- Stunning design
- Build quality
- Expressive, detailed sound
- Uber expensive
- Not significantly better performance than less expensive systems
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Yes, you read that price correctly – the Oh by Tutondo OhL 5.1 is the sort of extravagant designer home cinema speaker system that bankers like to spend their bonuses on. It’s the brainchild of Italian company Tutondo, which hand-crafts its speakers in a factory just outside of Venice, and as you’d expect its systems are an interior designer’s dream. To those readers wondering why we’re testing out a system pushing £6k - well no-one has a pop at Top Gear for test-driving a Maserati – we all need something to aspire to. And It’s our job to find out if that price tag is justified, so without further ado let’s jump right in...
Tutondo’s systems are sold in the UK exclusively by Sound Thinking AV Limited. The name of the particular system we’re testing is the “OhL 5.1 speaker system”, so called because it features the fascinating OhL subwoofer, which also doubles as a lamp. In this package you get two coil base floorstanding speakers (OKP2G) for the front channels and three coil base bookshelf speakers (OK2G) for the rears and centre.
The system has a stark, futuristic look that makes you feel like you’re in an episode of Doctor Who. The key design characteristic of the Oh speakers is their spherical shape, the inspiration for which is the designers’ quest for ‘complete, natural surround sound, like a raindrop hitting water and sending out concentric ripples.’ The blurb continues: ‘The perfect sphere issues immaculate sound, free of both distortion and stationary waves, with a sharpness matched by no other shape’. Whatever. All we know is that they look absolutely gorgeous, with or without the optional domes slotted onto the front, and boast the sort of build quality that could withstand bullets.
Both the floor and bookshelf stands are exceptionally well-made, with heavy, high-quality metal construction. The floor stands are thin poles set into a wide ring at the bottom, with the pre-attached speaker cable running up inside to minimise mess. Both the speakers and stands come in three different finishes – Silver, White and Black (ours were White, although the Silver finish is the nicest).
The OhL is possibly the most bonkers subwoofer we’ve ever encountered, but also one of the most practical. Outrageously stylish and completely unique, it features a bulky circular base containing the double coil 250mm woofer (with a treated paper cone and rubber surround) and 200W amplifier, which has a row of five dials lined up along the top. But on top of that sits a long, transparent tube that radiates light from the bulb fitted inside. Killing two birds with one stone in this way is a brilliant, space-saving idea but with an individual price tag of £2,795 it could be the priciest lamp you ever buy.