Revel Con­certa2 M16 £999

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Awards 2018 -

Revel is not a widely known name in the UK, and we think that’s a shame. Its prod­ucts are al­most univer­sally well en­gi­neered, nicely built and per­form bril­liantly. The Con­certa2 M16 cer­tainly ticks all those boxes – it’s a ter­rific prod­uct, and one that thor­oughly de­serves its third con­sec­u­tive Award in this mid-price speaker cat­e­gory,

These medium-sized, sin­gle-wired wooden boxes pack a 25mm dome tweeter and a ported 16cm mid/bass driver. The un­usual dished wave­guide in front of the tweeter isn’t just there to make things look in­ter­est­ing. It con­trols the di­rec­tiv­ity of the unit, mak­ing it closer to that of the mid/bass driver at cross­over fre­quen­cies with the aim of im­prov­ing in­te­gra­tion.

It re­ally seems to pay off be­cause these speak­ers de­liver a wide, open sound­stage with­out fuss­ing too much about the amount they’re an­gled in to­wards the lis­ten­ing po­si­tion. They do like to be a good 30cm from the rear wall though, we found. Rach­mani­nov’s Pi­ano Con­certo No2 in

C Mi­nor asks a lot of any hi-fi kit, but the M16s rise to the chal­lenge. They ren­der an im­pres­sively ex­pan­sive stereo image and pop­u­late it with pre­cisely fo­cused sounds. In­stru­ments are nicely lay­ered, too, and re­main sta­ble and ag­ile when the ar­range­ment gets busy.

Scale and sub­tlety

Per­haps even more im­pres­sive is the en­thu­si­astism with which these stand­moun­ters de­liver large-scale dy­nam­ics. They pound out the piece’s crescen­dos with rel­ish, re­fus­ing to harden up or com­press the mu­sic even at high vol­umes and dig­ging deep into the bass to cre­ate a sound of real au­thor­ity. Close your eyes and you’d swear you were hear­ing de­cent-sized floor­standers.

Such low-end abil­ity comes in handy with tracks such as Ma­jor Lazer’s Pon De Floor. Here the bass kicks hard and true, while the speaker’s ex­cel­lent at­tack and firm grasp of rhyth­mic drive en­sures a full dose of ex­cite­ment.

They sound big, yes, but sub­tle too, as a re­ward­ing ses­sion spent lis­ten­ing to Óla­fur Ar­nalds and Dusty Spring­field re­veals. A su­perbly in­te­grated midrange com­mu­ni­cates Dusty’s voice with all the re­fine­ment and pas­sion with which she sings it, while the speak­ers’ abil­ity to or­gan­ise with­out sound­ing con­trol­ling works won­ders with the for­mer’s Broad­church sound­track.

You need to take care in sys­tem match­ing – a ruth­less edge means they can eas­ily be pro­voked if the part­ner­ing kit is al­ready a touch on the ag­gres­sive side – but that doesn’t dent our en­thu­si­asm too much.

The M16s are still a bun­dle of fun and en­ter­tain in a way few price ri­vals can.

The M16s’ dished wave­g­uard helps con­trol di­rec­tiv­ity of the tweeter and aid its in­te­gra­tion

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