Dali Zensor 5 Floor standing speakers

Like the Bostons A250, these are relatively small floorstanders, with a two-way configuration, courtesy of a set of 133mm mid/bass units and a 25mm tweeter. This time, the cone materials used are wood fibre, and the high frequencies are supplied via a cloth dome, crossing over at a really similar 2.4kHz: Cabinets are finished in a combination of a high gloss lacquered front baffle and vinyl sides; the box itself is medium density fibreboard with internal bracing, as per all other layouts here It Is a nicely finished product, but nothing extraordinary. That is becoming something of a philosophical choice, and is not always done on price reasons.

Sound quality

Despite its diminutive stature, this is a big performer. To the sound it's surprising control for its size - the DALI seems to be hewn from solid. That is explained by several factors. Its general surefootedness means there's no sense muddle or haze on dynamic crescendos. Then there's the warm upper bass, which gives a tiny bit of extra weight in the 100Hz region than most here. A demure and very smooth treble augments further this. It's dull, yet is not beautifully rugged and gives struck hi-hat cymbals an amazing tonal quality - it seems capable to capture the basic waveform without encircling it in dash.

Even at highish listening amounts, the finale of Caravan's Nine Feet Underground, a riot of screaming electric guitars and swirling drum kit work, stayed completely without any smear in focus. It let me hear right into the mix unlike any other loudspeaker here. Treble and its classy bass is further helped with a glass-clear, mirror-smooth group. Everything comes across finely and intricately solved. While retaining its essential rhythmic and dynamic ethics, it scavenges vast amounts of detail out it and gets right into a recording. That lovely mid, and oh is connected to the top and bottom end.

But there's a catch. Despite being among the finest to listen to here, across all types of music, the tiny size of the Zensor is such that atmosphere does not - and cannot - move like Mission MX-4 loudspeakers and the bigger Q Acoustics 2050i. So at levels that are really high, when the aforementioned are just getting in their stride, doing things that are wonderful with the music, fall and the DALIs begin to stumble. So they're not hot, and not particularly bad in some contexts in others.

If you possess a small to moderate sized room, they'll be fantastic, as they'll never become unmanageable - unlike the Qs or Assignments, which need their foam bungs deployed. The Zensors are more amenable to little spaces.

A profoundly competent loudspeaker one that's musical but not showy, detailed but not analytical, smooth yet not dull. But you'll need a suitably sized room as well as a top notch front end - or the Zensor 5 will just remind you which you haven't got one! Therefore, this really is really worth auditioning if you meet the above standards, if not then look at more mainstream designs...

Dali Zensor 5 Floor standing speakers photo