The Dali Katch G2 arrives at our testing facility to fairly the fanfare. For the uninitiated, the unique Katch sounded so good for its measurement and worth that we gave it a What Hello-Fi? Award within the wireless speaker class in 2016 (the yr of its launch) and 2017. Now, Dali is seeking to regain that crown with a long-awaited G2 – quick for ‘Technology 2’ – sequel.
The all-new Dali Katch G2 brings a raft of enhancements to the acquainted slender, oval design to provide the speaker its greatest shot at topping the charts as soon as extra. Proper off the bat, the upgrades embrace much more stamina, wider Bluetooth help and tweaks to the audio design. So, is there a (await it) Katch? And the way does the G2 stack up in an more and more crowded market? These are the questions we’re right here to reply.
At £329, the Katch G2 is on the expensive finish of the marketplace for a conveyable Bluetooth speaker, though the JBL Xtreme 3 (£300) is of an analogous stature, boasts comparable options and is intently price-matched. However place the cool, matte-finished aluminium Katch G2 down, word the gold coin Dali branding and real leather-based panel (which may cleverly unhook to turn into a deal with) throughout the highest plate, and really feel the subtly rubberised toes, and it’s possible you’ll nicely assume there’s nonetheless loads of worth right here. We actually do.
At roughly the width of a hardback novel, the Katch G2 feels heavier than you may think, at 1.1kg, however it’s nonetheless slim sufficient to slide into your backpack. It merely oozes class, too. In a sea of barrel-shaped Bluetooth audio system clad in enjoyable, material jackets and ruggedised rubber accents, the Dali appears designed as if to level out that it seems to be nothing like these. This speaker has an altogether classier really feel because of the gold coin branding, the curved lights surrounding the ability button for quantity, the real leather-based deal with and its sound profile and battery life indication. If the branding truly learn ‘Bang & Olufsen’ and the price-point was significantly greater, we wouldn’t have been stunned.
With its triangular grille sample and rubberised cap, underneath which you’ll discover a 3.5mm jack and USB-A cost, it is honest to say that our iron-black pattern is a factor of magnificence. Though if that every one sounds a contact industrial, the G2 can be accessible in softer ‘caramel white’ and ‘chilly blue’ finishes.
Dali has ensured that, regardless of the G2’s svelte dimensions, there’s sufficient quantity throughout the speaker’s aluminium physique for its woofers to ship crisp, deep lows. The cupboard now has an inner wall dividing it into two internal volumes for improved channel separation, too.
The speaker’s soundfield, in the meantime, is created by a two-way system powered by a pair of 25W Class D amplifiers, which feed two 21mm mushy textile dome tweeters, two 3.5-inch aluminium cone low-frequency drivers and two metal cone passive bass radiators. The drivers positioned on each side of the speaker assist to create as extensive a stereo impact as potential. It’s an answer that boasts a most sound stress stage of 95dB (one thing much like a motorcycle engine working in your lounge) and it greater than fills our hi-fi take a look at room throughout testing.
Dali Katch G2 tech specs
Battery life 30 hours
Battery cost time As much as 2 hours
Dimensions (hwd) 13.8 × 26.9 × 4.7cm
Bluetooth 5.Zero with aptX, apt X HD
Energy output 2 x 25W
USB output for system charging Sure
Stereo pairing Sure
The unique Katch’s 24-hour battery life would nonetheless move muster at present, however the Katch G2 extends that by an additional six hours because of its 3300mAh battery, to boast a whopping 30 hours of playtime. Whole enjoying time does rely on quantity settings and the kind of music being performed, although. There’s additionally Bluetooth 5.Zero onboard with help for aptX HD, aptX and AAC Bluetooth, full with NFC for fast transmission between appropriate units.
Different high-end touches embrace a devoted mains charging port and adapter with UK, EU and US adapter plugs, making the speaker appropriate in your residence in addition to your journey plans. Dali actually encourages you to take it in your adventures – you even get a tactile, premium-feel drawstring pouch for transportation.
Dali has carried out a TWS (True Wi-fi Stereo) mode for the Katch G2, enabling customers to pair two Katch G2s in stereo for elevated quantity and separation, with aptX HD to help better-quality streams at 24-bit/48kHz. Notice, nonetheless, that you just can not stereo pair the first-generation Katch with the brand new G2 because the characteristic is facilitated by Bluetooth 5.0, and the unique 2016 Katch solely helps Bluetooth 4.0. Additionally, the brand new TWS mode isn’t meant to allow multi-room audio – the 2 Katch G2s ought to actually be in the identical room and can play stereo sound.
It’s price noting that there’s no scope for additional wi-fi daisy-chaining of a number of Dali Katch G2 audio system, which is a much-loved characteristic of JBL audio system because of their PartyBoost button.
There’s additionally no built-in wi-fi streaming, app or voice management help, however within the realms of transportable Bluetooth audio system we wouldn’t ordinarily anticipate such options. What you may do, Dali factors out, is use the G2’s USB cost connector to hook up a Chromecast Audio dongle or Amazon Echo for residence community integration – so, that useful port is nice for extra than simply charging your telephone.
The one accessible characteristic right here that we didn’t get pleasure from is the sound mode toggle, a round button that sits on the far proper of the unit’s prime plate past related buttons for Bluetooth pairing energy and quantity – there aren’t any play or pause buttons on the unit itself. This toggle lets you select between two EQ presets: ‘clear’ or ‘heat’. To maintain monitor of which sound profile you’ve chosen, the 4 LED lights surrounding the ability button (which show battery life by default at any time when the speaker is on) will glow like a half-moon – the appropriate facet lights up for ‘heat’, the left illuminates for ‘clear’. It’s one thing not supplied by many Bluetooth audio system, however in whichever surroundings we take a look at it, we discover the ‘clear’ sound profile vastly out-performs the ‘heat’, which appears to attract a veil over the sound.
We cue up Rikki Don’t Lose That Quantity from Steely Dan’s 2021 album Northeast Hall on Tidal, and the reside recording (at Mohegan Solar Area) comes via brimming with element, from the summary melodica and key progressions on the outset to the electrical guitar, flugelhorn and backing vocal. Greater than that, the Katch G2 is ready to faithfully seize the sense of viewers – the background texture of a reside gig.
We change to Pandemonium by Masked Wolf, and the jangling of keys and unbolting of jail cell bars are jagged and impactful via the treble. These are expertly separated from the hard-hitting hip-hop beat too, proving the Dali doesn’t scrimp on veracity or grip in relation to the low notes, both.
Vocals are three-dimensional and emotive. Stream Berwyn’s Heartache & Chest Pains, and whereas the pensive keys are correct throughout the frequencies and held dutifully throughout the cohesive combine because the beat is available in, vocal stylings are central, textured and nuanced.
As we improve the quantity, we discover the Katch G2’s room-filling sound neither loses readability nor errs towards harshness both – no small achievement from one thing with such bijou proportions.
Our comparability speaker for testing is the five-star JBL Xtreme 3, however in direct comparability the JBL feels only a tad over-emphasised via the bass and simply barely muddier via the low finish in consequence. It’s a small distinction, however nonetheless noteworthy.
In case you don’t care about daisy-chaining a number of (or 100) of Bluetooth audio system on the push of a button, the Dali Katch G2 is just the classiest and best-sounding speaker of its sort you should purchase for the cash. You possibly can stereo-pair two of them, and whereas there isn’t a button on the G2 to routinely pause the music do you have to stroll into the room with an pressing drawback, we’d advise you to easily let that correct, clear, agile and impartial presentation soothe your cares away. Sonically, the Katch G2 is nothing wanting a delight.
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