- Elegant design, luxurious build
- Subtle, dynamic and refined sound
- Hides cables
- Strains a touch at loud volumes
- Will inspire envy among friends
- Review Price: £2699.00
- 2.5-way, bass reflex design
- Aluminium cabinets and base
- 28mm soft dome tweeter and two 5in woofers
- High-gloss red, black or white lacquer finish
- Magnetic grilles
- ‘Invisible’ cable management system
As its name suggests, Dali is a company with serious artistic intentions, as famous in hi-fi circles for its boundary-pushing designs as its refined sound quality. So whether the Dali Fazon F5 are used for home cinema or music, its speakers are like ly to delight your eyes as well as your ears.
The Fazon F5 are a fine example of what the Danish company is all about. These floorstanding speakers look unlike anything else, with a design so exuberant and luxurious that you might feel self-conscious in their mere presence.
But with a price tag of £2,700 these are not the sort of speakers you throw in the trolley at Tesco. They’re aimed at buyers whose love for sophisticated sound quality runs as deep as their pockets, which may rule out many of our readers. But with such an irresistible convention-defying design, we couldn’t help but give them a whirl.
The Fazon F5s aren’t being considered as part of a 5.1 system, nor is there a matching subwoofer to create a 2.1 system. As such they’re primarily designed for music playback, but obviously they’ll still add sparkle to movies or TV programmes in their stereo configuration.
Carefully lifting the hefty units from their boxes, their pedigree is instantly apparent. The sculpted aluminium cabinets stand 919mm tall and are styled in a stunning high-gloss Ferrari red finish, which is smooth and lustrous to the touch. The sides and rear are alluringly curved – a feature that not only looks great but also helps eliminate standing waves – while a black magnetic grill snaps onto the front to cover the drivers.
The whole thing stands on a sturdy circular aluminium base, which features a clever cable tidy mechanism. On the back of the stem is a little panel that can be unclipped and pulled out, attached to which are spring-loaded terminals that take raw wire or banana plugs. You can feed the cables up through a hole in the bottom and into the terminals, then clip the panel back in for a clean, cable-free appearance. This method is ideal if you want to run the cables in the floor, as they come straight up into the speaker unseen.
The Fazon F5s are quite possibly the most gorgeous loudspeakers we’ve ever seen – elegant, modern and distinctive, guaranteed to cause a stir in any room. Most of their appeal lies in the sexy red finish, but if that’s a little full on for you then they also come in black or white high gloss lacquer.
The Dali Fazon F5 have a 2.5-way, bass reflex design, which inherits technology from Dali’s MENTOR series, including a soft dome tweeter that’s a few millimetres wider than most (28mm compared with the typical 25mm), which is said to give the sound ‘more air’.
It sits above two 5in mid/bass drivers, with cones fashioned from Dali’s wood fibre mix – an ultra-light, stiff material that resists unwanted vibration. Overall frequency response is quoted at 49Hz – 23kHz, with 87.5dB sensitivity and a recommended amp power of between 40 and 180W.
The baffle (which holds the drivers in place at the front of the speaker) uses a dual-layer construction. Its two parts are sandwiched together with polymer sealant to ensure an acoustically inert structure. That, combined with the aluminium cabinet, gives the Fazon F5s a wonderfully tight and rigid feel from top to bottom.
This phenomenal build quality translates into exceptional sound, every bit as insightful and polished as you’d expect for the money. Unlike some style-focused speakers that look stunning but sound pants, this is a proper audiophile-pleasing performance – a wonderful example of how style and substance can exist in perfect harmony.
We played Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue on CD and the jazz masterpiece sounds smooth and silky, with the F5s easily digging out the crucial top-end detail on the lightly shuffling drums and breaths during sax and trumpet solos. They orchestrate the complex arrangements and instrumental interplay beautifully, giving each element room to breathe.
They also do justice to Paul Chambers’s dextrous double bass work, which sounds chunky yet nimble. The perfectly matched drivers and competent crossovers deliver a cohesive sound.
The F5s are at their best with hi-res music on SACD. They amount of musical minutiae they unearth is staggering, with a deftness and precision in the high frequencies that you simply don’t get from budget speakers.
But that doesn’t mean it’s all dry and clinical – it’s an exciting listen given the right material. With uptempo dance music, the sound is effortlessly entertaining, with a sense of rhythm and dynamic punch that gets you involved in the music. Kick drums and basslines have palpable depth and solidity.
The Dali Fazon F5 speakers also deliver clean and untainted vocals, demonstrating excellent midrange reproduction. They’re accomplished, versatile speakers, making everything from hi-res discs to MP3s burned onto CD sound utterly absorbing.
Movies also sound great through the F5s, particularly those with a lot of busy background noise and subtle detail, which they eke out superbly. Loud action scenes are suitably fierce and even in this stereo setup it delivers a wide, spacious soundstage. If we’re being picky, the F5s didn’t sound one hundred percent comfortable when we turned up the volume loud, showing one or two very minor signs of strain. But other than that we can’t rate them highly enough.
Overall the Dali Fazon F5s are a fabulous set of speakers, marrying jaw-dropping design with proper audiophile-grade sonics. They offer an abundance of detail, with agile bass handing and a lovely tone to vocals. Music’s their bread and butter but they can easily handle the rigours of an action movie. Such sonic and aesthetic luxury isn’t cheap though – with a £2,700 price tag you’ll need a big bank balance to make them yours.