Dali Spektor 6
Inputs and Features9.1/10
Price / Quality8.9/10
- Nice balanced sound
- Natural sound with warm tone
- Relaxed higher end
- Satisfying bass
- Not the most detailed of speakers
- Not suited for small rooms
- Needs plenty of space from the back wall
- Very close in price with the Zensor series
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If there is one thing that the Danish Audio Loudspeaker Industries, or better known as Dali to most, is particularly good at is at making good quality low budget speakers. The Zensor series in particular had proved to be a particularly impressive low cost series and managed to get great scores in our reviews of the Zensor 5 and Zensor 7 models. But today in our Dali Spektor 6 review we will be looking at the latest edition to the Dali family of budget speakers and with the Spektor 6 being the only floorstander in the series this is the most low cost floorstander that Dali offers in general.
The Spektor series is not here to replace the Zensors as their slightly lower price and more low cost construction and design has permitted Dali to have both series without cannibalizing each other. The series consists of two bookshelf speakers, the Spektor 1 and Spektor 2 along with the Spektor 6 floorstander we will be looking at today and a single center speaker, the Spektor Vokal. Not the most extensive series but it seems that with its budget nature they thought that they didn’t have to create more models as the Zensors can perfectly cover some more demanding consumers.
And while the Spektor 6 is Dalis most low cost offering in the floorstanding speakers market the manufacturer made sure to keep all the qualities that Dali speakers had over the years. Yes, certain reductions and cuts had to be made to reach this price and they certainly cannot reach the audio quality of some of the top Dali models like Rubicon or Epicon but they still keep the essence of all Dali speakers which is good sound reproduction with the widest dispersion possible. But let’s see what the Spektor 6 has to offer in more detail…
Design, Inputs and Features
With the Spektor 6 being the biggest speaker, and only floorstander, in the Spektor series Dali made sure to give it the necessary size in order to perform accordingly. This may be a budget speaker but certainly doesn’t look like one. With a size of 38.28″ x 7.68″ x 12.32″ (972 x 195 x 313 mm) and weighting 30.42 lb (13.8 kg) there is plenty of engineering inside these little beasts that shows how much Dali is paying attention even to their most cost sensitive offerings.
With such a size and taking into account the dual air ports at the back the Spektor 6 is the kind of speaker that asks for a lot of breathing space in order to perform at its best so it’s not the kind of speaker that we would suggest for very tight spaces and rooms as keeping them as far from the back wall will ensure a much better audio response.
The cabinet is made out of MDF as per usual in this category and feels very sturdy in order to avoid any resonances but in general when you look at it, it feels like it is a low cost speaker especially compared to some more expensive Dali offerings. This doesn’t mean that it looks bad, it’s just it look pretty plain and a bit uninspiring but design is always a personal matter so we leave it at that.
Overall they have a very boxy design with straight lines and sharp corners and follow a very minimalistic look especially with the grilles on. But with the special film used to cover each cabinet along with the leather type looking front finish Dali has managed to create a nice speaker that will not wow with it’s look but certainly will not stay unnoticed in your media area.
The cabinet design is complemented by the dual air ports at the back that Dali placed directly behind each driver in order to improve overall airflow and minimize the damping effect.
As we mentioned the cabinets are using a special vinyl finish with Dali offering three different color variations with Walnut, Black Ash and White the ones available and all look honestly very intriguing.
Another aspect that shows the low cost nature of the Spektor 6 is it’s stand design as there is basically no stand here. In the box you get a set of rubber bumpers or spikes that are practically screwed at the bottom of the speaker. In our opinion this does look slightly as a half baked solution as we have seen floorstanders even with lower price coming with some kind of stand that would make the speaker a bit more pleasant to the eye but it seems that Dali preferred to spend the budget on more important things.
The grilles used cover about half the front baffle where only the drivers and tweeter are placed and keep the same rectangle look of the speakers even when these are on. Unfortunately keeping with its low cost stature the grilles are not magnetically attached meaning that if you like your speakers with the drivers exposed you will have to stand the holes on the front baffle that keep the grilles in place. And while in the walnut and Black Ash finishes the holes are not very evident in the White Vinyl they do show a lot.
The back of the speaker feature the dual air ports as we mentioned above that are positioned exactly behind each driver along with the terminal speakers that are placed on a special inset at the bottom of the back face.
The Dali Spektor 6 is not a bad speaker. It’s just that it doesn’t have the luxury of some of the more expensive models. Its simple design along with the simple materials used for it’s cabinet reveals that Dali went with the absolute basics on this one. But looks and design is one part of the equation and how all of them come together is what matters the most and we are going to find out about this momentarily in our testing.
For the Spektor 6 Dali used a 2-way design with two 6 1/2″ (165 mm) low frequency/midrange drivers being complemented by a single 1″ (25 mm) soft dome tweeter. The drivers included may be a step down in quality from the Zensors but still use many of the technologies we see on the more expensive models along with their characteristic wood fibre cones that is a Dali trademark and a very proven material used.
