Audiophiles know DALI for their exhilarating speakers (we gave their Oberon 5 a perfect 10 rating, one of a few we’ve given). Still, last year they opened up a new chapter, releasing their first-ever headphones and wireless at that. I was excited because I love the DALI speaker sound, and their approach to headphone design was intriguing. Their two models are the $399 Dali IO-4 and $499 IO-6, which are similar, except for Active Noise Cancelling on the IO-6, so I knew I needed to get that one.
The ANC headphone market is super competitive, so it will take a lot for a newcomer to break through. Sony seems to have the game in a chokehold right now, with Bose a close second, but they both concentrate on noise-canceling performance first, then audio performance. Companies like DALI, who have substantial brand equity with audiophiles, have to focus equally as much or more on how their headphones sound, along with incorporating capable ANC. Bowers & Wilkins seem to be doing a great job with their 2nd generation of ANC models.
I just got the IO-6 in, and I can’t wait to put them through their paces and see how they stack up to the rest of the market, especially when it comes to sound, because that’s what I always put first. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to get an update when the full review goes live!
- Beautiful slim denim carrying case…looks like it will slip nicely in a bag, and not show a lot of dirt.
- Headphones are lightweight and sturdy
- The big swivel ear cups and retractable arms accommodate big heads and ears like mine, the clamp is a little tight, not too much.
- Easy to operate
- Obscene amounts of detail
- 50mm drivers, free edge, paper fiber cone. Designed and manufactured by DALI
- Optimized neodymium magnet for high power handling
- Wireless connections: Bluetooth 5.0, AAC, aptX, aptX HD
- Can be used in wired mode via 3.5mm mini-jack stereo USB-C
- Functions: Power on/off, Bluetooth pair, release
- Volume up/down, play/pause/skip track, take call
- Hands-free: Clear Voice Communication (CVC)
- Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), Transparency, ANC off modes (IO-6)
- Battery: Up to 60 hours (IO-4), up to 30 hours (IO-6)
- Available in Caramel White or Iron Black
- USB-C cable for charging and computer audio use, as well as
- 3.5mm jack cable for connection to traditional audio sources and in-flight entertainment systems
- High-quality travel case to protect the headphones when not in use (IO-6 only)
I’m an audio writer who started as a young audio salesman/consumer electronics professional back in the late 90s. That’s where I discovered the magic of 2-Channel sound. My thirst for great sound has led me on a delightful music quest that continues today.