Dali has a fine reputation to uphold when it comes to speaker packages.
You only have to look up ‘Dali’ under ‘Speaker Packages’ on whathifi.com to find its Award-winners.
So can the Ikon 5 MK2 follow suit? The pressure is on.
This Dali system comprises a pair of 5 MK2 floorstanders up front with a Vokal MK2 centre speaker and Sub MK2 subwoofer. A pair of On-Wall MK2s complete the package as your surround channels.
Dali’s signature hybrid tweeter array – years in the making and inherited from its high-end speaker designs – has been a labour of love for the Danish manufacturer, and also features in the Ikon 5 MK2 range.
The tweeter configuration is made up of a 28mm soft-dome tweeter and a 17 x 45mm ribbon tweeter, the latter designed for – as Dali says – the ‘super-high’ frequencies. They give a smooth and wide horizontal dispersion.
The tweeters are similar right across the range, differing only in the smaller speakers (rear and centre) by the magnet used.
Red-coloured 13cm wood-fibre mid/bass drivers tackle the lower frequencies. In the rear On-wall MK2’s case, it’s a slightly enlarged 16.5cm.
Each speaker has a dual-layer baffle bonded with vibration-dampening adhesive for extra stability and solidity.
Black grilles sit atop to match, but beware – they prove easy to dislodge.
We test a black-ash vinyl-wrapped set (it also comes in light walnut) and the red-on-black contrast is striking.
The Ikons look mechanical, with a clutter of screws on show, and the cabinet’s sharp edges don’t fit its price tag.
The best packages – and some cheaper ones – are finished more impressively than these Dalis.
Aesthetes may find satisfaction in the premium gloss-white finish, however – but that will set you back an extra £300.
The Dali is a modest-sized package if space is tight. The floorstanders are short and slim, and the rear speakers – which are relatively flat and about the size of a large encyclopaedia – simply require a hook on your wall.
The centre speaker is unobtrusive too, but will need a quality support to sit on.
The sub may be trickier to place. It’s huge. It has a front-firing 30cm long-stroke woofer and is powered by a 325W amp.
All the speakers should be spiked for best performance, while the supplied toolbox is useful when mounting the wall speakers.
Toying with placement won’t hurt. We found best integration across the front line came when the floorstanders are no more than a metre or so either side of the centre.
The sub should also be within close proximity to them. It’s the only part that lets the team down really – it’s just a bit underwhelming.
Yet there’s still plenty here to impress us, performance-wise, here.
Fast & Furious 6 Blu-ray car chases are exciting: dynamics are agile and responsive, and sound effects are sharp.
The Dali package unearths detail and has a cohesive sound that places you at the centre of the action. Integration between the speakers is first-rate too.
We finish the test with music – Michael Jackson’s The Way You Make Me Feel – and rhythmically there’s punch and timing, while the vocals are very clear too.
There aren’t many speaker packages out there as exciting as this one – it will transform your movies and music.
But a combination of the cheap-looking build and a below-par sub denies the Dali Ikon 5 MK2 that fifth star.