Danish loudspeaker manufacturer Davone hardly needs an introduction. Several beautiful reviews have been published and Davone's creations have already been presented to the public at various Hi-Fi and lifestyle shows. One feature connects all the creations of the Danish / Dutch speaker manufacturer: the excellent sound quality. Let's talk about Davone Meander. | Voor Nederlands, klik hier | En français, cliquez ici
We were introduced to the latest creation of the friendly Davone owners Paul and Debby, the Davone Meander, for the first time during the well-attended Dutch Audio Event in Veldhoven. Despite the fact that we had already seen the Meander on the screen a few times, we were definitely impressed by the unique design of this beautifully shaped active Hi-Fi loudspeaker. And actually we do the speaker short with the title 'speaker'. The Davone Meander is a full-fledged streaming music system that does not require additional Hi-Fi components. Plug in the mains and the Meander is almost immediately ready for use.
The Unique Meander
Davone is unlike any other. This Davone Meander is in turn different from other Davone's. And actually, all Davone speakers are different from the other models in the line-up. It's a bit like that very nice blond neighbor with the many children who all just don't look like the same father and we would quickly look at the milkman in a reproachful way. Were it not that this actually makes the neighbor even more mysterious and even more fun. And it's not the children's fault at all. They all play happily alone and with each other. That's just the way it is with the creations of the Davone company, but in a relationship-friendly way.
The Meander is completely different. We must honestly confess that the design of this beautifully shaped Davone does not show its full potential on the pictures. But that is normal with three dimensional objects. These should not be viewed on a flat screen, but in real-life and tenderly touched to gain the maximum appreciation they deserve. After we have inspected the music system from different angles during the Dutch Audio Event and have touched the high-quality materials, it becomes clear that this is not just a design, it is actually quite remarkable. Apart from the fact that the conical design of the Meander's housing is far from easy to make, designer Paul Schenkel has also chamfered the edge in such a way that a playful shape is achieved. Meander is also very aptly a synonym for a meandering river. So that makes sense. Together with the upward-facing baffle with nicely rounded edges and the beautifully shaped steel foot, the design is really complete. We are very much charmed by the walnut finish, but for enthusiasts the meander is also available in clear oiled oak.
The Meander can be placed in the room as an independent stereo unit. Soon, Google is expected to make it possible to cast to a left and right channel via the Home app with low latency. The Meander can then be combined with a second Meander for full stereo reproduction. We see this as a very nice configuration in more spacious living rooms where these active systems are presented more as minimalist 'statements'. Like musical sculptures, so to speak. With this, Davone not only enters the lifestyle territory of competitor Bang & Olufsen, Davone can easily take on the competition – if she wanted to. In terms of design, both brands clearly distinguish themselves from the gray masses and both dare to be different.
We are definitely impressed by B&O's more technical lifestyle products, but we certainly have a soft spot for Davone's beautiful, more lifestyle-oriented and organic-looking Hi-Fi solutions. Your author believes that Davone goes just that little bit further when it comes to Danish design. The materials are more beautiful, the design is more exciting and Davone's solutions sound just a bit better to our trained ears.
Where many active speakers or music systems have a rather proactive DSP with which the sound is projected into the room rather quickly, colored, too thick and over-dynamic, the Meander does this much more distinguished. No deep and messy lows, no booming midbass and no sore display of vocals and voices. No, this Meander sounds very open, neutral and dynamic. Especially very European. Sometimes almost a little timid, in the good sense of the word.
Davone indicates that the sound properties are best displayed when placed along a long wall. Since we don't have a lot of free long walls in our living and dining room, we opt against good advice to place the speaker in a corner of our dining room. We expect that many Davone Meander loudspeakers will also be placed in a corner in practice. The Meander needs walls and ceiling to project the music spatially into the room, so we expect this to be fine. When installing, we kept a distance of about 30 centimeters to the side and rear wall and the Meander feels clearly at home there. The midrange has good definition and the mid-low connects very nicely to the sub-bass that continues down to 35Hz. With its pleasant sound balance, this speaker will never come across as heavy or obtrusive to the listener.
