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Dali Zensor 3 Bookshelf Speaker Review.

December 15, 2016

Dali Zensor 3 ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

List Price: $595

 

 

Out of the box performance is a bit all over the place but improved after 50+ hours of playing time. No toe in is required to get optimal performance in my system.

 

Overall fit and finished of the cabinets and quality of the components is about the same as Wharfedale Diamond 225 speakers. Cabinet is a bit hollow sounding when I hit with my knuckle, also very light for the size of the drivers comes with the speakers, I assumed magnets in the back of those 6” drivers might be in small size than front driver size suggest.  

 

Sound Quality.

 

Neutral sounding speakers with very good clarity and well extended high frequencies. Most noticeable sound quality is wide open spacious sound stage and good extended range of high frequencies but musicality is less engaging than ELAC B6, JBL Studio 530 or Wharfedale Diamond 225 speakers. 

 

With some lesser quality recording, highs are shrill and tiring to listen for my sensitive ears, even for a few songs in 75-80db of loudness level, higher frequencies will jump and bite at you. Good clarity and instrument separation when good quality recording is fetch. Zensor 3 played well with Jazz, Classical, Slow Rock and Pop music but not so much with Hard Rock, Heavy Metal or 70s, 80s music with various quality recording because sounded thin and bright, not really my cup of tea.

 

Midrange is natural, not too forward or recessed, tonally pretty accurate but not rich enough for my taste of music, I would love to hear more precise stereo image as well as image depth, blacker background and richness in all kinds of music genre and recording quality. Another thing is when playing loud and pushing hard Zensor 3 get brighter and shallower depth in wide filed of music, not only with faster lesser quality music even with slower higher quality music recording, when play it loud like 90db it sounded more like $200 speakers.

 

Late night low level listening is even less engaging because all I hear was upper end of music spectrum.

 

Male vocals like James Hatfield of Metallica sounded drier than it should, chesty forceful vocal signature of him is missing, when I was playing “Enter Sandman” at reference level is almost unlistenable for me, due to too much shrill and sizzling in Cymbals strikes, Zensor 3 is definitely not rock speakers, more suited for slower music. Female vocals is a bit leaner than I’m used to with singers like Diana Krall, Nora Jones and Yao Si Ting but not a deal breaker for me as it does to male vocals.

 

 

Bass response is nice but there are cheaper speakers with even smaller drivers are producing better tighter bass response than Dali Zensor 3 nowadays. Low bass is not as impactful and musical as the size of the driver comes with it, sound quality of Zensor 3s might be very impressive at the price of£300/€300 range but these retail for almost $600 in U.S. it’s way over priced in my opinion. Especially given US $ to € in today’s exchange rate.

 

Almost $600 price tag is very high for the quality of the sound it can produced, these speakers should be in the price range as ELAC B6 speakers although B6 will sonically out performed them in almost every regard other than higher frequencies extension but with better depth, richer tone and accuracy of overall musical spectrum. I would rather have ELAC B6 or Diamond 225 speakers and save my money because these are not as special in today’s standard with many competitions are stepping up in their game of affordable HiFi Speakers. 

 

Dali Zensor 3 may be very impressive performers in Europe, solely base on their retail price compare to North America, these Dali Zensor 3 will be special if they retail for $300 pair in todays higher standard of affordable HiFi speakers. I would give them 4.5 stars for that price to performance ratio but not at current price.

 

One Note: I would only recommend to pair them with warmer sounding amps for best possible sound quality. Even with careful paring some music can still sound harsh at higher SPL. 

 

Highs:⭐️⭐️⭐️½

Mid-Range: ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

Bass: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½

Sound Stage:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½

Price: ⭐️⭐️½

 

 YouTube Sound Demo.

 

Main System:

Speakers: KEF LS50, KEF R300.

Analog: Denon DP47F w/DL-301mk2.

Digital: Marantz UD-7007 SACD/HiRes Player.

Pre & Power Amp: Parasound Halo P5 & Halo A21.

Cables: AudioQuest Gibraltar, KingCobra, BigSur & Diamondback Cables.

Power: PS Audio Detect, PerfectWave AC-12,Oyaide BlackMamba-∑ AC Cables.

 

 

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