Dali OBERON C Series

Dali OBERON C Series – Three new active speakers from Denmark

With the new Dali OBERON C Series, the latest speaker series from Denmark is available in an active version. The main focus is on easy set-up, intuitive operation, and of course excellent sound, regardless of whether the music comes from analogue or digital audio sources, from TV via HDMI, or via Bluetooth from smartphones.


For years, they were considered solutions in a niche market, but were primarily reserved for the “professional” environment. Active loudspeaker systems are now increasingly becoming the focus of attention, including in the consumer electronics and proven hi-fi segment. It is the trend towards the simplest possible design, but nevertheless high-quality and flexible solutions, that is driving this trend, because even if you break down a hi-fi chain to the most essential parts, there is no getting around loudspeaker systems, so if they are active, they only need one source.

Thus the range of active loudspeaker systems has grown continuously in recent years, and more and more loudspeaker specialists are adding active systems to their product portfolio. This is also the case with the Danish loudspeaker specialist Dali Speaker A/S, whereby they are taking a somewhat different approach than many of their competitors.

Dali Speaker A/S follows a solution-oriented approach in the development of active loudspeaker systems. They do not offer individual products, but systems that offer completely different application possibilities than “simple” active loudspeaker systems.

Thus, the company first presented the Dali CALLISTO C Series, a range of active loudspeaker systems whose family members, the Dali CALLISTO 2 C and Dali CALLISTO 6 C, can in principle be used on their own, but which unfold their full potential with the Dali Sound Hub. This forms the central interface, has a wide range of connections and expansion options, and elegantly controls the actual active loudspeaker systems via radio.

Dali Speaker A/S also held its own with the second product series in this area, the Dali RUBICON C Series, which took this system concept to a higher level of quality in the form of the Dali RUBICON 2 C and Dali RUBICON 6 C solutions, with the Dali Sound Hub as the central interface.

Now it is time to present a third product series based on this unique and exciting concept, the new Dali OBERON C Series, which has a few details that are different from the two product lines available so far.

The new Dali OBERON C Series is intended to provide a line of active loudspeaker systems that will appeal to an even wider range of customers than the previous Dali CALLISTO C Series and Dali RUBICON C Series solutions. With the new Dali OBERON C Series, Dali Speaker A/S deliberately speaks of a system that is designed to fit into modern lifestyle environments and media systems. Selected active models from the Dali OBERON Series provide real hi-fi sound, with the new Dali Sound Hub Compact providing the central connection. The Dali OBERON C Series is designed for easy installation and intuitive yet flexible use.

It is interesting to note that Dali Speaker A/S, in contrast to the previous “active” series, offers not only two, but three loudspeaker systems, but it is particularly striking which ones these are. The passive solutions of the Dali OBERON Series are of course the basis, whereby a floorstanding speaker system, the Dali OBERON 7 C, a compact shelf speaker system, the Dali OBERON 1 C, and a model for wall mounting, the Dali OBERON IN-WALL C, were chosen. This also shows that Dali Speaker A/S is very serious about the promise that the Dali OBERON C Series is designed for easy integration into modern living environments.

First of all, it must be said that the Dali OBERON Series has been introduced as a particularly attractive loudspeaker line in terms of price. Nevertheless, it should have all the virtues that distinguish speaker systems from Dali Speaker A/S, so that one could speak of audiophile speakers for everyone. It was a breakthrough in its class, the essence of 35 years of development and a speaker series that made audiophile sound affordable.

The new active models will of course now also be available at a particularly attractive price, following the concept introduced with Dali CALLISTO C and continued with Dali RUBICON C.

All new models in the Dali OBERON C Series are designed as two-way bass reflex systems and use features that were originally developed for the Danes’ upscale model ranges, such as drivers based on the so-called SMC technology and of course equipped with the wood-fibre mixture membrane that has long been characteristic of Dali Speaker A/S. The use of SMC, or Soft Magnetic Compound in the driver is intended to guarantee a particularly accurate, distortion-free reproduction, while the special material of the membranes ensures a natural reproduction. For the upper frequency range, the developers rely on tweeters designed as fabric domes, whose special feature is the comparatively large diameter of 29 mm.

