Australian Hi-Fi

Epic to the core


What does a typical 40th birthday celebratio­n involve? A cake crammed with candles? Jokes about being middle-aged? A tipple or two? If you’re Dali, you forego all of the above and launch a new floorstand­ing speaker instead. The Danish company has found another name that is both fit for a high-end speaker and, seemingly important to the brand, has a ‘c’ that can be replaced with a ‘k’... Epikore. The new Epikore 11 towers, which made their debut in Munich, share some of the same technologi­es found in the flagship Kore model Dali released last year.

The key technology inside the speaker is SMC Gen-2, which debuted on Kore and is the next generation of the brand’s magnet material technology, found in the bass and midrange drivers as well as the crossover induction cores.

The aim is to reduce hysteresis (unintended resistance to the voice coil, which can cause distortion), flux modulation, and eddy currents in the magnet system — which should result in lower distortion and better dynamics.

Dali has also borrowed the Kore’s EVO-K hybrid tweeter, which combines a 35mm soft dome tweeter with an improved version of Dali’s ultra-thin ribbon tweeter.

In addition to the tweeter arrangemen­t, the real-wood veneer cabinet holds four eight-inch bass drivers and a six-and-a-half-inch midrange, all of which use paper and wood fibre for their cone constructi­on. The midrange driver diaphragm has the same complex embossed geometric structure used in Kore to aid control and help lower distortion, too.

Those four bass drivers, meanwhile, feature large and powerful magnet systems that can supposedly provide plenty of low-end rumble with low informatio­n loss. The SMC Kore crossover inductors feature the world’s first

SMC Gen-2 inductor cores, allowing lower DC resistance than standard air-core inductors, shorter signal paths and less vulnerabil­ity to crosstalk between the inductors.

The speaker’s new binding posts include oversize thumbscrew­s to better grip bare wires and spade terminals.

The die-cast ba—es are made from acoustical­ly inert and sti˜ materials, which provide a solid platform for the drivers while eliminatin­g cabinet vibrations. And the twin dual-flare bass reflex portsare naturally designed to aid the bass drivers in delivering low frequencie­s.

Dali’s Epikore 11 speakers come in three high gloss finishes — black,maroon and walnut — and are set to launch later this year for a price that is yet to be confirmed but will be significan­tly tamer than the Dali Kore's $150,000 figure.

That’s not all Dali used the European stage for, either: it also unveiled its latest pair of wireless over-ear headphones. If you think headphones play second fiddle compared to ‘proper’ hi-fi products, then Dali has news for you. Its new IO-12 are the first headphones to feature the patented Soft Magnetic Compound (SMC) technology found in many of its high-end speakers — yes, including the Kore and Epikore. Again, Dali says this tech reduces hysteresis (which can cause unwanted distortion) to help deliver a clearer sound.

The IO-12 support aptX Adaptive Bluetooth for higher-bitrate wireless transmissi­on when paired with compatible sources, or they can be cabled up via the supplied 3.5mm mini-jack and USB-C cables, the latter of which can carry files up to 24-bit/96kHz.

ANC is also onboard for blocking out external sound, while on-earcup buttons let you skip tracks, adjust the volume and more without resorting to your phone. Battery life is a very healthy 35 hours, though not as enduring as the Sennheiser Momentum 4 Wireless — not many are! There are two listening modes, too – ‘Hi-Fi’ promises a more natural experience while ‘Bass’ emphasises the low end. Considerin­g the 50mm custom drivers in the housings, handling low frequencie­s shouldn’t be an issue for the IO-12.

Sitting above Dali's existing IO Bluetooth headphones, the IO-12 will join the new but increasing­ly establishe­d upper segment of the wireless headphones market, populated by the likes of the Mark Levinson No.5909 and Bowers & Wilkins Px8. Aussie pricing is tbc.

For more informatio­n, contact Amber Tech on (02) 9998 7600 or visit www.

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