Dynaudio Focus 360 Floorstanding Speakers

Focus 360

  • Sensitivity: 88 dB (2,83 V/1 m)
  • IEC Power handling: > 300 W
  • Impedance: 4 Ohms
  • Frequency Response: 31 Hz–25 kHz (± 3 dB)
  • Box Principle: 3-way bass-reflex

User Reviews (1)

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Kjell   AudioPhile [Dec 29, 2017]

I agree 100% with the review made by Jeff Fritz - SoundStage June 2010:

The Focus 360 is more impressive in person than the photos on Dynaudio’s website give any hint of. It’s large -- 48.8”H x 9.8”W x 15.2”D -- with substantial, seemingly very dense cabinet walls that taper slightly from front to rear. The 360’s simple-looking but beautiful cabinetwork is offset by an understated black plinth at the bottom, a small Dynaudio logo affixed to its front.


The most striking aspect of the Focus 360’s sound was its neutral midrange. I found it so lacking in coloration that it highlighted, in comparison, the relatively non-neutral sounds of most other speakers. This was true with the voices of both male and female singers. For instance, Michael Bublé’s “Always On My Mind,” from his Call Me Irresponsible (CD, Reprise 100313), was tonally natural, full of information, and palpably in my room. Bublé’s voice on this recording is a touch larger than life, and that’s how the Focus 360s presented it within their well-delineated soundstage, reproducing all the detail in his voice with a neutral sonic demeanor. There was no editorializing in the midrange -- something that any true high-fidelity speaker must not do.

Bass was taut, but not too much so. It was quite natural and neutral -- characteristics that were the hallmarks of the speaker overall, though they were still most audible in the midband. Still, the Focus 360 was able to admirably energize my room with bass with tracks such as “Low,” from electric bassist Jonas Hellborg’s The Silent Life (CD, Day Eight Music 26). The 360s did more than just hint at how low the electric bass guitar can play -- they had genuine weight and solidity well into the 30-40Hz region in my room. The bass was also nicely articulated and plucky, with smooth transitions up into the midbass. The bass frequencies were a fully integrated part of the whole picture, indicating a good blending of the drivers’ outputs. Admittedly, the 360s couldn’t do subwoofer-type bass and shake the whole room -- but neither did they blow up when I experimented with recordings that go ultralow. With the great bulk of the music I listened to, I never felt the need to hook up a sub.

The highs, too, were quite good. In fact, this is an area audiophiles need to pay particular attention to when auditioning the Focus 360. If you assume that only an exotic hard-domed tweeter can sound ultradetailed and airy, you’ll be surprised to find out that the Esotar2 in the Focus 360 can deliver all the detail and air you could ever want.

The 360s’ soundstaging and imaging were very good to excellent. I could easily map performers on the soundstage, which was both wide and deep, aided no doubt by my room, which has a good sound of its own. The performers were impressively spread across my room, with images clearly located beyond the speakers’ outer side panels, when appropriate. There was none of the image wander that indicates a poorly matched pair of speakers. Central images were scaled just right, and images didn’t seem too tall or too short.

At this point, it might sound as if the Focus 360 was almost a perfect speaker. Not quite. The one area that could stand improving is its overall transparency -- its ability to lift that last thin veil that prevents tiny details in the recording from reaching the listener. This is a very small flaw -- the Focus 360 just barely fails to communicate only that last iota of microdetail. I noticed this most in the upper and lower bass, though it did extend a bit into the lower midrange.

Against . . .

I had on hand an interesting comparison loudspeaker: the Paradigm Reference Signature S2 v.3. At $2598/pair, the Paradigm costs less than half as much as Dynaudio’s Focus 360. However, as you perhaps read in my “The World’s Best Audio System,” in March 2010, the Paradigm easily competed with speakers costing much more than themselves. Against the Focus 360, the Paradigm was quite competitive in the mids and highs. Of course, the major design advantages you’re paying for with the Dynaudio are its two bass drivers, its three-way configuration, and a big enough cabinet to house it all, and those advantages pay dividends -- as would be expected, the Paradigm is no match for the Dynaudio in the bass. The Focus 360 simply goes lower, and with excellent fidelity.

The midrange was another matter. If you expected these two well-designed loudspeakers to sound exactly alike in that region, well, they don’t. The Dynaudio was simply more neutral, sounding like nothing if not the actual recording playing through them. The Focus 360 was the epitome of uncolored. The Paradigm, on the other hand, was mostly neutral. It had a touch more energy in the lower midrange, however, that made it sound just a bit richer and more tonally full. This was most obvious with male voices, of which the Paradigm cast slightly more bottom-heavy, fuller images. I got the sense that these two sound characteristics were carefully chosen: The Paradigm warmed up the lower mids a smidgen to make up for its lack of low bass, while Dynaudio, which did produce true bass, let the mids stay as neutral as could be.

It was in the highs that I expected to hear huge differences between the two models -- how could the Paradigm’s beryllium tweeter and the Dynaudio’s soft dome sound in any way similar? Well, they did. In fact, with some tracks, if you could isolate just the highs, the two speakers were virtual overlays of each other. I guess that goes to show that you can’t simply look at driver material and assume that you know how that driver will sound in the context of a given speaker model. The implementations of these materials are keys, and in this case the disparate materials are incorporated into great tweeters, and these tweeters designed into terrific loudspeakers. Simply put, both tweeters were champs at retrieving detail, and at producing a clean response out to the highest highs. I could trip up neither of them, even when I played high-resolution material with ample energy up top.

Summing up

Manufacturers of high-value loudspeakers whose products challenge far more expensive gear aren’t all that common. Two speakers that come to mind are the PSB Synchrony One ($5000/per pair) and the Paradigm Reference Signature S8 v.3 ($6500/pair). Both have set standards for what can be achieved at their respective real-world prices, delivering full-range sound that you just wouldn’t expect for that money. Up to now, Dynaudio had no model that could directly compete with them in terms of performance for price.

That has changed. The Dynaudio Focus 360 offers a lot of performance for $7000/pair. In fact, in terms of value, it’s the most impressive speaker I’ve yet heard from the specialty Danish manufacturer -- and one of the most impressive speakers I’ve reviewed in some time.

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