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Dynaudio EMIT 30 Speakers Review

Review
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This is a review written by Terry Ellis March 2022.

For my video review please see my YouTube channel link here

A compact speaker with a BIG heart

If you like the sound of, excusing the pun an extremely compact and reasonably affordable floor standing HiFi speaker, which has this incredible ability to make your favourite music have a real sense of occasion.  Energy, life and verve, combined with an excellent bass, well then the Dynaudio EMIT 30 HiFi speakers may well be for you. I have been having a terrific time listening to them.

In-house Technology

Dynaudio, are a very large speaker, and speaker drive unit, manufacturer based in Denmark. They have a heritage dating back decades in both the pro and HiFi home audio markets. The speaker I am reviewing is their EMIT 30, the smaller of two floor-standing, or tower speakers, in the EMIT range, which is Dynaudio’s entry level speaker range. The price is not entry level though as they cost £1,300.

The keen eyed amongst you might say they look just like Wharedale’s much more affordable Diamond 12.3 which, at first glance, they do. However, when you look more closely, the EMIT 30 feature all Dynaudio drivers, which are not used by any other manufacturer. Quality matters, and there are distinct advantages to manufacturing your own drivers.

A BIG first impression

It has been a while since I played a speaker that has just immediately grabbed my attention, like the EMIT 30 did.  I positioned them in my listening room in roughly the spot I thought they would sound good, and they did sound good. I had a little work to do on their toe-in as it was easy to over-compress the centre image if they were aimed too much directly towards me.  It was also important to get their distance from me or their time alignment just right for the best stereo image.

I was advised to spend time levelling the speakers on their spikes. I have a solid concrete floor and so did not expect much change to the sound. However, there was a noticeable uplift in sharpness and clarity. Getting this right brought the treble a little more into play. Good advice indeed.

For music I decided I was going to play something different, and I reached for Muse, The Second Law. I particularly like several tracks on this album for their scale and intensity. Without realising it I had cranked up the volume and listened to pretty much the whole album. The EMIT 30 were doing a brilliant job of creating the sense of theatre I think this album is intended to deliver. I then moved on to a Katherine Jenkins Sweetest Love, in order to hear how well female vocals were rendered. Again there was a lot of energy and scale. Next I played the Blade Runner 2049 Movie Soundtrack. The opening track, called 2049, has some incredible deep bass and a very open soundstage. The rendering of this track, and how the Emit 30 delivered the bass scale, shocked me to my core. The 5 ½ inch drivers were working very hard but they were able to produce a bass that was big, impactful, and remarkably composed, to a level that stunned me. Not a subwoofer-like amount of bass, but for a speaker of this size and cost, the bass in this track was a jaw dropper in terms of its quantity, with a real quality, nice and tight articulate bass.

From there I let the “Radio” function play in my music control app. It selected music at random. Every song had a real sense of occasion, energy and drive to it, that made it a very compelling listen and made me that engaged me enough to listen to music more music and tracks I would not normally play. Maybe I was jut in a good mood but if I had not liked what I was hearing, I would have been restless and looking to change things. Instead I was just sat back, enjoying the music for its occasion and its energy, and that made me feel good.

What is interesting about listening to the Radio function, which is essentially a random selection, is the variety of music which is played. I listened to some dance music from a Hed Kandi compilation mix CD. I really enjoyed the bass and the music’s drive. Then some chamber vocal music might be next, where I enjoyed the sound stage depth and, yet again, the sense of occasion. This was a hell of a strong first impression and one I was certainly not expecting.

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Well thought through design

The EMIT 30 are a two and half-way design. I have assumed that the top bass woofer is working to deliver the mid-range and bass, and the bottom woofer is for bass only. The crossover point to the tweeter is  higher than is common at 3.55khz, and so that means the top woofer providing the mid-range is playing higher than you normally expect but I could hear any no obvious negatives of this design choice. In fact, it could well be a positive, allowing a smoother, larger, and more expressive in ways overall vocal delivery.

Dynaudio say that they are using premium quality drivers in the EMIT 30, not reducing the speaker drive quality as a result of them being entry level speaklers.  The mid/ bass woofers feature driver cones  moulded from a single piece of Dynaudio propriety MSP (magnesium silicate polymer) material. Being a single piece moulding gives the advantage of the whole cone being part of the playing surface. There is no dust cap glued to the centre of cone as is more common and therefore there are no negative effects of this process. Most interestingly, the drivers have a dual stacked magnet system that Dynaudio says gives them more effectively direct where the magnets energy goes.  I have to say that the bass from these drivers is outstanding for this type of speaker and really impressed me.

The tweeter in the EMIT 30 is a 28mm soft dome. In the right light you can see how amazingly thin it is. You can also see the framework of Dynaudio’s propriety Hexis technology, which is a way of controlling the unwanted back wave pressure from the tweeter.  The only negative thing to say about the tweeter is that it collects dust, and you cannot clean it. In view of this you will probably want to keep the speaker grills on when not listening to them. This is not a big deal because, for once, the grills look pretty good.

