DALI IO Headphones Combine Danish Design with ANC and Latest Wireless Technology

October 30 2019, 00:15
Introduced at IFA 2019 in September and already available in Europe, Lenbrook Americas formally announced the launch of DALI IO headphones also to the U.S. market. The new headphones reflect the combination of the Danish brand transducer expertise and design and combine all the features that consumers can expect. Two “over ear” models to start, the IO-6 ($499 U.S. MSRP) is an Active Noise Canceling (ANC) wireless headphone, while the IO-4 ($399) offers similar features and performance without ANC. 

Designed for the modern music lover, both IO models deliver remarkable sound quality  utilizing a large 50mm driver with Neodymium magnet in a closed-back design. Bluetooth 5.0, AAC and aptX HD provide wireless freedom and convenience though either model can be used wired, if so desired.  

Since 1983, DALI, (Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industries) has enjoyed a worldwide reputation for engineering excellence in loudspeakers. The company leveraged their decades of speaker expertise with the IO headphones by taking a ‘ground up’ approach in how to improve on the state of the art. Starting with a custom-designed 50mm driver, utilized in both the IO-6 and IO-4, DALI engineers chose a paper fiber diaphragm, similar to what is found in their most expensive speaker designs. They then used an optimized neodymium magnet system to achieve low distortion, minimal coloration and accurate dynamics. 

Designed primarily with wireless Bluetooth use in mind, the  new DALI IO headphones feature the best possible Bluetooth performance and support for aptX, aptX HD and AAC high-quality audio codecs. For fast battery charging and best possible quality, the IO headphones use a USB-C connector which supports digital audio and allows music to be streamed in CD quality from a Windows or Mac OS computer. Use of a USB-C connector also avoids the common failures with micro-USB connectors resulting from incorrect insertion.

In addition to Bluetooth and USB connection, the IO headphones also incorporate a traditional wired analog jack input located on the left ear cup. The wired input enables connection to legacy sources and in-flight entertainment systems and works when the headphones are switched either on or off. When the headphones are switched “off” they operate in a simple passive mode; none of its control functions will be operational. Use in passive mode means that a drained battery need not interrupt headphone listening.

DALI engineers also focused on ease of use and intuitive operation. Their design solution was to have the three main control buttons elegantly integrated into the design of the right ear cup. The logo plate is the multi-function button for controlling Play, Pause, Next, Previous, Take Call and End Call. The upper and lower part of the ear cup outer ring, which surrounds the logo plate, control Volume Up and Down respectively. To further support the user experience, the IO headphones feature voice prompts that provide feedback on the state of operation, connectivity, battery level and ANC mode (IO-6 only). On/Off, Pairing and Battery Level are also indicated visually by two multicolor LED indicators on the right ear cup.
But even the best sounding headphones are less compelling if they are not comfortable to use for long periods of time. For the IO design, DALI chose a circumaural (over ear) format which surrounds the ears and rests on the head. This maximizes comfort while reducing air leakage to retain sound. DALI then designed ear pads constructed from memory foam, where a comfortable, acoustically superior seal over the ears is guaranteed. This in turn ensures perfect sonic performance, while the soft synthetic leather finish adds maximum durability. With all headphones susceptible to bass leakage, leading to low frequency variations, DALI IO’s ear pads have been designed specifically to deliver sound with minimum bass leakage, ensuring the audio will always sound as originally intended

While both DALI IO-6 and DALI IO-4 offer the same level of technologies, the IO-6 differs from the IO-4 by incorporating active noise cancellation (ANC), to cut out any sound disturbances from the outside world as well as adding a separate, more powerful, amplification section. However, in forgoing ANC, the IO-4 is able to double its battery life to an incredible 60-hours per charge.

To complete the package, IO models are supplied with a USB-C cable for charging and computer audio use, as well as a 3.5mm jack cable for connection to traditional audio sources and in-flight entertainment systems. Finally, a high quality travel case is included to protect the headphones when not in use.

“Clearly, the personal audio market in recent years has been a strong growth category and one that DALI has researched carefully”, comments Jeff Earl, DALI Product Manager for Lenbrook Americas. “With the IO headphones, DALI leverages its 35 years of related experience in transducer expertise, audio technology and advanced design to create exceptional headphones that deliver power, performance, comfort and style.” 
The DALI IO headphones are offered in a choice of Iron Black or Caramel White and available to order now.
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