Review: Dynex DX-SP115 with classic stereo gear

Budget Esoterica Review Magazine
January 2017 Issue

Anyone for Dynex?

Dynex has come out with a small 2 way speaker for just under $40 available for purchase at Best Buy. Although i wouldn't recommend these speakers to audiophiles, they seem to do a decent job in a home theater setting and that is in the context that i will be reviewing them. I used a pair of the Dynex DX-SP115 in a 2 channel home theater system consisting of a classic Sears by Fisher receiver and a vintage high end Sony ES dvd player. The results were generally pleasing. In fact i was impressed at the performance that you do get for the low price. Dynamics and power handling are limited, and you are not going to get too much bass. The bass that is there seems to be pretty good quality and it is definitely better than what you are going to get from a puny home theater satellite speaker.

As audiophiles we realize we don't get much for 40 bones when it comes to speakers. In this case i think you are getting your money's worth. I am not going to tell you that these will compete with a $100 speaker, because they won't. They are what they are. A good sounding $40 speaker that works well as a home theater speaker when used with good quality equipment. 

This is a small speaker with a 4 inch paper woofer and a 0.5 inch mylar tweeter. They stand about 10 inches high, 6 inches wide and 6 inches deep. The front grill is not removable. The speakers are nicely finished in a black ash cabinet with a small port in the rear. Although they look a little plain jane, i have come to appreciate their understated elegance and superb levels of fit and finish. I have picked 3 different movies on dvd to highlight what these speakers can do within the confines of their limited size and power handling. 

Reference DVD's 

1. Escape From New York, chapter 19 and 29.
2. The Strongest Man In The World, opening credits, chapter 1.
3. Goldfinger , chapter 8.

While watching Escape From New York, i noticed a nice organic sound on chapter 19. The music playing in the background was fairly smooth and the bass was pretty good considering the size of the cabinet. For my taste i could use them without a subwoofer. I also noticed a nice sense of presence. The vocal dialogue was pretty easy to understand. Forwarding to chapter 29 there is an explosion scene that will test the woofers limits. I could also hear the small details. When the president gets out of the taxi cab you can hear the chain of the cuff link that is attached to his hand. The character "Brain" runs over a land mine and the explosion has pretty good impact. There is a thundering sound coming from the left speaker. 

The Strongest Man In The World is one of my favorite movies. On chapter one, the opening credits had nice tonal color reproduction of the percussion. When the animated character hits the circus strength meter and hits the bell ringer on top you can tell that the dynex tweeters have pretty good extension in the highs. Compared to my more expensive comparator system the sound was just slightly harsher. 

In the movie Goldfinger there are two scenes that will also test the high frequency reproduction of your speakers. After James Bond gets hit on the back of the neck when he is at the refrigerator, and after he discovers Jill's golden body. The bells on the first scene seemed to be not as extended or as full as the second scene. I also thought i heard more tonal color and a thicker sound on the second scene. The bells on the second scene also had more sound decay and a little sweeter tone. 

The longer i listened to these speakers, the more i liked them. They are not going to impress any audiophiles and for not much more money you can do better. For the price, i think the dynex speakers are a winner.  If you are looking for a neutral sounding speaker with decent bass and excellent fit and finish for $40 i think they are just about cutting edge in their price bracket. 

Reference system

Sears by Fisher stereo receiver with stereo dave's jumpers and noisestopper rca caps
Sony DVP-NS3100 ES dvd player
Target FS50 speaker stands
Virtue audio interconnect
Belden speaker cable