Dali Spektor 2 £199
Some budget speakers use fancy design or obscure features to grab your attention. Not so the Spektor 2s. These speakers have earned their place in these pages by sheer conventional brilliance.
There’s everything we would expect from a typical £200 box here, from two-way driver configuration and ported bass tuning right the way through to the 25mm dome tweeter and 13cm driver.
Precise and energetic
But the stats only tell you so much. Let them run in over a couple of days and feed them with a good system – we used Marantz’s CD6006 UK Edition CD player and Rega’s Brio amplifier as well as a Denon D-M41 micro system – and these speakers sparkle.
Mounted on solid stands and looking smart in their Walnut finish (Black Ash is also available), the 2s deliver a breadth of talent few similarly priced alternatives can match.
Play Aretha Franklin’s Natural Woman and the Spektors excel with its distinctive and powerful vocals. They’re delivered with nuance and passion; each word is crisply defined with no room for doubt as to the emotion behind the lyrics. We like the cohesive way these speakers handle the instrumental backdrop too, delivering the music with finesse, precision and energy. Moving onto Tchaikovsky’s 1812
Overture proves the Spektors capable of high volume levels and a decent degree of composure when pushed hard. There’s a pleasing level of resolution here along with the ability to organise that information into an involving and musical whole.
The way these speakers handle dynamics is impressive; they’re fluid and expressive, rendering both large-scale swings and low-level subtleties with equal verve. The result is that these Dalis have the ability to draw the listener into the music in a way that eludes even the best of their rivals.
Q Acoustics comes close with the refined and energetic 3010i from its revamped 3000 series – a direct price rival – but even those lack the scale and dynamic reach of the Dalis.
Tonally, the Spektor 2s have a full-bodied yet balanced presentation. This means they’re easy to partner and less fussy about rough or overly aggressive recordings.
If you’re looking to get the best speakers you can buy for less than £200, nothing else at this price will give you such a well-judged blend of detail and outright entertainment.
Unassuming yet wildly talented, these are still the best budget speakers around