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This review first appeared in the June 2012 issue of hi-end hifi magazine of Germany. You can also read this review of the Dynaudio Xeo 5 in its original German version. We publish its English translation in a mutual syndication arrangement with the publishers. As is customary for our own reviews, the writer's signature at review's end shows an e-mail address should you have questions or wish to send feedback. All images contained in this review are the property of fairaudio or Dynaudio - Ed.

Reviewer: Tobias Zoporowski
Source: Analogue - Transrotor Insigne with Rega RB 300 and Goldring 1042 GX, phono stage Lehmann Audio Black Cube Statement, modified Sansui T-80 tuner; digital - Lua Appassionato and Yamaha CD-S 1000 CD player, iPod-Station modified Advance Acoustic MiP-Station, Musical Fidelity vDAC, Naim DAC
Amplification: Symphonic Line RG 9 MK IV, Yamaha A-S 1000
Loudspeaker: Magnat Quantum 905, Nubert nuVero 14, Klipsch RF-82 II
Cables: in-akustik loom or Eagle Cable and WireWorld
Review component retail: €2.900/pr

My first draft of this review on Dynaudio’s wireless box Xeo 5 caused much consternation. So I finally trashed it completely. Why? Colleague Ralph Werner amiably recommended I not hitch a ride on the convenient cliché of ‘traditional hifi consists of component towers and wire tangles’ which by extension would put the Danish high-end wireless concept on an exotic throne not far removed from a wholesale revolution. This kicked off an intense but ‘fair’ telephone debate since I was of a different opinion. I happily agreed with Ralph that the notion of feeding a loudspeaker wirelessly from a source component was far from revolutionary. It’s been done in the PC sector for quite a while. And not just there. Take JBL’s compact classic Control One. Its wireless version receives signal via 2.4GHz like any domestic cordless phone.

But – Dynaudio is the first maker to propose such a solution for a clientele that's enamoured with the freedom to mix ‘n’ match components as it fancies and then to tie everything together with costly wiring of choice. These are rituals most won’t be keen to give up. It’s become engrained habit. You know what I mean. Dynaudio’s advertising goes as far as to propose that potential buyers visualize the conventional gear they’re about to replace as parked in an ‘electronic harbour’. That’s humorous but relevant. If you buy into Dynaudio’s Xeo concept fully, you will henceforth live this hobby differently.

Based on the existing Excite range, the Xeo 5 tower and Xeo 3 monitor have morphed into active boxes with integral wireless receivers. It’s thus not about a complete denial of cables. You still need power cords to drive the internal amps. Those are two class D modules per side which drive tweeter and midwoofer/s directly. Sourced from Texas Instruments and based on TacT/Lyndorf designs, they make 50 watts each. The crossover filter thus isn’t passive but DSP-based. Both Xeo models are two-way bass reflex designs. The 14cm mid/woofers of the floorstander simply run parallel. A small switch ‘round back is labeled ‘left’, ‘right’ and ‘mono’. Odd only at first, it determines which signal portion is steered to which speaker. For stereo it’s self-explanatory. ‘Mono’ becomes useful for multi-room installations where small rooms or transitional spaces like entries and corridors may not require more than one speaker

The transmitter is also available separately and functions as a multi source. This matte-black palm-sized affair is HQ for both analog and digital sources. Connect your PC, portable media player, television, CD deck or record player via 3.5mm mini plug, RCA, USB or Toslink – anything that makes music is game. Acceptable data density is 24bit/48kHz which gets forwarded to the speakers in CD quality, i.e. as 16-bit signal. The carrier frequency is 2.4GHz. This transmission medium caused zero interference from cellphones or other sources like monitors. There were no dropouts or unwanted noises. This was a positive surprise since our household has long since relied on a pair of JBL Control One Wireless for background coverage. Their transmitter lives in the living room. The speakers are mounted to the kitchen wall 5 meters and one wall removed. Even the most mundane of influences—a handy looking for signal or even physical walking through the ‘connection corridor’—cause noticeable crackles and gaps. However the Skanderborg developers have managed to avoid such misery, with Dynaudio’s implementation reception conniptions are a thing of the past.