Dynaudio’s Contour 20 stand mounters have long been a favorite of ours. At the price, their combination of a robust and expressive sound and a fine build made them a strong recommendation. This new Contour 20i edition strives to expand on those strong foundations while maintaining the core values of a fantastic product. Little appears to have changed between the two generations of Contour 20s on the surface. When you examine the headline specifications, you’ll notice that they’re nearly identical. As you examine closely, the contrasts between the two become apparent. Here is the Dynaudio Contour 20i review for you.
Dynaudio Contour 20i Review
The revised Esotar tweeter is one of the highlights. This new 20i version still uses the company’s usual 28mm cloth dome, but much has changed behind it. There’s now a larger chamber for the dome’s rear-firing sound to be absorbed in, with a Hexis inner dome at its entrance, according to the business.
This permanent dome structure is said to help regulate airflow behind the moving diaphragm, as well as reduce distortion and offer the tweeter a smoother, flatter frequency response when combined with the larger chamber.
A reworked suspension for the 18cm MSP (Magnesium Silicon Polypropylene) mid/bass. And a simpler crossover network, thanks to the enhanced drive units, is among the other upgrades for this redesigned Contour 20. The crossover frequency remains at 2.2 kHz, which is a very average figure for this sort of speaker.
The nominal impedance of the Contour is 4 ohms. While this may give the impression that these speakers are a heavy electrical load, this is not the case. Dynaudio’s devices are designed with relatively flat impedance curves, making them kinder than the specifications suggest. Even yet, if you want to get the most out of them, we recommend using an amplifier with a little more grunt.
The 44cm height cabinet of the 20i hasn’t altered from the previous generation, which isn’t a negative thing. It’s made of MDF, like most of its competitors. However, the back panel is 38mm thick and is paired with 16mm sides. To suppress resonances and improve rigidity, there is a lot of bracing.
The front panel is made out of a 14mm aluminum panel backed by 16mm MDF. Internal damping has been changed, and the finishes have been improved. High gloss black, walnut, and high gloss grey oak are the three available finishes.
Any speaker of this caliber requires a capable system, and the Contour 20is are no exception. With a comparable source, we think the basic minimum is something like Naim’s SuperNait 3 (£3500, $4299, AU$8000) or Rega’s Aethos integrated amps (£2999, $4000, AU$5999). However, if you truly want to hear what these Dynaudios are capable of, you’ll need more musically adept electronics, which will be much more expensive.
For this test, we use our standard reference setup. Burmester’s 088/911 Mk3 pre/power combo is paired with Naim’s ND555/555 PS DR music streamer and Technics’ SL-1000R record player.
Don’t pass judgment on these speakers based on their packaging. They’ll take a while to settle in, but once they do, you’ll be rewarded with surprisingly competent performance. The sound’s character hasn’t changed significantly from the previous generation, but there are enhancements all around. It’s a more precise, clear, and passionate presentation.
The Dynaudios sound right at home with Hans Zimmer’s intricately constructed Interstellar OST. Our attention is drawn to their bass production first. It’s quite powerful, with a sensation of weight and punch that doesn’t seem appropriate for a box this little. Despite this full-bodied and rich approach to lows, these boxes nonetheless have enough agility and tunefulness to satisfy.
If you use the Contours with an amplifier that has inadequate bass control or if you set them carelessly, the sheer volume of low frequencies they create could be a problem.
You’ll wind up with overdone lows that dominate the remainder of the frequency spectrum in either instance. Foam plugs are available for the big rear-firing reflex ports to help with difficult placement, such as against a rear wall. However, employing these is more of a band-aid than a treatment.
Once you get past the outstanding sound authority and scale, you’ll notice that these Dynaudios have a lot more detail than the first-generation model. They provide industry-leading knowledge, effortlessly tracing tiny instrumental threads and expertly rendering sound soundscapes. With tremendous expertise, dynamic nuances are resolved.