TEST: Dali Katch G2 – New edition with a larger battery, Bluetooth 5.0 and fresh colors
July 16, 2021 (Sven Wunderlich)
Almost exactly five years have passed since we tested the first Katch Bluetooth speaker from Dali. Now the Danish speaker specialist has announced an update in the form of the successor Katch G2.
So that the customer is not unnecessarily confused, the name remains almost identical. The new edition of the Katch is now called the Katch G2 for the second generation. Visually, the Danes remain true to their line and carefully revised the undoubtedly immense optical advantages. The Katch G2 is available in the new and fresh colors Chilly Blue, Iron Black and Caramel White at a recommended retail price of 399 EUR. It is worth mentioning that the new Katch G2 is not a cent more expensive than its predecessor.
Attachment of the leather handle with a gold-plated Dali logo
A lot has also happened in terms of technical features. So the stylish loudspeaker Bluetooth 5.0 was donated. High-resolution audio data (aptX HD and AAC standards) can also be played back on the Dali loudspeaker. Furthermore, you are independent for longer with regard to the battery capacity. While the first version of the Katch still had to be satisfied with a 2600 mAh battery, the new edition now has a battery that has been strengthened to 3300 mAh and is firmly integrated. This promises a playback time of up to 30 hours, of course at moderate levels. These are also very good values within the competitive environment.
The Katch G2 remains true to the principles of its predecessor in terms of chassis and amplifier. It has a two-way loudspeaker system on each side, which is still an above-average complex structure. The tweeter has a neodymium magnet and a 21 mm fabric membrane. According to Dali, the compact design of the tweeter dome is responsible for keeping the internal volume of the case as large as possible. In addition, the comparatively large membrane surface ensures that the dome can also reproduce frequencies well into the midrange. Due to the strong magnet, the dome is extremely resilient, but at the same time so sensitive that high frequencies can be reproduced with true impulse, transparent and detailed. The chassis are driven by an amplifier with 2 x 25 watts.
Despite the small baffle, the woofer diaphragm is quite large with a diameter of 90 mm. The outward facing cone is made of aluminum, the dust cap is made of fabric. The stiff aluminum membrane is also responsible for a powerful reproduction of the midrange, whereby the combination of aluminum and fabric ensures lower surface resonance and a clear and detailed reproduction, the Danes promise.
Two 73 × 52 mm passive radiators support the bass-midrange driver in its work and ensure such a powerful and dynamic bass reproduction that hardly appears possible in connection with such a compact loudspeaker housing.
Cover in the detail view
The housing of the Dali Bluetooth speaker is made of aluminum and has high-quality baffles made of an ABS polycarbonate structure. The baffles are fitted airtight with EVA rubber seals and screwed tightly to the aluminum housing. In addition, a silver-colored border ensures a classy appearance.
Front view with the wrist strap pulled out
When it comes to wearing comfort, the Dali engineers are not reinventing the wheel, but relying on the tried and tested. Like its predecessor, the Dali Katch G 2 has a practical carrying strap made of fine leather.
Close-up of the wrist strap
A lock on the underside holds the leather loop firmly on the device when it is not needed. To use the handle, simply push the screw up in the picture below. At the beginning a little resistance has to be overcome. The color of the leather always depends on the color of the case.
Locking of the wrist strap on the underside
Connection section of the Katch G2
Analog playback sources can be connected via the stereo mini jack input on the side of the Katch G2. In addition to charging the smart device, the USB port enables the connection of an existing Chromecast audio dongle (no longer available) and thus enables the Katch G2 to be integrated into a home network. The connections are protected under a protective cap. The charging socket is located underneath. It is also possible to couple two Katch G2s for stereo playback.
Connections without protective cap
All-round bevel in the metal underlines the value
Controls on the top of the Katch G2
The central control elements of the Katch G2 are located on the top. So we find the controls for volume control, Bluetooth pairing and the on / off button on the top. In addition, there are LED elements around the on / off button that provide information about the battery level and volume. The DALI Katch G2 offers two different sound modes that can be called up using the button on the right in the picture. With the “Clear” variant, the focus is on details and comprehensibility, making it particularly suitable for audio books or the like. The second sound mode “Warm” is primarily intended for music playback.
In this section we are dedicated to the sonic properties of the Bluetooth speaker. We start our listening session with “Girls like us” by Zoe Wees. We decided to use the “Warm” EQ curve as the sound mode. After starting playback, we immediately noticed the clear intelligibility of Zoe’s voice. Here we can note that the classic virtues that stand for Dali also apply to the Katch G2: It shines with a large portion of clarity and naturalness in voice reproduction, which is still found in hardly any other Bluetooth speaker this expression. The Katch G2 also delivers a decent performance when it comes to depth. However, we would like to note that the Katch G2 was designed for the more demanding listener and is therefore not a “level monster” either. A homogeneous and clean sound is clearly in the foreground when designing the Katch G2. The cleanly balanced space is also to be praised, everything that the Katch G2 offers we like very much thanks to the authentic touch.
