Dynaudio Music 7 Review
Stunning audio quality and stylish design, but just a tad too pricey?
What is the Dynaudio Music 7?Founded in 1977 Danish speaker specialists Dynaudio are well known amongst audiophiles for their high-end speakers, but it’s a brand that many members may not have first-hand experience of due to the wallet-busting nature of their range. The £1,000 bookshelf Excite 14, for example, gives you an idea of where their products are pitched, along with the £2,500 Special Forty speakers reviewed back in April and right up to the beasts that are the £9,000 Contour 60.
They aren’t a brand that most might associate with wireless audio, although they were the first in the world to have a wireless high-end speaker with their XEO range, which has been continuously expanded and improved. But that could be about to change with their Music range of products. Bringing their expertise in all things audio, the music range offers 4 wireless speakers, starting with the battery powered £450 Music 1 and £575 Music 3 up to the mains powered £700 Music 5, which features an optical input and the top of the range £875 Music 7, which also features an HDMI input with audio return channel to attract those that may also want to use it for TV audio.
All four speakers are configured via the free Dynaudio app and feature RoomAdapt and NoiseAdapt technology, which adapts the speaker’s performance so as to not be affected by any ambient noise and to match its position in the room. The subject of this review, the Music 7, features 2 x 1in tweeters, 2 x 3in midrange and 2 x 5in woofers together with 300W of amplification. But at £875 will the Music 7 offer the performance and features to match the price? Read on to see how it fares in our review….
Design, Connections and Control?All the Music range and in particular this Music 7 have a very striking design. Instead of a boring rectangular shaped black box, you have a striking unit with plenty of sleek angles drawing your eye to the Dynaudio logo at the bottom front of the unit. Wrapped all over in custom cloth created by the acclaimed Danish textile house, Gabriel (yes, we’d not heard of them either), it is available in a choice of 4 colours - Red, Blue, Light Grey and Dark Grey.
The Music 7 is a hefty device weighing in at 7.7kg and measuring 819mm wide, 201mm high and 185mm deep. If you were planning on utilising it for TV audio, it probably won’t suit any setup with the TV on a stand due to its size but would suit a wall mounted TV. Both the Music 7 and Music 5 can be wall mounted via the optional £70 bracket, although this doesn’t appear to be available yet.
Across the top of the unit and down the sides is a stylish silver metallic bar, which houses all the controls for the Music 7. These include 5 preset buttons that can be set to any internet radio station, streaming playlists or even your favourite artist and right down to a single album or just one track. Plus, the volume, source and playback controls are also positioned here. There is no power button, you simply swipe your hand across the top of the unit to turn it on. When not in use it will put itself into standby after a short time.
The connections include an Aux 3.5mm jack and USB which are neatly hidden away on the left-hand side of the unit and to the rear we have the optical and HDMI (ARC) slots. The USB connection supports iOS audio only and will charge any iOS device connected. Alongside the physical connections there is, of course, WiFi and aptX Bluetooth with playback of music via Apple Airplay and DLNA over the network. There is also a remote control which features playback buttons, source change and volume controls.
- Drivers: 2 x 1in soft-dome tweeters, 2 x 3in midrange, 2 x 5in woofers
- Amplifier Power: 6 x 50w for woofer, midrange and tweeter
- Power Consumption: 100W
- Samples Rates: 32Hz – 96kHz
- Bit Rates: 16-24bit
- Frequency Response: 40Hz – 20kHz
- Distortion %THD: <0.3%
- Audio Formats: ·FLAC, WAV, AIFF, ALAC, MP3, AAC, Bluetooth (aptX)
- WiFi: 802.11a/b/g/n
- Weight: 7.7kg
- Dimensions: 819mm x 201mm x 185mm
How was it setup and tested?Marketed as an ‘intelligent wireless music system’, this would suggest a smart but simple initial setup and installation, and this is mostly what we got. Out of the box you get a quick start guide and all the necessary cables except for an HDMI cable, which seemed a bit harsh when you’ve just spent £875.00. The installation and setup was very quick and easy and is all carried out via the Dynaudio Music app.
