music, soft or loud, acoustic or electric. They're as comfortable floating a solo voice dead center between the speakers as they are belting out rock or dance music.
The qualities that make Dynaudio's speakers so enjoyable for music listening also make for immersive home theater. They can reproduce extreme dynamic range, and dig deeper into the bass than most similarly sized speakers. They also throw a big, seamless soundstage.
The Excite series is one of Dynaudio's lowest-priced speaker lines, but it was developed using the same exhaustive measurements and listening tests the company relies on to develop its price-no-object designs.
Although Dynaudio calls the Excite X18s "bookshelf" speakers, they will sound best placed on a pair of high-quality stands, and positioned at least a foot away from any walls. With 86 dB sensitivity and 4-ohm impedance, the X18s require a diet of high-current, high-quality amplification. The X18s have more low-end punch than the smaller Excite X14s, but for truly full-range sound, we still recommend adding a high-quality subwoofer.
Build a complete Dynaudio system
A pair of Excite X18s will fill your small to medium-sized room with clear, robust stereo sound. If you're interested in a voice-matched surround sound system, check out these other Dynaudio models:
Center channel: Excite X24 Center or Excite X28 Center
Surround speakers: Excite X14
Floor-standing speaker: Excite X34, Excite X38, or Excite X44
Powered subwoofer: Sub 3 or Sub 6
Founded in 1977, Dynaudio is one of the world's premiere speaker companies. Their wide range of speakers for home, car, and pro audio applications are the result of a unique combination of innovative driver technology, state-of-the-art manufacturing, and true hand-craftsmanship. Dynaudio designs and builds all of its drivers at the company's HQ in Skanderborg, Denmark.
Product Highlights (each):
- 1-1/8" Esotec+ coated silk soft-dome tweeter
- 6-11/16" Esotec+ MSP (Magnesium Silicate Polymer) cone woofer
- large 3" voice coil for excellent dynamics and power handling
- bass-reflex (ported) cabinet with rear-firing port
- includes a foam port plug for adjusting the speaker's low-frequency performance
- cabinet has 3/4"-thick walls, plus extensive internal bracing to reduce resonances
- frequency response: 44-23,000 Hz (±3dB)
- sensitivity: 86 dB
- impedance: 4 ohms
- maximum amplifier power: 175 watts
- gold-plated binding post speaker terminals
- removable magnetic grille
- 7-9/16"W x 12-9/16"H x 11-3/4"D
- weight: 16 lbs.
- designed, engineered, and assembled in Denmark
- warranty: 5 years (8 years with registration)
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- 2 Bookshelf loudspeakers
- 2 Grilles
- 2 Foam port plugs
- Owners Manual
- Quick Start Guide
- Tweeter Protection Unmounting Instructions
- Warranty Extension Card
Features and Specs
|Tweeter Size (inches)||1.1|
|Midrange Size (inches)||N/A|
|Woofer Size (inches)||6.6875|
|Woofer Composition||Magnesium Silicate Polymer|
|Frequency Response||44-23k Hz|
|Mounting Bracket Included||No|
|Recommended Stand Height (inches)||22-26|
|Parts Warranty||5Yr (8Yr registered)|
|Labor Warranty||5Yr (8Yr registered)|
Two-Way Bookshelf Loudspeaker: Dynaudio's Excite X18 bookshelf speaker features a 1.1" precision-coated silk soft-dome tweeter and one 6.6875" magnesium silicate polymer (MSP) mid-woofer for true high-end sound with great dynamic range, expansive soundstage, exceptional accuracy, and a natural tonal balance. The minimal distance between tweeter and mid-woofer serves to improve timing and phase.
Precision-Coated Soft-Dome Tweeter: Dynaudio has relied on a silk soft-dome tweeter for recreating high frequencies since the company was founded, continuously improving and perfecting the soft-dome principle over the years. Dynaudio tweeter designs require a time consuming, labor-intensive manufacturing process where the fine fabric diaphragm is shaped into a dome and is then treated with a specially formulated coating. As a further refinement, the tweeter's aluminum voice-coil is suspended in a magnetic oil, which increases power handling while also improving the dome's excursion. The result is the celebrated Dynaudio tweeter, featuring a balanced and natural frequency response.
- Venting & Damping Chamber: The precision-coated soft-dome tweeters benefits from venting between its magnet and diaphragm. The tweeter also includes a special damping chamber integrated into the rear of the construction, deadening any back-wave energy through an acoustic absorber. The advantages include high power handling and unimpeded excursion of the soft-dome dome tweeter.
