Dynaudio Introduces Revamped Contour i Series For 2020
The Danish loudspeaker wizzes at Dynaudio had a hit on their hands when they launched a completely redesigned Contour range in 2016. A fan favorite since its introduction in 1986, the Contour range aims to deliver a big helping of the company’s high-end performance and aesthetics at relatively attainable prices. It’s reportedly the product that Dynaudio’s own employees tend to buy for themselves. The 2016 Contour range garnered ample praise from the audio press, and according to Dynaudio, has continued to sell well. So I was surprised to learn that a revamped Contour series, dubbed Contour i, was being readied for 2020. The new speakers haven’t changed much on the outside — apart from some new finishes — but they have been “totally overhauled on the inside,” according to the company. Dynaudio’s engineers say that they developed “irresistible new acoustic technology” while working on theof speakers, which sported new drivers and crossovers, a new baffle design, and reengineered cabinets when released in 2018.
We simply can’t hold ourselves back from seeing how (the new technology) could improve our existing ranges.
— Dynaudio Labs
Dynaudio’s product manager, Otto Jørgensen, said that every aspect of the existing Contour speakers was examined, refined, and in some cases totally redesigned, with the result being greater openness, increased detail, and a more powerful sonic punch. The new Contour i series features a new tweeter, new woofers, and — according to Dynaudio — “new thrills.” The lineup includes the Contour 20i bookshelf speakers ($5,250/pair), the compact Contour 30i floor-standers ($8,250/pair), the larger Contour 60i floor-standers ($10,750/pair), and the Contour 25Ci center channel speaker ($3,750 each).
We didn’t do it because we had to, we did it because we wanted to. Basically, this is what happens when you leave our engineers alone with a speaker — they can’t help but improve it. We gained so much knowledge during the Confidence project that we simply had to share it with Contour. And we’re absolutely thrilled with the results.
— Otto Jørgensen, Product manager at Dynaudio
Dynaudio is famous for its ever-evolving soft dome tweeter designs, which somehow reveal loads of detail without ever sounding bright or harsh. At the top of this extensive update to the Contour series is a new tweeter called the Esotar 2i, which is featured on all of the new Contour i speakers. Like the Esotar 3 tweeter found in the more expensive Confidence range, the Esotar 2i ditches the felt ring used to control resonance in the old Esotar 2, and instead employs a “resonance-defeating inner dome,” which Dynaudio calls Hexis. This works in tandem with a larger rear chamber to reduce distortion and deliver a flatter frequency response, according to Dynaudio. The woofers have been given an update as well. Those in the Contour 20i, 30i, and 25Ci have gained new Nomex spiders. Although their physical design hasn’t changed — the spiders still use corrugations of varying widths to control excursion, just as in the 2016 versions — the new Nomex material is said to yield improved sound quality. Meanwhile, the flagship Contour 60i tower has been given completely new woofers sporting a bigger magnet system, a newly designed voice-coil, and a new fiberglass voice-coil former to replace the titanium one in the outgoing Contour 60 from the 2016 series. The new woofers deliver “even tighter bass, at higher volume,” according to Dynaudio. The dedicated midrange driver in the Contour 60i sits in a new molded enclosure to provide additional damping for resonance control. This design was derived from Dynaudio’s flagship range of professional studio monitors.
With new drivers come new crossovers. The crossover in the Contour 60i is a completely new design, thanks in part to those new woofers, which work better at slightly higher frequencies than their predecessors (up to around 300Hz, according to Dynaudio). As a result, the engineering team was able to bump up the crossover frequency between the woofers and midrange driver. By reducing the low-frequency burden on the midrange driver, the team improved midrange clarity and overall performance. The crossovers in the Contour 20i, 30i, and 25Ci received an update as well. Thanks to the flatter frequency response of the improved drivers in these models, the Dynaudio team was able to simplify the crossover design by removing the impedance correction circuitry found in the 2016 Contour series. Finally, the new series includes new internal damping that takes advantage of knowledge gained during the development of the Confidence and Evoke ranges.
Dynaudio says that the sound of the new Contour i series is the result of “hours of measuring in our state-of-the-art Jupiter impulse-response room,” and “many more hours of listening to everything from Chopin to Slayer.” If it truly improves upon the already impressive performance of the 2016 Contour series, the new Contour i range should be another major success. The series launches in the U.S. this August, and will be available in three finishes: natural Walnut, Black High Gloss, and Grey Oak High Gloss.
For more information, visit https://www.dynaudio.com/home-audio/contour-i
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