Dynaudio Contour 1.4 Bookshelf Speakers Reviewed

Published On: January 2, 2009
Last Updated on: October 31, 2020
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Dynaudio Contour 1.4 Bookshelf Speakers Reviewed

The Danish-made Dynaudios cost more than the average speakers, but our reviewer found that for that extra money, you will get "a speaker that performs at a level (or maybe a few levels) above those that you can typically find at your local electronics store." The sound was "refined and detailed with a solid soundstage..."

Dynaudio Contour 1.4 Bookshelf Speakers Reviewed

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The Danish company of Dynaudio has long been known in audiophile circles for their drivers. For many years, Dynaudio supplied drivers for the manufacturers of some of the world's best-known high-end speaker manufacturers. More recently, Dynaudio has been making their own speakers. Their speaker collection consists of several lines, ranging from the couple-hundred-dollars price point to the tens-of-thousands-of-dollars range. The Contour 1.4 is the smallest speaker in Dynaudio's Contour line, which is on the cusp of their midrange and high-end lines.

Additional Resources
Learn more about Dynaudio
on their HomeTheaterReview.com brand page.
• Read a review of Dynaudio's Contour T-2.5 speakers here.
Check out this review of Dynaudio's Excite X12 speakers on HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Frank Doris reviews the Dynaudio Sapphire floorstanding speakers here. Read the review.
• Looking for Audiophile Bookshelf speakers - check out AudiophileReview.com's blog page about affordable speakers.

At $3,300, the Contour is significantly more expensive than the bookshelf speakers you will find outside of higher-end audio stores. What do you get for the extra money? Simply put, a speaker that performs at a level (or maybe a few levels) above those that you can typically find at your local big box electronics store. As you would expect, the Contour speakers feature Dynaudio drivers that are carefully selected for the task. The Contour 1.4 reviewed here has a two-way design. The mid-woofer features typically Dynaudio traits, such as the proprietary MSP cone material and an oversized aluminum voice coil. The tweeter is a soft dome unit from Dynaudio's highly regarded Esotec line. The drivers in this speaker, as well as drivers throughout the entire Contour line, are mounted on a thick gray metal baffle, which both solidly anchors the driver and provides a nice visual contrast to the rest of the speaker cabinet. The speaker cabinets feature a selection real wood veneers and solid framework. Overall, the Contour speakers feature high-quality drivers in simple yet attractive and solid enclosures.

Listening to the Contour 1.4s was always a pleasure. They are very dynamic and their frequency extension towards the lower octaves was surprising. The bass was tight and articulate and slightly to the lean side, but in small to medium-sized rooms, a subwoofer is probably not necessary for most music. This said, if you listen to a lot of music that has deep or powerful bass, you will want to cross over the 1.4s at around 50Hz to a subwoofer. This will keep the soundstage well anchored and prevent the Contours from bottoming out. The mids and highs were pleasingly neutral and full of texture and detail. The highs were extended but never harsh. The Contour 1.4s were very quick and clean, allowing them to disappear sonically into a soundstage that had solidly-placed images.

High Points
• The Contour 1.4s offer a refined, detailed sound with a solid soundstage.
• The Contour 1.4s' small size and optional integrated stand allow them to fit into a variety of 

rooms that simply cannot handle larger speakers. 
• Despite their small size, the Contour 1.4s have a surprising amount of detailed bass energy below 60Hz.

Low Points
• The woofers can bottom out at higher volumes when bass-heavy material is played.
• The stands are attractive, but the connection between the stands and the speakers cannot be tightened without removing the speakers from the stands.

These speakers are detailed, dynamic and neutral. The Contour series of speakers is refined, providing a sonic view into additional layers of detail of the source without imposing their own sonic character. I had a great time listening to jazz, blues and acoustic rock through these speakers, which were fully capable of benefiting from high-end electronics and cables. If you need to fill a bigger room or need more weight at the lowest octaves, there are also larger floor-standing speakers in the Contour line. The line provides more than a taste of high-end audiophile speakers at a fair price.

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