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Verdict

The Tivoli Model Two Digital’s looks make it stand out, and there are no complaints about how it sounds, but its price shines a light on its lack of some modern features. 

Pros

  • Excellent sound
  • Convenient connectivity
  • Eye-catching design

Cons

  • Lacks more modern features
  • Slightly pricey

Key Features

  • ConnectionsWi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • PowerMains powered over built-in battery

Introduction

Appearances can be deceptive, especially when it comes to hi-fi. So while the Tivoli Audio Model Two Digital looks every bit like one of the brand’s old radios, there’s no sign of a DAB or FM tuner inside its classy-looking cabinet.  

This is a compact, mains-powered speaker that lets you decide how you want to get your music into it, whether that’s wirelessly or by using an aux cable. It’s not cheap, though, so with plenty of competition for a place in your home, does the Model Two Digital do enough to deserve your cash?

Design

  • Classy looks
  • Solid build
  • Compact dimensions

Given Tivoli’s history of making radios, it’s perhaps not hugely surprising that the Model Two Digital could quite easily pass as a good old-fashioned wireless. The smooth wooden cabinet and aluminium grille give off some real mid-century vibes, and while the dial on the front looks like it should be for tuning into different radio stations, it’s actually an intuitive 3-in-1 knob used for power, adjusting the volume, and changing the source.

A short press turns the Model Two Digital on, with each one after that cycling through the different connectivity options and the light bar on the front changing colour to indicate which is active. Hold the knob down for about five seconds and the speaker will turn off. 

Tivoli Model Two Digital volume knob
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

As this is a mains-powered speaker there’s no auto shutdown, but the indicator light does dim after a period of inactivity. Unless you’re concerned about how much electricity it’s using when in standby you’re probably best off leaving it in this state, because if you turn it off completely it takes around 25 seconds to connect to the Wi-Fi when you wake it up again. That’s not that long in the grand scheme of things, but does leave you hanging around a bit. 

Round the back things are more utilitarian. In the middle of the plastic panel there are buttons to initiate Wi-Fi and Bluetooth setup, a 3.5mm auxiliary socket, and a USB port, but the latter serves no functional use for the owner. The whole thing feels sturdy and solidly built, and with the dimensions of a shoe box it’s easy to find a place for it to live. You can even stand it on its side if you want.

As well as the walnut and gold model Tivoli sent over to test, you can also get the Model Two Digital in plain black, or white and silver, both of which lessen the retro aesthetic somewhat but are no less appealing to look at.  

Tivoli Model Two Digital inputs
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Features

  • Simple setup
  • No voice control
  • No radio

There’s no screen on the Model Two Digital but initial setup via your phone or tablet is straightforward. Tivoli has quite wisely delegated this job to Google’s Home app, so getting the speaker connected to your Wi-Fi only takes a matter of minutes. Once that’s done it’ll automatically appear in your device list on Spotify and Tidal, and, if you’re using an iOS device, as an option in the AirPlay menu. Chromecast is also supported.

Bluetooth is also an option and connecting is equally simple. Your third option is the auxiliary port on the back, although you’ll have to supply your own cable as you don’t get one in the box. It’s handy to have a physical input just in case, but with the 3.5mm headphone socket now an endangered species in the world of smartphones you do wonder how much use it’ll get.

Tivoli Model Two Digital build quality
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Despite how it looks there’s no radio functionality here. Of course, you can still listen online via a connected device, but there are no DAB or FM tuners built in. Given Tivoli’s history with making radios that might disappoint some, but it doesn’t feel like a significant absence. 

The other notable absence is any kind of voice control or smart functionality. Adding these features can sometimes come at the expense of outright sound quality, so it’s fairly easy to see why Tivoli hasn’t included it, but some potential buyers may look at the asking price and feel like they can get more elsewhere. Of course, the inclusion of the 3.5mm socket means you could quite easily connect a cheap Echo device to turn the Model Two Digital into a DIY smart speaker.   

Sound Quality

  • Excellent vocals
  • Rich bass
  • No EQ

Tivoli has fitted the Model Two Digital with a single 3.5-inch full-range driver and 0.75in tweeter, with 15W of amplification for the former and the remaining 5W being used by the latter.

For such a compact speaker it delivers an impressive sonic performance across the whole frequency range. The way it reproduces voices is particularly noticeable, with the acapella opening track to Boygenius’s The Record sounding almost convincing enough to make me think Phoebe Bridgers and co are singing in the room with me. There’s real heart and soul in the gospel choir on Blur’s Tender, while the contrast between the voices of Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon comes across wonderfully clearly.   

Tivoli Model Two Digital side angle view
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The cabinet has a bass port on the back, so despite its relatively diminutive dimensions it’s very capable when it comes to low-end frequencies. Whether it’s the fuzzy synths and thumping bass on Tame Impala’s Past Life, or the throbbing sub tones on Elijah Minelli’s dub remix of Dry by Traams, there’s both weight and texture to the bottom end. 

Where the size of the speaker does become apparent is with the scale of the sound. While it still manages to sound bigger than it is, it’s still always obvious that you’re listening to a one-box system rather than a proper stereo setup. That said, it certainly isn’t meek when you crank the volume. 

There’s no Tivoli app, so if you don’t like the sonic character of the Model Two Digital there’s nothing you can do to tweak how it sounds, but over the course of my two-week testing period I never felt like that was an issue.

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Should you buy it?

You really like the design

The Model Two Digital looks great, with a design that manages to be simultaneously retro and timeless, which means it’ll fit in almost anywhere. Fortunately, it also sounds as good as it looks, so it’s not just a pretty face. 

You want the latest features

It’s not old-school enough to include a tuner, but the Tivoli has stuck to the basics with the Model Two Digital. There’s no voice assistant onboard, and the front-facing drivers mean it’s not equipped to deliver spatial audio.

Final Thoughts

At £399 or thereabouts, the Tivoli Model Two Digital doesn’t come cheap, and that’s hard to ignore when weighing up whether you should buy one or not. To put it in context, a lot of places will often sell you a Sonos Era 300 for the same price, and while the two aren’t necessarily in direct competition, the Sonos offers some features that make the Tivoli look almost dated in comparison.

Of course, just because you can buy another brilliant speaker for the same price doesn’t automatically make the Model Two Digital a bad product, but with so much accomplished competition out there, it’s hard not to look at Tivoli’s little wooden box and wonder where all the cash is going.

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How we test

We test every wireless speaker we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.

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Tested across several weeks

Tested with real world use

FAQs

Does the Tivoli Model Two Digital support Wi-Fi?

The Tivoli Model Two Digital supports Wi-Fi with Spotify Connect, AirPlay 2, and Chromecast built-in.

Full specs

UK RRP
USA RRP
EU RRP
Manufacturer
Size (Dimensions)
Weight
ASIN
Release Date
Driver (s)
Ports
Audio (Power output)
Connectivity
Colours
Frequency Range

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