It continues with the track “Shallow” by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. Bradley starts the track with a guitar solo and then steps in with vocals. This passage sounds absolutely natural and precise at the same time. Even when Lady Gaga joined in with her vocal part, the Katch G2 performed very well. Even when Lady Gaga then switches to the head voice, the Katch G2 remains surprisingly sovereign and seems overwhelmed at a very short time. Only the finest nuances in Lady Gaga’s voice are understandably missing – reproducing them, however, does not fall within the scope of a Bluetooth loudspeaker.
It continues with guitar sounds; we play “Wrong Side Of Heaven” from Five Finger Death Punch in an acoustic version to the Dali loudspeaker. Seldom have we heard Ivan Moody’s voice reproduction on a Bluetooth speaker in such detail and precision. The guitar with which the title begins also sounds lively and gets to the point. Since classical instruments such as strings are also used in this title, we are very happy to use this title – and the Katch G2 immediately takes on the further challenge. Here, too, a surprisingly pronounced ability to differentiate is offered.
Haven’t heard it for a long time and immediately liked the playback on the Katch G2. The Katch G2 is currently playing “Two Steps Behind” by Def Leppard, also in an acoustic version. The Katch G2 ensures a very spatial sound image, with excellent reproduction of voices and instruments. He always remains precise and confident, really a real “HiFi loudspeaker for on the go”. With this design, the Katch G2, as in the first generation, marks a different acoustic design: more realism, clarity, richness of detail
For the last track in our sound test series, we switch to the current charts and let the Dali Bluetooth speaker play “Stay” by Michael Schulte. The slightly more dynamic title also seems to suit our test candidate very well, because here, too, the Katch G2 scores with great vocal intelligibility and gives the vocal interludes a natural and balanced touch. As the track picks up speed, we are still impressed by the playback, even at higher levels. The Katch G2 also delivers a decent bass, precise and to the point. Some competitors have more punch, but the Katch G2 is hard to beat when it comes to structure and precision.
Overall, it can still be said that Dali is taking a different approach when it comes to tonal tuning. A JBL Xtreme 3, with a market price of around EUR 250, shows visually that its purpose is different. Not the subtle nobility that characterizes the Katch acoustically and visually, but rather conspicuity, with an emphasis on bass energy and volume. Really good for young people, but experienced listeners with a sense of acoustic culture are more likely to go for Katch. Sure, the premium is high, but the elaborately structured and finely crafted Katch also documents why it costs more.
If you don’t want to spend so much and still buy a classy and powerful Bluetooth speaker, the Teufel Motiv Go is a hot candidate: Top-quality workmanship, with a sound that is also superior to the JBL Xtreme. At 250 EUR, the Motiv Go is a real high-class bargain.
The devil Rockster Cross can’t hold a candle to the Katch. Also quite expensive at just under 330 EUR, it has more bass power, but overall it looks less balanced and does not resolve as well as the Danish BT speaker. The look is a matter of taste, in our opinion the Katch G2 appears much more adult and more valuable.
For around 180 EUR, the Dockin D Fine + 2 is another promising alternative for those who don’t want to spend so much. The D Fine + 2 also sounds quite cultivated and natural. In addition, it is well processed. Of course, at the price it cannot be as noble as the Dali, but even owners of the D Fine + 2 will hardly complain about defects in material quality and finish.
Dali sends the new Katch G2 into the race with a 3300 mAh battery, which promises a playback time of up to 30 hours at moderate levels. In terms of design language, Dali remains straight and takes up the shapes of its predecessor. Only subtle new elements are used (see bracket) and the color selection is renewed: Chilly Blue, Iron Black and Caramel White are available, the Katch G2 looks really good in all versions. What is particularly gratifying is that the new edition does not cost a cent more than its predecessor. The housing made of aluminum make a very solid and noble impression. The high-quality baffles made of an ABS polycarbonate structure are fitted extremely neatly and increase the elegant impression of the Danish loudspeaker. The Bluetooth 5.0 module also ensures connection security and enables playback of high-resolution audio data (using aptX HD and AAC standards). When it comes to sound, the new edition of the loudspeaker specialist did not disappoint. The Katch G2 sounds homogeneous and authentic and delivers a natural reproduction without any gimmicky. As with its predecessor, Dali does not rely on an imprecise level monster here, but would rather deliver an authentic, natural sound, which has also succeeded again.
The Katch G2 presents itself with a sensitive and clean resolution, paired with a noble aluminum housing and excellent workmanship
Top class mobile bluetooth speakers
Test: 16. July 2021
Test and pictures: Sven Wunderlich
Editor: Carsten Rampacher
Date: July 16, 2021
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Tags: bluetooth speakers • Dali • Dali Katch G2