B&W 804 Diamond vs Dynaudio Focus 380

Has anyone had a chance to listen to these two speakers and form any opinions about the strengths and weaknesses of each one's sonic characteristics?
I've heard both. Not even a contest. The Dynaudio Focus 380 is a much better speaker. If you could listen to them side by side (probably impossible these days) it would be extremely obvious how superior the Dyn speaker is to the B&W. The B&W 804 has vastly less bass impact, weight, and authority. The 804 is decent at mids and highs but it's got little more bass impact than a typical stand mount speaker. There's a reason B&W has the 803 & 802, it's because people want more bass. The Dyn Focus 380 is basically full range. The Dyn is also smoother without losing any clarity or detail.
Thanks for your detailed response, Jaxwired! What did you think of the Diamond tweeter? Any brightness or harshness you noted?
The diamond tweeter sounds great. The B&Ws are revealing, but they do not sound natural to me. They sound great, but they don't sound uncolored to me. The dyn sounds much more uncolored. Much more natural. I do not think the B&W diamond tweeter is harsh.
Having heard both its the Dynaudio all the way.

B&W are a bit of an acquired taste. Some go ga ga over them, for others like me - ho hum. In this case overly bright treble and grungy, dead, recessed midrange to my ears. Noel Keywood in Hi Fi World measured them and found a dirty great big treble hump. He said it outright - they measured like shite and will sound like shite. I would not go that far - many speakers have exaggerated treble to give false detail but still you would expect better from a company like B&W.

In that price range there is a lot of competition so broaden your horizons and listen to other stuff. If you can reach that far price wise I would check out the Rockport Mira


I would go listen to the Monitor Audio Pl-200. Wenn you use an amp like Pass labs you will get a very deep and wide stage with this speaker. In timing and respons it is faster than the 804. It is superior in 3-dimensional image compared to B&W. I owed the best B&W like the 800 Signature. I stopped because B&W still makes poor crossovers. How you know this? Very simple, compare speakers with the best amp who can give a deep and wide stage. B&W is almost 2-dimensional. For the best highend and absolute sound a deep and wide 3-dimensional stage is a pre. Wenn it is not there you do not understand audio and music in real. I even play 1 metre beside my Pl-200 and 5 metres behind. This makes the stage wider and deeper. With this speaker I was the absolute sound at a big audio show with over 50 distributers.
Hi James and Bo

James thanks for posting the link to the measurement of the 804. Here is exactly what Noel said:
'The 804D will have even sounding bass with a dry-ish quality and some subsonic content. It will also sound bright across the midband and sharp in its treble, straying far from accuracy.'

Bo - crossover issues is the exact problem with the 800 series speakers. They use excellent drivers and inert cabinets but their crossovers let them down. In the past they used parts of very dubious quality for a high end product such as iron core instructors, PCB's and low quality capacitors. The very best crossovers use air coiled small gauge conductors, point to point wiring and high quality capactors such as Mundorf or even Duelund. They fixed the quality part with their latest 802D but even that speaker doesn't do it for me - a dirty great big bass hump and dirty and grungy midrange.

B&W have these problems for a long time now. At a show of B&W I point out these problems. And during listening I showed them. They did not say anything. They knew I was right. Depth and playing fully loose from the speaker is the key to the absolute sound. This key is not there for B&W. So it is not possible to be one of the best. Like they are missing the boat. New statement: 'only people with less knowledge about highend and realistic sound will buy B&W'. I stopped with it because I wanted to go to a higher level of sound realism. Depth is the most stunning part in this. B&W does not have this quality/talent. It is that simple, so keep it simple!
Dynaudio make better crossovers. But compared to Monitor Audio they do not reach that level. Monitor Audio is also a lot better in timing and respons.
Have you considered the Contour 5.4? It's close in price as the Focus 380 but with even better drivers - crossover and uses the Esotar2 tweeter. The Focus will be punchier but the Contour will be more neutral from top to bottom.
Just a thought
The focus 380 uses the esotar2 tweeter also.
I did not heard contour 5.4 but expect it is better speaker than focus 380...his esotar tweeter should be customised by higher engineering specs. than focuse model...but focus is not far i suppose...regarding the punch...i got better control, punch allover the spectre when using kubala sosna emotion PC with gryphon diablo amp(i tried atleast dozen PCs)...also what added significantly control, presence, punch is amp itself...becuz of power i suppose...on amps of lesser strength i tried with 380 as karan ka-180mk2 and luxman e-590a2 allthough sounding good it hadnt got enough control to fully appreciate speakers(on more demanding material transcients where not nearly so realistic)...so if you ever choose dyns...any dyns...my friendly advise is to feed them with lots of quality power and buy best as possible cabling and source...you will hear wonders...very neutral non colored speakers that can do all music good...at the end its just about how good production is...if its bad you will hear crap...if good you will be rewarded...i have no experience with bowers D series but i hear mixed opinions...if there is anything else you want to know about focus 380 ask freely...regards...
Hey Jax You are right and I was thinking the Focus 360 not the new 380
Im pretty sure that 360 also has esotar2 tweeter :)