The shared pursuit of affection and happiness apart, not everyone seems to be after the identical factor – as Dali acknowledges within the design of its newest stereo speaker system, the Oberon 1 C. Audio techniques, whether or not they’re modest all-in-one micros or extra bold lively speaker sorts, usually undertake a one-size-fits-all mannequin – it’s a part of their handy, fuss-free promoting level, in any case. Nonetheless, the Oberon 1 C have been designed to attraction to multiple type of purchaser and set-up.
This standmounter package deal belongs to a three-strong lively speaker system collection, which additionally incorporates the 7 C floorstanders and On-Wall C wall-mounted speaker and relies on the Danish firm’s Oberon passive speaker vary. As Dali’s most reasonably priced lively vary, they sit beneath the Rubicon C and Callisto C collection, that are themselves based mostly on passive speaker ranges.
Nonetheless, the Oberon C fashions are a barely completely different proposition to their lively system siblings, largely because of their extra accessible nature. Whereas the brains of the Rubicon C and Callisto C audio system lie in a separate wi-fi community preamplifier known as the Sound Hub, the Oberon C package deal introduces a smaller, modified model of this field, the Sound Hub Compact.
Dali Oberon 1 C tech specs
Bluetooth aptX HD
Energy 4x 50W Class D amps
Dimensions (hwd) 27 x 16 x 23cm
This field is packaged with the Oberon 1 C, however you’ll be able to select to have the unique Sound Hub as a substitute for a £250 premium. Taking place the hub route, relatively than packing all of the connectivity contained in the speaker cupboards, permits Dali to supply upgradeable bins sooner or later. From an aesthetic viewpoint, it additionally offers house owners the choice to maintain cables from related sources away from audio system. However why two hubs? Dali feels that this value level makes the Oberon 1 C (and seven C) an alternative choice to a soundbar, for these after a higher-performing TV-based system with a extra convincing stereo soundstage than supplied by a single bar.
The Sound Hub Compact’s connectivity actually displays these ambitions. There’s an HDMI ARC socket offering one technique of connecting to a TV, permitting the TV distant to manage the Oberon 1 C’s quantity changes and, because the hub additionally helps auto enter switching, largely negating the necessity for the system’s offered distant.
Optical inputs present one other, with one geared in the direction of TV connectivity in order that the Sound Hub can robotically energy up when the TV is turned on. There’s additionally aptX HD Bluetooth – useful for wirelessly taking part in music from a cellphone or different Bluetooth-toting audio supply – plus a pair of RCA inputs, a subwoofer output and a USB service port.
What’s lacking, in contrast with the complete Sound Hub, is the BluOS streaming module, which gives DLNA playback, Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect and built-in entry to different streaming companies, corresponding to Amazon Music, Qobuz and Deezer. The Sound Hub Compact’s lack of BluOS assist and normal community entry signifies that each multi-room performance with different BluOS gadgets and MQA file assist aren’t out there – and for some this might be a problem. The Sound Hub additionally contains a coaxial enter and preamp output, which the compact model doesn’t.
However for many who want to preserve their set-up easy, or who don’t depend on music streaming companies, the Sound Hub Compact could also be all they want. These after an lively stereo system however have an even bigger finances or extra bold efficiency necessities ought to be conscious that the Sound Hub Compact can also be suitable with Dali’s Rubicon C and Callisto C lively audio system, too.
Dali has diminished the scale of the hub, principally when it comes to its top, in order that it may possibly extra simply be tucked away on a rack. Whereas the Sound Hub’s measurement is akin to a set-top field, the Sound Hub Compact is extra akin to a wi-fi router, with a easy half-circle association of LED lights that denote enter choice.
We take a look at each hubs with the Oberon 1 C, however whichever you select, certainly one of their design’s largest blessings is their wi-fi transmission to audio system. The hub sends music to the Oberon 1 C over a proprietary 30-bit wi-fi protocol, with transmission latency from enter to speaker claimed to be lower than 15mS.
Upon receipt of the sign from the hub, the wi-fi receiver modules within the audio system detect which channel knowledge (left or proper) to play, relying on the channel assigned to every speaker throughout set-up. The right channel knowledge is handed at 24-bit/96kHz decision to the DSP-based equalisation and crossover filter electronics. Throughout our testing, we don’t expertise any connection or latency points and the expertise is strong.
