We are living in an increasingly wireless world these days and audio is at the forefront of this technology. DALI has created the Oberon C series of bookshelf and tower speakers that have built-in amplification. This allows for more flexible placement and saves the additional cost of a preamp and amplifier. You can stream music from your phone or tablet to a pair of tower speakers and enjoy a music system that is unencumbered with speaker wires and interconnects. Because each speaker has an amplifier built-in, DALI was able to match the two elements for a perfect marriage of sound and power.
Having reviewed a few speakers already from this Danish company, The DALI Oberon 7C is a two-way speaker that stands about 40 inches high and 13 inches deep (with grilles) and has a contemporary look that should fit into a wide range of décors. You can choose from four high-quality laminate cabinet finishes and the supplied contrasting gray fabric: Matte White, Light Oak (as in this review), Dark Walnut, and Black Ash. Even with the grilles taken off, they look handsome with a glossy white front baffle.
DALI Oberon 7C Wireless Speakers and Sound Hub
- Clean contemporary look
- Easy to set up and experiment with placement
- Connecting to the Sound Hub is intuitive and makes a solid Wi-Fi connection
- Value: No need for costly preamp or separate amplification
- Connections for digital and analog devices
- Excellent build and sound quality
Over the past year, I have reviewed the DALI Menuet SE and DALI Oberon 3 bookshelf speakers, so getting the Oberon 7C towers gave me a chance to see if the technology and sound quality are still there. Besides the DALI look, the Oberon 7C’s have an SMC (Soft Magnet Compound) tech that benefits the bass/mid drivers’ pole piece, which helps reduce distortion and increase efficiency. The bass/mid-bass wood fiber cones are optimized to work perfectly with the built-in amplifier. High frequencies are handled by an ultra-lightweight 29mm soft dome tweeter.
The Sound Hub is based on patented state-of-the-art technology with a global feedback and self-oscillating design. It provides clean, efficient power and sounds dynamic with loud passages and musical even at low-level listening volume.
Each speaker contains two 50-watt amps with one being used to drive the tweeter and the other the mid/bass drivers. Bluetooth is standard, but my sample came pre-installed with a BluOS module that plugs into one of the slots in the back of the Hub.
The NPM-1 BluOS module turns the Sound Hub into a high-res (24-bit/192kHz) streaming device. Streaming music services like Tidal, Qobuz, and Spotify and support for FLAC, WAV, MQA, and other high-resolution formats and codecs, BluOS offers virtually unlimited access to music of all genres for any tastes. I did almost all my listening using Qobuz from an iPhone 11. The Sound Hub is compatible with Dali’s CALLISTO, RUBICON C, and OBERON C systems and supports up to seven speakers simultaneously.
DALI Oberon 7C Wireless Speakers
(+3dB) 31Hz – 26,000Hz
Full active 24-bit DSP
1x 29mm soft dome
2x 7″ wood fiber cones
Bass Reflex Tuning Frequency:
Max. Amplifier Power Output:
Full 24-bit / 96kHz uncompressed
Max Power Consumption:
40” x 7.9” x 13.4”
DALI Sound Hub
2x Optical (TOSLink), 1x RCA (Analog Stereo), 1x 3.5mm
Stereo Line Level RCA
Bluetooth 4.2 (AAC, Apt-X, Apt-X HD)
Full 24-bit / 96kHz (No bit-loss attenuated)
Max. Digital Resolution:
24-bit / 96kHz
3” x 11.8” x 8.4”
dali, oberon 7C, sound hub, callisto, wireless speakers, streaming amplifier
My DALI Oberon 7C speakers came double boxed and well protected, even though the outer box was well beaten up by the delivery service. The Sound Hub came in a separate box that fared much better on its journey to Texas. The Oberons were a bit lighter than I expected, but they proved to be solidly built and quite easy to maneuver around. I can see someone setting these up for private listening in one room and then moving them out in the living room for entertaining guests. As with most DALI speakers, they recommend placing them facing straight out into your room without any toe-in. This placement allows for a solid stereo image without a lot of tweaking on your part. On the back of each speaker is a place for the provided power cord, a speaker ID light system that lets you know which speaker is right or left, and a power toggle. A LINK/CONNECT button allows for pairing with the Sound Hub.
