Sonically, the Xeo 2 has a bold, confident voice that neither screams with treble lift nor shrinks into the background with midband suckouts. It’s a midrange-centric sound that doesn’t play favorites with male or female vocalists; it does justice to both, conveying intelligibility and a level of the tactile and physical underpinnings of the performance. There’s a slight presence range dip but the impact on musicality was minor. It’s a darker, warmer character overall, a more conservative balance, which is not necessarily a bad thing in a compact speaker. Small speakers often default towards rising top octaves that suggest detail of an order that never existed in the recording. On first listen this might get the speaker noticed but such hyper-detail and etching wear thin over the longer haul. Rather than drawing my attention to the tweeter, the Xeo 2 projected relatively smooth, coherent, energetic midrange dynamics, with a long-term listenability that prompted me to put iTunes on shuffle and let the music carry me away.
Due to its active biamplification I expected Xeo 2’s bass response to be weightier than the average passive loudspeaker of similar spec, but I wasn’t disappointed. Its response was crisp, with punch, drive, control, and scale that easily belied the speaker’s puny footprint. This loudspeaker has a big voice that imparted much of the body and resonance characteristics of the rhythm section during the opening bars of Shelby Lynne’s “Just A Little Lovin’.”
Xeo 2 might be a full-time wireless system but I still listened closely for sonic fingerprints that might be more related to the physical structure of the Xeo itself. To these ears it did at times sound a little overdamped, as if the cabinet were absorbing some of the natural transient crispness of percussion and winds. Also there was some general veiling that I could hear as a slight reduction in image individuation, as well as a flattening of dimensionality. The port does an admirable job filling in the midbass spectrum, but a ten-inch-tall mini-monitor can’t be expected to sound like a Wilson or a Magico.
Paramount to the Xeo 2 experience—and wireless in general—is using the system day in and day out. My findings? In two words, pure pleasure. Connectivity was as easy as pairing with your iPhone. The plug-and-play aspect delivers as promised—quickly and with no hiccups. The speaker eq slider was helpful in resolving room-induced acoustic issues. Owners should consider experimenting freely with these settings, as no two rooms are exactly alike. For example, I found that in my smallish room the speakers sounded more neutral in the “wall” setting rather than the more bass-heavy and overbearing “neutral” setting. The “corner” setting in comparison rolls off the mid and upper bass more than the “wall” setting—a roll-off consistent with the extra acoustic reinforcement that comes with corner placement.
The common wisdom in the audiophile world is “wired good, wireless bad.” Well, Dynaudio and its Xeo 2 really upset these assumptions. Not only did its combination of packaging, performance, and convenience find a receptive audience with yours truly, but the Xeo 2 was also a hit among my tech-savvy millennial nieces and nephews. Will it make believers of proud audiophiles with big, dedicated, fully wired systems? Nope, but that would be beside the point. As a no-fuss, no-muss option that brings Dynaudio’s vaunted musicality to virtually anywhere in the rest of the house, Xeo 2 proves that under the right set of circumstances sometimes wire-less turns out to be a lot more.
Specs & Pricing
Type: Active two-way, bass-reflex loudspeaker
Driver complement: 27mm tweeter, 14cm woofer
Frequency response: 40Hz–24kHz
Weight: 8.8 lbs.
Dimensions: 6.8" x 10" x 6"
Price: $1499 (white or black finish)
Dynaudio North America
1852 Elmdale Ave.
Glenview, IL 60026