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Review: Definitive Technology Demand D7 Bookshelf Speaker – Technical Brilliance with Elegance

Review: The Definitive Technology Demand D7 bookshelf speakers merge technical brilliance with elegance, promising an immersive sonic experience for audiophiles.

Introduction:

In the realm of audio excellence, the Definitive Technology Demand D7 bookshelf speakers emerge as a compact powerhouse, blending striking design with sophisticated acoustic engineering. Priced at 599 euros, these speakers are part of the renowned Demand series from Definitive Technology, which has left an indelible mark since its founding in 1990. With a focus on delivering aural precision, the D7 speakers boast a distinctive appearance, featuring two drivers equipped with acoustically relevant “stems” that contribute to aesthetics and the overall sound quality. As we delve into the intricate details of their design, construction, and performance, it becomes evident that the Demand D7 speakers are a testament to Definitive Technology’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of audio technology.

Craftsmanship and Innovation Meet: Definitive Technology, based near San Diego, California, has consistently delivered audio solutions that marry craftsmanship with innovation. The Demand D7, manufactured in China, embodies the culmination of these efforts. Its compact form factor, coupled with acoustically sensible features like asymmetrical chassis configuration, positions it as an intriguing option for audiophiles seeking visual appeal and high-quality sound reproduction. Join us on a journey through the nuanced details of the Demand D7 bookshelf speakers, exploring the intricacies of their construction, the prowess of their drivers, and the immersive sonic experience they bring to the realm of audio enthusiasts.

Definitive Technology: A Sonic Legacy

Definitive Technology, founded in 1990 in Maryland, USA, and now based near San Diego, California, has firmly established itself as a trailblazer in the audio industry. A part of DEI Holdings, alongside iconic brands like B&W, Marantz, and Denon, Definitive Technology has consistently pushed the boundaries of audio innovation. Renowned for its commitment to delivering immersive audio experiences, the company offers a diverse range of speakers for HiFi home cinema and outdoor applications. The Demand series, including the impressive D7 bookshelf speakers, exemplifies Definitive Technology’s dedication to precision engineering and acoustic excellence. From the meticulous design of their housing to the intricate details of driver technology, Definitive Technology’s speakers are a testament to the brand’s pursuit of sonic perfection. Beyond bookshelf speakers, the company’s product portfolio extends to various audio solutions, catering to the diverse needs of music enthusiasts and home entertainment lovers.

Overall Specification

Total Pieces2
Included Accessories• (2) Acoustically transparent black magnetic grilles
Cabinet Warranty5 years
Drivers Warranty5 years
Original Purchaser OnlyYes
Carton 1

Bookshelf Speaker

Qty IncludedPair
OrientationVertical
Height9.75″ (24.77 cm)
Width5.5″ (13.97 cm)
Depth8.75″ (22.23 cm)
Driver Enclosure TypeBass-ported MDF cabinet with extruded natural bead-blasted aluminum front baffle
Driver Complement• (1) 4.5″ (11.43 cm) d (Round) Polypropylene BDSS Bass – Mid/Woofer
• (1) 1″ (2.54 cm) d (Round) Annealed Aluminum Dome and Laterally Offset – Tweeter
Total Frequency Response57 Hz → 24,000 Hz
Nominal Impedance4 ohms
Sensitivity (1 watt @ 1 meter)85 dB
Lower and Upper -3dB Limits67 Hz → 22,000 Hz
Audio Inputs
Speaker Inputs(1) Pair of Binding Posts – Gold-Plated
Mounting Type
Available OrientationsVertical
Mounting Type3/8 in – 16 Threaded Insert
Available OrientationsVertical
Mounting LocationBack of Speakers
Recommended Amplifier Power Per Channel20 watts → 125 watts
AV Receiver Crossover SettingsSmall (80 Hz)

Design and Build: Aesthetic Sophistication Meets Acoustic Excellence

The Definitive Technology Demand D7 bookshelf speakers are a testament to the fusion of aesthetic sophistication and acoustic engineering prowess. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, these speakers showcase a striking visual appeal while ensuring optimal sound reproduction. Standing at a compact 24.8 cm in height, 14 cm in width, and 22.25 cm in depth, the D7 exudes understated elegance, making it a versatile addition to any room.

