- Superb build quality
- Large-scale sound from compact speakers
- Top-notch bass and detail reproduction
- Boxy, inelegant design
- Lack of neutrality with music
Review Price £499.95
Intro and Design
Squeezing hefty tower speakers into a small living room can be difficult, but thankfully Tannoy is here to save the day. Its HTS series is designed to offer high-quality sound from compact, stylish speakers that only take up a fraction of your space. Tannoy describes it as ‘the ultimate no compromise system’ which means that even though the speakers are small, you’re supposed to get the same large-scale sound you’d get from bigger speakers. Let’s find out if they deliver on that promise.
The system comprises four satellites, a centre speaker and the HTS Subwoofer. The sats can be bought separately without the sub as the HTS 5.0 package, but the HTS-101 offers a more cost-effective way of getting a complete system. However, should you have space for towers (which in theory should garner a superior sound) then the step-up HTS-201 package replaces the front satellites with two 904mm-high floorstanding speakers.
The HTS-101’s four identical satellites for the fronts and rears measure 106(w) x 160(h) x 142(d)mm, which isn’t likely to affect your feng shui when placing them around the room. And if you want to get them up and out the way, they can be wall-mounted using the supplied brackets. The satellites boast luxurious build quality too – picking one up reveals that they’re fairly heavy (always a good sign) with a weight of 1.4kg, largely due to the high-density real wood fibre cabinets, which is unusual at this price.
Tannoy has also styled them in a deep gloss black finish, giving them a modern-yet-classy look, and the grilles can be removed by pulling them from their plug fixings. There’s nothing particularly radical or elegant about their boxy shape (aside from a slight taper towards the back), but if you’re looking for speakers that will blend discreetly into their surroundings these could be just the ticket.
The centre speaker is slightly larger at 250mm wide to accommodate an extra driver and aligned horizontally, but it’s styled in exactly the same fashion. All five speakers feature a pair of robust binding posts on the back. The HTS Subwoofer is positively gargantuan compared with the sats (measuring 275(w) x 420(h) x 370(d)mm) and therefore isn't easy to conceal, but its gorgeous gloss-black finish demands to be seen, plus all of the clutter is kept hidden on the back panel. It also comes with pre-attached spikes.