What Hi-Fi? Awards 2016 winner: DALI Zensor 1 5.1 speaker package

dali_04dali_bb_speaker-packages_daliFor those of us who are unfamiliar with the world of speaker manufacturers and package options, DALI might be a brand that you have never heard of before.

I was no exception to this as I had never heard of it prior to working at Richer Sounds and I feel somewhat disappointed for having not given it a proper listen. The Zensor range from DALI is probably one of my favourite ranges of speakers on the market right now and its 5.1 system package is a real thing of beauty both sonically and, in my opinion, for looks too.

The 5.1 package consists of 2 pairs of the 5 star What Hi-Fi? rated Zensor 1 speakers to use as front and rear channels, a Zensor Vokal centre speaker and the E9F sub. The system is available in the dark ash colour as well as a white finish to suit most room types and comes with black speaker grills or the option of going for a white speaker grill for those who want to match the white set of speakers.

When plugged into the RXA1060 from Yamaha there is a perfect partnership for both musical quality and home cinema grunt. When playing The Hunger Games Catching Fire, orchestral pieces are bright and defined with the sub providing a subtle yet powerful punch for the low range frequencies. The scene in the town square gives crisp and beautifully open speech and with real detail to Katniss Everdeen’s pleas to the peacekeepers.

Meanwhile when we switched over to our Spotify account to play ACDC’s Highway to Hell the crunch from Angus Young’s Gibson SG is instantly apparent and grin worthy with Brian Johnson’s raspy lyrics slicing through the meaty riffs.

The swan song for the Zensor range is that level of accuracy from the tweeters. Whilst only using a traditional dome tweeter it seems to have a much more defined sound quality than say the Tannoy DC4’s which – thanks to their design, are somewhat more suited to clear, mid-range qualities. Similarly they also add another level of depth to the already outstanding DALI Fazon Micro speakers, well worth a look in for those who might think that the size of Zensors is a little overbearing for their room. It’s the Vokal that will give some people a little trouble in terms of placement, with a depth of 161mm it is deeper than most traditional centre speakers so make sure you have plenty of room on your AV rack or stand. The sub utilises a 9 inch forward firing driver made of aluminium which is down ported (the air is ejected below the sub) to ensure positioning isn’t a issue.

Whilst there may be some more traditional speaker packages in this price range that provide a little more style or perhaps are less intrusive to your room setup, it is unlikely that they will be able to match the truly wonderful tweeter detail I seem to be constantly referring back to.

Whether you love drum’n’bass with plenty of bass depth and precision, or classical harmony string and woodwind sections, this system is definitely in its own class. I certainly would put my money where my mouth is.

Drop into your local Richer Sounds store to try these wonderful speakers for yourself, whether it be as a simple pair for hi-fi listening or the full surround sound experience, you will never be left disappointed. Well done DALI, take a bow.

Click here to find out more about this award-winning surround sound system.