For the low frequency/midrange woofers the wood fibre cone may be the most characteristic element but not the only one. A low-loss suspension, chassis layout and a special magnet motor design were used in order to create a very efficient driver. The cone membrane is crafted from a mix of fine grained paper and wood fibre pulp which helps it become very ridged, very light weight and uneven which results in less resonances.
The combination of the wood fibre cone along with the low-loss surround, spider suspension and strong magnet motor system grands the Spektor 6 drivers the ability to reproduce even the tinniest of details and have extremely high accuracy…at least according to Dali.
But the low/midrange drivers are only one part of the puzzle with the 1″ soft dome tweeter being the other. The Spektor tweeter is based on an ultra-light weight weaved fabric and unlike many other soft domes in the market the one Dali uses is actually about half the weight which means they can achieve very short excursions with high acceleration. The geometry of the tweeter front plate near the dome has been optimized to create the perfect working conditions for the soft dome. The aim was to combine an extended frequency response with wide dispersion and low coloration.
The combination of the soft dome along with the dual low/midrange drivers give the Spektor 6 a frequency range of 43 – 26,000 Hz with 6 ohms of nominal impedance, 88.5 dB of sensitivity with Dali recommending a 30 – 150W power rating for the connected amplifier. The crossover has been set at 2,500 Hz and the bass reflex tuning frequency at 41.0 Hz.
The Spektor 6 uses single gold-plated binding posts that are placed on the lower back side of the speaker. There is no bi-amp or bi-wire capabilities here which was to be expected with the low cost nature of the speakers but the connectors themselves are of good quality and you can use different plugs or bare wires according to your preferences.
We placed the Spektor 6 speakers in our testing area but with its rear air ports the floorstanders needs certain space between them and the back wall with Dali recommending between 10-20 cm (4 – 8”) of space. Now Dali is very specific about the placement of the Spektor 6 and they say that the speakers are designed to meet their wide dispersion principle, so they should not be angled towards the listening position, but be positioned parallel with the rear wall.
So after initial unpacking we screwed the rubber bumpers and placed the speakers around 2 feet away for the back wall with the space between them being measured at around 9 feet. We usually like to make some toe-in but since Dali specifically mentions not to we continued our testing with them straight with our TV and the back wall. One last thing to mention here is that as with all speakers in general Dali recommends around 100 hours for the break-in period that would allow the floorstanders to reach their peak performance. The ones we tested had a few hours under their belts but we were not sure if this 100 hour break-in period had been reached.
Lastly as we always do with our speakers testing we went with a 4.0 speakers setup for our movies testing because this way we can more easily distinguish how easy the speakers can cover for the missing center speaker and subwoofer. For our music testing on the other hand we opted for a pure 2.0 channels stereo setup as this is the setup of preference for most music fans and audiophiles. So after making the necessary calibrations with our Onkyo AV receiver we went on with our movie testing.
For our first film testing we decided to go out loud so we chose the 4K UHD of Rampage which has a totally Earth-shaking Dolby Atmos mix and can bring any speaker to its limits. Without a subwoofer our testing system relied exclusively on the Spektors for their low end covering so we were curious to see how much of this havoc filled low end the speaker can bring forth.
The film provides plenty of opportunities to show how good the Spektors can do with loud scenes and we were immediately greeted with a very wide and deep front soundstage as the speakers did amazingly good at filling every corner of the front layer. The mix is not so much focused on finer details as we were slammed left and right by falling debris as the monsters were ripping through the city while the military was throwing everything available in their arsenal in their try to stop them.
The Spektor did have a very natural and warm tone to them that was really to our liking and made even such an acoustic cacophony a very pleasant experience. These are not the speakers that will go high on details but they will always be very relaxed to the ear and never push you to your limits.
Although we didn’t have any Atmos enabled speakers in this setup the floorstanders did manage to extend the front sound wall slightly higher and thus give a more fulfilling sense of upper action. Dialogue came in pretty clear and distinct and even without a dedicated center channel the Spektor 6 never had trouble to cover for this omission. Dialogue was not as confined in the center as we had experienced with some other floorstanders but in general we were happy with how they managed to do in this regard.
On the low end we can call the speakers adequate and certainly give some weight to the mix but were not able to provide the deep thunderous bass we would like to see from the 165 mm low frequency drivers. On normal volume the speakers cover the lower registers with good extension and energy but as we pushed them to higher volumes the balance got lost slightly with the speakers trying to regain their cohesion.
If we had to sum up this first testing we would say that the Spektor 6 did great in providing a very pleasing acoustic tone to such a chaotic mix with good dispersion across our whole testing area while providing adequate low end, relaxed midrange and playful highs. They are not particularly high on details but for the casual ear they will do such blockbuster mixes a real treat.
For our second testing we could not do without getting our usual Lord of the Rings fix and for this one we chose The Fellowship of the Ring and skipped right into the mines of Moria. The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is the best of the best the Bluray format has to offer and uses a lot of environmental and ambient effects to up the overall immersion and give a grander sense of space.
And the Mines of Moria is such a scene as the Fellowship travels across the mines each sound traveled across the vast sections of the underground with volume and depth. And the Spektors did a very good job at translating all this to our area as every little sound echoed with good volume, depth and precision. From the screaming sound of Orcs to the menacing growl of the cave troll, everything was reproduced with a fine texture and natural tone.
