Merlin IRC6 review

Sound matters most and in this repect the IRC6 will be a fine choice Tested at £15.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

The IRC6 is a fine cable that will suit a wide range of systems


  • +

    A clean and crisp presentation, loads of midrange detail

  • +

    strong dynamics


  • -

    Bass is a touch soft-edged

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 Merlin IRC6 is an easy speaker cable to like. It's well made and has the feel of a quality product. True, you can buy more discreet cables – it is rather chunky – but few that look smarter for this kind of cash.

Six thin solid-core conductors
If you look inside the IRC6 you will see Merlin has put much work into it. This cable uses six thin solid-core conductors, each coated with resin.

This reduces the level of oxidisation and minimises skin-effect issues that can occur when the conductor makes contact with its dielectric. Too much tech talk? Fine, we'll move on.

What matters most is sound, and in this respect the IRC6 is very good. It is startlingly clear through the midrange and treble, delivering dynamics with enthusiasm.

The cable's tonal balance is well judged and detail levels are pleasing.

Bass needs a bit more punch
Our only issue with this Merlin is at bass frequencies. Make no mistake, there's plenty of authority here, but we'd like greater punch and precision in this region.

We should keep this in perspective, though. Overall, the IRC6 remains a fine choice that will work well in most systems. It's well worth a listen.

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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