This allows a wider frequency range to be covered and, in conjunction with a fully active 24-bit DSP-based crossover network optimised for this purpose, results in a very balanced, natural overall reproduction. Furthermore, the solutions of the Dali OBERON C Series are designed in such a way that the best possible performance is guaranteed not only in the so-called sweet spot, but also beyond. So you can sit relaxed on the couch and enjoy fine sound in almost any position.

In the Dali OBERON C Series, the developers once again rely on Class D amplifiers with high-quality, powerful switch-mode power supplies, whereby two power amplifiers are used per speaker, each of which delivers a full 50 watts. One amplifier is thus responsible for the tweeter, a second for the bass driver or drivers.

All loudspeaker systems are built on CNC-machined MDF cabinets, which are designed for optimum rigidity to prevent vibrations and resonances that could damage the sound. It is especially emphasised that all corners inside the speakers have been rounded. In the floor-standing speaker system of the series, additional internal bracing is used. At selected points in all speakers of the series, additional damping is provided in order to be able to reproduce the mid-range cleanly without impairing the bass range.

All models are available in four finishes: matt white, light oak, dark walnut and black ash. Naturally, covers are included in the scope of delivery, the colour of which is adapted to the respective design variant and which have rounded corners for a harmonious design language.

Let’s start with the Dali OBERON 1 C, the compact bookshelf speaker system of the new series. As described, it is equipped with a 29 mm fabric dome tweeter and a 5.25″ woofer chassis, with a crossover frequency of 2.35 kHz. Here the bass reflex system is led out to the rear, whereby Dali Speaker A/S refers to this as a dual-flare bass reflex system. This is to minimise turbulence and distortion as well as compression effects. It can reproduce a frequency range between 39 Hz and 26 kHz. The Dali OBERON 1 C measures 274 x 162 x 234 mm and weighs 4.2 kg.

The Dali OBERON 7 C is also designed as a two-way bass reflex system, but here the 29 mm tweeter is combined with two 7-inch bass drivers, so that in combination with the rear-facing dual-flare bass reflex system a frequency range between 31 Hz and 26 kHz can be reproduced. The crossover is tuned to 2.45 kHz. With dimensions of 1,015 x 200 x 340 mm, the Dali OBERON 7 C must clearly be described as an extremely compact floorstanding speaker system that can be easily integrated into almost any living environment and yet weighs in at just 14.8 kg.

A special feature, as already described in the introduction, is the Dali OBERON ON-WALL C, because with this speaker Dali Speaker A/S offers an especially flat speaker for wall mounting. This makes it possible to use high-quality active speaker systems even in places where space is really at a premium. After all, the speaker measures no more than 385 x 245 x 120 mm and weighs only 4.9 kg. Here, too, the 29 mm tweeter is combined with a 5.25 inch woofer, as in the Dali OBERON 1 C described above, and here, too, a bass reflex system is available for a sovereign reproduction from 26 kHz down to 51 Hz, although this is designed somewhat differently. The Dali OBERON ON-WALL C has two bass reflex ports on its rear side, which are designed so that the sound is emitted parallel to the rear wall.

One thing that must always be remembered when it comes to such active speaker systems is the advantage that you really don’t need more per speaker than a power socket in the immediate vicinity, because even if we are talking about a “wireless system”, electricity is of course essential, but a signal connection via cable is not necessary.

The central Dali Sound Hub Compact provides the connection to the various sources, which in turn makes “contact” with the actual speakers via radio. This is, and this is particularly important to emphasise, a completely loss-free signal transmission based on a proprietary 30 bit radio protocol, which transmits in the 5.2 or 5.8 GHz band and ultimately allows audio signals with 24 bit and 96 kHz. It is also very important that this has an extremely low latency of less than 15 ms. This even guarantees lip-synchronous playback of TV and film sound, for example.

