Every time I think of DALI, a Danish company, I am reminded of the Dali Menuet bookshelf speakers I once owned. Despite their small size, they were able to produce a large, natural soundstage. This characteristic has consistently been present in DALI’s speakers. In this post, we will review the DALI OBERON 1 bookshelf speaker.
Established in 1983, DALI, short for Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industries, is a company that specializes in producing only speakers. It is because of this focus that they have been able to continuously produce high-quality products and make ongoing improvements in their technology and production.
Furthermore, DALI’s products are priced at very reasonable levels. The OBERON 1 bookshelf speakers that I had the opportunity to listen to are a part of the newly released OBERON series. In European folklore, OBERON is the king of the fairies.
The OBERON series includes six models: the Dali OBERON 1 and OBERON 3 bookshelf speakers, the OBERON 5 and OBERON 7 floor-standing speakers, the VOKAL center speaker, and the ON-WALL thin wall-mount speaker. This range is quite comprehensive and suitable for various occasions.
The Dali Oberon 1 is a small bookshelf speaker with a two-way, two-driver design. It features a 29mm soft dome tweeter and a 5.25-inch wood fiber paper cone woofer, with a crossover point at 2.8kHz. The frequency response is 51 Hz-26.0 kHz (+/-3 dB) and the sensitivity is 86dB.
The cabinet is made of medium-density fiberboard and comes in four colors: black ash, white, dark walnut, and light oak. The speaker has been carefully designed with acoustically absorbent materials and features a wall-mounting groove on the back. It can be used with a stand or mounted on a wall. The dimensions of the speaker are 162 W x 274 H x 234 D mm and it weighs 4.2 kg.
The DALI OBERON 1 that we listened to was the light oak version. The wood grain is quite prominent and the depth is quite natural. The bass reflex port is located on the back of the speaker and the OBERON 1 also has a wall-mounting hole. The bass driver of the OBERON 1 is a 5.25-inch unit.
The grille of the OBERON is also a newly designed feature and the light-colored appearance is paired with a Mountain Grey grille.
The OBERON is the first entry-level series to use DALI’s proprietary SMC (Soft Magnetic Compound) technology. SMC significantly reduces non-linear magnetic distortion, resulting in excellent high-frequency sound reproduction in music.
When playing music, the OBERON produces bright high-frequency sound performance. The OBERON features a newly designed, large-sized 29mm lightweight tweeter and a wood fiber mid-bass driver with good dispersion. Of course, the speaker also boasts a beautiful Danish craftsmanship design for the cabinet.
The 5.25-inch wood fiber mid-bass diaphragm is DALI’s patented wood fiber paper diaphragm. Compared to a pure paper cone diaphragm, this wood fiber paper diaphragm has the elasticity and low-frequency performance of a paper cone diaphragm, as well as improved speed performance.
The voice coil of the Dali OBERON consists of four layers. In order to reduce its weight and avoid affecting mid-frequency reproduction, DALI uses a very lightweight copper-clad aluminum wire to make the voice coil. Its conductivity/weight ratio is 205% better than copper, resulting in significant improvements in bass control and the reproduction of small details.
The driver’s magnetic drive system uses a very large ferrite magnet, surrounded by a special iron and a 10mm thick SMC coating to minimize mechanical distortion during operation.
The OBERON features a newly designed, large-sized 29mm lightweight tweeter. Its diaphragm is made of extremely lightweight woven fibers, weighing only 0.06 milligrams/mm2.
This tweeter’s frequency response has also been further optimized to cover lower frequencies for better integration with the mid-bass driver, resulting in a more consistent sound. The tweeter’s front panel is the same as the design in the more advanced level OPTICON and RUBICON series, resulting in extended frequency response, wider soundstage, and lower coloration.
Oberon 1 has a sound that is slightly mid-to-high and is capable of producing low frequencies suitable for pop music. With no sound coloring, Oberon 1’s treble is clear and pleasant, making it an excellent choice for a bookshelf speaker. The soundstage is clear even without treble enhancement.
The mid-range voice positioning is close and has excellent texture, with good reproduction of each mid-range voice timbre. The bass is generally subdued in classical music but has just the right elasticity for pop music and electronic music. If more bass is desired, a subwoofer can be used or the amplifier’s bass output can be enhanced.
Dali Oberon 1 is particularly suitable for listening to mid-to-high range vocals and all-frequency popular music, with excellent performance in mid-to-high range vocal music and electronic music, making it a perfect fit for the bookshelf speaker positioning of Oberon 1.
If you are planning to listen to pop music and some vocal HIFI music in your bedroom with Oberon 1, its performance will definitely exceed your expectations. The amplifier’s power does not need to be too strong, and 20W per channel is enough to drive Oberon 1 well. To fully tap the potential of Oberon 1, consider using an amplifier with more than 8 ohms and 85W per channel that can adjust the high and low output.
The album “Love is Here to Stay” by Diana Krall and Tony Bennett, released in 2018, is a collaboration with the New York jazz band Bill Charlap Trio and features new interpretations of George Gershwin’s works. It is a must-have for jazz fans, with not only great songs but also high-quality recordings.
Both artists are skilled singers, and Dali OBERON 1’s rich, full vocals showcase their charm and emotional depth with great finesse. The piano is also bright and shiny, a benefit of bookshelf speakers, which may have limited bass compared to floor-standing speakers, but excel in the mid-to-high frequencies.
Listening to ‘Everything Is Love‘, The Carters are the strongest couple Jay-Z and Beyoncé combination, and many super strong guest stars cooperate with them. As soon as the album was released, it immediately occupied the top of the music billboard in various countries. Without any prior notice or promotion, it had such power.
Although the size of Dali OBERON 1 is small, with the help of the deliberately enlarged single unit and Dali technology, the energy and dynamics displayed when listening to this album surprised me. OBERON 1 does not hesitate at all but is very natural and relaxed. The rhythm and blues and the complex styles of pop music changes completely pass the test.
Listening to the theme song of the soundtrack of the musical “The Phantom of the Opera,” the superiority of Dali OBERON 1’s sound field is more obvious. You can feel the atmosphere of the live stage, a strange atmosphere in the opera house.
Of course, the part of the pipe organ would be better with a large speaker, but OBERON 1 has already demonstrated a low-frequency reproduction ability beyond its size. The duet between the female and male lead, with their strong contrasting vocal characteristics, stacking up to the final high-pitched climax, is reproduced naturally and excellently by OBERON 1’s 29mm ultra-lightweight high-frequency driver, which can reproduce up to 26kHz, significantly extending the range of many speakers.
Oberon 1 has a high quality overall! Although Dali Oberon 1 bookshelf speaker is positioned as an entry-level bookshelf speaker, it performs like a mid- to high-end bookshelf speaker in many ways. The highs are well extended, the mids have rich detail, the bass is sufficient, the transient performance of the mid and high frequencies is good, and the separation is good. Oberon 1 is a very powerful product at this price.
Here, we hope that DALI has better sales and more music lovers will understand this excellent audio brand. DALI will also have more opportunities to let music lovers have the opportunity to listen to excellent audio products and restore the original beauty of music.