Q&A‌: Kef Vs. Dali Speakers-Which One Should I Buy?

A Reader Writes:

Q: I’m new to the audiophile world, and I’m trying to set up my first system. I’ve had a really hard time choosing equipment, and honestly, I’m starting to feel a bit overwhelmed with the possible options.

The room for the system is not ideal, but it is what it is…it will be our living room/kitchen, and is 16’x30’, with 10’ ceilings. I will be placing the system in the middle of the 30’ wall, which is essentially halfway between the kitchen and living room. I listen to pretty much any kind of music from Bon Iver and Jose Gonzales to Radiohead to Rage Against the Machine to Drake. I really value music clarity, but will also want the ability to fill the room when we have people over. I was considering the KEF LS50 with the Cambridge Audio CXA81 amp, but I was concerned this combination might not have the capability to fill such a space. Alternatively, I was thinking of the Dali Oberon 5, but I wasn’t sure if these speakers had the clarity and ability that I valued in the KEF LS50. Any advice would be REALLY appreciated. Thank you so much!

-G.G.

A. I think you’ve made some great choices in speakers and electronics if you like clarity. Both the KEF‌ LS50 and the Dali Oberon 5 excel at clarity, and the CXA81 has enough clean power to make them sing.

Both speakers you’ve chosen will fill your room. But in different ways.

The KEF LS50 ($899 in the U.S. as of this writing) will fill your room with its scale, meaning the music will sound big. They also have 3D‌ soundstage, meaning they will unfold a performance out across the room in front of you. What they won’t do is shake the room with bass.

The Dali OBERON 5 ($1199 in the U.S. as of this writing), on the other hand, will also fill the room with its scale, and 3D soundstage to a lesser extent, but it also adds bass for more of a full-range sound. It’s a speaker that knows how to party. If you play some dance music, it will drive the rhythm hard without missing a beat.

The OBERON 5 is also capable of nuance when playing some Jazz or Acoustic music, but not like the LS50. However, the LS‌50 will not rock the house like the Dali speaker. So at the end of the day, you have to choose between clarity with room-shaking low end or clarity with a little bit more depth and soundstage.

As always, the best thing to do is get your hands on both speakers and audition them in your space. But I‌ know that’s all but impossible with high-end audio retailers being so few and far between. So with that said, I‌ hope my descriptions give you enough info to point you towards the speaker that suits your tastes.

(Check out our Dali Oberon 5 Review Here!)

BTW, if you have a question about 2-Channel audio, whether it be about the gear itself, or setup, drop us a line at info@hifitrends.com! You may see your inquiry published on the site!

Where to buy:

Dali OBERON 5: Click here to buy-Dali Oberon 5 Floorstanding Speaker – Black (Pair)

KEF LS50: Click here to buy-KEF LS50 Mini Monitor – Black Edition (Pair)

BTW, if you have a question about 2-Channel audio, whether it be about the gear itself, or setup, drop us a line at info@hifitrends.com! You may see your inquiry published on the site!

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