Tangent Spectrum X6 BT Review

Pros

  • Terrific value for money
  • Fabulous build quality
  • Stylish looks
  • Huge solid sound
  • Great for movie playback

Cons

  • Bass-heavy sound not for everyone
  • Not quite enough top-end subtlety or air
  • Clunky control system and cheap remote

Key Features

  • Review Price: £799.00
  • Active floorstanding speaker system
  • 2 x 60W power output
  • 2 x 5-inch mid/bass drivers and 1-inch tweeter
  • Bass and treble controls
  • Midnight Black and Polar White finishes
  • RCA, 3.5mm, optical and coaxial digital inputs

What is the Tangent Spectrum X6 BT?

The Tangent Spectrum X6 BT is an active tower speaker system that provides large-scale sound with small-scale clutter. By integrating amps, sockets and Bluetooth into these two floorstanders, Danish brand Tangent has created a living room-friendly system capable of delivering a bigger, beefier sound than a compact Bluetooth system.

Related: Best multiroom speakers

Tangent Spectrum X6 BT – Design and connections

Those Danes sure know how to make a good-looking speaker system. The X6 BT has been crafted with a Scandinavian eye, with clean lines, minimal clutter and tasteful walnut plinths. The rounded edges and gorgeous satin finish give the X6s a contemporary look that should blend nicely into any environment.

The rock-solid towers are available in fetching Midnight Black or Polar White matte satin finishes. At under a metre tall and 166mm wide, they’re surprisingly unimposing – great news if space is tight. Build quality is outstanding for the money, making the £799 price tag hard to comprehend. This is particularly true when you can buy a pair of passive bookshelf speakers for the same price – but I’m not complaining.

The left X6 speaker is the brains and brawn of the operation, housing the 2 x 60W amplifier and connections. The passive right speaker connects to the left using the supplied cable and sturdy binding posts. On the front of the left speaker (embedded in the plinth) is a power LED that glows white (on) or red (off). It doesn’t change colour when you switch sources, but does blink when Bluetooth pairing.

There’s an impressive array of sockets on the left speaker. They include two analogue inputs (one red/white RCA and one 3.5mm mini-jack), optical and coaxial digital inputs, a subwoofer output and a grounding terminal to connect a turntable. A switch controls the Aux 1 input type – phono or line. And, of course, there’s a Bluetooth 4.2 connection with higher-quality aptX for wireless devices that support it.

The built-in 2 x 60W Class D amplifier feeds two bespoke 5-inch mid/bass drivers and 1-inch tweeter in each speaker, all protected by integrated, colour-matched mesh grilles. The bass reflex cabinets have ports located two-thirds of the way down the rear.

The system is controlled by a small remote, which is the system’s most obvious concession to the budget price. First, its size means it’s likely to spend most of its life sandwiched between sofa cushions. Second, it’s awkward to hold; and third, the buttons are small and unhelpfully arranged in a grid.

Aside from that, it’s great. To be fair, it covers all buttonry bases, including a ‘reset EQ’ key that returns the bass and treble to its default settings.

The X6 BT has an automatic on/off feature that puts the system to sleep after 20 minutes of inactivity and wakes it up when you start playing a source. The lack of status indicators makes operation a little tricky, particularly when you’re adjusting the bass or treble – a little trial and error is required to work out how close to maximum or minimum you are.

Tangent Spectrum X6 BT – Performance

Play some tunes and as expected the X6 BT delivers a towering performance. It has all the power and presence I’d expect of a floorstanding system, easily filling the room with its loud, neighbour-goading sound.

What stands out is the amount of bass on offer. Even with the bass level set to 0 (both bass and treble controls range from -4 to +4), the Tangent’s low frequencies are rich and weighty, engulfing you in a big, full-bodied sound. The system’s sound is so warm you might be tempted to huddle round it on a chilly winter’s night.

For the most part, that’s a major positive – with Resolution 88’s superb jazz-fusion album Afterglow, the kick drums thump and the funky basslines delve deep. Music pulsates through the room, making it impossible to sit still. From saxophones solos to keyboard chords, the Tangent imbues everything with warmth and depth.

On the other hand, there is a danger that some listeners might find all that bass a little overpowering, denying you some of the space and air you might get from other floorstanders, but on the whole the X6 BT is a satisfying listen.

Elsewhere the Tangent has a solid, velvety mid-range with no harsh edges, plus plenty of detail. A little more top-end sparkle and insight would have taken things to the next level – it sometimes feels like some of a track’s finer nuances get lost behind the warm, pounding bass – but there’s more than enough quality in every department to justify the £800 outlay.

The system displays great timing, an expansive soundstage and terrific imaging. It goes remarkably loud without much evidence of straining, maintaining poise and clarity as the volume creeps higher.

One unexpected benefit is how good the X6 BT sounds when rigged up to a TV. I played Logan on Blu-ray and the system’s muscular, bass-heavy presentation really made the most of the movie’s brutal fight scenes. The punches and kicks have a visceral impact, and action scenes enjoy a sense of scale that TV speakers – or most soundbars, for that matter – simply can’t match.

Why buy the Tangent Spectrum X6 BT?

With its powerful, muscular sound, rock-solid construction and decent connectivity, the X6 BT is fantastic value for money. It’s surprisingly living room-friendly for a floorstanding system, with stylish design, slender cabinets and a clutter-busting active speaker design.

You don’t get the attention to detail or refinement of better-known hi-fi brands, and not everyone will love its bass-heavy approach. Overall, though, the Tangent X6 BT is well worth a punt if you fancy some floorstanders on a budget.

Verdict

A great-value active system that delivers muscular, room-filling sound from beautifully constructed, clutter-busting cabinets

Score