The housing, constructed from MDF and available in either black or white glossy lacquer, exudes a premium feel. The front panel, wholly adorned with aluminum, adds to the speakers’ visual allure and serves a functional purpose by enhancing acoustic performance. The asymmetrical chassis configuration, though visually distinct, is more than an aesthetic choice—it intelligently mitigates edge diffraction, showcasing Definitive Technology’s commitment to acoustic precision.

Furthermore, the thoughtful placement of drivers, each equipped with acoustically relevant “stems,” contributes to the overall aesthetic appeal and plays a crucial role in maintaining a balanced sound stage. The company’s emphasis on meticulous craftsmanship extends to every facet of the speakers, evident in the choice of materials, the seamless integration of drivers, and the overall finesse in construction. The Demand D7 speakers, therefore, embody a harmonious marriage of design sophistication and acoustic excellence, making them a compelling choice for both discerning audiophiles and those with an eye for aesthetic refinement.

Driver Details: Engineering Sonic Precision

At the heart of the Definitive Technology Demand D7 bookshelf speakers lies a sophisticated array of drivers meticulously designed to deliver a nuanced and immersive audio experience. The speaker system’s commitment to acoustic excellence is exemplified by the intricate details and advanced technology incorporated into the one-inch aluminum dome tweeter and the 4.5-inch bass-midrange driver.

The high-frequency domain is entrusted to the one-inch aluminum dome tweeter, boasting a diaphragm crafted from hardened aluminum with a ceramic oxide surface. Positioned slightly lower in a carefully designed waveguide, this tweeter is not merely a component but a precision instrument. Including a “Wave Alignment Lens” above the tweeter serves a multifaceted role—enhancing acoustic diffusion, acting as a resonance control element, and providing indentation protection. The result is a treble reproduction that is not only fine, discreet, and light-footed but also remarkably sensitive and distortion-free, delivering a captivating listening experience.

The bass-midrange driver, measuring 4.5 inches, is no less impressive. Employing Definitive Technology’s proprietary “Balanced Double Surround System” (BDSS), this driver is designed for extended linear movement, contributing to lower distortion levels. The phase plug, resembling a lush mushroom, protrudes from the center to the outer bead, showcasing the level of detail in the driver’s construction. Internally, where many systems connect the dust protection cap, the polypropylene membrane connects to another bulging bead, enhancing the driver’s capability for a longer, more linear path.

The collaboration between these meticulously crafted drivers is evident in the balanced and detailed sonic output of the Demand D7 speakers. From the intricate high frequencies to the controlled and precise bass-midrange, these driver details underline Definitive Technology’s commitment to engineering speakers that transcend mere audio reproduction, offering an immersive and authentic musical journey for the listener.

Sound Performance: A Symphony of Precision and Immersion

The Definitive Technology Demand D7 bookshelf speakers transcend the realm of audio reproduction, offering a captivating symphony of sonic precision and immersive performance. These speakers showcase an impressive capability to faithfully reproduce a wide range of frequencies, providing a nuanced and engaging audio experience.

In the low-frequency spectrum, the D7 speakers display a commendable balance. Despite the inherent limitations of a compact form factor, the careful coordination between the bass-midrange driver and the reflex housing ensures that deep registers are rendered with sobriety and composure. Although not artificially boosted for a small speaker, the bass maintains a concrete presence, avoiding the common pitfall of a droning or overpowering sensation. The placement of the bass port on the back contributes to a well-controlled low-frequency response, making the Demand D7 an ideal companion for listeners who prioritize clarity over sheer volume.

The speakers shine through the midrange, delivering vocals and instruments with notable neutrality. The long, linear stroke of the bass-midrange driver ensures that the mid frequencies remain balanced and uncolored. Whether it’s the intimate nuances of vocal performance or the intricate details of instrumental arrangements, the D7 speakers maintain a commendable level of clarity, allowing the listener to delve into the intricacies of the music.

