Dali Callisto 6 C
Dali Callisto 6 C
Dali Callisto 6 C

Dali Callisto 6 C: Meets all the expectations of the modern audiophile

The Dali Callisto 6 C speaker system meets all the expectations of the modern audiophile: while retaining the advantages of the traditional Hi-Fi class, these speakers are distinguished by their ease of installation and are able to produce excellent sound in any conditions. Dali Callisto speakers connect to the Dali Sound Hub via a wireless connection (24 bit / 96 kHz), and a variety of standard inputs (Bluetooth, 2 optical, 2 analog, USB and coaxial) allows you to connect them into one network with almost any current audio device. What is especially important is that each new link in the chain will be detected automatically, and control of the system using the included Bluetooth remote control guarantees the stability of the connection even if the Dali Sound Hub is hidden from prying eyes.

Millions of available tracks, cloud storage, the ability to control sound via a smartphone and powerful compact-class speaker systems – we have gotten used to the fact that listening to music has become an order of magnitude more convenient than, say, five years ago. Connoisseurs of Hi-Fi technology increasingly prefer ready-made solutions, and for novice audiophiles, the need to lay cables and build a complex system from scratch causes nothing but despondency. The ideal option for the average consumer is a system that will not only satisfy his need for good sound, but will also be as comfortable to use as possible.

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Every part of the Dali Callisto 6 C speaker system is designed, developed and assembled by Dali specialists. Our own production allows us to exercise the strictest quality control and implement our ideas as accurately as possible: by creating woofers and tweeters together with the amplifier, we get perfectly working systems, and the ability to control the entire signal path helps us develop drivers that could not previously be found in traditional passive speakers.

By combining the strengths of the amplifier and the obvious advantages of the drivers, we have developed a system in which the final product is an order of magnitude better than the sum of all its individual parts. Thus, the Dali Callisto 6 C speakers are based on 165 mm wood fiber subwoofers with an advanced SMC magnetic system and a hybrid tweeter consisting of a 29 mm ultra-light soft dome and high-performance ribbon tweeters. The drivers are directly powered by a 300 W two-channel Class D amplifier – this power reserve is enough for even the most enthusiastic listener! The sum of these advantages provides transparent, detailed, consistent and timely sound, and the affordable price allows us to characterize Dali Callisto as a perfectly balanced solution.

Dali announced its partnership with the Lenbrook holding (developer of the BluOS multiroom system) at the same time it announced the Callisto acoustics, but kept secret which models would get BluOS-based multiroom. Lenbrook CEO Gordon Simmonds is proud that Dali has become part of the BluOS ecosystem: “This means that convenient, modern access to high-resolution audio is really important.” Dali itself failed to develop its own system for playing music over the network in good quality, and at that moment the BluOS platform came to the company’s aid. This is how Dali entered the multiroom market.

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DALI Callisto 6 C are designed to work in the proprietary Callisto system, which involves signal transmission using a special DALI BluOS Sound HUB. In addition, the speakers can be connected to a regular preamplifier using a cable. These floor-standing speakers are made in damped MDF cabinets and are equipped with patented drivers traditionally used in high-end DALI acoustics. The acoustics are distinguished by excellent workmanship and finishing, which can be made of black veneer or white varnish.
The DALI Callisto 6 C speakers feature two soft-compound (SMC) magnet woofers that provide superior audio fidelity and high speaker sensitivity. The woofers are equipped with wood pulp diffusers, which are traditionally used in the speakers of this company, and are light in weight, high in rigidity and have good resistance to resonances.

The high-frequency unit in the DALI Callisto 6 C consists of two emitters. There is a ribbon tweeter installed here, as well as a classic tweeter with a fabric dome. This solution ensured transparent and fatigue-free sound over a wide frequency range, as well as accurate reproduction of all the nuances of musical compositions recorded in Hi-Res formats.

DALI Callisto 6 C speakers are equipped with built-in class D amplifiers, separate for the low-frequency and high-frequency sections, and the band separation is carried out by an active filter based on DSP. The speaker power supply was designed and manufactured by DALI, which guarantees its high reliability.

There is a touch-sensitive volume control on the top panel of the DALI Callisto 6 C, and the sound level can also be adjusted via Bluetooth using a proprietary mobile application or using a control located on the “hub”. This provides good flexibility in the use of acoustics.

Signal transmission in the Callisto system is carried out at 24 bit / 96 kHz, which ensures smooth and musical sound. DALI Callisto 6 C are an excellent example of modern high-class wireless speakers, convenient for placement in any interior.

Thin long strips of white LEDs located under the dustproof grills and indicating the selected volume level are, perhaps, all the features visible from the outside that hint at the originality of the new Callisto active systems. But, unlike most stereo Bluetooth speakers on the market, this indication is available on each speaker and this is due to the fact that the Danish development was created according to completely different and in some cases even unique principles. In a stereo pair, for example, there is no master and slave speakers – the left one is absolutely identical to the right one. Moreover, Callisto are, strictly speaking, not completely “blue-toothed” – they use their own protocol for wireless signal transmission to the speakers. But more about him a little later.

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In the new range, you can choose between the Dali Callisto 2 C shelf units and the more expensive Dali Callisto 6 C floor units. As you can see from the photo, they have a lot in common. The hulls have the same width and depth, they are made of 25 mm MDF boards, complemented by internal bulkheads and the same type of rounded face shields. The acoustic design of the compact model is a bass reflex tuned to 46 Hz. Floor-standing versions have a dual bass reflex with a resonant frequency reduced to 40 Hz. All ports are located at the rear.

