The cheapest speaker in the Group Test is also easily the biggest. These massive Dalis stand an imposing 114cm high, and you'll need a big room to be able to position them at a good distance from both the listening position and the back wall (and remember, they're best with very little toe-in).
That girth also makes the finish very noticeable, and to be honest, we weren't overly impressed with the Light Oak vinyl finish on our pair, which felt a bit cheap and plasticky.
Still, there can be no denying that you get a heck of a lot of speaker for your cash; there are three (count 'em) six-and-a-half inch drivers working with Dali's own hybrid tweeter module in a dedicated three-way design. Oh, and there's a reflex port for good measure.
It probably won't come as much of a surprise to find out that they sound huge, too. Fed The Bridge of Khazad Dum from The Lord of the Rings OST, and the Dalis do room-filling epicness like nothing else on test. Peaks eminate from a superbly deep, wide soundstage and are delivered with body-shaking bravado.
What may come as more of a surprise is how balanced the Ikons are overall. Basslines are wonderfully deep and chunky, but not overpowering, while treble is detailed without being too bright or prominent. All of this is complimented by a very clean and clear midrange.Lack of subtlety loses a star The Dalis do have their limitations, however. Although big-scale scores are no problem, ask them to reproduce the smaller-scale dynamics of Tom Petty's Wake Up Time and they struggle, and this impacts the emotional realism of stripped-out recordings. This is compounded by slightly limited detail recovery, leaving some vocal nuance undiscovered.
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The only other problem is some missing punch. Bass frequencies, though massive, could be a little more taut, and this would feed extra tightness and attack through to the midrange. The treble also, though admirably free of sibilance, could do with a small injection of sparkle.
Having said all that, if you've got a very large room that you want to fill with big music for an extremely attractive price, the Dali Ikon 7s are going to be right up your street.