Digital Designs CXS6.5 Customer Product Review

Where to start with these seemingly innocent and ordinary looking Speakers?

Well… let me start by first clearing up and throwing out my initial words, “innocent and ordinary”.  Boasting an acoustically treated, rigid polymer pulp cone, coupled with the DD famous neo magnet powered, ultra-thin, semi-transparent composite cloth T2 dome tweeter (such as found in both the CXS 6×9, and high end component set CS6.5), these “hybrid, bi-amp ready” speakers could not be further from both innocent AND ordinary {how are those for some tongue twisting descriptions, I will break it down further in this review}.

The Un-boxing

Let me start by saying, even before un-boxing the speakers, I was impressed with the sheer weight of the box (which did make me wonder if I was actually un-boxing the right item), taking into consideration that the DD-CXS6.5 is of a shallow mount design.

Opening the box, you are greeted first with 2 individually plastic wrapped speakers, recessed into round cardboard cut-outs to hold them firmly in place during shipping, pulling the speakers out to inspect them I (as many would) flipped them over to read the label on the magnet, to which I saw an odd thing not expecting to see, a single disconnected positive wire…. AHHH as I remember the phrase “hybrid, bi-amp ready”, so delving back into the box, I found (again plastic wrapped) two rather substantial capacitors {I will explain further down this review}.

The Specifications

Midrange Woofer:

Cut-out Diameter            5.65″

Crossover Frequency     4kHz – 12 dB/Oct

Frequency Response     40Hz – 25kHz

Impedance                         4 Ohm

Magnet                                                Strontium

Power Handling                                60 RMS / 100 Music / 200 Max

Mounting Depth (in.)     1.93″

Shipping Weight               10 lbs


High range Tweeter

Cut-out Diameter            1.95″

Diaphragm Material        Ultra-light Silk

Frequency Response     2kHz-30kHz

FS                                           1580 Hz

Magnet                                                Neodymium

Maximum Input                               150 watts

Mounting Depth (in.)     0.70″

The Features

Acoustically treated                                       A treatment applied to the cone of the midrange woofer will ensure very minimal (if any) sound is lost ‘through’ the woofer during its movement, minimise acoustic anomalies that can arise from standard non treated cones, and to reduce cone break up while providing water/humidity resistance.

Rigid Polymer pulp cone                              Proprietary polymer pulp blend increasing strength while still ensuring the cone remains lightweight to reduce ‘drag’ of the cone during movement, ensuring a more precise sound reproduction.

Hybrid, bi-amp ready                                    Although inherently classed as a coaxial speaker, the DD-CXS6.5 has been designed to maximise the clarity of both the midrange woofer and the high-range tweeter by allowing each to EITHER be powered separately OR (utilizing the included capacitors) wired into the same sound source as the midrange woofer.

Neo magnet                                                       Although Neodymium was discovered in 1885, it wasn’t developed into a magnet until 1982, by General Motors and Sumitomo Special Metals, Neodymium magnets are the strongest type of permanent magnet made.

Semi-transparent composite cloth          This is a Digital Designs proprietary fabric, so thin you can actually see through it (1 935.48 microns, or 0.007mm thick)

The Lowdown

Digital Designs is renowned for developing high precision audio speakers right through the ranges

from entry level enthusiasts to the requirements of the discerning Audiophile.

With this in mind I decided to test these speakers under a gambit of different scenarios.

1)      Powered directly from a headunit (as my entry level example)

2)      Powered off a low quality generic branded amplifier (as my mid range example)

3)      Powered off a class A/B 4 channel digital amplifier capacitors used (as my high range example)

4)      Powered off a class A/B 4 channel digital amplifier, tweeters running from channel 3&4 with amps high pass filter (as my high range example)

In each case I chose the following songs from a range of genre, leaving the equalizer “flat” for fair comparison.



a)      Easy Listening            (Track: Hotel California)

b)      Rock                              (Track: November Rain)

c)       Drum and Bass          (Track: Music in my mind)

d)      Dubstep                       (Track: Reality)


Headunit (Capacitors used):

I must admit, I wasn’t expecting miracles. Generally running speakers directly from the headunit will give you sound, but lack the depth and flavour in each note you may hope for.

The CXS6.5 DID surprise me a little with their clarity, even being underpowered as they were, I did feel that the midrange woofer did however have a rather flat response through the different songs, especially in the lower notes of the Drum and Bass track, but performed above expected overall.

Generic branded amplifier (capacitors used):

Amplifying these speakers brings them alive and starts to fill out the all round sound, however there is still a slight imbalance between the midrange and tweeter that I noticed in the headunit testing.

Class A/B 4 channel cmp (capacitors used):

The first thing I noticed when listening to the speakers was the increase in clarity over the cheaper amplifier, every step in this testing process has seen amazing gains in sound quality.

Class A/B 4 channel amp (mids channels 1&2, tweeters channels 3&4):

“Saving the best for last”… we hear this all too often when talking about the last addition or step in anything… Never a more true word said in this review.

Time to retire the capacitors that came packed with the CXS6.5’s and tune in the channels on the amp.

Sitting on my own, laying back, closing my eyes, and turning up the music…. Digital Designs delivers PURE bliss! The true potential of the CXS6.5 has come ALIVE!! Of the many ways you could think to connect these, commanding the true potential of these speakers in this way has unleashed their true depth and wealth of sound in a way you would not expect from a (and I loathingly say this) coaxial speaker.

The shallow cone of the woofer helps to widen the sound field while the more controllable soft dome tweeter brings it all together in a very well balanced overall package.


I have to say, accounting for all factors the Digital Designs CXS6.5 really did surprise me in overall sound quality.

My personal recommendation would most definitely be to keep the capacitors (packaged with these speakers) in the box and separately amp the tweeters for the best possible experience, that being said, if you don’t have that ability, these speakers will MORE than keep you smiling with their clarity and all round sound response.

Build Quality




Sound Quality


Value for money


”[OUTLWD] Factor”


[OUTLWD] Factor:

What is The “OUTLWD” factor?

The [OUTLWD] factor is my overall rating taking all factors into consideration, and the overall factors that I feel could make the entire experience better.


Key: ¤ = 1 Star ½ = ½Star


Aaron “OUTLWD” Bublitz


Leave a Reply