The process involves you connecting the speaker to your Wi-Fi network, registering it to the App and then answering a few simple questions on your music tastes and favourite artists so that the ‘Music Now’ feature of the App can intelligently devise a playlist for you. The setup guide is done in the format of a text/chat message. You answer a question, you see the symbol as if someone was replying to you then a new message appears. A novel way of doing things.
Following the successful installation and setup we tested it with a variety of music from sources such as via the App using Tidal, which is currently the only streaming music service supported, outside of the App via Apple Music, Amazon Music and TV audio via HDMI from the likes of Sky, Netflix and Blu-ray.
PerformanceFrom a name as synonymous with high-end audio as Dynaudio is and at a cost of £875 you should rightly expect a very high-quality level of audio reproduction and that is exactly what we received during our various tests. Via the 300w of amplification, evenly spread over the 6 drivers, the sound quality was very impressive. Even in a large room, 50% volume was far more than you would normally need. We did push it right up to 100% where it just about held together, but that was far too loud for reasonable listening.
The tonal balance we found leaned very slightly towards the comfortable warm and weighty side of things with a very good deep bass, whilst keeping a strong midrange and not at all bright treble. Via the app, you can alter the bass and treble if they aren’t exactly to your liking. The Soundstage was also impressive with a noticeable depth and width.
The dynamics were impressive too. Particularly noticeable when playing back our favourite test item, the Hans Zimmer Live in Prague album, the full range of the orchestra could be heard including all the fine details. Unlike our recent review of the Sonos Playbar, when the track reached a particularly bass-heavy part, the Music 7 coped admirably with it and didn’t become too boomy.
Testing across all sources, such as Movies and TV on Netflix and Sky, plus music across a wide range of styles such as The Sound of Silence by Disturbed, Rocket Man by Elton John, Pink’s Beautiful Trauma, the screechy voice of Sia’s various tracks and the bass workout that is Sail by Awolnation, the Music 7 took it all in its stride and produced a level of audio reproduction that was very impressive. The vocals were strong and clear even with everything else going on in the background.
Dynaudio Music AppWhilst the performance of the Music 7 was excellent, the app was less so. It’s well laid out with a stylish looking UI but unfortunately it does have a few issues. Firstly, it is heavily integrated with Tidal, which thankfully you do get a free 9-month subscription included with your purchase, but the cost to continue this is £9.99 a month for the Premium service or £19.99 a month for the HiFi service which includes High Fidelity, lossless audio. Once the Tidal subscription is set up, it is easy to search for a track, album or artist. You select that and it starts playing within a couple of seconds.
The app does need some improvement to compete with the likes of Sonos. For example, you can’t rewind or fast forward through a track and as mentioned, no other streaming music services are supported apart from Tidal. If you have an Apple Music or any other streaming music subscription you need to access that outside of the Dynaudio app. All the app will do when not playing anything through Tidal is change the volume, it won’t even show you what is playing.
- Stylish design
- Superb build quality
- Top class audio reproduction
- Too expensive
- App needs some improvement
- App only works with Tidal
Dynaudio Music 7 Review
Should I buy the Dynaudio Music 7?The Music 7 is an impressive piece of kit. The build quality is superb, as you would expect from a name such as Dynaudio, it is well designed and solidly made and would look good in any home. The audio reproduction was superb across the board from the bass, treble and midrange and the RoomAdapt technology was not just window dressing either. The system can also be easily expanded with the addition of the Music 1, 3 and 5 speakers to give you a multi-room audio system.
It has a simple installation and setup and a good array of connections including HDMI (ARC) if you want it to double as a soundbar for your TV. The app is easy to use with a stylish UI, although it could benefit from improvement as it only works with Tidal and has a few bugs that need ironing out. At £875 it just seems a little too expensive, even when considering how good it sounds.
What are my alternatives?With the most obvious competitor being Sonos, their Playbar whilst not having the looks of the Music 7, is almost £200 cheaper and features a superb user experience with one of the best apps we have seen and excellent audio quality, although perhaps not quite at the level of the Music 7. If your budget will allow, the Music 7 is one worthy of your consideration - if you don’t mind putting up with a few issues with a work in progress app that is.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £875.00
Ease of Use8
Value for Money7
Our Review Ethos
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- Drivers: 2 x 1in soft-dome tweeters, 2 x 3in midrange, 2 x 5in woofers