Review: Dynaudio Emit 50 – I already knew that Dynaudio had thoroughly renewed its successful Emit entry-level line just before the official announcement last summer, and since then a pair of floorstanders have been on my review wish list. Besides quite a lot of hands-on experience, I actually have ‘something’ with this Danish brand. The Dynaudio sound just suits me. That was already the case with the very affordable Emit M models from the previous series, but looking at the list of improvements to the new series I really wanted to know what Dynaudio had to add. And so it happened that on a sunny Thursday afternoon in early October there were suddenly two life-sized Emit 50s in my living room. Who regularly played the folds out of my pants in the weeks that followed…
Dynaudio Emit 50
The first thing you notice is the considerably sleeker appearance of the new Emit series. With the omission of the suffix M in the model names, our Danish friends have removed something else, namely visible screws and mounting holes for the fronts. All you see now are the loudspeaker
units, and I must admit I find that a relief. I have nothing against the fact that I can see the mounting material when the fronts are off, but this radiates so much more peace and class. The fronts of the new Emit series are magnetically held in place. Also very nice is the slanted edge at the top and bottom of the baffle, which, like the rest of the cabinet, is made of 18 millimeters MDF. Because of that edge, the approximately 115 centimeters high case of the Emit 50 – depending on whether you play with or without spikes – looks slightly lower, and at the bottom it seems to float above the cast metal feet with spikes, which provide lateral stability. What further contributes to the sleek appearance is that the black model is not equipped with laminate with wood grain, but in a very fine textured lacquer that gives it a shade of ‘anthracite’ and contrasts beautifully with the satin-gloss black of the baffle. The Emit 50 is also available in walnut with black baffle, and in all-white.
Advanced technology for this price range
The Emit 50 is a true three-way system. They were designed in Denmark by the same team responsible for the higher series. The new Emits have also been extensively tested in the huge Jupiter measurement facility at the Skanderborg plant, which makes the design process much faster and more effective. The loudspeaker units in the Emit series are directly derived from those in the parent Evoke series, which in turn incorporate technology developed for the Contour and Confidence series. Trickle Down at its best. The cones of the long-throw woofers – with double magnets for better control of their movements – are still made from in-house developed MSP, as is the midrange driver which is almost identical to the one in the Evoke 50. The same goes for the Cerotar tweeter (named for the unique ceramic magnet material used) which is actually incredibly luxurious for a speaker in this price range. Behind the lightweight coated textile dome sits the now-famous Hexis Dome, which improves airflow and reduces distortion. The space behind the tweeter dome is also provided with rounded shapes that effectively dissipate the energy radiated backwards. Dynaudio calls it AirFlow, and it also contributes to lower distortion. The space behind the tweeter dome is also provided with rounded shapes that effectively dissipate the energy radiated backwards. Dynaudio calls it AirFlow, and it also contributes to lower distortion. The space behind the tweeter dome is also provided with rounded shapes that effectively dissipate the energy radiated backwards. Dynaudio calls it AirFlow, and it also contributes to lower distortion.
The two bass ports at the back of the cabinet are not only equipped with a trumpet-shaped spout on the outside – with fanned slots that improve airflow – but also on the inside there is now such a ‘mouth’. This ‘double flare’ technique improves airflow through the bass port and prevents compression and ‘sigh’ (audible airflow) when a lot of bass is played at high volume. Finally, the crossover filters are equipped with first-class components and have a ‘hybrid’ design. This means that a combination of first, second and fourth order filtering is applied for the tweeter, the midrange and the woofers respectively. In practice, this means that each driver can function optimally. It delivers a cleaner and more coherent sound without coloration and distortion. Traditionally, the Emit 50 also only has one pair of speaker terminals. So no option for bi-wiring or bi-amping. But all in all, a lot of advanced technology for a loudspeaker in this price range.