- Ferrofluid Magnet: The voice coil is positioned within the magnetic field of the tweeter magnet. When the loudspeaker reproduces sound, the voice coil, powered by the amplifier current, moves at a speed of up to 25,000 waves per second. To achieve a uniform movement, a magnetic fluid called ferrofluid is used around the voice coil. Ferrofluid works like a subtle shock absorber and eliminates excess energy. Due to the relatively high current and extremely fast movements, the voice coil is under constant thermal stress. The ferrofluid dissipates this heat, while also increasing power handling capabilities. The frequency range of the tweeter can thus be expanded while the frequency response remains smooth and linear, delivering the highest resolution and most neutral sound reproduction.
Note: The surround of the tweeter is inversed to improve dispersion. This leaves nowhere for the lead wires to go behind the tweeter, so the lead wires are positioned above the surround.
Magnesium Silicate Polymer (MSP) Woofer: For bass and midrange drivers, Dynaudio uses a proprietary composite of magnesium silicate polymer (MSP), a material that combines low mass, high rigidity, and ideal internal damping properties. This exclusive driver membrane is an immediately visible and characteristic feature of Dynaudio loudspeakers. Formed in a special manufacturing process, this membrane is a unique design with the distinctive, geometrically optimized form of the cone further enabling smooth sound dispersion.
- Increased Power Handling: The MSP woofer features a
lightweight aluminum wire voice coil and new black Kapton coil former for
increased power handling.
- Aluminum Voice Coil: A distinct and major Dynaudio innovation is the use of pure aluminum wire for voice coils. In comparison to the more commonly used and much heavier copper alternative, aluminum allows for more windings and extraordinarily large diameter coils that remain extremely light. By using aluminum instead of copper for a bass driver, it is possible to effectively double the coil's diameter without increasing its mass. Due to the thermal properties of aluminum, cooling of the voice coil is dramatically improved as well. In combination with the equally light voice coil former and powerful magnet materials used in Dynaudio designs, cone excursion is much more controlled and the driver follows the music signal from the amplifier with a remarkable sense of dynamics and accuracy.
- Black Kapton Coil Former: The voice coil former is made of black Kapton. This advanced material is non-magnetic, temperature stable and very stiff, yet still extremely lightweight. In its latest generation, black Kapton now yields an even stronger coil former in order to enable the voice coil to consistently perform under ideal conditions, perfectly controlling every driver movement, even when playing music rich in dynamics or at higher volume levels.
- Esotec+ Magnet System: The MSP woofer utilizes Dynaudio's Esotec+ magnet system that yields a compact yet powerful driver system. Its strong suit is the alignment; with the magnet positioned inside the voice coil, a larger and more homogenous magnetic field can be utilized, with less magnetic radiation from the inner magnet. This exceptional technology has the further benefit of symmetry, since the use of two magnet rings above each other enables a totally symmetrical pole piece design, making the driver coil induction constant in any voice coil position. This results in an extremely precise and symmetric voice coil movement for exact signal reproduction - even at higher volume levels.
- Die-Cast Aluminum Basket: The Dynaudio MSP woofer utilizes a low-resonance, highly warp-resistant basket made of die-cast aluminum. Due to the stiffness of this non-magnetic material, the basket can be designed with aerodynamically formed ribs to reduce air compression behind the moving membrane. Another advantage is its long-term resistance against thermal, mechanical or other external influences.
High-Quality 2nd Order Crossover: Only the highest quality components, selected for their sonic properties, are utilized in Dynaudio loudspeaker's crossover network; carefully wound pure OFC (oxygen-free copper) air-coils, select capacitors, and temperature-stable ceramic resistors. The Dynaudio crossover features a pure 2nd order filter (12 dB/octave), which enables a superior transient response and can only be effectively used with the ultra-linear frequency response of the Dynaudio drivers.
Dynaudio Directivity Control (DDC): With Dynaudio Directivity Control (DDC), Dynaudio has created a technology that effectively reduces the negative effects of reflections from floor and ceiling boundaries in a room. The vertical symmetrical driver array and elaborate crossover topology of a Dynaudio loudspeaker reduce the energy dispersed to the floor and ceiling by approximately 75%. The controlled vertical dispersion makes the loudspeaker far less dependent on the room and much less influenced by positioning as compared to conventional designs. DDC isn't simply arranging the drivers in a symmetrical array. For DDC to succeed, every single detail (from each drive unit to the crossover) must be individually tailored and optimized for this concept. Each driver needs to complement its identical counterpart in frequency response and phase relationship in such a manner that a carefully defined dispersion characteristic is achieved.