One of the reasons for the good sound quality is Davone's choice to build the 4 drivers of a pair of its Davone Twist DSP loudspeakers in a single housing and point them upwards. A method that was also used in the 1970s with, for example, the OA12 and OA14 loudspeakers from the Swedish Sonab. Despite the fact that the imaging properties for such a design are excellent, the experience cannot be compared to a set of traditional or active Hi-Fi speakers such as the Davone Twist. Due to the nature of the speaker, the music reproduction with this Meander mainly comes from one point. Similar to the natural reproduction of vocals, piano, guitar and so on. Thanks to the construction and reflections, the spatial effect is present, but don't expect a wall-to-wall soundstage with big band music. Two speakers are really needed for this, but as mentioned before, this will also be possible soon with the Meander
This music system has been developed for streaming multi-room applications and can easily be configured using the Google Home app. With this, the music system even integrates with smart home solutions and this speaker can easily be operated with voice commands. We have been working with Google Home for a few years now and have to admit that this is to date one of the most intuitive systems that makes the least errors when receiving voice commands. The operation of this music system couldn't be easier. We can stream music directly from the Spotify and Tidal music apps through the implementation of Wi-Fi, Chromecast and Apple AirPlay2. If you use Roon, the Davone Meander also works perfectly with it via Chromecast. If you want to stream music from your NAS or music server, you can do this via DLNA. Simply use a universal DLNA app or the music app of your own NAS. This makes it very good in terms of connectivity.
After we have thoroughly read the manual, we learn that this speaker has built-in room correction. After launching the app, it finds the Davone music system almost immediately. After this it is a matter of pressing the corresponding button, after which the Davone plays white noise. The app then displays the original measured curve via the microphone built into the smartphone and then determines an alternative curve that the app thinks sounds best. In our opinion, the correction assistant delivers just a bit too much bass after a first adjustment round and decides to further flavor the sound manually with the bass, midrange and treble controls via the same app. After we have done a second round of measurements, in which we pay more attention to the measuring process, have focused the microphone of our iPhone 11 Pro better and gave the speaker a little more air, the Meander already sounds a lot better. After this calibration round we have no need to adjust the sound manually.
Of course we use the Tidal app via our iPhone for our listening sessions. We select the right room and play a whole collection of well-known and lesser-known albums in different genres. What strikes us most is the wonderfully casual musical sound reproduction that this Davone Meander produces. The music fills the space in abundance. Even the reproduction of the lowest frequencies rolls wonderfully through the room and we do not miss the second speaker. However, we now listen in a different way. We are now less likely to actively sit in front of it and we feel less urged to judge the exact position of the various instruments in the soundstage. No, we enjoy music while writing reviews, while working for our clients and when we have our afternoon lunch.
As soon as the children are home, the earplugs of the smartphones are removed and they can easily continue streaming via Spotify Connect via the Davone Meander and homework is done while enjoying the playlists. The Davone doesn't actually go out during the day. And this is what it is all about in our view. This Meander is all about music and sounds really good. We praise the midrange definition where we can clearly understand vocals and voices. We enjoy the precise detailing where nothing is hidden in the music. The low end has a powerful punch, with which we unashamedly tap to the beat and when the musician feels the urge to play an octave lower very playfully, the cats sometimes even shoot a few centimeters from (or below) their initial position. There is really no shortage of dynamics and output power, but everything is introduced into the ear in a very refined way.
With this Meander, Davone has developed an innovative designer music system that allows you to listen to music in a casual way and to operate it in a very intuitive way with the smartphone. The music system quickly finds a very nice place in an unused corner of the room and connects different textures in the room with the beautiful design and the chosen materials. This makes it seem as if this Meander was always intended for the chosen position. If the Meander moves over time, it will fit just as nicely in the new place.
If you are a music lover who likes to listen to music without tiring yourself with imagining pictures with the arrangement of the different artists on the stage, then this is definitely a speaker with which you will enjoy many years of listening pleasure. Thanks to the built-in tone control and room correction, you no longer have to make difficult concessions in placement for the best sound quality and this Davone really lets you hear every note and nuance in every chosen place. Do you think it is important to experience a wide soundstage? A second Meander is ordered in a few minutes.
Where do we mainly see this Meander coming into its own? Because this Meander simply does not fall in a comparable price range as a Sonos or JBL speaker, we will not expect this music system in your children's bedrooms very soon. Or actually, why not! However, this music system would find a nice place in a stylishly furnished living room, dining room or kitchen. Above all, we find this music system very interesting to place in a minimalist reception area, in the office or in a gallery space in the midst of paintings and/or sculptures. If you find it important to have a high-quality music experience with good sound without sitting right in the middle, then this is the perfect music system for you.
The Danish Davone is well on its way to conquering the hearts and living rooms of many music lovers with its beautifully designed loudspeakers and music systems. Where previously design and sound quality did not always fit every lifestyle, Davone has succeeded in uniting design, lifestyle and sound quality in the beautiful Meander multi-room music system. We have experienced this Meander as a music system that always manages to put a smile on our face. Especially when the volume is a little louder than normal.
Davone Meander (walnut)
Price 3.199 euro | www.davoneaudio.com