In the Dynaudio Excite series, the X18 is the larger sibling of the X14 and is capable of producing a slightly deeper bass. The Dynaudio Excite X18 also possesses a greater dynamic range but we are more interested in the Excite X18 speaker’s overall sonic prowess. By learning more about the sound characteristics of these amazing bookshelf speakers, we will then be able to find the right amplifier to pair with them.
Yes, by knowing their strengths and finding out their weaknesses (if any), as well as finding out how the Dynaudio Excite X18 actually sounds like. We will then be able to get a matching amp that will not only drive them with ease but also complement the speakers’ sonic characteristics. Once we have gathered such information, we will then list out the best amplifiers that you can choose to partner with your Dynaudio Excite X18. So without further ado, let us start.
Sonic Characteristics and Merits of Dynaudio Excite X18
Even though the Dynaudio Excite X18 is larger than the X14, they are still considered quite compact which is a good thing. Since a smaller footprint means you can easily fit them nicely in most homes and you could get your spouses’ approvals easier too. The design and feel of the speaker are minimalistic, which also allows them to match well with most modern and even some vintage amplifiers. The Dynaudio Excite X18 uses a 28mm soft dome tweeter and a 170mm MSP woofer. You will find a rear-firing bass port situated at the back of the speaker cabinet.
By placing the Dynaudio Excite X18 nearer to the rear walls, you will get higher bass output and deeper low-ends but it does affect the overall tonal balance and dynamics of the speaker, so we will suggest adding a subwoofer into the mix if you want more bass. The Dynaudio Excite X18 has an incredible frequency response of 44Hz-23kHz. The speaker sensitivity will be quite a bummer, as it is only 86dB which is very low for a bookshelf speaker. The impedance of 4 Ohms further gives us a headache, as this means the Dynaudio Excite X18 will need amplifiers that have the muscles and are able to drive 4 Ohms speakers. The power handling is up to 175 Watts, and we shall use this as one of the factors when choosing matching amplifiers.
The very first impression of the Dynaudio Excite X18 sound quality is how good their stereo imaging and sound staging is. The soundstage is spacious, with impressive width and depth, not to mention, the height of the stage got us even more excited. The scale of the sound that the Excite X18 could deliver is truly remarkable. The bass reproduction is tightly controlled without any over-emphasis that might overshadow or color the higher frequencies. It is taut and rich, great for music sources, and it does dig deep into the lower bass region. Still, for movies or bass-heavy soundtracks, it is recommended to integrate a subwoofer into your system.
The sound quality of the treble is even more impressive as they have plenty of insights and dishes out details in spades. The Dynaudio Excite X18 delivers a smooth and clear music presentation with accuracy. The vocals sounded natural and the instruments are precisely rendered with the deep bass portion a little less prominent than we might want. It is as expected from a bookshelf speaker of this size. When playing at high volumes, you can’t really hear any harshness which makes the Dynaudio Excite X18 ideal for nearfield listening. The overall sound reproduction is neutral with a bit of warmth in the midrange.
These are engaging speakers that pull you into their sound field and just simply entertain. We certainly enjoyed hearing our favorite tunes through these speakers and their liveliness might make them suitable to be part of a home theater system. The neutral warm sounding nature of the Dynaudio Excite X18 does make them quite unfussy when looking for an amplifier partner but their need for power to sound their absolute best makes it difficult at the same time. We have gathered enough data, and with all this information, we can finally start listing out the best amplifiers that we can pair with the Dynaudio Excite X18 bookshelf speakers.
