Wow. This thing is huge.
At 60cm, the Tangent Classic has the same width as a small basking shark’s mouthspan. You certainly couldn’t fit it on a bedside table.
But you wouldn’t really want to, because it looks good enough to be displayed proudly in your living room.
There’s a lot of wood. It’s wrapped around most of the speaker’s surface, with cutouts for the twin reflex ports at the back.
It’s wrapped around the credit card-sized remote control. There’s even an adorable wooden phone holder – not a dock, just a stand.
The Danish company has clearly decided to capitalise on the Scandinavian vibe – part elegant, part retro – and we dig it. Build quality is strong as a tree (if a tree had been hollowed out for audio entertainment purposes).
This is a very simple device. It’s primarily a Bluetooth speaker. No AirPlay, no network set-up or faffing about with wi-fi passwords.
You can connect up to eight Bluetooth devices within a range of around 10 metres. It can handle aptX, the high-quality kind of Bluetooth we like, as long as your phone/tablet/player offers it.
Other connections? There’s a USB port, used only for charging portable players, and a 3.5mm input. That’s it. Does that make the Tangent limited? Perhaps. Then again, there are plenty of AirPlay-only speakers around. Seeing as Bluetooth isn’t Apple-specific, we think this makes the Tangent fairly flexible.
For the money, however, it’s not unreasonable to expect a little more.
Ease of use
The system is very easy to use. Bluetooth pairing is simply a matter of holding down a button on the remote and picking up the signal on your portable player.
A little light goes from flashing to solid to indicate you’re connected, and you’re good to go. The remote is a little fiddly – the wooden sleeve demands you press a bit harder for the buttons to work.
If this really bothers you, you can remove the sleeve without too much effort.
We’re pleased with the performance. As we’d expect from a speaker of this size, there’s an effortless sense of scale.
The sound is huge. It’s loud too, certainly enough to engage a party full of folks and get the neighbours a-knocking. It’s a likeable, entertaining sound.
There’s plenty of energy, and dynamics are strong. When it comes to tonal balance, the Tangent is definitely on the rich, warm side. It’s a full-bodied sound.
The bass is properly deep, if a bit overstated. It’s also not the cleanest sound, often coming across mildly muffled. If you’re in a confined space, this might be a bit much.
There are buttons for different EQ presets like ‘Pop’ and ‘Rock’ but we wouldn’t really bother – most of the time we use ‘Flat’.
The Tangent Classic is a commendable speaker as long as you give it the space it needs.
It’s not the most flexible offering, though – it’s big, and we’d like to see a few more features – but it’s well worth a listen.
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