When Danish monitor master Dynaudio bring a new line of speakers to the marketplace, it’s a big deal. After all, its products are trusted by many audio pros and are known for accuracy and durability thanks to solid engineering and build quality. The three new models of the LYD line reinforce those values and serve as Dynaudio’s top professional models, effectively replacing the popular BM series.
The LYD8, the largest of the LYD two-way line (alongside the LYD5 and LYD7), features an 8-inch polymer woofer with aluminum voice coil and wire, built to be lightweight and stiff for quick transient response. Also available in the LYD Series is the most-recently unveiled LYD 48 three-way monitor. The LYD8’s 80 W of Class D power drives its woofer; another 50 W is available for its 1.1-inch soft-dome tweeter, crossed over at 3.9 kHz.
The LYD8’s rear panel sports both XLR and RCA inputs, a three-position sensitivity control (-6, 0, +6 dB), a standby mode switch, a three-position bass response control (-10, 0, +10 dB), a three-position tonal control (Bright, Normal, Dark) and a Position control (Wall or Free).
In application, I positioned the LYD8 pair atop my Neumann KH310 three-way midfields and got to work in my monitoring environment, set up as a standing control room. Having reviewed many monitors through the years, I prepared myself for a clumsy, often-difficult break-in period and the mental readjustment necessary to understand new monitors. I had read about the LYD Series’ excellence at low-level monitoring and smaller control rooms, so frankly, I expected the worst; I have a large control room, seldom listen at what you would normally call “low levels” (85-90 dB is where I feel most comfortable), need to throw sound well into the room when clients are present and have a long-standing preference for three-way designs (and the midrange accuracy that such designs deliver).
You can imagine my surprise when I felt rather comfortable nearly immediately with the LYD8s. Indeed, at first, the bottom-end response seemed a little too rumbly, but after a week of break-in, that bottom-end came into balance with the smooth and genuinely accurate performance of the soft dome tweeter. This was the most extended and linear bass response I’ve ever heard from compact nearfields. Even while doing some modest “filling in only a few missing dB around 50 Hz” with the subwoofer bypassed, the LYD8 pair showed they can work sub-free and adequately inform the user.
Hearing exactly what I expected on the top end, coupled with powerful lows and no sign of strain from its modestly powered amplifiers, I focused on the LYD8’s crucial midrange response.
Indeed, I felt the slightest of understatement at the crossover point, but wait—the drivers are crossed over at 3.9 kHz, rather high for a two-way nearfield and amazingly high for an 8-inch woofer model, though coverage seems very good through that range.
Showing enough punch and headroom, I then considered Dynaudio’s claim that the LYD Series excels at low-level detail. Mixing at conversational levels, sure enough the LYDs do seem to retain their balance even when quiet. Thus this is a hard feature to quantify or measure (at least without extensive and expensive test equipment). I noticed, though, that I was able to cut overdubs more quietly with reasonable confidence when the situation called for it.
Over a period of months, I employed the LYD8 pair through full band tracking sessions, overdubs and mix sessions all very successfully. Even my clients noticed, as I switched between my Neumann mainstays and the LYD8 pair, that the LYDs gave us a trustworthy picture and amply filled my large control room even as they provided a softer, smoother and more gentle recreation than the Neumann 3-ways.
The LYD8’s controls proved to offer enough flexibility for my application and I would expect them to have enough for troublesome desktop environments, too. Now placed directly on my Primacoustic Recoil Stabilizers, I stuck with the LYD’s Neutral tonal balance, Free position (as they were not within 20 inches of a nearby wall) and the -10 bass roll-off (if not for using my sub, I would go with 0 dB flat). For a bedroom studio, desktop mounting or rooms with lots of acoustic treatment (e.g., excessive foam), I could see how the Wall position, Bright setting and/or bass boost could be useful variables to have.
With an MSRP of $1,049 each (street price of about $1,600 per pair), the LYD8s come in as a mid-priced option in an important market segment. For studios seeking to up their game and enjoy truly professional monitors, these LYDs provide a hype-free and fully featured solution at a very reasonable price point. For smaller studios, the LYD8s provide the perfect solution: big bass in a small footprint (subwoofer optional); a smooth and pleasant tweeter for lack of fatigue in close quarters; better- than-par response at low SPLs; and adequate controls to deal with sonic room deficiencies.
There are numerous good choices in the less-than-$2k monitor market these days. Many models perform well, fewer have a full complement of variable controls, and even fewer have a trusted pedigree and the durable track record of Dynaudio. I would estimate the LYD Series will become market leaders. I look forward to hearing the new 3-way LYD 48 options as well.