AXPONA Flashback: Dynaudio Focus 30 Active Speaker System

One of the forward-thinking rooms in the April AXPONA 2024 show contained a system that is not a new idea per se, but a good idea for sure. The technology used exists, implemented in various forms in other products. But now we have an (almost) complete package with the Dynaudio Focus series: A self-contained streamer, active crossover, and amplifier is found in each unit within the Focus lineup. Simply feed it wireless signals from a media player and/or a smartphone, WiSA-compatible TV, coaxial, optical, or analog inputs, with no equipment racks, receivers, amp stacks, or cables needed.

All one needs to do is plug the speakers into the wall for power. The Focus series can be controlled by either a phone or the included remote. DSP helps to acoustically "position" the speaker in the room and is so detailed that it even detects when a speaker grille is removed, automatically tweaking the EQ to compensate. If only one grille is removed, and I do not know who would do this, it compensates for that one speaker! That's the level of detail Dynaudio went through to maintain the integrity of sound. If one wants to take the calibration route, optional Dirac Live is supported.

DSP Bonus Nachos are to be had with the addition of the sealed Sub 6, with dual-opposed 24cm (9.5") drivers. The Sub 6 has "custom performance map" filters that can match it with many of the classic Dynaudio loudspeakers, passive or active. Firmware updates can be created for future Dynaudio speakers, and a 3-band parametric EQ is added to help further performance and aid integration of the Sub 6 with other speaker brands. Paired with the Focus series, there is no preset map because the Sub 6 is controlled by the DSP engine of the main speakers, another serious attention to detail and one that sets it apart from other active systems.

Focus 30 were the mains chosen for this display. The room was large, as was the audience, so the system was played in a 2.1 configuration with the added Sub 6 bringing up the foundation. Listening to Bob Dylan's "Man in the Long Black Coat," the song starts off mellow and innocuous until the bass guitar speaks 14 seconds in, surprising me with its heft. Bob's voice was centered but wide, not too narrow, just appropriately sized. Guitars panned hard left and right offset the central image.

Rickie Lee Jones' "Sympathy for the Devil" lead vocal presentation gave the same impression to me as with Dylan, nice, full-bodied, life-sized image coming from the Focus 30. In fact, the entire soundstage exhibited that large scale, an impressive feat for a small/medium-sized loudspeaker. The white LEDs flash blue as the volume was adjusted, as it will do to signify any changes made.

The Focus 30/Sub 6 combo was one of several displays in the large conference room and had no problem filling the corner they occupied with a full and voluptuous sound. The long-awaited future has finally arrived, and it brings with it technological and performance enhancements with support that lasts well beyond the initial purchase date.