The grand finale of the scene found Gandalf facing the mighty Balrog on the Bridge of Khazad-dûm and here we have a mix of front focused audio effects with an amazing orchestrated music and the speakers managed to keep everything tight without one overlapping the other. The front soundstage kept the action going with good weight, sense of scale and extension while the orchestra filled our room with music and gave the scene the necessary uplift for such a grand moment.
On the low end the growl of the Balrog is not as deep or menacing as we would like but all things considered we would call it adequate. Again when we pushed the volume to higher levels the bass did feel a bit muddy to say the least but never to the point of being unpleasant. Obviously a dedicated subwoofer will do miracles here but our test showed that even without one the Spektors can keep a straight face even in such demanding scenes.
We could keep talking about how easy going the Spektor 6 are but I think you got the point. The speakers will do a damn fine job at delivering a nice overall experience with good weight, nice depth, enough volume and satisfying extension. They are not very fond of extreme details, precision may not be the best out there and the bass could be better especially in higher volumes but for the most part they did a very good job from what we saw making them a very good offering for those that are looking for a budget set for their home theater.
Next in line, as always, is our music test and for this one we select a few music files in FLAC format for the best quality possible. After we switched to a 2.0 channels setup using only the two front speakers and made the necessary calibrations we were good to go.
First thing that we did notice was once again the slightly warm tone they have and here it was more evident than in our movies testing. This made the speakers very relaxed and easy to here, at least for us, while the midrange was never loosing focus or cohesion. Resolution was good but we could not say this is the best we have heard and is certainly not HiFi material but for the casual listener and anyone that is not nitpicking on the details will find a lot to love in these.
Dali is putting a lot of emphasis on their wide dispersion mentality and the Spektor 6 did an incredible job at this as we tried different listening positions without feeling much change to the tone or the dynamics to the point of changing the nature of each song. Also stereo imaging was nice with musical instruments being very distinct in space while stereo panning effects were switching from one channel to the other with good balance and precision. The musical stage extended both on the sides and at the front and created a very faithful immersion bubble around us.
The higher frequencies felt relaxed with a very controlled outcome and never gave us ear fatigue no matter what song we played. These were accompanied by the balanced midrange that showed enough clarity on all timbres and kept everything at check.
The lower end could be described as pretty extensive with enough energy and vigor while during demanding songs it never sounded like the speakers were struggling to keep up. The Spektor 6 followed all along without breaking a sweat. It was not the most deep or chest pumping bass you can get out of a floorstander but this was to be expected so no real objections here. Also when you push the speaker to higher volumes it looses slightly in clarity and overall balance but nothing major to be a deal breaker.
Overall we would classify the Spektor 6 as an amazing proposal for the casual music lover. It has many qualities for a budget speaker while it’s good enough across the board to appeal to a wide range of consumers that are looking for a pair of speakers but want to keep a tight control over their budget.
With the Zensor series Dali had managed to strike an amazing balance between cost and audio quality and have certainly made many consumers happy with their excellent performance without hurting their wallets. So when Dali announced the new Spektor series as their new lower end lineup and that instead of replacing the Zensor it would be placed below that we were a bit worried if Dali would manage to keep its audio quality up to their known standards. After all no matter which manufacturer you are there are certain limitations when you have a very strict low budget to abide by.
But here is where Dali really managed to pleasantly surprise us. The Spektor 6 may not be the speaker that will make demanding audiophiles jump from joy but these were not meant for them. The Spektor 6 is the kind of speaker that is aimed for the casual user that wants a good quality speaker with natural sound and good performance across the whole frequency spectrum and doesn’t care for extreme resolution or fidelity. And this is where the Spektor 6 really excels as it’s natural and easy going output will please those that are looking for an all around speaker that can be used either for music or for movies and never fail to satisfy with their acoustic signature.
Dali made sure to use many of the technologies we find in their higher tier series like the wood fibre cones, sturdy cabinets, meticulously calibrated drivers and light-weight tweeters among others in order to achieve what every Dali speaker is known for and that is their characteristic wide dispersion ability at the lowest cost possible. And in this regard Dali seems to have delivered.
On the downsides what we can say is that the speakers while still managed to perform admirably their output was not the most refined or detailed and is certainly not the HiFi material many demanding users may be looking for. Also the speakers need a lot of breathing space at the back making them less ideal in small or tight spaces as their size is already on the large side and with the extra breathing space they require they are mostly suited for big rooms or home theaters. Lastly the quality of the cabinet is not the best and while there was nothing obviously wrong with it, it did feel slightly on the low side of the price spectrum.
Closing we will say that the Spektor 6 is the kind of floorstander that is good but not exceptionally good. It has certain weaknesses that keep it from becoming an amazing offer but on the other hand it will not disappoint those that choose them for their natural sound and warm tone. Dali has managed to push the budget speaker market once again and the Dali Spektor 6 will surely be the speaker of choice for many that seek good quality audio performance on a budget.