Review: Dynaudio Confidence 50 – Danes still speak the truth

Review: Dynaudio Confidence 50. The listening session at The Hifi Studio, Number One – with my big thanks for making this possible – was special.

Because it’s not polite to start a review with ‘I’ I’ll take this run-up first, but I’ve been friends with the sound of Dynaudio speakers for a long time. I get them, there in Skanderborg, and they seem to get me. The latter is of course a taste-based coincidence, but it has given me many pleasant encounters with loudspeakers from this truthful Danish brand over the years. So far always at my house, but when I was asked if I wanted to write about the Confidence 50 loudspeakers, I contacted Edwin Vlieger, the Dutch Sales and Marketing Manager for Dynaudio. Because “Yes, I would love to, but…”.


The Dynaudio Confidence 50 is the second largest model in the series. It is a hefty yet slim-looking floorstander measuring almost 160 centimeters high, with five drivers – two woofers, two midrange drivers and a tweeter – arranged in a symmetrical configuration in the special external baffle made from the precious but strictly vibration-free composite material Compex. are mounted. The woofers are mounted on the cabinet by means of their own metal plate, while the midrange and tweeter are decoupled as much as possible. The woofers are 18 centimeters in diameter and are ‘long throw’ models, which means that they can produce an incredibly large but strictly linear excursion. More sound pressure and less distortion. They are still made of the trusted MSP (Magnesium Silicate Polymer), a unique composite material developed by Dynaudio itself, for which they have still not been able to find a better alternative despite a lot of research. The midrange drivers are 15 centimeters in diameter and, like the woofers, have a fiberglass voice coil holder wrapped with aluminum wire, within a highly oversized neodymium magnet structure. In this way, the movements of the drivers can be controlled perfectly. Dynaudio calls these ‘NeoTec Units’. The midranges have a new bezel called ‘Horizon Surround’. As a result, the vibration of the sound does not meet a physical barrier at the edge of the cone, so that virtually no reflections and the associated distortion occur. In both the woofers and midrange, the ‘airflow’ behind the drivers has been improved with an optimized ‘basket’ (the cast metal frame of the loudspeaker unit) and a ‘spider’ (the all-important centering ring of the voice coil holder) that allows much more air. passage but still strong, rigid and resonance free. The new Esotar3 tweeter, specially developed for this series, has a curved front plate, which acts as an acoustic lens and thus supports the Dynaudio Directivity Control system. The ‘airflow’ behind the 28 millimeter soft dome made of coated textile has been strongly optimised, including with the unique Hexis dome, a plastic dome that exactly follows the convex contour of the tweeter dome and has a surface with ‘dents’. These dents mean that there is less compression behind the tweeter dome, resulting in a cleaner and more pleasant high-end reproduction, with more detail and less distortion. In addition, the Hexis forms an effective protection against ‘impressions’ from the dome, which is a very pleasant side effect. Curious children’s fingers have already sent a lot of precious dome tweeters to the Eternal Audio Fields.

When you walk around the slim but relatively deep cabinet, you might think that Dynaudio has made it a closed system, but nothing could be further from the truth. The bass reflex pipes are not located in the baffle or on the back, but at the bottom of the cabinet. With an outflow to the left and right, just above the metal base plate. The advantage of this construction is that it ‘couples’ bass to the room in a completely different way, making the loudspeakers a lot easier to place – and if necessary or unavoidable can even be placed relatively close to the rear wall, without the need to immediately results in penalty points in the layer view. For the numbers enthusiasts: the sensitivity of the Dynaudio Confidence 50 is 87 dB (2.83V/1m), the power handling is 400 Watts, the nominal impedance is 4Ω, with a minimum of 2.7Ω at 79 Hz, and the frequency range is within 3 dB from 35 to 22,000 Hz.

The Hifi Studio, Number One

Figures on paper – or a website – are all well and good, but practice will show whether Dynaudio’s engineers and critical listening team have done a good job. As mentioned, we decided that the listening session would take place at The Hifi Studio, Number One. This beautiful store in Leiden is run by Vincent van Nimwegen, who took over the business from his father Rick a few years ago. This makes The Hifi Studio, as they call themselves for short, not only a family business – something that is becoming increasingly rare in the hi-fi industry – but Vincent is also one of the youngest hi-fi entrepreneurs in the Netherlands. The fact that he was born with the profession and especially the love for it is evident from his deeply thought-out vision. While we drink a cup of coffee together before I listen and catch up on the trade in general and The Hifi Studio in particular, he states: “An important condition for me is that a set that I put together makes you want more music listening, and not that you want to turn down the volume after an hour because the amount of detail starts to tire you. A well-composed set makes you forget about time and place, and, for example, makes you go to bed too late because it sounds too good to stop listening.”

That he can absolutely put words into action in that respect became clear when we discussed the set he had chosen for the Dynaudio Confidence 50 together. As an amplifier there was the mighty Accuphase E-800, which with its 2 x 50 Watt class A and enormous power supply supplies enough energy for top loudspeakers such as the Conference 50. My USB stick with music I had brought along was plugged into the back of the waiting Aurender N20 streamer, which was connected via an Innuos Phoenix USB Reclocker to a Chord M-Scaler upsampler and the Hugo TT2 DAC. The whole was fed from an AudioQuest Niagara 3000 mains filter. Powercords were from AudioQuest and Isotek, and the analog and digital signals were carried by cables from AudioQuest and The Chord Company. The AudioQuest William Tell Zero loudspeaker cables, which perform well above their price range, completed the set. The speakers were placed in the listening room adapted by Rivasono, about a meter from the back wall and about 40 centimeters from the side walls. That doesn’t seem like much, but at Rivasono they understand their profession, as it turns out.