Ascending to the high-frequency domain, the one-inch aluminum dome tweeter comes into play with finesse. The tweeter’s sensitive and distortion-free reproduction of overtones and spatial information in the treble adds more detail to the sonic landscape. While the speakers excel in clarity, it’s noteworthy that they lean towards a more matter-of-fact tonality than a warm or full-bodied one, contributing to a balanced and controlled overall sound signature.

Beyond the technicalities, what sets the Demand D7 apart is its ability to craft an expansive and three-dimensional stage. Whether it’s classical compositions or modern pop music, the speakers exhibit an impeccable stage presentation, allowing the listener to discern the placement of instruments and the depth of the recording space with remarkable accuracy. The developers of Demand 7 have succeeded in creating a listening experience that goes beyond the auditory, providing a visual dimension to the music through its clear and natural stage representation.

In summary, the sound performance of the Definitive Technology Demand D7 bookshelf speakers is a testament to the brand’s commitment to sonic excellence. With a careful balance across the frequency spectrum, precise imaging, and a remarkable ability to convey the subtleties of musical compositions, the D7 speakers elevate the listening experience to a level that transcends the expectations associated with their size and price range. Whether used for classical compositions or contemporary genres, these speakers stand as a testament to the art and science of audio engineering.

Midrange and Treble: Balancing Act of Musical Finesse

The Definitive Technology Demand D7 bookshelf speakers meticulously navigate the midrange frequencies, showcasing a delicate balance that underscores the speakers’ commitment to sonic neutrality. The midrange reproduction is entrusted to the long-throw 4.5-inch bass-midrange driver, an engineering marvel that maintains a nuanced and balanced presentation. As the acoustic heart of the speaker, this driver effortlessly handles vocals and instrumental midrange frequencies, creating a sonic landscape that is both captivating and faithful to the original recording.

The Demand D7 takes a measured approach in the midrange, avoiding undue coloration or artificial enhancements. Listening to tracks like Bert Jansch’s “A Dream, A Dream, A Dream” from the “Rosemary Lane” album, the speakers reveal an impressive ability to balance formant areas and pitch-independent noise components. Jansch’s voice, known for its dynamic subtleties, resonates with a beautifully balanced tone free from the common pitfalls of harshness or muddiness. The midrange reproduction remains a stronghold for the Demand D7, showcasing clarity and balance that enriches the listening experience across various genres.

While some listeners might desire a slightly meatier low-midrange for a warmer sonic character, the Demand D7 stays committed to neutrality. The fundamental tones of instruments like violas, deep wood, and brass and the impactful thud behind specific snare drums maintain a delicate equilibrium between warmth and analytical precision. For those appreciating a transparent and detailed midrange, the Demand D7 delivers a commendable performance, allowing listeners to delve into the subtleties of instrumental and vocal expressions.

Ascending to the treble frequencies, the one-inch aluminum dome tweeter steps into the spotlight with finesse. The tweeter’s diaphragm, crafted from hardened aluminum with a ceramic oxide surface, produces treble tones that are fine, discreet, and light-footed. The meticulous engineering behind the tweeter ensures an accurate reproduction of overtones and spatial information, contributing to the overall clarity of the speaker system.

However, it’s essential to note that the front covering, while aesthetically pleasing, introduces a subtle compromise in high-frequency resolution. While sensitive and effortless, the treble slightly reduces resolution where the two drivers overlap during playback. This nuance, though relatively minor, is a factor to consider for those who prioritize pristine high-frequency detail.

Essentially, the midrange and treble performance of the Definitive Technology Demand D7 bookshelf speakers embodies a delicate balancing act. From the controlled and balanced midrange to the fragile and unobtrusive treble, these speakers present a sonic landscape that invites listeners to explore the intricacies of their favorite music with a level of detail and transparency that is engaging and faithful to the artist’s intent.

Dynamic and Detail Reproduction: Unveiling Musical Nuances

The Definitive Technology Demand D7 bookshelf speakers distinguish themselves through their remarkable soundstage and prowess in dynamic range and detail reproduction. These speakers unveil the intricate nuances of musical performances, bringing precision that enhances the overall listening experience.

