There was a time when Dynaudio ruled these parts. It was unstoppable, armed with a great formula for lovely listening.That was years ago, however, and while the company has consistently put out fine products, we were accustomed to more. Well, it looks like it is time for a comeback, because that’s what you get with the Dynaudio Emit M10: more.You get a bit of everything here.Versatility, transparency, energy,precision, scale and volume: you name it and the Emit 10s deliver in spades.

Transparency and detail

We begin with the impressive transparency and bags of detail, which help to provide context into the
performance’s environment. In a hall, on a stage, in a studio, with or without air conditioning (in the case of The Sopranos soundtrack) – it’s quite apparent what sort of setting and acoustic you’re
listening to, with production techniques laid bare.

It’s a lively listen. The Emit 10s have a masterful grasp of rhythm,and what you get is more precise
than anything offered by the B&W 685 S2s or Quad S????1s. Give them something challenging and they just lap it up. Major Lazer’s Pon De Floor is a messy obstacle course for most speakers at this price, littered as it is with varying rhythms and dynamic shifts. But these Dynaudios breeze through it with agility and panache.

Model of inclusivity

They’re versatile too, capable of slowing right down without missing a beat, then ramping things up again with apparently effortless enthusiasm and verve. We switch between Dusty Springfield, Nina
Simone, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and Prince. Whether you want mischief,melancholy or menace, the Emit 10s demonstrate an impressive ability to mould themselves for any occasion.

These speakers are not afraid to express themselves either. The detail and precision help with their
enunciation, but you also get strong,free-flowing dynamics. If it’s a hardhitting,passionate sound you’re after,then you’ve got it. If you want volume,you’ve got that too. You don’t necessarily need it, though – the sense of energy is always there, even at lower volumes.The Emit 10s have a compactdesign. At 29cm tall they are barely bigger than the Quad S????1s, and yet they have the scale, power and dynamics
to rival the larger B&W 685 S2s.It’s not just scale, but organisation too.Not only do all the instruments get plenty of space, they are also impeccably arranged in a way that gives the
performance a convincing sense of depth. And despite the wide and deep soundstage, everything works together in a cohesive unit.

Second nature

All of this comes naturally, like a maths prodigy bashing out trigonometry: we’re not sure how Dynaudio has done it,but we are astonished at the ease with which spectacular results have been
achieved here. Is there a catch to all of this? Not really. In terms of sheer scale we think
the bigger B&W 685 S2s still have the advantage, but that is of little concern when the Dynaudios are really not that far behind and ahead in every other sonic department.It’s not just the sound, either. We really like the look and build quality of the Emit 10s, which make the B&Ws look a little cheaply made. They are also easy to set up (just give them some space) and unfussy with partnering equipment.
We’re struggling to say anything negative.


All-round talent

It may have taken a few years, but it looks as if Dynaudio is back in great shape. Put it all together and you have some tremendously talented all-rounders,capable of giving out layered, intricate,versatile sound that we cannot believe costs only £500. Whether you’re starting out in hi-fi or looking to upgrade, the Dynaudio Emit 10s should be on your list.

We never know what to expect in a group test of speakers, but this one was full of surprises. We certainly
couldn’t have foreseen the fate of the Bowers & Wilkins 685 S2s: not only did they not win the test, they
lost a star as well. For now, they remain entirely commendable: they offer a big, powerful sound that has no problem engaging and entertaining you.

Differing strengths

It takes a lot to knock a double Award-winner off its perch and into four-star territory, but that’s exactly
what’s happened with these two new challengers. They have very different priorities, however.The Quad S-1s excel in treble and midrange, and their handling of vocals is sublime. There is an intimacy here that’s hard to beat. They’re not the most flexible speakers, though; their compact size and small mid/bass drivers restrict low-end reach. But in smaller rooms they shine.

That’s where the Dynaudio Emit M10s come in. They are not quite as sweet with vocals, but they’re as good (if not better) at rhythmic precision, and that’s balanced with power, dynamics,flexibility and energy. Layers of music are stripped back to their emotional core,and the experience is hard to resist.
These are terrific all-rounders, and offer the sort of performance that we might expect from something much higher up the food chain. That they are available for £500 is little short of astounding.