Dynaudio Excite X14
Bookshelf speakers (Black Satin)
Our take on the Dynaudio Excite X14 by Crutchfield's Steve Kindig
These little boxes will set your music free!
Recently I took home a pair of Dynaudio's pint-sized Excite X14 speakers. Over the course of a few weeks I listened to dozens of favorite tracks on CD and vinyl, marveling at the X14s' detailed, lively presentation. Depending on the recording, the big three-dimensional soundstage sometimes extended from wall to wall and floor to ceiling. I can't remember another speaker that makes listening so much fun.
Praise from Stereophile
"The Excite X14s' dead-neutral, detailed, and holographic midrange made them a perfect showcase for well-recorded voices.... The X14's reproduction of high frequencies was extended, pristine, uncolored, and delicate with all recordings I listened to.... And for its price, the Dynaudio did a spectacular job of laying out inner details.... It has become my favorite bookshelf speaker for under $2000/pair.”
— Robert J. Reina, Stereophile, October 2014
Class B rating in Stereophile's "Recommended Components," October 2017
A woofer with incredible speed and punch
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 X14's 5-1/2" 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 makes for a wider "sweet spot" so more people in the room can hear the speakers at their best.
The X14 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 X14'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 driver'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 rigorous measurements, listening tests, and attention to detail that the company lavishes on its price-no-object models.
Although Dynaudio calls the X14s "bookshelf" speakers, they will sound best placed on a pair of high-quality stands, and positioned at least a foot away from any walls. Like most other high-performance speakers, the X14s love high-current, high-quality amplification. And while the X14s go surprisingly low for their size, for truly full-range sound, try pairing them with a high-quality subwoofer.
Build a complete Dynaudio system
A pair of Excite X14s 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
- 5-1/2" Esotec+ MSP (Magnesium Silicate Polymer) cone woofer
- 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: 50-23,000 Hz (±3dB)
- sensitivity: 85 dB
- impedance: 8 ohms
- maximum amplifier power: 150 watts
- gold-plated binding post speaker terminals
- removable magnetic grille
- 6-3/4"W x 11-1/16"H x 10-3/8"D
- weight: 14 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
Dynaudio Excite X14 Reviews
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Features and Specs
|Tweeter Size (inches)||1.1|
|Midrange Size (inches)||N/A|
|Woofer Size (inches)||5.5|
|Woofer Composition||Magnesium Silicate Polymer|
|Frequency Response||50-23k Hz|
|Mounting Bracket Included||No|
|Recommended Stand Height (inches)||24-28|
|Parts Warranty||5Yr (8Yr registered)|
|Labor Warranty||5Yr (8Yr registered)|
Two-Way Bookshelf Loudspeaker: Dynaudio's Excite X14 bookshelf speaker features a 1.1" precision-coated silk soft-dome tweeter and one 5.5" 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.
- Damping Chamber: 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.
- Aluminum Voice Coils: 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.
- 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 1st 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 1st order filter (6 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 X14 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 X14 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 X14 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 X14 bookshelf loudspeakers are designed to be placed on a speaker stand, shelf, table, or other piece of furniture with a solid flat-surface. The X14 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 X14 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?
After reading reviews and chatting with Jenny, I decided to give these a try. [ Jerome Jul 14, 2018 ]