Our Sound+Image Awards have, in previous years, included active loudspeakers under general loudspeakers. That’s hardly fair, given that ‘active’ loudspeakers have their own internal amplification, so you’re saving the cost of buying an amplifier, making them more reasonably priced than they might at first appear.
These Dynaudios have an attractive price anyway, at $14,999 — therein covering all your amp and speaker needs. But the Focus 600 XD goes beyond even the usual active amplification. Inside each 600 XD is a digital-to-analogue converter, an electronic crossover, and four 150W power amplifiers to drive the four drivers (two bass drivers, one midrange and a tweeter).
Plus there’s the control circuitry that allows you to use the infra-red remote control provided with the 600 XDs to turn the speakers on or off, mute their output, switch inputs between analogue and digital, select input source (Line In, Optical In, Coax In or USB), select a Hub source (A, B or C), turn the speakers’ front-baffle LED displays on or off… and, of course, adjust speaker volume.
There’s also a radio frequency transceiver to grab any music you send wirelessly from a Dynaudio ‘Hub’ or, if you connect, say the left-channel speaker via a wired digital connection, the transceiver inside that speaker can transmit the right-channel information wirelessly to the right-channel speaker, so you don’t have to connect any wires to that speaker (except, of course, for the all-essential 240V mains power cable).
So really, all you need add is your sources, whether directly to the connections on the speakers themselves, or perhaps more conveniently to Dynaudio’s ‘Hub’ which then sends the signals wirelessly to the speakers.
A lot of bonuses here, then, yet the speakers themselves remain thoroughly high-end. Dynaudio is one of the very few loudspeaker companies in the world that manufactures its own drivers, and is almost unique in using over-sized (in some cases up to 75mm in diameter) voice coils to provide the motive force for those drivers. The clarity of the sound issuing from the 600 XDs was jaw-droppingly good… and that’s across the entire frequency spectrum; there simply isn’t a weak link anywhere. The bass is almost bottomlessly deep and can deliver anything from the sledgehammer-like impact of an aggressive kick drum to the subtle caress of a viola with equal authority and with unparalleled accuracy.
The same held true of the midrange. Vocals in particular are delivered with a crispness and a ‘you are there’ liveness that will have you shaking your head in wonderment. And the high frequencies? We’ve heard Dynaudio’s Evidence Platinums, which retail at more than $100,000, and which use Dynaudio’s most expensive tweeter, the Esotar², reckoned by many to be the world’s best. The tweeter in the 600 XD is not an Esotar², but one of Dynaudio’s lower-specced Esotec+s, but with the triple advantages of electronic crossover, a private driving amplifier and maybe some subtle DSP correction, the Esotec+ performs at the level of an Esotar², a beautiful, sweetly delicate sound and a frequency response that extends far beyond the range of human hearing. It’s a different way to do hi-fi — perhaps even the future of hi-fi. Simply magnificent.
Our original full review of the Dynaudio Focus 600XDs, by Greg Borrowman, appeared in Audio Esoterica #4-2015 - you can download that full review as a PDF here.
Price: $14,999 per pair
Warranty: Three yearsDigital Input: 16/24 bits
Sample Rates: 44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192kHz
Analog Input Voltage:1/2/4Vrms (+6/0/-6dB)
Wireless Hub playback: 16-bit/48kHz
WIRELESS Direct playback: 24-bit/96kHz
Tweeter: 27mm soft-dome
Midrange: 140mm MSP cone with 38mm aluminium voice coil
Woofers: 2 × 180mm MSP cone with 54mm aluminium voice coil
Crossover: Active DSP-based, time-coherent phase-linear FIR filters, 270Hz and 3.1kHz with 24dB/octave slopes, vertical and horizontal dispersion optimised
Frequency Response: 20Hz-24kHz
Cabinet Volume: 51 litres (bass)/8 litres (midrange) (both closed)
Weight: 27.0kg (each)
Dimensions (HWD): 1095 × 213 × 337mm
Internal Amplifier Power: 4 × 150W
Standby Power Consumption: <0.5W
Finishes: Satin white/Satin black lacquer; Rosewood/Walnut real-wood veneers
Product page: www.busisoft.com.au