Not your average soundbar… wait, sound system… wait, both? The KUBIK ONE has more than meets the eye…
I still get a lot people who come into our store and ask us who DALI actually is. I’m surprised that it hasn’t become a household name. Maybe it’s not as diverse as some of the alternatives? Not a chance! In a rather unique offering, the DALI KUBIK ONE TV soundbar is a marvellous piece of equipment, which I can safely say is one of my favourite products.
A lot of people tend to think of a soundbar as something to purely enhance the TV’s audio capabilities. After all, there are a great many choices that certainly do just that. But what if we took that idea and replaced it with one soundbar that can be a whole music system? The Kubik One comes with a D-Class amplifier that powers both the 13cm wood fibre cones, and a pair of 25mm soft dome tweeters, giving a total power output of around 100W, (and that’s true, RMS Watts!) The drivers are typical DALI in design and sound quality, so for anyone who has heard the Zensor or the Ikon range will know what to expect here.
Initially we plugged this into our Blu-ray player and dived into Pacific Rim; a film that really does give an incredible test of speakers, with all the robot fight scenes and shouty dialogue. The sound of the waves in the initial battle scene seemed to crash and echo around our demo room. The depth of bass gave the impression there was a subwoofer working alongside it. The volume is also something to be marvelled at. It belts out the sound of Gypsy Danger taking on the Kaiju in the sea, as they trade blows and the plasma cannon blasts off each shot.
Moving on from the movies we hooked up our trusty Cambridge Audio CXC CD transport and popped on a few of our favourite classics. First off a bit of pop-punk. We threw on The Offspring – Americana and all the memories of listening to it back when I was a kid came flooding back, a sign of an engaging performance. Moving on from the crunching guitar riffs and catchy choruses we put on some more modern dance music in Pendulum’s Hold Your Colour and played the track PlasticWorld. This song has a wobbly bass line teamed with some very sharp high notes and the bar handled it perfectly, swimming between thumping bass drums, to notes, to all of the building synths and keys for a very vocal chorus. It’s not just the electronic and rock stuff it does well with either. We played some of our favourite classical albums and it was precise, detailed and open, again exactly as a speaker system should be.
When you flip it round you will find 2 digital optical ports (that come in handy for connecting a TV, with a spare to boot), an analogue RCA cable input (great for CD players or turntables that have been run through a phono stage) and a micro USB input. The KUBIK can play Hi-Res Audio files up to 24bit/96Khz – great news for everyone with FLAC and WAV on the PC or MAC. There is further good news in the fact that there is APT-X Bluetooth built into the bar, so you can stream files in a higher quality with a better signal too.
The bar can be placed in a variety of locations and can be easily wall mounted. It is quite a large unit, sitting at 16cm high. Given the choice of table-top or wall mount, I’d personally go for the latter, as it looks fantastic up on the wall. Finally, you are given the flexibility of a wide range of colours by special order, with black finish available to take away the same day in most stores.
Frankly, this bar is an overall brilliant performer. In my opinion, every visit to a Richer Sounds store should include a demonstration of this award-winner. If you have a shortlist of soundbars you’re interested in, the DALI KUBIK ONE deserves to be at the top!