DALI Lektor 1 review

Handily small speakers, the Dali Lektor 1s will fit into awkward room positions Tested at £250

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Talented and urbane, the Dalis will continue to win admirers – but their limitations have been thrown into stark relief by some compelling new competitors


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    Handily small, and forgiving of awkward room positions

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    fast, detailed sound with great midrange articulacy


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    Don’t dig as deep or hit as hard as some new rivals

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Dali's diminutive Lektor 1s were a Best Buy Award-winner in 2008 but now they find themselves shorn of a star and edged off the top table.

What's gone wrong? Nothing, actually – they remain thoroughly enjoyable speakers. Unfortunately for the Dalis there are now even more capable designs around.

But, before we shine a light on the Lektors' slight shortcomings, let's remind ourselves of their charms.

Winningly compact, smoothly if unremarkably finished and usefully relaxed about their position relative to a rear wall, the Lektor 1s are a perfect fit for those who have a small listening space or must compromise on speaker positioning.

Playing Mayer Hawthorne's Maybe So, Maybe No, the Dalis' tremendous powers of midrange communication mean every nuance in his voice is delivered in full.

These pacy, fluent loudspeakers have an attentive way with transient details and a great combination of bite and control at the top end.

Their scale belies their size
Integration between the drivers is good, the soundstage is persuasive and there's the sort of scale and dynamism on tap that seems unlikely when you consider how small these cabinets are.

We've never shied away from the Lektor 1s' relative paucity of low-frequency extension or punch in the past, but have instead preferred to concentrate on the excellent tonality and effortless control of the bass sounds the Dalis produce.

Listening to Róisín Murphy's Overpowered, we're impressed all over again at how fleet and faithful the Dalis' (admittedly limited) bottom-end reproduction is… but there's no two ways about it: other designs have the fluidity and grip of the Lektor 1s, but add greater extension and punch, too.

If your listening room is small, or you find your speakers must go against a back wall or even on a bookshelf, the Lektor 1s remain a pragmatic choice, and one that will deliver tremendous levels of fidelity at the price.

But if you've a little more flexibility, it's now possible to buy even better.

See all our speaker Best Buys

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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