The audio system are largely unchanged from the passive Oberon 1, which in our overview we stated had been “strong and properly made” and “compact sufficient to suit unobtrusively into most rooms”. There are nonetheless 4 end choices – black ash, matte white, darkish walnut and lightweight oak – however, as with the Oberon 1, the most important aesthetic assertion right here is offered by the mahogany colored 13cm wooden fibre mid/bass cone, which is used along side Dali’s Gentle Magnet Compound (SMC) know-how and sits beneath the 29mm smooth dome tweeter within the acquainted Dali association. Every unit, this time although, is fed by a devoted 50W Class D amplifier.
The Oberon 1 C’s compact dimensions imply they need to be simple to accommodate, whether or not flanking a TV on a rack or pair of stands (corresponding to Dali’s personal Join Stand E-600) or alternatively wall-mounted by way of the audio system’ rear-panel keyhole slots. The Dalis sound fairly balanced up towards a wall, regardless of using a rear reflex port, however we discover they carry out finest when positioned round 20cm to 30cm away from one, going through straight forward. This fashion, the Oberon 1 C show acquainted sonic behaviour – clear, articulate, quick and notably very good with vocals.
We join the Oberon 1 C to the complete Sound Hub – a pairing costing £1449 – and stream Tom Odell’s Heal over Tidal Join. The vocal-led monitor comes via the audio system with tangible readability and the type of ranges of perception you’ll be able to really feel. Odell’s supply is stuffed with tenderness and the Dali is sympathetic to that, whereas additionally retaining a agency hand on the accompanying keys. This midrange perception was one of many passive Oberon 1’s highlights, and one thing the addition of wi-fi lively operation hasn’t modified.
There’s depth and apparent layering to what’s typically an open and exact soundstage – and that also rings true with denser compositions. We play The Principle Of All the pieces by Jóhann Jóhannsson and the Dalis show a good organisation of their presentation of the piano, string and percussion instrumental, whereas additionally proving astute in capturing the dynamic surges of the string ensemble.
We transfer to the Love Theme From The Godfather by Nino Rota and the Dalis not solely have loads of perception – the mandolin is unmistakable, the accordion textured – however additionally they talk the dense and crude nature of the manufacturing. It grasps what scale there’s to the strings and retains issues tidy because the piece reaches its climax.
This organisation, mixed with dynamic aptitude and agility, makes for a rhythmically partaking hear. The Oberon 1 C work musically, capturing the experimentalism on the core of Oneohtrix Level By no means’s Lengthy Street Residence; all of the musical strands are held collectively nicely, with out ever sounding messy.
The Dalis have a very good go at rip-roaring via pg.misplaced’s Struggling – there’s greater than a touch of drive and weight behind the crashing electrical guitars and walloping drums. Nonetheless, as with the Oberon 1, you don’t get the authority or bass quantity and depth you’ll from a bodily bigger pair of audio system – one thing that those that must fill a giant room ought to concentrate on.
We substitute the Sound Hub with the Compact model and, connecting it to the Naim ND 555/555 PS DR music streamer by way of RCA, are introduced with the identical admirable strengths and extra, which is hardly stunning contemplating the Naim’s high-end calibre and the wired connection.
Streaming from our Samsung Galaxy S21 cellphone to the Sound Hub Compact over Bluetooth (in aptX type) gives much less readability, openness and refinement than that delivered by the Sound Hub’s BluOS streaming – and positively by the Sound Hub Compact and Naim streamer pairing, as is to be anticipated. However, although comparatively cruder, the Dali’s detailed, organised and musical presentation continues to be prevalent.
Energetic streaming techniques have gotten more and more widespread on this convenience-craving world, and the Dali Oberon 1 C are among the many finest examples we’ve seen at this stage.
Whether or not you persist with the bundled TV-friendly Sound Hub Compact or improve to the complete streaming-savvy Sound Hub, this package deal will benefit from the options on supply with an easy-to-use operation and a musical, clear sound. As reasonably priced stereo speaker techniques go, this one’s satisfyingly full.
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