Only the Danes would work the word hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) into their product literature. In case you’re not familiar, that’s the art of coziness. You know, snuggling down on the couch Saturday afternoon? That’s hygge. The folks at Dynaudio built their latest bookshelf speakers with varsity coziness in mind. Evoke 20 speakers are small enough to fit in the living room or an office but promise a big sound. I decided to test drive them for myself while practicing mediocre hygge to see if they’d live up to Dynaudio’s fancy marketing buzzwords.
Nothing much to report here. Speakers come in big brown cardboard boxes short on special opening experiences. Product literature is easy to locate right beneath the top flaps making it easy to get started.
The speakers themselves feel very substantial and well put together. You can feel that “someone” versus “something” made these. I love that connectivity and get the sense that Dynaudio really cares about their workmanship as I hefted the speakers in place. The pair I tested were finished as Walnut Wood. They also come in White High Gloss, Black High Gloss, and Blonde Wood.
Dynaudio recommends placing Evoke 20s on a stand, table top, or bookshelf. I decided to place them on a base cabinet in an office. I’m imagining these are being purchased for use as casual listening, everyday speakers. The Evoke 20 buyer may have an office, workroom, or other space where their current sound isn’t as killer as what they have in their main AV setup or car. They know there’s more and want the best possible sound reproduction from a small footprint speaker.
Evoke 20 binding posts are big and easy to manipulate. I also liked the magnetic travel cover over the tweeter and similar rare earth magnet grille attachment method. Very clean and satisfying. Why weren’t speaker companies doing this all along?
I soon had the speakers connected and ready to fire up.
Dynaudio kindly broke in my demo pair for 20-plus hours prior to my first session. If you’re not familiar with this process, speakers sound pretty harsh out of the box and need to be played a good bit to mellow out. It’s no different than decanting wine.
I chose Mark Knopfler’s Sailing to Philadelphia on TIDAL for my first song. I immediately felt surrounded and enveloped by the sound. It’s so smooth. The words that came to mind were “velvet” and “butter.” So smooth. I turned up the volume a bit more to see how the low end would do. The back bass port didn’t disappoint as I felt it loading against the back wall. I experienced the same smooth results with Handel’s Arrival of the Queen of Sheba and Arizona Zervas’ ROXANNE.
I try to test speakers as blind as possible to avoid conclusion bias. If I’m testing a pair of $2,000 speakers, I expect them to sound like $2,000 speakers. If I go in cold, I’m better able to objectively evaluate the product. This couldn’t have been any more applicable with my Evoke 20 demo. After hearing the audio performance, I wanted to find out how much they cost. Not surprisingly, Evoke 20’s are around $2,000 per pair. I’ve demo’d all kinds of speakers and can say, without a doubt, that the Evoke 20s are worth every penny. If relaxation time is priceless and Evoke 20 speakers help deliver better hygge (which they do in spades), it’s an easy math problem. Dynaudio hit the ball out of the park with Evoke 20.