Tannoy TS1201 review

Impressive in some areas, but for this sort of money we'd expect performance to be a bit better Tested at £600.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Not without merit, but £600 should really buy more consistency than this


  • +

    Nicely made and finished

  • +

    powerful sound with fine extension


  • -

    Lacks grip and definition

  • -

    sounds spongy rather than solid

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The TS1201 is the biggest (and, presumably, the bangingest) of Tannoy's new subwoofer range.

The '12' in the model number refers to the 12in, forward-firing driver, but the claimed 500W of power and extension down to 21Hz make for equally interesting spec-sheet reading.

The one-colour-only cabinet is sturdily built and curvily finished, and there's a digital display on top to adjust volume and toggle between the three pre-set EQs.

From even a cursory listen, there seems little reason to doubt Tannoy's assertions about the power or low-frequency response of the TS1201. It's capable of oppressive volume, and digs plenty deep enough to describe the most substantial movie explosion or dancehall bassline.

The Tannoy's reasonably speedy, too, a trait that makes it a bit more adept with music than some rivals.

Lack of immediacy
That's about it for the good news, though. For all its undoubted speed, the TS1201 doesn't describe the leading edge of notes or hits with great precision – there's no immediacy, rather a relatively languid slur into sounds that leaves it short of definition.

And there's not quite the substance better rivals offer, either – for all the Tannoy's extension, it has a disappointingly soft centre.

All of which leaves the TS1201 rather frustratingly marooned. It's impressive in some areas, no doubt, but it's short of the talent that would bring a more positive verdict.

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What Hi-Fi?

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