DALI 's IKON On-Wall loudspeaker combines the driver array—fabric dome/ ribbon tweeter hybrid and 6-inch wood-fiber woofer— used in the company’s well-regarded IKON 2. The sealed, wedge-shaped enclosure can be hung on the wall or mounted on bookshelves or a desktop.
The sides of the On-Wall are finished in light oak or light walnut veneer. A removable black cloth grille hides the drivers and a silver-painted front baffle, offset by darker silver bit trim on the inside edge of the speaker. The look is traditional Scandinavian.The back panel has four keyhole slots for hanging the speakers vertically or horizontally. DALI supplies rubber bumpers and stickon feet to protect walls and desktops.
At 15-inches tall, the On-Walls wouldn’t fit on the shelves along the back wall of my home theater room, so I couldn’t try them as surrounds. I did try them as a stereo pair, both hanging on the wall and mounted on 26-inch Ensemble stands.
The DALI IKONs have the transparency and openness of the IKON speaker system reviewed in the August issue of The Perfect Vision, so it’s obviously a family trait. Driven by my big Parasound Halo A51, a less powerful Onkyo A-9555 integrated amp, or a 35Wpc Red Rose Spirit amplifier, they offered up a warm, clear soundstage ideal for female vocals and acoustic guitars.
Katy Moffatt’s The Greatest Show on Earth [Rounder] was wonderful, as was Renee Fleming’s By Request [Decca], an operatic greatest-hits collection by a favorite diva.
Limited low-end response (-3dB point is spec’d at 57Hz) makes the IKON On-Walls less well suited for male vocals, especially of the bass-baritone variety. Leonard Cohen’s “Boogie Street” [Ten New Songs, Columbia] lacked weight and substance, and recordings with strong bass lines such as Patti Smith’s cover of “When Doves Cry” [Land, Arista] were rendered as lightweights. But that was in a large, open room.
Used as a desktop system in my office, the DALIs seemed much more substantial. They would work well in smaller rooms, where corner placement on bookshelves could help reinforce their attenuated bass potential. Likewise, a properly adjusted subwoofer could lift these otherwise very good loudspeakers to a higher plane of performance. TPV