DALI ZENSOR 5 AX WIRELESS SPEAKERS
These award-winning active, wireless loudspeakers are absolutely outstanding value for money!
This year has been a very good one for Dali, because this well-known Danish loudspeaker manufacturer has picked up awards not only for the Dali Zensor 5 AX speakers reviewed here (‘Best Wireless Speaker 2016-2017’ bestowed by Sound & Image Magazine) but also for its Spektor 6 Speakers (a ‘Best Value’ award from EISA—the European Imaging & Sound Association) and its Phantom S in-wall speaker series also picked up a ‘Best Product’ EISA award in the category ‘Home Theatre High-End 2017–2018.’
Active wireless loudspeakers—speakers where the amplifier is built into the speaker itself, and where there’s wireless connectivity so you can stream music from your phone or device—are the hottest products in audio right now.
The only problem is that the vast majority of the units sold are no bigger than a can of soft drink and are designed for desk-top use or ‘casual’ music playback at picnics and suchlike. The problem with this being that such units sound acceptable only at low volume levels; their sound is always monophonic and, despite their sound quality often being remarkably good considering their price and size, it’s still a long, long way away from being high-fidelity.
This lack of fidelity has not gone unnoticed by consumers, but they’ve also noticed the convenience of such systems and, not unreasonably, have asked why home hi-fi loudspeakers can’t be active and wireless. It’s a good question. One answer is that the great majority of manufacturers of quality loudspeakers are not skilled at building either amplifiers or wireless interfaces. Another is that those manufacturers that could build such speakers if they wished prefer not to do so because they want to avoid the increased complexity of international distribution caused by having to conform with all the different electrical standards in each country and the increased possibility of litigation if a powered product causes damage to something—or someone. Distributing loudspeakers is easy. Distributing mains-powered speakers is not.
Dali, however, has decided to take the bull by the horns. The Zensor 5 AX is a wireless, active version of Dali’s highly popular Zensor 5 passive loudspeaker. It’s an extremely clever strategy to use an existing product because Dali has not had to develop a completely new product—just add power amplifiers and interconnectivity to an existing one. In fact, the right channel speaker of the Dali Zensor 5 AX pair is just an ordinary Zensor 5 passive loudspeaker—both the left- and right-channel amplifiers and the Bluetooth Apt-X receiver, and the digital-to-analogue converter are built into the left-channel loudspeaker.