Dynaudio Xeo 2 Wireless Loudspeaker

To Wire or Not To Wire

Equipment report
Dynaudio Xeo 2
Dynaudio Xeo 2 Wireless Loudspeaker

The Xeo 2 is the smallest and perhaps cleverest model in Dynaudio’s rapidly expanding universe of wireless active loudspeakers. You heard correctly—it’s a truly wireless, internally amplified system. It uses aptX Bluetooth as its wireless conduit for BT-compatible sources, all the while employing its own DSP and internal power to transmit the signal to each loudspeaker. Translation: no speaker cables. (I think I just felt a shudder rippling through the wire-maker community.) Yes, you can hook up a CD player or digital source component if you’re so inclined. But you don’t have to. In fact, Xeo 2 presents the easiest hook-up recipe in audio: Remove the contents of the box, plug them in, and take a couple of seconds to pair your music-loaded, Bluetooth-capable device. If you’re an old cable-handler like me it is a truly bizarre feeling just plugging the Xeo 2 into the AC—and boom, instant music. Look Ma, no wires!

The $1500-per-pair Xeo 2 is a two-way, bass-reflex design. It stands a mere ten inches tall but exudes quality with flush-mounted drivers and clean design elements. It sports a 27mm soft dome tweeter and 14cm mid/bass driver that includes a rigid, one-piece, thermo-formed proprietary MSP (Magnesium Silicate Polymer) cone and an oversized 38mm pure aluminum voice coil. The crossover kicks in at 3.1kHz and employs a 24dB-per-octave slope. Dynaudio designs and makes it own drivers in-house in Denmark. In fact, Dynaudio is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of high-quality drive units.

The cabinet is a molded composite bolstered by an aluminum baffle to further stiffen the enclosure. The downward firing port is cleverly hidden from view behind the rear cover plate where the power cord and selector buttons are housed. The entire package is fully self-contained with bi-amplification rated at 65W to each transducer, and DSP and Bluetooth streaming with aptX and AAC support. The Xeo 2 also sports a sophisticated digital crossover and true time-coherent, phase-linear FIR filters in the integral DACs. Additionally, Dynaudio uses its own Sound Power and Adaptive Bass Technologies to enhance low-end output.

Dynaudio has conveniently equipped the Xeo 2 with touch-button control for volume and power atop each speaker. The button also doubles as an input selector. My only nitpick was its extreme sensitivity to even casually light pressure. And, I soon learned just how loudly the Xeo 2 would play when I unwittingly rested my hand on its top a couple of times. The Xeo 2 is designed to fit in small, even difficult spaces, stand-mounted, on-wall, or bookshelf. To that end there is a three-position eq slider switch on each speaker to contour the sound for the realities and compromises of speaker placement. The three settings compensate for corner, wall, or neutral positioning to provide the most even response. Not missing a beat, Dynaudio offers optional table stands and wall brackets as well.

Furthermore, there are three zone settings that allow the use of multiple pairs of Xeo 2s in a multi-room/multi-zone system with independent source connectivity and independent volume control. Dynaudio offers the optional, reasonably priced Xeo Hub or Dynaudio Connect wireless transmitters for these more sophisticated installations. Wisely, wired inputs haven’t been completely jettisoned but they are purely optional. The Master speaker is equipped with digital (TosLink 24-bit/192kHz) and analog (RCA and 1/8" mini) inputs. All incoming signals are digitized. A remote control is included but its lackadaisical response will encourage you to use whatever paired smart device you’ve got handy.

The sonic expectations for wireless speakers have risen considerably over the past few years. Latency issues, while still real, have been largely ameliorated. And it shows—the Xeo 2 performance was very stable with excellent throw distances and no signal drop-outs in my home, a personal first for a BT device. Part of this is due to Dynaudio’s internal antenna. Dynaudio points out that many Bluetooth products include the antenna as an integrated part of the very small BT board. The Xeo 2 has the antenna integrated inside the Xeo 2 cabinet, but at a safe distance from the main electronics board and wiring.