The EMIT 30 cabinets are made from 18mm MDF and there are dual rear ports.  The review pair was finished in walnut and I liked the black front with wood sides look. Compared to other speakers in this price range I didn’t find the finish quality was anything special.  There is nothing demonstrably wrong here, but on the rear, you can see where the speaker has been assembled and I would prefer not too.  Lets be honest how often do you look at the rear of your speakers.

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Play it loud 

One thing I noticed is that the EMIT 30 seem to like a good bit of power from the amplifier. The more I turned up the volume the more they started to come to life, most notably in the clarity of the vocals. They are perfectly good at modest volumes, I just found them to sound noticeably better with the volume turned up which was a positive for me as  I do like my music loud!

In all seriousness I like the fact that you can play them loud, I enjoyed the speakers balance and their proportionate increase in scale with volume. Their bass stays in proportion and the speakers maintain their balance, tonality and composure providing you don’t go crazy.

Put away your pipe and slippers

Summarising, the EMIT 30’s main sonic strengths, the first being dynamics and energy. These speakers sound lively and dynamic, they are not your Sunday afternoon pipe and slippers type speakers. Their bass is stand out for its impressive authority and control. If I am to be extremely critical, it is not the most resolved bass I have had in my room, but for the money, and the size of the speaker, I have been stunned by the quality and quantity of bass. It has been totally satisfying me.

The vocal delivery from the EMIT 30 has been impressive for its tonal quality and fullness, combined with a satisfying amount of energy. At louder volumes there is real attack too and you may not think that attacking vocals would be a good thing. However, when you listen to big female vocalists  who they really put energy into their voice, it can be. An example of this is Lady Blackbird, Black Acid Soul which is a very well produced album that I thoroughly enjoyed on the Emit 30. But again playing this album at moderate levels the vocals were not as clear, not as cutting through the sound stage as when I listened louder.

The soundstage of the EMIT 30 is also very impressive, with some excellent three-dimensional sounds within certain music, by that I mean music elements coming out towards me or out into the room, however, with other music they were going away from me, sounding noticeably behind the speakers. Both experiences were very convincing, much more convincing than I expected. The individual elements in the soundstage are all nicely layered and organised and there is very good overall timing. Overall, the EMIT 30 seem more designed to give you a big energetic musical whole, rather than separating the music out into its individual elements and portraying them with a microscope like clarity. In saying that I was impressed with the transparency of the EMIT 30 and they again exceeded my expectations here.

The treble is detailed, clean and clear, with no harshness. There is no obvious vocal sibilance, except when it is in the actual recording, of course. Treble presence or energy is well balanced with the rest of the speakers’ overall delivery and definitely not too attention grabbing. Some audiophiles might find the treble a little reserved or polite but I was mostly fine with it.

Dynaudio appear to have designed the EMIT30 to be a very good all-rounder speaker that deliver a well-balanced overall sound, favouring the slightly warmer side of neutral.

What about negatives

I really had to nit-pick to find something to talk about here, especially for what these speakers deliver at their price point. There is some bloom to the sound, which likely helps them create their big sound, a sort of constructive bloom, in the main. Other speakers might carve out the individual elements in the sound stage with a little more precision and that could be better or worse, depending on your preferences. Some audiophiles may find the treble too laid back or might want a speaker with more overall neutrality, I am referring to a studio neutral type of speaker with a very flat frequency response and the EMIT 30 are not this.

Measurement confirmed what I was hearing.

At the end of the review, I measured the EMIT 30 performance in my room.

Why initially their response doesn’t look text-book ruler-flat, let me reassure you, the graph illustrates a very good in my room frequency response. From 100hz up to about 3khz it is excellent with only a few db of variation. What I found interesting was the large recession around the crossover region. A lot of speakers take this design approach, including much more expensive ones.  This type of dip often known as the BBC dip has some sonic advantages for soundstage and the perception of vocals.

Observing this confirmed my previous thoughts about the vocals being a little softer at lower volumes, partly why their imaging was so good, but it also showed me that the EMIT 30 worked well well in my room delivering a very good overall bass.

Finally…

I can sum up my time with the EMIT30 like this; they are not perfect, we cant expect perfection, but every time I played them I ended up sitting myself down i my listening chair and enjoyed them far longer than I had planned. They get a lot of the important things right, most notably being the bass, but also soundstage, energy, rhythm, and drive, making music just that bit more of an event, a lively engaging experience that is extremely compelling.

I can happily recommend to you as a priority to have on your short list if you are looking for speakers of this type and price.

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A Serious Bang for Buck Award is granted in recognition of a products stand out high performance being significantly greater than its perceived price point

For the full specification of the Dynaudio EMIT 30 please see their website linked here

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