Cuttin-Edge, On-the-Spot Reporting

Have You Seen?


At High End 2022, DALI (Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industries) debuted its Kore loudspeaker, which, today, is priced at Є90,000 per pair in Europe (including Europe’s VAT, also reflected in the prices below). The company’s main goal with the Kore was to show the world everything this Danish brand had learned about loudspeaker design during its 40-year history (DALI was founded in 1983). Also, I’m pretty sure DALI’s accountants hoped the company would sell quite a few pairs.


While flagship speakers are interesting and desirable, when they’re as big and as expensive as the Kore is, they’re not practical or affordable for most people. At High End 2023, DALI took steps toward remedying that by launching the Epikore 11 loudspeaker, which is priced at Є40,000 per pair and features technologies trickled down from the Kore. Jason Thorpe reviewed a pair on SoundStage! Ultra earlier this year and absolutely loved their sound. But despite how superbly the Epikore 11 performs, its price is still way too high for most people, which is why this Danish firm went much further downmarket at this year’s show. Premiering at High End 2024, DALi’s new five-speaker Rubikore series will begin shipping in June.

There are two floorstanders. Priced respectively at €4998 and €6998 per pair, the Rubikore 6 and Rubikore 8 have a similar driver complement, including something the company calls a DALI Tweeter Array. This comprises a 17mm × 45mm planar-magnetostatic tweeter and 29mm soft-dome tweeter. On both models, the magnetostatic tweeter operates above 14kHz. The dome operates from 2.6–14kHz on the 6 and from 2.4–14kHz on the 8. Both floorstanders use 6.5″ bass/midrange drivers, but the 6 has two of them and the 8 has three. Because the 8 has more drivers, it has a larger cabinet to give them enough internal volume.


On both floorstanders, all the bass/midrange drivers operate down through the bass region, but only the topmost driver hands off to the dome tweeter—at 2600Hz for the 6 and 2400Hz for the 8. On the Rubikore 6, the lower 6.5″ driver only operates below 800Hz. On the 8, the middle 6.5″ driver operates below 800Hz and the bottom one below 500Hz. So on the 6, there are two 6.5″ drivers delivering bass frequencies; on the 8, there are three. DALI calls this complex crossover arrangement a “2½ + ½-way” topology in the 6 and a “2½ + ½ + ½-way” topology in the 8.

Each of these 6.5″ drivers has what DALI calls a Clarity Cone diaphragm, a proprietary blend of paper and wood fibers with a resulting reddish color. Each driver also uses DALI’s patented soft magnetic compound (SMC) in its motor system. SMC is a material that replaces the iron used in traditional motor systems, for reduced distortion. Each driver also has a “double magnet system [that] helps to focus the magnetic field—resulting in lower losses and class-leading sound reproduction.”


Retailing for €2598 per pair, the Rubikore 2 is the sole standmount model in the line. It uses two of the three driver types described above: a 29mm soft-dome tweeter and a single 6.5″ bass/midrange driver. Rounding out the line are an on-wall speaker, appropriately called the Rubikore On-Wall (Є1499 each), and an LCR speaker dubbed Rubikore Cinema (Є1999 each). The On-Wall has a single 6.5″ bass/midrange driver equipped as described above, while the Cinema has two. Both have the Hybrid Tweeter used in the floorstanders, but with a clever twist—it can be rotated 90 degrees, so you can orient the speaker horizontally or vertically and still have the magnetostatic tweeter above the soft dome, which is what you need for proper dispersion into a room.

All models are available in High Gloss Black, High Gloss White, and Natural Walnut finishes. The Rubikore 2, 6, and 8 are also available in High Gloss Maroon, which I found particularly eye-catching.


In Munich, DALI had all five models on static display in one small room, so I could see all the finishes. From what I could tell, they are very well built, which isn’t surprising given that the company has been making speakers for over 40 years.

DALI had a pair of Rubikore 8s playing next door, in a much larger room. There were also a pair of 2s in there when I visited, but I was told these were not being demonstrated, at least on that day. Upstream electronics included the NAD M66 preamplifier and M23 power amplifier. The M66 features Dirac Live room correction, but Dirac was not enabled for this demo. In other words, the M66 was feeding a “neutral” signal to the M23 power amp. Both components were plugged into an AudioQuest power conditioner, and the cabling was also by AudioQuest.


DALI was conducting lengthy, timed demos, but I arrived at the room immediately after one had finished but well before the next one started. I couldn’t hang around, so I implored Krestian Pedersen, DALI’s head of product management, to play at least one track. He wound up playing two.

The first was a techno-type song called “Rapture” by Strlght, with the volume turned up high. This confirmed that the pair of 8s could play loudly and cleanly, and also that they hammer out very deep, very tight bass with aplomb. Although the bass was very powerful, it never overwhelmed the midrange and high frequencies—these stayed clear and precise. The next selection was “If You Knew Me Now” by Christel Alsos. It showed me that the pair of 8s could paint a very wide soundstage and project female vocals clearly and freely—Alsos’s voice floated into the soundstage, completely detached from the speaker cabinets.

The only downside was that I’d never heard either of these songs before, so I had no point of reference. But Pedersen’s demo did show me that the big Rubikore floorstander has tremendous potential for what seems a reasonable asking price—especially when you consider the prices of the Epikore 11 and Kore, not to mention the high prices that many other speakers command these days. Rest assured: we have already requested review samples. I’d like to see us review a pair of 8s, but if DALI wanted to send us a different model, I wouldn’t complain, because the whole Rubikore series seems very well thought-out.

Doug Schneider
Founder, SoundStage!