The ATC SCM11s have sat on top of the sub-£1000 speaker pile for a few years now. And in that time, they have been not merely fighting off all-comers, but destroying them.
But, finally, some serious competition has arrived in the form of the EB Acoustics EB2s – and we haul out our SCM11s with some trepidation.
These speakers benefit from the excellent 25mm treble unit that ATC has used for many years, and the 15cm mid/bass design in an impressive in-house design with a massive magnet assembly and hand-wound coil.
Unlike the EB2s, you don't have to buy the SCM11 speakers online. Find a dealer and you can have the benefit of auditioning and comparing them with other speakers.
An easy listenDo just that, and you'll find they fare pretty darn well. They're an easy listen: you'll receive an assured, balanced sound, even at high volume.
More after the break
And if you do prefer to push your system – and ears – with some less polished recordings, then these ATCs are a little more forgiving than the EB2s (that's in no small part due to the EB2s' sheer transparency).
The Chemical Brothers' Swoon, from the new album Further, shows-off the SCM11's solid, suitably weighty sound, offering a little more brawn and bite than the new kids on the block, if losing some speed and agility in doing so.
Lots of excitementVocals are given air and convey plenty of emotion thanks to superb insight – leaving us staggered when the EB2s bring yet more intimacy and scale – and there's no shortage of dynamics and excitement when required.
It's simply and almost solely the strength of the EB2s that hurts the SCM11s; they take the strengths of the ATCs and raise the bar.
Still, it's undeniable that some people would rather buy in-store than online. And if you're shopping on your local high street, the ATC SCM11 speakers remain the best – and still hugely satisfying.