Dali and PSB Side by Side

With Dali and PSB—not to mention NAD and Bluesound—all distributed by Lenbrook, at CES the white Dali Callisto System active tower loudspeakers with SoundHub (target base price $5500/pair, available by early May) sat beside black PSB Imagine T3 speakers ($7499/pair). The Callisto system with SoundHub offers wireless HD audio transfer to the speakers, has numerous inputs including Bluetooth AptX-HD—"you can connect anything" is the claim—multiple outputs, two modular expansion ports, auto sensing source select, and Bluetooth remote control.

The SoundHub serves as both a preamplifier and central connection point for the Callisto System. It includes a 250W class-D analog amplifier with Burr-Brown DAC, and offers both 24/96 wireless I2S and wired transfer. The speaker has top-mounted touch controls for volume and other functions, and uses a BluOS controller app compatible with both Mac or PC.

The PSB Imagine T3 loudspeakers were driven by an NAD Masters Series MI 17.2 multichannel preamp/processor ($5999) and M27 power amp ($4999). Since both it and the Dali Callisto connect via the BluOS platform, it was possible to easily switch between them for comparison purposes. On B.B. King and Eric Clapton's "Three O'Clock Blues," the Dali Callisto System offered very clear sound with a smooth, warm midrange, vibrant top, and pretty good bass. But bass was more solid through the PSB Imagine T3s, their presentation sounding more natural, with essential details such as the age in King's voice far more easily discernible.