Dynaudio’s Core series of studio monitors has that feeling of getting back to basics. It was as if Dynaudio went a little too ‘mad scientist’ with the previous flagship studio speakers, the Air series, and Core is the natural course correction.
The Air series was a bit of a marvel, no doubt. It promised to be a seamless intersection of hardware components and software DSP right from the beginning. Drivers would come off the manufacturing line with a perfectly-matched DSP correction to accompany them. But perhaps the more DSP you add and the more obvious you make it, the less it feels like you can trust the physical hardware. What’s to stop Dynaudio hooking up a hand-folded piece of paper to a DSP chip and calling it a professional listening solution?
There was nothing wrong with how the Air series sounded. At the time of its debut it was a revolutionary idea. There wasn’t much in the way of operator-controllable monitoring DSP in studios, so Dynaudio figured it would pack that power into a speaker. If there was an uncomfortable feeling about them, it was more to do with the bulging LCD screen on the front panel.
In the long run, it posed two problems that cut its life span short. Firstly, digital screens don’t age well. As unbelievable as it sounds, I’m sure iPhone Retina screens will be the equivalent of a dot matrix in years to come. Unfortunately, the Air series displays were dot matrix.Secondly, others soon figured out that it’s much easier and more comfortable to make those changes from the listening position. These days, if you want to make elaborate corrections to your monitor’s response, there are hardware controllers and software plug-ins to do it. It no longer makes sense to access it from the front baffle of your speaker while leaning over your desk.