The new Dali Sound Hub Compact, which is introduced with the new Dali OPTICON C Series, is designed a little differently than the Dali Sound Hub, which belongs to the Dali CALLISTO C Series and Dali RUBICON C Series. This solution is, if you like, focused on the really essential. Specifically, Dali Speaker A/S assumes that many customers do not need the possibilities that the “big brother” offers. The new Dali Sound Hub Compact HDMI is therefore in the spotlight, because it allows the new Dali Sound Hub to be connected to a TV set. Of course, an ARC, i.e. an audio return channel, is supported as well as HDMI CEC, so that the remote control of the TV alone is sufficient for volume control.

Alternatively, an analogue input in the form of a pair of Cinch connectors and two optical S/PDIF interfaces are available. Ultimately, a complete HiFi system can be reproduced, because apart from the television already mentioned, a streaming client and even a record player can be integrated via an additional phono pre-amplifier, in short, you have all the sources you need. Especially as there is another option, namely Bluetooth 5.0, which also allows smartphones and tablets to be directly integrated as sources, whereby aptX and even aptX HD is supported in addition to AAC, so that signal transmission in “CD quality” is guaranteed with Apple iOS devices as well as Google Android smartphones, and with solutions that support aptX HD even signal transmission with up to 24 bit and 48 kHz.

It should also be emphasised that the Dali Sound Hub Compact offers the possibility of integrating an additional subwoofer, albeit via cable and the RCA connection located on its rear panel. An infrared sensor can also be connected if the Dali Sound Hub Compact is placed in a TV cabinet and there is no “line of sight” to the outside. It is therefore also clear that the Dali Sound Hub Compact is supplied with a matching infrared remote control.

By the way, the Dali Sound Hub Compact measures no more than 30 x 212 x 132 mm and is therefore considerably smaller than the Dali Sound Hub. Unfortunately, the expansion options offered by the Dali Sound Hub, such as the Dali BluOS expansion module, are not available here.

Finally, it should be mentioned that the new loudspeaker systems Dali OBERON 1 C, Dali OBERON 7 C and Dali OBERON ON-WALL C can not only be used with the new Dali Sound Hub Compact, but that this product series is also fully compatible with the existing product lines Dali CALLISTO C Series and Dali RUBICON C Series, and thus with the Dali Sound Hub.

Conversely, the new Dali Sound Hub Compact can also be used with the existing active loudspeaker models from Dali Speaker A/S.

According to the information currently available, the new Dali OBERON C Series solutions should be available in specialist shops in the near future. As already mentioned, Dali Speaker A/S has clearly designed this model series as a proven entry-level solution, but for beginners who have high demands on quality and flexibility. Nevertheless, the products are all attractively positioned in terms of price.

The Dali OBERON 1 C will be available at a unit price of € 499,-, the Dali OBERON 7 C will cost € 849,- per unit and the Dali OBERON ON-WALL C has to be budgeted at € 599,- per unit. The new Dali Sound Hub Compact will be available at a recommended retail price of only € 299.

Getting to the point

The new Dali OBERON C Series is intended to provide a line of active loudspeaker systems that will appeal to an even wider range of customers than the previous Dali CALLISTO C Series and Dali RUBICON C Series solutions. With the new Dali OBERON C Series, Dali Speaker A/S deliberately speaks of a system that is designed to fit into modern lifestyle environments and media systems. Selected active models from the Dali OBERON Series provide real hi-fi sound, with the new Dali Sound Hub Compact providing the central connection. The Dali OBERON C Series is designed for easy installation and intuitive yet flexible use.

Manufacturer:Dali Speaker A/S
Distribution:Audiophil GbR
Price:Dali OBERON 1 C € 499,- pro Stück
Dali OBERON 7 C € 849,- pro Stück
Dali OBERON ON-WALL C € 599,-
Dali Sound Hub Compact € 299,-

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