The first sounds were for Alva Noto (Carsten Nicolai), who creates a truly sublimely produced soundscape on his album Unieqav. It was immediately noticeable how beautifully balanced the sound was. There are people who argue that you can’t use electronic music for that, but believe me: you hear it. The bass was deep but not overpowering, rather relaxed and controlled. The image was very three-dimensional, with far to the right next to me the familiar noise that should also be heard there. Hedflux’s album The Philosophers Tone was also rendered very spatially. The music completely detached from the speakers and the bass was once again perfectly balanced, relaxed and positively unnoticed, through the sideways downward firing bass ports. The speed and dynamics were impressively accurate, where it was particularly striking how well small details and dynamic events that are hidden deeper in the mix were handled. They remained very audible, even when the music played very loudly, which the set emphatically invited.

Keith Freund’s album Constant Comments has what it takes to become a new audiophile classic, despite the fact that it is not available at Tidal (it is at Qobuz, by the way). The music is a special mix of thoughtful folky pop and ambient, with a lick of neoclassicism here and there. The expansive production contains electric and acoustic instruments and a colorful succession of ‘found’ sounds. The playing children and the passing car (with horn) in the opening track Mont Boron sounded extremely realistic, the set completely disappeared from the soundstage, there was nothing between me and the music anymore. The rendering was engaging and insightful, very transparent but absolutely unbusinesslike, and small details were part of the whole in a natural way. As a result, there was a lot of texture to hear, I saw the strings vibrate, so to speak. The track The Ortzi is extremely spatial. Only when I turned off the music did I hear how wide the image was placed. By tapping the pause button in the Aurender app, it seemed as if the light next to me went out.

Neil Cowley’s album Hall Of Mirrors is also such a cloud of sound. The track Berlin Nights, like Keith Freund’s album, contains a ‘second layer’ with outside sounds that was very convincingly audible behind the neo-classical piano melodies that Cowley carefully and restrainedly preludes over it. Even when I sat down against the side wall on the far right, well outside the ideal ‘centre point’, the spatial image remained intact, the left speaker played audibly and there was depth and width. Although it must be said that the image from the ideal middle position was really the best, you clearly cannot call the Dynaudio Confidence 50 a one-person speaker. That’s important to me, because I’m a big proponent of listening to music with a friend (or friends). I think that the effort Dynaudio put into developing their DCC system is clearly paying off here. The floor and ceiling hardly play a role in the Confidence 50 in terms of reflections, the sound is mainly radiated across the width. Not in such a way that you have to measure your seat height to the millimeter, but without the fading effects of those first reflections, which arrive at your ear just out of phase with the direct sound.

A deep look

Tunng’s electro-acoustic Folktronica on their latest album Tunng Presents…DEAD CLUB sounded intense and intimate, the polyphonic vocals were reproduced in a very differentiated manner, the different voices were, apart from being a beautiful harmonious whole, also very audible separately from each other. Also the low voice, which rarely succeeds. The set offered a deep insight into the mix here, and showed very well what had happened in the studio. That is not unique, but where high-resolution sets and speakers sometimes do that in a somewhat intrusive way, the Confidence 50s succeeded without throwing the details in my face. Very transparent, but also extremely controlled, almost distinguished even. With a great deal of ‘confidence’ – if you, dear reader, will pardon this far too obvious pun. To lose it I listened to the jazz album Goldbrun by the Yuri Honing Acoustic Quartet. A delightful and penetrating recording, in which every tap or swipe on the drumheads and cymbals of the brilliant drummer Joost Lijbaart was audible. Honing’s sax was colorful and emotional in the middle, so to speak I could hear the spit in the mouthpiece. I felt like I could almost touch him. The beautiful rich piano sound, with a lot of harmonic structure, was audible far into the decaying tones and the double bass sounded warm, with a lot of ‘wood’ from the sound box. Clearly no bass guitar was playing here. Honing’s sax was colorful and emotional in the middle, so to speak I could hear the spit in the mouthpiece. I felt like I could almost touch him. The beautiful rich piano sound, with a lot of harmonic structure, was audible far into the decaying tones and the double bass sounded warm, with a lot of ‘wood’ from the sound box. Clearly no bass guitar was playing here. Honing’s sax was colorful and emotional in the middle, so to speak I could hear the spit in the mouthpiece. I felt like I could almost touch him. The beautiful rich piano sound, with a lot of harmonic structure, was audible far into the decaying tones and the double bass sounded warm, with a lot of ‘wood’ from the sound box. Clearly no bass guitar was playing here.


The listening session at The Hifi Studio, Number One – with my big thanks for making this possible – was special. The Dynaudio Confidence 50 set turned out to be an eloquent and sweet-spoken teller of musical stories in their beautiful listening room. They effortlessly adapted when the mood demanded. They could threaten, reassure, please, and inspire, and did so at a whisper or a roar, and everything in between, as needed. Of course, that sky-high level of pure musical enjoyment depends on what you put them on front-end. A powerful transistor amplifier like the Accuphase E-800 was a perfect choice from my host Vincent van Nimwegen, because this amplifier has a somewhat tube-like character in addition to sufficient power. and let all the positive features of the Dynaudio Confidence 50 come out without emphasizing itself. If anything was emphasized at all in this set, it was the music. The combination of Accuphase, Aurender, Chord Electronics, AudioQuest, Chord Company and Isotek provided the solid stage on which the artists seemed to appear in the flesh, and the Confidence 50s were the super-transparent window through which I could not only see inside, but which regularly pulled me into space to become one with the music for the duration of the game. I can’t really give them a bigger compliment. Natural reproduction at its best; the Dynaudio slogan ‘Danes Don’t Lie’, introduced in 1977, will also apply in full in 2021. Very high high end!


Dynaudio Confidence 50 € 28,000 per pair