What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Amplifiers Continued -

Eclipse TD-M1 £800

Au­gust 2014 Some might feel the TD-M1S are watch­ing them – but we’re more in­ter­ested in the great stereo imag­ing, fine de­tail and pre­ci­sion. Size (hwd) 24 x 16 x 22cm Pow­ered Yes Fin­ishes 2

KEF Egg £350

Best desk­top speaker, Awards 2016 Our 2015 Best Desk­top Speaker Over £200 have a dis­tinc­tive de­sign and flex­i­ble con­nec­tiv­ity – and a stun­ning, con­sis­tent per­for­mance. Size (hwd) 27 x 13 x 17cm Pow­ered Yes Fin­ishes 3

Ruark Au­dio MR1 Mk2 £330

July 2017 Gor­geous retro de­sign and su­perb sound make the Mk2s an up­date that man­ages to be even more ap­peal­ing than its pre­de­ces­sor. Size (hwd) 17 x 13 x 14cm Pow­ered Yes Fin­ishes 1

Dali Zen­sor 5 AX £800

April 2017 An ex­cel­lent, con­ve­nient ‘sim­ply-add-source’ pair of speak­ers. You’ll need to be care­ful with part­ner­ing to get the best from them though. Size (hwd) 83 x 16 x 28cm Bi-wire Yes Fin­ishes 3

Q Acous­tics 3050 £550

Best floor­stander £500-£1000, Awards 2016 An­other 2015 Award-win­ner, and no won­der. The pow­er­ful 3050s are so tal­ented, they give speak­ers closer to £1000 a run for their money. Size (hwd) 100 x 20 x 30cm Bi-wire No Fin­ishes 5

Tan­noy Eclipse 3 £300

Best floor­stander un­der £500, Awards 2016 A speaker that’s easy to set up and part­ner, this is the most tal­ented budget floor­stander we’ve heard in years. Size (hwd) 96 x 27 x 29cm Bi-wire No Fin­ishes 1

B&W 683 S2 £1150

Oc­to­ber 2014 Tremen­dously tal­ented speak­ers. We’re im­pressed by their power, scale and del­i­cacy – they’re won­der­fully ver­sa­tile performers. Size (hwd) 99 x 19 x 36cm Bi-wire No Fin­ishes 2

Neat Iota Al­pha £1385

May 2017 If you want fuss-free floor­standers that don’t dom­i­nate the room, then there are few bet­ter al­ter­na­tives than this en­ter­tain­ing ef­fort from Neat. Size (hwd) 45 x 20 x 16cm Bi-wire No Fin­ishes 4

Tan­noy Rev­o­lu­tion XT 6F £1000

Best floor­stander £1000-£2000, Awards 2016 Few ri­vals will be able to match this com­bi­na­tion of mus­cle and sub­tlety. Most of all they make lis­ten­ing to mu­sic fun. Size (hwd) 100 x 27 x 32cm Bi-wire Yes Fin­ishes 2

PMC Twenty5.23 £2970

Best floor­standers £2000+, Awards 2016 PMC has cre­ated a ter­rific pair of floor­stand­ing speak­ers. Match them with a suit­ably tal­ented sys­tem and they will sing for you. Size (hwd) 91 x 16 x 33cm Bi-wire No Fin­ishes 4

Spen­dor A4 £2200

Au­gust 2017 The A4s com­bine Spen­dor’s tra­di­tional strengths with a gen­er­ous dose of en­ter­tain­ment. At this price, they’re one of the few we’d rec­om­mend. Size (hwd) 83 x 17 x 28cm Bi-wire No Fin­ishes 3

Spen­dor A6R £2500

Awards 2015 Musical notes have di­men­sion and depth, and vo­cals are con­veyed with re­al­ity and emo­tion. Out­stand­ing. Size (hwd) 87.5 x 19 x 28cm Bi-wire No Fin­ishes 5

Spen­dor D7 £3500

Fe­bru­ary 2014 When it comes to in­sight and pre­ci­sion, these floor­standers set the stan­dard at this price. Un­fussy, and they de­liver a huge sound for their size. Size (hwd) 95 x 20 x 32cm Bi-wire No Fin­ishes 6

Sonus Faber Venere S £4800

March 2017 There are more an­a­lyt­i­cal al­ter­na­tives avail­able, but there are few that de­liver mu­sic in such an ap­peal­ing man­ner. Im­pres­sively musical. Size (hwd) 124 x 39 x 48cm Bi-wire Yes Fin­ishes 3

ATC SCM40A £6280

April 2014 The price looks steep but fac­tor in built-in am­pli­fi­ca­tion and ex­cep­tional sound, and the SCM40AS emerge as some­thing of a high-end bar­gain. Size (hwd) 98 x 37 x 34cm Bi-wire No Fin­ishes 2 Pow­ered Yes

