Cuttin-Edge, On-the-Spot Reporting

Have You Seen?


There’s something inherently gonzo about trying to report on one of these massive hi-fi shows. It’s nigh impossible to strip oneself of the sensory overload one experiences at the show so that one can write about it in a sensible way.

The author shooting a Dynaudio Confidence 20A (see below)

As I sidled up to the Dynaudio exhibit promptly at 10:00 in the morning, the champagne was already flowing. Goodness, this is the kind of partying that even Hunter S. Thompson might have politely declined, unless he was continuing a bender from the night before. The Danish loudspeaker company is here in Munich to show not one, not two, but four totally new loudspeakers—plus an unexpected surprise.

The Bookshelf

The first speaker I saw in Dynaudio’s exhibition space was The Bookshelf—yeah, that’s really its name. The Dynaudio reps couldn’t provide more details than those that were already obvious, namely that The Bookshelf is a two-way standmount loudspeaker. I learned that The Bookshelf is based on the Dynaudio Confidence 20 loudspeaker, but that the aesthetic design was created in collaboration with Karimoku, a Japanese furniture manufacturer.


The distinctive cabinet proportions are meant to complement Karimoku’s furniture, and it has the sort of understated beauty that’s come to be expected from the Danish school of design. Each hardwood cabinet will come in a natural oak or smoked oak finish. I was told that Dynaudio has a few loose ends to tie up with Karimoku, so this speaker won’t be available until 2025. Since it’s still in the prototype phase, there is no price yet.

The Contour Legacy

The next loudspeaker revealed was the Contour Legacy, which is the second entry into Dynaudio’s Heritage Collection. Like Dynaudio’s Heritage Special two-way standmount, the Contour Legacy is finished on all surfaces in American walnut veneer. This narrow-profiled tower is a 2.5-way passive design that takes inspiration from the speakers of Dynaudio’s past—in particular, the now-discontinued Contour 1.8 tower.


The Contour Legacy uses the famed 28mm Esotar3 tweeter, which I was told is the best tweeter Dynaudio has ever made. Additionally, the Esotar3, in conjunction with the Contour Legacy’s bespoke midrange-woofers, has allowed the crossover to be simplified. The crossover uses Mundorf components throughout, with a first-order slope on the tweeter and second-order slopes for the midrange-woofers. The Contour Legacy is a limited-edition loudspeaker, so there will be only 1000 pairs worldwide. It’s set to retail at $14,000/pair in the US or €12,000/pair in Europe, including VAT. The speaker is expected to ship in the fall.


During the press conference, Dynaudio demoed a pair of the Contour Legacy speakers. I found it striking how these speakers could cast a wide, atmospheric soundstage but still line up a laser-precise center image. These are speakers with verve and snap. Listening to a snippet of a funk song by Tower of Power, I found the well-preserved dynamics of the percussion noteworthy. The sound seemed overall very organic. I hope this isn’t the last time I cross paths with the Contour Legacy.

The Confidence 20A

The Confidence 20A, obviously, is based on the already-available Confidence 20 standmount, but this new model is totally reworked to incorporate onboard amplification by Pascal. A 100W amp for the Esotar3 tweeter and a 400W amp for the 18cm NeoTec MSP midrange-woofer are built into the integrated stand, with Dynaudio’s custom DSP crossover orchestrating the frequency split. The cabinet has a down-firing port, which is hidden by the integrated stand. Analog and digital inputs are via XLR jacks on the back of the stand. Available in white or black, the Confidence 20A will be available this fall for $24,000/pair in the US or €20,000/pair in Europe, including VAT.

Dynaudio Confidence 20A

I also got to hear the Confidence 20A during the demonstration, and it was immediately obvious that Dynaudio has crafted an active speaker that is worth its substantial price. So much of music is communicated through the bass frequencies, yet so many speakers and rooms lose this part of the audioband. Well, the Confidence 20A had incredibly deep, tight bass. If someone had told me there was a subwoofer or four in the system, I wouldn’t have been surprised. The mids and highs had an equal level of precision, and so naturally, these speakers did a wonderful job of communicating the music—which is what our hobby is all about.

The Contour 20 Black Edition

Contour 20 Black

The newest member of the Contour lineup is the Contour 20 Black Edition. Based on the Contour 20i, the Contour 20 Black Edition has the top-of-the-line Esotar3 tweeter and a modified midrange-woofer, which, according to Dynaudio, pushes the sound quality closer to that of the signature Confidence line of loudspeakers. This is a passive, two-way design, and true to its name, it’s only available in a gorgeous piano-black finish. The Contour 20 Black Edition is set to ship this fall, and it will cost $8000/pair in the US or €7000/pair in Europe, VAT included.

The Dynaudio Turntable

This was a special and unexpected treat: Dynaudio is collaborating with Thorens to bring an all-in-one turntable to market, and the company was showing the prototype here at High End 2024. The turntable is based on the TD 403 DD mechanism, and features a black-anodized aluminum finish. An onboard RIAA preamp, as well as a module for digital and Bluetooth output, make the turntable an incredibly versatile source. To complete the package, the Dynaudio turntable will come pre-fitted with a custom Ortofon Concorde Music Blue cartridge. The turntable is still in development, but Dynaudio reports it will have a price in Europe in the €2000 range.

Dynaudio turntable

This isn’t my first hi-fi show, but it is my first time at High End in Munich. I’m already gobsmacked. Dynaudio started things with a bang—seriously, five new products at one show is almost unheard of. But as you’ll see as you come along with us, this kind of grandiose and flashy exhibition is par for the course. Stay tuned for more.

Matt Bonaccio
Contributor, SoundStage!