Dynaudio Audience 42 Floorstanding Speakers

4.65/5 (23 Reviews) MSRP : $699.00

Product Description

Two-way Bookshelf loudspeaker. Rear-ported bass-reflex.

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Reviews 1 - 5 (23 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Tom a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: June 14, 2016

Bottom Line:   
You pay through the nose for Dynaudio products, but they certainly justify paying more than the competition.

They have a distinctive house sound which is best described as warm and detailed.

The 42s have a quality whereby a snare or clap stands out from the mix and sounds perfectly accurate in terms of attack and decay. Vocals are similarly perfect, but the speakers are not analytical.

The bass and treble at either extreme are accurate but warm and rich.
In fact, it's very difficult to describe the sound character or cite a similar example.

I compared the Mission 751s favourably to these; the sound character is completely different though; the Missions are analytical yet musical but ultimately cannot belie their cost.

Those come close to the Dyns on their own merit - they are much cheaper and punch above their weight, but in terms of out and out comparison these take it for 'high end' qualities - accuracy and so on.

If the house Dynaudio sound appeals you will be hooked in by these for a long time.

I gave mine up to acquire PMCs for more monitoring purposes, and while the PMCs are excellent, these were better hi fi listening speakers & someday I will return to Dynaudio.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jaf36 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: May 5, 2008

Bottom Line:   
I have owned Thiel , Vandersteen, Paradigm, Alon, Legacy and now Dynaudio. Plus too many mass market makes to name here. Of all these peakers I have owned my favorite is the Vandersteen 2ci or 2ce. The reason is that they are very accurate across the entire frequency range that they produce. Their treble and overall sound is called laid back but this is absolutely not true. I play drums and have listened to countless brands of cymbals and while some have a little more top than others none cut through the music as reproduced by Thiel, B&W, Joseph Audio I could go on and on. Now to the Dynaudios. I ama giving them a 5 star rating because at this price point you may look at them and think real small can't be worth 850.00. Well go listen to any number of speakers you wish and put B&W high on your list because they are getting many accolades from all the the stereo mags right up to the new 685. Then go listen to the Audience 42.Know why the B&W is considered so exciting? because of that treble initial listen grabs you, you react blood pressure goes up same as the reviewers, excitement nothing like it. Then go to a live show, a small club any kind of music even rock.
Then come home and listen to the night and day difference between B&W, Thiel or any number of those "exciting" speakers out there. If you listen to a well broken in pair of Dynaudio Audience 42 speakers you wont stop listening. The excitement is all there without that bacon on a fire treble that so many are passing out as excitement. No everything the Dynaudio like the Vandersteen reproduces is as accurate as your going to get at their respective prices. The one thing you must do with a pair of 42s is let them break in, a good 150-200 hours. I left them paly with an analog tuner between stations for weeks. I sat down the other night and have not gone to bed before midnight since. Everything is there all the tonality the details reproduced as accurately as I have heard from a speaker of this price. Are they worth the 850.00? some people including reviewers say no. You know what take it from a 25 year+ audiophile that has sat in front of dozesns of speakers in dozens of show rooms up and down the east coast they are worth evry penny!

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $850.00

Purchased At:   In Livin Stereo New

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by arnout a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: January 19, 2007

Bottom Line:   
I think these are exceptionally good speakers for a budget price.
So why only 3 stars?

They really need very good electronics, an amp and cd player at a higher price level than the speakers themselves.
In this respect the Audience 42 seems more picky than its bigger brother, the Audience 52 (which I auditioned while choosing my current amp)

I auditioned these speakers on several occasions (including at my home, partnered with my equipment Marantz PM7200 and Marantz cd5000)

When partnered with my own (relatively) cheap amp and cd player the Audience 42 didn't shine.
The sound is very accurate, fast, uncolored and transparent
Pretty big for a small speaker but not particularly rich and lush.

Play some good recorded classical albums, Gluck's Orfeo et Euridice (Harmonia Mundi) for instance and it sounds gorgeous, weightless (I mean this in a good way) and liquid, but it misses some warmth and ease overall, as if this speaker is focused with an emphasized concentration never to loose his grip.
Which it doesn't, but therefore it never seams to relax, there isn't much air...well there is in the soundstage (which is very wide), but not in the delivery of the notes.

Rock music is played lively but a bit bass heavy and bright in the upper midds.
As said the sound is fast, but unfortunately fatiguing in the long run.
It must be my cd player that's responsible for the bright and forward upper midds and my amp which bass is a tad slow.

But I have had better succes in partnering my amp with other speakers.
The Focal JmLab Chorus 706S for instance: it misses the upmost accuracy, speed and transparancy of the Dynaudio's, but it controlled the bass better and at the same, curiously enough, it performed in a more relaxed way without losing much excitement.

B&W DM602 S3 is another candidate that performed well with my equipment, though a bit bass heavy too and at time a bit harsh treble.
No listening fatique however.

And finally the Quad L12.
Perhaps a bit laid back in comparison with others, but very engaging all the same, without strain, even at high volumes.

It could be the low sensitiviy of the Dynaudios which is a too difficult load for my amp, but I have had similar disappointing results when partnering the Audience 42's to similar priced NAD and Rotel equipment.
And 42's brother, the Audience 52 which is low sensitive as-well wasn't difficult to drive at all.

The only time the little Audience 42's showed a different face was when partnered with a Primare A20 and Rotel RCD 1072 cd player.
Now Primare is known to some for being a bit clinical and Rotel is not synonym for warm and rich.
Well the electronics must be better than that of my Marantz, for it sounded absolutely heavenly! Grainless, weighty...would "very good" be enough to describe the sound? (I'm getting a bt tired of the audio blah blah)

Of course I'm not going to buy these Dynaudios just to replace my amp and cd player at the same time for better equipment.
These speakers are very very good though when partnered with a much more expensive amp and better source.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   2004

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by iano a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: October 8, 2005

Bottom Line:   
Stunning mid priced standmount speakers. The way to describe the Dynaudio sound would be effortlessly natural. Driver integration is utterly perfect, leaving no part of the frequency spectrum sticking out to distracting effect.

The sound is rich and involving but never succumbs to being glossy or overly lush. Bass weight is surprising for a speaker this size, being punchy and fullsome. Midrange vocals are fantastic, wonderfully sweet and clear. Other players in the market pip these for imaging and detail but fall short when it comes to dynamics and overall musical involvement.

4 ohm impedance and 86dB/w/m sensitiviy present a slightly more demanding amplifier load, however I'm using a Rotel RA-971mkII integrated and have no trouble getting these speakers to party hard.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   Reg Mills, Brisbane

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Prune_Phace a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 23, 2005

Bottom Line:   
Awesome speakers!!!For a speaker this size they have everything.A meaty bass,very,very open and natural midrange and treble.Never harsh.
Everyone should listen to Dynaudio speakers :).The 52's are similar sounding
with fuller meatier bass.Not as tight or as funky as the 42's though

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   used

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