As Bluetooth speakers go, the Dali Katch was memorable – and not just for its name's spelling. When it was released in 2016, it sounded so good for its size and price that we gave it a What Hi-Fi? Award in the wireless speaker category. Considering how many Bluetooth speakers have come and gone since then, it probably won't surprise you to know it's since been surpassed by newer competition.
But now, Dali is looking to regain the crown with a long-awaited sequel to the Katch. The all-new Dali Katch G2 brings a raft of improvements to the familiar design in order to give the speaker its best shot at topping the pecking order, including a bigger battery, wider Bluetooth support and tweaks to the audio design.
Even today the Katch's 24-hour battery life is very reasonable, but the Katch G2 still takes that to 30 hours (charging is via a two-way USB port). There's also support for aptX HD, aptX and AAC Bluetooth, complete with NFC, for higher quality transmission between compatible sources. An alternative means of connection is provided by a 3.5mm input.
Dali has also implemented a TWS (True Wireless Stereo) mode, enabling the user to pair two Katch G2s for increased volume and a more convincing stereo soundstage. The speaker's soundfield is created by a two-way speaker system, with the drivers located on both sides to help create as wide a stereo effect as possible.
Dali has ensured there's enough volume within the aluminium body for its woofers to, hopefully, deliver deep-enough lows, too. Last but not least, the cabinet now has an internal wall dividing it into two inner volumes for improved channel separation.
Available now and priced at £329 / AU$749, the Dali Katch G2 still sits at the premium end of the portable Bluetooth speaker market.
There's no integrated wi-fi streaming or voice control functionality – not all that surprising considering it's a portable unit (even if the Sonos Roam has somewhat torn up that particular rulebook). And there are more rivals to contend with now than when its sibling launched five years ago. But if sound quality is king, this could end up being the portable Bluetooth speaker for you.
How will it fare in an increasingly crowded market? That's a question we hope to answer soon.
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