Review: Dynaudio Audience 52 Monitor

Category: Speakers

These are all around great speakers. I listen to pretty much any kind of music, but ever since I discovered that these things could put vocalists in my living room, I'm getting a little more into vocals lately. My major comparison of these speakers was against B&W, which are great speakers, but they didn't fit my tastes as well. B&W was a bit harsher in the treble, and uncontrolled in the bass. The Dyns image well, and they can handle a smooth midrange texture just as well as they can handle the zing of a cymbal or the piercing highs of a violin. You can just sit back, close your eyes, and the musicians materialize in front of you. The 52s are also relatively easy to place. These will also expose the weaknesses in upstream components and bad recordings, which can be good or bad. Unfortunately, I no longer listen to a few of my cds because the Dyns reveal that they are recorded so poorly. On the whole, these are wonderful speakers. The only thing you can really argue about is the price, and you can buy a used pair if that bothers you. If money were no object, I would still own these. (I'd drop $85,000 on Dynaudio Evidence and build a special room for them, but I'd still keep the 52s in my living room).

Associated gear
Denon DCD-1650AR cd player
Rotel RX-975 receiver (100 wpc)
Velodyne VLF-810 sub
monstercable interconnect and speaker cable

Similar products
various B&W--CM & DM series in similar price range, Bose(ha!), Klipsch, Acoustic Research.
The audience 52 of Dynaudio are really nice speakers I agree. I listened to them together with the 18 year old daughter Margreet (she attends the school of Music in Amsterdam) of my wife in a local hifi shop and compared them to the Quad 11L speakers and dynaudio audience 42 (also amazing). Well, the 52's were very convincing; no boom in the low frequency range, very articulate, very "spacious" (good sound stage) as Margreet kept saying with all the different music we tried: solo piano, chambre music with recorders, orchestra, orchestra with choir, female voices and pop music. There was no specific music for which the 52's sounded best; it was all good. I can't wait to have them in the house (they will be for Margreet) and hear the difference with my 18 year old highly appreciated (see KEF's 104.2 speakers. I'm afraid I will want to upgrade to more modern and better speakers. We also listened that day to KEF's Q1 and B&W 302 speakers and others, but although not bad, they are no match for Dynaudio. I am happy to read in your review, dear Strngcheesefan, that placement is not a big problem!
Just a note to say I completely agree with Strngcheesefan. (both about the 52's and B&W's). The Dynaudio's seem quite accurate. The midrange and treble are clear and smooth, while the bass is dynamic and full (for their size). The first speakers I've owned that I could really get lost in the music.
I got these speakers for my home theater (chosen over B&W and Martin Logans) to be driven by Rotel electronics, and I love them there, but for kicks I brought them down to try in my main rig. These are terrific speakers, and not at all embarassed being fed by the likes of Jadis, EMM Labs and Lamm electronics. Surprisingly good bass response, too, both in depth of frequency response and articulation. They do sound their best at louder volumes, where they really start to open up and sing. They give up a little in ultimate transparency compared to the more costly designs, but do everything so well you really don't mind at all.
I've had these speakers for two years. If you don't have them, buy them, borrow them, steal them, whatever -- just get them, this is one H... of a speaker.