Spendor 4/5 Classic or Dynaudio Special 40

Hi all,

I’m looking to upgrade my speakers. Currently using Dali Oberon 3 with my XS3, which I love.

Room is on the small side of medium sized, and the speakers can be positioned 40cm from the front wall.

Any recommendations between the Spendor 4/5 Classic and the Dynaudio Special 40? Both are available lightly used in my neck of the woods here in Canada.


I’ve home-demoed both and ended up with the Spendors + a REL sub. These are two very different speakers and you might want to elaborate a little on your personal preferences, musical taste and a bit more details about your space and gear, but here’s my 2c:

When I started looking for new speakers I really didn’t know what I was looking for except something in the 2k€ - 3k€ range. Having read and heard almost exclusively positive things about the Special 40’s I took home a pair and I was confused by what I heard. Mind you, this pair might not have been run in yet and I was running them with a Lavardin ISX Reference which is relatively low-powered at 45W/ch into 8 ohms, but it does have a 105W/ch rating at 2 ohms which suggests it does have decent grunt into more complex loads.
Anyway, the Special 40’s didn’t work for me. The bass was overbearing (might be acoustics related) and in general I was surprised to find them rather wooly sounding, even with the foam plugs inserted. Now, I have great respect for Dynaudio as a company and I fully appreciate my amplifier and/or acoustics might well have simply been wrong for this particular pair. I would not be surprised to hear them sounding much better in another room with another amplifier.

The Spendors however brought a smile to my face from the first notes. If you accept their obvious limitations, they sound very balanced and coherent even at low listening levels (~60db). There is no particular feature sound-wise that sticks out, and I’ve come to learn that is a good thing in the long term. Even without the Sub, which I switch off for late night listening, because of the Spendors very pleasant timbre I miss the Sub less than one might expect. They really are right up my alley. Tuneful and quick on their feet too. I also find that with both the speakers and the Sub being unvented, they are very easy to integrate successfully and I’ve managed to get a surprisingly large, tight, full range sound which I doubt I would get with any vented standmount. You can place them very close to the back wall without any trouble and while they are quite placement-agnostic, they are quite responsive to toe in/out which helps in fine tuning tone and soundstage.

I expect a small/medium Canadian room to be large/medium by European standards, and if you listen at 70db+ regularly the Dynaudios might be the better pick :man_shrugging:
But I always recommend to try before you buy. There are also plenty of reviews on both to be found online. Good luck with your decision!

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The Dyns would be significantly less demanding on your amplifier (judging by the specs, not from experience) and also dig way deeper than the Spendors. Just give them time to loosen up. The bass will eventually get very fast and punchy but not straight away.

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The speaker to get is the one you like the most, which of course is personal. But before changing speakers, I’d be getting a ND5XS2 streamer. All a better pair of speakers will do is show up the Node, taking you into mullet territory.

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I ran a pair of Neat Motive SX2 speakers with a ND5 XS 2 & NAIT XS 2. They were a great match for a XS series Naim. I’d highly recommend trying a pair in your room and system.

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