‘Convenience’ was once the be-all and end-all where wireless speakers were concerned - but those days, it’s safe to say, are gone. Any number of venerable, authentically ‘hi-fi’ companies are ready to sell you a powered speaker (or two) that wants to combine ‘convenience’ with ‘performance’ - and the DALI hat has been in the ring for a while now.
Fundamentally, the Rubicon 6C is a pair of the company’s imposing Rubicon 6 three-way floorstanding loudspeakers bolstered by 500 watts of amplification in each tower - 250 watts is directed to the pair of wood-fibre mid/bass drivers and the other 250 to the hybrid soft dome/ribbon tweeter. Incoming digital audio information is had at by a digital signal processor running at 50m instructions per second and a 24bit/96kHz digital-to-analogue converter.
Spend another £550 and DALI’s Sound Hub can be yours - this connects wirelessly to the speakers and features a number of physical inputs. Connect sources using a couple of analogue inputs, digital optical or digital coaxial inputs and suddenly you’ve an entire system that needs nothing more than plugging into the mains.
The most immediately impressive aspect of the Rubicon 6C sound is its tangible sense of depth and width. Tonality is on the ‘tasteful’ side - just slightly warmer than ‘neutral’, with an acceptable amount of bite at the top end and a similarly considerate helping of punch at the bottom. The hybrid tweeter arrangement means treble sounds are as spacious and airy as they are attacking and crunchy, and bass is properly shaped, lavishly detailed and full of textural variation. The bottom end doesn’t bloom or overstay its welcome - instead the DALI snap into and out of bass information.
But it’s in between these two extremes that the Rubicon 6C do their most convincing and impressive work. They allow a singer to communicate in absolute torrents, and are observant of nuance down to an almost molecular level. You’ll never be in any doubt as to whether you’re receiving the complete picture or not.
Dynamic headroom is considerable - and the Rubicon 6C will get loud simply by getting louder, rather than becoming oppressive or diminishing their soundstage as some less capable designs are wont to do. They’re alive to small harmonic variations, too, and can hand over the most fleeting transient information without getting all prissy or analytical about it. They’re an uncomplicatedly musical, and consequently engaging, listen.
‘Purposeful’ - as opposed to, say, ‘handsome’ - is what we’ll go with here. The Rubicon 6C are fairly hefty speakers, and they stand on fairly hefty outriggers that can be finished with either spikes or pliant feet - DALI provides both. Build quality is unarguable, and the deep, lustrous lacquer is flawlessly applied. So while they may not be the most decorative speakers you ever saw, there’s no disputing the expertise of their construction or finish.
As is the case with all its speakers, DALI suggests the Rubicon 6C sound best when facing dead-ahead - none of your ‘toed-in towards the listening position’ here. In and of itself that shouldn’t be a problem - but also bear in mind these speakers require a little breathing space. If you can’t give them a good 30cm from both rear and side walls, you may want to consider whether these are really the speakers for you.
If you decide to spend the extra on the Sound Hub, it’ll add a stack of convenience and functionality - but it’s far from the most luxurious-looking or -feeling product you ever encountered. It’s quite strongly at odds with the speakers it partners in this respect - but at least you won’t spend much time touching it once you’ve hooked your source equipment to it.
Yes, it’s a convenient and low-cable way to establish an audio system - but much more importantly, the Rubicon 6C is as adaptable in terms of sound as it is in terms of functionality. If you like your entertainment built on a solid foundation of high-level musicality (and you have the physical space these speakers demand), an audition is pretty much compulsory.
Camera Obscura Suspended From Class
An ideal showcase for the DALIs’ mastery of tone and timbre, as well as their ability to extract all the smart-alec nuance from a vocal. Oh, and their mastery of rhythm and tempo, too.
Kris Kristofferson Jesus Was a Capricorn
Big dynamic shifts, tiny harmonic variances… the Rubicon 6C absolutely lap it up. And, once again, they take a characterful vocal and bring it vividly to life with all of its attitude intact.
Sparks Amateur Hour
The ability to resolve and organise a complex wedding-cake of an arrangement like this one isn’t at all straightforward, but the DALI system peers deep into the mix and emerges with a coherent and convincing description.
Often big, burly, purposeful speakers require an equally burly (and generally less decorative) system to drive them. Not these DALI, though - they’re about as self-contained as a system can be. And despite their configuration, they don’t sound in any way compromised.