Revel Concerta2 M16 £999
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