Tannoy Mercury F2 review

For such imposing cabinets, the Mercury F2s are strangely reticent when it comes to scuzzy music Tested at £150.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Capable, versatile speakers that get most things right – only a lack of urgency marks them down


  • +

    Generous scale and a huge soundstage for speakers at this level

  • +

    great integration and winning top end


  • -

    Not what you’d call a ferocious performer

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.

If you judge value for money on a purely physical basis, then the Tannoy Mercury F2s could well be for you. Not many speakers at this level stand as tall as the Tannoys – this cabinet size might have become a bit of an anachronism lately but, as many motoring enthusiasts will tell you, there's no substitute for cubic inches.

Fire them up, in this instance using Billy Paul's Am I Black Enough For You?, and the advantages of that big cabinet are immediately apparent. The out-and-out scale of the presentation is impressive, and the soundstage expansive.

Of course, without decent focus and timing those wide open spaces count for nothing, but here too the Tannoys offer robust ability: the sound is nicely balanced and integrated well. Treble frequencies, especially, are easily differentiated and shine without any shrillness.

Scotch the scuzz
For such imposing cabinets, though, the Mercury F2s are strangely reticent when it comes to the scuzzier and more libidinous aspects of music-making. There's no doubt that refinement is a prerequisite of any loudspeaker, but the Tannoys overdo the gentility, and too often will merely perambulate when they should career.

They just don't have the gusto of the best designs in the sub-£200 arena, despite the promise of that gaping bass-tuning port.

Some people enjoy extreme sports; some people go on Saga holidays. You know who you are. If you prefer cruising to sky diving, then you could do much worse than investigate the F2s.

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