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Future-Fi at IFA 2018: DALI Callisto 2C loudspeakers

  • DALI. Not the surrealist painter but Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industries. The Scandinavian loudspeaker company wears the A-word proudly but at IFA 2018 I stepped over their brand new range of passive loudspeakers – the Oberon – to take a closer look at the Callisto 2C (€2800/pair): a 2.5-way active whose amplifiers and drivers were developed simultaneously.

    On the inside, a DSP crossover splits the incoming audio signal between Class D amplifiers that drive a wood fibre mid-bass driver and soft-dome / ribbon tweeters.

    And just because we can feed the Callisto the traditional way – connecting a DAC or pre-amplifier to the rear-facing analogue inputs – doesn’t mean we have to. DALI’s modular Sound Hub (€600) carries the digital signal from any of its hard-wired digital inputs (2 x TOSLINK, 1 x coaxial, aptX Bluetooth) to the loudspeaker wirelessly.

    According to DALI’s Lars Jørgensen, this proprietary 5GHz wireless transmission protocol operates with digital audio at 24bit/96kHz and keeps the digital signal as I2S between Sound Hub and loudspeaker. That’s for die-hard audiophiles to ponder.

    For those who just want to play music, the Sound Hub is modular with a BluOS board occupying one of two ‘upgrade’ slots. That gives listeners Bluesound-like streaming from both smartphone and desktop apps: Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify, vTuner Radio and Roon Readiness.

    And with the Sound Hub in play we get the coolest feature of all: drag a finger across the top of the loudspeaker to control the pair’s volume; double tap it to play/pause.

    From the floor of the Messe Berlin, Jørgensen takes us deeper on DALI’s digital actives:

    The 2C are available in black or white finishes and for those who simply must have a floorstander, DALI offer the Callisto 6C (€3600/pair).

    Further information: DALI

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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