By Venoth Nair
The first iteration of the Katch portable Bluetooth speaker by DALI was quite the hit with its superb audio quality and supermodel beauty.
Moving forward five years, DALI has finally seen it fit to update the successful model by introducing the Katch G2 (Generation 2, aptly).
It maintains largely the same look and feel, after all the first iteration was gorgeous, so why alter an already winning aesthetic? Let’s have a look.
Side by side, it’s almost impossible to tell the first gen and second gen apart, as the changes are very subtle. If my memory serves me correctly, the only real obvious change externally is the DALI badge on the strap which has now taken a coin like shape with the logo on top and also the new colourways compared with the outgoing model. Speaking of which, the previous five options for colour have been updated but reduced to just three. The G2 now sports a strap and chassis that complement the colour of the grill giving the Katch a more mature look. Although if I am being honest, I do miss the older omitted colourways.
Moving to the build, the Katch maintains almost all of the qualities which the pioneer enjoyed. If you’re not already familiar, the beautifully designed chassis houses a pair of 21mm (0.8-inch) soft dome tweeters, a pair of 3½-inch aluminium woofers and a pair of passive radiators. The drivers are arranged in the same pattern where each similar unit is placed on either side making the unit bidirectional. This makes placement fuss free, perfect for use in imperfect environments. The driver complement also means that the unit is capable of creating a large area of coverage when any music is played.
A new feature to the DALI Katch G2 (a little late to the party here as others have had it for quite a while) is the ability to match two Katch G2s and turn them into a stereo pair. The stereo pairing process takes quite a few steps but is not difficult to master. When playing as a stereo pair, the Katch G2’s sound is impressive and room filling, however bass is not as exponentially increased and, depending on the size of the room, can get a tad weak.
Bass response starts confidently at around 60hz but it’s not going to shake any foundations. If your listening distance is not miles away and the playback is kept at reasonable volumes then the bass performance is adequately satisfying as though it may not be impactful, it is superbly detailed and articulate.
A little bit of clever positioning is needed to really develop the soundstage but once achieved the stereo image is remarkably accurate with a laser sharp centre image. I personally have used the stereo pair together with my laptop for a rather kick ass desktop setup which trumps most typical desktop speakers. Audiophile desktop speakers may outgun it, but bear in mind, those speakers can’t be moved around with your laptop like the Katch G2s can.
Focusing on sound quality, whether as a single unit or a pair, the DALI Katch G2 is by far one of the better sounding portable speakers out there. Vocals are rendered beautifully capturing the character of each singer well. Audiophile focused recordings or anything which has a superior recording quality really shines on the Katch G2 especially when in stereo pair. Highs are also beautifully crisp and detailed with plenty of snap. Even the midrange is satisfying, so rock music sounds pretty good here too. It’s not a hi-fi replacement but it’s a great travel option if you need some quality music on the go.
If you want to adjust the sound signature for the Katch G2 you can, but there are only two options of equalisation available, which are selected via a button on the unit. The first option has a darker tone and the second goes for a brighter one. I prefer the brighter tone as it sounds more natural and plays nice with all genres of music. The darker tone is for a less intrusive listen in my opinion, perfect if you’re looking to fill the background with some ambient music during functions or get-togethers when conversation is the focus.
The DALI Katch G2 is a great speaker in its own right but it does sit in a market that has no shortage of options which are also significantly cheaper. If you’re looking to enjoy music on the go and want a speaker with great sound quality, excellent build and typically don’t expose yourself to an active outdoor lifestyle under the elements, then the Dali Katch G2 is the right speaker for you. Its high end looks and more mature sound character makes it a fun grown-up Bluetooth speaker both on the go or even at home as a desktop solution.
The DALI Katch G2 retails for RM2,495 (revised price as of August 2022) and is available on DALI APAC’s official store on Lazada or Shopee. You can also physically audition and purchase the speaker at A&L Audio in Amcorp Mall or Stars Picker Café in Kota Damansara.