By working with many of DALI’s well-known loudspeaker technologies like the soft dome tweeter, wood fibre cones, low-loss rubber surrounds and a glass reinforced polymer basket, the KUBIK system is clearly a true DALI loudspeaker at its core. Adding a 4 channel stereo Class D amplifier into the mix only underlines the development team’s dedication to making the KUBIK system a real Hi-Fi speaker.
The KUBIK system consists of two elements the KUBIK FREE and the KUBIK XTRA. The two components can be setup in three different ways. Using the KUBIK FREE alone as a standalone system, using the KUBIK FREE and the KUBIK XTRA together in a stereo system or using the KUBIK FREE and KUBIK XTRA together in a two room standalone system.
The standard “out of the box” grille colours for the KUBIK FREE and KUBIK XTRA are the classic “DALI red”, black, or white. On top of that you have 6 optional stylish colours for the interchangeable covers.
The essence of the DALI KUBIK FREE is connectivity. This elegantly designed active speaker enables you to enjoy music from a wide variety of sources. The broad range of connectors ensure that any device will connect to the KUBIK system at the best possible quality.Bluetooth is a wireless standard with almost 20 years of use in mobile and portable devices. By adding Bluetooth ver. 3.0 to the KUBIK FREE system DALI stays true to the goal of making an active speaker for everybody, and by offering the Apt-X protocol on top, even the most demanding of listeners get the best possible transfer of audio.
When connecting an external speaker to a flat screen TV, using an optical connection (TOSLink) is the best audio solution. The KUBIK FREE system has a built-in, easy to use IR learning system, that can be paired with almost any remote control to navigate every function. Control the volume, mute, power and source select in three easy steps.
If using the KUBIK FREE system in larger room or in a TV environment extra bass can improve the audio experience greatly. The KUBIK FREE lets you connect any active subwoofer directly. Connecting a subwoofer is automatically detected and the audio settings of the KUBIK FREE changes so the amplifier automatically sets the crossover point so anything below 80Hz is diverted to the Sub.
The KUBIK FREE system offers two means of analogue input. A RCA (AUX) connector (placed underneath the unit), and a 3.5mm stereo mini-jack connector (placed on the side). The mini-jack input can be used to quickly connect a mobile audio source, such as an iPod or any other MP3 player, to the KUBIK FREE system.
If playing audio from a PC or Mac, using the KUBIK FREE system as an external speaker is possible via the USB audio connector. Offering an easy and driver free interface to the PC or Mac it is the perfect choice for your desktop audio system.
Picking the right amplifier for the KUBIK FREE system was no simple process. With many excellent choices available it came down to pure listening, a lot of listening. After picking the best possible solution, our R&D team set out to refine the amplifier, the power supply and the layout of the circuit board, to perfectly match the needs of the KUBIK FREE system.
The 100 Watt Class D amplifier is a true active solution, offering a fully digital crossover, direct handling of digital sources and a high quality AD converter. The four channel stereo amplifier (4 x 25 Watts) controls the audio signal to the woofer and the tweeter module individually. This is a major reason behind the high quality performance of the KUBIK FREE system since it makes it possible to control and optimize the audio stream perfectly for the drivers used in the KUBIK FREE system. Having that level of control lets the acoustic engineers transform every bit of information into accurate motion in the drivers.
A ‘Switch Mode Power Supply’ (SMPS) offers consistent output, a compact size, a low heat emission, and a maximum power output of 120 Watts. By integrating the SMPS into the KUBIK FREE the power supply can be tightly optimised for the amplifier and the signal path between power supply and amplifier is shortened to almost zero elimination reactance. The integration also eliminates the need for a clumsy external power. At the same time the SMPS is less dependent on a steady mains supply compared to a traditional power supply, letting the KUBIK FREE system continue to work at maximum efficiency even in areas with fluctuating mains supply.
A crucial part of the DALI sonic definition is related to the use of the soft dome tweeter module. Optimised and enhanced over many years, the soft dome tweeter is built around a powerful ferrite magnet and very narrow magnet gap.
This type of magnet enables the KUBIK FREE system to handle more power and helps disperse the heat generated around the fast moving voice coil quicker, thereby reducing power compression. This in turn allows the tweeter to reproduce high frequencies with higher accuracy, giving the KUBIK FREE system an impressively detailed sound.
The KUBIK tweeter is constructed on the basis of an ultra light-weight weave fabric. Compared to most soft dome tweeters in the market the DALI dome material is less than half the weight.
The positioning of the tweeter front plate near the dome has been optimised to create the optimal working conditions for the soft dome. The aim is to combine an extended frequency response with wide dispersion and low coloration, and improve the integration of both the tweeter and the mid/bass driver.
When building a high quality speaker system, high quality components are an essential part. This is why DALI only use drivers designed in house that is specifically developed for the individual loudspeaker, and to match the DALI sound philosophies.
Using a glass reinforced polymer we created a lightweight but extremely strong chassis for the 5” woofer. The nonmagnetic chassis increases the flux density in the magnet gap by 10%, adding more power and control to the magnet motor system.
The cone is connected to the chassis using a DALI low-loss surround. This give the cone undamped movement and helps retain the fine details in the audio signal even at low volumes. The cone is made from a blend of wood fibre and paper pulp to give it a stiff, lightweight but well-behaving structure. Driving the wood fibre cone is a strong magnet motor system based around a four layer voice coil.
The decision to use a four layer voice coil is an important part of delivering the required sound pressure. Generating 17% more force than a two layer system, and 27% less electrical Q, it gives a significant improvement in control of the entire moving part of the system. To keep the voice coil light, a copper clad aluminium wire was used for the four layers. Using traditional copper wire would make the voice coil heavy, harder to control and therefore a tougher drive for the amplifier. A heavy voice coil can also cause massive loss of detail in sound reproduction. The combination of all of these low-loss technologies results in a serious improvement in bass control, reproduction of micro details, and greater transparency
The main housing is based on one piece of extruded aluminium. Aluminium is characterized by a stiffness approximately 15 – 20 times the value of MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) – the most frequently applied cabinet material for high quality speakers.
Therefore the aluminium gives us the opportunity to make the cabinet walls a lot thinner, than with traditional materials, and thereby gaining volume in a compact cabinet design. This can be done without losing the rigid structure, and ensures that all components can be fitted tightly onto the structure eliminating vibrations and unwanted resonances.
Besides strengthening the entire product, the aluminium also gives the cabinet a solid feel. The top of the KUBIK is crafted from the same aluminium and reveals the solid build of the KUBIK FREE. The back plate acts as heat transfer for the amplifier and power supply.
Using aluminium makes it possible to not only create a compact cabinet that will be easy to place in any room, but also giving the KUBIK FREE a simple yet iconic look.