In my "sweet spot," I sat back and began the audition. My first choice was Diana Krall's Love Scenes. Diana burst into the room with "Peel me a Grape." Yikes! This rock-solid image was a little more than I expected. Efficiency wasn't bad at about 88 dB. At 80 Hz to 54 kHz, it was obvious that the "air" dynamics and imaging were incredible. Crossover between the subwoofer and satellites was undetectable. I turned down the lights to get that small club feel. I listened intently for a while, then found myself forgetting about the pad of paper and pen I was holding and just enjoying the performance. Holly Cole and Jeni Fleming wrapped up the sultry women in my life, and it was off to East Winds' The Three...Ray Brown, Shelly Mann, and Joe Sample. The bass musings of Ray Brown were detailed and had musical presence, not that one-note bass that so many speakers spew out. I have said this many times, that music is the soundtrack of your life, and tonight I took a trip down memory lane. Each disc revealed places, people, and times gone by. Even Sinatra stepped up to the mic and swooned out a hit or two. My movie selection allowed me to enter into a fantasy world of digital images and sound effects that the system handled with ease. The Tannoy Arena 5.1 handled each performer and epic blockbuster with grace and muscle. The concentric driver technology delivers everything you would expect from a single-point source element, and more.
Take it from an old audiophile, when considering any audio/video system--large or small, sat/sub or massive behemoth towers--accuracy is all that matters. Sound stage, depth, dynamics, and dispersion are as important in video as they are in music. The information must escape from its enclosure, uncolored and uninhibited. In other words...the speaker needs to get out of the way! Congratulations to Tannoy for delivering one of the most impressive satellite/subwoofer systems I have ever heard. From someone who has probably sold more of this kind of configuration since 1978 than anyone in publishing I know, I speak from experience. Audition the Tannoy Arena 5.1 before making your next speaker purchase...it just might be your last.
ARENA 5.1 SYSTEM
Arena is lavishly finished in a choice of magnificent high-gloss colors--bronze, silver, white, or black.
MSRP: ARENA 5.1 SYSTEM $2,199
(substantial savings result from buying the system)