Dynaudio Excite X18 Specifications
- Speaker Type: 2-Way Bass Reflex (Rear-Firing Bass Port)
- Drive Units: 28mm soft dome tweeter, 170mm MSP woofer
- Frequency Response (+/-3dB): 44Hz–23kHz
- IEC power handling: 175 Watts
- Impedance: 4 Ohms
- Sensitivity (2.83V/1m): 86dB
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 190mm x 320mm x 296mm (with feet/grill) | 7.5″ x 12.6″ x 11.7″ (with feet/grill)
- Weight: 7.5kg (16lbs)
Best Amplifiers to match with Dynaudio Excite X18
The Parasound NewClassic 200 will be one of the best amplifiers to pair with your Dynaudio Excite X18 especially if you are planning to integrate an active subwoofer. This integrated amplifier has a dedicated subwoofer output (80Hz low pass), you can use the provided remote to turn On/Off and the level of the connected subwoofer. With the active sub connected, the Parasound NewClassic 200 has more than enough power to really drive your Dynaudio Excite X18 speakers. At this price point, the level of sonic performance you can get out of the NewClassic 200 amp is simply incredible. You should hear them out yourself.
When it comes to power output and sanely priced integrated amplifier, the Peachtree Audio Nova150 is definitely one of the top choices. Using the latest generation of ICEPower (Class D) amplifier, the Nova150 can produce up to 250 Watts per channel into 4 Ohms. Since the Dynaudio Excite X18 scales well with power, this makes Nova150 an ideal amplifier for them. You need not worry that the Peachtree Audio Nova150 might sound cold as their upgraded preamp and new amplifier modules deliver warm sound quality, which is a suitable match with the Excite X18 bookshelf speakers. This amp also comes with many useful features such as a moving magnet (MM) Phono input, DAC, and more.
The Cambridge Audio Azur 851A is a fantastic integrated amplifier with its own unique Class XD amplifier design. Combining the best of both worlds such as the sonic purity of Class A and the efficiency of Class AB, to provide exceptional sound quality. Along with the two toroidal transformers and dual mono amplification blocks, the Azur 851A effortlessly powers your Dynaudio Excite X18 bookshelf speakers. Delivering clean and ultra-low distortion sound reproduction. The lively and bold music presentation of the amp is well-matched with the sonic characteristics of the Dynaudio Excite X18. It will be a very transparent sound system, we will recommend you to audition them first.
If you are facing space constraints or just simply setting up a sound system for nearfield listening then the NAD D 3045 will be the best amplifier choice for you. It is a very compact amplifier with a small footprint as you can position it upright. The power output is decent enough to drive the Dynaudio Excite X18 speakers at moderate volume and IHF dynamic power should handle most of the music peaks. If you really want to blast the volume, we will suggest integrating an active subwoofer, you can connect it via the Sub-Out. The D 3045 also comes with loads of features such as Bluetooth connectivity, digital-to-analog converter, headphone amp, MM phono input, and more. The NAD D 3045 is also attractively priced.
The Wyred 4 Sound mINT is another amazing compact integrated amplifier that packs plenty of power and features. The power output is at 170 Watts (4 Ohms) which is powerful enough for your Dynaudio Excite X18 speakers. The mINT amplifier has a built-in ESS Sabre DAC with a USB input so that you can easily connect and play your digital music files via your PC or Mac. The neutral warm nature of the integrated amp is quite similar to the Excite X18 sonic characteristics. The Wyred 4 Sound mINT also provides tighter music control and you can play loud without fearing harsh-sounding trebles.
When it comes to home theater setups, there are plenty of options. If cinematic visuals are important for you then you should go for either Marantz or Denon’s latest AV receivers as they are able to process 8K UHD video formats. The sound quality of both brands is some of the very best on the market, and Marantz AVRs will be slightly better when it comes to music playbacks such as the Marantz SR7015. The sonic characteristics of Marantz and Denon are quite similar to your Dynaudio Excite X18 speakers too. If you want more clarity and brighter sounding characteristics, you might want to check out Sony AV receivers like the STR-DN1080, but as of now, there are no 8K AVR models yet though. So you will need to see if 8K UHD is an important factor for you, if yes, then you should just stick with either Marantz or Denon for now.
The listed amplifiers are suitable matches with the talented Dynaudio Excite X18 bookshelf speakers, we will still suggest that you audition the amps before making a decision. You can also use this list as a reference if you are planning to get other amplifier models or brands. You can even shortlist and hear a few of the amplifiers on the list first and do a side-by-side comparison with the other amp models you are interested in. The Dynaudio Excite X18 will do well with high-powered amplifiers as they can be quite demanding.