Dynaudio XEO 6 Floor standing speakers

Suitable hifi means loads of reams and separates of cables? Not so according to Dynaudio, which introduces an abundance of updates to its active Xeo range to push them farther into audiophile territory that is steadfast. Many audiophiles think that active loudspeakers offer benefits that are obvious over passive designs, evidenced by the likes of ATC and Linn as two high-end brands offering models that are active with equally high-end price tags. Why? Because as well as freeing up some hi-fi stand space, placing a tailor-made amplifier inside the cabinet of a loudspeaker takes the trial and error of amp and speaker fitting from the equation, meaning the sound you get is closer to exactly what the producer had in mind.

Along with the upgraded remote control, there is a straightforward control panel on the top surface of every loudspeaker, for changing input and adjusting volume.

According to the previous range, every Xeo loudspeaker could be individually assigned to left/right/mono duties via rear panel switches, to identify them within two-channel larger and surround sound setups. To additional support placement, there are also room position EQ settings, thanks to more back panel switches for adjusting bass answer for close wall, corner or positioning that is neutral.

While the Xeo 6 uses the same driver complement as the 5 model it replaces - comprised of two 5in long-throw MSP (magnesium silicate polymer) mid/bass speaker woofers and a 27mm soft dome tweeter - inside the cabinets there are updates aplenty. The first Texas Instruments amp modules have been replaced with newer forms and the Xeo 6 now gets three 50W digital amplifier modules as opposed to the two in the 5, which makes it a fully tri-amped design and upping its entire power output to 150W per loudspeaker.

Too as USB sockets and offering an Ethernet port that hints at future functionality plus a coaxial S/PDIF input alongside its optical, this new hub can also be more accommodating for higher-res content. While the last hub was restricted to 24-bit/48kHz, this new version welcomes signals up aired into the loudspeakers., its digital inputs, which are then downsampled to

The Xeo Hub comes with a unique wall-wart PSU and you can also power it via USB while playing with music from a notebook for instance, making it a highly discreet and mobile music provider. Because of its analogue RCAs you may also stream a line level signal from a turntable over wifi.

These new Xeos additionally take advantage of recent revisions to the passive Excite range of Dynaudio, including magnetically attached full-length grilles that do away with old-fashioned recessed lugs in the front baffle, making for a glossier finish. They also get the Excite range's excellently engineered form alloy outrigger feet, which aid equilibrium by broadening the footprint and offer floor coupling via rubber feet, which house concealed spikes that may be wound into actions from above of the loudspeaker.

With such plenty of settings, you may expect that getting the Xeos moving some atmosphere will require a reasonable amount of chin scratching and software configuring, but the reality is it isn't any more taxing than hooking up a pair of passive loudspeakers to your typical amp. Only connect each loudspeaker to the mains, place their rear panel switches to your preferences and switch on them. Once powered up, its signal is locked by the hub onto the speakers, so all that's left to do is plug the hub into your chosen source and, as they say, Bob's your mom's brother.

Sound quality

Dynaudio appears to have engineered these speakers not to let them stop from obtaining the most out of the music. Kicking off the listening experience with the Xeos switched to the neutral EQ setting, using their rear panels 55cm from the boundary wall of my room and fire down my listening room with just a couple of degrees of toe in, I'm surprised by precisely just how much they've. A 16-bit/44kHz FLAC rip of The Stone Roses' Breaking Into Heaven sees them place an encompassing soundstage, that's solidly woven together forth. John Squire's multi-layered lead guitar work is thickly rendered with the riffs of his Gibson sounding grand and filled with body.

Thankfully the Dyns take everything in their stride with a cool head, and handle the mix admirably. Cymbals are articulated with a clear receptiveness that allows their shimmering tones to keep soothing -string onslaughts coming at you from all angles, or pushed by Mani's energetic bass lines, which also gets lots of airspace.

Feeding the Hub with a 24/96 FLAC rip of Neil the Slouch reveals of Cowley Trio's that the cut of Xeo the is of 's the polar opposite of the track title's sentiment. Each instrument sounds exceptionally animated as the speakers strut their funky stuff and there is a real awareness of the three musicians feeding off each other, being totally in tune with one another and taking the listener with them. What this highlights is how well the Xeos time with notes' leading edges that are quickly rendered, specially across the frequency band. You get the feeling that the drive units of every loudspeaker are working together in a seamless and cohesive way, and this actually helps you to get instruments sound whole and completely formed. Looking back on their forerunners through my notes, I'd say this newer version has greater grasp over the bass and midrange, particularly on the music. Whether this is because of their extra amplification or developments to their DSP I cannot say, but what I do know is that instrument separation throughout the frequency band generally seems to have improved within the last model, and with a smoother transition to the tweeter's cross over point.

Bass despite the smaller cabinet size, there appears to be more of it, and additionally seems to be delivered with more management compared to last Xeo incarnation could muster. With a 16/44 ALAC rip of Ron Sexsmith's Late Bloomer, the Xeos ensure bass notes have enough . detail presence to underpin the music with plenty of impact and With this track in addition you get the feeling that Dynaudio has paid close attention to the way in which the bass is projected at the listener, to prevent the lower frequencies from ambling around at the rear of the soundstage. Instead the speakers ensure the bass can envelop the soundstage, reaching the listener in a focussed manner without sounding overly forwards.

Comparing the Xeos with a few of the top passive floorstanders at this cost, including those from Dynaudio's own stable, reveals that while they can not ultimately reach the same amounts of absolute grunt, the bass they gather is presented with a sense of authority.

Experimenting with the EQ settings reveals how this feature can be brought into play for real world listening conditions. The wall setting has consideration at distances less than 12cm, by helping cull unnatural reverberation creeping into the lower levels, giving a similar perceptible effect to Dynaudio's bass interface bungs. The corner placing rolls off too early for my room, even though it may prove useful for people with small listening rooms or where positioning is compromised by nearby furniture.

Finally, inside the graduated volume levels for greater amounts of fine tuning, I'd still welcome more minor steps despite the improved interface and subtle LED volume level display on each loudspeaker, to help get it right for every scenario.


Using a wealth of new real-world features, including inputs and better user controls for music up to 96kHz along with improved amplification, Dynaudio has certainly done its homework make these loudspeakers even more of a serious audiophile proposal and to shake off the lifestyle tag. Their more powerful bass response aligned to pinpoint a soundstage that is more powerful plus sharp time join to bring whatever music is thrown at them. Thankfully Dynaudio smooth and well managed sound also comes as section of the package, making them an ideal proposition for music lovers who want serious hifi sounds from minimal elements.

Dynaudio XEO 6 Floor standing speakers photo