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DALI’s IO-12 Wireless Headphones Are Finally Available in North America for $1,300

The world’s first headphones featuring DALI’s patented Soft Magnetic Compound (SMC) technology. With 50mm custom drivers, active noise cancellation, aptX Adaptive Bluetooth and USB-C/3.5mm wired connections.

DALI IO-12 Wireless ANC Headphones

The original price for the DALI IO-12 was going to be $1,500 USD for those with long memories going to back to High-End Munich 2023; making these one of the most expensive wireless headphones on the market. The August launch in North America was delayed but we’re happy to announce that consumers can finally find them from authorized DALI retailers.

The high-end wireless headphone category has made some enormous strides over the past 24 months; new products like the Focal Bathys, Bowers & Wilkins Px8, and Mark Levinson No. 5909 have made of us reconsider using wired headphones because the performance gap below $1,000 has narrowed that dramatically.

DALI will not be the only manufacturer entering the luxury wireless headphone category in 2023 but the new IO-12 will have to be significantly better than any of the aforementioned models to claim the Iron Throne. At $1,300 — they better be a mind-blowing aural experience.

DALI’s loudspeakers have earned a spot on our “Best Bookshelf Loudspeaker” list for 3 years and we are huge fans of their products.

As much as we genuinely respect their loudspeakers (I’m the process of building a new home theater system in our living room using their Phantom series in-wall loudspeakers), the IO-12 are more than double the price of the Bathys or Px8 which have set the bar for the high-end category and asking that amount of money for wireless headphones seems like a huge ask. Canadian consumers will have to fork over $1,700 CDN for these.

T+A have a new pair of wireless headphones that are even more expensive but we’re not sure the typical DALI customer is going to see $1,300 and immediately jump.

We hope to be proven wrong.

DALI IO-12 Wireless ANC Headphones Parts Exploded


Utilizing 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.

DALI says, “By applying SMC to the IO-12s we have essentially achieved electrostatic levels of midrange clarity.”

Versatile and intuitive, the DALI IO-12 headphones have been designed to be used either wired or wirelessly. Thanks to both aptX Adaptive Bluetooth, and supplied 3.5mm mini-jack and USB-C cables, you can listen to your music from a host of devices including: smartphones, Digital Audio Players (DAPs), PCs, games consoles and more.

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When using the supplied USB-C cable, dependent upon source and device, audio can be listened to at up to 24-bit/96kHz Hi-Res quality. 

Adopting a simple, app-free operation, users can skip tracks, adjust the 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 listening, the DALI IO-12 headphones let you enjoy audio 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. 

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 more punchy, bass-focused performance? The IO-12’s tailored ‘Hi-Fi’ and ‘Bass’ sound modes let you listen to your music just the way you want it.

DALI IO-12 Wireless ANC Headphones Front and Side Earcup

With a foldable design that features 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’s. 

Key Features:

  • World’s First Headphones with DALI’s patented Soft Magnetic Compound (SMC) Magnet System
  • True Hi-Fi Wireless Headphones
  • Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)
  • Custom-developed 50mm SMC-based Drivers
  • Large-capacity Battery (Up to 35 Hours of Listening)
  • Detachable Square-shaped Ear-pads
  • Real Leather Ear-pads and Headband
  • Foldable Design
  • Bluetooth with aptX Adaptive Technology
  • USB-C Charging
  • Hi-Res (24Bit/96kHz) USB Audio
  • Voice Assist Support

Included in the Box

  • 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

Price & Availability

The DALI IO-12 wireless noise canceling headphone are available now priced at $1,300 (£999 / €999) or $1,700 CDN.

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  1. ORT

    November 3, 2023 at 5:20 pm

    “I think playtime’s just about over”…

    “The Dali IO-12 itself. Twelfth one of this year. The flowing leather, the grace, the build quality… striking.”

    But, time to talk about the big but in every audio/video purchase. Is the Dali $1,300 knockout game me striking? Ummmmm…Nope. Focal’s Bathys looks three times as nice at nigh on a third the cost. Bowers & Wilkins’ Ps7 are $399 and now come in ORTish green and git-r-dun with the aplomb of Sean Connery at his best.

    Features are useless if one has no need of them. Some brands models offer several levels of ANC and listening modes. I just want to hear my music while not looking like I was rejected by the 80s band, “Flock of Seagulls” for my classic good looks.

    However, good looks, build quality and accurate sound reproduction along with durability and real world value for one’s money should be considered necessities in a product that is more a want than a need.

    I am certain these will appeal to devotees of Dali (Salvador, can you ‘ear me?) but I am more an admirer of His Holiness, aka The One. Carl Spackler. Which is nice.

    When is enough actually enough?

    For me it is when I can admire something new without it becoming something I just want. I just bought a new TV after having my curved Samsung for almost 7 years. Picture quality and even sound are demonstrably better with the two sources I have tried out on it so far.

    There are new wireless ‘phones out there and I cannot buy them all so I will trust my friends here and in my family (I tend to buy stuff for them!) to tell me not only what they think about something but also how it makes them feel once it is theirs.

    Enough ramblin’.


    • Ian White

      November 3, 2023 at 6:43 pm


      And you have that going for you. Which is nice.

      Ian “I think this place is restricted Wang, so don’t tell em you’re Jewish” White

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