Last year I tried my first set of Dynaudio speakers, the Xeo 2. At the time I thought to myself that it would be a long time before I needed a new pair, and in my review I even wrote that I was “100% sorted for speakers… and completely happy with my setup”. Look, I fully believed that at the time, but due to a recent move into a new home with an extra room, I was keen to expand my system to become multi-room. After being so impressed by the Danish brand’s bookshelf speakers, I was keen to explore more of their range. Enter, the Dynaudio Focus XD.
The Focus XD Range
Like the Xeo 2, much of my attraction to the Focus XD speakers is that they’re a complete system in and of themselves – no external amp needed. This not only makes the overall setup clean by reducing how many different components are required, but it also keeps the sound quality super high. Each driver (basically the thing that turns your music from electrical signals into sound waves), has its own amplifier. They’re perfectly matched to each other, which means they’re able to deliver exceptional quality sound.
One of the best things about Dynaudio speakers is the fact that you can upgrade them without having to actually buy a new set. The brand’s engineers continually work to improve the software within the speakers and issue intermittent firmware updates for them. When you know your speakers will keep improving over time, rather than become outdated, it tends to make the decision to purchase a product of this calibre a lot easier.
The Focus XD range comprises of three different speakers; the 20 XD, 30 XD, and 60 XD. I opted to go with base model of 20 XD. The latter two are floor standing, and I preferred the versatility of the former, which can be used with stands or without.
Focus 20 XD
The speakers sport a similar look to the Xeo 2 except they’re quite a bit larger. They’re not so big to the point that finding a spot to place them is impossible, but enough to show you how powerful they are. The speakers are also available in a broader range of colours, including Grey Oak, Walnut, and Rosewood, in addition to the black and white that Xeo speakers come in.
My Focus 20 XD speakers sit atop a pair of Dynaudio Stand 6 stands. Sleek and sturdy, they offer a nice complement to the speakers. Like all products that the brand makes, there is much consideration behind the design of these stands. They’re crafted from highly-rigid, low-mass aluminium with damping sheets in the plates to help reduce resonance. Furthermore, they feature an internal cable management system that lets you hide away the power cable going into the speakers to retain an overall clean look.
Inputs & Dynaudio Connect
There are a number of different ways you can listen to audio on the 20 XD speakers, such as with a digital source plugged into the back of the ‘master’ (main) speaker which then connects to the ‘slave’ (second speaker), with an analog source connected to each speaker, as well as wirelessly. With digital, signals are kept that way right up to when they reach the driver. This means that there’s less processing and interference between the source and the driver, resulting in an overall higher-quality sound.
You can go wireless (except for the power cables) via Bluetooth from your phone or computer to the speakers. What’s really cool though is with a Dynaudio Connect box you can send audio from your TV or other cabled source into the Connect, then wirelessly transmit to the speakers. It also has a bunch of other physical inputs too, like RCA, Aux, and USB. The box is an essential for me because it allows me to create a multi-room setup in combination with my Xeo 2 speakers. Thanks also to Dynaudio Control app, I can control all the speakers through my phone, and choose which source each plays. Volume for each set of speakers can be adjusted individually through the app too.
The Connect box has also had a few nice surprises for me since setting it up. There was one instance when I was coming home one evening, listening to music on my phone through headphones. As I was unlocking the front door, the music suddenly stopped playing and I wasn’t sure why. By the time I’d opened the door, the song I was just listening to was blasting through the Dynaudio speakers in my apartment, thanks to the Connect detecting my phone nearby.
The convenience of wireless connection often comes at a cost, and that cost is generally a lower sound quality. Such has been the case traditionally, but not so with the Dynaudio Connect and Focus 20 XD speakers. High-res audio is still delivered whether it’s through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
To say I’m impressed with the sound delivered by the Dynaudio Focus 20 XD speakers would be an understatement. While my Xeo 2s offer super crisp and clean sound, these new speakers are on a different level. Not only are they incredibly clear, they deliver a generous helping of bass, which results in a fuller sound.
The 300w 20 XDs get loud. I’ve turned them up to the point where the whole room was shaking like I was suddenly standing in the middle of a nightclub instead of my living room. Although way too loud, the overall sound remained so good I didn’t want to turn them down.
Sound can be adjusted too, with the back of the speakers featuring a treble switch, as well as a dial so you can tell them where in a room they’re placed i.e. in a corner or by a wall. Their positioning affects the sound produced, so by moving the dial the speakers know to adjust their frequencies.
The Wrap-Up – Dynaudio Focus 20 XD Review
Okay, I know I’ve said it before, but this time I really am 100% completely happy with my sound setup. The Focus 20 XDs are an exceptional set of speakers that deliver dynamic, full sound in a compact and easy to use system. Dynaudio has a penchant for beautiful design, both in terms of looks and functionality, and it’s always exciting to be able to experience it. The Focus 20 XD speakers are well worth checking out if you really want to step up your setup too.
In partnership with Dynaudio.
Images taken with Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II.