The older of the two Dali iO-6 models represents Dali’s signature take on modern headphones. In addition to the high-quality artificial leather finishing of the ear pads filled with memory foam material, I would like to note the excellent customization of the headband. In addition to the fact that it also has a soft lining, the degree of its elasticity is selected very precisely in order to ensure reliable contact of the cups with the listener’s head, but not cause discomfort. It’s nice that even in its debut product the company was able to find the right balance.
Structurally, Dali iO-6 are classic dynamic headphones, the drivers of which are equipped with a powerful neodymium magnetic system. It drives a 50mm diaphragm made of cellulose – a solution that cannot be found in headphones of this class and design today. The company’s engineers believe that even in headphones, it is paper that provides the most natural and correct sound.
Then other factors come into play to ensure that the model is loved by users. Firstly, the stated operating time of the model on a single charge reaches 30 hours, and secondly, there is an abundance of possibilities for wired and wireless connections. The Bluetooth module supports the aptX HD codec, which promises to transmit high-resolution music material with minimal compression. For those who prefer the best connection option in terms of sound quality, there is a USB-C connector, which allows you not only to charge the headphones, but also to send a digital signal to them from a computer. Well, if the battery charge is still not enough, then the good old 3.5 mm mini-jack is available to the user.
Another feature of the Dali iO-6 headphones, which no high-end wireless headphone model can do without today, is the active noise reduction system. It has three operating modes – On, Off and Transparency Mode. In the latter mode, the user gets the opportunity to hear what is happening around them due to the built-in microphones, which perceive and mix environmental sounds into the signal. A built-in battery with a capacity of 1,100 mAh ensures autonomous operation of the headphones for 30 hours on a single charge. The model comes in a hard case for storage and carrying.
Over Bluetooth, the quality is achieved almost the same as over USB – you can easily distinguish the nuances between the aptX and aptX HD codecs, or even between different playing applications. However, such a high resolution of the path and drivers, which is beneficial when playing FLAC or WAV in high resolution, will play a bad joke on owners of sources that do not support the listed codecs in the Bluetooth channel. So, if the signal is compressed in SBC, then sometimes you can hear how some of the high-frequency components are washed out and the virtual images are slightly enlarged. On iPhones with AAC, the sound remains transparent, but an acrid synthetic taste appears. However, if you store compressed files in mp3 or m4a formats in your smartphone’s memory, then this ceases to have any significance, because they are already “artifacts” and nothing can be done about it.
And finally, about the operation of the active noise reduction system. The main thing: the technology in the Danish headphones is very effective and can compete with the best headphones with ANC. Moreover, the Dali noise suppressor processes a very wide range – in fact, only “infra-tones” penetrate from the outside. Voices, harsh street noises, and the dense low-frequency spectrum of transport are suppressed to the ear not just significantly, but literally “to the baseboard.” At the same time, turning on the system interestingly changes the tonal balance of the music being played – “relief” components stand out better, sharp dissonant ones are slightly muffled, which only adds to the comfort of listening. Dali iO-6 are also interesting with their Transparent mode, which does not subtract noise, but, on the contrary, turns closed headphones into something like open ones so that you can hear the surrounding space. And she also delicately adjusts the tonal balance so that nothing escapes your attention in the music.
Characteristics of Dali iO-6
Type of emitters, acoustic design – dynamic, closed
Headband – rotating; material – artificial leather, metal, plastic
Cup material – plastic, metal
Ear pads finishing – artificial leather
Connection – wireless/wired, USB-C, 3.5 mm mini-jack
Bluetooth – yes, version 5.0, support AAC, aptX, aptX HD
Noise reduction system – yes, three operating modes ON/Transparancy/OFF
Wireless telephone headset function
Frequency response, Hz – 10 – 20,000
Resistance, Ohm – 25
Maximum sound pressure, dB – 100
Weight, kg – 0.325