Furniture Grade Cabinets: Dynaudio's high-quality, furniture-grade cabinets are painstakingly assembled and finished by experts in Skanderborg Denmark to make sure the enclosure perfectly matches the custom drivers. The Danish tradition of craftsmanship drives the meticulous process of selecting and matching veneers from the finest woods available, followed by careful sanding, polishing and coating. The front-baffle is manufactured using CNC (Computerized Numerical Control) machining. Computer-programmed and controlled by ultra-responsive sensors, precision to within a single micrometer (ìm), multi-axial drilling machines produce the acoustically optimized baffle shape and unique design details. Additional internal damping, strengthening, and bracing in critical sections of the cabinet substantially reduce unwanted resonance. The Excite X18 cabinet also features a magnetically-attached, acoustically-optimized front grille.
Bass Reflex Port w/ Foam Port Plug: The Excite bookshelf speaker features a bass reflex enclosure with a rear-firing port for greater efficiency and bigger bass response. To minimize low frequency reflections, which will be heard as a thickening of the sound, the loudspeaker can be adapted to the room's acoustic character by using the included foam plug in the bass reflex port. This will essentially attenuate the room induced boost in the low frequency range by dampening the deep frequencies, yielding a more clear and tight sound when the loudspeaker is positioned near rear walls.
Heavy-Duty, Gold-Plated Binding Post: The Dynaudio Excite X18 bookshelf loudspeaker is outfitted with a set of heavy-duty, gold-plate binding post terminals for secure connectivity and excellent signal transfer. The binding posts will accept bare wire (up to 10AWG), pin-connectors, and banana plugs (single only).
Applications: The Dynaudio Excite X18 bookshelf loudspeakers are designed to offer advanced performance in both stereo and multichannel applications.
- Placement Options: The distance between each loudspeaker and your listening position should be the same; try to achieve an isosceles triangle. The distance between the loudspeakers should be the same or slightly less than the distance between each loudspeakers and your listening position. The closer the listening position is in relation to the loudspeakers, the closer the speakers can be positioned to each other. As a starting point, it is recommended that the speakers be about 6.5' apart from each other for the best results. To minimize potential influences from the back and side wall boundaries, it is recommended that the distance from the speakers to each is at least 1.625', and ideally the distance from each speaker to the back and side wall should not be equal. Depending on your personal listening environment and room dimensions, the loudspeakers may be angled in towards the listening area to focus the sound radiation; this positioning will typically improve imaging.
- Mounting Options: The Dynaudio X18 bookshelf loudspeakers are designed to be placed on a speaker stand, shelf, table, or other piece of furniture with a solid flat-surface. The X18 doesn't provide a mounting bracket, keyhole slot, or threaded insert to wall-mount the speaker. However, you can use the PinPoint side-grip wall-mount bracket (sold separately - see Accessories Tab) to mount the X18 loudspeaker to the wall.
Excite Series: The Excite family of loudspeakers by Dynaudio combines high-end sound quality with an elegant, slim-line design. The Excite series consists of Floorstanding loudspeakers (X34/X38/X44), bookshelf loudspeakers (X14/X18), and center channel loudspeakers (X24/X28).
Dynaudio Fine Tuning: Every Dynaudio speaker model is fine-tuned in extensive, time-consuming listening tests. Dynaudio even developed its own amplifier, the Arbiter, solely for this task, to ensure that they are not restricted by any one manufacturer's design. Extraordinary power reserves, a frequency bandwidth at the edge of what is technically possible, the exacting use of absolutely sonically accurate components and circuits, and a unique power supply that remains completely free from mains noise are just a few qualities of Dynaudio's ultimate amplifier development. The true sound quality of a loudspeaker can be judged using this virtually priceless reference amplifier. After a Dynaudio design has been fine-tuned, it is subjected to the Arbiter. Only after passing this most difficult test is it ensured that the authentic sound quality of a Dynaudio loudspeaker can be experienced at home.
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Why did you buy this?
Balanced sound and reputation of Dynaudio to deliver high quality. Plus the beautiful finish and compact size. [ Daniel Sep 22, 2018 ]