ATC SCM 11 review

Best standmounter £700-£1500, Awards 2011. One of the most honest and transparent speakers out there - a delight to listen to Tested at £940

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Best standmounter £700-£1500, Awards 2011. Get the rest of your system right and the ATCs will take you straight to the heart of the recording. What more can any Award winner give?


  • +

    Versatile, balanced sound

  • +

    smooth and subtle with decent power and weight

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    insightful vocals


  • -

    The strength of the EB Acoustics EB2s

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

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 listen
Do 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.

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 excitement
Vocals 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.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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