What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Thu, 12 Aug 2010, 11:00am

DALI Ikon 6 MK2

Tested at £1200
80100
4

The Ikon 6 Mk II gains maturity, but loses just a little sparkle in the process

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For

  • A seamless, sophisticated balance
  • fine insight and control
  • go loud with ease
  • unfussy about positioning

Against

  • Not as entertaining as the originals

We were big fans of the original DALI Ikon 6. Its enthusiastic yet balanced sound and competitive £899 price won it many friends.

The new model moves up a price point but still resembles the original thanks to that unusual dual-tweeter arrangement.

High-frequency duties are shared between a relatively conventional soft-dome unit and a ribbon design. The twin bass drivers are all new, and use the firm's now traditional wooden fibre cone material.

Need room to breathe
These speakers like to fire straight-ahead not angled towards the listening position – and need a bit of room to breathe if the bass frequencies aren't to dominate. In our test room such positioning results in a tonally balanced sound with a wide and expansive soundstage.

There has been a change of sonic character with the shift to Mk II status. The sound is now cleaner, clearer and certainly more insightful.

The Ikon 6s sound as at home with Chopin's Nocturne No.2 in E Flat, Op.9, which requires a delicate touch and convincing tonality, as they do thumping out the distortion-ridden overload that is Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes.

It's all done with class leading control, impressive refinement and seamless integration – no mean feat considering the use of four drive units in each cabinet.

Curbing the enthusiasm
Impressive as all that sounds, there are flaws. The trade-off for greater sophistication has been a loss of enthusiasm. The speakers lack a degree of excitement that the originals had in spades.

There's no doubt that the Ikon 6 Mk 2 are better speakers than their forerunners. It's just a shame they're not more fun.

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