BluOS-Ready CALLISTO Speakers Broaden Wireless High End Spectrum
The DALI CALLISTO active 6C tower and 2C bookshelf speakers, whose European debut was at IFA in 2017, made their debut July 26 on these shores via their U.S. distributor, Lenbrook America – and with their stateside introduction, became the first Lenbrook BluOS platform licensee. The speaker systems each come with the DALI Sound Hub, which is upgradable and compatible with the optional NMP-1 BluOS module, which renders the systems capable of Wi-Fi multi-room streaming of premium high-resolution audio.
“We’ve been committed to a wireless streaming CE landscape based on high-resolution audio,” said the senior director of sales/Lenbrook Americas, Stephen Baker, at the launch, citing the growth of the BluOS platform and how it, along with the “shared corporate DNA” of Lenbrook and DALI, dovetail so well.
Baker also noted the industrywide propensity for producing wireless streaming products focused on the below-$1,000 price tier – a different tier than the one aimed at by the CALLISTOs, which will retail for $5,750 for the 6C floor-standing system and $4,750 for the 2C bookshelf system (with pricing including the speakers, the Sound Hub and the BlueOS module). “This is the first complete high-end wireless audio system and it offers an aesthetic design and ease of use – it’s a premium wireless audio solution.”
Baker added that the speakers will sell through “a select group – a universe of specialists closely mirroring our existing distribution,” which includes dealers who sell the Bluesound, NAD and PSB brands.
“The landscape for high-end audio has been changing for years,” said Thomas Knudsen, area sales manager for Denmark-based DALI (which stands for Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industries), before running the floor-standing 6C system through its paces. “It has become a choice of convenience, which is now a buzzword even in high-end audio, and consumers have been settling for lesser quality for that convenience. We at DALI recognized the dilemma and developed a solution, bringing the best of two worlds,” noting the systems are “easy to get started with, install and use.”
The systems allow Hi-Res audio transmission of a source in true HD quality (i.e., 24 bit/96kHz) to the speakers, via the DALI Sound Hub, which can distribute content to up to five speaker pairs in the same room, and it is controllable through a mobile device app. Additionally, volume adjustment is possible in several ways – through the app or a remote, by adjusting the Sound Hub’s knob, or by touching invisible controls embedded in the speakers’ tops. The Sound Hub switches automatically to the source in use, and need not be line of sight with the remote, as connection is effected by Bluetooth.
The CALLISTO speakers feature woofers that are a mix of paper and wood. Their pole piece is of a patented material, SMC (Soft Magnetic Compound), with high magnetic conductivity but low electrical conductivity, which the company said reduces distortion from mechanical loss. Their hybrid tweeter modules combine soft dome and ribbon tweeter technologies. And each CALLISTO system features a Class D amplifier that delivers up to 250 watts.
The CALLISTO systems are modular, with the BluOS module being the first offered for them, making them future-proof for later upgrades as well as ready for other modules besides BluOS.
Lenbrook’s Baker added that there are other BluOS licensing partnerships soon to be announced. “DALI is our first – but it won’t be our last,” he said.