The Sound Hub is compact and lightweight with a volume knob that doubles as a display. Also on the front are the power button, selector, and mute button. These features are also available on the provided aluminum-backed remote control. To pair the system, push the LINK/CONNECT button on the speaker and then on the Sound Hub. The blinking light revealed which speaker location was activated and pushing the button on the Hub made the connection. I found the connections to be stable and at no time did I experience issues with the system. On the back of the Sound Hub are connections for one set of analog pre-outs with one sub out, one RCA input, one digital coax in, and two optical inputs. A LAN port and two USB inputs are also provided. One 3.5 mm AUX jack is included, too. A Quick Guide is provided for those that want to get things going right away by following a picture-oriented setup. I had music playing within 15 minutes of unboxing. If you are a newbie when it comes to all things audiophilia, this is a great place to start!
I played quite a variety of music on the Oberon 7C / Sound Hub system and over time made some interesting observations. Though this type of music setup works well in almost all situations, you will find that having some electrical outlets in the area you want to set up is a must. An extension cord or power strip may be needed as well. The speakers and the Sound Hub need to be plugged in. Add a CD player and another outlet is needed. If this system is going next to a TV for audio, more outlets. Now as a strictly two-channel music system with streaming only, a single outlet can be utilized, so YMMV.
Placement can also affect overall sound quality. I found the Oberon 7Cs to be a bit mid-bass shy if placed too far away from a wall, and too boomy if placed near a corner. This allows for some experimentation. If you want, a subwoofer can be added into the mix and assist in getting the right balance in sound quality. Moving the speakers around is easy because they are not too heavy or bulky. Once dialed in (for me, a foot off the front wall in the middle of the room), they sound open and clear and can be made to play loudly without distortion. Because they have a large dispersion pattern, the stereo effect did not collapse much as I walked around from side to side. Setting these up for music in a room with guests gives you great sound with little effort to set them up. The remote can let you run the volume from across the room, too.
James Taylor “Hourglass”
James Taylor has always been a good choice to evaluate male vocals and his song Gaia (from Hourglass) has his mellow sound with a mix of female backing vocals, acoustic instruments, and super kick-butt drums near the finale. The Oberons captured all this beautifully with a good sense of depth and space. When the deep drums came in, they had plenty of punch and no sounds of straining.
Miles Davis “Kind of Blue”
Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue is a classic jazz album that highlights the musical interplay of trumpet, drums, and plucked double bass. The sound of the ensemble was good, with the bass notes floating in the air. You can catch the times Miles draws in his breath before he plays a note, so the details are intact. Here again, placement helps give the deep bass more definition, or the addition of a subwoofer may give some more flexibility in placement options.
Tom Petty “Full Moon Fever”
Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever showed me that the 7C’s can rock. Their open sound gave the group some elbow room on the sound stage with sparkling highs that really shined. Runnin’ Down a Dream maintained its rhythm and drive throughout. The Oberons can keep up even when the band gets loud. Petty’s voice stayed stable and clear throughout the fray.
Copland “Appalachian Spring”
Classical music sounds good on these speakers as well. Copland’s ballet suite for Appalachian Spring provides natural strings with some deep percussion while providing a large sound stage. I found the sound from the Oberon’s to be engaging and enjoyable.
The DALI OBERON 7C WIRELESS SPEAKER and SOUND HUB offer great sound in a flexible system that delivers something more substantial than bookshelf speakers.
- Great sounding wireless speakers
- Sound Hub offers plenty of inputs
- You can add a subwoofer
- Easy to set up and easy to move speakers for optimal sound
- Nice décor friendly styling
- A way to avoid the need for electrical outlets
Just a few years ago, I could not imagine myself having anything in my music room that was wireless. CDs were good enough for me. Now, I can’t imagine not streaming hi-res music files from my iPhone. Most wireless speakers I have auditioned have been small bookshelf varieties. The DALI Oberon 7Cs and Sound Hub offer a lot of conveniences and great sound as well. They couldn’t be easier to connect to and set up and they sound great with a variety of music genres. Whether you have a large CD collection or no discs at all, these attractive speakers may be all you need to enjoy music in your home.