When I was planning to buy some speakers I didn't know what I wanted. So I listened and listened at various hifi stores. First i listened to a pair of Mordaunt Short 908. For the money a very good speaker, especially in the bass, but it lacked some detail and staging. The B&W 604 which I then auditioned were quite an improvement in terms of depth and detail in the sounstage. Still I was not entirely convinced.Then I heard a Dutch Hepta. Wow that was the sound I was looking for, but they were far too expensive, €1400 a piece. The man told the units came from Dynaudio so my search was from then on focussed on the Dyn's. I compared the Audience 52 with the 122 and I bought finally the 122, mainly because of the 'bigger' sound. The difference isn't that much, but I liked the look of the 122 as well.
When you purchase these speakers remember they need a long break-in period. Mine about 150 hours. I know this has been said before. but it is oh so true. Out of the box they can sound cold, uninvolving, metallic and small. BUT when they are broken in there is a whole new world of sound opening up for you.
Dyn Audience 122 front
Dyn Audience 42C center
Dyn Audience 42W rear
I use this system (audience 122, 122c, 42) for home cinema, ( I use It with a kenwood krf-x7775d amp)and I`m very pleased with the sound the only minus is that it lacks deep base but then again if you put a extra sub to the system that problem is solved.
After running-in these wonderful speakers continuously for over 50 hours, I'm ready to post my second review.
Please note that I'm not an audiophile by any stretch of the imagination. This review is done in the context of my system setup, listening room and personal views.
The tweeters are excellent. The highs are airy, bright and open without harshness. Very good dispersion, which could be attributed to the significant protrusion of the soft dome tweeter from the cabinet. The tweeter protrusion is a cause for concern for many that it may be damaged easily. I voiced my concern to the Dynaudio dealer, he poked, or more like jabbed, the tweeter with his finger and the tweeter bounced right back. He also mentioned, in cases where the tweeter stays invertted, just slowly "massage" it out, which he demonstrated to my satisfaction. Finally, he warned that as long as the accidental contact is not sharp enough to puncture the tweeter, it should remain problem free.
Imaging is very good despite low tweeters position on the cabinets. Bringing my ears down to level with the tweeters don't yield noticeable difference in imaging. Nevertheless, I'm going to place thick slabs of concrete under the speakers to elevate the tweeters to ear level in my listening position.
The mid/bass drivers produce accurate, smooth vocals. Vocals sound real and no noticeable coloration or "chestiness". Bass is fast and tight, and it integrates very well with a fast, tight subwoofer like Rel. In my listening room, the bass (without the sub) extends to 38 Hz and disappear rapidly thereafter.
As a whole, the Audience 122 is revealing. I suspect if partnered with a poor quality source and amplication the 122 could sound bad. Increasing or decreasing the volume control produces an audible "clicking" sound on my Denon receiver, which wasn't apparent on my previous MA PMC 702. It's so revealing that even the lips smacking noise made by a newsreader on radio was produced clearly, which made listening to the news comical and to a certain extent irritating.
The revealing nature of the 122 makes it a fine pair of main channel speakers. Details that you never thought existing in broadcastings and recordings are unveiled. I was watching U-571, again, on cable and the background noise made by submarine was distinctly audible. The same apply to my CD collection.
Imaging and soundstaging is superb. Playing a imaging and soundstaging test track from Chesky Records' Gold Stereo and Surround Sound Set-up Disc, which comprises a small orchestra moving around the studio while playing their instruments, the sound extends way beyond the left and right sides of the speakers. You can "see" the orchestra move left to right from behind the speakers, right to front right (my right), front right to front left (my left), front left to left then, finally, move left to right before exiting through a door on the right of the right speaker. Wow!!! The sound was clear and seamless as the orchestra move round the studio. My previous MA PMC 702 never came to close to what I've just heard from the 122. AWESOME!!!
In addition to all the above, the 122 is musical and dynamic. Madonna’s The Power of Goodbye and Ray of Light came through with lots of details and tons of deep tight bass. Santana’s The Best of Santana album gave insightful high, mid and low details, and oozing with toe tapping dynamics . Badi Assad’s Pau Brasil and Carlos Heredia’s Aries Del Poliogono - WOW!! Moving to vocals and slower tracks, Diana Krall and Stacey Kent were in my listening room.
