Bookshelf Speakers

Dynaudio Focus 110A Actively-Powered Bookshelf Speakers

ARTICLE INDEX

Introduction

Few things other than human relationships are as important to a writer and music/audiophile critic as the sound of their system. As someone who spends the bulk of his time in front of the computer, the necessity for a great-sounding desktop sound system that can transform bits on a solid-state or hard drive into living, breathing music is essential.

Specifications

  • Design: Two-way Active (Amplified); Ported Enclosure
  • Drivers: One 1.1" Fabric Dome Tweeter, One 5.7" System Magnesium Alloy Mid/Woofer
  • MFR: 45 Hz - 21 kHz, ± 3 dB
  • Amplifiers: Tweeter - 50 Watts; Mid/Woofer - 50 Watts
  • Crossover Frequency: 1.3 kHz
  • Dimensions: 12" H x 6.8" W x 12.7" D
  • Weight: 18.7 Pounds/each
  • MSRP: $2,450/pair USA
  • Dynaudio

For many of us, an essential aspect of a computer-based desktop system is compactness. Some people may have room for a separate amplifier, preamplifier, DAC, and pair of bookshelf (or bigger) speakers in their office; I, for one, do not. Thus, when Michael Manousselis of Dynaudio USA offered me a pair of the Focus 110A "active-powered" (built-in amplifiers) speakers, I was more than happy to accept.

I have now lived with these self-powered 18.7 pounders for over a year. They have the scars to prove it. So far, they've been transported by car 18 times to the classes I teach on vocal music at the Osher Lifelong Learning programs at UC Berkeley and San Francisco State. Lugged up and down the stairs, transported in my trunk, and carted across crowded streets and into elevators, they've not only weathered the storms, but also performed admirably throughout their tenure. I confess that the cabinets are no longer unblemished, and one of the tweeter domes has a nasty dent, but they perform as new.

I don't know how I could have taught my classes, listened to the 320 kbps mp3s upon which I base my twice-monthly classical (and occasional jazz) blogs for Telarc, or conducted preliminary auditions of CDs that arrive for review without the Dynaudio Focus 110A. Partnered with my Macbook Pro in the classroom and my iMac at home, the Benchmark DAC1 USB, Nordost Thor, a Kimber Silver USB cable, and an assortment of Nordost Valhalla and Odin power cables and interconnects, these speakers have become essential to my livelihood.

Need I add that they have become equally essential to my pleasure and enjoyment?