Ortofon 2M Red review

If you're looking for a great upgrade or first stage cartridge, then Ortofon's 2M Red fits the bill nicely with its great performance Tested at £85

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

It might need a touch more authority, but we found this Ortofon a more than competent performer


  • +

    Great resolution

  • +

    expressive midrange

  • +

    lots of insight


  • -

    Needs a touch more power and might

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With its distinctive coloured shell, Ortofon's 2M Red fits so snugly onto the Rega tonearm attached to our Thorens turntable it's as if they're a match made in heaven.

Give the 2M Red anything off Martin Simpson's lush and pastoral Prodigal Son album and it responds with a precise, insightful sound.

The midrange is full and expressive, handling vocals with sensitivity and warmth. The bass and treble interact well here, and while we'd like more authority from the bass, it's a minor quibble that we can live with.

Simple to fit and align

Resolution from this cartridge is more than competent, and the sense of space and inflection on the world-weary I've Been To Town from Sinatra's A Man Alone sits well here.

Like closely priced rivals, the 2M Red tracks at 1.8g, and we found it simple to fit and align, with its combination of a large, solidly built casing and captive nuts easy to manage.

Ideally, the Ortofon would be more responsive and pack a bit more power into its performance, but as it stands, it's a more-than-enjoyable listen.

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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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