In the high midrange, the Demand D7 exhibits impeccable fine dynamics, rendering short impulses—such as the crisp “t” and “s” sounds in vocal performances or the attack noises of instruments—with a smooth and unjagged quality. This attention to fine dynamics adds a layer of realism to the audio, capturing the transient details that can often get lost in translation. The speakers strike a balance, offering dynamic expressiveness without veering into an overly analytical or clinical presentation.

The midrange resolution is a standout feature, showcasing a transparent and detailed portrayal of instruments and vocals. Whether it’s the intricate plucking of guitar strings or the nuanced timbre of brass instruments, the Demand D7 maintains a level of clarity that allows listeners to discern subtleties easily. This quality is particularly evident in the meticulous reproduction of the attack noises of instruments, contributing to a lifelike representation of the musical performance.

While the Demand D7 is not positioned as a technical analysis instrument, its ability to reproduce details is commendable, contributing to a musicality that invites engagement. The speakers deliver short impulses in the high midrange with finesse, creating a listening experience that is both emotionally engaging and technically proficient.

The incorporation of sound-hard materials in front of the loudspeaker drivers is a crucial contributor to the success of dynamic and detail reproduction in Demand D7. This design choice effectively controls dispersion without introducing noticeable peaks or dips in the frequency response. The result is a consistent and well-defined sonic presentation across various listening angles. The “bad angle” concept is virtually eliminated in the area in front of the speakers, allowing users to adjust the listening experience by simply altering the angle of their ears.

In conclusion, the dynamic and detailed reproduction capabilities of the Definitive Technology Demand D7 bookshelf speakers add a layer of sophistication to the overall sonic performance. From the high midrange finesse to the meticulous portrayal of instrument details, these speakers offer a musicality that transcends their size and price range. Whether listeners seek to explore the nuances of classical compositions or the intricacies of modern pop, the Demand D7 stands ready to deliver a sonic journey marked by clarity, precision, and an immersive depth of detail.

Connectivity and Setting Up for Room Surround: Seamless Integration

The Definitive Technology Demand D7 bookshelf speakers excel in acoustic finesse and offer a user-friendly approach to connectivity and room setup, making them versatile components for immersive surround sound experiences.

Connectivity is streamlined and straightforward, with a simple terminal on the back of each speaker featuring a single-wiring connection. While bi-amping bypassing the built-in switch is not an option, the single-wiring setup simplifies the connection process, ensuring that users can easily integrate the speakers into their audio systems. This minimalist approach aligns with the overall design philosophy of the Demand D7, emphasizing simplicity without compromising performance.

For those seeking a room surround setup, the D7 speakers provide flexibility in placement. While their designation as “bookshelf” speakers might suggest a literal interpretation, the back-mounted bass port necessitates some space behind the speakers. This design consideration ensures optimal bass performance and contributes to a well-balanced soundstage. Users can place the speakers on dedicated stands, allowing for precise positioning to achieve an optimal listening experience.

Moreover, the speakers offer an option for wall mounting. Small yet significant details, such as the 3/8″ internal threads under the bass reflex openings, provide users with the flexibility to explore different setup configurations. This adaptability is particularly advantageous when floor space is limited, or users prefer a wall-mounted speaker arrangement for aesthetic reasons.

The recommended setup ensures a little space on the back wall and sufficient air on the sides or above the speakers. This placement optimizes the bass response and offers an immersive surround sound experience. While the Demand D7 may not be explicitly designed as dedicated surround speakers, their versatility allows users to integrate them seamlessly into a broader audio system, whether for a stereo setup or as part of a surround sound configuration.

In essence, the connectivity options and setup flexibility of the Definitive Technology Demand D7 bookshelf speakers reflect a commitment to user convenience without compromising the quality of the audio experience. Whether placed on stands, mounted on walls, or integrated into a surround sound system, the D7 speakers ensure users can effortlessly tailor their audio setup to suit their preferences and room dynamics.

Usability and Functionality: Intuitive Integration for Audiophile Pleasure

The Definitive Technology Demand D7 bookshelf speakers prioritize usability and functionality, offering an intuitive integration process that caters to both seasoned audiophiles and those new to high-fidelity audio systems. The D7 speakers aim to enhance the overall user experience from compact size considerations to thoughtfully designed features.

