Tannoy DC6 SE review

A very good set of speakers that stop just short of greatness – more excitement and better balance would tip the scales in their favour Tested at £700

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A very good set of speakers that stop just short of greatness – more excitement and better balance would tip the scales in their favour


  • +

    Excellent integration

  • +

    Great sense of cohesion

  • +

    Good looks


  • -

    Could do with more dynamism, agility and clarity

  • -

    Some rivals sound tonally purer and more balanced

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When Tannoy brought out a ‘Special Edition’ of its DC6T floor-standing speaker, we worried that it would merely be a blinged-up version of a much-loved product.

But the Tannoy DC6T SE was a great speaker, and went on to win an Award last year. And this year. Now the DC6 standmounter is getting the same treatment, and we hope it’s just as special.

Tannoy DC6 SE

Tannoy DC6 SE


At a glance, it’s hard to tell what’s new about the Tannoy DC6 SE speakers. They have the same trapezoidal cabinet design, which reduces internal standing waves and looks lovely in its ‘espresso’ veneer.

There’s the same Dual Concentric driver layout too, which has a tweeter recessed in the throat of the mid/bass driver. Not only is it visually striking, it should make the performance more focused and improve integration.

The upgrade to SE-spec adds a new double-magnet driver motor system, with a tweaked crossover. It doesn’t sound like a massive step, but we don’t mind as long as it sounds good.

Tannoy DC6 SE

Tannoy DC6 SE


First things first: these speakers take about half an hour to wake up properly, even after significant running-in. Until then they’ll sound a little lightweight. With that out the way, we tuck in.

The best thing about these speakers is how they tie everything together: the different frequencies are properly integrated. Play a complex piece – Atoms for Peace’s Ingenue, for instance – and there’s a lovely sense of cohesion between the various elements.

Tannoy DC6 SE

Tannoy DC6 SE

The sound seems to emanate from a single drive unit, getting that much closer to the ‘point source’ ideal, where sound comes from a single point in space.

We also like the speed at which the DC6 SEs operate. They’re responsive speakers with a good sense of rhythm. Up against some rivals, however, the Tannoys could do with greater precision and clarity. There’s a slight tonal unevenness that muddies the sound a little, particularly at the top end.

Tannoy DC6 SE

Tannoy DC6 SE

These speakers are certainly musical: as we skip between genres of music, the presentation changes, shifting gears up and down accordingly.

We'd like more excitement, though: there’s a good sense of weight, but when we play The XX’s Heart Skipped A Beat, the DC6 SEs struggle a little to get a sense of travel between hand-claps, dead silence, and a kick drum.


Good looks and good sound: that’s what you get with the Tannoy Revolution DC6 SEs.

We really like them, but then again there's no shortage of strong rivals offering greater dynamism, or balance, or refinement. These are good speakers, but they need that sparkle to make them great.

MORE: Awards 2013: Best stereo speakers

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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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