I can’t comment on 122 performance in home theatre too much due to mismatched centre and surround speakers. Of the little test that I’ve done using Planet of the Apes and Rush Hour 2, both DVDs with DTS-ES encoding, the 122 coupled with Rel came through with flying colors. Please note that I find testing speakers in home theater difficult because I don't know what consitute accuracy but if there's LOTS of slam-bang presence then 122 passes my test with flying color.
In summary, the Audience 122 should be auditioned for 2 channel stereo due to the imaging, soundstaging, revealing nature and dynamics.
For home theater, a good quality fast, tight subwoofer should be used. Even without a subwoofer, I suspect the 122 should be quite a capable performer minus the ground shaking, door rattling effects. Imho, I think even a big floor stander would still benefit from a subwoofer to fill in the lower octave.
Another reason why the Audience 122 should be auditioned because of matching speakers for centre and surround, namely the 122C, 42, 42C and 42W. All these speakers share identical sized tweeters and mid/bass drivers. My system has mismatched speakers and the performance is less than ideal. That's why I bought the 122 so that I may add the Audience 122C and the 42 series for surround as I move along in search of home theatre nirvana.
My two cents worth.
Regards, Roy Miu
Denon AVR-3802 receiver Pioneer DVL-919 (LD, DVD, CD) player Marantz CD-67 MkII SE Sony Playstation 2 Dynaudio Audience 122 Monitor CC700 centre speaker Monitor Audio baby satellites for surround Rel Q150E
Haven't done any critical listening yet but, from prelimary listening, it sounds really, really good. The details are incredible. My MA PMC 702 was no lemon but the Audience 122 really shine and brightly!
I'll do some critical listening tonite after it has been burn-in with pink noise for at least 24 hours. I heard Dynaudio speakers take a long time to burn-in but I can't wait any longer.
This is my first pair of floor standing speakers and my first non-british speakers. Decide to buy Dynaudio after reading all the good reviews on various website and audio magazines. Also, it allows me to build up my home theater system slowly over time by adding the 42 and 42W for surround speakers, which share the same mid/bass drivers and tweeters as the 122 and 122C. (Am going to collect the 122C tomorrow :-). Other brands offer the same but they're not as musically and not as compact and home friendly as the Audience series.
Was comtemplating on getting the Audience 42 because of its performance in 2 channel stereo but it would seem like a downgrade from my PMC 702 and may not offer the slam-bang for home theater application.
Was comprehensive on the 122 because of the lack of reviews but decide to go for it. After all it shared the same mid/bass drivers and tweeters (apparently) as the excellent 42 so it couldn't have fallen too far from the tree to be different in too bad a way.
After last nite, my apprehension was quickly forgotten. I didn't do a A/B comparision between the 42 and 122. Obviously the 122 would have more bass but I'm more concern with the mid and high plus the imaging and soundstaging of the small monitor.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I'm going to play these babies tonite and will post my findings in this website, which btw has been very helpful. I really appreciate the time fellow reviewers took to post their thoughts, likes and dislikes so that prospective buyer like myself may make a sound judgement when purchasing audio equipment. Having said that THANK YOU EVERYONE!
Regard, Roy Miu
Receiver Denon AVR-3802 Pioneer DVL919 (LD, DVD, CD) player Marantz CD67 SE MKII Sony Playstation 2 Dynaudio Audience 122 Monitor Audio baby satellites for surround Rel Q150E
After a period of extensive listening, I made following conclusions:
B&W: not bad, S2 models are to muddy in the bass, S3 bass was very deep but fatiguing, plays very good when played loud (happens seldom at home, so what 's the use of that) and a bit to "shut in" at low levels.
JBL XTI 80: I missed something in de mid when compared to the Dynaudio 122's
Mission 775: huge speakers, but typical English Mission sound: very pronounced in the highs, good bass is non existent
Infinity Alpha 40: more a speaker voor the techno fan. Sound very "in your face". Good speaker but not for delicate music.
Kef Q55-2: a speaker for the jazz fans. Very good sound, misses a bit bass for my taste.
Dynaudio 42: excellent speakers: accurate and controled sound, misses a bit bass, but a real must for who likes some smaller speakers
Dynaudio 122: sounds like the 42's, but with the extra bass. Very accurate and controled bass. Excellent tweeter. Very open sound and dynamic. Compared directly to the B&W's and the Dynaudio's were a clear winner.
I'm going to buy the 122c in the near future to complete this excellent pakkage.
Just go out and have al listen. Compare them and you will hear the difference!!! These are killer speakers. They scored olso very good in Audio magazine and What Hifi.