Compact Form, Substantial Impact: The compact dimensions of the Demand D7, standing at 24.8 cm high, 14 cm wide, and 22.25 cm deep, make them versatile and easy to incorporate into various room setups. Despite their diminutive size, these speakers pack a substantial sonic punch, ensuring users do not compromise audio quality in exchange for a space-saving design.

Seamless Connectivity: The simplicity of connectivity is a standout feature. With a single-wiring connection and a straightforward terminal on the back of each speaker, the D7 speakers eliminate unnecessary complexities. This minimalist approach eases the setup process and ensures a clean and uncluttered aesthetic. While bi-amping is unavailable, the single-wiring setup aligns with the speakers’ focus on practicality without sacrificing audio performance.

Versatile Placement Options: Whether users opt for traditional bookshelf placement, dedicated stands, or wall mounting, the Demand D7 accommodates various setups. Including 3/8″ internal threads under the bass reflex openings allows for wall mounting, providing users with flexibility in configuring their audio environment. This adaptability is a nod to the diverse preferences and spatial constraints that users may encounter.

Optimized Bass Performance: The back-mounted bass port and the recommended placement, ensuring some space to the back wall, contribute to an optimized bass response. This design consideration prevents a “boomy” or overwhelming low-frequency reproduction while allowing users to enjoy a well-balanced soundstage.

Integration into Surround Systems: While not explicitly designed as surround speakers, the Demand D7’s usability extends to integration into larger audio systems. The speakers’ flexibility in placement and adaptability to different setups make them suitable for inclusion in surround sound configurations, enhancing the immersive audio experience for users who seek a more cinematic dimension to their entertainment.

In summary, the usability and functionality of the Definitive Technology Demand D7 bookshelf speakers underscore a commitment to user-friendly design without compromising on sonic excellence. The speakers integrate into diverse setups, ensuring users can tailor their audio environment to suit their preferences. Whether used as standalone bookshelf speakers or as part of a more extensive surround sound system, the D7 speakers exemplify a harmonious blend of practicality and uncompromising audio performance for an enjoyable and immersive listening experience.

Technical Excellence and Unique Features: Elevating Audio Craftsmanship

The Definitive Technology Demand D7 bookshelf speakers epitomize technical excellence, combining advanced engineering with unique features that set them apart in high-fidelity audio.

Advanced Driver Technology: The meticulously engineered driver technology lies at the core of the D7’s sonic prowess. The one-inch aluminum dome tweeter, with a diaphragm made of hardened aluminum featuring a ceramic oxide surface, delivers treble frequencies with finesse and accuracy. The 4.5-inch bass-midrange driver, utilizing Definitive Technology’s Balanced Double Surround System (BDSS), ensures extended linear movement, minimizing distortion and contributing to a detailed midrange and controlled bass.

Wave Alignment Lens for Acoustic Precision: Including a “Wave Alignment Lens” above the tweeter is a distinctive feature designed for acoustic diffusion, resonance control, and indentation protection. This lens not only enhances the dispersion of high frequencies but also acts as a protective element, ensuring the longevity of the delicate tweeter. Such attention to detail exemplifies the commitment to technical precision.

Asymmetrical Chassis Configuration: The asymmetrical chassis configuration, although visually distinct, serves an acoustically sensible purpose. This design choice contributes to a more accurate and distortion-free sound reproduction by preventing specific frequencies from being amplified due to edge diffraction. This meticulous consideration of speaker geometry showcases a commitment to achieving sonic perfection.

Balanced and Controlled Bass Response: The placement of the bass port on the back, while deviating from the literal interpretation of “bookshelf speakers,” ensures a well-controlled bass response. This design feature, coupled with the recommended placement for optimal performance, prevents a boomy or overpowering low-frequency reproduction, showcasing a balance between compact size and substantial bass presence.

Sound-Hard Materials for Dispersion Control: Sound-hard materials in front of the loudspeaker drivers serve as a unique and effective method for controlling dispersion. This design choice allows for a consistent frequency response across various listening angles, ensuring users enjoy a well-defined sonic presentation without noticeable peaks or dips. This feature is particularly beneficial for users who prioritize a consistent listening experience regardless of their position about the speakers.

