This review page is supported in part by the sponsors whose ad banners are displayed below

The Twenty-Five drivers showcase proven ingredients. The 28mm tweeter runs ultra-thin coated cloth, the mid/woofer a magnesium silicate polymer. The tweeter voice coil is cooled and damped with ferro fluid. Like the mid/woofer’s, the voice coil is turned with aluminium wire to reduce weight over copper and improve dynamics and thermal stability (aluminium stores far less heat than copper).

While most of Dynaudio’s speaker models use aluminium voice coil formers, this mid/woofer’s is Kapton. It gives a further reduction of mass—coil and former add to just 10g—and as a synthetic Kapton lacks aluminum’s paramagnetism which can cause minor eddy currents to influence the motion of the coil in the gap.

As is common for all speakers from Skanderborg, the motor magnets are situated within the voice coils to increase magnetic field strength and reduce stray fields.

Both drivers use vented pole pieces and the Esotar² dome a special CNC-machined aluminium chassis whose geometry was optimized for best acoustics. The photos above show an inner dispersion cone which directs the rear energy into a round end chamber lined with felt (the latter was removed for photography). There’s also something like a "sound pressure release valve" to further minimize compression.

Sonics Part I: Happy be ye with the smaller to medium audition rooms. There compact speakers become a real alternative whose one fundamental liability—lack of bass extension and output—turns asset because they won’t overload the space. I listen mostly in a 30m² brownstone room. When I moved out my 50kg+ Ascendo System F monsters and leashed up the Dynaudios in their stead, I duly mumbled "yeah, well, 1.5 octaves are missing – a whole world has disappeared!"

Granted, after an hour of proper (alone) listening had passed, the memory of—and contrast with—the bigger speaker (mostly) faded. It’s amazing how such imposed downsizing works even with creatures of engrained habit like hifi fanatics. I could barely remember that the retired Schwabians cost triple the rent. Needless to add, this didn’t say much about the Dynaudios in particular but compact monitor speakers in general. To avoid equivocating, let’s cut to the chase. First off, let’s be certain that none of the above implies that the Special Twenty-Five is compromised down low in matters of size, concept or price.

Quite the opposite. In my opinion this box extends surprisingly deep. To notice only requires appropriate music and levels since the 25 refuses to add even an iota extra in the upper bass to confuse the issue. There’s neither pretence nor restraint and certainly no padded midriff.

What characterizes the lower registers—this tends to be a Dynaudio thematic—is structure, high differentiation and yes, resolution. I first noticed this with certain very low percussive piano chords on a Nik Bärtsch number that suddenly popped into the room as though naked. Curious I rushed to my Thiel SCS4 to compare, mentally preparing for a let-down by intoning that the American’s sticker was half. The Danish box rendered the same chords with more dimensional plasticity, steeper impulse response, higher suddenness and greater differentiation both over the temporal decay of tones and their harmonic envelope. This observation would subsequently repeat itself. Defined, contoured and pitch accurate describes the topic. But there was more. The Special 25 filled in colors from a broader palette than competing boxes to arrive at more nuance and half tones. Perhaps a sound would veer off in a slightly different direction when following another and such nuances were clearly captured and transmitted rather than mildly suggested.