Context by contrast. Just a day prior, Gold Note's €2'450/pr A3-XL 2-way 5-inch front-ported monitor with resonating side panels had occupied the very spots the Daydreams now took up. With bass good to 40Hz, zero room interference and typical monitor-esque freedom of staging for wall-to-wall panorama, they had raised a very good question. Why pursue more? Despite our very large room, they'd made complete fully mature eloquent sound. Our 55-watt Linnenberg monos proved perfectly matched amps, too.


The Daydreams virtually duplicated the A3-XL, albeit with ~10 cycles of added extension. They staged just as enormous despite a taller wider visual barrier on the virtual stage. They played with equally absentee room interference across the bandwidth. If I wrote naught else, you'd wonder. Were an extra €10'000 for 10 extra cycles the skimpy sum of my observations? Not. The essential difference was small-driver vs. big-driver sound. Without causing any room issues whatsoever, so none of their typical pressure buildup with its response peaks and drone zones, the Daydreams moved copiously more air.


If I said no more, you might still say "so what". That'd suggest failure to appreciate the rarity of this attribute cluster. Unless you had the perfect room; or forced yours into submission with extensive hence most likely unsightly room treatments... achieving 30Hz bass from a quad of 15-inch woofers without any resonance or compression issues is pretty much unheard of. The very clever fully active Kii Three accomplished it with extensive DSP, wave manipulation and adaptable response correction but due to its far smaller cone surface, couldn't move the same air.


If your lights still didn't come on or at best flickered by now, let's explain what the big deal is about moving air. It's the difference between headphones and loudspeakers. Phones often out-bandwidth speakers. By not facing a room, they nearly invariably trump them on resolution and transparency. Yet for all their fidelity and detail magnification, headphones sound small. They're proverbial tempests in the teapot. They play inside your skull. They don't trigger your skin. They don't stage 6m wide. Now we've hit the mother lode, the true divider. Envision the next sentence in all caps. The fundamental difference between Gold Note's 2-way monitor and Ecobox's 9-driver open baffle was that between headfi and speaker fi. Whilst far from equal on scope or quantity, the offset in gestalt or quality still was the same.


If you contemplate the implications on solidity, in-room presence, dynamic acceleration and sheer scale, on those counts no more needs stating. For now let's assume that you've made all the right connections to very big very lively utterly room-invariant sound. If your references are box speakers rather than panels, other dipoles or true omnis, chances are that you'd still overlook an important aspect: how realistic tone wants an activated ambient field.


Realistic tone, of acoustic instruments or voices in enclosed spaces not outdoors, is the sum of about 70:30 reflected/direct sound. It's the oldest example in the book but no less illustrative for it. Sing in an empty bathroom upon moving in. Then notice how your untrained voice dries out and shrinks back to normal once all your fittings and belongings are installed. The time delay of reflections enriches timbre. Once we're in a typical church or cathedral, these delays have grown far too long. They still beautify a solo voice but screw up separation and intelligibility of counterpoint and diverse musical lines intersecting and diverging. Far smaller home listening dimensions shorten those decays back to normal.


Our point is that direct radiators, in the >300Hz bands where dispersion consecutively narrows to approach a spot light rather than flood light, create a different mix of reflective/direct sound. They prioritize direct elements. Compared to a dipole, they make drier leaner tone. It could also mean less elastic textures. This isn't about right or wrong. It's only about two sonic aesthetics. If you favour richer more redolent tone, more watercolour than acrylic transitions and a very big easeful gushing sound, dipoles with beaucoup surface area—routinely electrostats or planarmagnetics, here multi-paralleled dynamics—become a good choice. Where Ecobox still differ is with more dynamic higher-excursion bass. Planars would need to get physically enormous to keep up with the Bulgarian's Ripol array. Now we've mapped out what makes the Daydream different.


Paralleling six small widebanders—their open backs mean twelve times as much air displacement as just one of them in a box would produce—applies the same recipe to the midband and lower treble. Hence there's no dynamic discontinuity with the agile big-coned bass. For its bandwidth, the vocal range benefits from just as much coneage. It's where the drag strip mantra of no substitute for cubic inches enters. Unless you use horn gain, there's no better way to generate this type of dynamic twitchiness and rich tone. One must displace loads of air and do so at top speed. It's where separating the work load over multiple drivers comes in. It reduces individual excursion requirements. Control of a different kind comes from the absence of internal enclosure reflections and associated turbulence and pressurization effects. The music signal doesn't get encumbered by their secondary sounds. Due to the lateral null of counter-phase cancellation, even sidewall reflections are attenuated. All these are typical OB benefits. The Daydream's primary innovation is the 90° rotated isobaric bass system. A secondary novelty is the curved Ply baffle and how cleverly the brace doubles as woofer mount and seal for the front radiation. A side effect of this construction is inherent give, again like the Ikea Poang chair. It's the opposite notion of Spatial's X1 Uniwave construction with its 4" vertical baffle. That attaches to massive steel legs for ultimate rigidity. The Daydream's build is very springy. The curved footer and upper sections include some play when triggered by a very light push.


Now that their spot on the maps of concepts and overall performance is established, it's time to talk specifics.