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Dali GmbH – How do in-wall speakers sound?

Do in-wall speaker systems sound different from their siblings in the regular hi-fi segment? In other words, do in-wall speaker systems have the same sound signature that the manufacturer provides for its regular speakers? Dali GmbH now answers this question with a simple comparison.


For years, built-in loudspeaker systems were considered a kind of “emergency solution”, they were often classified as a kind of stepchild. They were primarily used where it did not seem so important to achieve the best possible sound, such as in the sound reinforcement of business premises, the catering and hotel industry, or in the private environment for comparatively simple multi-room audio.

However, if you look at the current portfolio of renowned loudspeaker specialists in the field of custom installation, you will see a completely different picture. Sure, you can still find comparatively simple systems that actually serve to fulfil the aforementioned tasks at a particularly attractive price. But then there are more and more systems that present themselves as extremely complex, with an equally elaborate construction and the finest components as conventional loudspeaker systems.

Their task is to deliver the best possible sound wherever high-quality classic floor-standing or bookshelf loudspeaker systems are normally used, i.e. in the living room, to create an impeccable hi-fi or home cinema system.

Some customers, however, obviously still have doubts as to whether modern built-in loudspeaker systems are really equal to conventional loudspeaker systems, i.e. whether they are not making a compromise by opting for a built-in loudspeaker. This is especially true if one decides in favour of a mixed environment, i.e. a combination of classic speakers and built-in speakers, because the requirements in the living room make it necessary.

So the question is whether built-in speakers actually convey the typical sound character of a manufacturer.

Wolfgang Höhne, the new CI product and sales manager at Dali GmbH, has now investigated precisely this question.

Höhne writes that he was often confronted with the question of how built-in speaker systems from Dali Speaker A/S actually sound. Of course, a comparison with built-in speaker systems is unfortunately not as simple as with conventional speaker systems. You can’t just set up built-in speaker systems in a listening room and make comparisons.

Manufacturers such as Dali Speaker A/S put a lot of effort into development in order to achieve exactly this, i.e. to offer not only impeccable sound quality but also a consistent sound signature with the solutions in the Custom Installation segment.

According to Wolfgang Höhne, it is crucial that customers who are already familiar with the sound signature of Dali Speaker A/S can also be guaranteed this in the custom installation segment.

In order to be able to actually prove this, a spontaneous frequency measurement was carried out on four speaker systems from the current product portfolio of the Danish specialist, including three built-in speaker systems.

For the Dali PHANTOM-E Series and Dali PHANTOM H Series, for example, sufficient volume should be available for these models that radiate freely to the rear. Especially with the large three-way systems such as the Dali PHANTOM H120, this can be up to 100 litres. This effort is worth it, however, because it results in impressively rich bass.

On the other hand, the implementation of the Dali PHANTOM S-Series and Dali PHANTOM M Series is much easier, because these model series have their “own” cabinet volume, as the CI specialist from Dali GmbH points out, even if this is only 10 cm in installation depth. Bass reflex systems and/or passive diaphragm constructions provide the extended low-frequency range.

The question of how a built-in speaker system sounds in comparison to a free-standing speaker can be answered quite simply by Dali Speaker A/S: A Dali Speaker sounds like a Dali Speaker should sound, typically Dali!

Getting to the point

The days when built-in speaker systems somehow had to eke out a shadowy existence are long gone. High-quality, sophisticated solutions are designed to be on a par with free-standing speaker systems. Dali GmbH even makes a point of ensuring that all speaker systems, regardless of whether they are built-in speakers or regular hi-fi speakers, always have the same sound signature.

Manufacturer:Dali Speaker A/S
Distribution Austria:Audiophil GbR
Distribution Germany:Dali Deutschland GmbH

About Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.com, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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