Versatile Placement Options: The speakers’ adaptability to various placement options—bookshelf, stands, or wall mounting—adds a layer of versatility. Including 3/8″ internal threads under the bass reflex openings facilitates wall mounting, offering users flexibility in configuring their audio environment according to their preferences and spatial constraints.

The technical excellence and unique features of the Definitive Technology Demand D7 bookshelf speakers showcase a meticulous approach to audio craftsmanship. From driver technology and acoustic design to innovative features like the Wave Alignment Lens and asymmetrical chassis configuration, these speakers exemplify a commitment to pushing the boundaries of what compact speakers can achieve. The result is a harmonious blend of technical precision, unique engineering, and versatility, culminating in a listening experience that transcends expectations in high-fidelity audio.

Conclusion: A Sonic Masterpiece Unveiled

In the realm of bookshelf speakers, the Definitive Technology Demand D7 emerges as a sonic masterpiece that seamlessly blends aesthetic elegance with unparalleled technical excellence. From the meticulously engineered drivers and innovative features to the versatile placement options, every aspect of the D7 reflects a commitment to delivering an uncompromising audio experience. The speakers’ ability to balance compact design with substantial bass response and adaptability for diverse setups positions them as a versatile choice for audiophiles seeking both sophistication and sonic precision.

The Demand D7 not only upholds Definitive Technology’s legacy of audio innovation but also sets a new standard for what can be achieved in compact speakers. Whether delving into the intricate details of classical compositions or immersing oneself in the dynamic energy of modern genres, the D7 speakers elevate the listening experience to an art form. In conclusion, these bookshelf speakers stand as a testament to the harmonious convergence of technical prowess and artistic finesse, redefining the expectations for compact speakers in the pursuit of sonic excellence.

Reasons to Consider the Definitive Technology Demand D7:

  1. Sonic Excellence: The Demand D7 stands out for its exceptional sound quality, offering a balanced and nuanced audio experience across various genres. These speakers deliver an immersive and engaging sonic performance from the controlled bass response to the detailed midrange and treble.
  2. Innovative Engineering: The advanced driver technology, unique features such as the Wave Alignment Lens, and the asymmetrical chassis configuration demonstrate a commitment to innovation. These technical elements contribute to a speaker system beyond conventional audio reproduction, providing a glimpse into the future of compact speaker design.
  3. Versatility in Placement: Whether used on bookshelves, stands, or wall-mounted, the D7 speakers offer versatile placement options, catering to different room setups and user preferences. Including threads for wall mounting enhances adaptability, allowing users to customize their audio environment.
  4. Elegant Design: With a sleek design featuring aluminum accents and a choice of black or white glossy lacquer finishes, the Demand D7 adds a touch of sophistication to any room. The front panel, entirely covered with aluminum, further enhances the speakers’ aesthetic appeal.
  5. Impeccable Stage Presentation: The D7’s ability to create a clear and natural stage presentation adds a visual dimension to the listening experience. Classical music and acoustic genres benefit from the speakers’ remarkable stage representation, providing an immersive feel to the sound.

Considerations:

  1. Limited Bass for Deep Frequencies: Due to the compact size of the D7, it may not cater to those seeking intense bass. While the bass response is well-controlled and balanced, those who prioritize thunderous low frequencies might find the speakers lacking in this aspect.
  2. Slight Compromise in High-Frequency Resolution: The elegant front covering, while aesthetically pleasing, introduces a subtle compromise in high-frequency resolution where the two drivers overlap during playback. Users seeking pristine high-frequency detail might want to evaluate this aspect.
  3. Not Ideal for Club Music Enthusiasts: If your preference leans heavily towards club music, focusing on low frequencies and high energy levels, the D7 may not deliver the full impact. Users searching for speakers for bass-heavy genres might explore options with more significant drivers or dedicated subwoofers.

In summary, the Definitive Technology Demand D7 appeals to those prioritizing premium audio quality in a compact and stylish package. It caters to various musical genres, excels in versatility, and showcases cutting-edge engineering. Potential buyers should consider their audio preferences, room size, and desired bass levels to determine if the D7 aligns with their expectations and usage scenarios.

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