A hybrid assembly is responsible for the upper range in the Dali Callisto 6 C – a tweeter with a 30 mm soft dome and a film isostatic emitter measuring 17 x 45 mm, which is located higher in a round opening under a fine-mesh dustproof mesh. For the middle and bass are branded drivers with 17-centimeter diffusers made of lightweight long-fiber cellulose (one in each bookshelf monitor, and a pair in 6 C models). These speakers are also notable for their magnets, sintered from a special Soft Magnetic Compound. SMC technology, which allows for increased electrical resistance in magnets without weakening magnetic permeability, has long been used in the most advanced DALI models – it minimizes distortion by reducing eddy currents flowing in the magnetic drive.

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And about the most interesting thing. Each speaker has its own DAC on board, and not just any DAC, but a Burr Brown PCM1796. It works only with one of the two stereo channels (which one is specified by the user), but it converts the signal in differential form, sending it further to pulse amplifiers with a total power of 250 W. The latter are made using advanced circuitry for class D – with a feedback loop and self-stabilization. The digital-to-analogue conversion stage is preceded by a DSP for active band division, which is preceded by a dual-band radio module operating on a proprietary 30-bit protocol. It was created specifically for broadcasting digital audio. It does not use compression, provides a high degree of packet security and a very low transmission delay (25 ms). In essence, we are talking about a wireless implementation of I²S, but with bandwidth limited to 24 bits/96 kHz. Bits not used for audio transmission are used for service data exchange and control.

Since the radio interface in the speakers does not support any connection with either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, another component is used to connect sources – Callisto Sound HUB. It looks like a pre-amplifier with a remote control and volume control. But this unit, with two line inputs (RCA and jack) and three digital (coaxial and two optical), is, even by standards, suspiciously light in weight. It does not have its own transformer (power is supplied from the adapter), and the filling includes the most modern Bluetooth module with aptX HD, a switch with ADC/DAC for analog inputs/outputs and the above-mentioned patented radio interface with a control microcontroller. Those. in front of us is actually not a front, but a point for connection and multiple distribution of a signal with a duplex control channel. Moreover, a point that allows for a functional upgrade. You can install a Chromecast media streamer “whistle” in the USB socket, and an NPM-1 BlueOS module in one of the two service bays on the rear panel. At the same time, the hub turns into a powerful device compatible with one of the most advanced multi-room platforms. You get the proprietary Bluesound control interface, connection to almost all known streaming networks and the ability to play almost any HiRes files from local storage.

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I’ll add that the Dali Callisto 6 C acoustics also have analog inputs so that they can be used without a hub like regular active systems. But it’s unlikely that anyone will consider them in exactly this way. First, there are inevitably compromises in sound quality due to double conversion. Secondly, we are deprived of all the luxurious functionality listed above. That’s why I didn’t even bother testing with sending an analog signal directly to the speakers.

Connecting wirelessly does not cause any difficulties. On the rear panel of the hub, press the “Link&Connect” button. Then we press the same one on any speaker and set the position on it – right or left. We do the same to install the second column, and if necessary, the third and fourth (multiple access is good because it allows you to enable up to four pairs at the same time). After which the specified configuration is confirmed by pressing “Link&Connect” again on the Sound HUB. All! It remains the usual way to “pair” smartphones with it via Bluetooth and connect traditional sources with cables – a CD player, a TV panel…

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As a significant user advantage, I would like to note the centralization of management. The physical volume knob on the control switch, for example, does not itself perform any manipulations with the signal – the process of changing the level occurs directly in the speakers. But you don’t have to deal with equalizing levels from different sources: the Callisto wireless interface synchronizes the transmission of commands between all parts of the system, setting the required volume, incl. and on the analog outputs of the hub for the subwoofer and external power amplifier. Thus, whether from the remote control, from the main device, or from the touch control panels that are installed on each speaker (this “feature” is not only impressive, but also convenient), we control the Master Volume.

Characteristics of Dali Callisto 6 C

Configuration: 4 emitters, 2 bands
Acoustic design: bass reflex
Input: RCA
Input sensitivity: 1.85 V (impedance 5 kOhm)
Wireless protocol: 2.4/5.8 GHz (24 bit/96 kHz)
Range reproduced frequencies: 37 – 30000 Hz (+/-3 dB)
Active crossover frequency: 2600 Hz
Built-in amplifier power: 250 W
Maximum sound pressure level: 110 dB
Standby/maximum power consumption: 1.2/325 W
Finish: white or black
Dimensions: 200 x 1004 x 321 mm
Weight 1 piece: 22.6 kg

Characteristics Dali Callisto Sound HUB 

Inputs: stereo pair RCA, 3.5 mm jack, 2 TOSLink, Coax, two compartments for plug-in modules
Input sensitivity RCA/jack: 2.3/1.2 V (resistance 10 kOhm)
Outputs: stereo pair RCA, SUB, USB Type A (as a charger 5 V/1 A)
Output voltage RCA/SUB: 1.9/ 0.9 V (10 kOhm impedance)
Wireless protocols: Bluetooth 4.2 AAC/aptX/aptX HD, 2.4/5.8 GHz (24 bit/96 kHz)
Standby/max power consumption: 2.5/4. 5 W
Finish: black
Dimensions: 300 x 76 x 213 mm
Weight 1 piece: 1.6 kg