Hey everyone. Vespers here comin atcha with a tech review today.

Because of my work, I’m pretty much on a lifelong search for the perfect monitors, so I’d like to welcome you to the next episode in this journey. Up today, we have 2 serious contenders from one of the most highly regarded audio companies in the world, Dynaudio. They’ve been nice enough to send out a couple of pairs of their top rated monitors for me to check out for you. In this episode, we’re going to cover the high-level flyby and my first impressions. Then, a few weeks down the road, we’re going to tee up again with all the nitty gritty details, and which pair I liked best.

As an added EPIC bonus – get this – Dynaudio is going to give away a pair of the ones I like best to one of you. You need to enter to win, so make sure you are on my email newsletter list(you can enter your email address at the bottom of this blog post) so you get the heads up when the contest is launched. Don’t miss out, they’re legit going to be giving away a pair of $3,000 or $5,000 monitors to one of you.

Caveats

A couple important caveats before we dig in here:

  1. I work within the niche of bass-oriented electronic music, so I will be evaluating these solely from that perspective.
  2. I specifically asked Dynaudio for their monitors that have the most bass extension. I wanted full-range monitors, without the added complexity of dialing in a sub. This means I’m working with bigger models only.
  3. I operate from a home-based studio, and while I’ve done a lot of acoustic treatment my room is not completely flat. Monitor selection is also somewhat subjective, so what I like may not be your jam. Use your ears and listen to monitors in your own room. I’ve done a whole video on how to select studio reference monitors, and you can check that out here.

The Contenders

Alright, without further ado, let’s introduce our contenders! We have the Dynaudio BM12mkIII’s and the BM15A’s from the Classic series. The Dynaudio BM series are professional studio reference monitors. They’re not entry level. I would put them in the same class as monitors made by Genelec, Focal, Neumann, and Event to name a few.

IMG_6724BM12mkIII

We’ll start with the BM12mkIIIs. Here are the key specs:

  • They’re a 2-way, active, nearfield reference monitor.
  • 8” bass/mid woofer.
  • 1.1” soft dome tweeter.
  • Bi-amped with 100W to the woofer and 50W to the tweeter.
  • Max SPL of 123 dB
  • Frequency response of: 38Hz-21kHz
  • Wooden cabinets with bevelled front panel
  • Crossover: 1500 Hz.
  • Voice coil: 75 mm / 3” kapton voice coil.
  • 27.5 lbs
  • Comprehensive set of trim controls to adapt them to your environment.
  • High and low shelving filters
  • Ability to dip the mids.
  • XLR input.
  • Power switch.
  • Price point: About $1250 USD each.
  • Checkout the Dynaudio product page for the BM12mkIII here

 IMG_6730BM15A

Now the BM15A. Here are the key specs:

  • 2-way, active nearfield / midfield monitor.
  • 10” bass/mid driver
  • 1.1” soft dome tweeter.
  • Bi-amped with 200W to the woofer and 100W to the tweeter.
  • Max SPL of 124 dB
  • Frequency response of: 40Hz to 22kHz
  • Wooden cabinets with bevelled front panel
  • Clip sensor & protection circuitry to prevent damage to the drivers
  • Crossover: 1800 Hz
  • Voice coil: 100 mm/ 4” aluminum voice coil
  • 41 lbs
  • Trim filters
  • High and low shelving filters.
  • XLR input
  • Power switch
  • Price point: $1700 USD each.
  • Checkout the Dynaudio product page for the BM15A here

First Impressions

Now it’s time to stack these guys up and give you my first impressions.

What I’ve done so far to test these is a bunch sound design on a new pack of synth patches I’m doing in XFer’s Serum, and a couple of mixdowns for clients and a new EP of originals I just finished.

First off, I’ll say that you can’t judge speakers based on their stats alone! If we did that, you’d think the BM15s are marginally louder than the BM12mkIIIs, but that they don’t give as much bass extension because they’re only flat down to 40 Hz. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

For example, if Godzilla transformed into a speaker, it would be the BM15. They are far louder than the BM12s and put out a substantially larger amount of energy in the bass and subs. It’s a beast of a speaker, and the stats just don’t give you an idea of beefy and powerful it actually is.

Let’s talk details!

I’m going to evaluate them based on a few factors:

  • Clarity of the highs, mids and lows.
  • Stereo imaging.
  • Mixing sweet spot.
  • Transparency. Are they flat?

BM12mkIIIs

  • Clarity of the highs, mids and lows.
  • Highs were clean and silky.
  • Mids were very revealing and punchy. Great transient response there.
  • The lows were tight and really clear. Solid performance.
  • Stereo imaging. Sounded great with an ample sweet spot.
  • Transparency wise, they sounded nice and flat to me. I particularly liked the mid-range resolution and transient response of these.

BM15As

  • Clarity of the highs, mids and lows.
  • Highs were clean and accurate, just like the BM12mkIIIs.
  • Mids were a little lacking for me. I didn’t feel they revealed as much as the BM12mkIIIs and I found myself struggling a bit to nail the mid-range of my mixes.
  • The lows are where these shine. Just HUGE amounts of low end on these guys.
  • Stereo imaging. Sounded great, like the BM12s, with a nice fat sweet spot.
  • Transparency wise, I think there was a bit of a tradeoff with these where some mid-range clarity was sacrificed to get more energy in the lows.

Wrap Up

That wraps up my first thoughts on the BM12mkIIIs and the BM15A classics. Big ups to Dynaudio for lending me these badboys to check out for all of you.

And make sure you remember, Dynaudio is actually going to GIVE AWAY a pair of whichever model I pick as the winner. To make sure you get instructions for the contest, submit your e-mail below for the heads up. Your odds are actually really good at winning, seeing as it’s only going out to subscribers on my e-mail list.

Huge thanks to Dynaudio for this super generous offer. One of you lucky folks is about to get a seriously badass set of monitors.

So stay tuned, and I’ll see you in part 2. Later!

The Contest is now closed.  The winner has been announced.  It’s Nick Vann.  Congratulations Nick!  Enjoy the monitors.