DALI IO 6

Headphone Test

DALI IO 6 Review

More than 35 years after the company's foundation, the Danish loudspeaker specialists present their first headphones: the DALI IO 6.

Michael Lang

Impressive Premiere

Today, around 75% of music is heard via mobile phone and streaming. Enough reason for DALI to consider addressing this target group with high-quality headphones. Their approach is to view the headphones as personal, portable speakers. The first ever headphones of the company – which was founded in 1983 – are the ear-enclosing and sealed IO 6, and its brother IO4, which is identical in construction except for the noise cancelling. The Danes also claim to have discovered that the closed construction causes less sound differences from one wearer to another than open headphones. This construction also made it possible to install particularly large and, from DALI's point of view, better drivers.

DALI is absolutely up to date when it comes to ANC and Bluetooth. The noise cancelling is very effective, while hardly affecting the sound quality. In our experience at highest sound quality Bluetooth can, however, be a double-edged sword, as then the connection is often unstable. Whenever possible use a cable, preferably with a Audioquest Dragonfly in between to enjoy music. This works for up to 60 hours of runtime without and 30 hours with ANC, which is at the limit of what is possible today. The charging time is pleasantly short at about two hours.

The handling is simple and really intuitive, including Bluetooth pairing and title jump, despite the exclusively illustrated manual; the voice prompts are understandable, but only available in English. The wearing comfort and tactile quality of the 325-gram DALI are high, a very important aspect on long journeys. The padding made of imitation leather is replaceable and held in place by a bayonet lock. The handle is softly padded. The IO 6 also has a transparent mode in which speech remains almost undamped, while noise of all kinds is very well attenuated. The Dane is also convincing in terms of sound, both wireless and on the cable, and even with the NC switched on it is a lot of fun, sounds airy, retains its qualities in terms of dynamics and resolution, does not "close up" and avoids any bass drone. The overall package of the Danes is absolutely convincing.

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