Listening to the Emit 50
An important consideration with an entry-level loudspeaker is always: which amplifier am I going to use? Because with what will the loudspeaker be combined in practice? Not with a PrimaLuna EVO 400 integrated tube amplifier of almost 5000 euros in any case, but that’s just my reference. Due to the relatively low sensitivity of 86 dB (2.83V/1m) and the impedance of 4 Ohms, a sensible hi-fi advisor would prefer to combine the Emit 50 with a hefty transistor amplifier. So I also grabbed my PeachTree Decco65 Class D amplifier that I use in my office, more about that later. The streamer on duty was my AURALiC Altair G1, and I played records with my restored Thorens TD125mk1 with 10-inch Jelco arm, HA-103C cartridge and the AudioCreative PhonoDude tube phono stage. All cabling was from AudioQuest. After some limited sliding, the speakers were placed about two meters apart, 40 centimeters from the back wall and slightly turned in. A little further from the back wall, the low sounded more controlled, but then they were a bit ‘in the barrel’. My suggestion to maintain that placement throughout the review period met – understandably – protest from my better half. Fortunately, Dynaudio supplies four cylindrical foam plugs that you can place in the bass ports to dampen the bass a bit. Feel free to experiment with this. Usually I think the music with such foam plugs in the bass ports sounds – literally – a bit ‘hidden’, with less spaciousness and dynamics, but I hardly noticed that with the Emit 50’s. But for serious listening sessions I still pulled them forward about 12 inches and removed the foam plugs. It may be wise for future owners to discuss the placement with their housemates in advance.
The display of the Emit 50’s turned out to be wonderfully generous. On all levels. There was a lot (and deep) bass, a nice colorful midrange that made voices sound beautifully human, and a lot of transparency. By that I mean that the large amount of detailing was absolutely not shrill. I’m very allergic to that, but don’t worry; Dynaudio doesn’t do artificial resolution. The spaciousness was also surprisingly large, the ‘bubble’ stretched left and right past the loudspeakers. The depth placement was also very good for a large speaker in this price range. This was not only noticeable on the beautifully produced, but also musically very pleasant new album Windflowers, by the Danish band Efterklang, which I played on vinyl, but also on the jazzy gem Gone To The Cats by Greg Foat, Aleksi, also listened to on vinyl. Heinola and Teemu Akerblom. Especially the gossamer rendering of the cymbals was very impressive, this tweeter did that really beautifully. To hear about the bass response, I like to use the rather clumsy but fat Dubstep from Excision. The first track of the album X Rated not only contains pit-deep lows, it is also a nice test of the speed of the lows due to the machine-gun beats. Well, the neighbors knew that. In my case, the glasses in the display case were ringing and the display was surprisingly tight, despite the low damping factor of the PrimaLuna, and the display also remained transparent.
So much praise, but also a few points for attention. With its almost 120 centimeters (including the feet), the Emit 50 is a high speaker. Because the tweeter is mounted at the top, I found the reproduction slightly less sparkling than when I sat down on a higher kitchen chair, relaxed in my couch. Mind you, that was at a short listening distance of about 250 centimeters. When I sat two meters further away, it was considerably less noticeable, but ‘the tweeter at ear level’ still seems a sensible aim to me. Finally, some wise words about the amplifier to use. The class-D Peachtree Decco65 lacked a bit of spaciousness and refinement that made the playback with the PrimaLuna EVO 400i so wonderful, but it was noticeable that the low was a bit tighter. At the Peachtree, even when placed 40 centimeters from the back wall, the foam plugs did not have to be placed in the bass pipes. My recommendation is therefore: do not place the Emit 50s in a room that is too small, make sure that they have some space around and especially at the back when placing them, and ‘choose your amplifier wisely’. As fantastic as I think tubes are, I think that the Emit 50 comes into its own even better with a beautiful transistor amplifier, which also fits better with these oversized Danes in terms of price.
Conclusion- Dynaudio Emit 50
The Dynaudio Emit 50 offers a lot of loudspeaker for its money, that must be said first. It is almost unbelievable what you can get in beautiful design and display for around 2000 euros per pair these days. The Emit 50’s really open the door to a high-end listening experience. Their sound tends, as I am used to from the brand, light to warm, but is otherwise nicely neutral. They are rich in color (not in coloring!), have no exaggerated detailing but a high transparency, and above all offer a lot of musical FUN. Dynaudio makes loudspeakers that easily erase themselves from the reproduction, that do not obstruct the music and that invite you to listen for a long time. The Dynaudio Emit 50 has again succeeded in doing so.
Dynaudio Emit 50 € 999 each