The Dutch and Dutch 8c Review
The Dutch and Dutch 8c are more than just speakers – they’re a whole new acoustic concept. They use a host of unique technologies to work together with the acoustics of your listening room and provide a stunningly natural and accurate sound.
The 8c looks a bit like a professional audio speaker and definitely catches the eye. But it’s what inside that counts!
The Dutch and Dutch 8c is a revolutionary active studio monitor that offers neutrality, precision and in-room tonal balance above and beyond any other system. It features a revolutionary cabinet design that delivers constant directivity from 100Hz upwards. This allows you to place it close to room boundaries and achieve the benefits of boundary gain without losing performance.
The midrange driver in the 8c has an acoustic cardioid radiation pattern which works well in the lower frequencies. However, as the frequency range rises the acoustic cardioid behavior gradually yields to the driver’s directivity. This smooth handover was a huge engineering challenge, but it makes for one of the most accurate loudspeakers ever designed.
The 8c is an all-in-one speaker that includes built in amplification and DSP. Its integrated DSP can import acoustic measurements from REW and apply their corresponding filters. This allows the 8c to self-calibrate to your room with very little user intervention. This is an impressive achievement and it’s a feature that you don’t find on many hi-fi speakers.
The Dutch and dutch 8c’s small footprint presence holds high-end DACs, amps, subwoofers and a DSP. The system also comes with room matching and streaming capabilities out-of-the-box. It is easily controllable from a web interface reached via its ethernet port.
This means that you can easily optimize the speakers to your listening space, without having to spend a lot of time tinkering with the settings. Just enter your room’s dimensions (in centimeters) into the Active Room Matching user interface and the speaker will compensate for phase, delay and frequency-specific output levels. This will prevent any speaker boundary interference, even at low frequencies.
The passive cardioid midrange design also helps to reduce side and rear sound pressure, which significantly minimizes speaker boundary interference at all frequencies up to 100 Hz. This is a big advantage when using a large room, where it is often difficult to achieve a flat amplitude response. Moreover, the 8c is measurably among the most accurate speakers in existence.
Dutch and Dutch designed the 8c to be a holistically-designed active speaker, integrating high-end DACs, amplifiers, subwoofers, and DSP into its sleek solid oak cabinet. This allows the 8c to minimize its impact on the room’s acoustics while delivering a superb sound. The result is measurably among the most accurate loudspeakers in existence, with excellent clarity and stereo imaging.
Another impressive feature is the 8c’s cardioid radiation pattern, which eliminates rear-wall reflections above 100Hz. This allows the speaker to be placed very close to a wall without affecting its performance.
As you might expect, the 8c is expensive. However, it is worth the price for audiophiles who want to listen to their music exactly as it was intended. It also makes sense for people who are downsizing from a large Hi-Fi system to something smaller. It is likely that the 8c and its more affordable counterpart, the Kii THREE, will find their way into living rooms across the world.
If you’re in the market for a new pair of speakers, and have the $9,750 to $12,500 (depending on if you go with the studio or regular 8c) then these state-of-the-art active loudspeakers from Dutch & Dutch might be what you’re looking for. Originally designed for mastering and professional use, they can bring out the best in your music, without the need for extensive bass EQ.
This is thanks to the constant directivity which minimizes the impact of your room on the sound, and a number of other clever tricks such as their cardioid design. Unlike most hi-fi speakers they’re also active, meaning all the signal processing and amplification is built in.
Many visitors to Pura Audio ask if the 8c or the Kii THREE is better, and while the differences are small they are usually in favour of the 8c. This is due to its ability to deliver a relaxed open and neutral sound, with easy high frequencies that aren’t unnaturally sharp when voices come in.