DALI Katch One soundbar review: Great sound—under the right circumstances

DALI (Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industries) lives up to its name by making superb-sounding speakers, including the recently reviewed Rubicon 6. The company has also dipped its toes into the wireless-headphone pool with the IO-4 and IO-6, which I love for its rich, sumptuous sound.

So, it’s hardly surprising that DALI would venture into the realm of soundbars. The Katch One is based on the company’s Katch Bluetooth speaker, which I will be reviewing soon. Meanwhile, I got to spend some time with the Katch One, and under the right circumstances, it sounds excellent.

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best soundbars, where you’ll find reviews of competing products, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping.

Features

Available in three colors to match a variety of décors, the Katch One is a slender but very tall soundbar, requiring much more room than most beneath a TV. Measuring 33.9 x 6.5 x 2.7 inches (WxHxD) and weighing a total of 8.2 pounds, the cabinet and front baffle are molded from fiberglass-reinforced ABS, which forms a highly rigid structure that resists resonances as the drivers vibrate.

dali katch one airflow DALI

The cabinet is designed so sound from both the front- and rear-firing drivers flows toward the listener.

Speaking of the drivers, they include two 0.8-inch soft-textile dome tweeters with neodymium magnets and four 3.5-inch aluminum-cone woofers with a textile cap. In addition, there are four 4.5-inch steel-cone passive radiators in the bass-reflex system. The shallow woofers are said to allow the full excursion of a conventional woofer by using a specially designed chassis, inverted diaphragm, and custom spider suspension.

Two woofers and two radiators face forward with the tweeters, while the other two woofers and radiators face backward. This design is intended to reinforce the low frequencies with the soundbar mounted on or near a wall. The Katch One comes with short leather straps for wall mounting, or you can use the more conventional brackets on the back. Alternatively, the included feet let it stand freely on a surface.

The drivers are powered by four 50W Class D amplifiers with a signal-to-noise ratio of 100dB. A powerful DSP provides an active crossover and operates internally at a resolution of 24 bits/96 kHz, though the unit can accept inputs up to 24/192 (which are downconverted to 24/96). According to DALI, “The surplus of computing power lets the DSP step in before the amplifier or the drivers get over extended, and at the same time giving it the ability to go completely hands-off, allowing the drivers to deliver a coherent and undistorted audio signal.” Altogether, the drivers, amp, and DSP support a frequency response from 46Hz to 25kHz (±3 dB) and a maximum output of 101dB SPL.

In addition, the DSP provides two sound modes: Focus and Wide. Focus mode delivers a focused stereo signal, while Wide mode is said to expand the sound beyond the physical dimensions of the cabinet.

dali katch one back DALI

The back of the DALI Katch houses two 3.5-inch active woofers and two 4.5-inch passive radiators.

Connections include one HDMI input, which normally connects to a TV’s HDMI ARC input while source devices like a streaming box, disc player, and/or game console are connected to the TV’s other HDMI inputs. As you may know, ARC stands for Audio Return Channel, which sends audio from that input back along the cable that normally brings audio and video signals to the TV from something like an AV receiver. In that case, audio from the TV’s built-in apps and over-the-air tuner are sent back to the AVR along the same cable.