Fo­cal Elec­tra 1038Be £7700

July 2015 A heˆy slice of the per­for­mance of Fo­cal’s high-end Utopia range, at a frac­tion of the cost. Im­pres­sive de­tail, dy­nam­ics, bass and tim­ing. Size (hwd) 125 x 30 x 40cm Bi-wire No Fin­ishes 2

PMC Twenty 26 £5750

Novem­ber 2014 This range of speak­ers hardly puts a foot wrong. Here, it’s the in­sight­ful yet re­fined bal­ance and im­pres­sive lev­els of de­tail that win the day. Size (hwd) 109 x 19 x 44cm Bi-wire Yes Fin­ishes 4

Proac Re­sponse D40/R £6125

Oc­to­ber 2013 As musical as they come, these are also as ar­tic­u­late, trans­par­ent and dy­namic as any floor­stander we’ve heard around this price. Size (hwd) 120 x 21 x 34cm Bi-wire Yes Fin­ishes 6

Quad ESL-2812 £6500

Oc­to­ber 2013 Elec­tro­static speak­ers with cut­ting-edge stan­dards of mid-range fi­nesse, great de­tail and a smooth tone. In many re­spects, un­matched. Size (hwd) 107 x 69 x 38cm Bi-wire No Fin­ishes 1

Tan­noy Kens­ing­ton GR £9950

Au­gust 2015 Along with that tra­di­tional ap­pear­ance comes real sub­stance. These are gen­tle gi­ants, bal­anc­ing fi­nesse with force in a mighty ap­peal­ing way. Size (hwd) 110 x 41 x 34cm Bi-wire Yes Fin­ishes 2

Mis­sion LX-2 £160

Best stand­mount speaker un­der £200, Awards 2016 Mis­sion’s most con­vinc­ing speaker in quite some time, the LX-2 is also one of the best budget speak­ers you can buy. Size (hwd) 31 x 19 x 25cm Bi-wire No Fin­ishes 1

Mon­i­tor Au­dio Bronze 2 £280

Best stand­mount speaker £200-£400, Awards 2016 For their size, these Mon­i­tor Au­dio Bronze 2 dig deep in the bass. They’re tonally bal­anced and im­pres­sively de­tailed too. Size (hwd) 35 x 19 x 26cm Bi-wire Yes Fin­ishes 4

Q Acous­tics 3020 £190

Awards 2015 These lov­ingly con­structed boxes de­liver an ex­cep­tional com­bi­na­tion of re­fine­ment, in­sight and dy­nam­ics. We can’t fault them. Size (hwd) 26 x 17 x 23cm Bi-wire No Fin­ishes 5

Wharfedale Di­a­mond 220 £180

March 2015 A tal­ented speaker that’s a great fit for a budget or mid-range set-up. At less than £200, the Di­a­monds are an at­trac­tive propo­si­tion. Size (hwd) 50 x 32 x 41cm Bi-wire Yes Fin­ishes 4

Q Acous­tic Con­cept 20 £380

Oc­to­ber 2013 If you want a top-qual­ity, sub-£500 stand­mounter you ig­nore this one at your peril. Clar­ity and re­fine­ment shine through in abun­dance. Size (hwd) 26 x 17 x 28cm Bi-wire Yes Fin­ishes 2

Dy­nau­dio Emit M10 £500

July 2016 The M10s of­fer a lay­ered, in­tri­cate and ver­sa­tile sound that we can’t be­lieve costs only £500. A con­fi­dent re­turn to form for Dy­nau­dio. Size (hwd) 29 x 17 x 24cm Bi-wire No Fin­ishes 2

Dy­nau­dio Emit M20 £600

Best stand­mount speaker £400-£800, Awards 2016 An­other pair of en­ter­tain­ing stand­moun­ters from Dy­nau­dio, the M20s marry sweep­ing dy­nam­ics with bags of in­sight to stun­ning ef­fect. Size (hwd) 36 x 22 x 27cm Bi-wire No Fin­ishes 2

Dy­nau­dio Xeo 2 £995

Best ac­tive speaker, Awards 2016 A pair of hi-fi speak­ers that are much more than they ap­pear. Blue­tooth, hi-res sup­port and a ver­sa­tile sound make this a for­mi­da­ble pack­age. Size (hwd) 26 x 17 x 15cm Bi-wire No Fin­ishes 2

KEF Q350 £530

Au­gust 2017 KEF has de­liv­ered a speaker that’s a cut above the rest, with a so­phis­ti­cated, in­sight­ful pre­sen­ta­tion that be­lies its mod­est price. Size (hwd) 36 x 21 x 31cm Bi-wire No Fin­ishes 2

