Ortofon 2M Bronze review

This Ortofon offers a clean, neutral and incredibly analytical performance but needs less restraint

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

If you like an analytical performance, this is for you


  • +

    Tonally neutral

  • +

    very clean sound

  • +

    amazing detailing


  • -

    It could do with less restraint

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If fancy styling is your thing, then this Ortofon may be the cartridge for you. It even comes with its own tool kit – which includes a cleaning brush and scales – but sadly the unusual, angular contours of the shell hinder fitting, despite the use of captive nuts.

More than with most cartridges we've tested, we found that the sound from the 2M Bronze really gained cohesion and warmth following bedding-in.

Tonally it's highly neutral, with treble, midrange and bass being neatly balanced. The treble is especially crisp, and you get a very detailed sound as a result.

All this neutrality and detailing comes at a price, however, and the 2M Bronze, while very capable, creates an academic sound that's restrained where it needs to let its hair down, both on Sinatra's sensitive With Every Breath I Take and The Stooges' raw I Wanna Be Your Dog.

This is a cerebral and capable cartridge but, by trading emotion for analysis, the 2M Bronze misses out on that final star.

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.

Read more about how we test