Excite X18

Substantial sound and formidable power in a compact bookshelf speaker

Incredible transparency, powerful dynamics and remarkably deep bass make the X18 ideal for small to medium sized rooms

Positioned above the revered X14 model, the new, larger X18 excels with great dynamic range, extending deeper in the bass while delivering an expansive soundstage with exceptional accuracy and a natural tonal balance.

You’ll get a 17cm mid/bass driver alongside the 28mm tweeter, plus a greater cabinet volume for even more low-frequency potency. The X18 also uses our celebrated lightweight aluminium voice-coils and powerful Esotec+ magnets for greater precision, punch and control.


Sensitivity: 86dB (2,83V / 1m)
IEC Power Handling: 175W
Impedance: 4 Ohms
Frequency Response (±3dB): 44Hz – 23kHz
Box Principle: Bass Reflex Rear Ported
Crossover: 2 way
Crossover Frequency: 2000Hz
Crossover Topology: 2nd order
Woofer: 17cm MSP
Tweeter: 28mm soft dome
Weight: 7.5kg / 16lb
Dimensions (W x H x D): 190 x 320 x 280mm
7.5 x 12.6 x 11.0in
Dimensions with feet/grill (W x H x D): 190 x 320 x 296mm
7.5 x 12.6 x 11.7in


Dynaudio Excite X18

Wednesday, May 4, 2016
standmount loudspeaker
René van Es

In the past I have not been a big fan of Dynaudio loudspeakers, not that I doubt their quality, but somehow my rooms and the speakers never were a good match. But times change even at Dynaudio and as soon as I heard a demo of the Excite X18 on T+A electronics I asked for a pair to review, because with this model Dynaudio seems to have found a new sound signature.

Not all has changed in Denmark, a lot of the original Dynaudio DNA is onboard. Number one is quality, this shows in the white finish and grey fronts of the review pair. Other finishes are satin black, walnut and rosewood, all with black grilles that are magnetically held in place. Small details that make a difference include the bevelled edges on the rectangular enclosure, metal parts on the drivers are grey, nicely matching the satin white, and the tweeter is recessed in the baffle, the woofer is not, but that might be to do with phase correction. It’s not something you see very often in this price range anymore. On the back is a large reflex port above a single pair of terminals, single because Dynaudio does not believe that bi-wiring is a good idea. These speakers are not large at just over a foot high but they weigh a promising 7.5kg each. Foam plugs are supplied for the reflex port to alter the roll-off of the bass, making the Excite X18 an almost closed system, which could come in very handy for rooms where bass energy causes problems.

The Dynaudio Esotec+ woofer cone is formed from a single piece of MSP (magnesium silicate polymer), and the voice coil is wound from aluminium wire on an oversized kapton former and sits in a strong magnetic field. All this is typical Dynaudio DNA. The Esotec+ tweeter uses a coated soft dome with a diameter of 27mm. That is all Dynaudio tells you in the documents, even the crossover frequency is kept a secret. But they do reveal the nominal impedance is 4 Ohm and sensitivity 86dB, so on paper we need an amplifier that can deliver plenty of current, however Dynaudio made sure that the Excite is amplifier friendly. Keeping in mind that during the demo a T+A PA 2500R amplifier (140 Watts per channgel) was in use to convince the audience of the qualities of the speaker, I was happy to set a 60 Watt (into four Ohms) Pass Labs XA30.5 to work. This power amp has a direct connection to a NAD M51 DAC/preamp with Van den Hul D-102 Mk III Hybrid cables. My digital source is a Bluesound Node 2 to stream WAV, FLAC and ALAC files from a NAD M52 Vault. Ethernet and digital cables are made by AudioQuest, power cords are Supra and the loudspeaker cables are from Simply Audio. Speaker stands are 61cm high Custom Design FS104. After many years of using heavy, sand filled stands I must admit that often a light open stand makes a loudspeaker more dynamic and honest in performance. True, such a stand could lead to a hard top end, but such is not the case with this well balanced Dynaudio.