Quad S-1 £500

July 2016 They’re only lit­tle, but the S-1s are smooth, in­ti­mate and in­sight­ful – es­pe­cially in the midrange – as well as be­ing a sight for sore eyes. Size (hwd) 29 x 16 x 24cm Bi-wire Yes Fin­ishes 2

Revel Con­certa2 M16 £950

Best stand­mount speaker £800-£1200, Awards 2016 One of the best speak­ers we’ve heard be­low the £1000 mark. Make sure to part­ner well to get the best out of them. Size (hwd) 37 x 22 x 27cm Bi-wire n/a Fin­ishes n/a

ATC SCM11 (2013) £1200

Best stand­mount speaker £1200-£1500, Awards 2016 These are the most tal­ented stand­moun­ters any­where near this price. The trans­parency of their sound com­pares with far more ex­pen­sive ri­vals. Size (hwd) 38 x 21 x 25cm Bi-wire Yes Fin­ishes 2 Pow­ered Yes

Neat Mo­tive SX3 £1045

Novem­ber 2015 If you’re tight on space, or don’t need an over­pow­er­ing sound, these ar­tic­u­late, fun-lov­ing speak­ers should be a shoo-in for your short­list. Size (hwd) 33 x 16 x 20cm Bi-wire No Fin­ishes 4

PROAC Stu­dio 118 £1075

Novem­ber 2015 Weighty, de­tailed bass, lively tre­ble and a good nat­u­ral bal­ance over­all. The en­ergy of the 118’s per­for­mance will pro­vide hours of en­joy­ment. Size (hwd) 38 x 19 x 24cm Bi-wire Yes Fin­ishes 4

ATC SCM19 £1995

Best stand­mount speaker £1500+, Awards 2016 It’s quite a trick for a speaker to be highly an­a­lyt­i­cal with mu­sic yet never sound clin­i­cal or pas­sion­less. And yet so it is with the SCM19S. Size (hwd) 44 x 27 x 30cm Bi-wire No Fin­ishes 2

PMC Twenty5.22 £2495

Oc­to­ber 2016 PMC turns 25 in great style with the Twenty5.22s. Demon­strat­ing fine clar­ity, speed and en­thu­si­asm, they are su­perb speak­ers for the price. Size (hwd) 41 x 19 x 37cm Bi-wire No Fin­ishes 4

Spen­dor SP2/3R2 £2795

April 2016 They might lack the ex­cite­ment of mod­ern al­ter­na­tives, but these retro speak­ers boast an easy-go­ing sound and are a plea­sure to lis­ten to. Size (hwd) 55 x 28 x 33cm Bi-wire Yes Fin­ishes 1

Totem Sky £1800

Au­gust 2017 A hugely en­joy­able lis­ten, de­liv­er­ing one of the most mu­si­cally con­vinc­ing pre­sen­ta­tions we’ve heard any­where near this price. Size (hwd) 31 x 16 x 23cm Bi-wire Yes Fin­ishes 3

B&W 805 D3 £4500

June 2017 These B&WS are hugely ca­pa­ble stand­moun­ters; class lead­ers in terms of res­o­lu­tion and clar­ity. They’re not cheap but real qual­ity rarely is. Size (hwd) 42 x 24 x 35cm Bi-wire Yes Fin­ishes 3

AWARD WIN­NER “The Threes turn in a mu­si­cally en­gag­ing per­for­mance that com­pares to the best at this price”

“There’s plenty of at­tack here, yet enough in the way of in­sight and re­fine­ment to keep us happy”


“We liked the Zen­sors when we first heard them, but by the end of our time with them, we loved them”

“Among the best floor­standers we’ve heard at this price”

“Hats off to Q Acous­tics: these speak­ers are an­other stag­ger­ing achieve­ment”


NEW EN­TRY “Once up and run­ning it doesn’t take long to re­alise the A4s are tal­ented”


“If you’re look­ing for a top class, com­pact floor­standers, we can’t think of a bet­ter al­ter­na­tive”

“There are few speak­ers that man­age to de­liver mu­sic in such an ap­peal­ing man­ner”

“Won­der­fully pol­ished performers that work well with all types of mu­sic”

“They’re beau­ti­fully fin­ished, but more im­por­tantly they sound ev­ery bit their ask­ing price”

“A fan­tas­tic pair of speak­ers that do so much right”

“Spen­dor has a rich his­tory of mak­ing ter­rific speak­ers. You can count the D7s among them”

“Once up and run­ning, these ATCS are deeply im­pres­sive speak­ers”

“An all-round pack­age that’s very hard to pick holes in”


“We could stretch this out, but we won’t: the D40/RS are won­der­ful”



“Spend some time with the Quads and the short­com­ings in con­ven­tional speak­ers soon be­come ap­par­ent”

“There’s enough sonic qual­ity to place them on the top rung of speak­ers at this price”






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