A Peek Inside the Dynaudio Factory in Denmark
For years, World Wide Stereo has been a huge supporter for our friends at Dynaudio. Their commitment to quality is undebatable — they’re one of the leading manufacturer’s of loudspeakers and audio gear in the world.
I had the privilege of traveling to the Dynaudio factory to get a true, behind-the-scenes look at all of the care and craftsmanship that goes into building every single audio component. And believe me, it was incredible. The people I met, the facilities I toured through, the speakers we listened to… everything was amazing.
Overall it was a fantastic trip — we even had time to tour around Denmark and be locals for the day. Read on & check out photos from the trip.
First, a bit of Dynaudio history.
Dynaudio got its start in a small town in Denmark over 40 years ago, when the founder sought out to create the first loudspeaker in the area. His goal: to create a speaker that would get as close as possible to audio excellence. Over the years, Dynaudio has become a world-known name, with a strong reputation in building some of the finest loudspeakers and audio equipment in the world.
A few years ago, Dynaudio was purchased by GoerTek, a Chinese-based company. With the purchase came an infusion of capital. And with the investment, Dynaudio expanded its Research & Development facilities and hired additional engineers to fuel their next generation of products. The engineers came from some of the best speaker manufacturers in our industry, including Bowers & Wilkins, Focal Audio, and Bang & Olufsen. Each of the engineers brought new ideas for using different materials in the speakers, as well as new design philosophies. The engineers were given latitude to take from their past and grab from the existing Dynaudio design, resulting in some amazing new products.
The Dynaudio Factory
Behind-the-scenes at the Dynaudio factory.
The entire Dynaudio facility in Skanderborg was climate and humidity controlled for consistency during the manufacturing process. There was so much natural light everywhere, I almost forgot I was in a factory.
The assembly line.
What was most striking to me was the amount of manual labor it takes to build a single Dynaudio speaker. One thing I noted as soon as I walked into the factory was that most of the workforce is made up of women. Men simply cannot maintain their focus and consistency with repetitive, intricately detailed work. Once hired, each worker is auditioned at every station to ensure that they are doing the job that suits them best.
For those of you who are not familiar with Dynaudio, they construct everything in-house for their speakers, including drivers, crossovers, and cabinets. Even the magnets for the drivers start off blank and are constructed and magnetized onsite. The cabinet construction is done in the wood shop, and the finishing for the cabinets is extraordinarily thorough. For example, the high gloss lacquered cabinets are all finished with 15 layers of clear coat, each taking 24 hours to cure, which means it takes over 2 weeks just for the finish work on the cabinets.
This detailed, in-house process alone puts them in a separate category from most manufacturers. What it allows for is extremely tight quality control and testing at every phase of manufacturing. For instance, all tweeters and woofers are tested a minimum of 3 times during construction: the first time is when the voice coil is attached to the cone/tweeter, the second test is when the motor assembly is attached, and the last test occurs when the entire speaker is constructed. This means if there are defective parts, it is not going to affect an entire production run, providing Dynaudio dealers with product consistency and consistent supply.
While touring the factory, we saw how very different each model driver is, even though the front of the drivers look identical. It is much like looking at a car that comes in 2 models (a 4-cylinder engine drive around car might look the same as a model with a sport package and a Turbo charged engine, but they’re completely different under the hood). Only with speakers, we have different size voice coils and materials that the coils and magnets are made from.
As labor intensive as the home products are, their car speakers are completely automated. Dynaudio is the supplier for speakers in all Volkswagens (VW) built in Europe, manufacturing over 2 million drivers a year. I was not able to photograph any of the production line due to the “top secret,” competitive nature of car manufacturing, but I can say that it was state-of-the-art. In the basement of the Research & Development (R&D) building, there is a locked area that only two people in the entire company have access to. This is where the new VW prototypes are brought in for design and testing.
The Research & Design division.
Dynaudio has one of the most unique testing rooms that I have ever seen. The room measures 42.6’ x 42.6’ x 42.6’ and houses a unit called JUPITER, which is an array of 31 microphones in an arc with each microphone set around 10 feet away from the speaker. This allows the system to measure all drivers in the speaker to see how they interact. The room is treated with absorption so the reverberations are a known quantity. The speaker is on a lift in the middle of the room and a burst of sound is sent and then measured (the microphones shut off so only the sound from the speaker is recorded). It is a very precise, neutral way of recording the speaker performance. It also significantly reduces the amount of time needed to measure and test loudspeakers, dramatically increasing the efficiency of the R&D process.
My favorite part: The test drive.
Of all the wonderful things we did in Denmark, listening to music on some of the best speakers in the world was the most memorable experience. We had the privilege to listen to Evidence Platinum speakers and the Confidence C4 Platinum. It was an emotional experience with the essence of the music coming through as if it were live music. The biggest surprise for my wife Robin was the smallest speaker we got to hear, the Xeo 2. She was blown away by the fullness and clarity from such a small speaker. Although the sound quality is not comparable to the Evidence or the C4, it was just as impressive for a small speaker.
Touring through Denmark.
After our tour around the Dynaudio factory, my wife and I had the opportunity to tour around the beautiful country of Denmark. Copenhagen is a great city, filled with wonderful museums, food, architecture, and people. We took a canal tour, visited one of the world’s oldest amusement parks, Tivoli Gardens, and took a photo with The Little Mermaid Statue, which was erected in honor of the story written by Danish author, Hans Christian Andersen.
Rob is a Sales Manager at our Ardmore Showroom. When he's not talking A/V gear with customers or touring factories around Europe, you can find him spending time with his family, three dogs, and two cats, or kayaking on local rivers and lakes (sans pets, unfortunately).