Tannoy have made some huge advances this year in their speaker department and I must say their latest re-incarnation of their incredibly popular HTS 101 package looks the business.
We had been selling the original HTS101 speaker package long before I had begun working at Richer Sounds and it had still been picking up the odd award here and there after its initial What Hi-Fi? 5 star award back in 2011 including the Best Style Package under £500 award from last year! I was not only relieved but enormously excited to see that their latest XP version of this 5.1 speaker package appears to have pumped up a little bit and has tuned its sound to match.
So the obvious place to begin is how the looks have changed. The satellites are still similar in their design but they are slightly larger and are now all of equal size which means you are no longer hunting around for the centre speaker as any of them can be used to fulfil this role. The paper cones and the titanium dome tweeters used have also grown a little to 10cm and 2cm respectively and this has certainly given them a more pronounced look behind their adaptable grills. The finish has also been changed from a glossy black outer coating to a matt finish which gives it a more mature feel I think. The subwoofer seems to be the most noticeable change in terms of size as it is a lot smaller than its predecessor, but don’t let size fool you. This long-throw 8 inch woofer is matched up with a side mounted auxiliary bass cone which gives an incredible sense of depth considering this smaller design than before. The previous sub was probably one of the original HTS101’s strongest hands and there is certainly no disappointment from the replacement.
The usual style of amp for this type of speaker would usually be a lesser powered AV amp around the 50-80W per channel mark but considering that this package can withstand a whopping 100W per channel we figured something a little special was needed to really get the most out of them. Up steps one of our favourite amps of the moment the Yamaha RXA850, certainly as an award-winning amp it’s going to bring the best out of an award-winning set of speakers right? Oh yes indeed. We pop on the go-to movie in our store which is Pacific Rim and straight from the word go there is a big, big sound from these little satellites. The introductory vocals are clear and present over the top of the initial monster incursion and the subwoofer was gleefully galloping through all the loud explosions without drawing too much attention from the main action points. The final scene with the machines battling underwater whilst taking on three huge Kaiju even gave hints of the water droplets in the front and surround speakers which is normally quite quiet in the mix and it really gave a fantastic soundscape, filling the room with even the most minor of details. We were very impressed and hats off to Tannoy for accomplishing this.
Musically they also don’t struggle either. We put on a copy of Newton Faulkner’s copy of Teardrop by Massive Attack and his voice spread out in the room, the guitar rang true and the drums didn’t muddy the track when introduced midway through.
I must say I can’t really find anything wrong with this package whatsoever. Tannoy really have outdone themselves here and anyone thinking of popping themselves into one of our stores for a surround sound package should ask us to demo this because I think we may have just found a new benchmark…
To find out more about the Tannoy HTS101 XP, click here.
Author: Andrew, Weybridge store