Description

Say hello to the brand-new Contour 20.

Everything we know about speaker design in a compact, clean, great-sounding package

Compact? Yes. Compact-sounding? No.

The Contour 20 standmounter takes everything we know about speaker technology – we’re Danes; we know a lot – and puts it in a compact, clean and great-sounding package.

Its sweet-toned Esotar2 soft-dome tweeter has been a legend in its own right for years. It’s commonly regarded as one of the world’s best-ever drivers – and because it’s been such a great friend to so many millions of ears (and a key part of Contours past), we just had to give it another outing.

The extended-excursion 18cm woofer, though, is brand new. It’s powered by a lightweight aluminium voice-coil and a vented dual-ferrite magnet system, and was created by driver specialists Danny Pasfall Christensen and Andreas Eberhardt Sørensen and their team under acoustic maestro Daniel Emonts. (They can hear the differences between different types of glue. We like those guys.)

It’s made from MSP – a material we developed ourselves, and have been using in our drivers since 1985. MSP gives exactly the right combination of stiffness and damping – which you’ll hear as exactly the right combination of power, finesse and control. Just what a Contour speaker should have. But we’ve taken it further: we’ve varied the diaphragm’s thickness across its surface, which gives even greater control over its sound.

Making a Contour without its signature baffle would be like making a car without wheels. Unthinkable. But there’s always room for improvement – and our designers love to stretch their legs (you should see the number of sketches they produced for just this part). This baffle is aluminium, and set into the cabinet. Its chamfer is included in the driver’s basket – which not only looks great, but also reduces unwanted high-frequency diffraction effects for clearer treble, and provides a solid foundation for the drivers to do their work. A solid foundation means improved high-volume performance at low frequencies, too (although your neighbours might not thank us for that).

And although we might have changed the cabinet’s shape (square is out; curves are in), the new design tips a respectful nod to older Contours. Look at it from the top; you’ll see the old baffle design in its shape. But it isn’t just for show – the new shape marries those aesthetics with cutting-edge acoustic physics. Its multi-layered construction is extremely well-damped, which means the Contour’s sound goes exactly where it’s supposed to: forwards.

We’ve redesigned the internal wiring and crossover, too. You won’t see what we’ve done, but you’ll hear the effect: amazingly clear sound, even off to the sides of the speakers. We love it.

Specifications

Sensitivity: 86dB (2.83V / 1m)
IEC Power Handling: 180W
Impedance: 4 Ohms
Frequency Response (±3dB): 39Hz – 23kHz
Box Principle: Bass Reflex Rear Ported
Crossover: 2 way
Crossover Frequency: 2200Hz
Crossover Topology: 2nd order
Specification sheet for Contour part 1
Woofer: 18cm MSP
Tweeter: 28mm Esotar2
Weight: 15.5kg / 34.2lb
Dimensions (W x H x D): 215 x 440 x 360mm
8.5 x 17.3 x 14.2in
Dimensions with feet/grill (W x H x D): 215 x 440 x 396mm
8.5 x 17.3 x 15.6in

 

Reviews

It’s shrouded in secrecy. The nominees never revealed; only the ones who take home an award are. It’s the EISA Awards, and the winners have been named and announced. We’re proud to take home an award for Best Product 2017/2018 in the Bookshelf Speaker category with the Contour 20.

“An exceptionally accomplished standmount loudspeaker, the Contour 20 sounds much bigger than it looks. The latest in a long line of Contour bookshelf designs – starting way back in the early ‘80s – this is the first to sport Dynaudio’s excellent Esotar2 tweeter. Allied to a single MSP diaphragm mid/bass and bolted to a thick aluminium front baffle plate, the result is a wonderfully lyrical yet accurate sound, with surprisingly deep bass. The radiused edges of the exquisitely finished cabinet complete a very pretty picture” – EISA.

The Contour 20 speakers mark the third time in Dynaudio history that we’ve received an EISA Award. The Audience 40 bookshelves received the award in 1999/2000 and the wireless Xeo speaker system in 2012/2013.

Every year, the EISA Awards celebrate those new products that combine the most advanced technology and desirable features with class-leading performance. Based on reviews and tests throughout the year, each member magazine nominates a short-list of products that best reflect the star performers in their particular special interest.