Spendor S3/5R2 review

The Spendor S3/5R2s are a variation on a long-established and highly successful theme Tested at £850

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A well-judged, natural sound, but just a little bit prim, perhaps


  • +

    Well finished and configured

  • +

    balanced, natural and detailed sound


  • -

    Matter-of-fact delivery lacks a sense of ‘performance’

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The Spendor S3/5R2s are a variation on a long-established and highly successful theme. Now isn’t the time to discuss the BBC LS3/5a mini-monitor – let’s just say the new Spendors have some lineage.

Taken as a series of individual elements, there’s little here to find fault with. The wood-veneer cabinets are tactile, and the sealed-box design promises positional flexibility.

In action, the frequency range is smoothly integrated from top to bottom: there’s plenty of detail dished up and no lack of good detail, transparency or clarity.

Sensible, natural sound
The Spendors are dynamically competent too, though high volumes can affect their poise a little, and their well-judged tonality makes for a natural sound.

The balance the S3/5R2s strikes seems entirely sensible. Shortcomings are slightly less tangible.

Unlike some of its rivals, that immediately grab you by the lapels, there’s a rather aloof, dispassionate quality to the Spendors that suggests the excitement in a song like Little Richard’s Bama Lama Bama Loo is rather base.

But just because it’s only rock’n’roll, that’s no reason not to like it.

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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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