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Review: DALI Oberon 1

Inherits from the more expensive series

DALI's smallest budget model has borrowed technology from the more advanced models.

Karakter
DALI Oberon 1
forfatter
Published 2021-06-19 - 5:56 am
Our opinion
Clean and nuanced reproduction, especially in the midrange. Draws up a nice acoustic scene.
Less effective than the others, so forget about playing loud.
Specifications
  • Configuration: 5.25″ woofer, 29 mm dome tweeter
  • Construction principle: Bass reflex, 2-way
  • Frequency range: 51 Hz – 26 kHz (+/- 3 dB)
  • Sensitivity: 86 dB
  • Max. power: (not specified)
  • Recommended amplifier power: 25-100 W
  • Impedance: 6 ohms
  • Dimensions and weight: 1.2 x 27.4 x 23.4 cm / 4.2 kg
  • Finish: Black ash, light oak, dark walnut, white
  • Web: dali-speakers.com

Dali Oberon 1 is the smallest model in DALI’s bang for the buck series, Oberon. Even though we are in the budget class, we can still afford a midwoofer with the characteristic wood fiber cone. And (a tiny bit of) the special SMC material is used in the magnet system.

The cabinet seems quite heavy and solid, and although the wood finish is not genuine, the result with black painted front and walnut on all other surfaces is neat. The biding posts on the back are cheap, but fully functional. And the possibility of bi-wiring will not be missed.

Also the back is “veneered” with vinyl. The binding posts are cheap but okay. (Photo: DALI)

The sound quality

Whether it is due to the wooden diaphragm, the magnetic material or something else entirely, is not known. But the sound from DALI Oberon 1 is extra clean! The midrange reproduction is significantly better than on any of the other participants. Voices sound nuanced and detailed in a way that I would think should cost at least twice as much.

The perspective is beautiful with good width and depth. It is even possible to sense the location of the walls and place instruments in the depth perspective – if the rest of the electronics and the recording allow it. It is far better than what one can expect for the price.

The individual dubbing tracks on Disturbed’s version of The Sound of Silence can not only be felt (which they cannot on all the participants), they stand out razor sharp!

The bass reproduction is really nice compared to the fact that Oberon 1 is the physically smallest in the test. But with such a small unit in a mini-cabinet, the power is limited. The treble is fine and well-resolved, but it is the midrange that is the star. Large orchestra together with solo singing at high volume, however, it is impossible to escape well. The power at the bottom is lacking and it all sounds like pressure. But it is still possible to separate the individual instruments, which is actually well done.

Even though we are in the budget class, we can still afford a bass / midrange unit with the characteristic wood fiber membrane. (Photo: DALI)

Conclusion

DALI Oberon 1 is the second most expensive model in the test, but you get full value for money in the form of a very nuanced and accurate music reproduction. The sensitivity is the lowest in the test, so forget about playing loud. Oberon 1 is also available in an active version with a built-in amplifier. But the passive is actually even better.

Also in this test

Elipson Prestige Facet 6B

Superior workmanship

Elipson impresses with build quality and immaculate details.

Excellent build quality. Nuanced sound and good dynamics.
More expensive than any other. Not as three-dimensional and accurate as DALI and Wharfedale.

Eltax Monitor III

Far better than their price

It is unbelievable that you can get so much speaker for so little money.

Insanely cheap: It costs a third of the test's most expensive! And the sound is actually pretty decent.
The sound is decent, but still far below everyone else in the test. The cabinet is thin and the build quality is poor. But what can you expect at the price?

Q Acoustics 3020i

Engaged and musical

The Q Acoustics 3020i is reasonably priced and razor-sharp priced. But also well-sounding.

Engaging and musical reproduction. Low price.
Cheapfinish. The sound could be more detailed.

Tangent Spectrum X5

Best for background music

The Tangent Spectrum X5 are not bad. But you can get more sound for the money from others.

Ultra-discreet look that will offend no one.
The sound is as anonymous as the design.

Wharfedale Diamond 12.1

Warm and comfortable sound

Wharfedale has had assistance from the other side of the Channel, and the result is a pair of well-sounding speakers.

Warm and comfortable reproduction at a really good price.
The sound is not overly detailed
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