Scandi sound; with curves. As much as I tried to hit my mental 'delete' button, I couldn't; for earlier Børresen encounters. Their earmarkings had been wickedly twitchy dynamics and crisply enunciated transients. In my room now and on both counts, the X3 felt more relaxed and curvaceous than angular and propulsive. This probably wasn't just from different membranes but also or primarily their motors. Børresen are most vocal about their 'ironless' motor tech. My hyphens remind us that neodymium magnets contain 29-32% neodymium and 64-68% iron plus small amounts of boron, aluminium, niobium and dysprosium. Versus ferrite magnets, neo magnets are certainly less iron but not ironless. Just so, our Danish team have strategically broken down how classic dynamic drivers work to revisit each aspect with a sharp eye on what's doable in the 21st century when cost isn't the key target. When cost is for the entry-level X range, some exotic parts fall to the allowable bill of materials' red pen. It means more conventional motors and sensitivities, more normal dynamic reflexes without twin-clutch dual-turbo rev momentum. That's no diss on the X3; whatsoever. It simply creates some distance to its more aspirated dearer siblings. At the same time it shouts about being really a lot of speaker when the B-01 Dawid reviewed in these pages three years ago wanted €25'500/pr; for a compact two-driver two-way monitor on a stand. The X3 is a far beefier proposition with lower bass and less critical demands on tonal contributions from its preceding electronics.
With Pass Labs XA30.8 class A amp.
If you admired or respected the original Børresen range more than you loved it; if you applauded its speed but wished for a bit more meatiness; a plusher suspension to gladly give up some road feel and overall twitchy sportiness… then the X3 shifts that balance very much in your favour. When set up the AGD way with plenty of breathing room and wall clearance, it still does all the popular Børresen soundstaging and walk-into imaging magic. It goes a bit softer on focus hence suchness; a bit gentler on push and startle factor; warmer in the lower midrange; rather heavier in the bass; and weightier all over. Compared to a premium AMT, beryllium or ribbon tweeter, treble textures and illumination follow Audeze/Final planarmagnetic headfi precedents and how those differ from a Raal-Requisite true ribbon. The X3's planar tweeter promotes smoothness and sweetness over fire, brilliance and extension. In those terms the tonal balance is a bit more Nordic Noir than never-setting white sun and cold winds. Experienced in tandem with the lower ranges, our perception of micro resolution eases up while more tonal bloom steps into the breach. With motor inductance higher than the exotic N52+silver stablemates, there's less self damping in the bass. That's back at more normal behaviour for a rear-ported speaker of this bandwidth. Just don't mistake woofer Ø for lack of power. There's three per channel teaming up. Whilst they don't reach subwoofer depths, they go plenty low for most all scenarios. I used our sub for its directivity benefits and only marginally for more extension.
Overall—and with apologies to Michael should he tire of getting compared to his prior work for now competing brands—I feel rather justified in revisiting my earlier Scansonic/Raidho suggestion. That now calls the X3 the current AGD portfolio's 'Scansonic' option. The sonic shift against its dearer stuff tracks. So do substantial financial savings, an unbroken design lineage with fetching cosmetic continuity and high finish standards. That said, the X3 is decidedly not all about saving scratch; not all about sneaking into the house of AGD from the dim back lot's entrance. Depending on listener priorities, one could actually prefer this less explicit gentler rounder fleshier sound. Now shopping Børresen's X3 is primarily about one's ears, not any 'entry' status. This catalogue has always been about a big sound whose 'size' focused on cavernous nearly holographic imaging. The X3 retains that interpretation of size minus some holographic perspicacity then adds 'big' to physicality and substance. It's a tall speaker with a deep cab. Its material presence translates directly to sonic stature. On that score it sounds like it looks. Just the racier lean-back, rear-slimming and general wind-slip aspects don't translate the same. But they do maintain brand identity. Before first sounds emerge, anyone with just a cursory overview of our industry already knows what s/he is listening to: Børresen.
The big news is that this commanding and impeccably styled speaker doesn't cost more for flying their stylized ø logo. Once you see the X3 up close and personal, it's really hard not to be impressed!