Danish speaker manufacturer DALI has sent ripples through the world of audio enthusiasts with the announcement of the DALI IO-12 headphones earlier this year, and now we have more details and the launch date.
Set to make its global debut later this month, the IO-12 aims to revolutionize the headphone industry with its innovative use of patented Soft Magnetic Compound (SMC) technology, custom drivers, and a range of high-end features designed to deliver exceptional sound quality and comfort.
DALI, renowned for its four decades of expertise in crafting premium speakers, has taken a bold leap into the headphone market with the IO-12. These wireless over-ear headphones are equipped with a proprietary 50mm custom driver, Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), and an impressive 35-hour battery life. Moreover, they support the aptX Adaptive Bluetooth codec, USB-C, and 3.5mm wired connections, making them versatile for various listening preferences and devices.
The standout feature of the IO-12 headphones is the integration of DALI's Soft Magnetic Compound (SMC) technology, previously reserved for their high-end speakers. This technology, combined with paper fiber cones, significantly reduces hysteresis, leading to exceptionally low levels of uneven harmonic distortion and, consequently, a crystal-clear sound with ultra-low distortion.
What sets the IO-12's custom drivers apart is their voice coil, which mimics the shape and form used in DALI's loudspeaker drivers. This innovation results in reduced distortion and superior structural integrity, ensuring an audio experience of uncompromising quality.
The IO-12's driver diaphragm also benefits from DALI's proprietary paper fiber diaphragm material, offering ideal mass, rigidity, and damping properties for wide-frequency reproduction with minimal distortion and energy storage.
These headphones offer both wired and wireless listening options, supporting SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, and aptX Adaptive audio codecs. Included cables allow the IO-12 to be connected to devices with either a 3.5mm jack or USB-C interface. When using the USB-C cable, the headphones can handle audio at resolutions up to 24-bit / 96kHz, ensuring a high-fidelity listening experience.
Even when the batteries are depleted, the IO-12 can continue to be used in passive analog mode, thanks to an internal passive filter that preserves sound quality. Two distinct listening profiles, Hi-Fi and Bass, cater to different musical preferences.
DALI has taken a unique approach by forgoing the development of a dedicated app for the IO-12. Instead, users can control playback, adjust volume, and skip tracks using the integrated buttons on the headphones. However, details about potential firmware updates remain undisclosed.
The inclusion of Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) ensures an immersive listening experience, especially in noisy environments such as planes, trains, or cars. The IO-12 boasts an impressive 35-hour battery life, making it suitable for extended listening sessions. Additionally, integrated microphones enable hands-free phone calls and voice assistant commands.
The DALI IO-12 headphones are set to hit the global market later this month with a price tag of $1,299 / £999 / €999.