DALI IO-12 Headphones to make global debut in October 2023

The world's first headphones featuring DALI's patented Soft Magnetic Compound (SMC) technology. With 50mm Custom Drivers, Active Noise Cancellation, 35-Hour Battery, aptX Adaptive Bluetooth and USB-C/3.5mm wired connections.

Drawing upon four decades of Hi-Fi expertise, as DALI celebrates 40 years in the global audio business, the DALI IO-12 headphones have been engineered to deliver stunning Hi-Fi quality sound, together with sumptuous levels of comfort. The DALI IO-12 will launch in October 2023 priced at £999, €999, $1,299.

You can learn more about the history of DALI here.

Utilising the same material found in DALI's high-end speakers, the DALI IO-12's are the world's first headphones to feature DALI's patented Soft Magnetic Compound (SMC) magnet system. ​ When using conventional magnets in a speaker design, it is not unusual to experience a phenomenon known as hysteresis. ​ This introduces an unintended resistance to the voice-coil, which can lead to unwanted distortion in the audio signal. ​ DALI's SMC technology, combined with their signature paper fibre cones, significantly reduces hysteresis, lowering uneven harmonic distortion drastically. The result is a crystal-clear sound with ultra-low distortion, delivering unrivalled depth and musicality.

"By applying SMC to the DALI IO-12 headphones we have essentially achieved electrostatic levels of midrange clarity." - Krestian Pedersen, DALI Head of Product Management

The IO-12 driver also incorporates some DALI speaker driver techniques. Rather than employing a self-supporting, former-less construction in its voice-coil (typical of many headphone drivers), the IO-12 uses a voice-coil former, with the same shape and style as in a normal DALI speaker driver. The result is lower distortion through improved voice-coil structural integrity.

In addition, the IO-12 driver diaphragm borrows from DALI’s proprietary paper fibre diaphragm material. This offers a unique combination of mass, rigidity and damping that’s perfectly tailored to wide-band reproduction with minimal distortion and energy storage. Employed in the IO-12, in combination with its SMC motor system, the result is a headphone driver with truly excellent performance and sound quality.

Versatile and intuitive, the DALI IO-12 headphones have been designed to be used either wired or wirelessly. ​ Thanks to support for SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, and aptX Adaptive Bluetooth, and the supplied 3.5mm mini-jack and USB-C cables, you are able to listen to your music from a host of devices including: smartphones, Digital Audio Players (DAPs), PCs, games consoles and more. When using the supplied USB-C cable — dependent upon source and device — audio can be listened to at up to 24Bit/96kHz Hi-Res quality.

In contrast to many other headphones on the market — when using the 3.5mm cable in passive analogue mode — the IO-12 do not need to be powered on. When used in this passive mode, the IO-12 utilise a sophisticated internal passive filter, ensuring the same sound quality and performance, as when using the DSP based filtering used in active mode.

The DALI IO-12's offer two sound profiles for listening to your music. Prefer to listen to your music as the artist intended, or perhaps you're after a punchier, bass-focused performance? The DALI IO-12's tailored 'Hi-Fi' and 'Bass' sound modes let you listen to your music just the way you want it.

Adopting a simple, app-free operation, users can skip tracks, pause/resume, adjust volume, and more using the IO-12's integrated buttons. ​ Cutting-edge Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) adds even more functionality and ensures — even in noisy environments — an immersive listening experience, where every musical detail is revealed. ​ With their comfortable design and long battery-life delivering 35 hours of fatigue-free listening, the DALI IO-12 headphones let you enjoy a level of musicality on the go like never before. ​ And, thanks to the high-quality integrated microphones, you can be heard clearly when making hands-free calls or voice-controlling your compatible device.

Featuring a real leather headband and oversized square ear-pads, you'll be able to enjoy hours of comfortable listening on the go with the new DALI IO-12.


DALI IO-12 will launch in October 2023 priced at £999, €999, $1,299.

For review samples, please contact Starscream Communications.


Starscream Communications

Starscream Communications



  • World's First Headphones with DALI's patented Soft Magnetic Compound (SMC) Magnet System
  • True Hi-Fi Wireless Headphones
  • Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)
  • Transparency Mode
  • Custom-developed 50mm SMC-based Drivers
  • Large-capacity Battery (Up to 35 Hours of Listening)
  • Real Leather Ear-pads and Headband
  • Bluetooth Audio Codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive
  • USB-C Charging
  • Hi-Res (up to 24Bit/96kHz) USB Audio
  • Voice Assist Support


  • 1 x DALI IO-12 Headphones
  • 1 x USB-C Cable
  • 1 x 1.2m Stereo Mini-jack Cable
  • 1 x 3m Stereo Mini-jack Cable
  • 1 x 3.5mm Stereo Mini-jack to 6.35mm Jack Adaptor
  • 1 x Flight Adaptor
  • 1 x Luxury Travel Case



For a more detailed, in-depth overview of the new DALI IO-12 headphones, please feel free to download the attached white paper from DALI below.

DALI IO-12 White Paper.pdf

PDF - 5.6 Mb




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