Dali Zensor

A pair of bookshelf speakers from Dali was one of my potential upgrades to my current speaker system. I am currently using the Acoustic Energy 2.1 speaker system and so far it has served me really well for the past 5 years or so. It is still going strong, except for the volume knob that gives unbalanced sound output to the left and right speakers at certain volumes. It’s a little annoying because the only way I can have balanced sound is to crank up the main volume of the speakers, and then adjust the actual volume I want, through the computer so that it doesn’t get too loud. In other words, the volume knob is a little cranky and I can no longer change it without risking damaging it permanently.

Just this afternoon, I had the opportunity to give the Dali Zensor 1, a pair of entry level bookshelf speakers a spin and to give a thorough listen to see if I really like the tone of the speakers. Everyone has preferences to how each of us want our music we are listening to sound like, so it is no different from me to prefer speaker system with a punchy bass, with very warm midtones and highs. The Dali Zensor 1 was on display at a store I visited in Adelphi Mall, but it was a pair passive speakers; it was not connected to an amplifier at that point of time. And by the way, even if its just a pair of entry level bookshelf speakers, it still costs more than SGD650 a pair. These are audiophile grade speakers mind you.

So I wasn’t able to listen how the Dali Zensor 1 sounded like. But they do have the Dali Zensor 1 AX system connected. The main significant difference is that the AX is a pair of active bookshelf speakers, with an amplifier built into the left side of the speaker. The rest is largely the same as to the original Zensor 1. So listening to the AX model would theoretically give me the same audio experience as the model I was originally looking for. The AX model is significantly more expensive and way out of my budget for one looking to replace my desktop speakers plugged to my computer. Going at around SGD1200, it is truly expensive just to plug it in with your whole PC setup. This speaker would have been a good investment, if it’s used in the living room. But the price wasn’t the only factor as to why I finally decide that the Zensor 1 AX is ill suited to be in my bedroom.

It was loud. Really loud. Like, earth shattering loud. The size of the speakers is quite modest, but boy, does it really pack a punch in terms of volume and soundstage. These speakers can really rock an entire room without effort and perhaps start gathering complaints from your neighbours as you try to bring the house down with just a pair of bookshelf speakers. As I was listening in awe at the incredible auditory power this speaker was pumping out, it immediately struck me that the Zensor 1 was just overkill to be placed in my room. I wasn’t as disturbed by the price as to the incredible loudness this Zensor 1 can become when you really crank up the volume, and of course, the salesperson wasn’t even cranking up the volume at all.

Dali Zensor is nice to have, but its a little expensive for my taste. It would have been a better investment if you intend to use these speakers with your TV in the living room, without a need for a amplifier, as these are built in to the speakers already. It is a very powerful system, one that can already power an entire living room.


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