Dynaudio Excite X14 Speaker System

Excite X14 Speaker System
Build Qaulity

Sub 250 II Subwoofer
Build Quality
PRICE $5,100

Generous soundfield
Surprisingly strong bass
Gorgeous veneers
Expensive for small speakers

Dynaudio’s X14, part of the revised Excite line, earns its high-end price tag with sweet build quality and high performance, including a bottom end that is amazingly substantial for a small speaker.

The high end exists in the eye of the beholder. To some folks, a pair of mini-monitors selling for $1,500—or a 5.1-channel system at $5,100—may seem steeply priced. In fact, if you want lower-priced alternatives, you’ll find plenty among our Top Picks. But there always will be another kind of consumer who is fussy about what he or she brings into the living room. Vinyl-wrapped boxes won’t cut it; they want furniture-grade wood veneer. In the same discriminating spirit, the Danish manufacturer Dynaudio is equally fussy about materials, including drivers that the company designs and makes itself. In the recently overhauled Excite line, the result is a speaker that exceeds already high expectations in both appearance and sound. The X14 monitor and X24 center are my favorite kind of small speaker: the kind that sounds bigger than it looks.


Excite is one of Dynaudio’s more affordable lines, ranking below the higher-end Evidence, Consequence, Confidence Platinum, Contour, and Focus models and above the more accessible DM series. (The intriguing Xeo, which dangles the tantalizing prospect of a wireless system based on true high-performance speakers, might be in a class by itself.) Excite includes a three-way tower (X38, $4,500/pair), two-way tower (X34, $3,400/pair), monitor (X14, $1,500/pair), and center (X24, $1,000). This review covers two pairs of the monitor (in front and back), the center, and from the separate Sub series, the Sub 250 II ($1,100).

Dressed to Kill
The new Excites come fashionably clad. The rosewood veneer has a rich, appealing wood grain. Other options include a darker walnut veneer and a pair of lacquers, black or white. All have satin finishes.

Dynaudio says that within the handsome 0.7-inch-thick rear-ported fiberboard enclosures, nearly every component has been overhauled since I reviewed the previous Excite line in 2008. That starts with elimination of pin connectors from the now magnetically attached grille (with badge at the top). The baffle has also been updated to match the veneer of the other surfaces, and the base plinth is integrated.

While the die-cast aluminum-driver frames remain unaltered from those of the old Excite, the Dynaudio-made drivers benefit from trickle-down changes. The 1.1-inch silk-dome tweeter used in both the X14 monitor and the X24 center has more surface area than the more typically found .75-inch to 1-inch tweeters do, and it has been refined for better dispersion, along with an improved surface coating applied more evenly by a new machine. The manufacturer notes: “While the coating process offers an ultra-high level of precision, it still takes many hours for the liquid coating to dry, and time is money.” That’s one of the reasons these little speakers cost $1,500/pair.

The monitor’s 5.5-inch woofer and the center’s dual 4.3-inch woofers continue to use a proprietary magnesium silicate polymer cone, with a redesigned suspension and voice coil for greater headroom and more controlled cone movement. The voice coil is aluminum, which is half the weight of copper. Reducing the mass requires less electromotive force to start and stop the moving parts. The design is said to dissipate heat more quickly and also allows the use of a larger outer magnet ring, making the woofer more efficient. The crossover’s tuning has been tweaked as well.

If your speakers have to coexist with a bare floor, here’s more good news: “While most conventional loudspeakers would be subject to a reflection off the floor boundary in front of the listening position, the dispersion of the new Excite has been optimized to avoid this pitfall and thus yields a much cleaner sound at the listening position with a more lifelike soundstage.”


When I ran pink-noise test tones, I noticed the center’s tonal balance was skewed slightly more towards lower frequencies than the monitor’s. However, in practice it didn’t undermine the soundfield in any noticeable way. The center’s angled metal support aims the speaker slightly upward, for below-screen placement, though you can reverse it to point downward.

The latest Excites have a nominal impedance of 8 ohms, which is potentially easier for your amplifier to drive than the 4 ohms of the old models, though their rated sensitivity is also lower, at 85 decibels for the X14 and 84 dB for the X24, versus the 86 dB of the older models. Lower sensitivity requires more power to achieve the same volume. My midprice receiver had no trouble driving the old or new models to satisfying levels.

Dynaudio North America
(847) 730-3280

trynberg's picture

I have the same problem with these as I do PSB speakers. For $1000, I would expect a much better center channel than this. Sub 5" woofers and an MTM arrangement really deserve criticism at this price point.

twm1988's picture

Hi Mark, just wondering how these compare to your Paradigm Studio 20's. I've been looking at the Dynaudio Excites or the Paradigm Studio 10's and cc490 center for my next speaker upgrade and would be very interested in your comparison of the two.